Cart Life, Richard Hofmeier's realistic, sometimes heart-breaking game about food cart workers trying to achieve their dreams, earned the Seumas McNally Award for Best Independent Game and its associated $30,000 cash prize this evening at the 15th Annual Independent Games Festival, hosted by the Game Developers Conference (GDC) at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
In addition to winning the Grand Prize, Cart Life also won the Best Narrative Award and the Nuovo Award for abstract and unconventional games, an impressive sweep for a sometimes deliberately obtuse title that was relatively underappreciated before the IGF Awards season.
The other IGF multi-award winner for the evening was acclaimed space strategy title FTL: Faster Than Light by Subset Games. FTL was helped to prominence by an IGF China nomination early in its development and was honored with both the Excellence in Design Award and the Audience Award.
Other IGF award recipients for 2013 include Tomorrow Corporation's quirky title about burning objects in an 'entertainment fireplace,' Little Inferno, which won the Technical Excellence Award. Surreal magical realist adventure game Kentucky Route Zero by Cardboard Computer won the Excellence in Visual Art award for its beautifully designed environments, and Jeppe Carlsen's beat-based platformer 140 won the Excellence in Audio Award.
Finally, the Best Student Game was awarded to the third-person, high-speed skating game that celebrates Twitter and cell phone culture, Zineth, by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, picked from another strong set of student game finalists.
All finalists and winners for this year's competition are playable at the Game Developers Conference at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC Expo Floor in San Francisco's Moscone Center through Friday, March 29.
The IGF awarded the following games as winners of its 15th Annual Awards: