Las Vegas, Nev. - The winners of the inaugural Indie Game Challenge--sponsored by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS), GameStop Corp., and The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University--were announced following the conclusion of the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit at the Red Rock Resort & Casino.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Adam Sessler, host of G4’s “X-Play” and editor-in-chief of games content for G4tv.com. Sessler was assisted in the presentations by AIAS president Joseph Olin, The Guildhall at SMU executive director Dr. Peter E. Raad, and GameStop executive vice president of merchandising and marketing Tony Bartel. Attending the ceremony were representatives from each of the 12 finalist teams along with game publishers, developers, and associated enterprises.
The list of winners includes:
Non-professional $100,000 Grand Prize Winner: Gear
Gear was submitted by: Joshua Maiche, team lead; Mike Halbrooke, level designer; Ben Frazier, level designer; Brian Lee, designer, graphics, art and music; and Andrew Hill, level designer. The team members are students at the Digipen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Wash. Gear is a 2D puzzle platform in which the player controls a robot with the ability to change its hand into a gear. The player has to swing around sockets, ride on rails, swim, and even rotate the world in order to get through 10 unique levels and beat the “boss.”
Professional $100,000 Grand Prize Winner: Cogs
Cogs was submitted by San Francisco-based Lazy 8 Studios and the three-person team consisting of: Rob Jagnow, team leader; Brendan Mauro, artist; and Luke Gilbert, sound and music. Cogs is a puzzle game in which players build machines from sliding tiles. Players can choose from 50 levels and three gameplay modes. New puzzles are unlocked by building contraptions quickly and efficiently.
Category winners include:
Technical Achievement ($2,500): Altitude, submitted by professional team
Nimbly Games headed by life-long friends and Las Cruces, N.M., neighbors
Erik Measure and Karl Sabo
Achievement in Art Direction ($2,500): Cogs
Achievement in Gameplay ($2,500): Cogs
Gamer’s Choice Award ($10,000): Altitude
The recipient of the Indie Game Challenge SMU scholarship will be announced later this spring. The winner of the Gamer’s Choice Award sweepstakes will be selected from all eligible entries and announced March 19.
Details about the grand prize and category winners as well as all 12 finalist teams can be found at www.indiegamechallenge.com.