GDC: Fieldrunners, iPhone Triumph At IGF Mobile

Subatomic Studios' iPhone tower defense title Fieldrunners took home the IGF Mobile prize for Best Game, with awards in seven total categories dominated by iPhone.
The second annual Independent Games Festival mobile announced its winners today, and Subatomic Studios' tower defense title Fieldrunners took home the prize for best game. iPhone and iPod Touch platforms dominated across all categories, although the festival invited entries for platforms including Nintendo DS, PSP and mobile handsets as well. The winners share $30,000 in prizes across 7 categories, including Innovation in Mobile Game Design, Achievement in Art, Technical Achievement, Audio Achievement and Best Game overall. This year, two new categories were added: Best iPhone game and Next Great Mobile Game. The Audio Achievement award was given to Secret Exit's Zen Bound, which uses music and sound effects to build an aural atmosphere. "Traditionally mobile audio means that you have to work with a myriad of craptastic mini handsets," said the designer as he received his prize. "All I had to do was make it work on headphones -- so iPhone is kind of changing that/" Firemint's Real Racing, launching next month, took home the Technical Achievement award, while Subatomic Studios' Field Runners took home a second prize with the Achievement in Art award. "It's amazing to be at this forefront where gaming technology and hardware allows us to create these wonderful things that were only possible on high-end console systems," said Subatomic Studios as they accepted their award. The Innovation in Mobile Game Design award went to Hassey Enterprises' Galcon -- the designer's wife manages the community, and his brother-in-law did the game's music, and he thanked each of them. Representing the significant strides that iPhone has made into the mobile gaming space in such a short amount of time, the IGF Mobile Awards partnered with ngmoco to create a special nod for iPhone games with a $10,000 prize. Ngmoco's Alan Yu presented the award to Secret Exit's Zen Bound, who took the stage to thank the gaming community for the positive reception to the game. This year, Platinum and Founding Sponsor Nvidia presented The Next Great Mobile Game award, where developers pitched products in prototype phase to be voted on by audience applause. The winner was Reflection a promising Nintendo DS title by Team Reflection that used the dual screen to mirror a character in an action-platform environment. It also features a "shadow" mode for more of a puzzle experience, and amid a crescendo of cheers, it became the only non-iPhone game to be awarded at the event. Capybara Games' Nathan Vella and Kris Piotrowski, winners of last year's IGF Mobile with Critter Crunch, took the stage to congratulate the nominees and winners -- and then to present the Best Game award to Subatomic Studios for Fieldrunners. "The iPhone is really awesome -- it really opened a lot of doors to independent developers like us to create some really cool games and get our ideas out there," said the Subatomic Studios pair, noting the role community feedback has played in their success. “The amazing games at IGF Mobile have proven that the mobile platforms are an exciting test bed for unique and engaging gameplay experiences,” says Mathew Kumar, IGF Mobile Content Director. “With emergent platforms like iPhone and iPod touch fueling further innovation, we’re already seeing some truly creative developments and we can’t wait to see what surprises these talented developers have in stock for the future. We applaud all the winners and finalists for their amazing work.” The list of winners, selected from a field of 27 nominees taken from an overall group of 100 entries, is as follows: IGF Mobile Best Game: Fieldrunners (Subatomic Studios) - iPhone/iPod touch Innovation In Mobile Game Design: Galcon (Hassey Enterprises) - iPhone/iPod touch Achievement In Art: Fieldrunners (Subatomic Studios) - iPhone/iPod touch Technical Achievement: Real Racing (Firemint) - iPhone/iPod touch Audio Achievement: Zen Bound (Secret Exit) - iPhone/iPod touch The Next Great Mobile Game - Presented by NVIDIA: Reflection (Team Reflection) - Nintendo DS Best iPhone Game - Presented by ngmoco: Zen Bound (Secret Exit) - iPhone/iPod touch

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