GDC 2019's Independent Games Festival finalists revealed

The finalists for GDC 2019's Independent Games Festival are now out in the open.

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The Independent Games Festival (IGF) has announced the list of finalists that will be in line for awards during its 21st annual ceremony at the Game Developers Conference 2019.

80 Days writer Meg Jayanth will be hosting the ceremony, which is coming up on us on March 20, 2019 during GDC 2019, and will honor the most influential and innovative indie games the industry has to offer.

The games were chosen via an initial screening process featuring over 300 judges, and over 500 entries were inspected by various personalities in the industry. Juries for each category chose their finalists after evaluating each game, and these are the results, per the official press release:

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Minit (Kitty Calis, Jan Willem Nijman, Jukio Kallio & Dominik Johann)
  • Opus Magnum (Zachtronics)
  • Noita (Nolla Games)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope)
  • Hypnospace Outlaw (Jay Tholen, Mike Lasch, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Corey Cochran)
  • Do Not Feed the Monkeys (Fictiorama Studios)

Honorable Mentions: Wandersong (Greg Lobanov & A Shell in the Pit); Subnautica (Unknown Worlds Entertainment); Mirror Drop (Ian Lilley); Moss (Polyarc); Unavowed (Wadjet Eye Games); Iconoclasts (Joakim Sandberg); Virtual Virtual Reality (Tender Claws); Beat Saber (Beat Games)

Excellence in Visual Art

  • Forgotton Anne (ThroughLine Games)
  • Alto's Odyssey (Team Alto)
  • Hypnospace Outlaw (Jay Tholen, Mike Lasch, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Corey Cochran)
  • Just Shapes & Beats (Berzerk Studio)
  • Mirror Drop (Ian Lilley)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope)

Honorable Mentions: Beat Saber (Beat Games); Wandersong (Greg Lobanov & A Shell in the Pit); Subnautica (Unknown Worlds Entertainment); Moss (Polyarc); Iconoclasts (Joakim Sandberg); Guildlings (Sirvo Studios); Paratopic (Arbitrary Metric)

Excellence in Audio

  • ETHEREAL (Nonsense Arts - Nicolás Recabarren and Tomás Batista)
  • Hypnospace Outlaw (Jay Tholen, Mike Lasch, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Corey Cochran)
  • Moss (Polyarc)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope)
  • Alto's Odyssey (Team Alto)
  • Paratopic (Arbitrary Metric)

Honorable Mentions: Creaks (Amanita Design); Holedown (grapefrukt games); Pikuniku (Sectordub); The Messenger (Sabotage); Distance (Refract Studios); Wandersong (Greg Lobanov & A Shell in the Pit); Wattam (Funomena)

Excellence in Design

  • What the Golf? (Triband)
  • Do Not Feed the Monkeys (Fictiorama Studios)
  • Noita (Nolla Games)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope)
  • Dicey Dungeons (Terry Cavanagh, Chipzel, and Marlowe Dobbe)
  • Opus Magnum (Zachtronics)

Honorable Mentions: Subnautica (Unknown Worlds Entertainment); Carto (Sunhead Games); Black Room (Cassie McQuater); JUMPGRID (Ian MacLarty); Mirror Drop (Ian Lilley); Hypnospace Outlaw (Jay Tholen, Mike Lasch, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Corey Cochran); Beat Saber (Beat Games)

Excellence in Narrative

  • Wandersong (Greg Lobanov & A Shell in the Pit)
  • Genital Jousting (Free Lives)
  • Unavowed (Wadjet Eye Games)
  • Seers Isle (Nova-box)
  • Watch Me Jump (Jeremy Gable)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope)

Honorable Mentions: Do Not Feed The Monkeys (Fictiorama Studios); The Hex (Daniel Mullins Games)
Speed Dating for Ghosts (Copychaser Games); after HOURS (Bahiyya Khan, Claire Meekel, Tim Flusk, Abi Meekel); Fortune-499 (AP Thomson); Marie's Room (like Charlie); Tango: The Adventure Game (Gualicho Games)

Nuovo Award

  • Circle0 (yesyes)
  • eCheese Zone (Seemingly Pointless)
  • Noita (Nolla Games)
  • Mirror Drop (Ian Lilley)
  • Black Room (Cassie McQuater)
  • Paratopic (Arbitrary Metric)
  • Do Not Feed the Monkeys (Fictiorama Studios)
  • Nth Dimension[al] Hiking (Zachariah Chandler)

Honorable Mentions: All Our Asias (Sean Han Tani); Hypnospace Outlaw (Jay Tholen, Mike Lasch, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Corey Cochran); Cyberpet Graveyard (alienmelon); levedad (solimporta); Subserial Network (Aether Interactive); macdows 95 (gamebra.in); The Norwood Suite (Cosmo D); Nerve Damage (Dennis Carr)

Best Student Game

  • It's Paper Guy! (Paper Team)
  • Grace Bruxner Presents: The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game (Grace Bruxner)
  • After HOURS (Bahiyya Khan, Claire Meekel, Tim Flusk, Abi Meekel)
  • En Garde! (En Garde! Team)
  • levedad (solimporta)
  • Sole (Gossamer Games)

Honorable Mentions: We Should Talk (HeartBeetStudio); Coffin Rot Brewing Co. (Rosser-McGraw Studio); Fling to the Finish (SplitSide Games); Indecision. (Bilge Kaan); Seasons (David Su and Dominique Star); supertype (Philipp Stollenmayer); Atlas' Fate: Between Light and Darkness (Baby Robot Games); Marbloid (Supyrb)

The alt.ctrl.GDC award will be announced during the ceremony as well, which will honor the best game that uses accessible or alternative physical controls with a $3,000 prize handed out to the winner.

What do you think about the nominees on offer this year? Let us know in the comments below. 

Senior Editor

Fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games, Brittany is a Senior Editor at Shacknews who thrives on surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake and check out her portfolio for more. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!

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