March 14, 2007

Bit Blot's Aquaria Wins $20,000 Grand Prize at the 2007 Independent Games Festival

San Francisco - Bit Blot's 2D underwater adventure game Aquaria won top honors, collecting the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game, at the 2007 Independent Games Festival (IGF) Awards. The winners were announced at the 9th Annual IGF Awards ceremony, hosted by the Game Developers Conference (GDC) at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
The IGF awards have been described as the Sundance Festival of the video game industry, and offer both global exposure and over $50,000 in cash prizes to the lucky winners. Other major award recipients included Queasy Games' abstract shoot-em-up, Everyday Shooter, which grabbed the awards for Design Innovation and Excellence In Audio, upcoming Xbox 360 Live Arcade title Castle Crashers, which won for Excellence In Visual Art, Three Rings’ online title Bang! Howdy, which came out on top in the Technical Excellence category, and stylish Flash-based point-and-click puzzle adventure Samorost 2, which triumphed in the Best Web Game category.

Two Main Competition awards given out -- the Audience Award, from public voting at GameSpot, was won by The Behemoth’s Castle Crashers which received 396 of a record 1726 votes. IGF Platinum Sponsor GameTap gave out $20,000 in advances for indie games to appear on its PC subscription download service, as part of its special GameTap Indie Award -- with Everyday Shooter getting a $10,000 advance and $5000 advances going to Cryptic Sea’s Blast Miner and Naked Sky Entertainment’s RoboBlitz.

The IGF Student Showcase recognized 10 student-designed games and, for the first time, awarded a $2500 Best Student Game prize. The award went to DigiPen Institute of Technology's capture the flag game, Toblo.

The IGF Mod Competition, now in its second year, celebrated the best amateur mods of existing videogames with a $5000 award for Best Mod Game. Cut Corner Company Productions took home the Best Mod award for Weekday Warrior, the corporate office adventure mod for Half-Life 2, also the Best Singleplayer FPS Mod. 

The IGF awarded the following games in each category in the main competition -- each  received a cash prize of $2500 and sponsor-related prizes, apart from the grand prize ($20,000):

Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Aquaria – Bit Blot

Design Innovation
Everyday Shooter – Queasy Games

Excellence In Visual Art
Castle Crashers – The Behemoth

Best Web Browser Game
Samorost 2 – Amanita Design

Excellence In Audio
Everyday Shooter – Queasy Games

Technical Excellence
Bang! Howdy – Three Rings Design

Audience Award
Crashers – The Behemoth

GameTap Awards
Everyday Shooter – Queasy Games - $10,000 advance

Blast Miner – Cryptic Sea - $5000 advance

RoboBlitz – Naked Sky Entertainment - $5000 advance

The 9th annual Independent Games Festival was supported by: platinum sponsor GameTap, gold sponsors Microsoft and Sony, silver sponsor Moondance Games, Student Showcase platinum sponsor Digipen Institute of Technology, Mod Competition sponsor Ageia, premier media sponsor GameSpot, and media sponsor Manifesto Games.