igf-student icon.jpgOrganizers of the 2013 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the first discipline-specific jury panels that will determine the finalists and winner of its various awards.

The jury announcements for this year are beginning with some of the industry professionals, independent game notables and former IGF award winners that make up its Nuovo award, as well as its first ever Excellence in Narrative Award.

While the juries are still being assembled in advance of the kick-off of our next phase of the finalist selection process, organizers have announced the following confirmed jurists.

The Excellence in Narrative Award

The following jurists are among those chosen to lead the IGF's debut Excellence in Narrative award, which is intended to recognize innovation, quality, and impressiveness of storytelling in a game, including, but not limited to, scenario, plot construction, story, and dialogue.

The Excellence in Narrative jury will include the following:

- Emily Short (creative director at Linden Lab & author of interactive fiction works including Galatea and Alabaster)
- Dan Pinchbeck (thechineseroom co-founder and co-creator of 2012 winner Dear Esther)
- Rob Dubbin (Emmy-award winning writer for the Colbert Report, as well as IF works Earl Grey & the Facebook reboot of Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego?)
- Jim Munroe (author, filmmaker, and writer of interactive works including Everybody Dies, Guilded Youth & Unmanned)
- Chris Dahlen (journalist and writer on the recent Mark of the Ninja)
- Ben Schroder (journalist and writer on Funcom's MMO The Secret World)
- Wiley Wiggins (founder of Karakasa Games, currently producing iPad adventure Thunderbeam)

The Nuovo Award

Now in its fifth year, the Nuovo Award -- which allows more esoteric 'art games' to compete on their own terms alongside longer-form indie titles -- has previously been awarded to Jason Rohrer's abstract multiplayer title Between, Tuning -- the perception-warping platform puzzler from Swedish indie Cactus, and Messhof's low-res tug-of-war battler Nidhogg.

The Nuovo jury will include the following:

- Stephen Lavelle (better known as 'increpare', creator of 2012 Design finalist English Country Tune.)
- Pippin Barr (video game maker, critic, and author of 'How to Play a Video Game')
- Nicolai Troshinsky (illustrator, filmmaker, and creator of UFO on Tape & 2011 Nuovo finalist Loop Raccord)
- Frank Lantz (creative director and co-founder of Area/Code)
- Rod Humble (CEO of Second Life creator Linden Lab, and experimental game creator behind The Marriage and Stars Over Half Moon Bay)
- Paolo Pedercini (game developer at Molleindustria [Phone Story, Every Day The Same Dream], artist and educator at the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University)
- Jason Rohrer (independent developer and creator of Inside a Star-filled Sky, Sleep Is Death, Passage and 2009 Nuovo winner Between)
- Jeroen D Stout (co-founder of Stout Games, the studio behind IGF 2011 Nuovo nominee Dinner Date)
- Daniel Benmergui (independent developer, author, creator of Nuovo finalists Today I Die & Storyteller)

All entries in the 2013 Independent Games Festival are currently browsable at the IGF's official site, where you can also soon find more complete biographical information on all of this year's juries, as more are announced over the next few weeks. (The IGF is part of the UBM Tech Game Network, as is this website.)

Main Competition finalists will be announced -- along with a jury statement detailing the thought process behind selecting its lineup -- on Monday, January 7th 2013, with the winner announced on the evening of March 27th at the live-streamed, multi-thousand person attended IGF Awards ceremony during GDC 2013 -- for which registration is now open.

[This article originally appeared on Gamasutra.]