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Indie Game Festival Award Winners Announced at GDC

The IGF Awards 2016 winners were announced at this year's Game Developer's Conference

The Indie Game Festival, or IGF, has taken place every year at the Game Developer's Conference, GDC, for the past 18 years. IGF has recognized some of the biggest indie titles, like FEZ, Dear Esther, Papers, PleaseBraid, and even Minecraft. This year was no different, and last night on March 16, 2016, the 2016 IGF Awards took place. Below is a list of all the finalists and who went home with the awards.

Best Student Game (Awarded $3,000)

The Best Student Game Award recognizes games made by independent designers and developers who are new to the scene and are just starting out.

Finalists:

  • Ape Out
  • Beglitched
  • Chambara
  • Circa Infinity
  • orchids to dusk
  • Pitfall Planet

Winner: Beglitched

Excellence in Narrative (Awarded $3,000)

More and more, games are becoming about storytelling. Games like Life is Strange, The Last of Us, and anything by Telltale have become wildly popular. This award recognizes this newfound importance in the games industry.

Finalists:

  • Black Closet
  • Her Story
  • That Dragon, Cancer
  • The Beginner's Guide
  • The Magic Circle
  • UNDERTALE

Winner: Her Story

Excellence in Audio (Awarded $3,000)

Sound is what makes entertainment, like movies and TV, come to life and games are no different. Indie games tend to have a unique challenge when it comes to audio, due to limited resources, but these finalists found a way to pull through regardless.

  • Darkest Dungeon
  • Lumini
  • Mini Metro
  • PANORAMICAL
  • That Dragon, Cancer
  • UNDERTALE

Winner: Mini Metro

Excellence in Design (Awarded $3,000)

Some of the most innovative game design can be found in indie games, so naturally there's an IGF award that recognizes it. This year's finalists were all strong contenders:

  • Her Story
  • Infinifactory
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
  • Kingdom
  • Mini Metro
  • SUPERHOT

Winner: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Excellence in Visual Art (Awarded $3,000)

Beautiful art in games is certainly not exclusive to indie games, but some of the most interesting and outside-of-the-box art can be found in indies. In independent games, it's not about what's most realistic and uses the most pixels - often it's quite the opposite.  

  • Armello
  • Darkest Dungeon
  • GNOG
  • Mini Metro
  • OXENFREE
  • PANORAMICAL

Winner: OXENFREE

Nuovo (Innovation) Award (Awarded $5,000)

The Nuovo Award is given to games that stand out among the rest. They bring a fresh perspective to gaming that has not yet been explored. 

  • Cibele
  • Fantastic Contraption
  • Her Story
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
  • orchids to dusk
  • PANORAMICAL
  • Progress
  • The Beginner's Guide

Winner: Cibele

Seumas McNally Grand Prize (Awarded $30,000)

The biggest accolade at the IGF Awards is the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Not only is it highly revered in the gaming industry, it also gives the developers a monetary prize that is significant for small teams (or, often, one person). 

  • Darkest Dungeon
  • Her Story
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
  • Mini Metro
  • SUPERHOT
  • UNDERTALE

Winner: Her Story

Other Winners:

Audience Award ($3,000) - Undertale
ID@Xbox Rising Star Award - Girls Make Games

For more information on the finalists and honorable mentions, check out IGF's official page.

What do you think of this year's IGF Awards winners?  Did any of your favorites win? Will you be checking out any of the finalists? Let us know in the comments!

Published Mar. 17th 2016
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Associate Editor
    Awww... Superhot didn't win... ah well... all are beautiful looking games, they all deserve it! And OXENFREE is super beautiful!

    The IGF is really one of the few award shows that really mean anything to me anymore... I guess I'm swept up in the indiepocalypse, and just tired of all the mainstream BS.
  • Kayle Simpson
    Featured Contributor
    I know- I was a little surprised that SUPERHOT didn't win anything, but this was a really strong group of finalists all around. Her Story was easily my #1 fave from last year (and if you haven't played it yet, you absolutely should!!) and Cibele has a very special place in my heart.

    I'm also a very big indie fan! Most mainstream games have become too much of the same and it's quite boring. I also love that indie devs are super accessible (mostly because they're always on Twitter) and I've had conversations with the creators of some of my fave games!
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Associate Editor
    it's on my list of games to play. I just want to sit down and spend a good many hours on it.
  • Kayle Simpson
    Featured Contributor
    You definitely don't *need* to spend many hours playing it to feel satisfied with it. I think I completed it 100% (with a little internet assistance) in 2-4 hours. You only need to play it for about an hour (maybe less!) to get to the ending - my point is, time shouldn't keep you from jumping in! :D
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Associate Editor
    I know I don't need to, but if I love it, I'll get sucked in.

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