Independent Games Festival Finalists Announced

There are always plenty of reason to go to GDC. Developers like to show off their games, new hardware, and general innovation. Some of the panels offer real insight into the development of the best games in the past year. Some of the panels are fucking boring. Holy crap you would not believe how boring they get.

What's not boring? The IGF awards. The Independent Games Festival awards occur every year during GDC and celebrate the best the Indie scene has to offer. The Seamus McNally Grand Prize winner takes home $30,000 while the Nuovo Award for "abstract, shortform and unconventional game development" takes home $5,000. Every other winner nabs $3,000. For a lot of these guys that money means rent and groceries. More importantly, many of the titles on display will get publisher contracts and jobs and such. Here are the finalists:

Seumas McNally Grand Prize:

Dear Esther
FEZ
Frozen Synapse
Johann Sebastian Joust
Spelunky

Excellence In Visual Art

Botanicula
Dear Esther
Lume
Mirage
Wonderputt

Technical Excellence

Antichamber
Fez
Prom Week
Realm of the Mad God
Spelunky

Excellence In Design

Atom Zombie Smasher
English Country Tune
Frozen Synapse
Gunpoint
Spelunky

Excellence in Audio

Botanicula
Dear Esther
Pugs Luv Beats
To the Moon
Waking Mars

Best Mobile Game

ASYNC Corp.
Beat Sneak Bandit
Faraway
Ridiculous Fishing
Waking Mars

Nuovo Award Finalists:

At a Distance
Dear Esther
Fingle
GIRP
Johann Sebastian Joust
Proteus
Storyteller
WAY

Head over to the IGF website to learn more about each title. The chances are good you'll be playing some of these games in the near future via Steam or an XBLA promotion block.