IGF 2010 Entries Announced

It’s that time of year again. The 306 (Count ’em!) entries to the 2010 IGF awards have been announced. You can browse them at your leisure, with many of them actually including stuff which you can download if you want to play at home. Interestingly, at first glance, there appears to be more already released completed games than usual – and there’s a fair helping of games which RPS have previously championed. I’m a judge again this year, and hope to do a better job than last time round, when I was terribly slack. Good luck to everyone who’s entered. Scanning the list, anyone see anything which looks particularly interesting? I’ll post about one of them in a bit…


  1. Miles of the Machination says:

    There’s a lot of fantastic stuff here, but the problem I have with a lot of indie games is that they tend to aim way above their resource limits and create something that is around 1/4 of the quality of a AAA title, as opposed to focusing on something really polished but within their capacity. By they way, is anybody getting STALKER flashbacks whilst watching that 7 nights video?

    • Dominic White says:

      Better have them aim high and create something ambitious and rough than go the way of less idealistic, larger studios and make something polished and safe.

    • LewieP says:

      There are also some phenomenally polished indie games out there too.

    • Gap Gen says:

      In terms of 7 Nights, it’s clearly the best idea to name your game with something that appears way near the top of an alphabetical list. No-one should call their game “Zzz…”, for example, unless people tend to skip to the end of lists.

  2. Risingson says:

    Only 306 entries?

  3. Muzman says:

    This one: link to igf.com

    looks a bit crude and underdone, but the idea is cool. Who didn’t enjoy physics nonsense in Quake 3, Portal etc. Why not make that the game.

  4. Risingson says:

    There is even a game based on marriage in Jane Austen novels! That’s SO AMAZING!

  5. Huw says:


  6. LewieP says:

    I’ll be rooting for (of the ones I have already played) Terry Cavanagh’s games, Don’t look back and VVVVV, RunMan: Race Around the World, Time Fcuk (which really should have won the 2007 IGFs), Flywrench, Joe Danger, Cogs, Colorz and Eversion.

    Plus there are a bnch of games on that list that I have been looking forwards to for a while, and so it’ll be interesting to see how they do.

    But as always, the IGF if about the games I’ve not already seen/played for me.

    Also, holy shit, getting to see more on Limbo finally.

    • Dominic White says:

      They should give Time Fcuk honorary IGF awards for both 2007 and 2013 this year.

  7. Sagan says:

    Really impressive list.
    What is the judging process? Do you have to select five finalists out of those 300? That has got to be a really hard job. There are a LOT of really good games in there.

    One title I would like you to write about is Fatale. Not in the context of the IGF, but in general. You only wrote once that it was released, and wrote nothing after that.

  8. Therlun says:

    Heritage sounds really interesting.
    link to igf.com

    Like A story driven King of Dragon Pass.

  9. Miles of the Machination says:

    In response to Dominic White: True, I think I miscommunicated what I was thinking in my tired haze. What I meant to say was that developers should aim for something ambitious and imaginative (regardless of the quality of the initial build) instead of trying to make Halo 3 on a shoestring. I’ve seen it a couple of times, and I can’t help but feel that time has been wasted in creating something mediocre, that could have been great, had the team known their limitations and used this knowledge to create something great by compounding all of their best attributes into something smaller and simpler, but more interesting.

    • Mike says:

      Some people want to make Sci-Fi FPSes, though. And that’s fair enough – for some people, modding isn’t enough and they want to build from the ground up.

      I think the term Indie is getting a bit muddled now it’s so prominent online. There’s a distinction between amateur games development and experimental gameplay development, I agree. But neither is bad.

  10. Binni says:

    I think the IGF kind of shot itself in the foot last time by giving Blueberry Garden the grand prize. Sure it’s a pretty and somewhat innovative game in it’s own way…but it is also the gaming equivalent of art wank! Don’t get me wrong…I love a bit of gaming art wank now and then, like Braid and others but Blueberry Garden is not near that game in quality nor innovation. Machinarium or some other really deserving title should’ve taken the grand prize last time and now we will expect the prize going to some pretty little artsy game…..the IGF really shouldn’t be like the Cannes festival, but more like Sundance.

