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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]

2011 Independent Games Festival Announces Audio Award Jury

Organizers of the 2011 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the jury panel that will determine the finalists and winner of its Excellence in Audio award, a category which seeks to highlight the best musical & sound innovation, quality, and impressiveness in independent gaming.

Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Excellence in Audio award, which will be given out at Game Developers Conference 2011 next March, earned recognition for games that took an entirely new and unique to approach to sound in games or otherwise excelled at their craft.

These have included Queasy Games' abstract acoustic guitar shooter and 2007 award winner Everyday Shooter, 2008 finalist guitar-controller platformer Fret Nice, 2009's ultra-stylized finalist PixelJunk Eden from Q-Games and Osaka musician/DJ Baiyon, and the atmospheric 2010 award winning Closure (pictured).

This year, the jury will receive recommendations from the wider body of over 150 IGF Main Competition judges (itself including notable former IGF winners, finalists and indie game notables including Ron Carmel, Andy Schatz, Ramiro Corbetta, Kellee Santiago, and Olivier Lejade) as they consider the merits of each of the five finalists and eventual award winner.

The 2011 IGF Excellence in Audio award jury consists of the following:

- Danny Baranowsky (Founder of dB soundworks and musician behind games like Canabalt & 2010 Excellence in Audio finalist Super Meat Boy.)
- Vincent Diamante (Composer and sound designer behind PS3 indie hit Flower, audio & game design teacher at USC's School of Cinematic Arts.)
- Jordan Fehr (Sound designer/editor/mixer with credits on Super Meat Boy, Donkey Kong Country Returns, SteamBirds, Realm of the Mad God, & Spewer.)
- Dylan Fitterer (Creator of music-puzzle racer and 2008 IGF Excellence in Audio winner Audiosurf.)
- David Lloyd & Larry Oji (Respectively, musician and founder of game music site OverClocked ReMix; OCR head and soundtrack director on Capcom's Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.)
- Matt Piersall (Founder of GL33K, the indie audio studio behind games like Splosion Man, Comic Jumper, Epic Mickey & Donkey Kong Country Returns.)
- Emily Ridgway (Music director and audio designer on games like BioShock, Brutal Legend & Costume Quest.)
- William Stallwood & Dain Saint (Respectively, creative director & technical director of Cipher Prime Studios, creator of ambient music puzzler Auditorium.)
- Rich Vreeland (Composer, sound designer, netlabel curator, and chiptune musician performing as Disasterpeace.)
- Josh Whelchel (Independent composer behind The Spirit Engine 2 & Bonesaw: The Game and works for UbiSoft, MTV and Zynga.)

2011 Independent Games Festival Debuts Record Student Entry Numbers

The organizers of the 13th 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 2011's Student Competition, following its submission deadline this week.

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 most prestigious universities and games programs from around the world.

While 2010's content saw an impressive 193 entries, this year sees that number increase another 47% to 283 total games, making the Student IGF one of the world's largest showcases of student talent.

Together with the record Main Competition entries, this year's IGF has taken in roughly 650 total entries -- the largest number in the festival's history across the Main and Student competitions.

This year's Student Competition includes a number of entries from students tackling intimate personal issues through the medium of games, including Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab's Elude, a game which mirrors "the rising tide of depression, and the search for a path to happiness".

Also in this vein is the University of Portsmouth team's self-reflective portrait of a single man in Dinner Date, which looks at "his desires and doubts to reflections on his friends and his place in the world" as he waits alone for a would-be romantic evening.

2010 Independent Games Festival China Announces Finalists

Organizers of the second annual Independent Games Festival China have revealed finalists for both the Main and Student competitions, including over 10 stand-out indie games from across Asia.

High-quality submissions for the second iteration of the event -- a newly formed sister competition to the main yearly Independent Games Festival in San Francisco -- were received from multiple Chinese provinces, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Iran, India and beyond.

Finalists were chosen by a panel of distinguished local judges, including representatives from Shanda Games, Tencent, IGDA Shanghai, TipCat Interactive and more.

IGF China finalists are invited to Shanghai for the Game Developers Conference China event from December 5th to 7th, where they will be showing their games at a special Pavilion on the Expo Floor, open to all GDC China attendees.

In addition, finalists are eligible to win up to RMB61,000 ($9,100) in cash prizes, as well as specially created awards and All Access Passes to GDC San Francisco 2011 worth thousands of dollars.

The Main Competition finalists for the 2010 Independent Games Festival China are:

Sugar Cube (Turtle Cream, South Korea)
Hazard: The Journey Of Life (Alexander Bruce, Australia)
Train Conductor 2 (The Voxel Agents, Australia)
Cut & Paste (Turtle Cream, South Korea)
Skillz: The DJ Game (Playpen Studios, Hong Kong)
ButaVX: Justice Fighter (Nekomura Games, Singapore)
Crossout (Coconut Island Studio, China)

The Student Competition finalists for this year's IGF China event are as follows:

2011 Independent Games Festival Announces Nuovo Award Jury

Organizers of the 2011 Independent Games Festival are announcing the distinguished jury panel that will determine the eight finalists and overall winner of its Nuovo Award.

