2014 - Multiple award winning Papers, Please is hailed by many - including renowned publications like Wired and The New Yorker - as the best game of the year.
2013 - Richard Hofmeier's Cart Life sweeps multiple awards including Grand Prize and becomes one of the year's most talked about games.
2012 - After a string of PC and console releases, Spelunky is quickly embraced as a speedrun & livestream community favorite and critically lauded for its smart use of procedurally generated levels.
2012 - Grand prize winner Fez is widely ported to consoles and handheld devices, where it cumulatively sells over one million copies.
2011 - Nidhogg becomes a live-event multiplayer mainstay and a regularly showcased game at fighting game tournament Evo.
2011 - Multiple award winner Minecraft has now sold almost 16 million copies and spawned a worldwide cult around its charming open-world game design.
2010 - Playdead's stark monochromatic platform title Limbo is a smash hit on Xbox Live Arcade, following its summer 2010 release, picking up a 2011 Game Developers Choice Award for Best Visual Arts.
2010 - The team behind 2009 Student Showcase finalist Tag: The Power of Paint are hired by Valve to implement new paint gun mechanics into Portal 2.
2009 - The Behemoth's follow-up to Alien Hominid, the IGF-winning Castle Crashers, tops XBLA charts to critical acclaim.
2009 - IGF multi-award winner World Of Goo launches as one of the best-selling, best-reviewed WiiWare titles of all time, alongside a popular PC version.
2009 - Petri Purho's Crayon Physics Deluxe spawns an iPhone version courtesy of Hudson, plus a popular PC downloadable version.
2008 - The team behind IGF Student Showcase finalist Narbacular Drop is hired by Valve. The game is reworked into Portal and goes on to win the coveted Game Developer's Choice "Best Game" award for 2008, as well as numerous game of the year accolades.
2008 - Design Innovation winner Braid debuts on Xbox Live Arcade to significant success.
2008 - Excellence in Audio winner Audiosurf launches on Valve's Steam distribution service and goes on to become the highest selling game of February, outselling even Valve's own Orange box (including Team Fortress 2 and Game Developer's Choice "Best Game" winner Portal.)
2007 - Design Innovation winner Everyday Shooter is signed by Sony for distribution on the PlayStation 3's PlayStation Network, after Sony's John Hight plays the game at the IGF Pavilion during GDC 2007 - Everyday Shooter's Jon Mak also appears at the inaugural Independent Games Summit.
2006 - Grand prize winner Darwinia gets both digital distribution via Valve's Steam system and U.S. retail distribution from new indie label Cinemaware Marquee.
2005 - Multi award-winner Alien Hominid receives publishing deals in the U.S. (via O3 Publishing) and Europe(via Zoo Digital), much critical acclaim, and even spawns a mobile version.
2005 - Fan favorite N wins the audience award, and, as N+, releases as a hit XBLA title, as well as notable Nintendo DS and Sony PSP versions.
2004 - Innovative casual strategy game Oasis wins the web/downloadable grand prize, going on to launch on major online portals the following year.
2003 - Super X Studios' Wild Earth, a photographic game based around a worldwide safari, takes multiple prizes and subsequently becomes a motion simulator ride and eventually (in adapted form) a Wii title.
2000 - Tread Marks, created by the late Seumas McNally, which the IGF's grand prize is now named after, wins 3 major awards.
1999 - Vicarious Visions, now a major handheld / console developer, honored for Terminus.
Honorable mentions: Eleven (Christoffer Hedborg, Datahowler (Ross Edman));
FLY'N (Ankama Play);
Hundreds (Semi Secret feat. aeiowu);
The Bridge (Ty Taylor and Mario Castaneda); and
Thomas Was Alone (Mike Bithell, David Housden and Danny Wallace)
There is a wonderful tale within you. It is the story of your ancestors and how you came to be. Tales of love, striving, family struggles, excellence, tragedy. Then there are the great legends: rags to riches, world-changing discoveries, and heroic adventure. Some may even be true.
'7 Grand Steps' is the game that connects people to the cultural roots of western civilization. From the sweat of laborers to the perspective of kings, experience the wonder of a family lineage that survived the changing ages. Or did they survive? How you guide them will determine their fate.
Like life, gameplay is a constantly shifting puzzle. Try to get the most for spending resources in the best way and in the best order. Every turn, the optimal tactic will change. Some turns will be joyful, perfectly played. In some you'll see a more optimal play, too late.
The basics are simple: spend resources to advance, but the price of resources is retreat. Think two steps forward, one step back. Behind awaits the hunger of crocodiles, ahead the challenge of ages. It's a bit like life but more grand.
