From a record-breaking field of 118 entries, a handful of games have been chosen to compete in the 2006 Independent Games Festival, an integral part of the 20th annual Game Developers Conference (Mar. 20-24) in San Jose, Calif. Winners will be revealed at the IGF and Game Developers Choice Awards gala ceremony on Mar. 22 at the San Jose Civic Auditorium.
A judging panel of 40 industry professionals, comprised of mainstream and independent developers and independent journalists, was formed to single out the year’s best indie titles. Among the standouts are Introversion’s cult action-strategy title, Darwinia ; Ankama’s strategy MMORPG, Dofus; Grubby Gams’ puzzle game, Professor Fizzwizzle, Digital Eel’s innovative space exploration gem, Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space; and Pocketwatch Games’ ecosystem-building Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa. All five titles will be competing for the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game.
Nominated for a total of four awards, pack-leading Darwinia also goes up against Dofus in the category Innovation in Visual Art. Other games will be competing for cash prizes totaling $35,000. In addition, the Audience Award winner will be selected by public vote. Finalists in the IGF Modding category and Student Showcase will be announced in January.
“Games are now a mainstream form of art,” states IGF co-chairman Simon Carless. “As with any art, the independent scene flourishes. We’re proud to be supporting innovative indie games and giving them the spotlight they deserve with these awards.”
The IGF was established in 1998 by the CMP Game Group to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers. With entries pouring in from all over the world, the IGF reflects how global the game development community has become.
For more information regarding the IGF and finalists, go to www.igf.com. To register for the Game Developers Conference and review conference information, visit www.gdconf.com. Read more about Ankama’s anime-inspired Dofus in the February issue of Animation Magazine.
Other 2005 IGF Finalists:
Best Innovation in Game Design
Rumble Box (DigiPen Institute of Technology: Insert Coin)
Strange Attractors (Ominous Development)
Braid (Number None Inc.)
The Witch’s Yarn (Mousechief Co.)
Best Web Browser Game
Dodge That Anvil (Rabidlab)
Moleculous (Game Trust Inc.)
Dad ‘N Me (Newgrounds.com Inc.)
Saints & Sinners Bowling (Large Animal Games)
Tribal Trouble (Oddlabs ApS)
Tube Twist (21-6 Prods. Inc.)
Crazy Ball (Atomic Elbow)
Innovation in Visual Art
Dofus (Ankama Studios)
Putt Nutz (Black Mountain Games)
Glow Worm (Flashbang Studios LLC)
Thomas and the Magical Words (ViquaSoft Co. Ltd.)
Innovation In Audio
Saints & Sinners Bowling
Dodge That Anvil
Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space