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2014 Independent Games Festival opens call for submissions

Submissions are now officially open for the 2014 Independent Games Festival, the signature competition for indie games, to be held for a 16th year during GDC 2014 in San Francisco next March. This directly follows a record-breaking year which saw nearly 900 entries for the 2013 event, including top prizewinners like FTL: Faster Than Light, Cart Life, and Kentucky Route Zero.
The deadlines for the Main and Student Showcase categories for the 16th IGF are October 19th and October 31st, 2013 respectively, with finalists announced in January 2014. Finalists' games will once again be playable at the packed IGF Pavilion on the Game Developers Conference 2014 Expo Floor, and will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes.
These plaudits include the Excellence in Visual Art, Audio, Design, and Narrative Awards, which will have an expanded amount of six finalists each, with the winner getting $3,000 in each category. There will also be an expanded six finalists for the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
This year also sees the return of the Best Student Game award, with eight finalists ($3,000 prize), and the special Nuovo Award ($5,000, eight finalists) will again honor 'abstract, shortform, and unconventional' games. Finally, the IGF Audience Award ($3,000) will be decided by a public vote from all of the Main Competition finalists.

IGF 2013 sees record entries for its Student Competition

The organizers of the 15th annual Independent Games Festival -- the longest-running and largest festival relating to independent games worldwide -- are proud to announce another year of record entry numbers for IGF 2013's Student Competition.

In total, this year's Student Competition took in more than 300 game entries across all platforms -- PC, console and mobile -- from a wide diversity of the most prestigious universities and games programs from around the world.

Together with the record Main Competition entries, this year's IGF has taken in nearly 900 total entries -- the largest number in the festival's history across the Main and Student competitions.

This year's Student Competition includes entries such as the DigiPen-developed Perspective, which combines 2D platforming with 3D first-person navigation, and Nevermind, an experimental horror title that uses biofeedback to manage player stress and change difficulty on the fly.

Other entries include the physics-based tower defense title The White Laboratory, the stealth horror game Blackwell's Asylum, and the experimental narrative title Snowfall.

The above are just a small selection of the games now available for browsing via IGF.com, where you'll find more information, screenshots and video for each of the IGF Student Competition entries.

The festival's organizers have added an official Student Competition JSON feed, added to the existing Main Competition feed, updated every 30 minutes from live back end data. Teams can update info on their games and have the official entry page change, and third parties are welcome to use this feed to make their own custom IGF entry lists and pages.

Two days left to enter 2013 IGF's Student Competition

With record Main Competition submissions for IGF 2013 announced, organizers are reminding that student submissions for this year's GDC co-located festival are closing on Wednesday.

The longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase will continue to accept student entries until 11.59pm PT on October 31st, and finalists in both the Main Competition and Student Competition will be announced in January 2013.

This year, the show will select a total of eight student teams, all of which will receive the opportunity to show off their games at the IGF Pavilion at GDC 2013 in March. All teams in the IGF Student Showcase will also be eligible to receive an enhanced $1,000 cash prize.

In addition, the IGF student finalists will also compete for the IGF Best Student Game Award. The recipient will be revealed during GDC's prestigious IGF Awards ceremony, and the winning game will receive an additional cash prize of $3,000.

The award ceremony will take place Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and the IGF Pavilion will remain open from March 27-29. The sister Independent Games Summit event, meanwhile, will be held on March 25 and 26.

All of the Independent Games Festival events take place as part of the 2013 Game Developers Conference, which is held March 25th - March 29th, 2013 in San Francisco, and the IGF continues as the most vital showcase of independent game talent across the wide spectrum of artistically- and commercially-aimed development.

2013 Independent Games Festival submissions now open

Organizers are now officially opening submissions for the 2013 Independent Games Festival, to be held at GDC 2013 in San Francisco next March.

The longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase is now accepting entries to the 15th annual Festival, with deadlines in the Main and Student Showcase categories by October 17th and October 31st respectively, and finalists to be announced on January 2013.

Following over 850 entries to IGF 2012, the Festival has expanded each existing category to six finalists, all of which will be available in playable form at a larger, expanded IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor, and will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes.

