The finalists for the 21st annual Independent Games Festival 2019 have been released and features a laundry list of fantastic indie games from 2018 as well as early 2019. The event will be held on March 20, 2019 during the Game Developers Conference held in San Fransisco, California. The awards will be hosted by Meg Jayanth, the writer for indie adventure game 80 Days, which won the Excellence in Narrative category at the IGF 2015.
An extensive vetting process for the games included over 300 judges who sent more than 500 games “to a diverse set of expert jurors from across the industry for final consideration,” according to the IGF website. The games were further reduced to six finalists each (eight for the Nuovo Award), spread across seven categories. The categories for the awards are Best Student Game, Nuovo Award (basically the best outside-the-box game), Excellence in Narrative, Excellence in Design, Excellence in Audio, Excellence in Visual Art, and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
Some of the notable finalists include Return of the Obra Din, Hypnospace Outlaw, Noita, and Mirror Drop. All of these games are finalists in more than one category, with Return of the Obra Din gracing all but two (the Nuovo Award and Best Student Game). A full list of all nominees, as well as honorable mentions, can be found on the IGF website.
The winners, collectively, will receive over $50,000 in prize money, with the Seumas McNally Grand Prize winner taking home a whopping $30,000. For those in the San Fransisco area, tickets to the Game Developers Conference are still available in a few different packages, all of which grant you access to the IGF awards show. The GDC conference runs from March 18 through March 22, 2019. For those who are not close, or who just want to experience the awards, they will be streamed on Twitch (and other streaming services to be named at a later date) at 6:30 pm PT on March 20.