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January 6, 2016

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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.

Continue reading "2016 Independent Games Festival debuts finalists" »

December 18, 2015

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Today we're excited to announce the artists, musicians and narrative experts who will be part of the jurying phase of the 2016 Independent Games Festival.

As always, these remarkable groups of game development experts are evaluating IGF 2016's outstanding entries. Now that the first round of IGF judging by over 400 evaluators has been completed, these expert juries will ultimately determine the finalists and winners of the various IGF 2016 awards, which will be announced at the 2016 Game Developers Conference.

Following our earlier announcement of the Design, Student and Nuovo award juries, today we're pleased to highlight the people who have volunteered their time and expertise to be a part of the juries for the Excellence in Audio Award, Excellence in Visual Art Award and Excellence in Narrative Award.

Continue reading "Here are your Audio, Visual Art and Narrative juries for IGF 2016" »

December 14, 2015

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The 2016 Independent Games Festival is about to enter its jurying phase, in which discipline-specific experts play, evaluate and discuss the more than 750 games entered in the 2016 Festival Competition, all of which continue to push the boundaries of video game development and design.

As in years past, an extraordinary group of game development notables are evaluating IGF 2016's standout entries. After first-round IGF judging from over 400 evaluators, these panels will ultimately determine the finalists and winners of the various IGF 2016 awards at the 2016 Game Developers Conference.

Today we're happy to highlight those who have volunteered their time and talent to take part in juding the Excellence in Design Award, the Best Student Game Award, and the Nuovo Award.

Continue reading "Here are your Design, Nuovo and Student award juries for IGF 2016" »

November 6, 2015

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The 18th annual Independent Games Festival -- the longest-running and largest showcase for independent developers -- recently closed its call for submissions, and officials are proud to announce the festival has received over 750 entries for the IGF 2016 Competition.

The festival -- which is co-located with Game Developers Conference 2016 -- attracted that striking number of submissions from students, established indie developers and first-time entrants alike.

Continue reading "IGF 2016 celebrates a diverse lineup of over 750 entrants" »

October 30, 2015

gdceurope1.jpgOrganizers of the 2015 Independent Games Festival China are very pleased to announce the winners of this year's prestigious pan-Pacific competition!

Submissions for this year's eventwere received from across China, as well as from many other nations across the pan-Pacific region. The finalists were invited to demonstrate their games in the IGF Pavilion at GDC China last week, and the winners were announced at the IGF China Awards ceremony.

Continue reading "Students and indies win big at this year's IGF China awards show" »

October 21, 2015

gdc_china.jpgOrganizers of the 2015 Independent Games Festival China have revealed that over 350 entries were received for the seventh annual showcase of Asia-Pacific indie games, and finalists have now been decided for both the Main and Student competitions. 

Submissions for this prestigious competition were received from across China, as well as from many other nations across the pan-Pacific region. Each of these finalists will be playable during GDC China in the IGF Pavilion next week, and and the winners will be announced at the IGF Awards ceremony on October 26th.

Continue reading "Here are your 16 finalists for the IGF China 2015 awards" »

October 19, 2015

igf_nathan_2.jpgDevelopers, don't forget: the submission deadline for the 2016 Independent Games Festival ends next week on Monday (10/26) at 11:59PM PDT. Finalists will be announced in January 2016. You can submit now - finalists' games will be playable at the IGF Pavilion on the Game Developers Conference 2016 Expo Floor, and will compete for more than $50,000 in prizes.

The Independent Games Festival, now in its 18th year, is the signature competition for indie games and is the longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase. It will be held as a part of the 2016 Game Developers Conference, from March 14 - March 18, 2016 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Continue reading "PSA: The IGF 2016 Competition deadline is one week away!" »

September 9, 2015

igf-student.jpgFor this year's Independent Games Festival, we would like to extend the same invitation as we did last year, and open a call for new judges via this application form. We're always looking for new video game-specific developers, journalists and academics to make up our judging body for the competition, and this form is your way of expressing your interest.

