San Francisco, Calif. - The organizers of the 13th Annual Independent Games Festival (IGF), the longest-running festival relating to independent games worldwide, have announced record entry numbers for the IGF's Student and Main Competitions.
In total, this year's Student Competition took in more than 280 game entries across all platforms -- PC, console and mobile -- from a wide diversity of prestigious universities and games programs around the world. While 2010's content saw an impressive 193 entries, this year sees that number increase another 47% to 283 total games, making the Student IGF one of the world's largest showcases of student talent.
In addition, the Main Competition took in just under 400 game entries -- many new titles from leading indie developers -- across all platforms. This includes 150 entries for mobile hardware like the iPhone, iPad, DS, PSP, and Android devices, with all mobile entries now eligible for all IGF 2011 prizes, including a Best Mobile Game award.
In-depth information and entrant-provided screenshots and videos on each of the IGF Main Competition and Student Competition entries are now available on IGF.com, a feature unique to the contest. Together with the Student Competition, this year's IGF has taken in more than 650 total entries -- the largest number in the festival's history across those two contests.
This year's Student Competition includes a number of entries from students tackling intimate personal issues through the medium of games, including Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab's elude, a game which mirrors "the rising tide of depression, and the search for a path to happiness," and a University of Portsmouth team's self-reflective portrait of a single man in Dinner Date, which looks at "his desires and doubts to reflections on his friends and his place in the world" as he waits alone for a would-be romantic evening.
"With each successive year, the IGF's Student Competition has steadily become an ever-more important part of highlighting ideas and talent you don't find elsewhere in the industry at large," says festival chairman Brandon Boyer. "The submissions we get from students around the world are anything but 'amateur,' and represent some of the strongest and most original voices you'll find in games. I'm happy to see the IGF showcase become an important milestone in student life, and look forward to playing through this year's record number of entries!"
Some of the titles entered in the IGF Main Competition this year include: SuperMono's real-life RPG tasklist EpicWin, Monobanda's zen-like Bohm, indie party game hits like Copenhagen Game Collective's B.U.T.T.O.N. and Messhof's NIDHOGG, Vblank Entertainment's parodic 8-bit revival Retro City Rampage, and Matt Gilgenbach's A Mobius Proposal, a game created specifically to propose to his girlfriend.
A number of returning developers previously honored at the Independent Games Festival have entered new games, including Life/Death/Island, the latest from 2010's Nuovo Award winner Cactus, and bothKometen and Shot Shot Shoot from 2009 Grand Prize winner Erik Svedang.
This year's IGF entries will be distributed to more than 150 notable industry judges for evaluation, and their highest recommendations passed on to a set of elite discipline-specific juries for each award, who will debate and vote on their favorites, before finalists are announced in January 2011.