IGF Winners! Monaco’s Gamble Pays Off

And the IGF winners have been announced and Monaco is the belle of this particular gaming ball, picking up two awards, including the Grand Prize. The incredibly atmospheric Limbo also picked up two awards, for Visual lookitude and technical prettiosity. The Grand Prize winner takes home $20,000 (Count ’em) dollars, with all of the other categories bringing home $2,500. Except for the D2D one, which is 10K. A run down of all the winners follows. Well done all. And lend us a fiver.

Seumas McNally Grand Prize:
Monaco, by Pocketwatch Games

IGF Nuovo Award:
Tuning, by Cactus

Excellence in Visual Art:
Limbo, by PlayDead

Excellence in Audio:
Closure, by Closure Team

Technical Excellence:
Limbo, by PlayDead

Excellence in Design:
Monaco, by Pocketwatch Games

Student Showcase Award:
Continuity, by Ragtime Games

IGF Mobile Best Game:
Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor, by Tiger Style

Audience Award:
Heroes Of Newerth, by S2 Games

D2D Vision Award:
Max & The Magic Marker, by Press Play

Thoughts? Well, my actual analysis wasn’t that far off, though I generally had far too little faith in the judges. I thought Monaco’s MP-centric nature would trip it up, but clearly not and I’m very excited to see what happens next with it. Limbo and Closure are – for want of a better phrase – very IGF games, and certainly are fine examples in their categories. And go Cactus, etc.

I admit, I totaly forgot about the audience award. Basically, it was voted for by the public here, based around the people who actually have a demo of the game already out. And Newerth – which has 1,000,000 people in its beta – managed to somehow come top. Who’d have thunk it?


  1. PixelCody says:

    Congrats to all the winners. Monaco sounds very exciting indeed!

    I had my money on either Monaco or Joe Danger winning the grand prize, depending on the type of game the judges were looking for. I personally wouldn’t have placed any Super Meat Boy or Rocketbirds above JD.

    • PixelCody says:

      … I say that like I’ve played them all.

      What I mean is, on first impressions those are the two games that I was very glad to see nominated for the grand prize. I’d rather have seen Limbo (also I have a soft spot for Miegakure) in the running for the SMGP than the rest of the nominees.

      Also, I just went back and read your predictions Kieron. With my limited knowledge of the IGF I was expecting them to veer away from “trad” games like Joe Danger and Super Meat Boy. Monaco was my front runner for that reason alone (having not played it).

  2. internisus says:

    I was really rooting for Trauma.

    Eurogamer has some exciting Limbo hands-on impressions today.

  3. Harley Turan says:

    Cactus’ award acceptance was *perfect*.

  4. Vinraith says:

    I’m a bit disappointed that Today I Die didn’t take excellence in design (or Enviro Bear for that matter). Congrats to Monaco’s multiple win, pity that as a purely MP game it’s not really of any use to me. The concept is certainly cool, though.

    • Wulf says:

      Today I Die deserved to walk with that award, really.

      And that’s all I have to say about that.

      Though I have to admit, usually my views on the IGF choices are as diametrically opposed to the judges as Tale of Tales’ opinions tend to be.

      Lot I could say about this IGF, really. VVVVVV not being in there, Amnesia being forgotten, Windosill not getting the attention it deserved…

    • InventiveDingo says:

      I had the privilege of playing the IGF build of Monaco, and it’s still very fun in singleplayer; I voted for it on that basis. It gets devilishly hard on the later levels with only one character though!

      Last time I played it I had a go at using two characters, which is *much* easier. You can leave one guy hiding out in a corner somewhere (just be careful and choose your corner wisely!) while you use the other one. If you get killed, it becomes a race to move your hiding guy over to the dead guy so you can give the dead guy a resurrection spell first aid.

      Or you can move them both around simultaneously, which is probably closer to how it’s meant to be played and is tons of fun.

  5. Tei says:

    Is monaco playable yet? :-) where I can download it, and things?

    • Jesse says:

      It’s not ready yet, and it’s not downloadable, and I’m looking forward very much to the time RPS tells us it is.

  6. Wulf says:

    Excited about Monaco, I’ll say that.

    Can’t say that the IGF has done much to change my view of it since I first saw a video of it.