These include the $5,000 Nuovo Award, honoring 'abstract, shortform, and unconventional' games, as well as the Excellence in Art, Audio, Design, Technology, Student Game and Audience Award prizes, each worth $3,000, and the crowning $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

Notable former Independent Games Festival winners over the previous 15 years include Spelunky, Fez, Minecraft, Limbo, World of Goo, Braid, Castle Crashers, Everyday Shooter and many more of the game industry's breakthrough independent titles.

Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with the IGF Pavilion open from March 27-29, and the sister Independent Games Summit event taking place on March 25 and 26.

All of the Independent Games Festival events take place as part of the 2013 Game Developers Conference, which is held March 25th - March 29th, 2013 in San Francisco, and the IGF continues as the most vital showcase of independent game talent across the wide spectrum of artistically- and commercially-aimed development.

"All of us here at the IGF are eager to see this year's selection of games. Each year, the community manages to outpace itself in innovation and artistry, and we expect nothing less for this 15th anniversary Festival," said IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer.

2012 Independent Games Festival announces Student Showcase winners

The Independent Games Festival has announced the eight Student Showcase winners for the fourteenth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, celebrating the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year.

This year's showcase of top student talent includes the lithograph-sketched 2D logic puzzler The Bridge, from Case Western Reserve University, Art Institute of Phoenix's magic-moth platformer Dust, and DigiPen Institute of Technology's part-psychological-evaluator, part-boot-camp-instructor, possibly-part-malware action game Nous.

In total, this year's Student Competition took in nearly 300 game entries across all platforms -- PC, console and mobile -- from a wide diversity of the world's most prestigious universities and games programs making the Student IGF one of the world's largest showcases of student talent.

All of the Student Showcase winners announced today will be playable on the Expo show floor at the 26th Game Developers Conference, to be held in San Francisco starting March 5th, 2012. Each team will receive a $500 prize for being selected into the Showcase, and are finalists for an additional $3,000 prize for Best Student Game, to be revealed during the Independent Games Festival Awards on March 7th.

The full list of Student Showcase winners for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, along with 'honorable mentions' to those top-quality games that didn't quite make it to finalist status, are as follows:

The Bridge (Case Western Reserve University)
Dust (Art Institute of Phoenix)
The Floor Is Jelly (Kansas City Art Institute)
Nous (DigiPen Institute of Technology)
One and One Story (Liceo Scientifico G.B. Morgagni)
Pixi (DigiPen Institute of Technology - Singapore)
The Snowfield (Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab)
Way (Carnegie Mellon University, Entertainment Technology Center)

Honorable mentions: Be Good (DigiPen Institute of Technology); Lilith's Pet (University of Kassel); Nitronic Rush (DigiPen Institute of Technology); Once Upon A Spacetime (RMIT); Tink (Mediadesign Highschool of Applied Sciences)

2012 Independent Games Festival Announces Main Competition Finalists

The Independent Games Festival (IGF) juries have announced their Main Competition finalists for the 14th annual presentation of its awards, celebrating the brightest creatives and the most influential game designs to come out of the independent community in the past year.
This year's finalists for the most prestigious indie game awards, each picked by a discipline-specific set of expert juries after recommendations from almost 200 top independent game experts, are led by multiple nominations for several standout titles.
These include thechineseroom's experimental first person game Dear Esther -- picking up nominations for Visual Art and Audio, as well as the Nuovo Award and Seumas McNally Grand Prize -- and Mossmouth's procedurally generated platformer Spelunky, which was nominated for the Design and Technical Awards on top of a nod for the Grand Prize.
Other multiple-nominated titles include Polytron's highly anticipated puzzle adventure Fez, Mode 7's turn based tactical shooter Frozen Synapse, and Die Gute Fabrik's digitally-enabled folk game Johann Sebastian Joust, all of which saw nominations for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize on top of nominations for Technical Excellence, Excellence in Design, and the Nuovo Award, respectively.
The Nuovo Award, once again honoring 'abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development' of all kinds, also saw some standout games in addition to some of the above titles among its eight nominees for the $5,000 prize. These include Bennett Foddy's fiendish climbing game GIRP, Daniel Benmergui's evocative title Storyteller, and Terry Cavanagh's two-player puzzle title At A Distance.
Now in its second year fully integrated into the IGF Main Competition, the Best Mobile Game Award saw nominations for Tiger Style's sci-fi action gardening game Waking Mars -- also up for an Excellence in Audio award -- Simogo's rhythm-stealth game Beat Sneak Bandit, Steph Thirion's constellation-crafter Faraway, Powerhead's color-puzzler ASYNC Corp, and Vlambeer's fishing/shooter Ridiculous Fishing.
All finalist games will be playable at the IGF Pavilion on the Game Developers Conference 2012 Expo floor from March 7-9, 2012, at San Francisco's Moscone Center, as part of a week of independent game-related content that also includes the Independent Games Summit (March 5th-6th), and the IGF Awards ceremony itself.
The IGF Awards, where this year's IGF winners will be unveiled, will be held on the evening of March 7, alongside the Game Developers Choice Awards. IGF award recipients will receive $60,000 of prizes in various categories, including the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
The full list of finalists for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, with jury-picked "honorable mentions" to those top-quality games that didn't quite make it to finalist status, is as follows:

