While the main event of the Game Developers Conference is the Game Developers Choice Awards, the Independent Games Festival Awards are just as important. Indie games are the lifeblood of the industry and recognizing them for the work they accomplish in the gaming industry is super important.
The IGF awards are always more unexpected than what we see at the regular GDC awards and this year was no different with a lot of winners coming out of left field. The most interesting this year is that no one game took home more than one award. This was really surprising and led to a great show.
The winner in excellence in visual art went to Dear Esther from thechineseroom. The mod turned retail game turned heads earlier this year with its emphasis on story and exploration over traditional gameplay elements.
The award for technical excellence went to Antichamber, a game that challenges us to think outside the norms of traditional game design.
Excellence in design went to Spelunky, the XBLA remake of the classic freeware PC roguelike platformer.
Excellence in audio went to Botanicula from Amanita Design, the developers behind the excellent Samorost point-and-click adventure game series.
Best mobile game went to Beat Sneak Bandit, a game that showed quality can shine on mobile platforms like iOS.
The nuovo award recognizes games that champion "abstract, shortform and unconventional game development." The award went to Storyteller, which may have been the most unconventional game of the show.
The Seumas McNally Grand Prize, which is essentially indie game of the year, went to Fez from Polytron Digital. A teary eyed Phil Fish accepted the award last night with humility which was a far cry from Monday night when he told a Japanese developer that their games "just suck."
The IGF awards are always my favorite part of GDC. The amount of creativity and passion was on full display last night. We at WebProNews wish to congratulate all the winners and nominees. We can't wait to see what you do next.