The IGF awards are often referred to as the Sundance Festival of the video game industry, and offer both global exposure and over $50,000 in cash prizes to each year’s winners. Previous breakout IGF award-winners include titles such as Braid, Audiosurf, Castle Crashers, and World Of Goo, and this year’s awards saw 226 Main Competition entries from all over the world – and over 450 entries in total
Other IGF award recipients for 2009 include Amanita Design’s evocative adventure game Machinarium, which took the Excellence in Visual Art award, and KranX Productions’ Musaic Box, which won the Excellence in Design award thanks to its cunning combination of music game and block puzzler.
The first ever Innovation (Nuovo) Award, honoring a title that advances the art of gaming, went to Jason Rohrer’s two-player collaborative title Between, while Digital Eel’s BrainPipe received the award for Excellence in Audio and Data Realms’ Cortex Command was recognized for Technical Excellence, also picking up the Audience Award, after receiving the largest share of thousands of public votes cast at IGF.com in recent weeks.
Finally, the award for the Best Student Game went to DigiPen Institute of Technology’s paint-splattering action title Tag: The Power of Paint, and download sponsor Direct2Drive’s $10,000 D2D Vision Award was won by Hemisphere Games’ Osmos.
The IGF judges are made up of over 50 industry game creators and journalists, including the makers of previous IGF honorees World Of Goo, Braid, Aquaria and N+; industry veterans from studios including Maxis and SuperVillain Studios; and noted writers from Wired, Kotaku, Newsweek, Joystiq and MTV.
“Yet again, we’ve been blown away by the quality and diversity of entries in this year’s Independent Games Festival”, said Simon Carless, IGF chairman. “Every year, indie games seem to get more and more vital, and we’re pleased to be able to help honor the very best.”
The IGF awarded the following games in each category of the main competition — each received a cash prize of $2,500 as well as sponsor-related prizes, apart from the Grand Prize of $20,000:
- Seumas McNally Grand Prize: Blueberry Garden, by Erik Svedang
- Innovation (Nuovo) Award: Between, by Jason Rohrer
- Excellence in Visual Art: Machinarium, by Amanita Design
- Excellence in Audio: BrainPipe, by Digital Eel
- Technical Excellence: Cortex Command, by Data Realms
- Excellence in Design: Musaic Box, by KranX Productions
- Best Student Game: Tag: The Power of Paint, by DigiPen Institute of Technology
- Audience Award: Cortex Command, by Data Realms
- D2D Vision Award: Osmos, by Hemisphere Games
The recipients of the 9th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards are:
- Game of the Year: Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks)
- Best Game Design: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
- Best Writing: Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks)
- Best Technology: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
- Best Visual Arts: Prince of Persia (Ubisoft Montreal)
- Best Debut Game: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
- Best Handheld Game: God Of War: Chains Of Olympus (Ready at Dawn)
- Innovation Award: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
- Best Audio: Dead Space (EA Redwood Shores)
- Best Downloadable Game: World Of Goo (2D Boy)
- Recipients for the evening's special awards were:
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Hideo Kojima
- Pioneer Award: Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy
- Ambassador Award: Tommy Tallarico