It's award-season, folks, and today the judging panel was announced for the Indie Game Challenge sponsored by Southern Methodist University, The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, and GameStop. The judges will honor outstanding indie games by choosing 12 finalists for the prize. Overall, more than $350,000 in cash and scholarships will be awarded, as will a chance to meet with industry professionals at the D.I.C.E. conference in February.
The 40 member volunteer panel is made up up of professionals from all corners of the game industry, including Danny Bilson, executive vice president Core Games, THQ; Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago, co-founders of thatgamecompany and creators of Flow and Flower, Kyle Gabler, co-founder and creative director of 2D Boy, Rod Ferguson, executive producer, Epic Games, Alex Seropian, vice president creative development, Disney Interactive, Mike Hogan, GameStop’s senior vice president of marketing, Mathew Lee Johnson, senior producer for PopCap Games, Roger Hector, senior vice president product development, Namco Bandai, Tina Kowalewski, director of external development, Sony Computer Entertainment America, as well as representatives from publishers and developers including Microsoft, Capcom, Harmonix, Volition, Insomniac, id Software, Zipper Interactive and Vigil Games.
In short: heavy hitters.
Over 250 games were submitted to the contest, and will be culled down to 12 finalists to be announced on January 25th. Winners will be picked at D.I.C.E 2010, on Feb. 19, and each finalist team will receive the chance to pitch game ideas to top publishers like EA, Capcom, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and more.
Check out the official site for more details.