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:

Reminder: Last Day For GDC 2010 Alumni Discount

Game Developers Conference 2010 organizers are reminding 2008 and 2009 GDC attendees that December 22nd is the last day to register with an alumni discount for the March 9th-13th, 2010 show in San Francisco.

2010 Game Developers Choice Awards Open For Nominations

Organizers have announced that the 2010 Game Developers Choice Awards, the most prestigious honors in the world of video game development, are now open for nominations through Jan. 4, 2010.
In its tenth year of honoring the best games and developers, the Game Developers Choice Awards -- the leading awards voted on by developers, and created for developers -- has adopted a new voting methodology.
Nominations - as always - are selected by any game professional worldwide, simply by submitting ballots via the Game Developers Choice Awards website. (Submitters are required to log in with a Gamasutra.com username and password so professional developer status can subsequently be verified.)
Category finalists and Special Award winners are selected by the 20 person-strong Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee, including notable industry veterans from Harmonix, Valve, PopCap, Ubisoft, BioWare, and more.
Starting this year, winners are now being selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is a new invitation-only group comprised of 500 leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry.
Choice Awards organizers believe that, in tandem with their goal of having the most focused, impartial awards in the game industry, this additional voting transparency will further boost the awards' reputation.
The 2010 award categories are open for nominations to any member of the video game community until January 4th, combining both Regular and Special Award nominations, are:

First Summit Sessions and Keynotes Revealed For GDC 2010

Organizers of next March's Game Developers Conference 2010 in San Francisco have revealed keynotes and first sessions for Summits, with notables including Facebook's Gareth Davis (Social & Online Games Summit) and Spider's Randy Smith (Independent Games Summit).
Taking place March 9-10th, the GDC Summits highlight the leading edge of game development in emerging and notable areas including; iPhone Games, Social & Online Games, Game Localization, Mobile/Handheld Games, Independent Games, Artificial Intelligence and Serious Games.
Of the major Summits, Facebook's platform manager Gareth Davis will deliver a keynote at the newly formed Social & Online Games Summit titled 'How Friends Change Everything'. It will discuss Facebook's massive disruption in who plays games, as well as how games are best discovered, distributed, designed and monetized on the service.
In addition, Randy Smith, owner and game designer at Tiger Style will keynote the Independent Games Summit. Tiger Style is the developer of the critically and commercially successful iPhone game, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, named by Apple as their top-rated game of 2009. Smith, who is also a veteran of Thief creator Looking Glass, will deliver a broad keynote address, 'Increasing Our Reach: Designing to Grab and Retain Players.'
Alongside these notable announcements, all of GDC's market-leading Summits have announced initial lectures, with a large number of new speakers and topics now confirmed for the event.
Other notable featured talks at the one and two-day Summit events include:

GDC 2010 Reveals First Conference Lectures

Game Developers Conference 2010 organizers have announced its first set of Main Conference lectures for the March 9th-13th event, with Uncharted 2, Braid and Brutal Legend-specific talks already confirmed.

GDC Canada 2010 Calls For Submissions

Organizers have announced GDC Canada 2010's call for submissions, with the May 2010 Vancouver event looking for a wide array of lectures on game creation and business across AAA, digital, and social games.
The call to present content for lectures, roundtables and panel sessions for the 2010 Game Developers Conference Canada is open through midnight, Tuesday, January 5, 2010.

Gamma Announces 'One Button' Theme For GDC 2010 Showcase

Montreal’s Kokoromi collective has announced its theme for Gamma 4, with game makers challenged to make "innovative, experimental new games played with just one button" to be showcased at Game Developers Conference 2010 in San Francisco.

GDC China Reveals Almost 3,000 Attendees, 2010 Return

Game Developers Conference China 2009 organizers have announced almost 3,000 attendees in total for the Shanghai-based event, which ended on Tuesday, revealing plans to hold GDC China 2010 next December.
The event ended on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at the Shanghai International Convention Center. According to organizers, it brought together over 900 conference, media, and speaking attendees and over 2,000 expo attendees.

 

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