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2011 IGF Awards Ceremony
 
    
 

The IGF Awards take place on the evening of the third day of Game Developers Conference, and are a major celebration of the best in indie gaming, with thousands watching the award presentation before the Game Developer's Choice Awards are presented. The 2010 IGF Awards, including custom interstitials from Mega64, are available for online viewing.

The 2011 Festival Awards, open to all GDC visitors, will take place Wednesday, March 2nd, and will be hosted by:

Anthony Carboni:

Anthony Carboni is a host, writer, and producer. He's the creator of Bytejacker, a show about downloadable and indie games for Revision3. He can also be seen regularly on AppJudgment reviewing mobile apps and games. He has a ten-foot vertical leap and is impervious to bullets... and heartbreak.

    
 
2011 Independent Games Festival Juries
 
 
 
 

The Seumas McNally Grand Prize Award

Organizers of the 2011 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the jury panel that will determine the finalists and winner of its Seumas McNally Grand Prize, the top category which seeks to highlight the the top innovation, quality, impressiveness, and enjoyability of all games entered in this year's Festival.

Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Seumas McNally Grand Prize have included Kloonigames' hand-drawn puzzler Crayon Physics Deluxe, Erik Svedang's charmingly surrealist adventure Blueberry Garden, 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 Alex May, Kellee Santiago, Jarrad 'Farbs' Woods, Brandon McCartin, and Miguel Sternberg) as they consider the merits of each of the five finalists and eventual award winner.

The jury, made up of representatives from all the Festival's specific category jurists, can be found below, marked with a (GP) after their names.

 
 
 

The Excellence in Design Award

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 (GP):

Dylan was born in London, England. He began programming professionally at age 17 for Argonaut Software Ltd. (now Argonaut Games PLC). Then, via a contract between Argonaut and Nintendo, Dylan moved to Kyoto, Japan to develop a number of revolutionary 3D titles such as X for the Gameboy, and Starfox for the Super Nintendo. He also developed the un-released Starfox 2 for the Super Nintendo.

Afterwards, he began developing for Playstation by joining Sony Computer Entertainment America at their HQ in Foster City, California. During his stay in America he developed the 3D science fiction action hero title Blasto before transferring to Sony Japan and moving to Tokyo.

At Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. he jumped onto the fast-track of Playstation2 development and created the famous duck-in-a-bath technical demonstration that received worldwide attention during the Playstation 2's launch. Following hot on the heels of the technical demo, Dylan developed Piposaru 2001, a quasi-sequel to Ape Escape which was released by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. in July 2001. In August of 2001, Dylan founded Q-Games in Kyoto, Japan, developers of the PixelJunk series of games.

    
 

George Fan:

George Fan is a game designer at PopCap Games and creator of Plants vs. Zombies. Prior to that he worked at Blizzard Entertainment as an AI Programmer on Diablo III. One of his early creations, Insaniquarium, won him the 2002 IGF award for Best Game Design.

    
 

Kyle Gray (GP):

Kyle Gray is the creator of such gentlemanly products as Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure an interactive documentary about the life and trials of the average Englishman. Tomorrow Corporation shareholders should be glad to note his five years of dedicated service to leading indie-gaming mainstay Electronic Arts, despite his shameful co-founding of the profitless Experimental Gameplay Project.

    
 

Robin Hunicke (GP):

Robin Hunicke is a Game Designer and Producer of games including MySims and Boom Blox. She is currently at thatgamecompany, working on the upcoming title Journey. She's an active member of the IndieCade festival, and co-organizes the Experimental Gameplay Workshop @ GDC. In her "spare time" she's finishing a PhD in Artificial Intelligence at Northwestern University. Her first love was M.U.L.E.

    
 

Gary Penn:

An effusive games-player, writer, editor, consultant, voice actor and designer for over a quarter of a century, Gary’s been editor of such seminal magazines as Zzap!64 and The One, stimulating columnist for the likes of PC Gamer and Edge, producer for Konami and BMG, Creative Director at DMA Design and, more recently, one of the founding fathers of Scottish digital toy factory Denki. His peers formally recognised his long-standing influence in games journalism with the inaugural ‘Games Media Legend’ award in 2008.

    
 

Kris Piotrowski (GP):

Kris Piotrowski is the co-founder and Creative Director of Capy, an independent developer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada best known for Critter Crunch on PSN and Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes for the Nintendo DS. Kris is very happy that some people think those two games are pretty cool, and he also really likes that some of those people have given Capy a handful of shiny awards. Kris is currently busy working on Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, a collaboration between Capy, Craig D. Adams of Superbrothers and Jim Guthrie of Jim Guthrie, as well as the HD version of Clash of Heroes, which has online multiplayer, btw.