This special award, part of the IGF, which takes place at Game Developers Conference 2011 next February, is dedicated to honoring abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which "advances the medium and the way we think about games."

Now in its third year, the Nuovo Award allows more esoteric 'art games' from among the almost 400 IGF entries to compete on their own terms alongside longer-form indie titles, and has been newly expanded to include eight finalists.

The Nuovo has previously been awarded to Jason Rohrer's abstract multiplayer title Between and to Tuning [YouTube link] -- the perception-warping platform puzzler from Swedish indie Cactus.

This year's Nuovo Award jury has been selected to represent a diverse body of developers both independent and mainstream, academics, art world notables, and -- in general -- some of our industry's top thinkers on the future of art and the video game medium.

The jury will receive game recommendations from the wider body of over 150 IGF Main Competition judges (itself including notable former IGF winners and finalists including Petri Purho, Kyle Gabler, Jakub Dvorsky, Tyler Glaiel, and Dylan Fitterer).

The 2011 IGF Nuovo jury consists of the following:

2011 Independent Games Festival Announces Record Main Competition Entrants

The organizers of the 13th 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 2011's Main Competition, following its submission deadline this week.

In total, this year's Main Competition, which will see finalists showcased and winners announced at GDC 2011 in San Francisco next March, took in just under 400 game entries -- many of them new titles from leading indie developers -- across all platforms.

This includes 150 entries for mobile hardware like the iPhone, iPad, DS, PSP and Android devices, with all mobile entries now eligible for all IGF 2011 prizes, including a unique Best Mobile Game award.

In-depth information and entrant-provided screenshots and videos on each of the IGF Main Competition entries are now available on IGF.com, a feature unique to the contest.

This total entry tally for the event comprises almost 30 percent more games than last year's record 306 Main Competition entries. This is itself a 35 percent rise over the previous year -- emphasizing the continued popularity and importance of both independent games and the IGF itself.

2010 IGF China Competition Reminds On Pan-Pacific Festival Deadline

The Independent Games Festival China, which runs in conjunction with Shanghai's GDC China this December, is reminding that September 15th is the final entry date for the pan-Pacific indie games festival -- which allows entries from any Asian or Australasian independent game.

Following on from its 2009 success, the Game Developers Conference China -- part of the UBM TechWeb Game Network -- 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 China Pavilion, an onsite exhibition of the very best in local indie games, and the Independent Games Festival China Awards, which honors the work of the talented pool of local independent game developers.

The 2010 IGF Main Competition will give out awards in five categories, including Best Game, Mobile Best Game, Excellence in Audio, Excellence in Technology, and Excellence in Visual Arts. Finalists in all categories will receive VIP and expo passes to attend GDC China and the IGF awards ceremony on December 5, 2010.

Finalists -- who will compete for RMB 20,000 ($3,000) will be chosen
by a panel of expert jurors including Kevin Li (CEO, TipCat
Interactive); Monte Singman (Main Coordinator, IGDA Shanghai Chapter);
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 Global Brand Director of the UBM
TechWeb Game Network.

Last year's event saw more than 200 entries for the Main Competition
and the Student Competition, including entries from China, Hong Kong,
Taiwan, the Philippines, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Pakistan, Australia,
South Korea, India and more. Winners from last year include titles like
acclaimed Best Game winner Captain Forever (Farbs - Australia), Donovo (Magic Day Studio - China) for Excellence in Art Direction, HurricaneX2 (You Yun Tech - China) for Technical Excellence and Armor Valley (Protege Production - Singapore) for Excellence in Audio.

Key dates for IGF China include:

2011 Independent Games Festival Opens Submissions, Adds Mobile Category, Expands Experimental Focus

The UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizer of the industry-leading Game Developers Conference events, is pleased to announce that submissions are now open for the 2011 Independent Games Festival -- to be held at GDC 2011 in San Francisco next March.

The longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase is now accepting entries to the 13th annual Festival, with deadlines in the Main and Student Showcase categories by October 18th and November 1st respectively, and finalists to be announced on January 2011.

All games selected as finalists will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor, and will compete for nearly $50,000 in prizes, including the Nuovo Award, Excellence in Design, Art, Best Student Game, the Audience Award and the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The Independent Games Festival Awards are held immediately before the
wider Game Developers Choice
Awards
, and both multi-thousand person attendee award shows are
part of the 2011 Game Developers Conference, taking place February
28th-March 4th, 2011. GDC 2011 also includes the 2011 Independent Games Summit,
which is entering its fifth year and offers two days of inspiration and
practical lectures and rants from the top minds in the independent
games world.

Continuing to honor the best and brightest of the indie gaming
community, the Independent Games Festival is expanding in its thirteenth
year to recognize the new opportunities open to mobile and handheld
game developers. Responding to developer feedback, games made for
Apple's iPhone, Android, Nintendo DS/DSi, PlayStation Portable, and all
handheld devices will compete in the same traditional IGF categories.
They will also be eligible for a new Best Mobile Game award, honoring
innovation, achievement and artistry in handheld gaming.