If you are involved in the games industry in any capacity and are not submitting a game to this year's festival, feel free to express your interest in becoming a judge by filling out this form. We will be accepting applications through October 8. Please note that we can't guarantee all applications will be accepted -- if you've been selected, you'll receive an email from us when our judging process has begun.

Now that submissions are officially open for IGF 2016, you can refer to our official rules for the IGF Competition in much greater detail.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to drop us an email at chairperson (at) igf.com. Hope you're all having a great year, and we're all looking forward to seeing what you're all preparing for this year's Festival!

July 31, 2015

igf-student.jpgSubmissions are now officially open for the 2016 Independent Games Festival, the signature competition for indie games, to be held for its 18th year during GDC 2016 in San Francisco next March. This directly follows a record-breaking year which saw nearly 1,000 entries for the 2015 event, including top prizewinners like Outer Wilds, Metamorphabet and 80 Days.

We're announcing a change in leadership for the IGF this year, as current Chairperson Brandon Boyer says farewell to concentrate on a new venture (more from him here!) and Indie MEGABOOTH founder Kelly Wallick steps in as the new Chairperson of the IGF.

Continue reading "2016 Independent Games Festival opens call for submissions" »

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Hello all, and welcome back for what will be my final IGF update, as we once again open entries for the 2016 Festival. As you will have heard by now, we've just announced that I have decided to step down as Chair, with the incredibly able Kelly Wallick now taking my place to lead the IGF into the future.

It's been just over 5 years since I first accepted the Chair position, and to say that the indie game landscape has changed enormously in that time is an over-obvious understatement. Simply in terms of numbers, the IGF receives well over twice the amount of entries as it did when I took on this role, as the number of both first-time developers and long-time veterans branching off on their own -- hoping to bring something into the world that only they can create -- has risen dramatically.

Continue reading "Letter from the Chairman: So Long, And Please Welcome Your New Chair" »

kwallick.jpgFirst off, I'd like to thank Brandon Boyer for his years of hard work with the Independent Games Festival and his contribution to the indie games community - here's his goodbye note to you all. The full, official announcement post for the 2016 Independent Games Festival is available here.

I'm very excited for the opportunity to continue Brandon's position as chairperson for the IGF. When I first started the Indie MEGABOOTH more than four years ago, I couldn't imagine all the incredible opportunities it would provide me. I've been able to work alongside so many wonderful companies and am continually learning and challenging not only myself, but the hundreds of developers I've had the privilege of working with over the years. At the Indie MEGABOOTH, we're constantly evolving how to help support and grow the community along with fostering an atmosphere that encourages working together to affect the industry as a whole.

Continue reading "IGF: A letter from the new Chairperson" »

April 2, 2015

gdceurope1.jpgThe Independent Games Festival China - which will take place this October alongside GDC China in Shanghai - has opened its call for submissions and is accepting indie game entries from the pan-Pacific area from now through July 20th.

GDC China will once again host all three main elements of IGF China, including the Independent Games Summit, the IGF Pavilion, and the prestigious IGF China Awards.

For the seventh year running the IGF Summit at GDC China will feature sessions from some of the world's top developers, while the IGF Pavilion will showcase some of the region's best independent and student games.

Continue reading "IGF China 2015 calls for pan-Pacific indie game submissions" »

March 4, 2015

The celestial exploration game Outer Wilds, from developer Team Outer Wilds, received top honors this evening at the 17th Annual Independent Games Festival. 

In addition to taking home the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game (and its associated $30,000 cash prize), Outer Wilds -- an innovative intergalactic adventure in which players probe the depths of space and unravel the mysteries of the cosmos -- was also honored with the Excellence in Design award.

Capybara Games co-founder Nathan Vella returned to serve as master of ceremonies for the event, which also featured appearances from IGF chairman Brandon Boyer and videos from the comedic minds behind the Hey Ash Whatcha Playin'? video series.