Kris was, at one point, the Necromunda Champion of Games Workshop, Square One, which is the largest mall in Mississauga. His favourite game of all time is X-Com and his favourite film of all time is Wild At Heart. Kris can destroy Jon Mak in a game of Ping Pong, and has done so on many occasions. He collects all articles written about Capy and shows them to his Mom.

    
 

Petri Purho (GP):

Petri Purho is the creator of the IGF Grand Prize winning game Crayon Physics Deluxe. He's also known for his monthly prototypes and for creating a game in 5 minutes on stage at the GDC.

    
 

Margaret Robertson (GP):

A lifelong gamer, Margaret's games career began at Edge magazine. In her time there, the circulation rose continuously, and as editor she took the magazine to the highest readership in its 15 year history. After leaving Edge, she worked as a consultant, fine-tuning design on AAA games for big publishers like Sony, EA and THQ as well as innovative indies. Outside the mainstream game industry, she worked with Channel 4 to establish their multiple BAFTA and Develop Award winning game portfolio.

Now as development director at Hide&Seek, she designs games and sets stragegy for a game design studio with a uniquely wide remit: making pervasive, table-top and digital games for all kinds of audiences and for partners as wide-ranging as brands, broadcasters, government departments and cultural institutions. Hide&Seek recently launched its first solo project - the Boardgame Remix Kit, which uses the component of the boardgames you have at home to make entirely new games.

Margaret serves as a juror for the BAFTAs, IndieCade and the IGF, and was part of the team behind GameCity. She is contributing editor for Wired, and is a Gamasutra columnist.

    
 

Adam Saltsman (GP):

Adam "Atomic" Saltsman made the open-source Flash game library Flixel and the controversial platformer Fathom. Adam also co-founded indie iOS developer Semi Secret Software, the self-published developer of Wurdle, Gravity Hook HD, Canabalt, and SteamBirds.

    
 

Andy Schatz (GP):

Andy Schatz has been indie since 2004 and has created the IGF nominated Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa, the critically acclaimed ecosystem sim game, Venture Arctic, and the multiple IGF award winning stealth title Monaco. Before that he was a drone in the AAA world, hating life. These days he takes his job and his cats very seriously.

    
 

Mare Sheppard (GP):

Mare Sheppard is one half of Metanet Software Inc., an indie game developer based in Toronto, and is one seventh of the board of the Hand Eye Society, a Toronto-based coalition of people and projects relating to video games. After graduating from the University of Toronto, Mare formed Metanet Software with Raigan Burns, who is similarly passionate about games, art, music, and many, many other things. Metanet incorporated in 2004, released N in 2005, brought N+ to consoles in 2008, and is now feverishly working on an update to N, two new games, 3 top-secret projects and a partridge in a pear tree.

Mare fills her days doing half of everything at Metanet, and in her spare time enjoys creating Metanet's merchandise, playing video games, chillin' with Toronto indies and doing as many other things as she can cram in. Although she writes a bunch at Metanet, Mare has never quite gotten the hang of writing in the third person.

    
 

Randy Smith (GP):

Randy Smith is the game designer and co-owner of Tiger Style, the indie studio behind the iPhone hit Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor. He is also a monthly columnist for Edge magazine where he writes about video games as an art form and seeks perspective on the path to artistic maturity. Previously, he was the project director of Thief: Deadly Shadows, a designer on previous installments in the Thief series, a design consultant with Ubisoft, and a collaborator with Steven Spielberg on a game project at Electronic Arts in Los Angeles.

 
 
 

The Best Mobile Game Award

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 Visual Art award, a category which seeks to highlight the innovation and quality in game engines and code.

Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Visual Art award have gone to entrants which featured impressive displays of the craft of games, including The Behemoth's vibrant cartoon-ish beat-em-up Castle Crashers, Polytron's 2D/3D "trixel"-based puzzle platformer Fez, Amanita Design's hand-painted adventure game Machinarium, and Playdead's equal parts soft and stark monochromatic puzzler Limbo.

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 game development notables including Jon Chey, Soren Johnson, Brandon McCartin, Miguel Sternberg and Tom Sennett) as they consider the merits of each of the five finalists and eventual award winner.

The jury consists of the following:

Colin Anderson:

Colin Anderson joined the games industry in 1993 as an Audio Designer for Dundee games pioneers DMA Design. Over the next seven years he built DMA’s audio team in to one of the most respected interactive audio facilities in the world. This culminated in 1999 with Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 winning a BAFTA award for Best Interactive Audio. Colin was also asked to join Microsoft’s Audio Advisory Board that year, where he helped design the hardware and software for the original Xbox Console.

In 2000 Colin left DMA to co-found Denki, the world’s first Digital Toy Company, as Managing Director. He grew the business steadily over the next nine years delivering more than 180 games for almost 40 different companies. After this he successfully transferred Denki’s production skills to another business he founded, Waterfront Entertainment, freeing up Denki’s teams to focus on original game development again.

