Every year at the Game Developers Conference, the Independent Games Festival is held. IGF is a competition and showcase for the growing community of independent games and as of Monday, July 30, submissions are open to developers who wish to participate, according to organizers the UBM Tech Game Network.
GDC and IGF will be held at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center from Mar. 18-22. Developers interested in participating have from now until the Oct. 1 deadline to enter their game for the chance to become a finalist in several IGF award categories. Finalists will be announced at the beginning of next year, January 2019, and will compete for over $50,000 in prizes. The best part: GDC will host a playable demo of these games at the IGF Pavilion on the show floor.
The categories and prizes for the 2019 IGF competition include:
- Seumas McNally Grand Prize ($30,000)
- Excellence in Visual Art ($3,000)
- Excellence in Audio ($3,000)
- Excellence in Design ($3,000)
- Excellence in Narrative ($3,000)
- Nuovo Award ($3,000)
- Best Student Game ($3,000)
- Audience Award ($3,000)
The Nuovo Award honors games that make jurors think differently about the medium. Meanwhile, the Best Student Awards recognizes student developers and the Audience Award winner is chosen by a public vote from all the competition finalists. Each category will have six finalists except for the Nuovo Award, which has eight.
Another returning special award is the alt.ctrl.GDC Award. Making its third appearance, this award honors “intriguing and inventive games using unique one-of-a-kind controllers.” The prize for this award is $3,000 and the winner will be “picked from entries into the popular on-site GDC 2019 exhibit of the same name.”
On March 20, 2019, winners will be announced and brought on stage at the IGF Awards. Developers looking to submit their games who want to know all the rules can consult the IGF website. There will also be a special waiver of the $75 submission fee for underrepresented creators who want to apply. As their festival is dedicated to indie developers, the organizers want to give more experimental works a chance to participate. The deadline for the waiver application is Sep. 14 and includes a chance to enter next year’s IGF for free.
A long list of popular indie games were IGF winners once upon a time, including games like Spelunky, Night in the Woods and Papers, Please. Last year’s finalists feature some of the most recent critically acclaimed games. With submissions open, it’s important for those looking to participate to remember the schedule below.
- Jul. 30, 2018 – Submissions are Open
- Oct. 1, 2018 – Submission Deadline
- Early Jan. 2019 – IGF Finalists Announced
- Mar. 18 – Mar. 22, 2019 – Game Developers Conference 2019
- Mar. 18 – Mar. 19, 2019 – Independent Games Summit GDC 2019
- Mar. 20 – Ma. 22, 2019 – IGF Pavilion GDC 2019
- Mar. 20, 2019 – IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners announced)