March 27, 2009

Independent Games Festival Announces Winners

Erik Svedang's Blueberry Garden, a charming exploration game set in an ever-changing ecosystem, received top honors--the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game--at the 2009 Independent Games Festival (IGF) Awards. The winners were announced at the eleventh-annual IGF Awards ceremony, hosted by the Game Developers Conference (GDC).
The IGF awards are often referred to as the Sundance Festival of the video game industry, and offer both global exposure and over $50,000 in cash prizes to each year's winners.

This year's awards saw 226 Main Competition entries from all over the world, and over 450 entries in total.

Other IGF award recipients for 2009 include Amanita Design's evocative adventure game Machinarium, which took the Excellence in Visual Art award, and KranX Productions' Musaic Box, which won the Excellence in Design award thanks to its cunning combination of music game and block puzzler. The first-ever Innovation (Nuovo) Award, honoring a title that advances the art of gaming, went to Jason Rohrer's two-player collaborative title Between, while Digital Eel's BrainPipe received the award for Excellence in Audio and Data Realms' Cortex Command was recognized for Technical Excellence, also picking up the Audience Award, after receiving the largest share of thousands of public votes cast at in recent weeks. Finally, the award for the Best Student Game went to DigiPen Institute of Technology's paint-splattering action title Tag: The Power of Paint, and download sponsor Direct2Drive's $10,000 D2D Vision Award was won by Hemisphere Games' Osmos.

"Yet again, we've been blown away by the quality and diversity ofentries in this year's Independent Games Festival," says Simon Carless, IGF chairman. "Every year, indie games seem to get more and more vital,and we're pleased to be able to help honor the very best."

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:

Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Blueberry Garden, by Erik Svedang
Innovation (Nuovo) Award
Between, by Jason Rohrer
Excellence in Visual Art
Machinarium, by Amanita Design
Excellence in Audio
BrainPipe, by Digital Eel
Technical Excellence
Cortex Command, by Data Realms
Excellence in Design
Musaic Box, by KranX Productions

Best Student Game
Tag: The Power of Paint, by DigiPen Institute of Technology

Audience Award
Cortex Command, by Data Realms
D2D Vision Award
Osmos, by Hemisphere Games