The IGF is part of the 2017 Game Developers Conference, which takes place February 27th through March 3rd at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center. IGF continues to be the largest annual gathering of independent video game developers, showcasing top talent across the industry and keeping a pulse on the future of independent games. UBM established the Independent Games Festival in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers.
This year sees the brand new alt.ctrl.GDC Award given out alongside IGF winners, and entries for all the IGF categories will be accepted now through October 24, 2016, with finalists announced in early January 2017.
Finalists’ games will be playable at the IGF Pavilion located on the lively GDC 2017 Expo Floor from March 1-3, and will compete for over $50,000 in prizes. These 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. The special Nuovo Award, which now honors the game that 'makes the jurors think differently about games as a medium' will feature eight finalists with a $5,000 prize. Both the IGF Audience Award, which is decided by a public vote between all of the competition finalists, and the Best Student Game Award will reward winners with a $3,000 prize.
This year the IGF welcomes the alt.ctrl.GDC Award, an affiliated award given out during the Independent Games Festival ceremony. This award honors intriguing and inventive games that use unique one-of-a-kind controllers. The winner and finalists are selected from entries within the popular on-site GDC exhibit, which will open a call for submissions later in 2016.
Following a record-breaking year that saw over 750 entries for the 2016 IGF, featuring top prizewinners including Her Story, Mini Metro and Undertale, the IGF continues to be the largest gathering of independent video game developers that recognizes the top talent in the industry and keeps a pulse on the future of independent games. IGF has been one of the catalysts for several games that have gone on to become notable cultural hits. Previous IGF prize winners from the past 18 years include Her Story, Papers, Please, Spelunky, Minecraft, Limbo, World of Goo, Braid, Castle Crashers, Everyday Shooter and many more breakthrough independent titles.
Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The IGF Pavilion is open as part of the Game Developers Conference Expo Floor from March 1-3, and the sister Independent Games Summit event takes place on February 27th and 28th.
Submissions to the competition are now open to all independent game developers; here are the important dates you should mark on your calendar as you prepare for IGF 2017:
August 1, 2016 - Submissions are Open
October 24, 2016 - Submission Deadline
Early January, 2017 - IGF Finalists Announced
February 27 - March 3, 2017 - Game Developers Conference 2017
February 27 - February 28, 2017 - Independent Games Summit @ GDC 2017
March 1 - March 3, 2017 - IGF Pavilion @ GDC 2017
March 1, 2017 - IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners announced!)
For a complete list of information on the 2017 Independent Games Festival, including submission specifics and frequently asked questions, please visit the official Independent Games Festival website. IGF entries can be submitted here.