Continue reading "Outer Wilds wins top honors at the 17th annual IGF Awards" »

February 27, 2015

We're happy to confirm that Double Fine founder Tim Schafer will once again take the stage during the 2015 Game Developers Conference to host the 15th annual Game Developers Choice Awards.

The same stage will also welcome back Capybara Games founder Nathan Vella as host of the Independent Games Festival awards, now in its 17th year of celebrating the work of independent game makers.

The ceremonies kick off at 6:30 PM on the evening of Wednesday, March 4th during GDC 2015 in San Francisco. 

Continue reading "Tim Schafer and Nathan Vella host next week's GDC and IGF awards" »

February 2, 2015

Game Developers Conference organizers are happy to announce that voting for the Independent Games Festival (IGF) Audience Award is now open through February 9th, 2015 at 11:59 PM PT.

This Audience Award represent an opportunity for the gaming public to weigh in and cast a vote for their favorite nominee. Anyone who would like to vote for the IGF Audience Award can visit the links below, select the name of the game they'd like to vote for from a list of nominees, and enter a valid email address -- voters will then receive an email to confirm their vote.

Continue reading "Cast your vote now for the 2015 IGF Audience Award" »

January 22, 2015

The Independent Games Festival is pleased to announce the winners for the ninth annual Student Showcase, which celebrates the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year, in advance of the 17th annual presentation of its prestigious awards.

This year's showcase of top student talent include the fast-paced "five minutes or less" real-time strategy game Interloper from Dutch student development team Monogon Games, the stark, fast-paced falling action game Downwell from a student developer at Tokyo's University of the Arts, and strikingly topical arcade-style experience Rooftop Cop, a game from NYU Tisch School of the Arts student Stephen Lawrence Clark, which challenges people to play through a collection of five vignettes about a police force that has forgotten who they are meant to police -- and why.

Continue reading "2015 Independent Games Festival announces Student Showcase winners" »

January 7, 2015


The Independent Games Festival (IGF) juries have announced the Main Competition finalists for its prestigious 17th annual awards, honoring the most influential and outstanding development in independent video games. The IGF has nominated over 30 extraordinary game titles released in the past year.

Candidates for the 2015 IGF Awards were distributed to a group of esteemed evaluators from across the industry for evaluation. Expert juries specializing in distinct disciplines for each category then selected the IGF finalists following playthroughs and recommendations from the nearly 650 IGF Main Competition entrants.

This year's finalists are led by various standout titles nominated for multiple awards, including inkle's globe-trotting interactive fiction game 80 Days, Croteam's philosophical first-person puzzle game The Talos Principle and the brutally earnest wartime survival simulator This War Of Mine from 11 Bit Studios.

Continue reading "2015 Independent Games Festival announces Main Competition finalists" »

January 5, 2015

igfawards.jpgThe juries behind GDC 2015's Independent Games Festival continue to take form with an exciting lineup of highly lauded developers and industry professionals to decide the finalists for the awards this March.

2015 IGF Main Competition finalists will be announced later this week, but in advance of that, following the announcement of the jurors taking part in our Excellence in Design and Excellence in Audio panels, below you can find the confirmed jurors for our remaining juries.

These are Excellence in Visual Arts, and Excellence in Audio Awards, and our special Nuovo award, recognizing excellence in shorter-form, more esoteric games. The remaining juries being announced today are as follows:

Continue reading "More esteemed developers, artists join IGF 2015 Jury Panels" »

December 19, 2014

igf-student.jpgProceedings are well underway for the jurying phase of the 2015 Independent Games Festival, in which discipline-specific experts play and discuss the merits of the nearly 650 games entered in the 2015 Festival Main Competition, all of which continue to push the boundaries of video game development and design.

As in prior years, an extraordinary group of game development notables are evaluating IGF 2015's standout entries. Today we're happy to begin to announce members of some of these discipline-specific jury panels.

