January 9, 2011 9:00 PM | Simon Carless
The Independent Games Festival has announced the eight Student Showcase winners for the thirteenth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, celebrating the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year.
This year's showcase of top student talent include slapstick physical comedy adventure Octodad, from DePaul University's Team DGE2, University of Montreal student Richard E. Flanagan's boldly styled Myst-like adventure Fract, and Tiny and Big, an ambitious, comic-book styled 3D action platformer from Germany's School of Arts and Design Kassel.
In total, this year's Student Competition took in more than 280 game entries across all platforms -- PC, console and mobile -- from a wide diversity of the world's most prestigious universities and games programs, a 47% increase from entrants in the 2010 Festival, making the Student IGF one of the world's largest showcases of student talent.
All of the Student Showcase winners announced today will be playable on the Expo show floor at the historic 25th Game Developers Conference, to be held in San Francisco starting February 28th, 2011. Each team will receive a $500 prize for being selected into the Showcase, and will are finalists for an additional $2,500 prize for Best Student Game, revealed during the Independent Games Festival Awards on March 2nd.
In conjunction with this announcement, IGF organizers are also revealing that this year's Independent Games Festival Awards at GDC will be hosted by Anthony Carboni. Carboni is host and producer of Bytejacker, the acclaimed indie and downloadable game video show and website, and one of the most enthusiastic and devoted followers of the independent game scene.
The full list of Student Showcase winners for the 2011 Independent Games Festival, along with 'honorable mentions' to those top-quality games that didn't quite make it to finalist status, are as follows:
e7 (Gymnasium Koniz Lerbermatt)
Fract (University of Montreal)
GLiD (Bournemouth University)
Octodad (DePaul University)
Solace (DigiPen Institute of Technology)
Tiny and Big (School of Arts and Design Kassel)
Toys (Future Games Academy)
Honorable mentions: About Love Hate and the other ones (School of Arts and Design Kassel); EXP (NHTV); Paul and Percy (IT University Copenhagen); Senseless (University of Advancing Technology); StarTwine (Carleton University); Ute (School of Arts and Design Kassel).
This year's Student IGF entries were distributed to an opt-in subset of the main competition judging body, consisting of more than 60 leading independent and mainstream developers, academics and journalists. Now in its ninth year as a part of the larger Indendent Games Festival, the Student Showcase highlights up-and-coming talent from worldwide university programs.
It has served as the venue which first premiered numerous now widely recognized names, including Cloud from the USC-based team that became Thatgamecompany (Flower), as well as DigiPen's Narbacular Drop and Tag: The Power of Paint, which would evolve first into Valve's acclaimed Portal, with the latter brought on-board for the upcoming Portal 2.
"Even as general awareness of independent developers and their creative output increases year over year, our Student Showcase continues to be the best place to be genuinely surprised and delighted by entirely unknown talent," said IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer. "This year's lineup continues that tradition, with eight distinctive and wholly unique games from teams and individuals that we'll surely be hearing much more about in the future."
For more information on the Independent Games Festival, please visit the official IGF website -- and for those interested in registering for GDC 2011, which includes the Independent Games Summit, the IGF Pavilion and the IGF Awards Ceremony, please visit the Game Developers Conference website.