Denki is currently focused its latest original game, Quarrel, while establishing a work-for-hire presence on newer platforms such as iPhone, Facebook and WebTV.

    
 

Eddy Boxerman:

Eddy founded Hemisphere Games and led the design & development of Osmos, which found a wonderful home on both PC and iOS devices. He was a physics/animation programmer in a previous life and spent several years at Ubisoft Montreal on the Splinter Cell franchise, along with more esoteric jobs over the years. He tends to obsess about his baby daughter, game design, fine ales, and fresh powder.

    
 

Kevin Cancienne:

Cancienne is a game designer and developer who has been creating interactive media for nearly fifteen years. He got his start creating educational multimedia applications for the City University of New York before moving on to seminal New York interactive firm, Avalanche Systems. Cancienne later served as a Manager of Interface Development at Razorfish, where he worked with clients such as Citibank, InStyle, and Britannica. Along the way he also co-developed Science & Industry, a successful mod for Half-Life featured in Valve Software’s 1999 Mod Expo.

Before joining Area/Code, Cancienne designed and built online games for HBO, Noggin, A&E, and The N. For The N, Viacom’s network for tweens, Kevin developed five original titles, including one of The N’s most successful games, Avatar Prom. Cancienne has also taught Game Design at NYU’s ITP. At Area/Code, he creates games that explore novel approaches to social gameplay and attempt to alter how, when, and with whom we play.

    
 

Ramiro Corbetta:

Ramiro Corbetta is a New York-based independent game developer. After graduating from Columbia University, Corbetta became a game designer at Powerhead Games, where he worked on the 2010 IGF Best Mobile Game Design award-winner Glow Artisan. Corbetta is currently working on games for public spaces for Babycastles and the NYU Game Center.

    
 

Omar Cornut:

Omar Cornut is a programmer at Q-Games, with a roof-top view on the old city of Kyoto. He worked on the PixelJunk Shooter series and contributed fancy dance moves to PixelJunk Lifelike. Prior moving to Japan, Omar worked at French indie studio Mekensleep as lead programmer and co-designer of Soul Bubbles.

In his spare time he nourishes an obsession for old game consoles and developing small games which run on 25 year old hardware.

    
 

Phil Hassey:

Phil Hassey, manly teetotaler, creator of Galcon, and proud goat owner, won the IGF Innovation in Mobile Game Design award for Galcon in 2009. When he isn’t wandering aimlessly or playing the fiddle, he’ll be coding like mad and co-organizing the Ludum Dare game jam. Previously, he was webmaster for pygame.org and buried skeletons in a surreal mountain town. Now he drives a ‘59 Plymouth Fury and wants to buy a pair of giraffes.

    
 

David Kalina:

David Kalina is co-owner and principal engineer of Tiger Style, the independent iPhone developer behind the 2009 IGF Mobile Game of the Year, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor. David spent his formative years developing AI systems for big budget console games (Splinter Cell, Deus Ex: Invisible War, Thief: Deadly Shadows) before teaming up with fellow industry veteran Randy Smith to form Tiger Style. Currently, David and the Tiger Style team are hard at work on their second game.

    
 

Olivier Lejade:

Olivier foolishly got into the game industry 10 years ago by initiating the MMO Ryzom. His insanity was confirmed when he founded the Paris based indie studio Mekensleep, taking on the creative direction for Soul Bubbles on the DS. He is currently burning away his remaining mental health points on crazy mobile game projects.

    
 

Adam Saltsman (GP):

Adam "Atomic" Saltsman made the open-source Flash game library Flixel and the controversial platformer Fathom. Adam also co-founded indie iOS developer Semi Secret Software, the self-published developer of Wurdle, Gravity Hook HD, Canabalt, and SteamBirds.

    
 

Nathan Vella (GP):

Nathan Vella is co-founder & president of Toronto-based independent game developer Capybara Games (or Capy for short).

After spending their early years as an award-winning mobile developer, Capy transitioned to iPhone, DS and ‘downloadable’ development. Capy developed Critter Crunch and Might & Magic Clash of Heroes, and is presently working on a virtual cornucopia of projects including Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP.

Nathan was addicted to Tribes 1, thinks Bangai-O is the best Dreamcast game and can’t stop playing Super Street Fighter 4.

 
 
 

The Excellence in Visual Art Award

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 Visual Art award, a category which seeks to highlight the innovation and quality in game engines and code.

Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Visual Art award have gone to entrants which featured impressive displays of the craft of games, including The Behemoth's vibrant cartoon-ish beat-em-up Castle Crashers, Polytron's 2D/3D "trixel"-based puzzle platformer Fez, Amanita Design's hand-painted adventure game Machinarium, and Playdead's equal parts soft and stark monochromatic puzzler Limbo.

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 game development notables including Jon Chey, Soren Johnson, Brandon McCartin, Miguel Sternberg and Tom Sennett) as they consider the merits of each of the five finalists and eventual award winner.

