Indie Week: An Intro To The IGF - Features - www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

Indie Week: An Intro To The IGF

[Welcome to Indie Week at gameinformer.com. We’ve got a full seven days of indie game coverage leading up to the 2010 Independent Games Festival Awards. Check the hub daily for new previews, interviews and other coverage of the top independent games of the year.]

The Independent Games Festival has had its finger on the pulse of autonomous game developers for more than a decade, and once a year independent talent convenes in San Francisco to celebrate their collective work. The festival includes a pavilion of playable games to expose indie forerunners to the press, a summit of lectures to encourage the movement of ideas between indie developers, and an awards ceremony to put the spotlight on fresh talent each year.

The ceremony recognizes 20 finalists in six unique categories; accolades are given for excellence in visual art, audio, technical execution, innovation and overall design. Additionally, one lucky developer leaves the Bay Area with the Seumas McNally Grand Prize – securing the ceremony’s top honor and a lofty $20,000 prize. More important than any monetary reward, however, is the platform that IGF provides. Contestants garner the attention of consumers, critics and potential publishers, all interested in the fruits of their long and sometimes ill-publicized labor.  Indie darlings such as Braid, Castle Crashers and World of Goo owe a great deal to the IGF for this exact reason, and pay it forward each year by educating and inspiring future leaders in the indie sphere.

The months following the IGF awards are pivotal for nominees, allowing them to snowball  the hype surrounding their projects. Success stories inevitably follow in the award’s wake, with one of the more highly touted examples involving a game created by students from the DigiPen Institute of Technology. Narbacular Drop caught the eye of developer/publisher Valve after receiving high honors through the IGF, and the team was subsequently hired in order to further flesh out the project. The resulting collaboration produced Portal, one of 2007’s most critically acclaimed titles.

And The Nominees Are…
The IGF received a record-breaking number of submissions for the competition this year, with over 306 games vying for a place in the top 20. Contestants were whittled down over three months by a pool of 150 judges – including prominent Indie game figures such as 2D Boy’s Ron Carmel and ThatGameCompany’s Kellee Santiago. Winners of the 12th annual IGF Awards will be announced on stage at the 2010 Game Developers Conference, Thursday, March 11. In case you missed the original announcement, you can find the list of 2010 IGF nominees below.

2010 Independent Game Festival Finalists

Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Joe Danger (Hello Games)
Monaco (Pocketwatch Games)
Rocketbirds: Revolution! (Ratloop Asia)
Trauma (Krystian Majewski)
Super Meat Boy! (Team Meat)

Excellence In Visual Art
Shank (Klei Entertainment)
Owlboy (D-Pad Studios)
Trauma (Krystian Majewski)
Limbo (Playdead)
Rocketbirds: Revolution! (Ratloop Asia)

Excellence In Design
Miegakure (Marc Ten Bosch)
Star Guard (Sparky)
AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard For Gravity (Dejobaan Games)
Monaco (Pocketwatch Games)
Cogs (Lazy 8 Studios)

Excellence In Audio
Super Meat Boy! (Team Meat)
Shatter (Sidhe)
Closure (Closure Team)
Rocketbirds: Revolution! (Ratloop Asia)
Trauma (Krystian Majewski)

Technical Excellence
Closure (Closure Team)
Limbo (Playdead)
Heroes Of Newerth (S2 Games)
Joe Danger (Hello Games)
Vessel (Strange Loop Games)

Nuovo Award
The Nuovo award, created to give “abstract, shortform and unconventional games” a platform to compete among peers, is judged by a separate panel of experts and competes for a $2,500 prize. The titles nominated for the Nuovo award challenge the accepted constructs of what a game is, and often are the most intriguing experiences to come out of the competition. 

Today I Die (Daniel Benmergui)
A Slow Year (Ian Bogost)
Tuning (Cactus)
Closure (Closure Team)
Enviro-Bear 2000 (Justin Smith)

comments