Reminder: 2012 IGF Student Competition Submissions Close Today

Organizers
are reminding that there are less than 24 hours until the Student
Competition deadline for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, being held
at the Game Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco next March 5-9.

The Independent Games Festival is
the longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival,
summit, and showcase, and the deadline for the IGF 2012 Student
Competition is Monday, October 31st at 11:59pm PT.

The IGF has already revealed
record numbers of entrants for the Main Competition, with nearly 570
games competing, a more than forty five percent jump over 2011's total
entries.

Student Competition finalists will be announced in January 2012, and
will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show
floor from March 7-9, 2012.

Notable former student game finalists include Narbacular Drop, the precursor to the acclaimed Portal, as well as Cloud from the embryonic Thatgamecompany team, recent cult hit Octodad, and more.

Newly submitted student titles will compete for $7,000 in prizes,
which includes prizes for eight Student Showcase Winners and one prize
for Best Student Game. 2012 Independent Games Festival prizes for both
Main and Student Competitions total more than $50,000.

As noted above, submissions to the Student Competition are still open to all student game developers,
with many entrants waiting until the last minute to polish versions of
their game for more than 150 IGF judges. A full list of student entrants
will be released on the IGF website in the days following the
submission deadline, as also happened with the Main Competition.

Reminder: 24 Hours To 2012 IGF Main Competition Deadline

Organizers are reminding that there are 24 hours until the Main Competition deadline for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, being held at the Game Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco next March 5-9.



The Independent Games Festival is the longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit, and showcase, and the deadline for the IGF 2012 Main Competition is Monday, October 17th at 11.59pm PT.



Finalists will be announced in January 2012, and will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor from March 7-9, 2012. The titles will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes, a significant increase from last year.



This includes the high-profile $5,000 Nuovo Award, honoring abstract, short-form, and unconventional video game development, as well as a $30,000 Grand Prize and a host of other notable awards.



Submissions to the competition are still open to all independent game developers, with almost 260 games entered already, and many entrants waiting until the last minute to polish versions of their game for more than 150 IGF judges. A full list of entrants will be released on the IGF website in the days following the submission deadline.



Important dates for IGF 2012 are as follows:



- June 30, 2011 - Submissions are Open

- October 17, 2011 - Submission Deadline, Main Competition

- October 31, 2011 - Submission Deadline, Student Competition

- January 5, 2012 - Finalists Announced, Main Competition

- January 12, 2012 - Finalists Announced, Student Competition

- March 5 - March 9, 2012 - Game Developers Conference 2012

- March 5 - March 6, 2012 - Indie Games Summit @ GDC 2012

- March 7 - March 9, 2012 - IGF Pavilion @ GDC 2012



Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The Independent Games Festival Awards are held immediately before the wider Game Developers Choice Awards.


Letter From The Chairman: Welcome Back For IGF 2012

[Following
the announcement of the 2012 Independent Games Festival competition,
IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer goes in-depth on the changes made for this year's Festival, examining the ethos for the competition and the shifts in policy and rules for this year's 14th annual IGF experience.]

Well, we made it unscathed through that lucky-13th, and here we are
again, back where we started, with the opening of the 14th year of the
Independent Games Festival. Last year's festival was a landmark one on a
number of levels.

It was the first that folded the IGF Mobile into the main
competition, the first where one of the entrants (and the eventual Grand
Prize winner) surprised everyone (the developers included!) by selling
several hundred thousand copies of their game before judging had even
begun, our first with a new two-tier judge and jury system, and,
obviously, my first year as chairman.

