- Well, after originally being scheduled for earlier this week, the finalists in the Student Showcase category for the Independent Games Festival look like they will actually be announced on Friday - partly thanks to the gigantic amount of great entries we got this year, which are taking longer to wade through than we thought.

Anyhow, Ian Schreiber, who is an instructor at Ohio University and one of our Student Judges for this year, has written an excellent guide to student entrants for years to come on his 'Teaching Game Design' blog. We are trying to help out on a couple of the comments he made - we have drafted in some special folks to judge the mods, and have been doing some co-ordination on multiplayer games - but his judging point on them is nonetheless valid, and in general, I found these tips extremely helpful. Here's a couple of the most notable ones:

"Don't overhype in your description. Each game has a brief text description. I read it when I'm waiting for the game itself to download. Some people are really full of themselves, telling me all about how original their game is or how great their graphics are or how fun the game is. Don't insult me; I should be competent enough to judge your game on its own merits, not on your opinions of your own game...

Make sure the player is having fun, not the computer. Sid Meier's immortal advice rings true in a surprising number of student games. Your game might have an amazing AI or some really complicated mechanics under the surface, but if I can't see, predict and understand them then I'm not really having fun as the player."