The jury consists of the following:

Craig Adams:

Craig D. Adams is the art director & co-creator of the IGF Mobile 2010 'Achievement in Art' winning Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, a made-in-Toronto collaborative project built around the music of Jim Guthrie, made possible by independent videogame studio Capy.

Under the project name "Superbrothers", Craig has produced a smattering of award-winning art, illustrations & short films 'in the native language of videogames' that have appeared in a variety of exhibitions & publications since 2003. His intention is to help create peculiarly interesting videogame experiences for audiovisually literate audiences in the genre-bending genre of Input Output Cinema, whatever that is.

    
 

Grant Duncan:

Grant joined the industry working at Climax Studios as a Character Artist for Warhammer Online. Moving to Sumo, he filled key roles on games such as Sega Superstars Tennis, DiRT 2 and Virtua Tennis.

As a founding member of Hello Games, Grant splits his time between all things artistic, creative and sometimes just drawing pictures for his programmer friends. He was the sole artist on Hello Games' first title, Joe Danger, which has been hailed as a flagship for Playstation Network, and has received a great many critical plaudits, remaining one of the highest rated titles by both the press and users.

    
 

Jakub Dvorsky (GP):

In 2003, Jakub Dvorsky successfully finished Academy of Arts in Prague with a free online flash adventure game called Samorost as his thesis project.

That same year, he founded Amanita Design, a small Czech-based studio which specializes in developing independent games (Samorost2, Machinarium, Questionaut). Jakub was also the production designer for the feature puppet film Kooky, by Academy Award-winning director Jan Sverak.

    
 

Phil Fish (GP):

Phil Fish loves visuals. Words, not so much.

    
 

Kyle Gabler (GP):

Kyle is a professional indie game developer.

    
 

Edmund McMillen (GP):

Long ago, Edmund was a child, and said child Edmund would wander the fields in search of his father, always coming home fatherless. One day, when Edmund was 7, he found his father living in a soda can under his front porch.

For months, Edmund and his father would run through the fields in search of bottle caps and beer that his dad called "daddy fuel". Unsure of his father's motives, Edmund decided it was best to put him back in the soda can and move on without him, that was until he was informed that the man calling him self dad was an imposer who was actually a small dead stink bug.

This profound realization caused Edmund to become a alcoholic recluse, hell bent on making a game called Super Meat Boy.

    
 

Paul Robertson:

Paul Robertson is a Melbourne-based freelance animator who graduated from RMIT's Media Arts in 2002. He has worked for several game companies and animated several TV commercials, video clips and short films like Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006 & Kings of Power 4 Billion %. Most recently he was lead animator on Scott Pilgrim Vs the World: The Game.

    
 

Ben Ruiz:

Ben Ruiz is art director at Flashbang Studios, the Arizona-based independent developer of the colorful and quirky library of Blurst.com games. A life-long connoisseur, Ben enjoys games of all flavors and has a lot to say about the enjoyment of said games. None of it is particularly comprehensible, but animal charisma carries it all home. He smells pleasantly of both citrus and gun smoke.

    
 

Patrick Smith:

Patrick is the creator of Vectorpark and, more recently, Windosill. He lives in Brooklyn.

    
 

Derek Yu:

Derek Yu is an illustrator and game designer who created Spelunky and co-created Aquaria, which won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the 2008 IGF awards. He's also the editor-and-chief of TIGSource, an independent gaming news site and community.

 
 
 

The Technical Excellence Award

Organizers of the 2011 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the jury panel that will determine the finalists and winner of its Technical Excellence award, 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, and the 2010 award winning Limbo, for its finely rendered and physically reactive monochromatic world.

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 Jarrad 'Farbs' Woods, Alex May, Robin Lacey, Ichiro Lambe, and Erin Robinson) as they consider the merits of each of the five finalists and eventual award winner.

The jury consists of the following:

Renaud Bédard:

Renaud works at Polytron Corporation and takes care of all the coding on Fez. He also does the occasional collaboration with fellow game developers (Aliceffekt, No Fun Games) and writes a development blog for the technically inclined, The Instruction Limit.

    
 

Raigan Burns (GP):

Raigan Burns n (1889): a set that is closed under two commutative binary operations and that can be described by any of various systems of postulates all of which can be deduced from the postulates that an identity element exists for each operation, that each operation is distributive over the other, and that for every element in the set there is another element which when combined with the first under one of the operations yields the identity element of the other operation.

    
 

Ron Carmel (GP):

Ron is co-creator of the game World of Goo and a partner in Indie Fund, a new funding source which aims to change the way small independent games are funded. He likes designing and programming games and speaking of himself in the third person.

