Independent Games Festival Press Coverage

Over the history of the Independent Games Festival, there's been a great deal of media coverage of the festival itself, including interviews with the creators, impressions of the games, and blogs and stories on the IGF Awards themselves.

We've compiled some of the notable press mentions of the IGF here - please contact us if you have notable examples that we haven't yet listed.

2011 Independent Games Festival

2011 Independent Games AwardsIndieGamesChannel: The site provides a multi-faceted overview of the 2011 IGF, with preview interviews with Spy Party, Nidhogg,  Bohm, and Hazard: The Journey of Life creators; reviews of Super Crate Box and Desktop Dungeons; and an interview with the IGF Student Showcase nominated Toys creator.

Kotaku: Kotaku posted a special story on the IGF Nuovo Award, highlighting their unusual, unique, and innovative themes and gameplay mechanics. Kotaku reflects,One is a zen-like game about creating a tree. One is a beautiful, abstract fencing game. Another sees its players fighting physically to win. In another of 2011's Independent Game Festival Nuovo Award nominees, you play as a dictator's cat.”

GameSpot: In case you couldn't make the awards ceremony, GameSpot has a video of the 2011 IGF Awards. For a narrated and comprehensive tour through GDC and some of the IGF nominees, check out a special GDC/IGF episode of Bytejacker, hosted by 2011 IGF Awards host Anthony Carboni. GameZombie TV caught several 2011 IGF winners right after they won their prizes, including the minds behind BIT.TRIP RUNNER, Nidhogg, Helsing’s Fire, Fract, and the runaway award winner Minecraft, for a collection of impromptu IGF winner video interviews.

MSNBC: IGF judge Winda Benedetti takes a look at the IGF, as well as several 2011 Nuovo nominees, in her MSNBC article Festival Celebrates Experimental and Unconventional Games.

Joystiq: For a minute-by-minute breakdown of the IGF (as well as GDCA) awards, Joystiq has what you’re looking for. For your convenience and easy reference, Gamasutra provides a handy round-up of the 2011 IGF winners.

MTV Multiplayer: The MTV Multiplayer blog gives a call-out to the IGF, highlighting the list of Best Student Game winners.

2010 Independent Games Festival

2010 Independent Games AwardsBoing Boing: For those that need a guided tour through the 2010 IGF, the guys at Boing Boing created a video-populated and narrated overview of the finalists. The Boing Boing crew comments that “[the IGF] finalist selection has brought another round of some of the most innovative and finely crafted games due for release in months.”  The site extensively interviewed creators with 2010 IGF finalists, covering notable games including Super Meat Boy, Monaco, and Shank.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Over on, the IGF Factor 2010 includes a bevy of personal interviews with the IGF game development teams, replete with game footage.

GameSpot:  GameSpot had a chat with Hello Games, the studio behind the IGF stunt racer Joe Danger, up for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Technical Excellence Award, giving a behind the look take on what ‘guerilla tactics’ it takes to survive as an indie studio, though taken with a grain of salt:  “…just because a studio is indie doesn't mean established development techniques should be tossed out the window.” On, Ashley King gives a pre-award review of the 2010 IGF’s finalists, noting, ‘This year’s finalists are true contenders, with each of the five bringing something different to the table in terms of gameplay, design, and graphics. In fact, I would venture to go so far as saying this year’s competition will be one of the toughest to decide, and I commend the judges for their efforts. It will be a hard decision indeed.’ On his Gamasutra blog, Andy Schatz has posted the story of how his Seumas McNally Grand Prize- and Excellence in Design -nominated game Monaco has come to be. His extreme shortened version? “In a week it was fun. In two it was REALLY fun. In 4 it was polished. In 6 it was my IGF entry. In 12 weeks it was nominated for the Grand Prize and Excellence in Design.”

Tap-repeatedly: For a personal take on several IGF entrants, including A Slow Year, Limbo, Trauma, and Today I Die, Tap Repeatedly has posted a great opinion piece, with videos included. Of the IGF it’s noted, “..there is no denying that the standard of work is improving year upon year.”

Big Download: The Big Download guys offer their thoughts on Monaco, AAAAAA!, Star Guard, Miegakure, and Cogs, giving a unique take on what qualifies an IGF finalist.

2009 Independent Games Festival

BBC: The BBC said the 2009 IGF Awards showcased the "future" of video games. The publication quoted Flashbang Studios and IGF's Steve Swink: "The world is catching on. Game journalists, industry and yes players are beginning to appreciate indie games."

