IGF 2012 Reveals Design, Technical Excellence, Nuovo Jury Panels
Organizers of the 2012 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the first discipline-specific jury panels that will determine the finalists and winner of its various awards.
The jury announcements for this year are beginning with the industry professionals, independent game notables and former IGF award winners that make up its Design award, Technical Excellence award, and Nuovo award juries.
The Excellence in Design Award
The Excellence in Design award is 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, Pocketwatch Games' abstracted multiplayer heist game Monaco and QCF's rogue-like puzzler Desktop Dungeons.
The jury consists of the following:
- George Fan (PopCap game designer & creator of Plants vs. Zombies)
- Steve Gaynor (writer & designer on games including BioShock 2, Minerva's Den, and BioShock Infinite)
- Kyle Gray (co-founder of Experimental Gameplay Project, Tomorrow Corporation, creator of Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure)
- Ricky Haggett (co-founder of Hohokum creators Honeyslug)
- Robin Hunicke (designer at Journey creators thatgamecompany)
- Frank Lantz (creative director and co-founder of Area/Code)
- Edmund McMillen (creator of games including Super Meat Boy & The Binding of Isaac)
- Alex Neuse (co-founder & designer at Bit.Trip creators Gaijin Games)
- Andy Schatz (creator of Monaco)
- Loren Schmidt (creator of Star Guard)
The Technical Excellence Award
The Technical Excellence award is a category which seeks to highlight the innovation and quality in game engines and code.
Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Technical Excellence award have gone to entrants which featured impressive displays of the craft of games, including Dylan Fitterer's sonic-landscape racing/puzzle category finalist Audiosurf and that year's winner from 2D Boy, World of Goo, Data Realms' 2009 2D platforming-action winner Cortex Command, 2010 winner Limbo, and Frictional Games' 2011 winner Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
The jury consists of the following:
- Scott Anderson (creator of experimental game prototype Shadow Physics)
- Brett Douville (LucasArts veteran and lead programmer at Skyrim creators Bethesda)
- Ryan Doyle (former programmer on Criterion's Burnout series and Geometry Wars: Galaxies; co-founder and Technical Director of Joe Danger creator Hello Games)
- Paul Du Bois (senior programmer at Psychonauts Brutal Legend creators Double Fine)
- Tyler Glaiel (creator of IGF award winner Closure)
- Anna Kipnis (AI and game play programmer for Double Fine)
- Ichiro Lambe (founder and president of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity creators Dejobaan)
- Andy Nealen (assistant professor of computer science at Rutgers University & core team member of Hemisphere Games, creators of the IGF award-winning Osmos)
- Tommy Refenes (Team Meat engineer behind 2010 IGF Finalist Super Meat Boy)
- Dan Tabar (founder of Data Realms, creator of 2009 Technical Excellence award-winning Cortex Command)
The Nuovo Award
Now in its fourth year, the Nuovo Award -- which allows more esoteric 'art games' to compete on their own terms alongside longer-form indie titles -- has previously been awarded to Jason Rohrer's abstract multiplayer title Between, Tuning -- the perception-warping platform puzzler from Swedish indie Cactus, and Messhof's low-res tug-of-war battler Nidhogg.
This year's Nuovo Award jury has been selected to represent a diverse body of developers (both independent and mainstream), academics, art world notables, and -- in general -- some of our industry's top thinkers on the future of the videogame medium.
The Nuovo Award jury consists of the following:
- Ian Bogost (Georgia Institute of Technology professor and Director of the digital media graduate program, founding partner of Persuasive Games, and creator of 2010 Nuovo finalist A Slow Year)
- Tracy Fullerton (professor & director of the Game Innovation Lab at the USC School of Cinematic Arts)
- Rod Humble (CEO of Second Life creator Linden Lab, and experimental game creator behind The Marriage and Stars Over Half Moon Bay)
- Jesper Juul (author of the MIT Press book 'A Casual Revolution', visiting professor at NYU Game Center)
- Heather Kelley (founder of interaction design studio Perfect Plum, co-founder of Kokoromi)
- Paolo Pedercini (game developer at Molleindustria [Phone Story, Every Day The Same Dream], artist and educator at the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University)
- Jason Rohrer (independent developer and creator of Inside a Star-filled Sky, Sleep Is Death, Passage and 2009 Nuovo winner Between)
- Michael Samyn (co-founder of Tale of Tales, the studio behind The Endless Forest, The Path, Fatale and 2009 Nuovo finalist The Graveyard)
- Eddo Stern (Los Angeles-based artist and game designer behind exhibits like Waco Resurrection, Tekken Torture Tournament and Darkgame, and Director of the UCLA Game Lab.)
- Jeroen D Stout (co-founder of Stout Games, the studio behind IGF 2011 Nuovo nominee Dinner Date)
- Eric Zimmerman (formerly co-founder of independent studio and Diner Dash creator Gamelab, now NYU Game Center educator and co-author of notable game book 'Rules Of Play'.)
All finalists will be announced -- along with a jury statement detailing the thought process behind selecting its lineup -- in early January 2012. All finalists will be playable at the IGF Pavilion on the show floor during Game Developers Conference 2012, with the winner announced on the evening of March 7, 2012, at the IGF Awards.