    
 

Chris Delay:

The creative force behind Introversion Software, Chris is the lead designer, artist and programmer for all of Introversion’s games. Chris graduated from Imperial College London in 2001 and founded Introversion with fellow students Mark Morris and Thomas Arundel. In the ten years since then he has created the cult hacker simulator Uplink, the award winning digital dreamscapes of Darwinia and Multiwinia, and the tense nuclear wargame DEFCON. He is now working on Introversion’s fifth full game, a high-tech heist planning simulator called Subversion.

In 2006, Darwinia won the Technical Excellence award for Introversion, along with Innovation in Visual Art and the IGF grand prize itself. Chris counts this day as one of the most incredible in his life, and hopes to continue making great Indie Games forever..

    
 

Ryan Doyle:

Ryan joined the games industry as a graduate programmer working on the Burnout series for Criterion Games. Many years, platforms and Burnouts later he moved on to face new challenges leading the development of Geometry Wars: Galaxies on the Nintendo Wii and DS.

He is one of the founding members and Technical Director of Hello Games, who recently produced the critically acclaimed PSN title Joe Danger.

    
 

Alec Holowka:

Alec Holowka is a game developer and composer from Winnipeg, Canada. He created the IGF-winning Aquaria, with Derek Yu, and went on to form Infinite Ammo Inc. for work on a game called Marian. His recent projects also include video tutorials for the Unity game engine, a podcast series featuring in-depth conversations with other independent game developers and the "Winnitron 1000" - an indie game arcade cabinet that can update itself, and will eventually take over ze world.

    
 

David Kalina:

David Kalina is co-owner and principal engineer of Tiger Style, the independent iPhone developer behind the 2009 IGF Mobile Game of the Year, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor. David spent his formative years developing AI systems for big budget console games (Splinter Cell, Deus Ex: Invisible War, Thief: Deadly Shadows) before teaming up with fellow industry veteran Randy Smith to form Tiger Style. Currently, David and the Tiger Style team are hard at work on their second game.

    
 

Anna Kipnis:

Anna Kipnis is a Senior Gameplay Programmer at Double Fine Productions, based in glorious San Francisco, CA. Hailing from the former USSR, where she would often frequent the arcades as a wee lady, Kipnis was blown away by the games she played on her NES upon arrival in the States, and vowed to work in the game industry when she grew up.

In 2000, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Rutgers College and moved to the west coast to pursue her dream career, working with personal hero, Tim Schafer, game designer and writer extraordinaire. She has worked on Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, Costume Quest, and several unannounced titles at Double Fine. In her spare time, she enjoys playing music in local bands, covering her favorite songs with chiptunes, walks on the beach, and holding hands.

    
 

Andy Nealen (GP):

Andy Nealen is an assistant professor of computer science at Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Technische Universitaet Berlin in 2007, where he taught introductory and advanced computer graphics, as well as video game design and programming. Previously, he received his Dipl.-Ing. (M.Sc.) in Architecture and Structural Engineering from the Technische Universitaet Darmstadt in 1996.

His work in interactive digital shape modeling has resulted in industry collaboration with partners such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, and he is a core team member of Hemisphere Games, makers of the critically acclaimed video game Osmos.

    
 

Tommy Refenes (GP):

Tommy Refenes was born on June 14th, 1981. He has been programming since the age of 11 and always had an interest in video game development. After Tommy Refenes released Super Meat Boy in 2010, he began programming what would eventually become the neural network for the automated health care robots which would later evolve into the armored flying robot death squads which now govern what is left of North America.

When the Canadian-Mexican War ended in 2038 and North America was repatriated into the 4 provinces of New Kansas, Quebec, New Charlotte, and South Carolina, Tommy was exiled from New Charlotte and took residence on an island off the coast of New Zealand. He lived there and worked on games and robots until his house came under siege by the 3011th Battle Mech Platoon in the Summer of 2154. After an intense 5 hour battle, all 13 mechs lay slain and Tommy heroically gasped his last breath saving his family from extermination. He is survived by his son, cat, and robot wife.

    
 

Ivan Safrin:

Ivan Safrin is a visual artist, programmer and independent game designer living in New York City. Through his work, he strives to combine his technical knowledge with a passion for information visualization, game design and a deep interest in the exploration of the social and urban environment.

He currently works at Local Projects as a Creative Technologist where he builds interactive installations for museums and public spaces.

    
 

Dan Tabar:

Daniel Tabar was born in the kingdom of Sweden, and grew up drinking the same water that has caused a disproportionately large number of talented game developers to emerge out of that small country's deep forests. It was delicious.

He started working as a contractor for a lab at NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley before finishing high school in the motherland, eventually moving to the U.S. to attend college and attempt a series of entrepreneurial ventures and game industry jobs.

One of these ventures was the indie game development studio Data Realms, which is completely virtual and has contributing team members spread over seven countries and four continents. Its debut project, Cortex Command, won the Technical Excellence and Audience awards at the 2009 Independent Games Festival.

