GISH and WIK AND THE FABLE SOULS were the grand prizewinners at the 7th Annual Independent Games Festival, which has come to be known as the Sundance Festival of the videogame world. GISH won in the Open category while WIK captured the Web/Downloadable grandprize, netting each of the game development teams $15,000, at a ceremony March 10, 2005, at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco,
The awards ceremony is more casual, eventful and playful, compared to most industry awards and recognizes the independent game developers, who usually work with shoestring budgets. With the growing community of independent game developers emerging over the past decade, the IGF has taken center stage at recognizing these creators.
One of the GISH developers from Chronic Logic used his acceptance to propose marriage to his girlfriend in the audience. The next winner made sure to thank his wife for not leaving him during the ordeal of creating the game.
The IGF is an outlet for independent developers daring to take creative risks and push innovative thoughts, explained Simon Carless, chairman, IGF. This years winners are a group of professionals who stepped out of the ordinary and ventured into a whimsical and ingenious space.
The IGF recognized the following awards in each category:
Seamus McNallyGISH by Chronic Logic (Open)WIK AND THE FABLE SOULS by Reflexive Entertainment (Web/Downloadable)
Innovation in Game DesignGISH by Chronic Logic (Open)WIK AND THE FABLE SOULS by Reflexive Entertainment (Web/Downloadable)
Innovation in AudioSTEER MADNESS by Veggie Games (Open)GLOBAL DEFENSE NETWORK by Evertt.com (Web/Downloadable)
Innovation in Visual ArtALIEN HOMINID by The Behemoth (Open)WIK AND THE FABLE OF SOULS by Reflexive Entertainment (Web/Downloadable)
Technical ExcellenceALIEN HOMINID by The Behemoth (Open)Rocketbowl by Large Animal Games (Web/Downloadable)
Audience AwardALIEN HOMINID by The Behemoth (Open)N BY METANET SOFTWARE INC. (Web/Downloadable)
The Project Goldmaster winner was Digital Builders, which will now design a game based on a Cartoon Network character for CNs website.
For the second year running, GameSpot and Download.com partnered with the Independent Games Festival (IGF) to promote the games and their creators. Finalist games for the 7th annual IGF competition are available for free download at www.gamespot.com/igf and http://games.download.com.
The IGF (www.igf.com) was established in 1998 by the CMP Game Group to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers, the way Sundance Film Festival has benefited the independent film community.
The CMP Game Group (www.cmpgame.com) includes the Game Developers Conference, GAME DEVELOPER magazine, Gamasutra.com, the Independent Games Festival, and the Game Developers Choice Awards.
CMP Media Llc. (www.cmp.com) is a leading integrated media company providing essential information and marketing services to the entire technology spectrum-the builders, sellers and users of technology worldwide. Its diverse products and services include newspapers, magazines, Internet products, research, direct marketing services, education and training, trade shows and conferences and custom publishing.