GameSpot: In case you couldn't make the awards ceremony, GameSpot has a video of the 2009 IGF Awards.

IGN: IGN PC covered the winners of the 11th annual IGF Awards, and also offered a series of hands-on reports on the honorees. "These are like the art house films of the game industry, developed on shoestring budgets but crafted with love and personality."

The Onion A.V. Club: A.V. Club's John Teti gives a fine rundown of IGF 2009's winners, in which he offered hands-on impressions of the IGF lineup: "The festival put forth a fantastic field this year," he reckons.

Offworld: Boing Boing's Offworld blog ran an extensive review of the IGF 2009 nominations, complete with videos. The site said of the eventual IGF top prize winner, Blueberry Garden, "[Erik] Svedang has said the games that most inspired Blueberry include: Shadow of the Colossus, Starcraft, Go, Worms and Super Mario Bros 3, and there is almost no conceivable way to wrap my head around that combination."

CO-OP: Area 5's CO-OP, from the creators of the 1UP Show, paid tribute to indie games and IGF 2009 winners: "It's no secret that we think the Independent Games Festival is the most exciting part of the Game Developers Conference."

GameTunnel: The site interviewed creators of notable IGF 2009 games Brainpipe, Dyson, Cortex Command and Osmos. Rudolf Kremers, co-creator of Dyson offered the following insight about his game: "No, it has nothing to do with the vacuum."

Mega64: For the IGF ceremony, Mega64 created two custom videos. Check them out here and here.

Gamasutra: In a Gamasutra member blog, Davide Coppola described what he called the "Top 10 Weirdest IGF 2009 Games." We won't give away his number one, but Forumwarz ranked fourth: "Forumwarz is a role-playing game that takes place on the Internet. In fact, think of Forumwarz as the Internet game form."

TIGSource: Over on TIGSource, Alex May, co-creator of Seumas McNally grand prize nominee Dyson, offered his opinion on the indie scene. "...If you look around on indie game sites, youíll see people (developers and consumers alike) complaining that (for example) 'all indie games are crap' or 'all indie games are unrefined' or 'all indie games are arty nonsense.' All this proves, apart from that people are stupid (and we knew that already), is that indie games are diverse, which makes sense because the only creative barriers around an independent game are that there are none." posted a series of IGF 2009 interviews in three different parts. One was an interview with Florian Faller and Adrian Stutz, co-creators of Feist: "We believe that indies are always an important innovative force in all creative industries. They are able to work on smaller projects, take greater risks and therefore innovate more than big studios are able to."

Also check out interviews with Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn, creators of The Graveyard, and Hemisphere's Eddy Boxerman, creator of Osmos.

GameSetWatch: On GameSetWatch, Jason Rohrer talks about his IGF 2009 entrant Between: "The beauty of deep two-player games comes from the back-and-forth question and counter-question of 'here's my move, now how are you going to respond?' I've heard it described as two players making an endless series of puzzles for each other to solve." Japanese site 4Gamer covered the IGF winners. We're not too sure what they had to say, but if you read Japanese, have at it.

2008 Independent Games Festival
- results overview, winners.

1UP: After filming multiple video interviews in and around the IGF, a compilation article brought them all together in one feature: "The Independent Games Festival comes but once a year, and I look forward to it more than Christmas. After countless hours spent playing free, independent, and experimental games over the last 12 months, the opportunity to meet and talk with the bizarre assemblage of individuals responsible for them is always an exciting prospect."

MTV News: Stephen Totilo discusses his experiences judging the IGF: ". This new opportunity would allow me to help select the best up-and-coming computer games for this year's Independent Games Festival, to be held February 18-22 in San Francisco. It was a good offer. The IGF contest is the top American competition for independent computer games and has honored many games I've enjoyed, including "Braid," "Narbacular Drop" and "Everyday Shooter.""

Wired News: Coverage of three IGF indies to watch, with pictures and a videocast at the IGF Pavilion, talking to IGF finalists like the creators of Synaesthete, Fez and Crayon Physics Deluxe: "This year's winners, some of whom stayed in $25-a-night youth hostels for their trip to San Francisco, left the show with inch-high stacks of business cards from prospective sugar daddies." Further indie coverage around GDC 2008 was in a separate piece.

G4: As part of the X-Play TV show also shown on the U.S. cable channel the week before GDC, an IGF finalist preview aired, with video previews of a number of the Independent Games Festival finalists for the 2008 awards - in particular, the Seumas McNally Grand Prize finalists were highlighted.