I learned a lot about the festival and how it operates and how it
could better be improved over the past year. So I'm here now to outline
some of the changes we'll be implementing this year, as the IGF, its
role in the community, and the community itself grows and evolves. But
we'll start with one aspect of the festival that we won't be changing:

The IGF will continue to utilize its two-tier judge and jury system.

2011juries.jpgFrom
the conversations I've had over the past several months, nearly
everyone involved -- from the judges and jurors themselves to the
individual entrants to those of us organizing the festival -- felt like
the change to this system was an incredibly important and positive
change.

The two-tier system - with our 150-200 judges recommending games in
certain categories, and discipline-specific juries of 8-10 subject
matter experts assigned to each award, ensured that all games in the
festival got an equal chance at making it into the finalist round.

With more eyes than ever on each entry, and each jurist chosen for their specific professional merits for each category (our list of 2011 jurors is available here), experts were able to make a strong case for any game, whether it gathered an initial popular vote or not.

It also meant that our finalist and winner selection was less of a
binary process, and more of a conversation about the deeper merits of
the games and their place and legacy in the independent game community.
Those intimate conversations were a passionate, productive, valuable
look at the pulse of professional indie developers, as you can read in
our Nuovo jury comments and Main Competition jury statements, and we're looking forward to those conversations again this year.

2012 Independent Games Festival Opens Submissions

Organizers have officially opened submissions for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, being held at the Game Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco next March 5-9.

The Independent Games Festival is
the longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival,
summit, and showcase, and is now accepting entries to its 14th annual
edition, with deadlines in the Main and Student Showcase categories by
October 17 and October 31 respectively, and finalists to be announced in
January 2012.

All games selected as finalists will be available in playable form at
the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor from March 7-9, 2012, and will
compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes, a significant increase from last
year.

This includes the high-profile $5,000 Nuovo Award, honoring abstract,
short-form, and unconventional video game development, and previously
won by designers including Jason Rohrer (Between) and Messhof (Nidhogg).

In addition, awards for Excellence in Visual Art, Audio, and Design,
Technical Excellence, Best Mobile Game, the Best Student Game, and the
Audience Award each now receive a $3,000 prize, and the signature Seumas
McNally Grand Prize for the independent game of the year (won by
Mojang's Minecraft in 2011) has been increased by 50 percent to a record $30,000.

Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent
Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, at the Moscone Center
in San Francisco. The Independent Games Festival Awards are held
immediately before the wider Game Developers Choice Awards.

IGF China 2011 Opens Call For Submissions

Organizers of the Independent Games Festival China, which runs in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference China, have officially announced a call for indie game submissions from the pan-Pacific area now through Thursday, September 1.

Following on its success in past years, GDC China will continue to host the three main elements of IGF China, including the Independent Games Summit, which provides valuable conference sessions specializing in the challenges of independent game development.

These include the Independent Games Festival Pavilion, an onsite exhibition of the very best in local indie games, and the Independent Games Festival Awards, which honors the work of the talented pool of local independent game developers.

The 2011 IGF China Main Competition will give out awards and cash prizes in five categories, including:

- Best Game (RMB20,000 ~ $3,060 USD)
- Mobile Best Game (RMB10, 000 ~ $1,530 USD)
- Excellence In Audio (RMB5,000 ~ $760 USD)
- Excellence In Technology (RMB5,000 ~ $760 USD)
- Excellence In Visual Arts (RMB5,000 ~ $760 USD)

Finalists -- who will receive VIP and expo passes to attend GDC China and the IGF awards ceremony on November 12, 2011 -- will be chosen by a panel of expert jurors including Kevin Li (CEO, TipCat Interactive); Monte Singman (CEO, Radiance Digital Entertainment); Xubo Yang (Director of Digital Art Lab and Assistant Professor; Shanghai Jiaotong University's School of Software), and jury chairman Simon Carless, IGF Chairman Emeritus and EVP of the GDC shows and Gamasutra.

Minecraft, Amnesia Top Winners At 13th Annual IGF Awards

Swedish developer Mojang's acclaimed 3D world-building sandbox title, Minecraft was a big winner at the 13th Annual Independent Games Festival tonight at Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, earning the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game, as well as the community-voted Audience Award.

