As some of you may recall, as well as running GSW, Game Developer, Gamasutra, and balancing plates on my nose, I'm the Chairman of the Independent Games Festival, which is in its ninth year - and I'm trying to get the word out early this year about the first deadline.

As we explain on the official website: "The IGF Main Competition, a resounding success in 2006, has received a few minor tweaks (slight category name changes, a demo is mandatory to enter the Audience Award if a finalist), but continues with the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize, and multiple $2,500 awards for innovative design, audio, technical, art, and best web game. We're really looking forward to your entries, and the deadline this year is September 8, 2006 at 11:59pm PDT." Which isn't really _that_ far away, y'know?

We already have a few really sharp entries this year, and welcome a plethora of indie games into the IGF, if you guys are up for entering - from the quirkiest freeware PC titles, through shareware, downloadable, and even niche retail titles - any of you indie XBLA titles up for entering, too? We'd also love to see more web browser gamers entered this year, following the triumphant win of Fulp and Paladin's Dad 'N Me in the inaugural Best Web Game compo.

In addition, we have a Mod Competition deadline on October 13, 2006 - after a succesful first year, it's "...going even more freeform this year, and allowing mods from any game to compete - from Thief to Half-Life 2 to Oblivion to The Sims and beyond, all mods are eligible." Let's get some really obscure and cool stuff entered, huh? Also, the always popular Student Showcase has entries due November 10, 2006, and even has a Best Student Game category this year - so don't delay, enter today! We'll remind again before the first deadline.