igf-2011 posts

Minecraft and Amnesia win big at Independent Games Festival 2011 awards

As expected the sandbox game hit Minecraft and the first person adventure game Amnesia The Dark Decent were the big winners in the 2011 Independent Games Festival awards ceremony during GDC 2011 on Wednesday. Minecraft took the big Seumas McNally Grand Prize worth $20,000 as well as the $2,000 Audience Award according to Game Informer.

Amnesia The Dark Decent won in three catagories including Technical Excellence, Excellence in Audio and the Direct2Drive-sponsored Vision award. Other winners included Bit.Trip Runner for Excellence in Visual Arts, Desktop Dungeons for Excellent in Design, Nidhogg with the Nuovo Award and Fract for Best Student Game.

Audience awards for IGF and Indie Game Challenge start voting

While game developers and industry members vote for the main catagories for both the Independent Games Festival and the Indie Game Challenge, both contests are letting the general public have their say as well. Both have Audience Awards that allow anyone to vote for their favorite indie games.

The IGF Audience Award lets folks vote for any of the games that have already been named as finalists in the main award catagories. The web site, which requires an email address for voting, is now up with votes taken until February 18. The winning game nets its development team $2,500 and will be announced during the IGF ceremony in early March.

The Indie Game Challenge's Gamer's Choice Award allows anyone to vote for any of the announced professional and non-professional finalists. Again voting has started at the award's official web site and will continue until February 10. The winner will be announced at the DICE Summit in mid-February where the winning team will be awarded $10,000.

IGF 2011 Finalists: Audio Excellence

Audio is perhaps the most underappreciated section of a game. After all, many gamers turn off their sound effects to talk to their friends, or turn off the music to turn on their own. The games in the IGF's Audio Excellence category, however, fit solidly into the camp of games that you should never ever do that for. These are stellar games that manage to take audio and turn it into an essential part of the experience. In short, you have to listen, not just play, these games.

IGF 2011 Finalists: Visual Excellence

While technical aspects and game design are all well and good, there does need to be a bit of enjoyment to be had with the eyes. That's why there's the visual excellence category, and this year happens to be the most varied we've ever seen in the IGF. Pixel art, paintings, demoscene color-splosions, and claymation are all represented this year in the category, making it a tough call. After all, everyone expects pixel art to win, but the truth is that indie games are less about the pixels and more about the expressive. And each of these five games is expressive like none other in this competition.

IGF 2011 Finalists: Technical Excellence

The Technical Excellence portion of the IGF is one that many people will never understand. Rather than being focused on measurable bits that are divest of the creation progress (for the most part), developers are having their games picked apart and forced into terrifying positions in order to determine which one is the most impressive from a coding standpoint. The judges have ruled and the jury is now in, so we must simply wait and see which of the following five games will be the best technical accomplishment.

IGF 2011 Finalists: Design Excellence

Design is one of the most important aspect of any game. After all, you can make your game's visuals be a collection of squares as long as the gameplay is fun and accessible. Thus we kick off our breakdown of the IGF finalist list with what we think is the most important category: design. The games listed here are entertaining, compelling, and often extremely simple. The one thing they all have in common, though, is the fact that the developer focused their efforts into making games which stuck to and innovated the concepts they wanted to approach. Not a single element is out of place in any of these games.

Indenpendent Games Festival announced finalists for Best Student Game Award

There are lots of games that are being developed and released from teams of students. Today the 2011 edition of the Independent Games Festival announced the finalists of its annual Student Showcase. Eight games out of over 280 entries were picked for inclusion for the Showcase.

The games, listed below, will be shown during the IGF's showcase of games at the Game Developers Conference in San Fransisco in early March. Each finalist team gets $500 with the winner of Best Student Award, named on March 2, getting an additional $2,500.

e7 (Gymnasium Koniz Lerbermatt)
Fract (University of Montreal)
GLiD (Bournemouth University)
Octodad (DePaul University)
PaperPlane (ENJMIN)
Solace (DigiPen Institute of Technology)
Tiny and Big (School of Arts and Design Kassel)
Toys (Future Games Academy)

Minecraft and Amnesia The Dark Desecent lead 2011 IGF nominations

The finalists for the 2011 Independent Games Festival have been announced and fans of two of 2010's most acclaimed and popular indie games, the sandbox title Minecraft and the horror adventure game Amnesia The Dark Descent, have a lot to celebrate. Both games received three nominations each including one for the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

The action-RPG Bastion, which hasn't even been released yet, also scored two nominations for the 2011 IGF awards. The full list of catagories and nominated games can be seen after the jump. The winners will be revealed in a ceremony during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on March 2.

IGF 2011 Nuovo Finalists announced

The finalists for the upcoming IGF 2011 Nuovo awards have been announced, and they run the gamut from interesting, gameplay-driven games to experimental art titles. Much like last year, some of the games are ones that utilize a simple new mechanic in such an artistic way, while others approach gaming from a completely new perspective. Regardless of what kind of game these Nuovo nominees are, however, we can't wait to get our hands on them.

The finalists are: Bohm, a game about controlling the growth of a tree in a zen-like environment; A House in California, an experimental adventure game that uses non-convential actions in a surreal environment; Nidhogg, a 2-player vs game about eviscerating enemies and rushing through the heavily pixelated stages; Dinner Date, a delve into the subconcious of a man being stood up by his date; Loop Raccord, a game where you manipulate clips to create the illusion of movement; The Cat and the Coup, an adventure-like game where you play a cat who reminds his owner of his downfall as the leader of Iran; B.U.T.T.O.N., a party game intended to force players to take wild, ridiculous actions in actual physical space; and Hazard, a puzzle game with philosophical elements and 4-dimensional physics.

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