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2018 Independent Games Festival announces Main Competition finalists!

2018 Independent Games Festival announces Main Competition finalists!

January 3, 2018 | By Staff

January 3, 2018 | By Staff
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More: Indie, IGF



The Independent Games Festival (IGF), which honors the most influential, innovative and acclaimed projects in independent game development, revealed the award finalists for its 20th annual awards ceremony.

The IGF Awards take place on March 21, 2018 during the Game Developers Conference, and will be hosted by Trent Kusters, co-founder of League of Geeks, the Melbourne-based development team behind Armello, a captivating digital role-playing strategy board game that has garnered much critical and fan acclaim.

Trent is currently a board member of Australia's Freeplay Independent Games Festival, and was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for games in 2016.

After an initial review round by over 300 judges, the nearly 600 entries for the 2018 IGF Awards were distributed to a diverse set of expert jurors from across the industry for final consideration. The juries for each individual category then selected the IGF finalists after playing, discussing and meticulously evaluating them.

Among the selection of 34 different nominated games, a few titles received nominations in multiple categories, including Baba is You, a puzzle game created by creator Hempuli that allows players to alter the rules and game logic as a part of solving the puzzles. The game received a total of four nominations - for Excellence in Design, Best Student Game, the Nuovo Award for ‘thinking differently about games as a medium’, and for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

Multiple titles are being recognized for their excellence with three nominations apiece. Night in the Woods, an adventure game from creator Infinite Fall that focuses on exploration, story and character development within a lush, vibrant world, received nominations for Excellence in Narrative, Excellence in Visual Arts and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy from developer Bennett Foddy, a sadistic climbing game that rewards players who reach the top of the mountain, was nominated for Excellence in Design, the Nuovo Award, and also received a nomination for the Grand Prize.

The winners of the IGF will be announced at the Independent Games Festival Awards which take place the evening of Wednesday, March 21st at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center. The IGF Awards will immediately precede the Game Developers Choice Awards, which recognizes the best games of the year across all sections of video game development.

IGF Award winners will receive more than $50,000 of prizes in various categories, including the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Both the IGF Awards and the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremonies are available to attend for all GDC 2018 pass-holders and will be livestreamed online once again.

The full list of finalists for each category of the 2018 Independent Games Festival, along with "honorable mentions," is as follows:

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy)

Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)

West of Loathing (Asymmetric Publications)

Into the Breach (Subset Games)

Heat Signature (Suspicious Developments)

Baba is You (Hempuli)

Honorable Mentions: Tacoma (Fullbright); Rain World (VIDEOCULT); Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator (Game Grumps); Cosmic Top Secret (klassefilm); Hollow Knight (Team Cherry); Cuphead (StudioMDHR); Everything Is Going to Be OK (Nathalie Lawhead)

Excellence in Visual Art

Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)

Cuphead (StudioMDHR)

Echo (ULTRA ULTRA)

Luna (Funomena)

The Gardens Between (The Voxel Agents)

Chuchel (Amanita Design)

Honorable Mentions: Jettomero: Hero of the Universe (Ghost Time Games); Dead Cells (Motion Twin); AER - Memories of Old (Forgotten Key); Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games); Rain World (VIDEOCULT); Shape of the World (Hollow Tree Games); Hollow Knight (Team Cherry)

Excellence in Audio

Tormentor X Punisher (e-studio)

Cuphead (StudioMDHR)

Vignettes (Skeleton Business)

Rain World (VIDEOCULT)

Uurnog Uurnlimited (Nifflas Games)

Celeste (Matt Makes Games)

Honorable Mentions: Tumbleseed (Benedict Fritz, Greg Wohlwend, Joel Corelitz, David Laskey and Jenna Blazevich); Hollow Knight (Team Cherry); Tacoma (Fullbright); Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games); Million Onion Hotel (Onion Games); Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)

Excellence in Design

Into the Breach (Subset Games)

Shenzhen I/O (Zachtronics)

Wilmot's Warehouse (Richard Hogg, Ricky Haggett, Eli Rainsberry)