After first-round IGF judging from more than 200 helpers, these panels -- composed of creators from studios both large and small -- will ultimately determine the finalists and winners of the various IGF 2015 awards at Game Developers Conference 2015.

Below are the jurors who have volunteered their time and talent for the Excellence in Design Award, and Excellence in Audio Award, in alphabetical order:

Continue reading "2015 IGF Announces Design, Audio Juries" »

November 26, 2014

IGF1.jpgThe 17th annual Independent Games Festival -- the longest-running and largest independent games festival worldwide -- is months away, and today officials are proud to announce another year of record entries for IGF 2015's Student Competition.

This year's Student Competition, which will display finalists and show winners at Game Developers Conference 2015 in March, took in over 360 game entries across all platforms -- console, PC and mobile -- from a broad array of the world's most prestigious universities, games programs, and high schools.

Together with the Main Competition submissions, this year's IGF has taken in over 1,000 entries total -- once again surpassing the festival's record across the Main and Student Competitions.

Continue reading "IGF 2015 Student Competition sees record-setting number of entries" »

November 10, 2014

Earlier today, one of our returning judges and jurors resigned from the festival following an extensive campaign from third parties regarding a tweet that was made some days ago -- claims about which we had already investigated and very quickly found to be made entirely in jest -- and we'd like to now offer an apology for and a clarification on our response.

One of the reasons we invite hundreds of judges to take part in the first round of the IGF process is explicitly so that we can have a diversity of opinion from developers of games both large and small, academics, journalists, and other representatives of games culture at large. We believe that it's only through this diversity that the IGF can properly represent and celebrate the advancement and evolution of the medium, as more voices broaden the idea of what games can be.

Continue reading "An apology and a statement on IGF inclusivity" »

November 4, 2014

13280149844_24e5d76127_m.jpgThe 17th annual Independent Games Festival -- the longest-running and largest showcase for independent developers -- recently closed its call for submissions, and officials are proud to announce the festival has seen more than 600 entries for its Main Competition once again.

In total, the festival -- which is co-located with Game Developers Conference 2015 -- attracted 639 Main Competition entries from both established indie developers and first-time entrants.

Continue reading "IGF 2015 welcomes packed lineup of Main Competition entrants" »

October 17, 2014

Developers, don't forget: The Main Competition submission deadline for the 2015 Independent Games Festival ends next week on Wednesday (10/22) at 11:59PM PDT.

The Independent Games Festival is the signature competition for indie games, to be held for a 17th year during GDC 2015 in San Francisco next March. This directly follows a record-breaking year which saw nearly 900 entries for the 2014 event, including top prizewinners like Device 6, The Stanley Parable, Gorogoa and Papers, Please.

Continue reading "Reminder: IGF 2015 Main Competition deadline ends on Wednesday!" »

September 19, 2014

The Independent Games Festival China has revealed the Main Competition and Student finalists for its 2014 award ceremony, which celebrates the most creative indie games from throughout the Pan-Pacific area.

The GDC China co-located event is now in its fifth year, and this time around the finalists include indie games such as the rhythmic puzzler Duet, Q-Games' multiplayer open-world platformer Nom Nom Galaxy and more.

Continue reading "IGF China 2014 reveals Main Competition and Student finalists" »

September 8, 2014

You may have recently seen some odd claims of collusion between independent developers/funders & both the Independent Games Festival and Indiecade, most recently with untrue allegations that select independent developers have worked to 'fix' both award events.

The IGF (and its parent company, which has looked into these claims) would like to assure all entrants and gamers that we take the idea of conflict of interest seriously in selecting our judging and jurying pools. Worries about the Independent Games Festival are nothing new (thanks to its perceived 'star-making' qualities), but for those who are unaware, we'll explain again how the process works.

