After pouring over a massive list of nearly 650 entries, the Independent Games Festival juries have announced their choices for Main Competition finalists.
The 17th annual awards continue the tradition of honoring the "influential and outstanding" games made by independent developers. This year's jury members were selected for their specialization in distinct disciplines, including visual art and narrative design, and included industry figures such as Anthony Burch, the co-founder and co-writer of the Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin' web series as well as Christine Love, the creator of Analogue: A Hate Story among others. The awards will be handed out at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco in March. Last year's winners included Papers, Please, Device 6 and Risk of Rain.
The full list of categories, nominees and honorable mentions appears below.
Excellence In Visual Art
- Donut County by Ben Esposito
- Lumino City by State of Play Games
- Else Heart.Break() by Niklas Akerblad, Erik Svedang, et al.
- Memory of a Broken Dimension by XRA
- Metamorphabet by Patrick Smith
- Oquonie by XXIIVV and Kokorobot
Honorable mentions went to Crawl by Powerhoof, Future Unfolding by Spaces of Play, Hyper Light Drifter by Heart Machine, Mini Metro by Dinosaur Polo Club, The Sailor's Dream by Simogo and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter by The Astronauts.
Excellence In Narrative
- 80 Days by Inkle Studios
- Coming out Simulator 2014 by Nicky Case
- Ice-Bound: A novel of Reconfiguration by Down to the Wire
- Pry by Tender Claws
- This War of Mine by 11 Bit Studios
- Three Fourths Home by [Bracket]Games
Honorable mentions went to Curtain by Llaura and Dreamfeeel, Never Alone (Kisimia Ingichuna) by Upper One Games and E-Line Media, Outer Wilds by Team Outer Wilds, The Fall by Over the Moon, The Sailer's Dream by Simogo, and The Talos Principle by Croteam.
Excellence In Design
- 80 Days by Inkle Studios
- Framed by Loveshack
- Invisible Inc. by Klei Entertainment
- Killer Queen by Joshua DeBonis & Nikita Mikros
- Outer Wilds by Team Outer Wilds
- The Talos Principle by Croteam
Honorable mentions went to Desert Golfing by Captain Games, Dungeon of the Endless by Amplitude Studios, Endless Legend by Amplitude Studios, Helix by Michael Brough, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes by Steel Crate Games, and Mini Metro by Dinosaur Polo Club.
Excellence In Audio
Honorable mentions went to Deep Under the Sky by Rich Edwards and Colin Northway, Fotonica by Santa Ragione, Goat Simulator by Coffee Stain Studios, Hotline Miami 2 by Dennaton, Nuclear Throne by Vlambeer and Smash Hit by Mediocre.
Recognizing abstract, short-form and unconventional game developments.
- Become A Great Artist In Just 10 Seconds by Michael Brough and Andi McClure
- Bounden by Game Oven
- Desert Golfing by Captain Games
- Elegy For A Dead World by Dejobaan Games & Popcannibal
- How Do You Do It? by Nina Freeman, Emmett Butler, Jonathan Kittaka and Deckman Coss
- Plug & Play by Mario von Rickenbach and Michael Frei / Etter Studio
- Rooftop Cop by Stephen Lawrence Clark
- Tetrageddon Games by Nathalie Lawhead
Honorable mentions went to Curtain by Llaura and Dreamfeeel, Ice-Bound: A Novel of Reconfiguration by Down to the Wire, International Jetpack Conference by Rob Dubbin and Allison Parrish, Outer Wilds by Team Outer Wilds, Phonopath by Kevin Regamery, and Push Me Pull You by House House.
Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Honorable mentions went to Donut County by Ben Esposito, Endless Legend by Amplitude Studios, Killer Queen by Joshua DeBonis & Nikita Mikros, Shovel Knight by Yacht Club Games, The Sailor's Dream by Simogo Games and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter by The Astronauts.
The finalists above will be playable at the IGF Pavilion at GDC 2015, where Polygon will be in attendance to bring you our impressions, interviews with developers and news of the winners as they are announced.