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2016 Independent Games Festival opens call for submissions

Submissions are now officially open for the 2016 Independent Games Festival, the signature competition for indie games, to be held for its 18th year during GDC 2016 in San Francisco next March.

Submissions are now officially open for the 2016 Independent Games Festival, the signature competition for indie games, to be held for its 18th year during GDC 2016 in San Francisco next March. This directly follows a record-breaking year which saw nearly 1,000 entries for the 2015 event, including top prizewinners like Outer Wilds, Metamorphabet and 80 Days.

We're announcing a change in leadership for the IGF this year, as current Chairperson Brandon Boyer says farewell to concentrate on a new venture (more from him here!) and Indie MEGABOOTH founder Kelly Wallick steps in as the new Chairperson of the IGF.

Some incremental changes are taking place for this 18th Annual IGF, including a reduction in price for Main Competition entries, the Student Competition being more fully integrated into the Main Competition, and changes to feedback. In Kelly's blog post, she introduces herself and further explains some of the changes taking place for the upcoming IGF Competition.

The deadline for all submissions to the IGF this year will be October 26th, with finalists announced in early January 2016. Finalists' games will once again be playable at the packed IGF Pavilion on the Game Developers Conference 2016 Expo Floor, and will compete for over $50,000 in prizes.

As per normal, these awards include the Excellence in Visual Art, Audio, Design and Narrative Awards, which will have six finalists each, with the winner getting $3,000 in each category. There will also be six finalists for the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

This year also sees the return of the Best Student Game award ($3,000 prize), and the special Nuovo Award ($5,000, eight finalists) will be offered again to honor 'abstract, shortform, and unconventional' games. Finally, the IGF Audience Award ($3,000 prize) will be decided by a public vote from all of the competition finalists.

The Independent Games Festival is the longest-running and highest profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase. It has served as a springboard for several games that have gone on to become critical and cultural hits. Previous IGF prize winners from the past 17 years include Papers, Please, Spelunky, Minecraft, Limbo, World of Goo, Braid, Castle Crashers, Everyday Shooter and many more of the game industry's breakthrough independent titles.

Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 16th, 2016, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with the IGF Pavilion open from March 16-18th, and the sister Independent Games Summit event taking place on March 14th and 15th.

The Independent Games Festival is a part of the 2016 Game Developers Conference, which will be held from March 14th through March 18th, 2016 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. IGF continues to be the largest annual gathering of independent video game developers, showcasing top talent across the industry and keeping a pulse on the future of independent games.

Submissions to the competition are now open to all independent game developers; here are the important dates you should mark on your calendar as you prepare for IGF 2016:

  • July 31, 2015 - Submissions are Open
  • October 26, 2015 - Submission Deadline
  • Early January, 2016 - IGF Finalists Announced
  • March 14 - March 18, 2016 - Game Developers Conference 2016
  • March 14 - March 15, 2016 - Independent Games Summit @ GDC 2016
  • March 16 - March 18, 2016 - IGF Pavilion @ GDC 2016
  • March 16, 2016 - IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners announced!)

For a complete list of information on the 2016 Independent Games Festival, including submission specifics and frequently asked questions, please visit the official Independent Games Festival website.

Gamasutra, GDC, and IGF are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech

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