This year's finalists for the most prestigious independent video game awards and showcase were each picked by a discipline-specific set of expert juries, following playthroughs and recommendations of the 580-plus IGF entries from over 200 top independent game experts.
Some of the multiple-nominated games for this year's extremely diverse Festival include Cardboard Computer's 'magical realist adventure game' Kentucky Route Zero, Subset Games' spaceship sim 'Roguelike-like'
FTL, and Richard Hofmeier's stark, dense street vendor simulator
The first-ever Excellence in Narrative Award is also showcasing unique titles such as Blendo Games' quirky 'first-person short story' Thirty Flights Of Loving, Auntie Pixelante's autobiographical game about a trans woman undergoing HRT,
Dys4ia, and The Fullbright Company's abandoned house mystery
The Nuovo Award, once again honoring 'abstract... and unconventional game development' of all kinds, also saw many standout games competing for its $5,000 prize, including Sleeping Beast's irreverent local co-op sci-fi smartphone game Spaceteam, Michael Brough's 'one move a day for 100 days'
VESPER.5, and Mousechief's multi-generational family history title
7 Grand Steps.
The full list of finalists for the 2013 Independent Games Festival, with jury-picked "honorable mentions" to those top-quality games that didn't quite make it to finalist status, is as follows:
Excellence In Visual Art
Excellence In Narrative
Excellence In Design
Excellence In Audio
[Designed 'to honor abstract... and unconventional game development'.]
Seumas McNally Grand Prize
All finalist games will be playable at an expanded IGF Pavilion on the GDC Expo floor from March 27-29, 2013, at San Francisco's Moscone Center, as part of a week of independent game-related content that also includes the Independent Games Summit (March 25th-26th), and the IGF Awards ceremony itself.
The IGF Awards, where this year's IGF winners will be unveiled, will be held on the evening of Wednesday, March 27th at the Moscone, alongside the Game Developers Choice Awards. IGF Awards recipients will receive nearly $60,000 of prizes in various categories, including the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
As part of this year's event, all IGF Main Competition finalists will receive the opportunity to accept a distribution agreement for Valve's Steam, a leading platform for distribution in today's burgeoning independent gaming market.
The Independent Games Festival was established by UBM Tech's Game Network (which also owns Gamasutra) to encourage the rise of independent game development and to recognize the best independent game titles. Finalists and winners since its 1999 debut have included landmark games such as Braid,
World of Goo,
Super Meat Boy,
Minecraft, and a host of others.
IGF Student Showcase award winners, contending for the Best Student Game award at the Festival, will be announced on Monday, January 14th, and voting for an IGF Audience Award winner from all Main Competition finalists will kick off in early February. (In addition, the sponsor-supported Microsoft Studios Prize, awarded to Capy's Super T.I.M.E. Force in 2012, is still to be decided from all IGF Main Competition entrants.)