UBM Tech Game Network, organizers of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2016, is accepting submissions for the 18th annual Independent Games Festival (IGF), the longest running festival, summit, and showcase for indie games. This year sees the introduction of a new IGF Chairperson, Indie MEGABOOTH founder Kelly Wallick, stepping in for departing IGF Chairperson Brandon Boyer, who will be taking on new initiatives to service the indie games community, which he’ll be announcing in due course. The 2016 IGF will be held at GDC 2016, which takes place March 14-18 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Entries for all IGF categories will be accepted now through October 26, 2015, with finalists announced in early January 2016.
Finalists’ games will be playable at the bustling IGF Pavilion on the GDC 2016 Expo Floor from March 16-18th and will compete for over $50,000 in prizes. The awards include the Excellence in Visual Art, Audio, Design and Narrative Awards, which will have six finalists each, with the winner getting $3,000 in each category. There will also be six finalists for the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize. This year also sees the return of the Best Student Game Award (six finalists vying for a $3,000 prize), and the special Nuovo Award (eight finalists, $5,000 prize) will be offered again to honor ‘abstract, shortform, and unconventional’ games. Finally, the IGF Audience Award ($3,000 prize) will be decided by a public vote from amongst all of the competition finalists.
The Independent Games Festival has served as a springboard for several games that have gone on to become critical and cultural hits. Previous IGF prize winners from the past 17 years include Papers, Please, Spelunky, Minecraft, Limbo, World of Goo, Braid, Castle Crashers, Everyday Shooter and many more of the game industry’s breakthrough independent titles.
Kelly Wallick is the founder of Indie MEGABOOTH, which is a collection of independent game developers who showcase their titles together at industry events. Like IGF itself, the Indie MEGABOOTH is a means for indies to pool their resources together to showcase their work to the players and press at various industry events and conferences (including GDC). As a long-time advocate, organizer, and leader in the independent games space, her role as IGF Chairperson will see her overseeing the playable IGF titles on the expo floor and the judging process for the IGF Awards, among many other responsibilities. Kelly will continue working with Indie MEGABOOTH while taking on the new role at IGF.
Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 16th, 2016, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with the IGF Pavilion open from March 16-18th, and the sister Independent Games Summit event taking place on March 14th and 15th.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to continue Brandon’s position as chairperson for the IGF. When I first started the Indie MEGABOOTH more than four years ago, I couldn’t imagine all the incredible opportunities it would provide me,” said IGF Chairperson Kelly Wallick, “With hundreds of industry professionals reviewing and discussing these entries, it allows the highest in peer recognition for games and developers of all styles and genres. It’s more important than ever to provide consistently high standards of work, promote positive role models, and reward innovation and forward thinking. I’m incredibly excited to share my ideas and values with my upcoming work at IGF!”
Submissions to the competition are now open to all independent game developers; important dates for IGF 2016 are as follows:
- July 31, 2015 – Submissions are Open
- October 26, 2015 – Submission Deadline
- Early January, 2016 – IGF Finalists Announced
- March 14 – March 18, 2016 – Game Developers Conference 2016
- March 14 – March 15, 2016 – Independent Games Summit @ GDC 2016
- March 16 – March 18, 2016 – IGF Pavilion @ GDC 2016
- March 16, 2016 – IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners announced!)