UBM TechWeb (producer of Game Developer magazine, Gamasutra.com, and the Game Developers Conference) established the Independent Games Festival in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers.
We wanted to create a similar event to Sundance for independent game developers - and that's just what we've succeeded in doing with the Independent Games Festival, which has awarded hundred of thousands of dollars in cash prizes (and brought major exposure and a much higher profile) to a multitude of indie and student game developers who enter. There are three main elements to the Festival itself.
The Independent Games Festival Awards
The IGF Awards take place on the evening of the third day of Game Developers Conference, and are a major celebration of the best in indie gaming, with thousands watching the award presentation before the Game Developer's Choice Awards are presented. The 2010 IGF Awards, including custom interstitials from Mega64, are available for online viewing. The 2011 Festival Awards will take place March 2nd, 2011. All GDC visitors can attend the ceremony.
And the winners are...
Best Student Game: Fract (University of Montreal)
Technical Excellence: Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games)
Excellence in Design: Desktop Dungeons (QFC Design)
Best Mobile Game: Helsing’s Fire (Ratloop)
Excellence in Visual Art: Bit.Trip Runner (Gaijin Games)
Excellence in Audio: Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games)
Nuovo Award: Nidhogg (Messhof)
Seumas McNally Grand Prize: Minecraft (Mojang)
Audience Award: Minecraft (Mojang)
Direct2Drive Vision Award: Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games)
The Independent Games Festival Pavilion
Located on the show floor at Game Developers Conference, and open to any members of the public or game professionals who have bought an Expo Pass to the show or above, the IGF Pavilion showcases every single finalist for that year's Festival in playable form. Members of the development team for each IGF finalist are on hand to discuss and demonstrate the title and talk to top game publishers and distributors attending the show. The 2011 IGF Pavilion will open March 2nd, 2011 and run through March 4th.