Mega64: The Internet video pranksters provided the IGF-specific video interstitials for the 2008 IGF Awards, and have published them on their website - including the special IGF intro, featuring The Behemoth's Dan Paladin in an unexpected cameo, as well as a look at what independent games means - apparently some pretension involved - and a great 'how-to' guide for prospective IGF award winners.

Mahalo: Veronica Belmont video interviewed a number of IGF finalists at the IGF Pavilion, including the creators of The Misadventures Of P.B. Winterbottom, Iron Dukes, Fez, and World Of Goo.

Joystiq: Further liveblogging coverage of the IGF Awards: "[Petri Purho] pulls out the monocle. How dirty must that be. He has an acceptance speech he wrote on crayon, and he shows the paper to the audience: "F*ck Yeah." Great speech!" Once again, Kotaku also provided liveblogging of the ceremony itself - bonus pictures available at GameSetWatch.

Eurogamer: Kieron Gillen's preview article of the finalists: "Having played most of the Seumas McNally Grand Finalists for the IGF next month, I really don't envy the judges. Entirely smitten by what I played of World of Goo, I presumed it was a shoe-in. Then Walker let me have a crack of the code of Crayon Physics Deluxe... finally, with Jim acting as a facilitator, I found myself introducing Audiosurf to my MP3 library. They may be getting married."

PC World: Darren Gladstone checks out the best IGF game in a special PC World videocast, with video filmed at the IGF Pavilion during Game Developers conference 2008.

GameSpy: Dave 'Fargo' Kosak again picks his favorites of the IGF Finalists: 'This is no-holds-barred game design where anything goes. As a result, some of the most original ideas in gaming come from this small group of passionate designers and artists. It's great to see them all in one place!'

Bit-Tech: A preview of the finalists: "IGF is a yearly highlight of the gaming calendar for many, including myself. I donít mind admitting that Iím utterly addicted to indie games and love the experimental and innovative twist which they often follow."

Gamasutra: A host of interviews with both entrants and finalists, including the developers behind Global Conflicts: Palestine, Fret Nice, Schizoid, Ookibloks, Plant Tycoon, Crayon Physics Deluxe, Noitu Love 2, Io, Gish 2, Kingdom Elemental Tactics, Heaven2Ocean, Axiom Overdrive, Audiosurf, Fez, World Of Goo, Synaesthete, The Path, Cinnamon Beats,, Goo!, Battleships Forever, Snapshot Adventures, Iron Dukes, and Clean Asia!. The site interviewed the IGF 2008 finalists in five batches, talking to the developers behind Audiosurf, Battleships Forever, Clean Asia!, Noitu Love 2: Devolution, The Path, Snapshot Adventures: Secret of Bird Island, Tri-Achnid, Goo!, Fret Nice, and Cinnamon Beats , Crayon Physics Deluxe, Hammerfall, Iron Dukes, OokiBloks, World of Goo, Synaesthete, Fez,, Axiom: Overdrive, and Gumboy Tournament.

2007 Independent Games Festival
- results overview, winners.

Joystiq: The popular weblog did a liveblog of IGF and GDCA awards coverage, including awards commentary as they were handed out: "Mark Morris and Thomas Arundel from Introversion, last year's Seumas McNally award, take the stage to offer advice, wearing jackets and ties with Darwinia man sewed in" - as similarly did game weblog Kotaku.

San Jose Mercury News: Dean Takahashi talks to Everyday Shooter's Jon Mak: "Mak won three awards tonight. He learned about computers by repairing them in his fatherís shop while growing up. Now all of his work is paying off with ďEveryday Shooter,Ē a music-based shooter game that his agent ó yes, agent, Warren Currell of Sherpa Games ó says is a combo of Rez-meets-Lumines-meets-Geometry Wars." A later Game Informer article reveals Sony's John Hight picked up the game for PlayStation Network after seeing it in the IGF Pavilion.

NPR: Heather Chaplin filed a report for NPR's All Things Considered discussing the IGF and Independent Games Summit, with the intro explaining: "The independent game developers tackle subjects you'd expect to find in serious cinema: a marriage in crisis, democracy, a rabbi questioning his faith. Commentator Heather Chaplin is at the conference, and she says that the development of an independent games movement is a sign that the industry might be growing up."

Australian Center for the Moving Image: ACMI ran a 'Best of the Independent Games Festival 2007' exhibit until February 2008, highlighting winners and nominees from IGF 2007: "A sensational selection of winners and nominees from the 'Sundance' festival for games" - Australian newspaper The Age interviewed ACMI's Helen Stuckey on the exhibition, and GameSetWatch published scans of the brochure and postcards.

