About the IGF


The Independent Games Festival (IGF) was established in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers.

The goal was to create a similar event to Sundance for independent game developers - and that is just what has happened with IGF, with the festival seeing hundreds of entries every year from around the globe.

The festival consists of the IGF Ceremony where nominated finalists are recognized and the winners are announced, the IGF Pavilion where all of the nominated finalist entries are featured on the Expo floor of Game Developers Conference, and the Independent Games Summit that features talks and roundtables from experts and stakeholders from the independent game development committee, all taking place during the week of the Game Developers Conference (GDC).

IGF will distribute eight major awards at its ceremony, as follows:

Seumas McNally Grand Prize - $10,000
This Category is open to all Entered Games. Nominations will be based on the overall innovation, quality, impressiveness, and enjoyability of each Entered Game.

Excellence in Visual Art - $2,000
Nominations will be based on the quality and impressiveness of each Entered Game's appearance and visual effects.

Excellence in Audio - $2,000
Nominations will be based on the quality and impressiveness of each Entered Game's music, voice acting, and sound effects.

Excellence in Design - $2,000
Nominations will be based on the quality and execution of each Entered Game's design, including game mechanic design, level design, and difficulty balancing.

Excellence in Narrative - $2,000
Nominations will be based on quality and impressiveness of storytelling in a game - including, but not limited to, scenario, plot construction, story, dialogue, and other major factors.

Nuovo Award - $2,000
The Nuovo award is given to the game that most fearlessly executes a challenging, unusual, or idiosyncratic approach to game making, takes substantive risks, and makes jurors think differently about games as a medium.

Best Student Game - $2,000
Nominations will be based on the overall quality, impressiveness and enjoyability of the Entered Game.

Audience Award - $2,000
Public voters will vote for their favorite - the game with the most votes will win the award.

In addition, all Independent Games Festival finalists will receive a $1,000 travel stipend, regardless of whether they win an award.

IGF competitions have a diverse, industry-leading set of judges and jury groups comprised of representatives from mainstream games, the press, significant independent gaming websites, as well as previous winners, finalists, and a number of indie veteran judge and jury members from the previous IGF judging pools.