 
 
 

The Excellence in Audio Award

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 Audio award, a category which seeks to highlight the best musical & sound innovation, quality, and impressiveness in independent gaming.

Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Excellence in Audio award have gone out to games which took an entirely new and unique to approach to sound in games or otherwise excelled at their craft, including Queasy Games' abstract acoustic guitar shooter and 2007 award winner Everyday Shooter, 2008 finalist guitar-controller platformer Fret Nice, 2009's ultra-stylized finalist PixelJunk Eden from Q-Games and Osaka musician/DJ Baiyon, and the 2010 award winning Closure.

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 Ron Carmel, Andy Schatz, Ramiro Corbetta, Kellee Santiago, and Olivier Lejade) as they consider the merits of each of the five finalists and eventual award winner.

The jury consists of the following:

Danny Baranowsky (GP):

Daniel "Danny B" Baranowsky is an award-winning American video game musician and composer whose most recent works include the soundtracks for Super Meat Boy, Canabalt, Gravity Hook and Steambirds. Danny was raised on classic rock, video game music and "Weird Al" Yankovic. Danny's appreciation of all forms of music can be heard in his varied yet distinct creations.

Danny began his professional music career scoring the soundtracks of independent films in the Phoenix area. He was classically trained in music theory and composition but did much of his real world training on the video game music remixing site OverClocked ReMix. He dissected the work of the best video game composers and further honed his craft by creating unique arrangements of classic video game songs in myriad styles. He then served as a judge on the OC ReMix panel helping him to further understand how music is written and perceived. Danny appreciates a good chiptune just as much as a meticulously crafted orchestral score.

Danny is almost as good at playing video games as he is at creating music for them. If you don't believe it challenge him to a Super Meat Boy showdown.

    
 

Vincent Diamante:

Vincent Diamante is a video game music composer and sound designer living in the Los Angeles area. He has worked on various games for console, mobile, and social platforms, most notably the soundtrack and audio design for thatgamecompany's Flower, which garnered nominations for best audio and score from BAFTA and AIAS alongside an award for Best Interactive Soundtrack from the Game Audio Network Guild.

He currently works as a video game consultant assisting on production, design, and other development concerns including audio. Outside of his professional work, he continues to teach audio and game design classes in the Interactive Media Division of USC's School of Cinematic Arts.

    
 

Jordan Fehr:

Jordan Fehr is a freelance sound designer/editor/mixer currently based out of Columbus, Ohio. After getting a BA in Music Composition, he attended Vancouver Film School's Sound Design program. Jordan has worked as sound editor/designer/re-recording mixer on several feature length independent films, and is a company member of Available Light Theatre in Columbus where he is both an actor and a sound designer. His recent video game credits as sound effects designer include: Super Meat Boy, Donkey Kong Country Returns, SteamBirds, Realm of the Mad God, and Spewer.

    
 

Dylan Fitterer:

Dylan Fitterer is the creator of the 2008 IGF Excellence in Audio winning music-puzzle racer Audiosurf.

    
 

David Lloyd & Larry Oji:

David W. Lloyd (right) is a software engineer, musician, producer, and graphic designer residing in the Metro/DC area of the United States of America. Mr. Lloyd is the president and founder of OverClocked ReMix, an organization dedicated to the appreciation and preservation of video game music. He has popularized unofficial arrangements of this music by encouraging fans to submit mixes to the website he developed and maintains at http://www.ocremix.org. He has composed and produced numerous such arrangements himself, under the name of “djpretzel”.

Larry "Liontamer" Oji (left) has been a judge at OverClocked ReMix since July 2004, having evaluated more than 2,500 submissions. Reporting to site founder David "djpretzel" Lloyd, Larry is responsible for primary submissions evaluations, informational database maintenance and other otherwise sundry & unsexy tasks at OCR, becoming head submissions evaluator in June 2006. Oji worked through OC ReMix as assistant soundtrack director for the remixed soundtrack of Capcom's Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, developed by Backbone Entertainment. Larry currently resides in Atlanta, GA with The Lady, Paige.

    
 

Matt Piersall:

Matt Piersall has been making game noise for almost 10 years. He started his career working at an anime dub house called Funimation, but quickly found his way home to the games industry. His first ever review read: "If you like paper-thin guns and really annoying creature screams, this game is for you". Luckily, things have looked up since then.

In 2005, Matt founded GL33k and was fortunate to work with such clients as Retro Studios, Neversoft, Red Fly Studios, Twisted Pixel, and Disney Interactive. Mr. Piersall currently resides in Austin, Texas where he and his pals make video games. In his spare time, Matt enjoys long walks, trying new foods, casual sex, and self help books.