IGN: The site had detailed write-up of the IGF winners, complete with some extra commentary on each game, such as Samorost 2: "every bit as visually stunning as its predecessor, and just as minimalist in its design and mouse-based control." The piece concludes: "A quick glance at a few of the above titles (which were selected from 275 entries overall) shows just how vital the indie gaming scene is right now."

NewGrounds: Tom Fulp's pictorial write-up of the Independent Games Festival returns for 2007, since Castle Crashers was a finalist: "The Game Developers Conference is a great place for people in the game industry to get together, share knowledge and get drunk. The Independent Games Festival is an especially great place for independent developers to meet like minded folks, share knowledge and get drunk. Not to mention there are PRIZES!" The game development-specific website interviewed IGF 2007 finalists, including detailed chats with Amanita Design (Samarost 2), Bit Blot (Aquaria), Cryptic Sea (Blast Miner), DigiPen (Toblo), EvStream (Armada Online), Grubby Games (FizzBall), Nabi Software (Toribash), Naked Sky (RoboBlitz), NinjaBee (Band Of Bugs), Peter Stock (Armadillo Run), Pixeljam (Gamma Bros), Queasy Games (Everyday Shooter), Skinflake (Racing Pitch), Slitherine Software (Arcane Legions), Telltale Games (Bone: The Great Cow Race), The Behemoth (Castle Crashers), Three Rings (Bang! Howdy).

Gamasutra: The site quizzed Jonathan Mak on Everyday Shooter, which is, fascinatingly, something " a compilation album, made up of different shooters inspired by anything from games like Warning Forever and Every Extend to the film Porco Rosso". Other finalist interviews included Darkness Over Daggerford, Toblo, Band Of Bugs, Spawns Of Deflebub, Armada Online, Blast Miner, Toribash, Racing Pitch, Bubble Islands, Fizzball, Bang Howdy, Arcane Legions, Samorost 2, Roboblitz,

Gamasutra: Earlier interviews with creators of IGF entrants (and in some cases subsequent finalists) Gibbage, Gamma Bros, Prime Time: Maths Adventure, Eets, Plasma Pong, SpaceStationSim, Minions Of Mirth, Sim Tractor, Kudos, Aquaria, Golf?, Virtual Villagers, New Star Soccer 3, Armadillo Run, Motorama, Venture Arctic, Aveyond, Gumboy Crazy Adventures, and Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble!.

2006 Independent Games Festival
- results overview, winners.

UK Guardian: Thomas Arundel of IGF Grand Prize winners Introversion recounts his winning experience at the IGF on Wednesday night, and he rather cutely understates: "I got a touch carried away, and vocalized a view on publishers that touched a chord with the audience", continuing: "For 60 seconds (we timed it on the video afterwards :) the hall erupted in applause and I genuinely experienced the best moment of my life."

Australian Center for the Moving Image: ACMI ran a 'Best of the Independent Games Festival 2006' exhibit from August until November 2006, highlighting winners Darwinia, Cloud, Rumble Box, Weird Worlds, and many more.

NewGrounds: Tom Fulp presents a pictorial diary of his IGF 2006 experiences: "In 2005, we won some awards for Alien Hominid at the Independent Games Festival in San Francisco. This year, Dan Paladin and I were nominated [and subsequently won] in the "Best Web Game" category for Dad 'n Me, a playground brawler we had made to let off steam after the long AH console development cycle."

Introversion Software: Recap of the awards from the perspective of Darwinia's developers: "It was one of the best nights of our lives. All four of the Directors of Introversion were present at the IGF awards ceremony - Chris Delay, Mark Morris, Thomas Arundel, and John Knottenbelt. We arrived at the event dressed in Tuxedos and walked straight past the massive queue and in through the vip entrance. Stuff like this doesn't happen to Introversion very often, so we're loving every minute of it."

GameSpy: Dave 'Fargo' Kosak put up a mammoth 11-page IGF preview, including hands-on impressions of pretty much all of the 2006 IGF finalists. Kosak is particularly enamored of Innovation in Design nominee Strange Attractors, for which he notes: "Playing with gravity is nothing new in games (did you ever play the classic game SpaceWar with the sun in the center of the map?), but using gravity as the sole control mechanism -- and being able to turn it on and off at will -- leads to a whole new type of gameplay.".

