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Independent Games Festival Winners Announced

The Independent Games Festival (IGF) presented its annual awards last night at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, CA, awarding the grand prize to Wild Earth from Super X Studios.
Besides capturing the $15,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Wild Earth's lead developer, James Thrush, also walked away with awards for "Innovation in Visual Art" and "Innovation in Game Design", worth an additional $1000 each. The game puts you in the shoes of a photojournalist on the plains of Africa, tasked with taking pictures of big game, and features amazingly lifelike graphics. In his acceptance speech, Thrush acknowledged the financial and moral support he received from his parents -- who were in the audience wearing "Wild Earth" shirts. The other winners of the evening included:
  • Pin Interactive's Terraformers won the "Innovation in Audio" award. The game, developed by a team in Sweden, uses an auditory feedback system that allows blind players to navigate through the 3D world and solve puzzles using sound cues. The award purse was $1000 and a copy of Microsoft Visual Studio.net.
  • Klear Games' Reiner Knizia's Samurai won the "Technical Excellence" award. It's a turn-based strategy game based on a popular board game, and was just released by its developers last week. The award purse was $1000, a copy of Microsoft Visual Studio.net, an Intel Pentium 4 workstation and Intel development tools.
  • Chronic Logic's Pontifex 2 won the Audience Award, as determined by GDC attendees who voted for their favorite IGF game on the expo floor. The game is a 3D bridge-building simulator that lets you construct a span using various stock parts, then stress-tests your bridge by turning on gravity and having trains cross it successively. The award purse was $1000 and a copy of Microsoft Visual Studio.net. The entry deadline for next year's IGF is September 1, 2003. The IGF is produced by the Gama Network, which also produces this site.
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