Bad Hotel is an insane hybrid of a tower defense game and a procedural music toy, with beautiful art and tons of bullets. You are a budding entrepreneur, whose hotel is rather unfortunately located within the territory of Tarnation Tadstock, the Texas Tyrant. Your only defense against Tadstock's army of seagulls, rats, yetis, and more is to build your hotel as quickly and intelligently as possible, using an array of increasingly sophisticated weapons. The beautiful artwork, quirky storyline, and frantic gameplay all work seamlessly together with a generative music system, which creates original music depending on the player's actions and decisions. The player becomes a composer, creating complex musical structures to defend their hotel. A vast variety of music can be generated, from delicate beach chillout to country banjo techno.
There's a man on a beach. The beach is empty. Empty as his heart. A heart alone, abandoned love. Love was left. Left in the warmth. The warmth of her digital breath. Her breath as neon glow. Glow as the sun. The sun sleeping in pillows. The pillows of clouds. The clouds form a bed. A bed for my soul. A soul that is restless. Restless like the gulls. The gulls on the beach. The beach in my heart. My heart pushes waves. Waves of blood through my veins. Veins pulled by the moon. The moon, cold heart of the galaxy. The galaxy at the end of the boardwalk. The boardwalk she used to walk on. Walking slowly, an old woman. A woman, alone, a woman studying love as a scientist. A scientist experimenting. Experimenting in the laboratory of her heart. Her heart, an ocean, waves of life. Life is cherished in the harshness of space. Space embraces us, crushes us with its hollow breath. Breath of a lover. A lover at the table. The table with the chess board. A board receives your move. Move me with your moves. Move me with your moves. Move away. Then move away. Away from the warmth, the silence inside. Inside disappears when we are on the beach. The beach caressed by the waves. Waves as fingers of the moon. The moon, heart of emptiness. Empty full empty full empty full heart. Heart to conquer, heart to move. The move again the move. To move the piece with words. Words from the writer. The writer, the woman. There's a woman on the beach. The beach is empty. Empty as her heart. A heart alone, abandoned love. Love was left. Left in the warmth. The warmth of his digital breath. His breath as neon glow. Glow as the sun. The sun sleeping in pillows. The pillows of clouds. The clouds form a bed. A bed for my soul. A soul that is restless. Restless like the gulls. The gulls of the sea. The sea gulls of the moon. The moon of the sand. The sand of the moon. The moon of the water. The water of the waves. The waves of the veins. The veins in the body. The body that you touch.
In FTL you experience the atmosphere of running a spaceship trying to save the galaxy. It's a dangerous mission, with every encounter presenting a unique challenge with multiple solutions. What will you do if a heavy missile barrage shuts down your shields? Reroute all power to the engines in an attempt to escape, power up additional weapons to blow your enemy out of the sky, or take the fight to them with a boarding party? This "spaceship simulation roguelike-like" allows you to take your ship and crew on an adventure through a randomly generated galaxy filled with glory and bitter defeat.
The Fullbright Company (Windows PC, Linux, and Mac)
Finalist: Narrative Honorable mention: Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Audio
Gone Home simulates exploring an abandoned house to discover the story of the people who lived there.
Gone Home is a first-person game with no combat or puzzles. It is a pure exploration and story discovery game.
Gone Home takes place in 1995. The eldest daughter of the Greenbriar family returns after a year abroad. She expects her parents and sister to greet her. Instead she finds only a mysterious house, filled with secrets. The Greenbriar family has had a very eventful year...
Gone Home is being created by a small team of developers who formerly worked together on the BioShock series, and now share a house in Portland, OR. They are led by Steve Gaynor, the writer and lead designer of the acclaimed Minerva's Den campaign for BioShock 2.
DrinkBox Studio (PlayStation 3 and PS Vita)
Finalist: Visual Art
Guacamelee! is a Metroid-vania style action-platformer set in a magical Mexican inspired world.
The game draws its inspiration from traditional Mexican culture and folklore, and features many interesting and unique characters. Guacamelee builds upon the classic open-world Metroid-vania style of games, by adding a strong melee combat component, a new dimension switching mechanic, and cooperative same-screen multiplayer for the entire story. The game also blurs the boundaries between combat and platforming by making many of the moves useful and necessary for both of these.