The explanation below is the process we've had in place since 2011, and, in the interest of transparency, it will be officially added to our FAQ in the coming days:

Continue reading "IGF statement re: judging process" »

August 6, 2014

Submissions are now officially open for the 2015 Independent Games Festival, the signature competition for indie games, to be held for a 17th year during GDC 2015 in San Francisco next March. This directly follows a record-breaking year which saw nearly 900 entries for the 2014 event, including top prizewinners like Papers, Please, Luxuria Superbia and DEVICE 6.

The deadlines for the Main and Student Showcase categories for the 17th IGF are October 22th and October 31st, 2014 respectively, with finalists announced in January 2015. Finalists' games will once again be playable at the packed IGF Pavilion on the Game Developers Conference 2015 Expo Floor, and will compete for over $50,000 in prizes.

Continue reading "2015 Independent Games Festival opens call for submissions" »

July 31, 2014

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Hi everyone, and welcome again to the 2015 Independent Games Festival, our 17th annual ceremony celebrating the best in independent games. As you read this post, we will have just begun accepting submissions for this year's festival, which will remain open until Wednesday, October 22nd for our Main Competition, and October 31st for our Student Competition.

As usual, the festival will culminate with our awards show on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015, during Game Developers Conference 2015, located at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Typically, this is the bit of this blog post where I outline our changes to the festival, but after a few years of larger outward-facing policy shifts, this year we're holding steady with the same rules as 2014, and continuing to focus our enhancements on the backend that our entrants, judges and juries use, to make it easier than ever to submit, discover and rate the games we receive.

Interested in being a judge in IGF 2015?

With that said, we would like to extend the same invitation as we did late last year and open a call for new judges via this application form. We're always looking for more diverse voices to make up our judging body for both the Main and Student competition, and this form is your way of expressing your interest.

If you are involved in the games industry in any capacity and are not submitting a game to this year's festival, feel free to express your interest in becoming a judge by filling out this form. Please note that we can't guarantee all applications will be accepted -- if you've been selected, you'll receive an email from us when our judging process has begun.

Now that submissions are officially open for IGF 2015, you can refer to our official rules for both the Main and Student Competitions in much greater detail.

If you have any questions about any of the detailed changes above, please don't hesitate to drop us an email at chairman@igf.com to discuss this further. Hope you're all having a great year, and we're all looking forward to seeing what you're all preparing for this year's Festival!

April 7, 2014

The Independent Games Festival China - which will take place this October alongside GDC China in Shanghai - has opened its call for submissions and is accepting indie game entries from the pan-Pacific area from now through July 25.

GDC China will once again host all three main elements of IGF China, including the Independent Games Summit, the IGF Pavilion, and the prestigious IGF China Awards.

Now in its sixth year, the IGF Summit at GDC China will feature sessions from some of the world's top developers, while the IGF Pavilion will showcase some of the region's best independent and student games.

Continue reading "IGF China 2014 seeking pan-Pacific indie game submissions" »

March 20, 2014

Lucas Pope's Papers, Please won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game and its accompanying $30,000 cash prize this evening at the 16th Annual Independent Games Festival, which took place this evening as part of the 2014 Game Developers Conference at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

Pope's inventive and evocative game, centered around the protocols and moral challenges of working as an immigration agent under a dictatorial regime, was also honored for its achievements in Narrative and Design during the event.

Capybara Games co-founder and all-around charming fellow Nathan Vella served as master of ceremonies for the event, which featured appearances from IGF chairman Brandon Boyer and videos from the comedic minds behind the Hey Ash Whatcha Playin'? video series.

Continue reading "Papers, Please takes the grand prize at 16th annual IGF Awards" »

February 24, 2014

igfawards.jpgGame Developers Conference organizers have announced that Audience Award voting for the Independent Games Festival Main Competition Awards is now open through March 1, 2014 at 9PM PT.

This Audience Award represents an opportunity for the gaming public to weigh in and cast a vote for their favorite IGF Main Competition finalist.

The winner of the Audience Award will be announced Wednesday, March 19 during the 2014 Game Developers Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA.

Continue reading "Audience Award voting now open for 2014 IGF awards" »