Adam Robinson-Yu’s A Short Hike won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game at the 22nd annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) Awards tonight!
Originally scheduled to take place during the now-postponed Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the IGF Awards ceremony was reformatted as a virtual livestream to recognize some of the most innovative and excellent independent games of the past year.
In addition to the Grand Prize, A Short Hike also won the community-driven Audience Award, which is chosen by fans through a public voting process. A Short Hike uses a colorfully retro graphical style to present a vibrant exploration game that has players traversing the wilds of Hawk Peak Provincial Park, discovering hidden treasures, friendly hikers and the outside world in the process.
The full slate of 2020 IGF Award winners feature a slew of distinct creations, including the Excellence in Audio award winner, Die Gute Fabrik’s Mutazione, the “mutant soap opera” adventure game that delves into themes of community and personal connection amidst a curious land of lovable mutated creatures. Inkle Studio’s Heaven’s Vault, the winner for Excellence in Narrative, is an archaeological science-fiction adventure that lets players uncover history and deeper truths through puzzle-solving and conversations.
The Excellence in Design winner, Patrick’s Parabox by Patrick Traynor, is a game that plays with the presence and absence of space, creating elaborate puzzles out of recursion and infinities. The Excellence in Visual Art award went to Knights and Bikes, a colorfully hand-painted coming-of-age adventure by Foam Sword Games.
The Nuovo Award, which honors the title that makes jurors ‘think differently about games as a medium,’ went to developer Christoph Frey for The Space Between, a three act narrative experience using surreal motifs and a distinctly retro aesthetic to tell a story of a budding relationship between an architect named Martin and a woman named Clara. As the two explore the building site of the theatre that Martin is building, the two enter into a space where reality begins to subside and a dreamlike story of human relationships begins to unfold.
Finally, the Best Student Game winner, Goblin Rage’s Bore Dome, is a first-person exploration game that offers players a glimpse into beautiful imperfection.
The winners of the 22nd annual IGF Awards are:
Excellence in Visual Art ($2,000)
Knights and Bikes (Foam Sword)
Excellence in Audio ($2,000)
Mutazione (Die Gute Fabrik)
Excellence in Design ($2,000)
Patrick’s Parabox (Patrick Traynor)
Excellence in Narrative ($2,000)
Heaven’s Vault (Inkle)
Nuovo Award ($2,000)
The Space Between (Christoph Frey)
Best Student Game ($2,000)
Bore Dome (Goblin Rage)
Audience Award ($2,000)
A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu)
Seumas McNally Grand Prize ($10,000)
A Short Hike (Adam Robinson-Yu)
The IGF was established in 1998 to recognize the best independent game developers and encourage creativity and excellence in independent games.
The awards were livestreamed on the official Twitch channel for the Game Developers Conference at Twitch.tv/GDC and are archived both on Twitch and on the official GDC YouTube channel.
Organizers would like to thank the generous supporters of this year’s IGF, including [email protected] (Platinum Sponsor) and Gamasutra.com (IGF Media Partner).
For more information on the Independent Games Festival, please visit the official IGF website. For more details on the Game Developers Conference, please visit the GDC’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.