Finalist: Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Audio Honorable mention: Design
Step into the neon-soaked underground of 1980s Miami as bizarre messages on your answering machine seem to be urging you to commit terrible acts of violence, but will you obey? Hotline Miami overflows with raw brutality and skull crushing close combat as you find yourself outgunned and using your wits to choreograph your way through impossible situations. An unmistakable visual style, a driving soundtrack, and a surreal plot that will have you question your own thirst for blood.
Winner of "Most Amazing Game" at Fantastic Arcade 2012
Selected as "Game of the Show" at Rezzed 2012
Official selection at IndieCade 2012
Official selection at Darkcade 2012
Northway Games and Thomas Shahan (Windows PC and Mac)
Finalist: Visual Art
Incredipede is a game about life. It's about getting in up to your elbows in the wet sticky strings of life itself. Build your own creatures and control them to overcome obstacles and help Quozzle rescue her sisters from a sinister fate.
Incredipede was made by Colin and Sarah Northway in a dozen countries with art by the incredibly talented Thomas Shahan.
Intrusion 2 is an action platformer. Set in sci-fi environment on reserve planet occupied by hostile military corporation conducting forbidden weapon research. Intrusion 2 is inspired by classic 16bit era sidescrollers and focuses on classic fast paced action combined with modern physics and animation.
Finalist: Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Audio, Narrative, Visual Art
Kentucky Route Zero is a magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky and the mysterious folks who travel it. The game is developed by Cardboard Computer (Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy). The soundtrack features an original electronic score by Ben Babbitt along with a suite of old hymns & bluegrass standards recorded by The Bedquilt Ramblers.
We've been developing Kentucky Route Zero for the last two years. We'll be releasing it in five acts over the course of the next year, with the first episode available in December 2012. Sign up for our mailing list at http://kentuckyroutezero.com/ for more information.
Kentucky Route Zero is also on Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=111329296
LiquidSketch is a puzzle game based entirely on simulated water. What makes it different from other such games is the simulation itself. It uses a different approach than most other games that trades some flexibility for very smooth and detailed fluid motion and realistic physics. The other distinguishing feature is that the water is colored and it mixes realistically. This allows you to see the motion inside the water in a visually nice way and is also used as a game play element.
The Puzzles are more based on physical properties of water than on Rube Goldberg machine scenarios. You might have to use pressure or the siphon effect in clever ways for example.
LiquidSketch also has a sandbox mode where you can experiment with all the game play elements however you want. There are already some cool experiments on YouTube!
Congratulations on your new Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace! Throw your toys into your fire, and play with them as they burn. Stay warm in there! It's been snowing for as long as anyone can remember.
Burn flaming logs, screaming robots, credit cards, batteries, exploding fish, unstable nuclear devices, and tiny galaxies. An adventure that takes place almost entirely in front of a fireplace - about looking up up up out of the chimney, and the cold world just on the other side of the wall.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a 2-player co-op micro-platformer set inside a pink Death Star locked in battle with hordes of space baddies. Players work together running back and forth between ship control rooms, manning turrets, lasers, shields and thrusters to rack up points and stave off a vacuumy demise. Death may be a given, but at least you don't have to face it alone!
This is the second game from Asteroid Base, a team spawned in Toronto's game jam scene comprising Matt Hammill (creator of the award-winning Gesundheit! on iOS), illustrator Jamie Tucker, and programmer Adam Winkels, with music by Ryan Henwood.
SantaRagione + BloodyMonkey // Pietro Righi Riva, Nicolò Tedeschi & Paolo Tajè (Windows PC and Mac)
MirrorMoon is a first-person puzzle-adventure game set on an uninhabited planet that is experiencing a full solar eclipse. MirrorMoon is about mystery, solitude and feeling lost, it's a metaphor of space. It challenges players through real-time juxtaposition of two 3D coordinate system that partially coexist in the same game space, questioning the nature of interaction with the limits of the represented game world.
Perspective is an experimental first person puzzle game.
In Perspective, the player has two modes of control: a first person camera moving in 3D space, and an avatar that is constrained to the 2D world. In order to get the 2D avatar to the goal at the end of the level, the 3D player needs to move around in 3D space to create paths for the 2D avatar.
Unlike other puzzle games that make use of 2D/3D such as Crush or Fez, Perspective allows the player to move around in 3D space freely. This opens up a lot of new ways to use perception as a puzzle mechanic to create new paths in 2D.