Penny Arcade: The famed web-comic duo give a ringing endorsement of the Independent Games Festival finalists and resulting demos: "The finalists in the 2006 Independent Games Festival have been announced. This almost always means good times, as many of these things have either free demos or are simply free altogether. You have no doubt already heard of Darwinia, either here on the site or as a part of their recent Steam announcement, but I'd imagine it's the exception. Strange fighting games where the object is to pile bodies high enough to escape is only one of the new ideas I saw over there."

Eurogamer: Kieron Gillen gives detailed impressions of the Grand Prize finalists. Gillen particularly digs Weird Worlds: Return To Infinite Space, of which he comments: "It's simple, compulsive and propulsive. It's a strategy game which you can approach like Robotron or Defender. In that you get in, try for a high-score, and whether you succeed or fail you leave happy", and also has kind words for a number of the other indie finalists, including multi-nominee Darwinia, which he's been a notable champion of. Later on, he also contributed a review of IGF Grand Prize finalist Weird Worlds.

GameDev: Main Competition interviews with Ankama (Dofus), Flashbang Studios (Glow Worm), Insert Coin (Rumble Box), Oddlabs (Tribal Trouble), Rabidlab (Dodge That Anvil!), 21-6 Productions (TubeTwist), Atomic Elbow (CrazyBall), Grubby Games (Professor Fizzwizzle), Ominous Development (Strange Attractors), and Pocketwatch Games (Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa).

Gamasutra: IGF finalist interviews with Dodge That Anvil's Jack Grandchamp, The Witch's Yarn's Keith Nemitz, Dofus' Thomas Bahon, and Putt Nutz' Suzanne Brooks, as well as IGF Student Showcase finalists such as Cloud's Cloud Team, Goliath's Level 11 Games, Ocular Ink's Pistachio Productions, and Ballistic's Ballistic Team, plus Professor Fizzwizzle's Ryan Clark, Dad 'N Me's Dan Paladin, Wildlife Tycoon's Andy Schatz, Rumble Box's Joe Bourrie & Patrick Hackett, and Tube Twist's Justin Mette.

2005 Independent Games Festival
- results overview, winners.

NewGrounds: Tom Fulp of The Behemoth put up a photo diary of his experiences at the Independent Games Festival in 2005: "In 2002, Dan Paladin and I made a Flash game called Alien Hominid. In 2003, we teamed up with John Baez and Brandon LaCava to independently develop a console version. It was released in November of 2004 and we are all very proud."

GameSpy: Joel Durham wrote previews for three of the Web/Downloadable game finalists as part of a column: "A major part of the Game Developer's Conference, the IGF celebrates and rewards the best games available that were developed without the backing of a major development house or publisher."

Orange County Register: Profile of local entrant Reflexive Entertainment: ""The nice thing is when we launch a game, we were just working on it two days before. In the download space, you get a response right away," said Simon Hallam, the purple-haired producer and lead programmer of Wik, which stars a bug-eyed lizard creature with an extremely long, sticky tongue (to eat bugs and swing from trees, of course). Wik is up for an award tonight at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco."

Wired: Daniel Terdiman examines the state of indie with IGF and GDC award attendees: "...audience cheers for most of the independent winners were far heartier than for those from big-name outfits. There's little doubt that part of that enthusiasm comes from a shared understanding of what it is like to develop games without the support of a rich corporate parent." with IGF co-chair Simon Carless: "But, you know, we're really happy, and I think this year has, almost certainly, the best quality entries of any year so far. Games like Gish and Wik and Alien Hominid are really, really good games." The site also has a section including 2005 and pre-2005 finalist interviews.

Previous Years - see the Winners/Finalists archive sidebar.

Note To Members Of The Media

Those eligible to register as press may receive a pass that grants access to the GDC for the purpose of covering the Independent Games Festival.

Please note that you must be working editorial press covering the interactive entertainment industry. Sales, advertising, public relations and marketing personnel are not eligible to register as press.

All registered press must show a picture I.D. and supply at least two of the following credentials:

  • A business card or a copy of a masthead that includes name, editorial title (staff writer, editor, etc.) and the publication's logo.
  • Two bylined articles pertaining to game development and/or the interactive entertainment business written by the journalist in the last six months OR a game industry publication's masthead with journalist's name as a staff writer.
  • A letter from the journalist's editor, on the media outlet's stationery, stating that they are assigned to cover the IGF.

Individuals who do not meet the above criteria will need to register as a paid conference attendee to gain admittance to GDC -- no exceptions.

For further information, please contact:

Mellisa Andrade
Marketing Coordinator
Think Services Game Group




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