2011 Independent Games Festival Announces Excellence in Design Jury
Organizers of the 2011 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the jury panel that will determine the finalists and winner of its Excellence in Design award, a category which seeks to highlight the innovation and quality of the underlying blueprint of each entered game -- component parts like its mechanic design, level design, and difficulty balancing.
Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Excellence in Design Award have included 2D Boy's cartoon construction puzzler World of Goo, KranX's music construction puzzler Musaic Box, and Pocketwatch Games' abstracted multiplayer heist game Monaco.
This year, the jury will receive recommendations from the wider body of over 150 IGF Main Competition judges (itself including notable former IGF winners, finalists and indie game notables including Justin Smith, Ben Ruiz, Eric Zimmerman and Wiley Wiggins) as they consider the merits of each of the five finalists and eventual award winner.
The jury consists of the following:
- Dylan Cuthbert (co-founder and designer at Q-Games, creators of the PixelJunk series of games.)
- George Fan (designer of games including Plants Vs. Zombies and the IGF award winning Insaniquarium.)
- Kyle Gray (designer of Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure, co-founder Tomorrow Corporation and Experimental Gameplay Project.)
- Robin Hunicke (designer and producer on games including MySims & Boom Blox, currently working on Journey at thatgamecompany.)
- Gary Penn (creative head at Denki, designer on games including Grand Theft Auto, Crackdown, Quarrel & Denki Blocks.)
- Kris Piotrowski (co-founder & creative director at Capy, creators of games including Critter Crunch, Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes.)
- Petri Purho (designer of the IGF award winning Crayon Physics Deluxe.)
- Margaret Robertson (former editor of Edge Magazine and consultant, now designer and development director at Hide&Seek)
- Adam Saltsman (co-founder of Semi Secret Software, creators of Wurdle, Gravity Hook HD & Canabalt.)
- Andy Schatz (founder of Pocketwatch Games, creators of the IGF nominated Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa and the IGF award winning Monaco.)
- Mare Sheppard (co-founder of Metanet Software, creators of N.)
- Randy Smith (co-owner and designer at Tiger Style, creators of Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, former designer on the Thief series.)
The announcement is the sixth in a series revealing specific juries for each IGF Award, following the debut of the Nuovo Award jury, the Excellence in Audio jury, the Technical Excellence jury, the Visual Art jury, and, most recently, the first newly integrated Mobile Game jury, made up of independent mobile game designers like Adam Saltsman, Eddy Boxerman, Phil Hassey and Olivier Lejade.
All five finalists will be announced -- along with a jury statement detailing the thought process behind selecting its lineup -- on January 3rd, 2011. All finalists will be playable at the IGF Pavilion on the show floor during Game Developers Conference 2011, with the winner announced on the evening of March 2, 2011, at the IGF Awards, during the Game Developers Conference 2011.