Download Perspective for free at www.seewithperspective.com
In an industry overflowing with color-and-beat-matching "Simon Says" music games, PixelJunk 4am presents a fresh alternative to the music genre, featuring unique game mechanics utilizing motion controls designed to emulate the mixing techniques of real-world club DJs. 'Painting' with sound across a 'Virtual Audio Canvas,' players can drop the bass, blend musical components on the fly (composed by acclaimed multimedia artist, Baiyon), and manipulate audio parameters using nothing more than a single (or dual) a PS Move controller -- all the while influencing the game's beautiful, expressionist visualizers.
PixelJunk 4am -- an 'always on, always broadcasting' downloadable title for PSN -- breaks new ground in the social arena, too, allowing spectators to view player 'broadcasts' and reward them with 'Kudos' using the free PixelJunk 4am Viewer. Personalized 'event flyers' can be announced on Twitter and Facebook, too, offering players a way to cultivate a virtual audience for their events. PixelJunk 4am aims to open the music genre to a whole new world of gamers with a thrilling new gaming experience that blends the latest technologies with the most precious of currencies; inspiration and individuality.
Samurai Gunn is a 2-4 Player local multiplayer game. Each player is armed with a sword and gun, with only 3 bullets to a life. Both swords and bullets can be deflected with clever control and timing. Levels range from thick bamboo forests that can be hacked through, to vertically-looping cliffs and caverns which bear walls that can be sharpened to deadly points.
Do you like pushing buttons and shouting at your friends? Do you like discharging Clip-jawed Fluxtrunions? If you answered yes, or no, then you might have what it takes to be on a Spaceteam.
Spaceteam is a cooperative party game for 2 to 4 players who shout technobabble at each other until their ship explodes. Each player needs an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
You'll be assigned a random control panel with buttons, switches, sliders, and dials. You need to follow time-sensitive instructions. However, the instructions are being sent to your teammates, so you have to coordinate before the time runs out. Also, the ship is falling apart. And you're trying to outrun an exploding star.
Good luck. And remember to work together... as a Spaceteam!
StarForge is a game about gathering resources, building bases, crafting anything you want, and surviving on an alien planet. Earth's star is dying and humanity transferred as much technology and resources as possible and left on a one way mission to populate another planet.
StarForge was inspired by Halo, Warcraft 3, Borderlands, Terraria, and Minecraft. It borrows elements from the RTS, FPS, RPG, Voxel Builder, Tower Defense, and Physics Sandbox genres. We are building a dark and serious universe and want the player to live out their own unique story on the procedural planet.
Finalist: Design Honorable mention: Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Nuovo
Starseed Pilgrim is a game about tending a symphonic garden, exploring space, and embracing fate.
You are a gardener, tending to empty noise and empty space to fill them both with colour. You are a refugee, creating a habitable world away from the spreading darkness. You are an explorer, discovering new things, and new rules. The universe is bigger than you know.
Super Space ____ is a couch co-op arcade shooter about competition, cooperation, communication and the democracy of physics. Players control turrets attached to a blocky, misshapen space ship and earn points by shooting a never-ending onslaught of asteroids. Thanks to Newton's Third Law, the recoil from shooting propels the ship. Players must cooperate to avoid hazards and ensure survival, but also compete for weapons and high scores. Super Space ____ was developed by Alexander Baard and David Scamehorn at DigiPen.
Finalist: Narrative Honorable mention: Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Nuovo
Explore the world of Thirty Flights of Loving through a first-person short story. In this sequel to Gravity Bone, take a deep dive with high-flying schemers, lovelorn criminals, and more stray kittens than you can shake a stick at. Saddle up, gunslinger.
Made for a Super Friendship Club Pageant with the theme "ritual".
In this game, you may take one step each day, and then you must wait for the next day. If you wish to complete the game, you will have to make it a part of your life for at least 100 days. Make a ritual out of it. How will you incorporate it into your daily schedule? Will you tie it to an existing activity? Will you treat it as a ritual or merely a routine? Will you add to the ritual, embellishing it in your own way, making it yours? Meditate, say a prayer, think back over what has happened while you have been playing? Will you approach it alone or share it with another?
In the old days man tried to catch a glimpse of the future in the strangest of ways.
Experience the ancient Swedish phenomena of year walking through a different kind of first person adventure that blurs the line between two and three dimensions as well as reality and the supernatural.
Venture out into the dark woods where strange creatures roam, in a vision quest set in 19th century Sweden. Control and interact with the world, objects and creatures in every way you can think of in your search to bend the rules of the universe and open the rift that separates our world and what lies beyond it.
Mysteries and clues awaits everywhere in Year Walk, but to fully understand the events that took place on that cold New Year's Eve, players will have to delve deeper than the adventure and lose themselves between fact and fiction.
