Last Friday evening, a special ceremony was held, in which eleven of the the thirty-two finalists (and Tim Schafer!) were honored with awards across thirteen different categories. Given that the eligible finalists were chosen to appear at IndieCade from over 350 games submitted this year, the games on display this year were absolutely worthy of some recognition.
Terry Cavanagh's gravity-switching platformer, VVVVVV, snagged the most "Fun and Compelling" award, which was sponsored by Shacknews and presented by Garnett Lee. Ian Bogost's, A Slow Year, a new title created for the Atari 2600, won both the Virtuoso and Vanguard awards. When accepting the Virtuoso award (presented by the Old Spice Guy), Bogost explained, "This one means a lot because, you look at that game and think, 'Really? Virtuosity?' But, y'know, the Atari  has 128 bytes of ram and no frame buffer, and getting it to do anything at all is sort of a miracle."
Double Fine's Tim Schafer (Brutal Legend, Psychonauts), received the festival's first "Trailblazer" award for his achievements in independent game development. "I think the great thing about IndieCade is that you guys, ...you're showing to younger people who are watching, just how -- not easy -- but how possible it is to make games," he said, during his acceptance speech.
Among the evening's other unexpected bonuses was when master of ceremonies, LeVar Burton, led the audience in a heart-felt rendition of the Reading Rainbow theme song. Almost as awesome as many of the games themselves. Many are free to play (or can be obtained on the cheap), though a few, like the beautiful documentary-themed The Cat and the Coup, won't be available for public consumption for a little while yet. If you're looking for something new and interesting, check out the links below, or the extended pre-show and upcoming post-show coverage on Indie Games Channel.
The complete list of awards and recipients from IndieCade 2010 are as follows:
- Gameplay Innovation Award (sponsored by BBC Worldwide): Continuity by Ragtime Games
- Technological Innovation Award: Miegakure by Marc ten Bosch
- Sound Award: LIMBO by Playdead
- World and Story Award: The Games of Nonchalance by Nonchalance
- Documentary Award: The Cat and the Coup by Peter Brinson and Kurosh ValaNejad
- Aesthetics Award: Spirits by Spaces of Play
- Sublime Experience Award: Faraway by Steph Thirion
- Fun and Compelling Award (sponsored by Shacknews): VVVVVV by Terry Cavanagh
- Wild Card Award: B.U.T.T.O.N. by Copenhagen Game Collective
- Trailblazer Award: Tim Schafer
- Virtuoso Award: A Slow Year by Ian Bogost
- Vanguard Award (sponsored by G4TV.com): A Slow Year by Ian Bogost
- Jury Award: Groping in the Dark by Team Arex
Pffft. If VVVVVV got an award on the first try, the challenge wasn't hard enough. Failure should be inevitable.
Also, shame there wasn't a soundtrack award for PPPPPP to snag.