Baba Is You (Hempuli)

Uurnog Uurnlimited (Nifflas Games)

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy)

Honorable Mentions: Heat Signature (Suspicious Developments); Dead Cells (Motion Twin); Factorio (Wube Software); Space Pirate Trainer (I-Illusions); Battle Chef Brigade (Trinket Studios)

Excellence in Narrative

Tacoma (Fullbright)

Attentat 1942 (Charles University and Czech Academy of Sciences)

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (Dim Bulb Games)

Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)

Butterfly Soup (Brianna Lei)

Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games)

Honorable Mentions: A Mortician's Tale (Laundry Bear Games); Lost Memories Dot Net (Star Maid Games); Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator (Game Grumps); Bury me, my Love (The Pixel Hunt, Figs and ARTE France); Cosmic Top Secret (klassefilm); West of Loathing (Asymmetric Publications); Rakuen (Laura Shigihara)

Nuovo Award

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy)

Tarotica Voo Doo (TPM.CO SOFT WORKS)

10 Mississippi (Karina Popp)

A Mortician's Tale (Laundry Bear Games)

Cosmic Top Secret (klassefilm)

Everything Is Going to Be OK (Nathalie Lawhead)

Baba Is You (Hempuli)

Kids (Playables)

Honorable Mentions: Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (Dim Bulb Games); IO Interloper (DANG!); The Norwood Suite (Cosmo D Studios); Cheap Golf (Pixeljam); Witchball (S.L.Clark); Million Onion Hotel (Onion Games)

Best Student Game

IO Interloper (DANG!)

Don't Make Love (Maggese)

Penny Blue Finds a Clue (DigiPen Team Cactus Curse)

We Were Here (Total Mayhem Games)

Baba Is You (Hempuli)

Guardian of the Gears (DigiPen Team Studio 76)

Honorable Mentions: Crewsaders (Titan Squad); A.L.F.R.E.D. (Hugo Lefevre, Joseph Reichenbach, Romain Jaohar-Gaillard, Garance Royere Lebigre, Nicolas Tham, Marion Speiser, Delphine Migeot de Baran, Song Huang); MOLOCH (Seemingly Pointless); Kyklos Code (Cube Factory); Membrane (Perfect Hat / Seth S. Scott); That Blooming Feeling (The Tots Team); Tell Me What You See (Pesky Bees)

The alt.ctrl.GDC award is also returning to the IGF Awards for a second year, to honor the most creative and unique video game controller, with a prize of $3,000 given out to the winning game.

Finalists for this category will be announced from the 20 alt.ctrl.GDC 2018 picks during the week of the Game Developers Conference, and all of this year’s honorees will be shown at the alt.ctrl.GDC exhibit onsite, which showcases a diverse collection of indie-centric one-of-a-kind game peripherals, contraptions and novelties that enhance game experiences and challenge traditional forms of input.

The public will also be able to take part in awarding the winner of the IGF Audience Award from all the finalists for the IGF; online voting for the Audience Award begins in late January.

The IGF Pavilion, located on the Expo Floor of the Game Developers Conference will give attendees the chance to play the nominated titles and meet the game creators.

Along with the IGF Pavilion, developers can also take part in the Independent Games Summit (March 19th-20th), which highlights the best and brightest of indie development, featuring valuable discussions and networking opportunities. The Game Developers Conference takes place Monday, March 19 to Friday, March 23, 2018 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

Since its debut in 1999, the Independent Games Festival remains a platform that recognizes the efforts and artistic craft of some of the most beloved independent games in history, including revolutionary and memorable titles such as Quadrilateral Cowboy, Her Story, Papers, Please, Fez and Minecraft among many others.

For more information on the Independent Games Festival, please visit the official IGF website at www.igf.com. For those interested in registering for GDC 2018, which includes the Independent Games Summit, the IGF Pavilion and the IGF Awards Ceremony, please visit www.gdconf.com. For the latest updates on GDC, follow the official Twitter account @Official_GDC

Gamasutra, GDC and IGF are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas



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