In a diverse set of award-winners, other Independent Games Festival award recipients included Frictional Games' psychological horror game Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which took home awards for Technical Excellence and Excellence in Audio, as well as the sponsor-supported Direct2Drive Vision Award.

Elsewhere, noted independent developer Messhof received the $5,000 Nuovo Award - which honors abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which "advances the medium and the way we think about games" - for his two-player art game, Nidhogg.

In addition, QCF Design's short playtime dungeon crawl adventure Desktop Dungeons earned the award for Excellence in Design, and the Excellence in Visual Art award was won by Gaijin Games' retro-psychedelic BIT.TRIP RUNNER.

Finally, the award for the Best Student Game went to the Myst-like abstract adventure game FRACT, from the University of Montreal, and Best Mobile Game was awarded to Ratloop's unique 'line of sight' puzzler Helsing's Fire.

All of this year's IGF winners and finalists are playable at Game Developers Conference at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC Expo Floor, which is open Wednesday, March 2nd through Friday, March 4th.

2011 Independent Games Festival Announces Student Showcase Winners

The Independent Games Festival has announced the eight Student Showcase winners for the thirteenth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, celebrating the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year.

This year's showcase of top student talent include slapstick physical comedy adventure Octodad, from DePaul University's Team DGE2, University of Montreal student Richard E. Flanagan's boldly styled Myst-like adventure Fract, and Tiny and Big, an ambitious, comic-book styled 3D action platformer from Germany's School of Arts and Design Kassel.

In total, this year's Student Competition took in more than 280 game entries across all platforms -- PC, console and mobile -- from a wide diversity of the world's most prestigious universities and games programs, a 47% increase from entrants in the 2010 Festival, making the Student IGF one of the world's largest showcases of student talent.

All of the Student Showcase winners announced today will be playable on the Expo show floor at the historic 25th Game Developers Conference, to be held in San Francisco starting February 28th, 2011. Each team will receive a $500 prize for being selected into the Showcase, and will are finalists for an additional $2,500 prize for Best Student Game, revealed during the Independent Games Festival Awards on March 2nd.

In conjunction with this announcement, IGF organizers are also revealing that this year's Independent Games Festival Awards at GDC will be hosted by Anthony Carboni. Carboni is host and producer of Bytejacker, the acclaimed indie and downloadable game video show and website, and one of the most enthusiastic and devoted followers of the independent game scene.

The full list of Student Showcase winners for the 2011 Independent Games Festival, along with 'honorable mentions' to those top-quality games that didn't quite make it to finalist status, are as follows:

2010 IGF China Announces Asian, Australasian Indie Winners

Organizers of the second annual Independent Games Festival China have announced winners for the Asian and Australasian indie games showcase in Shanghai, with South Korean developer Turtle Cream's 2D tile-flipping platformer Sugar Cube getting the Best Game prize, and a host of other notable winners.

Following the announcement of the finalists last month, the teams attended a special awards show at the Shanghai International Convention Center during GDC China last night, where the winners of each category were revealed.

Supported by Platinum Sponsor Crystal CG and Gold Sponsor NetEase, the winners of the 2010 Independent Games Festival China announced at the award ceremony include unique modular 'tower defense'-style title The White Laboratory, which won Best Student Game, and The Voxel Agents' addictive iPhone/iPad puzzle hit Train Conductor 2: USA, which took Best Mobile Game.

The winners of the 2010 IGF China awards are:

Best Game: Sugar Cube (Turtle Cream, South Korea) [RMB 20,000, $3,000]
Best Mobile Game: Train Conductor 2 (The Voxel Agents, Australia) [RMB 10,000, $1,500]
Excellence In Audio: Skillz: The DJ Game (Playpen Studios, Hong Kong) [RMB 5,000, $750]
Excellence In Visual Arts: ButaVX: Justice Fighter (Nekomura Games, Singapore) [RMB 5,000, $750]

Best Student Game: The White Laboratory (Huazhong University of Science & Technology, China) [RMB 10,000, $1,500]
Excellent Student Award: Dead Steel (Media Design School, Auckland, New Zealand) [RMB 3,000, $450]
Excellent Student Award: Ponlai (National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan) [RMB 3,000, $450]

 

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