[Now that the Independent Games Festival has a proper update blog on its front page [RSS feed!], myself and the other organizers will be updating monthly with relevant info on previous winners, events, judges, etc - here's the first of those.]

In the run-up to this year's Independent Games Festival deadlines this November, we thought it might be a good idea to update periodically with the latest news on submissions, previous winners, judging, relevant events, and so on.

IGF Success Stories

Firstly, I just wanted to highlight some notable successes from previous Independent Games Festival winners, showing the power of indie games in today's market. For starters, The Behemoth's 2007 double IGF award winner Castle Crashers for Xbox Live Arcade recently reached 1 million individual leaderboard entries, making it one of the most-played XBLA titles of all time - congratulations to them.

Elsewhere, 2009 IGF Grand Prize winner Blueberry Garden had a high-profile launch on PC, with some intriguingly diverse review scores, befitting such a thought-provoking and experimental title. Finally, 2008 IGF Visual Arts winner Fez has been confirmed for XBLA release in early 2010, which should be an interesting and high-profile venue for the perspective-shifting platform game.

Indie Games Summit @ GDC Austin

Secondly, we normally run the Independent Games Summit alongside the IGF every March at the main San Francisco Game Developers Conference. Indeed, will be planning a fourth iteration of the San Francisco IGS for March 2010. But I wanted to remind everyone that we're also holding a first-ever Indie Games Summit at GDC Austin this year, taking place from September 15th-16th.

Initial speakers were recently announced, including the indies behind titles like Bit.Trip Beat, Age Of Booty, Fantastic Contraption, and DeathSpank speaking on a multitude of notable topics. Other just-added sessions include a postmortem of Twister Pixel's 'Splosion Man, as well as a talk from IGF co-organizers Matthew Wegner and Steve Swink of Flashbang Studios on making titles such as Minotaur China Shop on a rapid 8-week production cycle -- full registration info is on the GDC Austin website.

Judge Additions For IGF 2010

Third, the Independent Games Festival organizers (particularly our new content director Kris Graft) have been working really hard to bolster our judge roster for IGF 2010. We've identified a goal of 150-200 judges in total for this year, as befitting our democratic, peer-based voting system, and we've already reached about 75 confirmed judges, who will genuinely be playing through and voting on this year's games.

All of these individuals are notables from the indie or mainstream game scenes or informed game journalists - and randomly picking from our 'confirmed judges' spreadsheet, you'll see folks like Fez's Phil Fish, 2D Boy's Ron Carmel (World Of Goo), Maxis' Soren Johnson (Spore), Gas Powered's Chris Taylor (Demigod), Nicalis' Tyrone Rodriguez (Cave Story for WiiWare), RockPaperShotgun's John Walker, Wired's Chris Kohler, and many more. Look for further judge highlights soon.

Finally, if you have any questions about entering this year's competition, please follow up with us collectively at chairman@igf.com - we'll be happy to address questions, concerns, and specifics about this year's IGF.

Regards,
Simon Carless, IGF Chairman;
Kris Graft, IGF Content Director;
Matthew Wegner & Steve Swink, IGF Co-Organizers