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The 2024 Independent Games Festival Awards finalists have been revealed—with a story of love, loss, family, and food at the forefront.

Beth Elderkin

January 11, 2024

4 Min Read
A scene from Venba from Visai Games.
A scene from Venba from Visai Games. Visai Games

The 2024 Independent Games Festival Awards finalists have been revealed—with a story of love, loss, family, and food at the forefront.

Organizers of the 2024 Game Developers Conference are happy to unveil this year's finalists and honorable mentions for the 26th annual IGF Awards, part of the longest-running festival, summit, and showcase celebrating independent games and their creators.

Visai Games' Venba leads with nominations in four categories: Excellence in Audio, Excellence in Narrative, Excellence in Visual Art and for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Venba is a narrative cooking game in which players experience life as an Indian mom who has immigrated to Canada with her family in the 1980s and weaves together conversations and food to tell her family’s stories of love, loss and more.

For those interested in learning more about the development of Venba, creative director Abhi Swami will be giving a postmortem on Venba at GDC 2024, and composer/sound designer Neha Patel will be speaking about the game's award-nominated sound design

Register for GDC 2024!

Venba is followed by five other finalist titles who share the distinction of having three nominations apiece: 1000xRESIST by Fellow Traveller, A Highland Song by Inkle, Anthology of the Killer by Thecatamites, COCOON by Annapurna Interactive (which has a talk featured at GDC 2024), and Mediterranea Inferno by Santa Ragione. All of these games are nominated for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize alongside Venba

The Independent Games Festival is part of GDC 2024, which will be held in San Francisco March 18-22

This year's nominees were selected from a list of over 500 entries, thanks to the hard work of our expert juries in each individual category (more on them here and here)—who chose the finalists after playing, discussing, and meticulously evaluating each of the games in consideration. Be sure to submit your vote for the IGF Audience Award here. Voting will close on January 31 at 11:59pm PT.

Here is the full list of finalists for each category of the 2024 IGF Awards, along with the Honorable Mentions:  

Best Student Game

goodbye.monster (Monster Team)

Once Upon a Jester (Bonte Avond / Crunching Koalas)

Pile Up! (Remoob / Catoptric Games, IndieArk)

Planetka (TeTerka)

RAM: Random Access Mayhem (Xylem Studios)

TRY AGAIN (the Rejects / USC Games, the Rejects)

Honorable MentionsA Day With Mochi (San Felicete Studio / Rubika Supinfogame), Barkane: The Folds of Calamity (Chase O'Brien & VGDev), Birds Aren't Real: The Game (USC Games), Cyberside Picnic (Michael Luo / Cathode Radiator), Entangled (Fibula Studio), Lime Juice (Benbees), Re:Fresh (Merge Conflict Studio)

Excellence in Audio

A Highland Song (Inkle)

COCOON (Geometric Interactive / Annapurna Interactive)

Nour: Play With Your Food (Terrifying Jellyfish / PANIC)

Rhythm Doctor (7th Beat Games / 7th Beat Games, indienova)

Tchia (Awaceb / Kepler Interactive)

Venba (Visai Games)

Honorable MentionsAnthology of the Killer (Thecatamites, Tommy Tone, A. Degen / Thecatamites), El Paso, Elsewhere (Strange Scaffold), Let's! Revolution! (Antfood, BUCK / Hawthorn Games, BUCK), Planet of Lana            (Wishfully / Thunderful Publishing), Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical (Summerfall Studios / Humble Games)

Excellence in Design

Chants of Sennaar (Rundisc / Focus Entertainment)

Cobalt Core (Rocket Rat Games / Brace Yourself Games)

COCOON (Geometric Interactive / Annapurna Interactive)

Cryptmaster (Paul Hart, Lee Williams, Akupara Games / Akupara Games)

Final Profit: A Shop RPG (Brent Arnold)

Isles of Sea and Sky (Cicada Games, Jason Newman, Craig Collver / Cicada Games, Jason Newman, Gamera Game)

