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 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'?
Other top honors at the IGF included the award for Excellence in Visuals Art, which went to Gorogoa
, the charming and ingenious puzzle game from Jason Roberts. Gorogoa
presents a lovingly hand-illustrated world that playfully transcends dimensions to create a brain-teasing series of interconnected puzzles.
The winner of the Best Audio award was DEVICE 6
, a puzzle game transposed into a literary and aural narrative in which the typography of text itself forms the game map. The wholly unique gameplay experience culminates in an engrossing visual and audio gameplay experience that defies conventional classification.
This year's Nuovo Award, which honors abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development, was given to Luxuria Superbia
, a musically and visually resplendent title that uses the player's touch to stimulate in-game sensations of pleasure and joy. Absent any characters or underlying narrative, the game is focused entirely on the experience of traveling through a series of tunnels to make them "feel good and affect their colors and plumage through the player's tactile inputs.
The award for Best Student Game went to Risk of Rain
, the intense action platformer with rogue-like elements from University of Washington development team Hopoo Games. The game presents over 100 items from which players can put together the tools needed to find the teleporter back home.
Finally, the community-driven Audience Award was given to The Stanley Parable
, a game that explores, mimics and parodies established gameplay conventions via a pervasive omniscient narrator who cleverly narrates a single man's quirkily monotonous existence.
To recap, the 2014 IGF Award winners are as follows:
Seumas McNally Grand Prize
by Lucas Pope
Excellence in Visual Art
by Jason Roberts
from Tale of Tales
Excellence in Audio
Excellence in Narrative
by Lucas Pope
Best Student Game
Risk of Rain
from Hoppo Games
The Stanley Parable
by Galactic Cafe
Excellence in Design
by Lucas Pope
The Independent Games Festival - which also included a two-day Independent Games Summit on Monday, March 17th and Tuesday, March 18th as part of GDC - was established in 1998 by the UBM Tech Game Network to encourage the rise of independent game development and to recognize the best independent game titles, in the same way that the Sundance Film Festival has honored the independent film community.
Organizers would like to thank this year's kind supporters of the IGF, including Microsoft Studios (Platinum Sponsor), Valve (Platform Sponsor), DigiPen Institute of Technology (Platinum Student Showcase Sponsor), and Le Cnam ENJMIN (Gold Student Showcase Sponsor).
Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech