The UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizer of the industry-leading Game Developers Conference events
, is pleased to announce that submissions are now open for the 2011 Independent Games Festival
-- to be held at GDC 2011 in San Francisco next March.
The longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase is now accepting entries to the 13th annual Festival, with deadlines in the Main and Student Showcase categories by October 18th and November 1st respectively, and finalists to be announced on January 2011.
All games selected as finalists will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor
, and will compete for nearly $50,000 in prizes, including the Nuovo Award, Excellence in Design, Art, Best Student Game, the Audience Award and the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards
on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
The Independent Games Festival Awards are held immediately before the wider Game Developers Choice Awards
, and both multi-thousand person attendee award shows are part of the 2011 Game Developers Conference, taking place February 28th-March 4th, 2011.
GDC 2011 also includes the 2011 Independent Games Summit
, which is entering its fifth year and offers two days of inspiration and practical lectures and rants from the top minds in the independent games world.
Continuing to honor the best and brightest of the indie gaming community, the Independent Games Festival is expanding in its thirteenth year to recognize the new opportunities open to mobile and handheld game developers. Responding to developer feedback, games made for Apple's iPhone and iPad, the Android operating system, Nintendo DS/DSi, PlayStation Portable, and all handheld devices will compete in the same traditional IGF categories. They will also be eligible for a new Best Mobile Game award, honoring innovation, achievement and artistry in handheld gaming.
Other changes to the 2011 festival include an expanded focus on alternative elements in independent gaming, with the number of finalists for the IGF Nuovo Award -- honoring abstract, shortform, and otherwise esoteric 'art games' -- increasing from five to eight games in total.
The festival's judging process has also been modified to see winners decided via jury debate from focused industry peers. Expanding on a successful 2010 experiment using the Nuovo Award, entrants will be recommended for consideration in individual categories by the larger IGF judging body of over 170 notable industry participants. Following this process, smaller juries with specific knowledge of the award in question will discuss and choose the finalists and winner in each individual category.
The modifications continue to expand the Independent Game Festival's global importance as the largest and most all-encompassing showcase of independent game talent across the wide spectrum of artistically- and commercially-aimed development. Notable former IGF winners include World of Goo, Braid, Castle Crashers, Everyday Shooter, Darwinia
, with IGF 2010 prizewinner Limbo
a key game in Xbox Live Arcade's 'Summer Of Arcade' line-up and 2010 nominee Joe Danger
a recent, acclaimed release on PlayStation Network.
Brandon Boyer, Chairman of the IGF, said of this year's event: “Expanding the IGF to include mobile and more artistic experiences is our way of recognizing the constantly evolving landscape of indie game development, and the advancement of the expression possible in the medium itself. I'm more excited than ever to see what the indie community creates for this year's festival, and wish all the entrants the best of luck!"
Submissions to the competition are now open to all independent game developers; important dates for IGF 2011 are as follows:
June 28th, 2010 - Submissions are Open
October 18th, 2010 - Submission Deadline, Main Competition
November 1st, 2010 - Submission Deadline, Student Competition
January 3rd, 2011 - Finalists Announced, Main Competition
January 10, 2011 - Finalists Announced, Student Competition
February 28 - March 4, 2011 - Game Developers Conference 2011
February 28 - March 1, 2011 - Indie Games Summit @ GDC 2011
March 2 - March 4, 2011 - IGF Pavilion @ GDC 2011
March 2, 2011 - IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners Announced!)
For a complete list of information on the 2011 Independent Games Festival, including submission specifics, frequently asked questions, and more discussion on this year's changes
from new IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer, please visit the official Independent Games Festival website