GDC Gallery: IGF Awards, Pavilion, Indie Games Summit, More...

Organizers of this year's Game Developers Conference and Independent Games Festival have been documenting the March 9th-13th San Francisco event in visual form, with the independent game-specific content at last week's show first to be examined.
The events -- part of the UBM Techweb Game Network, as are this website -- have put together a gallery of the Awards, Pavilion, Indie Games Summit, and more, highlighting this year's crop of top indies at work and play.
Independent Games Festival Awards
First, here's a look at pictures from the the 12th Annual Independent Games Festival Awards, where Pocketwatch Games' stylish co-op caper Monaco was the big winner of the night, nabbing the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game in front of a crowd of over 3,000 GDC attendees.


The 2010 IGF hosts, Kyle Gabler (2D Boy) and Erin Robinson (Puzzle Bots)

igfbefore.jpg

IGF and Game Developers Choice Awards guests.

GDC: Monaco Takes Grand Prize at 12th Annual IGF

Pocketwatch Games' stylish co-op caper, Monaco, was the big winner at the Twelfth Annual Independent Games Festival Awards, which was hosted by the Game Developers Conference 2010 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
Monaco received the top award at the ceremony, earning the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game, as well as the award for Excellence in Design.
Other IGF award recipients for 2010, as judged by over 170 industry veterans, independent developers and indie-friendly journalists, also include PlayDead's starkly beautiful silhouetted platformer, Limbo, which won the awards for Excellence in Visual Art and Technical Excellence. Closure Team's puzzle platformer, Closure, earned the award for Excellence in Audio.
Noted independent developer Cactus received the inaugural Nuovo Award for his abstract visual puzzle game, Tuning. The Nuovo Award honors "abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which advances the medium and the way we think about games."

2010 IGF Reveals Mobile Category Winners, Audience Voting, Award Hosts

2010 Independent Games Festival organizers have revealed the five IGF Mobile category finalists battling it out for Best Mobile Game at GDC, also debuting the IGF Audience award and revealing the hosts for this year's IGF Awards.
IGF Mobile Category Winners
After announcing finalists and honorable mentions late last month, the 2010 Independent Games Festival Mobile has named the category winners that will show their games at GDC and battle for the Best IGF Mobile Game prize.
After battling it out from a field of 170 top-notch entries, winners thus far include Secret Exit's physics-heavy Stair Dismount for iPhone, Powerhead Games' cunning color-based puzzle game Glow Artisan for DSi, and Tiger Style's acclaimed action game Spider for Apple's handheld.
The category winners for the 2010 IGF Mobile competition -- an event that celebrates excellence in games for the iPhone, other cellphone and smartphone OSes, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and other handheld devices -- are:

Independent Games Festival 2010 Announces Main Competition Finalists

The Independent Games Festival has announced the Main Competition finalists for the twelfth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, celebrating the most innovative creations to come out of the independent game development community this year.
Nearly $50,000 in prizes in various categories, including the $20,000 Seamus McNally Grand Prize will be awarded on stage at the Independent Games Festival Awards on March 11, 2010 during the 2010 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The record-setting 306 Main Competition entries represent a 35% increase over last year's record 226 entries, many of them striking new titles from leading indie developers.
This year's finalists are led by multiple nominations for several notable games, including three nominations for innovative light-centric puzzle platformer Closure, and two nominations each -- including a Grand Prize nomination -- for Pocketwatch Games' stylish co-op heist game Monaco, Hello Games' polished stunt motorbike title Joe Danger, Ratloop Asia's cinematic avian action title Rocketbirds: Revolution!, Krystian Majewski's gestural photographic adventure game Trauma, and Team Meat's cartoon-gory 2D action title Super Meat Boy!.
To ensure the highest-quality judging for the IGF, more than 150 leading indie and mainstream game industry figures -- from 2D Boy's Ron Carmel through Spore's Soren Johnson to ThatGameCompany's Kellee Santiago and beyond -- were recruited to choose finalists via a carefully constructed empirical process.
The Festival is particularly keen to give constructive, written feedback to Main Competition entrants -- even if they did not place as a finalist. As a result, over 1500 written, anonymized judge comments will be passed along to entrants in the next few days, an important part of deriving value and takeaway from entering the IGF.
In addition, for the first year, the IGF's Nuovo Award, intended to "honor abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which advances the medium and the way we think about games", was judged by a separate, smaller juried panel of notable game and art world figures. These spanned previous IGF Nuovo winner Jason Rohrer (Passage), Area/Code's Frank Lantz, N+ co-creator Mare Sheppard, EA division head and art-game creator Rod Humble, and more.
The jury for the $2,500 Nuovo Award, which allows more esoteric 'art games' to compete on their own terms alongside longer-form indie titles, has released a statement about the chosen Nuovo finalists, including several 'honorable mentions', on the official IGF website.
The finalists for the 2010 Independent Games Festival are:

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