-[This is the official announcement of the IGF Audience Award voting, with 10 games submitting playable demos this time. May the best game win - indie hounds may note that this is the first public version of Audiosurf and Goo, and the guitar-controlled Fret Nice is available in demo version again now.]

Organizers of the 2008 Independent Games Festival (IGF) have launched the IGF Audience Award voting website, allowing game fans everywhere to download, play, and choose a favorite all of the eligible Main Competition finalist indie games which submitted a publicly playable demo.

Online voting is open now and continues through the day of the IGF ceremony, taking place alongside the Game Developers Choice Awards at the 2008 Game Developers Conference February 20th. The games with eligible demos/versions are: Goo!, Snapshot Adventures: Secret Of Bird Island, Synaesthete, Gumboy Tournament, Iron Dukes, Clean Asia!, Fret Nice, Battleships Forever, Globulos.com, Audiosurf, and Tri-Achnid.

The winner of the Audience Award will be awarded a $2,500 prize, part of the $50,000 total in prizes being given as part of the IGF Main and Student Competitions. Downloads and web-playable versions of eligible Audience Award games are available at the official IGF Audience Award website; the full list of IGF finalists is available at the Independent Games Festival website.

In addition to those available to play via digital download, all finalist games will be playable at the IGF Pavilion, February 20-22, on the Game Developers Conference (GDC) Expo floor. Finalists were chosen from a record 173 entries and represent the growth of the independent games movement with innovative games of excellent quality, across various platforms. GDC, CMP Technology’s annual conference dedicated to the art, science and business of games, takes place Feb. 18-22, 2008 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

“The independent game movement is truly about giving everyone a voice, so it is always important to us to echo that sentiment by giving the public their chance to give out an IGF award,” said Matthew Wegner, IGF Content Director.

The IGF was established in 1998 by the CMP Game Group to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers, in the way that the Sundance Film Festival honors the independent film community. Wizards Of the Coast’s Gleemax.com is the 2008 Platinum Sponsor, alongside Microsoft’s XNA division and Sony as the Silver Sponsors, and DigiPen is the Platinum Student Showcase Sponsor.

For more information on the Independent Games Festival and to register for GDC, please visit the official Game Developers Conference website.