2015 Independent Games Festival announces Student Showcase winners

The Independent Games Festival Student Competition took in over 350 student-developed games. Here are the eight that made the cut.

The Independent Games Festival is pleased to announce the winners for the ninth annual Student Showcase, which celebrates the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year, in advance of the 17th annual presentation of its prestigious awards.

This year's showcase of top student talent include the fast-paced "five minutes or less" real-time strategy game Interloper from Dutch student development team Monogon Games, the stark, fast-paced falling action game Downwell from a student developer at Tokyo's University of the Arts, and strikingly topical arcade-style experience Rooftop Cop, a game from NYU Tisch School of the Arts student Stephen Lawrence Clark, which challenges people to play through a collection of five vignettes about a police force that has forgotten who they are meant to police -- and why.

In total, this year's Student Competition took in over 350 game entries across all platforms -- PC, console and mobile -- from a wide diversity of the world's most prestigious universities and games programs, making the Student IGF one of the world's largest showcases of student talent.

All Student Showcase winners' games announced today will be playable on the Expo show floor at the 29th Game Developers Conference, to be held in San Francisco starting March 2nd, 2015. Each team will receive a $1,000 prize and two All-Access passes to the show, plus five Expo Passes, for being selected into the Showcase. All Showcase teams are also finalists for an additional $3,000 prize for Best Student Game, to be revealed during the Independent Games Festival Awards on March 4th.

The full list of Student Showcase winners for the 2015 Independent Games Festival, along with 'honorable mentions' to those top-quality games that didn't quite make it to finalist status, are as follows:

  • a•part•ment (Team a•part•ment, University of Southern California)
  • Downwell (Ojiro Fumoto - Tokyo University of the Arts)
  • Close Your (GoodbyeWorld Games - University of Southern California)
  • Even the Stars (Pol Clarissou  - Supinfogame  & Nicholas Gavan - University of Bialystok)
  • Gemini (Echostone Games - Tisch School of the Arts, New York University)
  • Interloper (Monogon Games - HKU Utrecht School of Art and Technology)
  • Rooftop Cop (Stephen Lawrence Clark - Tisch School of the Arts, New York University)
  • Stellar Smooch (Alec Thomson & Jenny Jiao Hsia - New York University)

Honorable mentions: A Story About My Uncle (Gone North Games - Södertörn University), Ahoooj (Circus Atus - FAMU, University of West Bohemia, CVUT FEL, UMPRUM), Circles (Jeroen Wimmers, University of the Arts Utrecht), Drew and the Floating Labyrinth (Dust Scratch Games, University of Windsor), Lisa (Rubna, Elzendaal College Boxmeer) and Mecha Trigger (Team Casserole, Michigan State University).

This year's Student IGF entries were distributed to an opt-in subset of the main competition judging body, consisting of more than 375 leading independent and mainstream developers, academics and journalists.

Now in its 13th year as a part of the larger Independent Games Festival, the Student Showcase highlights up-and-coming talent from worldwide university programs, and has served as the venue which first premiered numerous now-widely-recognized names including DigiPen's Narbacular Drop and Tag: The Power of Paint, which evolved into Valve's award-winning titles Portal and Portal 2 (respectively).

Other notable Student Showcase alums include USC/Giant Sparrow's Unfinished Swan, later released by Sony Computer Entertainment as an award-winning title for PlayStation Network; USC's The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom (later published by 2K Games); and early USC/ThatGameCompany title Cloud, from the studio that would go on to develop critical darlings like FlowFlower, and Journey.

For more information on the Independent Games Festival, for which Main Competition finalists were also just announced, please visit the official IGF website -- and for those interested in registering for GDC 2015, which includes the Independent Games Summit, the IGF Pavilion and the IGF Awards Ceremony, please visit the Game Developers Conference website.

Gamasutra and IGF are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech


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