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Independent Games Festival expands award list to honor 'Excellence in Narrative'

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The annual Independent Games Festival, which honors independent video games and hosts an awards ceremony at the Game Developers Conference, will recognize storytelling in indie games with its "Excellence in Narrative" prize in 2013. IGF chairman Brandon Boyer announced the addition to the festival's award lineup today, writing "it's something that judges, entrants, and the general public have been asking for for quite some time."

"It was clear that there was something special about this year's lineup of games in particular that made the absence of a Narrative category especially conspicuous," Boyer writes. "And so, because so many of our judges have said there are so many games in this year's festival that they specifically want to recognize for their world and their story, we are giving them an avenue to do so."

The IGF's new narrative award will be modeled after its equivalent in the Game Developers Choice Awards, which holds its ceremony directly following the IGF Awards.

"It's a category to recognize 'innovation, quality, and impressiveness of storytelling in a game, including, but not limited to, scenario, plot construction, story, dialogue and other major factors,'" Boyer explains.

The 2013 IGF Awards will recognize achievements in visual art, audio, design and technical excellence in addition to narrative. The annual competition also distributes an Audience Award, Nuovo Award and the Seumas McNally grand prize. In all, over $55,000 in prizes are awarded. The 2013 Independent Games Festival received a record 589 entrants for its main competition.

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