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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.

Gemini Rue announced; due for release February 24

A game that started out as a student project is getting a downloadable commercial release next month. Gemini Rue, a sci-fi themed point-and-click adventure game, will be released by publisher Wadjet Eye Games on February 24. The game was originally titled Boryokudan Rue and was first created by UCLA undergraduate Joshua Nuernberger. Under its previous name the game was a finalist for the Independent Games Festival's Student Showcase division in 2010.

The game itself will have players controlling two characters; a ex-assassin named Azriel Odin and a man with no memory and known as "Delta-Six". Pre-orders for the game have begun with the downloadable version available for $14.99. You can also get a mail order CD version for $29.99 that also includes the downloadable version, plus a developer commentary and MP3 soundtrack. You can check out the trailer for the game after the jump

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)

IGF 2010 Finalists: Seamus McNally Grand Prize

With the IGF finalists announced, game makers only have a short while longer to find out the best of the best in indie games from last year. From the best overall game to the one with the most impressive art, there's several different categories for indie game designers to aspire to be the top of. This week we're going to take a look at a few of the games that have made it to the finals.

It's time for the final, and most important, category in the IGF. The Seamus McNally Grand Prize holds the largest cash reward and prestige out of any category, and for good reason. Here are games that epitomize polished perfection, and whoever wins the grand prize is sure to find publishers knocking on their door for an exclusive deal. Every game in the grand prize category this year was in one of the other minor cateogries, which is not particularly shocking, even tif it does not happen all that often. If you look back upon previous years, there's normally one game that makes it to the grand prize that doesn't quite fit anywhere else. This year, that's not the case. These games are the best of the best, and they deserved to be honored.

IGF 2010 Finalists: Technical Excellence

With the IGF finalists announced, game makers only have a short while longer to find out the best of the best in indie games from last year. From the best overall game to the one with the most impressive art, there's several different categories for indie game designers to aspire to be the top of. This week we're going to take a look at a few of the games that have made it to the finals.

The games which truly exhibit technical excellence in the indie realm are often praised beyond all potential comparison. After all, technical advances here such as HDR lighting aren't the real technical advances. It's things that alter the gameplay in interesting ways while still being smooth and presentable that really excite indie gamers. It's interesting how graphics advances are praised as advances in visuals, not in technical creation, where other things are. Here's five games that just can't fit in any other category at the IGF thanks to their unrelenting technical improvements.

IGF 2010 Finalists: Audio Excellence


With the IGF finalists announced, game makers only have a short while longer to find out the best of the best in indie games from last year. From the best overall game to the one with the most impressive art, there's several different categories for indie game designers to aspire to be the top of. This week we're going to take a look at a few of the games that have made it to the finals.

While some look only at gameplay, and others look at visuals, and yet others still look at technical innovation, there's still the matter of audio. Audio is such a small part, but the impact it can have upon a game is tremendous. With the right music and sound effects, an okay game can be changed into a fantastic one. By contrast, a great game with terrible music and sound effects will be almost unplayable for many, as it pulls you out of the experience greatly. Nobody knows this better than indies, so here's the five finalists for audio excellence in the IGF.

Independent Games Festival announces 2010 finalists

The Independent Games Festival has wasted no time in the new year. The annual indie games competition has announced the finalists for the various categories for the 2010 edition of its awards. The categories include the big one, the Seamus McNally Grand Prize, where the winning development team gets $20,000. This year's awards also includes the new Nuovo Award which, in the IGF's own words, is supposed to "honor abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which advances the medium and the way we think about games."

A number of games were featured in more than one category this year including the puzzle platformer Closure which got three nominations. You can check out all the nominees after the jump. The winners will be named at the Game Developers Conference in San Fransisco on March 11.
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