Attendees of GDC 2020 next month should carve out some time to check out the IGF Pavilion, a showcase on the GDC Expo Floor where the year's Independent Games Festival award finalists set up shop to show off their remarkable work.
It's a great place to take a break between your GDC appointments, one that promises to let you check out some innovative and intriguing indie games played live, often with their creators present!
Check out Gamasutra's ongoing Road to the IGF interview series to get a better sense of what's in store for you at the IGF this year; this annual series of brief interviews with IGF finalists offers unique insights into how (and why) they make games.
Gamasutra has already published interesting chats with about half of this year's finalists, with the other half still to come, so now's the perfect time to jump in! Here's what's available now:
Slay the Spire tasks players with creating decks of cards that combine into crushing combos that will smash anything in their path.
A Juggler's Tale has players acting out puppet theater, guiding Abby the puppet on a journey to freedom through a grim fairy tale world.
Heaven's Vault follows an archaeologist trying to translate a lost language in an ancient Nebula, finding its hidden meanings one symbol at a time.
Seumas McNally Grand Prize-nominated Eliza puts therapy in the hands of an AI, using algorithm and data to attempt to solve humanity's problems and asking what problems will come of this.
The Excellence in Narrative-nominated LIONKILLER casts the player as Hua Mulan, conscripted into into the First Opium War against the British Empire.
Melos Han-Tani and Marina Ayano Kittaka, developers of the Seumas McNally Grand Prize-nominated game, chat with Gamasutra about the development companionship that fuels the ideas of Anodyne games.
Nuovo Award-nominated Life Tastes Like Cardboard is a semi-autobiographical game about "boredom and self-pity," delving into the developers own dark thoughts and experiences in their life.
Nuovo Award-nominated Song of Bloom makes use of all of the features of a mobile device to create a personal story and a commentary on our culture.
Wide Ocean Big Jacket follows an aunt and uncle on a camping trip with their niece and her boyfriend, exploring who they are as they all get to know one another.
Creature in the Well abandons you in a deserted town filled with bizarre machines that can be awakened by bouncing energy balls off of them, adding adventure and mystery to pinball action.
Appearing on the GDC 2020 Expo Floor March 18th through the 20th, the Independent Games Festival Pavilion will give attendees the chance to play the nominated titles and meet the game creators. Along with the IGF Pavilion, developers can also take part in the Independent Games Summit (March 16th and 17th), which highlights the best and brightest of indie development, featuring valuable discussions and networking opportunities.
Since its debut in 1999, the Independent Games Festival remains a platform that recognizes the efforts and artistic craft of some of the most beloved independent games in history, including revolutionary and memorable titles such as Quadrilateral Cowboy, Night in the Woods, Her Story, Papers, Please and Fez, among many others!
GDC 2020 runs from Monday, March 16th through Friday, March 20th. This will be the 34th edition of GDC, and now that registration is officially open, you'll want to take a look at the (ever-expanding) session schedule and your GDC pass options -- register early to lock in the best price!