October 16, 2008 3:00 PM | Simon Carless
[Am delighted to reveal the full judge line-up for the IGF this year - as you can see, lots of smart indie and indie-friendly folks who will be helping to judge the competition - and there's not long left to enter, developers.]
The organizers of the Independent Games Festival have revealed its full list of judges for the 11th annual version of the competition, with a host of top indie/mainstream creators and media helping to decide this year's winners -- also reminding of the imminent November 1st deadline to enter the IGF Main Competition.
Games selected as finalists in the Main Competition (due November 1st) or Student Showcase competition (due November 15th) will available in playable form on the 2009 Game Developers Conference show floor. Entrants will compete for nearly $50,000 in prizes, including awards for Innovation, Excellence in Design, and the coveted $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the IGF Awards, held in March 2009 during GDC.
Over the past few years, the Independent Games Festival has helped guide the rise of the indie game scene by honoring and popularizing the best and brightest independent developers and their games. Former IGF honorees include Braid, Everyday Shooter, Audiosurf, Castle Crashers, Darwinia, and World of Goo, to name but a few.
The full judge list for this year's IGF competition is as follows:
- Jonathan Blow, Number-None (Braid creator and previous IGF honoree)
- Ian Bogost, Persuasive Games (author, columnist and social game developer)
- Raigan Burns, Metanet (IGF winner and N+ co-creator)
- Tom Buscaglia (IGDA board member, indie-friendly game attorney)
- Russell Carroll, Reflexive/GameTunnel (Wik maker's indie marketing expert, indie website EIC)
- Heather Chaplin (veteran game journalist, Smart Bomb co-author, PBS contributor)
- Jamie Cheng, Klei Entertainment (Eets creator, Indie Games Summit speaker)
- Mark Cooke, Grasshopper Manufacture (former Nihilistic staffer, long-time IGF judge)
- Brian Crecente, Kotaku (Gawker-owned game weblog's chief editor)
- N'Gai Croal, Newsweek (Level Up blogger)
- Mark DeLoura (former Game Developer magazine EIC, industry veteran)
- Phil Fish, Polytron (Fez and GAMMA co-creator, IGF award-winner)
- Kyle Gabler, 2D Boy (Experimental Gameplay Project contributor, World Of Goo co-designer)
- Kieron Gillen, RockPaperShotGun (PC Gamer contributor, Phonogram graphic novel author)
- Chaim Gingold (Spore editor design lead)
- Chris Grant, Joystiq (EIC of leading AOL-owned game blog)
- Kyle Gray, Electronic Arts - Tiburon (Henry Hatsworth team leader, Experimental Gameplay Project contributor)
- Alec Holowka, Infinite Ammo/Bit Blot (co-creator of IGF Seumas McNally Award-winning title Aquaria)
- Rod Humble, The Sims Label/EA (Head of The Sims franchise, The Marriage art-game creator)
- Soren Johnson, EA Maxis (Designer for Spore, lead designer on Civilization IV)
- Chris Kohler, Wired (Game|Life weblog editor)
- Dave Kosak, GameSpy (veteran IGF commentator, GameSpy journalist)
- Elan Lee, Fourth Wall Studios (ARG creator, 42 Entertainment co-founder, ilovebees designer)
- Tony Mott, Edge Magazine (UK game magazine EIC)
- Petri Purho, Kloonigames (IGF Grand Prize winner with Crayon Physics Deluxe)
- Chris Rausch, SuperVillain Studios (Order Up! creator, Fl0w PSP version developer)
- Chris Remo, Gamasutra (Gamasutra Editor-At-Large, former Shacknews EIC)
- Brian Reynolds, Big Huge Games (Alpha Centauri, Rise Of Nations designer, former IGDA board chairman)
- Brian Robbins, Fuel Industries (Casual game creator/evangelist, long-time IGF judge)
- Sam Roberts, IndieCade (Slamdance Games curator, indie festival stalwart)
- Margaret Robertson, Lookspring (Former Edge editor, BBC columnist)
- Jim Rossignol, RockPaperShotgun ('This Gaming Life' author, Wired contributor)
- Andy Schatz (Former IGF finalist with Venture Africa, IGF Awards presenter)
- Kellee Santiago, thatgamecompany (IGF Student Showcase winner with Cloud, Flow/Flower co-creator)
- Mare Sheppard, Metanet (IGF winner and N+ co-creator)
- Steve Swink, Flashbang Studios (Jetpack Brontosaurus developer, IGF/Indie Game Summit co-organizer)
- Stephen Totilo, MTV News (MTV Multiplayer weblog editor)
- Tim W., IndieGames.com (Independent game website veteran editor)
- Matthew Wegner, Flashbang Studios (IGF/Indie Game Summit co-organizer, Off-Road Velociraptor Safari developer)
- Mick West (former Game Developer magazine columnist, Neversoft co-founder)
- Don Wurster, Gastronaut Studios (Small Arms co-creator, Indie Games Summit speaker)
- Derek Yu, Bit Blot (Aquaria co-designer, TIGSource website editor)
Winners, as picked by the 2009 IGF judges, will be announced on stage at the prestigious Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
The Independent Games Festival Awards are held along the Game Developers Choice Awards, and both award shows are part of the 2009 Game Developers Conference, which also features a two-day Independent Games Summit, with lectures and panels from the best indie developers.
The event's sister IGF Mobile competition is also giving away $30,000 to the top cellphone, iPhone, and other portable device games this year.
More information on this year's Independent Games Festival is available at its official website.