Pocketwatch Games' stylish co-op caper, Monaco
, was the big winner at the Twelfth Annual Independent Games Festival Awards
, which was hosted by the Game Developers Conference 2010
at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
received the top award at the ceremony, earning the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game, as well as the award for Excellence in Design.
Other IGF award recipients for 2010, as judged by over 170 industry veterans, independent developers and indie-friendly journalists, also include PlayDead's starkly beautiful silhouetted platformer, Limbo
, which won the awards for Excellence in Visual Art and Technical Excellence. Closure Team's puzzle platformer, Closure
, earned the award for Excellence in Audio.
Noted independent developer Cactus
received the inaugural Nuovo Award for its abstract visual puzzle game, Tuning. The Nuovo Award honors "abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which advances the medium and the way we think about games."
It was judged by a separate, smaller juried panel of notable game and art world figures, including previous IGF Innovation/Nuovo Award winner Jason Rohrer (Passage
), Area/Code's Frank Lantz, N+ co-creator Mare Sheppard, EA division head and art-game creator Rod Humble, and more.
The IGF was established in 1998 by UBM TechWeb Game Network 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. The IGF offer finalists both global exposure and over $50,000 in cash prizes to each year's winners.
Previous breakout IGF award-winners include titles such as Braid, Audiosurf, Castle Crashers
, and World of Goo
, and this year's awards saw 301 Main Competition entries from all over the world, coupled with the record-breaking number of IGF Student Showcase entries and IGF Mobile entries, for a total of nearly 650 entries. S2 Games' Heroes Of Newerth
won the Audience Award, after receiving the largest share of thousands of public votes cast at IGF.com in recent weeks.
To ensure the highest-quality judging for the IGF, more than 170 leading indie and mainstream game industry figures -- from 2D Boy's Ron Carmel through Spore's Soren Johnson to ThatGameCompany's Kellee Santiago and beyond -- were recruited to choose finalists via a carefully constructed empirical process.
Finally, the award for the Best Student Game went to Ragtime Games' shifting-tile puzzle platformer Continuity
, IGF Mobile Best Game was awarded to Tiger Style's Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor
, and download partner Direct2Drive's $10,000 D2D Vision Award was won by Press Play's Max & The Magic Marker
"This year sees an impressive array of visually arresting, emotionally challenging and fun games," said Simon Carless, IGF chairman. "And after extensive, in-depth playthroughs from a panel of influential games industry figures, the cream of the crop were chosen to receive honors at the IGF. We're extremely proud of the record number of amazing entries this year, and very grateful for the independent teams who put their hearts and souls into creating captivating, addictive and original gameplay experiences."
The IGF awarded the following games in each category of the main competition — each received a cash prize of $2,500 as well as sponsor-related prizes, apart from the Grand Prize of $20,000 and D2D Vision's $10,000 award.
Seumas McNally Grand Prize:
, by Pocketwatch Games
IGF Nuovo Award:
, by Cactus
Excellence in Visual Art:
, by PlayDead
Excellence in Audio:
, by Closure Team
, by PlayDead
Excellence in Design:
, by Pocketwatch Games
Student Showcase Award:
, by Ragtime Games
IGF Mobile Best Game:
Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor
, by Tiger Style
Heroes Of Newerth
, by S2 Games
D2D Vision Award:
Max & The Magic Marker
, by Press Play
For more information about the IGF, the finalists and the winners, please visit the official Independent Games Festival website