The 2009 Independent Games Festival (IGF) has announced the ten winners in the Student Showcase for its 11th annual awards, with games from three continents spanning ecological, paint-splattering and fantasy exercise games to be shown at GDC this year.
Chosen from a new record of 145 Student Showcase entries (up over 15% on last year's 125 entries), these games will go on to compete for an overall Best Student Game prize, to be awarded at the IGF Awards Ceremony on the evening of March 25th, 2009.
Some of this year's Student Showcase winners include CMU's 'active play' exercise-centered game Winds Of Orbis, quirky Danish first-person dish cleaning game Dish Washington (pictured), and ecological management puzzle game City Rain from Brazilian students.
Also honored are titles including USC's abstract painting game The Unfinished Swan and reality-manipulating German side scrolling shooter Zeit Squared.
All IGF finalist games will be exhibited at the IGF Pavilion at this year’s Game Developers Conference. GDC, Think Services' annual conference dedicated to the art, science and business of games, takes place March 23rd-27th at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
Each finalist in the IGF Student Showcase will receive a $500 travel stipend to help aid expenses for the trip to GDC 2009. The winner of the IGF Best Student Game Award will receive a special trophy and $2,500 cash prize during the ceremony.
The IGF was established in 1998 by Think Services to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers, in the same way that the Sundance Film Festival honors the independent film community.
Notable previous IGF honorees include many of today's breakthrough independent games, from Number None's Braid through 2D Boy's World Of Goo and Invisible Handlebar's Audiosurf. Previous Student Showcase winners have included Narbacular Drop - subsequently evolved into Game Developers Choice Game Of The Year winner Portal - and Cloud, from the student team who then created downloadable titles Flow and Flower.
GDC 2009 will continue its support of independent gaming with the return of the Independent Games Summit on March 23rd and 24th. The IGF Pavilion, where GDC attendees can experience the finalist games in the IGF Main, Student, and Mobile Competitions, is open in Moscone West from March 25th to 27th.