  11. menki says:

    Starflight: The Lost Colony looks kind of awesome. New sort-of-remake of Starflight by a bunch of students with permission from the original copyright owner.

    link to igf.com

  12. Kua says:

    “I’m a judge again this year, and hope to do a better job than last time round, when I was terribly slack.”

    This is a story I obviously haven’t heard. In what way were you ‘slack’, if you don’t mind me asking?

  13. edosan says:

    I’m glad to see Auditorium on the list.

  14. Risingson says:

    “Machinarium or some other really deserving title should’ve taken the grand prize last time ”

    Why Binnie? For being another Gobliiins clone with sliders but this time with no “there is no spoken dialog!” criticism?

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      If you don’t like Machinarium you basically have no soul.

    • Risingson says:

      I like it. But I don’t undestand how, what is basically another 2d adventure, is forgiven for its flaws and praised universally. This is more an arbitrary hype that anything else, something that reminds me of what happened back then with Runaway or Syberia. (Of course Machinarium is quite better than the two other examples). And then the new the Telltale games are critisized for obtuse puzzles and adventure mechanics. This is just absurd, and when that happens with “indie” games, it quite annoys me. And of course I’m enjoying the game, though having a 5-in a row and rest of sliders reminds me too much of what sank first person adventures (7th guest, black dahlia, the dreaded Detallion games) down the sink.

    • Binni says:

      Well I don’t judge a game simply by it’s mechanics. Machinarium had nice mechanics and a cute story. Where it shone however was the realization of the world, the art style, character and finally the beyond awesome music which is probably one of the best ever soundtracks in gaming history.

      It would’ve been a deserved winner, among other games.

      Blueberry Garden ….wasn’t…by any stretch of the imagination.

    • Risingson says:

      So everything but the game itself :P

      No, you are right, the aesthetics is what makes you forgive the design flaws.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Aesthetics do matter and it wasn’t the only thing that was good about it. The game had some ingenious puzzles, plenty of truly heartwarming and :3 moments, a great soundtrack and sucked you right into the world, making you care about the protagonist straight away, even though you knew next to nothing about him. The flaws (some obtuse puzzles, no names for items so you don’t always know what they are, movement issues due to the flash implementation, occasional stupid non-point and click puzzles like the one in the arcade) are easily overlooked in favour of what a wonderful world they’ve put together.

      More importantly, what Machinarium represents is the ability for indie games to compete with big budget titles in terms of graphics, not with render-farms, hollywood production standards or armies of 3d modellers, but with a couple of artists who simply have the talent and vision to realise what they’re trying to create.

  15. Some Guy says:

    the way you tell if a games indi?
    by its company name it says (not yet a legal entity)

  16. Ploddish says:

    Frictional Games’ new title is in there too.

    link to igf.com

    It’s certainly prettier than Penumbra!

  17. Lambchops says:

    i really need to get round to trying Cogs. It looks like my type of game.

    Time Fcuk definitely deserves to do well.

    Not so convinced by Runman though. I enjoyed the look and music but those boss levels were horrid and i never felt any real compulsion to actually finish it or try getting better scores.

    Also Joe Danger looks like it’s going to be amazing and seems to be garnering universal praise from those who have played it so I’m looking forward to it.

    As for the rest I’m going to wait a bit for the massive list to be wittled down to the final nominees and then indulge myself in some indie goodness.

  18. LewieP says:

    For conviences sake, I am compiling links to all of the games that are publicly available, be it commercially, a demo, or whatever:

    link to savygamer.co.uk

    • Lambchops says:

      That’s handy! Cheers.

      Might give some of these a go if i have an idle moment.

  19. ScalyWg says:

    thankyou LewieP – that is awesome!

  20. John Sizer says:

    link to igf.com
    This one just looked interesting to me. From what I gathered, when you start each level, everything is in grayscale, but you collect pigments and the world gradually becomes more colorful. The character design is simple, but charming.

    link to igf.com
    Apparently, the girl who sang the Plants vs. Zombies song actually made this game, which is already +100 cool points in my book. It’s got a really great story and some beautiful music. She made these interesting dungeons where you have to collect song pieces in order to solve puzzles.