SAN FRANCISCO — The 2012 Independent Games Festival (IGF) has announced the main competition finalists. The event, which takes place during the Game Developers Conference, celebrates the most influential game designs to come out of the independent community in the past year.
Dear Esther from thechineseroom, Mossmouth’s Spelunky, Polytron’s Fez, Mode 7’s Frozen Synapse and Die Gute Fabrik’s Johann Sebastian Joust all received multiple nominations, including nods for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
Winners will be announced at the 14th annual IGF Awards ceremony, taking place the evening of March 7, alongside the Game Developers Choice Awards.
Excellence In Visual Art
Botanicula (Amanita Design) Dear Esther (thechineseroom) Lume (State Of Play Games) Mirage (Mario von Rickenbach) Wonderputt (Damp Gnat)
Honorable mentions: Beat Sneak Bandit (Simogo); Dustforce (Hitbox Team); Fader (Chris Makris); Proun (Joost van Dongen); Toren (Swordtales)
Antichamber (Demruth) Fez (Polytron) Prom Week (Expressive Intelligence Studio, UC Santa Cruz) Realm of the Mad God (Wild Shadow Studios & Spry Fox) Spelunky (Mossmouth)
Honorable mentions: Frozen Synapse (Mode 7 Games); Nitronic Rush (DigiPen Institute of Technology); Reflow (Xymatic); Super T.I.M.E Force (Capy); Tiny and Big - Grandpa's Leftovers (Black Pants)
Excellence In Design
Atom Zombie Smasher (Blendo Games) English Country Tune (Stephen Lavelle) Frozen Synapse (Mode 7 Games) Gunpoint (Tom Francis, John Roberts and Fabian van Dommelen)
Honorable mentions: Faraway (Steph Thirion); FTL (Justin Ma & Matthew Davis); Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik); SpaceChem (Zachtronics Industries); Where Is My Heart (Die Gute Fabrik)
Excellence In Audio
Botanicula (Amanita Design) Dear Esther (thechineseroom) Pugs Luv Beats (Lucky Frame) To The Moon (Freebird Games)
Waking Mars (Tiger Style)
Honorable mentions: Beatbuddy (THREAKS); Beat Sneak Bandit (Simogo); Fez (Polytron); Proteus (Ed Key and David Kanaga); Where Is My Heart (Die Gute Fabrik)
Best Mobile Game
ASYNC Corp (Powerhead Games) Beat Sneak Bandit (Simogo)
Faraway (Steph Thirion) Ridiculous Fishing (Vlambeer)
Waking Mars (Tiger Style)
Honorable mentions: Fingle (Game Oven Studios); Hundreds (SemiSecret and aeiowu); iBlast Moki 2 (Godzilab); Temple Run (Imangi Studios); Tentacles (Press Play ApS)
Nuovo Award [Designed 'to honor abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development'.]
At a Distance (Terry Cavanagh) Dear Esther (thechineseroom) Fingle (Game Oven Studios) GIRP (Bennett Foddy) Proteus (Ed Key and David Kanaga) Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik) Storyteller (Daniel Benmergui) Way (CoCo & Co.)
Honorable mentions: Deep Sea (WRAUGHK); Four Letter Word (Terry Cavanagh); GlitchHiker (Aardbever); Hundreds (SemiSecret and aeiowu); POP (Rob Lach)
Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Dear Esther (thechineseroom) Fez (Polytron) Frozen Synapse (Mode 7 Games) Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik) Spelunky (Mossmouth)
Honorable mentions: Antichamber (Demruth); FTL (Justin Ma & Matthew Davis); Proteus (Ed Key and David Kanaga); SpaceChem (Zachtronics Industries); Where Is My Heart (Die Gute Fabrik)
In addition, the IGF announced last month that the festival program has entered a new multi-year partnership with Microsoft Studios and its Xbox LIVE Arcade publishing team, to offer a new prize to support notable indies. A standalone jury of independent game creators is working with Microsoft to identify possible choices for the 'XBLA Prize'.
The prize includes a guaranteed first-party publishing deal to release the selected title on Microsoft's LIVE-enabled platforms, including the Xbox LIVE Arcade service, Windows Phone, and Windows, and full game funding to complete the title, if desired, and its winner will be announced on stage during the IGF Awards this March.