IGF 2020 Inspiration: 2015 Grand Prize winner Outer Wilds!

If you need a little inspiration as you prepare for the 2020 Independent Games Festival, consider the underdog story of Mobius Digital’s cozy space exploration game Outer Wilds!

Hey game makers, don’t delay: Game Developers Conference organizers are still accepting submissions for the 22nd annual Independent Games Festival (IGF), the longest running festival, summit and showcase of independent games!

Remember that entries for all IGF categories are being accepted through September 30th, and the finalists will be announced in early January 2020. Even if you don't wind up winning, participating in the IGF is a great way to bring some attention to your work, build camaraderie with your fellow indie devs, and partake in a major celebration of the best in indie games!

If you need a little inspiration, consider the story of Mobius Digital’s cozy space exploration game Outer Wilds. Conceived as a student project in USC’s games program, Outer Wilds debuted this year and quickly became one of the most talked-about indie games of 2019; but just a few years ago it was only a rough jumble of interesting ideas rolled into a playable alpha.

That early version was entered into the 2015 IGF, and it caught the attention of IGF judges; Outer Wilds wound up walking away with two honorable mentions, as well as both the Excellence in Design award and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

“When we started Outer Wilds, we just wanted to make something where the only point of exploring was to learn more about the world,” said creator Alex Beachum during the team’s onstage acceptance speech for the Design award. “Thank you for being curious to explore this janky world we created.”

You can go back and watch the team’s acceptance speeches for yourself on Twitch, where the livestreamed 2015 IGF and Game Developers Choice Awards ceremonies are archived. Look at it as inspiration: that could be you on that stage next year!

The IGF is part of the Game Developers Conference 2020, which will take place from March 16th through the 20th at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center. Now that submissions are officially open for IGF 2020, you can refer to our official rules for the IGF Competition in much greater detail.

Gamasutra, GDC and the IGF are sister organizations under parent company Informa

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