Honorable Mentions: 20 Small Mazes (FLEB), Peaks of Yore (Anders Grube Jensen / TraipseWare), Price of Flight (WATERBOX), Timberborn (Mechanistry)

Excellence in Narrative

1000xRESIST (Sunset Visitor / Fellow Traveller)

A Highland Song (Inkle)

Mediterranea Inferno (Lorenzo Redaelli, EYEGUYS / Santa Ragione)

The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood (Deconstructeam / Devolver Digital)

The Wreck (The Pixel Hunt)

Venba (Visai Games)

Honorable Mentions: Goodbye Volcano High (KO_OP), Saltsea Chronicles (Die Gute Fabrik / Die Gute Fabrik), Slay the Princess (Black Tabby Games), Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical (Summerfall Studios / Humble Games) The Archivist and the Revolution (Autumn Chen)

Excellence in Visual Art

Anthology of the Killer (Thecatamites, Tommy Tone, A. Degen / Thecatamites)

Clash: Artifacts of Chaos (ACE Team / Nacon)

Darkest Dungeon II (Red Hook Studios)

Little Goody Two Shoes (AstralShift / Square Enix Collective)

Phonopolis (Amanita Design)

Venba (Visai Games)

Honorable Mentions: 30 Birds (RAM RAM Games, Business Goose / ARTE France), Chants of Sennaar (Rundisc / Focus Entertainment), Goodbye Volcano High (KO_OP), NIDUS (Caleb Wood), SLUDGE LIFE 2 (Terri Vellmann, DOSEONE / Devolver Digital)

Nuovo Award

1000xRESIST (Sunset Visitor / Fellow Traveller)

Anthology of the Killer (Thecatamites, Tommy Tone, A. Degen / Thecatamites)

Cryptmaster (Paul Hart, Lee Williams, Akupara Games / Akupara Games)

Kevin (1997-2077) (Kevin Du)

Mediterranea Inferno (Lorenzo Redaelli, EYEGUYS / Santa Ragione)

NIDUS (Caleb Wood)

The Forest Cathedral (Wakefield Interactive, Brian Wilson / Whitethorn Games)

Honorable Mentions: BlueSuburbia (alienmelon), goodbye.monster (Monster Team), In Stars and Time (insertdisc5 / Armor Games Inc.), Nour: Play With Your Food (Terrifying Jellyfish / PANIC), The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood (Deconstructeam / Devolver Digital)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

1000xRESIST (Sunset Visitor / Fellow Traveller)

A Highland Song (Inkle)

Anthology of the Killer (Thecatamites, Tommy Tone, A. Degen / Thecatamites)

COCOON (Geometric Interactive / Annapurna Interactive)

Mediterranea Inferno (Lorenzo Redaelli, EYEGUYS / Santa Ragione)

Venba (Visai Games)

Honorable Mentions: Chants of Sennaar (Rundisc / Focus Entertainment), Final Profit: A Shop RPG (Brent Arnold), Goodbye Volcano High (KO_OP), In Stars and Time (insertdisc5 / Armor Games Inc.), Rhythm Doctor (7th Beat Games / 7th Beat Games, indienova), Tchia (Awaceb / Kepler Interactive), The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood (Deconstructeam / Devolver Digital)

The Independent Games Festival Awards will take place Wednesday, March 20 on the Main Stage at GDC 2024, and will be available to watch live for free via the GDC Twitch channel. For those eager to see the awards for themselves, make sure to buy a pass for GDC 2024

Sign up for GDC 2024 here.

GDC returns to San Francisco this March 18-22, 2024—and registration is now open! For more information, be sure to visit our website and follow the #GDC2024 hashtag on social media.

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About the Author(s)

Beth Elderkin

Content Marketing Manager (GDC)

Beth Elderkin is the content marketing manager for the Game Developers Conference (GDC). She keeps buying new copies of 'Skyrim,' even though she already owns it. 

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