    
 

Emily Ridgway:

Emily Ridgway is best known for her work as Music Director, Audio Designer, and sometimes Writer on video games such as Brütal Lenged (EA/Double Fine), BioShock (2K Games) and most recently Costume Quest (THQ/Double Fine). Emily graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor Of Music in 2004. Shortly after, she began work at Pandemic Studios and helped bring to life the retro sci-fi aesthetic of Destroy All Humans (THQ/Pandemic). In 2006, Ridgway worked as Audio Director and Writer on BioShock. This earned her Best Writing and Best Audio at the 2007 Game Developer Choice Awards, as well as 8 awards from the Game Audio Network Guild, including Best Overall Audio, Best Sound Design, Best Original Score, and Best Use of Licensed Music to name a few. Most recently, her acclaimed compilation of heavy metal tracks for Brütal Lenged received the 2010 Interactive Academy Of Arts and Sciences award for Outstanding Achievement in Soundtrack.

Emily now lives happily by the beach in Queensland, Australia, working as the Music Director and Lead Sound Designer at Double Fine Productions and Emily Industries. She is currently working on several new titles with industry icon, Double Fine founder, and personal hero, Tim Schafer.

    
 

William Stallwood & Dain Saint:

William Stallwood - creative director and co-founder of Cipher Prime Studios (left) - is an accomplished designer, developer, gamer, skater, and juggler. His hotly anticipated self-help book entitled “The Power of Girth” will be availble this Winter.

Dain Saint - technical director and co-founder of Cipher Prime Studios (right) - is a programmer, designer, writer, and musician. As a time-traveling hobo, his existence is largely responsible for the devastating Chronal Wars of 3092.

    
 

Rich Vreeland:

Rich Vreeland is a composer, sound designer, performing artist, and a netlabel curator. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Rich has worked on a number of games both outside of and within the independent games space. Under the name Disasterpeace, he has released a plethora of chiptune music, and performs regularly across the continent. Rich also runs Pause, a netlabel that focuses on releasing high quality chipmusic and indie game soundtracks.

    
 

Josh Whelchel:

Josh Whelchel, dubbed the "youngest talent in the realm of western video game music" by originalsoundversion.com, is a composer from Louisville, Kentucky. Best known for scoring The Spirit Engine 2 and Bonesaw: The Game in 2008, Josh has worked on smaller projects with UbiSoft, MTV, Zynga, and several other smaller commercial endeavors. Also a fast-growing artist on OverClocked ReMix, he is known for prolific orchestral scoring and working with live instrumentalists on a tight or non-existant budget.

In 2010, his soundtrack to the underground hit "GunGirl 2" featured three classically trained performers including a violinist, vocalist and guitarist. Josh is currently pursuing a degree in composition at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio while continuing to score for games, independent films, and live performances. He is also the founder of the successful "Songs for the Cure" campaign which raises over $6,000 annually to fund cancer research for the American Cancer Society.

 
 
 

The Nuovo Award

Now in its third year, the Nuovo Award -- which allows more esoteric 'art games' to compete on their own terms alongside longer-form indie titles and has been newly expanded to include eight finalists -- has previously been awarded to Jason Rohrer's abstract multiplayer title Between and to Tuning -- the perception-warping platform puzzler from Swedish indie Cactus.

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 jury will receive recommendations from the wider body of over 150 IGF Main Competition judges (itself including notable former IGF winners and finalists including Petri Purho, Kyle Gabler, Jakub Dvorský, Tyler Glaiel, and Dylan Fitterer) as they consider the merits of each of the eight finalists and eventual award winner.

The 2011 Nuovo Award jury consists of the following:

Clint Hocking:

Clint is a Creative Director working at LucasArts. For the nine years prior to that, Clint was at Ubisoft in Montreal where he has worked as a level designer, game designer, scriptwriter and creative director on the original Splinter Cell, on Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, and on Far Cry 2. Before games Clint worked in the web industry and experimented with independent filmmaking while earning an M.F.A in creative writing from the University of British Columbia.

In addition to working as a game developer, Clint is also active in the game development community, and is a vocal proponent of games as an emerging medium and art form. Clint is on the Advisory Board of the Montreal IGDA Chapter, and is a frequent speaker at the Game Developers Conference and other conferences around the world. He lives in San Francisco with his family, and maintains a blog at clicknothing.com.

    
 

Daniel Benmergui:

Daniel is an indie developer, author of I Wish I Were the Moon, Storyteller and Today I Die, the latter an IGF 2010 Nuovo finalist. He also co-organizes CODEAR, an indie game development contest in Argentina.

    
 

Eric Zimmerman:

Eric is a 16-year veteran of independent games. He co-founded Gamelab, a studio that created dozens of online games including the hit title Diner Dash and spun off the nonprofit Institute of Play & MacArthur-funded Gamestar Mechanic. Prior to Gamelab, Eric was lead designer on pioneering titles like SiSSYFiGHT 2000, and since Gamelab closed in 2009, he has been creating games on and off the computer, including the Indiecade award-winning Sixteen Tons with architect Nathalie Pozzi. Eric wrote the definitive textbook on game design, 'Rules of Play', with Katie Salen and co-created the award-winning film PLAY with David Kaplan. He teaches at the NYU Game Center. And he knows Kung Fu.

