Here are your winners of the 2012 Independent Games Festival

"A celebration of people taking enormous risks to bring something new and beautiful to the world." That's how Brandon Boyer, the chair of IGF, described tonight's Independent Games Festival Awards.

The IGF Awards are the antithesis of the VGAs, the only awards show most people know. It isn't broadcasted on a cable network; it isn't stuffed with commercials and reveal trailers; it isn't crass and gaudy. What it is, is a modest pat on the back for a bunch of artists who gambled their livelihood on making games for themselves, not big publishers.

Andy Schatz, creator of Monaco, played host this year. His script was a extended metaphor about people who hop on boats to find islands. The people being indue developers, the boats being technology, the islands being game concepts, the dirt on the island being design, and the I don't know, at some point, he abandoned it. Schatz is a weird mix of GameStop employee and Ryan Seacrest, totally lovable, totally sharp, totally a huge nerd. This is to say, even when he goofs up, he's an excellent host.

He let the winners do most of the talking. Here the nominees with winners in bold.

Best Student Game (and a $3,000 cash prize)

  • The Bridge
  • Dust
  • The Floor Is Jelly
  • Nous
  • One and One Story
  • Pixi
  • The Snowfield
  • Way

Technical Excellence

  • Antichamber (Demruth)
  • Fez (Polytron)
  • Prom Week (Expressive Intelligence Studio, UC Santa Cruz)
  • Realm of the Mad God (Wild Shadow Studios & Spry Fox)
  • Spelunky (Mossmouth)

Honorable mentions: Frozen Synapse (Mode 7 Games); Nitronic Rush (DigiPen Institute of Technology); Reflow (Xymatic); Super T.I.M.E. Force (Capy); Tiny and Big - Grandpa's Leftovers (Black Pants)

Excellence In Design

  • Atom Zombie Smasher (Blendo Games)
  • English Country Tune (Stephen Lavelle)
  • Frozen Synapse (Mode 7 Games)
  • Gunpoint (Tom Francis, John Roberts and Fabian van Dommelen)
  • Spelunky (Mossmouth)

Honorable mentions: Faraway (Steph Thirion); FTL (Justin Ma & Matthew Davis); Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik); SpaceChem (Zachtronics Industries); Where Is My Heart (Die Gute Fabrik)

Best Mobile Game

  • ASYNC Corp (Powerhead Games)
  • Beat Sneak Bandit (Simogo)
  • Faraway (Steph Thirion)
  • Ridiculous Fishing (Vlambeer)
  • Waking Mars (Tiger Style)

Honorable mentions: Fingle (Game Oven Studios); Hundreds (SemiSecret and aeiowu);iBlast Moki 2 (Godzilab); Temple Run (Imangi Studios); Tentacles (Press Play ApS)

Excellence In Visual Art

  • Botanicula (Amanita Design)
  • Dear Esther (thechineseroom)
  • Lume (State Of Play Games)
  • Mirage (Mario von Rickenbach)
  • Wonderputt (Damp Gnat)

Honorable mentions: Beat Sneak Bandit (Simogo); Dustforce (Hitbox Team); Fader (Chris Makris); Proun (Joost van Dongen); Toren (Swordtales)

Excellence In Audio

  • Botanicula (Amanita Design)
  • Dear Esther (thechineseroom)
  • Pugs Luv Beats (Lucky Frame)
  • To The Moon (Freebird Games)
  • Waking Mars (Tiger Style)

Honorable mentions: Beatbuddy (THREAKS); Beat Sneak Bandit (Simogo); Fez (Polytron);Proteus (Ed Key and David Kanaga); Where Is My Heart (Die Gute Fabrik)

Audience Award

  • Frozen Synapse

Nuovo Award
[Designed 'to honor abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development.']

  • At a Distance (Terry Cavanagh)
  • Dear Esther (thechineseroom)
  • Fingle (Game Oven Studios)
  • GIRP (Bennett Foddy)
  • Proteus (Ed Key and David Kanaga)
  • Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Storyteller (Daniel Benmergui)
  • Way (CoCo & Co.)

Honorable mentions: Deep Sea (WRAUGHK); Four Letter Word (Terry Cavanagh);GlitchHiker (Aardbever); Hundreds (SemiSecret and aeiowu); POP (Rob Lach)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Dear Esther (thechineseroom)
  • Fez (Polytron)
  • Frozen Synapse (Mode 7 Games)
  • Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik)
  • Spelunky (Mossmouth)

Honorable mentions: Antichamber (Demruth); FTL (Justin Ma & Matthew Davis); Proteus(Ed Key and David Kanaga); SpaceChem (Zachtronics Industries); Where Is My Heart (Die Gute Fabrik)

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