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Independent Games Festival Announces Finalists For 2015 Competition

by Mike Futter on Jan 07, 2015 at 10:49 AM

The Independent Games Festival jury has announced the finalists for its 17th annual awards. The main competition contenders will be available for play at this year’s Game Developer’s Conference from March 4 through 6.

Over 650 titles were entered for consideration, with specialist juries assembled for the Excellence in Design and Excellence in Audio Awards. The former includes Funomena’s Robin Hunicke, Spelltower creator Zach Gage, Gunpoint creator Tom Francis, and others. The audio panel includes, among others, Campo Santo’s Chris Remo, Journey composer Austin Wintory, and Plants vs. Zombies composer Laura Shigihara. (The full list of panelists is available on the IGF website.)

The awards ceremony will be held during GDC on March 4, and will precede the Game Developers Choice Awards. IGF prizes total $60,000 across categories, with $30,000 for the Grand Prize. The full list of finalists and honorable mentions follows. 

Excellence in Visual Art

  • Donut County (Ben Esposito)
  • Lumino City (State of Play Games)
  • Else Heart.Break() (Niklas Åkerblad, Erik Svedäng, et al.)
  • Memory of a Broken Dimension (XRA)
  • Metamorphabet (Patrick Smith)
  • Oquonie (XXIIVV and Kokorobot)

Honorable Mentions: Crawl (Powerhoof); Future Unfolding (Spaces of Play); Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine); Mini Metro (Dinosaur Polo Club); The Sailor's Dream (Simogo); The Vanishing of Ethan Carter(The Astronauts)

Excellence in Narrative

  • 80 Days (inkle Studios)
  • Coming Out Simulator 2014 (Nicky Case)
  • Ice-Bound: A Novel of Reconfiguration (Down to the Wire)
  • Pry (Tender Claws)
  • This War of Mine (11 Bit Studios)
  • Three Fourths Home ([Bracket]Games)

Honorable Mentions: Curtain (Llaura, Dreamfeeel); Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) (Upper One Games/E-Line Media); Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds); The Fall (Over The Moon); The Sailor's Dream (Simogo); The Talos Principle (Croteam)

Excellence in Design

  • 80 Days (inkle Studios)
  • Framed (Loveshack)
  • Invisible Inc. (Klei Entertainment)
  • Killer Queen (Joshua DeBonis & Nikita Mikros)
  • Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds)
  • The Talos Principle (Croteam)

Honorable Mentions: Desert Golfing (Captain Games); Dungeon of the Endless (Amplitude Studios); Endless Legend (Amplitude Studios); Helix (Michael Brough); Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Steel Crate Games); Mini Metro (Dinosaur Polo Club)

Excellence in Audio

  • Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure (SuperChop Games)
  • Phonopath (Kevin Regamey)
  • Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games)
  • The Sailor's Dream (Simogo Games)
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)
  • Thumper (Drool)

Honorable Mentions: Deep Under the Sky (Rich Edwards and Colin Northway); Fotonica (Santa Ragione); Goat Simulator (Coffee Stain Studios); Hotline Miami 2 (Dennaton); Nuclear Throne (Vlambeer); Smash Hit (Mediocre)

Nuovo Award

  • Become A Great Artist In Just 10 Seconds (Michael Brough and Andi McClure)
  • Bounden (Game Oven)
  • Desert Golfing (Captain Games)
  • Elegy For A Dead World (Dejobaan Games & Popcannibal)
  • How Do You Do It? (Nina Freeman, Emmett Butler, Jonathan Kittaka and Deckman Coss)
  • Plug & Play (Mario von Rickenbach and Michael Frei / Etter Studio)
  • Rooftop Cop (Stephen Lawrence Clark)
  • Tetrageddon Games (Nathalie Lawhead)

Honorable Mentions: Curtain (Llaura, Dreamfeeel); Ice-Bound: A Novel of Reconfiguration (Down to the Wire); International Jetpack Conference (Rob Dubbin and Allison Parrish); Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wiilds); Phonopath (Kevin Regamery); Push Me Pull You (House House)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • 80 Days (Inkle Studios)
  • Invisible Inc. (Klei Entertainment)
  • Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds)
  • The Talos Principle (Croteam)
  • Metamorphabet (Patrick Smith)
  • This War of Mine (11 Bit Studios)

Honorable Mentions: Donut County (Ben Esposito); Endless Legend (Amplitude Studios); Killer Queen (Joshua DeBonis & Nikita Mikros); Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games); The Sailor's Dream (Simogo Games); The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)

For last year's award winners, check out our coverage from 2014.


Our Take

There are some great selections on this list. I'm glad to see The Talos Principle, Killer Queen, This War of Mine, and Shovel Knight counted among the nominees.