    
 

Eddo Stern:

Eddo Stern was born in Tel Aviv and lives in Los Angeles. His work explores the uneasy and otherwise unconscious connections between physical existence and electronic simulation, surrounding the subject matters of violence, immersion, fantasy and identification. His creative work in experimental game production, game art and machinima, has established him as a pioneer in these emerging fields. His approach to game development is centered on projects that bridge the boundaries between gaming on the screen and more traditional artistic disciplines such as live performance, theater, documentary film, sculpture and installation art. His game related projects include Sheik Attack, Vietnam Romance, Waco Resurrection, Tekken Torture Tournament, Best Flamewar...Ever!, Cockfight Arena, Darkgame, and Wizard Takes All !!!. He teaches in the Design | Media Arts Department at UCLA and is the director the new UCLA Game Lab.

    
 

Frank Lantz (GP):

Frank Lantz is Creative Director and co-Founder of Area/Code, a New York based developer that creates mobile, cross-media, real-world, and social games. Before starting area/code, Frank was the director of game design at Gamelab, and worked as a game designer for POP&Co. For over 15 years, Frank has taught game design at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, the School of Visual Arts, and the New School. He is currently the director of the NYU Game Center. His writings on games, technology and culture have appeared in a variety of publications.

    
 

Ian Bogost:

Ian Bogost is professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and director of the graduate program in digital media, founding partner of Atlanta-based studio Persuasive Games, and an independent game designer. His latest game, A Slow Year, was an IGF Nuovo finalist in 2010, and winner of the Indiecade 2010 Virtuoso and Vanguard awards.

    
 

Jason Rohrer:

Jason Rohrer is an independent game designer and programmer. Over the past six years, he has released 14 games, of which Passage is the most widely known. His 2008 release, Gravitation, won the Jury Prize at IndieCade, and Between won the Nuovo Award at the 2009 Independent Games Festival. His 2010 release, Sleep Is Death, was both a critical and commercial success.

    
 

Jesper Juul:

Jesper Juul has been working with the development of video game theory since the late 1990's. He is currently at the NYU Game Center and The Danish Design School, but has previously worked at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Lab at MIT and at the IT University of Copenhagen. His book 'Half-Real' on video game theory was published by MIT press in 2005. His recently published book, 'A Casual Revolution', examines how puzzle games, music games, and the Nintendo Wii brought video games to a new audience. He maintains the blog The Ludologist on "game research and other important things".

    
 

Justin Smith:

Justin Smith is an indie game developer from the wilderness of British Columbia. He is responsible for the IGF 2010 Nuovo Award nominated game Enviro-Bear 2000.

    
 

Paolo Pedercini (GP):

Paolo Pedercini is an Italian game developer, artist and educator. He teaches digital media production and experimental game design at the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. Since 2003 he works under the project name “Molleindustria” producing provocative games addressing various social issues such as environmentalism, food politics, religion, labor and gender.

    
 

Rod Humble:

Rod Humble is the Executive Vice President for the EA Play label of the video game company Electronic Arts. He has been contributing to the development of games since 1990, and is recently best known for his work on the Electronic Arts titles, The Sims 2 and The Sims 3. Previously he worked at Sony Online where he worked on EverQuest and before that Virgin Interactive's SubSpace. In his spare time he continues to develop experimental games including The Marriage, Stars Over Half Moon Bay and Last Thoughts of the Aurochs.

    
 

Tale of Tales:

Auriea Harvey (US, 1971) and Michael Samyn (BE, 1968) started collaborating in 1999, as Entropy8Zuper!. In 2003 they founded independent games development studio Tale of Tales in Gent, Belgium, where they still live and work.

Harvey and Samyn have devoted their lives to the creation of elegant and emotionally rich interactive entertainment. The Endless Forest, a peaceful mmo where everyone plays a deer, has been going strong for years. The Graveyard is an interactive vignette in which you play the role of an elderly lady who visits a cemetery. The Path is a short horror game inspired by Little Red Riding Hood. Fatale explores the legend of Salome. And Vanitas is a contemplation of luxury and loss on the iPhone.

Their work has been collected by museums of contemporary art and has been featured in media art and videogames exhibitions all over the world. Yet their focus remains on independently distributing their software digitally, straight to the audience.

    
 

All entries in the 2011 Independent Games Festival are currently browsable at the IGF's official siteAll finalists will be announced -- along with a jury statement detailing the thought process behind selecting each category's lineup -- later this year, with each category winners announced on the evening of March 2, 2011, during the Game Developers Conference 2011.

 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
     
 
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