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Limbo, Inertia Win Top Prizes At 2011 Indie Game Challenge

Playdead's Limbo won Best Professional Game and Team Hermes' Inertia won Best Non-Professional Game at this year's Indie Game Challenge, each receiving over $100,000 from the challenge's sponsors.
Playdead's Limbo won Best Professional Game and Team Hermes' Inertia won Best Non-Professional Game at this year's Indie Game Challenge following the D.I.C.E Summit, each receiving over $100,000 from sponsors Gamestop, the AIAS and The Guildhall at SMU and EEDAR. Limbo rose to relative prominence after an Xbox Live Arcade release this summer, receiving wide acclaim for it's clever puzzles, stark, silhouette-based visual style and spooky atmosphere. At an awards ceremony attended by Gamasutra, Playdead's Dino Patti refused to elaborate on the game's cryptic story and setting for host Adam Sessler, drawing laughs from the crowd. But Patti did tell the assembled audience at Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas that the team designed the game so that no puzzle had more than two crucial elements, or had any solution that was not immediately available to the player. Team Hermes' Evan Skarin said Inertia was initially developed by a team of five Guildhall students under a deadline of just two months. Afterwards, a team of three more students asked to build the game out with additional levels and convert it to an Xbox Live Indie game. The team was inspired to create the game's unique physics so that it would stand apart form the other Torque-engine platformers from other teams in the class. Initial designs implemented four-way gravity -- a feature Torque was not designed to support -- but the idea was eventually scrapped because it made the game too difficult, Skarin said. Inertia also won the event's $10,000 Gamer's Choice Award, earning a plurality of over 63,000 votes from internet visitors, as well as two separate $2,500 awards for technical and gameplay achievement. Limbo won an additional $2,500 for achievement in art direction. Kongregate's Jim Greer came on stage during the ceremony to present a special award to Symon, a procedurally generated puzzle game set in the dreams of a paralyzed man. The award comes with prominent placement on the Flash game portal and one million sponsored views provided by the site.

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