dragonfly.jpg The second Independent Games Festival announcement on Sunday was the revealing of the inaugural Mod Competition finalists, "highlighting the best in innovative, creative independent 'mods' created in Half-Life 2, NeverWinter Nights, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Doom 3" - the winner in each category, to be announced at GDC in March, gets $2,500, for a total of $10,000, which isn't bad.

Again, quoting directly: "The finalists for the IGF Best Mod - Half-Life 2 category are UrbanLegend Games' 'authentic' school sports recreation Dodgeball: Source, Team Dystopia's cyberpunk-themed total conversion Dystopia, The Guildhall at SMU's lush student-created fantasy mod Eclipse, Hidden: Source Team's 'Predator'-like hunting title Hidden: Source, and Agora Games' strategic team-based shooter Plan Of Attack."

"As for the IGF Best Mod - Neverwinter Nights category, finalists include Scrotok's skilful player DM (dungeon master)-controlled Bitter Harvest, Ernest Noa's classic RPG dungeon crawl Hythum II: The Halls Of Kilgirn, BRC's multi-perspective mod with console RPG-style gameplay upgrades Rose Of Eternity - Chapter 1, MadWombat's epic Fable-style adventure Runes Of Blood, and The Guildhall at SMU's completely overhauled action-RPG mod The Hunt."

"Regarding the highly competitive IGF Best Mod - Unreal Tournament 2004 category, finalists comprise LudoCraft's "surreal insect-laden action game" Dragonfly Variations, Eigensoft's adorable hamster-ball action mod HamsterBash, Lotus.Arts' Jade Empire-esque third-person Asian action mod Path Of Vengeance, The Art Institute of Vancouver's multiplayer survival horror mod The Awakening, and HELM Systems' epic fantasy action multiplayer mod The Soulkeeper."

The news piece ends: "Finally, the finalists for IGF Best Mod - Doom 3 are Platinum Arts's co-op 'classic Doom' throwback Last Man Standing, and Games[CC]'s closed captioning modification Doom3[CC]." Go poke all the mod finalists - you'll find good things.