Sponsored By

2017 Independent Games Festival announces Main Competition finalists!

The 2017 Independent Games Festival juries have announced finalists for the world's leading indie games showcase, including games like Inside, Hyper Light Drifter, Event[0] and more.

January 9, 2017

7 Min Read

The finalists for the Independent Games Festival (IGF) have been revealed for the esteemed 19th annual awards, which honor the most influential, innovate and acclaimed projects in independent game development.

The ceremony, taking place on March 1, 2017 during the Game Developers Conference, will be hosted by Nina Freeman, the game designer of the acclaimed 2016 IGF Nuovo Award-winning title, Cibele. The breakthrough game centers around themes of love, sex and the internet,  and was largely inspired by Freeman’s deeply personal real-life story. Nina’s current role is a level designer working on the highly-anticipated Tacoma, the follow-up to Fullbright’s critical hit, Gone Home.

After an initial round of judging by over 340 evaluators, the more than 650 entries for the 2017 IGF Awards were distributed to a group of experts from across the industry for final consideration. These expert juries specializing in distinct disciplines for each category have selected the IGF finalists after playing, discussing and rigorously evaluating them.

Among the diverse selection of 30 different titles, a few games have received award nominations in multiple categories, including Virginia, developer Variable State’s first-person thriller propelled by a thought-provoking and mysterious narrative, which has received a total of four nominations (Best Audio, Excellence in Narrative, Excellence in Visual Art and The Nuovo Award for innovation).

Three other titles are being recognized for their excellence with three nominations apiece, they include Hyper Light Drifter by Heart Machine, an intense and highly-stylized action adventure RPG that harkens back to classic 16-bit adventures. Inside by developer Playdead, is their much-anticipated follow-up to 2010’s Limbo and follows a boy as he finds himself drawn into the center of a secretive and darkly haunting project. Event[0] by Ocelot Society is a sci-fi narrative exploration game in which players must interact with an elaborate onboard AI to communicate and negotiate their way back home.

The winners of the IGF Awards will be announced at the Independent Games Festival Awards which take place the evening of Wednesday, March 1st at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center. The IGF Awards will immediately precede the Game Developers Choice Awards, which recognizes the best games of the year across all sections of video game development.

Winners of the IGF Awards will also receive over $50,000 of prizes in various categories, including the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Both the IGF Awards and the Game Developers Choice Award ceremonies are available to attend for all GDC 2017 pass-holders and will be livestreamed on the GDC’s official Twitch channel.

The full list of finalists for each category of the 2017 Independent Games Festival, with additional "honorable mentions," is as follows:

Best Student Game

Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month)

Lily, Colors of Santa Luz (Lily, Colors of Santa Luz Team)

Un Pas Fragile (PAF team)

FAR: Lone Sails (Mr. Whale's Game Service / Mixtvision)

Frog Climbers (TeamCrew)

Bamboo Heart (Sokpop Collective)

Honorable Mentions: Awkward Dimensions Redux (StevenHarmonGames); DYO (Team DYO); Code 7 - Episode 0: Allocation (Goodwolf Studio); You Must be 18 or Older to Enter (Seemingly Pointless)

Best Audio

The Flame in the Flood (The Molasses Flood)

GoNNER (Art in Heart)

Virginia (Variable State)

Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)

Everything (David OReilly)

Inside (Playdead)

Honorable Mentions: 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories); Kingdom: New Lands (Noio); Dropsy (Tendershoot, A Jolly Corpse); Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month); Sentris (Timbre Interactive); TumbleSeed (TumbleSeed Team)

Excellence in Design

Imbroglio (Michael Brough)

Ultimate Chicken Horse (Clever Endeavour Games)

Duskers (Misfits Attic)

Overcooked (Ghost Town Games)

Event[0] (Ocelot Society)

Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)

Honorable Mentions: She Remembered Caterpillars (jumpsuit entertainment); Elsinore (Golden Glitch Studios); Inside (Playdead); Antihero (Tim Conkling); Replica (Somi); Space Pirate Trainer (I-Illusions)

Excellence in Narrative

Ladykiller in a Bind (Love Conquers All Games)

1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories)

Virginia (Variable State)

Orwell (Osmotic Studios )

Event[0] (Ocelot Society)

One Night Stand (Kinmoku)

Honorable Mentions: A Normal Lost Phone (Accidental Queens); The Lion's Song (Mi'pu'mi Games); Far from Noise (George Batchelor); Inside (Playdead); Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe); Burly Men at Sea (Brain&Brain); Sorcery! 4 (inkle / Steve Jackson)

Excellence in Visual Art

The Flame in the Flood (The Molasses Flood)

Inside (Playdead)

Virginia (Variable State)

Old Man's Journey (Broken Rules)

Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)

She Remembered Caterpillars (jumpsuit entertainment)

Honorable Mentions: Inks (State of Play); Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall); Mu Cartographer (Titouan Millet); Future Unfolding (Spaces of Play ); Sundered (Thunder Lotus Games); Un Pas Fragile (PAF team)

Nuovo Award

Islands: Non-Places (Carlburton LLC)

Close (Tobias Zarges and Moritz Eberl)

Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month)

Oiκοςpiel, Book I (David Kanaga)

Everything (David OReilly)

Virginia (Variable State)

Mu Cartographer (Titouan Millet)

Lieve Oma (Florian Veltman)

Honorable Mentions: Memoir En Code: Reissue (Alex Camilleri); Far from Noise (George Batchelor); Ladykiller in a Bind (Love Conquers All Games); Witchball (S.L.Clark); Project Perfect Citizen (Bad Cop Studios); Wheels of Aurelia (Santa Ragione); Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

Inside (Playdead)

Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe)

Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)

Event[0] (Ocelot Society)

Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)

Overcooked (Ghost Town Games)

Honorable Mentions: 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories); Orwell (Osmotic Studios); Imbroglio (Michael Brough); Virginia (Variable State); Duskers (Misfits Attic); Oiκοςpiel, Book I (David Kanaga)

Attendees will have an opportunity to experience each of the finalist titles and speak with their creators at the IGF Pavilion area on the Expo floor of the Game Developers Conference 2017 from March 1st-3rd, 2017 at San Francisco's Moscone Center. Along with the IGF Pavilion, independent game developers can also take part in the Independent Games Summit (February 27th-28th) for networking and learning opportunities related to independent game development.

The public will also be able to take part in awarding the winner of the IGF Audience Award from all the finalists for the IGF, and voting for the Audience Award begins in February. This year’s IGF Awards ceremony will also see the introduction of the ALT. CTRL. GDC Award, which will recognize the most creative and and unique video game controller created and displayed for the ALT.CTRL.GDC showcase, which will take place during GDC from March 1st-March 3rd. The special exhibit serves as a showcase for a truly diverse collection of indie-centric on-of-a-kind game peripherals, contraptions and novelties which enhance game experiences and challenge traditional forms of input.

Debuting in 1999, the Independent Games Festival has highlighted the hard work and artistic craft of some of the most celebrated independent games in history, including ground-breaking titles like Papers, Please, Braid, World of Goo, Her Story and Minecraft among many others.

You can find further details on the official IGF website. For more information on GDC 2017, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like