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Hyper Light Drifter, Inside and Virginia among nominees for 2017 IGF Awards

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Developer Nina Freeman will host the ceremony on March 1

hyper_light_drifter_concept_art Heart Machine

The Independent Games Festival (IGF) has announced the full slate of nominees for this year’s IGF Awards. A panel of judges reviewed more than 650 submissions, down from 750 the year before, to select 60 finalists across seven categories. The awards show will be broadcast live from the Game Developers Conference (GDC) on March 1 and be hosted by developer Nina Freeman.

This year’s finalists included the avant garde thriller Virginia and the action role-playing game Hyper Light Drifter. Playdead’s Inside also featured prominently, as it did in the recently unveiled 2016 Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) where it leads the field with six nominations.

Polygon readers will recognize the host, Freeman, for her work on the game Cibele, a game that challenged us emotionally and critically. It’s not her first time presenting at GDC, where she has discussed the work that went into Cibele and other projects. We even invited her to participate in our Super Mario Maker series. Freeman now works at Fullbright, where she’s a level designer on the upcoming Tacoma.

The full list of nominees is included below.

Best student game

  • Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month)
  • Lily, Colors of Santa Luz (Lily, Colors of Santa Luz Team)
  • Un Pas Fragile (PAF team)
  • FAR: Lone Sails (Mr. Whale's Game Service/Mixtvision)
  • Frog Climbers (TeamCrew)
  • Bamboo Heart (Sokpop Collective)

Honorable Mentions: Awkward Dimensions Redux (StevenHarmonGames), DYO (Team DYO), Code 7 — Episode 0: Allocation (Goodwolf Studio) and You Must be 18 or Older to Enter (Seemingly Pointless).

Excellence in audio

  • The Flame in the Flood (The Molasses Flood)
  • GoNNER (Art in Heart)
  • Virginia (Variable State)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • Everything (David OReilly)
  • Inside (Playdead)

Honorable Mentions: 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories), Kingdom: New Lands (Noio), Dropsy (Tendershoot, A Jolly Corpse), Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month), Sentris (Timbre Interactive) and TumbleSeed (TumbleSeed Team).

Excellence in design

  • Imbroglio (Michael Brough)
  • Ultimate Chicken Horse (Clever Endeavour Games)
  • Duskers (Misfits Attic)
  • Overcooked (Ghost Town Games)
  • Event[0] (Ocelot Society)
  • Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)

Honorable Mentions: She Remembered Caterpillars (jumpsuit entertainment), Elsinore (Golden Glitch Studios), Inside (Playdead), Antihero (Tim Conkling), Replica (Somi) and Space Pirate Trainer (I-Illusions).

Excellence in narrative

  • Ladykiller in a Bind (Love Conquers All Games)
  • 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories)
  • Virginia (Variable State)
  • Orwell (Osmotic Studios)
  • Event[0] (Ocelot Society)
  • One Night Stand (Kinmoku)

Honorable Mentions: A Normal Lost Phone (Accidental Queens), The Lion's Song (Mi'pu'mi Games), Far from Noise (George Batchelor), Inside (Playdead), Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe), Burly Men at Sea (Brain&Brain) and Sorcery! 4 (inkle/Steve Jackson).

Excellence in visual art

  • The Flame in the Flood (The Molasses Flood)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Virginia (Variable State)
  • Old Man's Journey (Broken Rules)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • She Remembered Caterpillars (jumpsuit entertainment)

Honorable Mentions: Inks (State of Play), Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall), Mu Cartographer (Titouan Millet); Future Unfolding (Spaces of Play), Sundered (Thunder Lotus Games) and Un Pas Fragile (PAF team).

Nuovo Award

  • Islands: Non-Places (Carlburton)
  • Close (Tobias Zarges and Moritz Eberl)
  • Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month)
  • Oiκοςpiel, Book I (David Kanaga)
  • Everything (David OReilly)
  • Virginia (Variable State)
  • Mu Cartographer (Titouan Millet)
  • Lieve Oma (Florian Veltman)

Honorable Mentions: Memoir En Code: Reissue (Alex Camilleri), Far from Noise (George Batchelor), Ladykiller in a Bind (Love Conquers All Games), Witchball (S.L.Clark), Project Perfect Citizen (Bad Cop Studios), Wheels of Aurelia (Santa Ragione) and Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games).

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe)
  • Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)
  • Event[0] (Ocelot Society)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • Overcooked (Ghost Town Games)

Honorable Mentions: 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories), Orwell(Osmotic Studios), Imbroglio (Michael Brough), Virginia (Variable State), Duskers (Misfits Attic) and Oiκοςpiel, Book I (David Kanaga).

Many of the IGF’s favorite games are included in Polygon’s games of the year. Our video team also discussed their personal picks for 2016’s top games. The playlist is embedded below.