Sassybot Studio / Team Cupcake - NHTV IGAD, Breda, The Netherlands (online)
Finalist: Student Showcase
ATUM is a game that pulls the player into a world where the player is the mechanic. It brings a novelty take on the point-and-click gameplay of previous generations and it combines it with 'platformer puzzles. The game plays with the concept of multi-layer gameplay, dipping its layers in mathematical loops and philosophical recurrences.
The design and the aesthetics are influenced by sci-fi classics like Blade Runner and Martian Time Slip by Philip K. Dick. There are many in-game references to our sources of inspiration that complement the underlying storyline, using the environment as a narrative device.
ATUM is currently being developed at NHTV IGAD, Breda, The Netherlands as part of the University's Gamelab.
"You Are Here, reads the legend on that map. Which one is you?
Does it matter? Your finger is a pointer on a screen."
- Gene Van Troyer
Back to Bed
Team 1UP - Danish Academy of Digital Interactive Entertainment (Online, Windows PC, and Mac)
Finalist: Student Showcase
Bob the sleepwalker has a habit of always falling asleep in hazardous places.
Luckily for Bob, his subconscious protector, Subob, is always ready to save him. Now the challenge for Subob is to guide Bob to safety, across rooftops, avoiding falls, and around dangerous creatures from the nightmares of Bob.
Blackpipe - Danish Academy of Digital Interactive Entertainment (Windows PC and Mac)
Finalist: Student Showcase
The year is 1890. The fog lays heavy around the Blackwell Women's asylum. A scream penetrates the silence -- your scream! It's cold. A warden is holding you down; you kick him, but no use. The doctor bends down, smiling. He injects a shot in your neck. Everything goes hazy! Someone calls for the doctor -- sound waves ripple before your eyes. The warden lets go of your arms and leaves. No more of this -- you force yourself up, stumble towards the door. There's only one thing to do; get out!
Stone cold fear washes over you on this nerve-racking escape from the Blackwell's Island Women's asylum. Your heart pounds feverishly from the sedatives forced upon you, your sight fails from exhaustion. As a young woman under narcotic effects, there's no other options but hiding and sneaking past the wardens patrolling this daunting place. Have you got the nerve to live through this humane horror?
Knights of Pen & Paper
Behold Studios - IESB, Instituto de Ensino Superior de Brasília and UnB, Universidade de Brasília (Online, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Mobile)
Finalist: Student Showcase
Manager of a pen and paper RPG table with turn based battles!
Knights of Pen & Paper is an indie turn-based retro style pixel-art RPG. Inspired by the great titles of the 90's, play this game feels like you are playing a traditional pen and paper RPG.
The player gets to control the playing characters AND the dungeon master, and you choose what battles to fight. Put together a bunch of monsters to make it a challenging fight and your rewards will be equally great!
With 12 different classes (6 unlockables) and 17 characters (5 unlockables) to choose from, more than 100 quests, 50 monsters, 100 items and equipment, blacksmith, enchanter, mining, gathering, hidden treasures and a lot more. Knights of Pen & Paper gives the player lots of room to personalize your gameplay experience.
Launching with 2 whole campaigns and many more are coming up! Each time a new game is created you can choose a different campaign and have a brand new game experience.
- Turn Based battles
- Retro Pixel Art
- Pen & Paper RPG references
- Simple to play, very rich gameplay experience
- Challenging quests and monsters
- Entertaining story line
Team Pixel Pi - Vancouver Film School (Windows PC and Mac)
Finalist: Student Showcase
Pulse is a first person, suspense/survival game in which you play as a young blind girl named Eva.
First person? Blind? What's the catch? Eva uses a process similar to echolocation to "see" her environment.
Sounds in the world allow her to imagine what the area looks like, and in turn allows the player to navigate.
With the aid of cute, fuzzy, although stupid creatures called Mokos, Eva must create enough sound to solve the challenges of the world, while being careful not to alert the more dangerous forest creatures.
the mindfulxp volume
mindful xp Team - Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center (Online)
Finalist: Student Showcase
The mindful xp Volume is a compilation of eight games each attempting to achieve personal, intimate, and ultimately meaningful experience through game mechanics and play. Each game with its own unique mechanics, aesthetics, and narrative represents a different experiment with meaning and artistry through videogames. Through conventional mechanics like shooting and non-conventional mechanics like holding hands, through heavily linear experiences focused on story to freeform explorations of systems of play, each game strives to deliver a thoughtful experience. The mindful xp Volume is designed for players who are interested in looking beyond just fun and exploring games as a medium of communication and expression.