January 6, 2016 12:19 PM | Tim
The Independent Games Festival (IGF) judges have announced the slate of finalists for the esteemed 18th annual awards, which honors the most influential, innovative and exemplary projects in independent game development.
After an initial round of judging by over 400 evaluators, the more than 750 entries for the 2016 IGF Awards were distributed to a group of experts from across the industry for final consideration. These expert juries specializing in distinct disciplines for each category then selected the IGF finalists after playing, discussing and rigorously evaluating them.
Among the slate of artfully crafted titles, a few projects in particular have received award nominations in multiple categories, including Dinosaur Polo Club's minimalistic subway layout game Mini Metro, and Sam Barlow's engrossing crime fiction game Her Story.
Other titles which have received multiple nominations and honorable mentions include Red Hook Studios' challenging roguelike turn-based RPG with a gothic theme, Darkest Dungeon, the mesmerizing audio-visual musical adventure game by Fernando Ramallo & David Kanaga, Panoramical, Toby Fox's subversively non-violent old-school RPG, Undertale, and Numinous Games' deeply personal and emotional journey through a young boy's cancer treatment, That Dragon, Cancer.
The winners of the IGF Awards will be announced at the Independent Games Festival Awards which take place the evening of Wednesday, March 16th at San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center. The IGF Awards will immediately precede the Game Developers Choice Awards, which recognizes the best games of the year across all sections of video game development.
Winners of the IGF Awards will also receive over $50,000 of prizes in various categories, including the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Both the IGF Awards and the Game Developers Choice Awards will be livestreamed on Twitch at the following link on March 16th: http://www.twitch.tv/gdca
The full list of finalists for each category of the 2016 Independent Games Festival, with additional "honorable mentions," is as follows:
Excellence in Visual Art
Honorable Mentions: Forkride Grilltime Sloth (Black Pants Game Studio [Sebastian Stamm]); Epistory - Typing Chronicles (Fishing Cactus); Kingdom (noio & Licorice); Alto's Adventure (Snowman); Future Unfolding (Spaces of Play); Astroneer (System Era Softworks)
Excellence in Narrative
Honorable Mentions: Oxenfree (Night School Studio); Orion Trail (Schell Games); Cibele (Star Maid Games); Contradiction (Tim Follin / Baggy Cat Ltd); The Writer Will Do Something (Tom Bissell and Matthew S. Burns)
Excellence in Design
Excellence in Audio
Honorable Mentions: Heart Forth, Alicia (Alonso Martin); The Beginner's Guide (Everything Unlimited Ltd.); Gnog (KO_OP); Oxenfree (Night School Studio); Kingdom (noio & Licorice); Inside My Radio (Seaven Studio)
The Beginner's Guide (Everything Unlimited Ltd.)
Panoramical (Fernando Ramallo & David Kanaga)
Fantastic Contraption (Northway Games & Radial Games)
Orchids To Dusk (Pol Clarissou)
Her Story (Sam Barlow)
Cibele (Star Maid Games)
Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes (Steel Crate Games)
Progress (Tim Garbos, Martin Kvale and Joel Nyström)
Honorable Mentions: Enough (cabbibo); Sentree (Glitchnap); Affordable Space Adventures (KnapNok Games and Nifflas' Games); Vignettes (Pol Clarissou, Armel Gibson); Future Unfolding (Spaces of Play); Sage Solitaire (Zach Gage); TIS-100 (Zachtronics)
Best Student Game
Honorable Mentions: Anarcute (Anarteam); Gathering Sky (A Stranger Gravity); Not Everything is Flammable (DAM: David Shiyang Liu, Alex Hu and Mac Lotze); FAR (Mr. Whale's Game Service); Sumer (Studio Wumpus); Bad Blood (Winnie Song)
Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Honorable Mentions: The Beginner's Guide (Everything Unlimited Ltd.); Panoramical (Fernando Ramallo & David Kanaga); Affordable Space Adventures (KnapNok Games and Nifflas' Games); Twelve Minutes (Luis Antonio); Oxenfree (Night School Studio); That Dragon, Cancer (Numinous Games); Cibele (Star Maid Games); Soft Body (Zeke Virant)
The 18th Annual IGF Awards themselves will once again be hosted by Nathan Vella, co-founder & president of Toronto-based independent developer, Capybara Games. Since 2005, the team at Capy have created games for nearly every platform, and the studio is presently working on Below, their roguelike-inspired adventure game about exploration, survival and discovery for Xbox One & Steam.
Attendees will have an opportunity to experience each of the finalist titles and speak with their creators at the IGF Pavilion area on the Expo floor of the Game Developers Conference 2016 from March 16th-18th, 2016 at San Francisco's Moscone Center. Along with the IGF Pavilion, independent game developers can also take part in the Independent Games Summit (March 14th-15th) for networking and learning opportunities related to independent game development.
The public will also be able to take part in awarding the winner of the IGF Audience Award from all the finalists for the IGF, and voting for the Audience Award begins in February.
Debuting in 1999, the Independent Games Festival has highlighted the hard work and artistic craft of some of the most celebrated independent games in history, including ground-breaking titles like Papers, Please, Braid, World of Goo, FTL: Faster Than Light and Minecraft among many others.
For more information on the Independent Games Festival, please visit the official IGF website at www.igf.com. For those interested in registering for GDC 2016, which includes the Independent Games Summit, the IGF Pavilion and the IGF Awards Ceremony, please visit www.gdconf.com.
Gamasutra, GDC, IGF and IndieGames.com are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.