[While submissions have just opened for the main IGF, we're also trying out an IGF China event, with an entrance deadline in September. This should be an interesting experiment, to say the least - all Asian entrants should check out the IGF China site for more info.]

Think Services, organizer of the Game Developers Conference events, has announced the first annual Independent Games Festival China. The event is to be held in conjunction with the 2009 Game Developers Conference China, which returns to the Shanghai International Convention Center, October 11-13 of this year.

After 11 years of the main Independent Games Festival competition being held at GDC in San Francisco, the Independent Games Festival will present itself to Shanghai, China for the first time in 2009, in a competition specifically designed to encourage innovation and showcase standout games from smaller companies in the Asia-Pacific region.

The first-ever IGF China encompasses three main components. First, an Independent Games Summit event held on the opening day of GDC China will feature multiple sessions with smaller entrepreneurial Chinese and Asian firms showcasing their work.

Secondly, the IGF Pavilion will showcase all finalists' games on October 11 and 12, the second and third days of GDC China, with the third major component, the Independent Games Festival Awards ceremony being held on the evening of Monday, October 12.

The categories for IGF China include:

- Best Game, RMB20,000 prize ($2,900)
- Excellence In Art Direction, RMB5,000 prize ($730)
- Excellence In Audio, RMB5,000 prize
- Technical Excellence, RMB5,000 prize
- IGF Best Student Game, RMB5,000 prize, 1 Winner
- IGF Student Excellence Winner, RMB2,000 prize, 3 Winners ($290)

Key dates for IGF China include:

June 22nd, 2009 - Submissions are open
September 7th, 2009 - Submission deadline
September 21st, 2009 - Finalists announced
October 11th-13th, 2009 - Game Developers Conference China 2009
October 11th-12th, 2009 - IGF Pavilion, IGF Awards Ceremony, and Independent Games Summit

"Introducing the IGF to China is something uniquely GDC," said GDC China event director Meggan Scavio. "We are excited to be a part of a movement that both corrals and celebrates independent game development to such a burgeoning group while at the same time actually making history in defining what is considered 'independent' game creation in Asia."

For more English-language information on the submission guidelines for IGF China and the 2009 GDC China conference, please visit the official IGF China website on the GDC China webpage. (Chinese-language information is also available.)