    As for the IGF, well… the IGF is kind of like the Michelin guide of the indie world, isn’t it? And all that that implies.

  7. M says:

    I think Monaco really deserved it. It’s such a nice middle ground – identifiably indie, not too niche, still essentially playable. Super stuff, can’t wait.

  8. remover says:

    heroes of newerth one something? really?
    at least S2’s other games were something fresh and innovative, but another boring “DOTA” clone won audience award?

  9. Jim Rossignol says:

    Monaco is properly excellent. It is actually to my shame that we haven’t written more about it.

  10. Lilliput King says:

    Looking forward to Monaco so much! Deliver me some words to tide me over pretty please hivemind.

  11. Dave says:

    Durs X teaser is up on Gametrailers

    link to gametrailers.com

  12. Jad says:

    How many of these games are actually playable by regular people? I’m not complaining, just wondering. I’d like to try them out.

    (and yes, I could Google them all, and probably will — I’m just hoping that laziness and the kindness of other will pay off)

  13. El Stevo says:

    Monaco is the game that’s caught my eye the most.

  14. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Great. So now PocketWatch can stop developing Monaco, or change it altogether, or add some new not-so cool feature, or lose the source code…

    This thing of voting for best games that aren’t finished yet… I’m getting too excited over my contempt.

    • Wulf says:

      I don’t want to be cynical about Monaco because I’ve loved it ever since I saw the first video of it, but I can’t help but think that a huge competition that grades indie games like meat, comparing completed indie games against others, completely dropping others for mysteriously arbitrary reasons (VVVVVV), and so on, just isn’t healthy in general.

      Just as there are some chefs (including three star chefs) who don’t like the Michelin system, I don’t like this. Besides, I imagine it puts a lot of stress on people in order to get into the IGF to do well, and it must be absolutely crushing if you have a great game that’s just forgotten about, or doesn’t even make it in at all.

      It seems more of a cliquish fap-fest rather than a celebration of indie to me. :/ Just like the Michelin guide is a fap-fest over upper-crust French food rather than a celebration of great food in general.

      Some people dig it, that’s fine, but I just feel kind of bad for everyone involved, winners and losers alike.

    • terry says:

      Well, using your meat analogy, the IGF is much like an indie cattlemarket of the GDC, which is just a bigger cattlemarket. Specialist breeders come for miles around to haggle prices and stare knowingly at udders, discuss feedstuffs and crop rotation techniques, get drunk and have intimate relationships with burly farming ladies. I don’t see the problem here. Farmers meet all the time and it doesn’t bother the cattle. In the same way these awards don’t affect the games (beyond the obvious monetary incentives and general plaudits).

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Award cermonies are always nonsense, one way or another. It’s a matter of degree. I have my reservations about how the IGF does stuff – I’d prefer it to be finished games only too, though I can see why they don’t – but it could be a damn sight worse. Historically speaking, it’s brought attention to a lot of really interesting stuff.

      Put it another way: name a better games award ceremony.


    • Nick says:

      @KG Golden Joysticks, obviously.


    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      >> Put it another way: name a better games award ceremony.

      It’s a good point, naturally. There’s no interest in seeing IGF go away because it’s not as good as I would like it to be. But I too feel, the IGF has long stopped being a service to the indie “industry” and became more of a disservice. A good intention gradually going wronger, until the point you start hearing more than just a few slightly angry voices (voices you wouldn’t hear just a few years ago).

      So the idea is to keep trying to make it better by constantly arguing against its flaws. Your concerns over whether a game should be voted for its indie-ness when its already a finalist is one example, as are concerns for games that get forgotten, or games that aren’t even finished.

      The issue of who wins and why will eventually one day become an issue open for political debate, exactly because much of the awards are starting to become tainted by too many arguable rules. When that happens, the IGF will stop becoming useful and will join with the ranks of all other awards of which the only relevant award is the one where players are allowed to vote.

      I do agree however, that no matter what they do, it will always be an a showcase of what the indie folks have been working on.

  15. Delboy says:

    Sorry .. but the idea of winning an award for something that’s not complete (read “on sale” yet) seems crazy to me. We can’t really extend the “michellin stars” analogy here – because Chef’s don’t get awards for food that’s only half done, or only available to the person that judges whether they get a star or not.

    I appreciate that Indies sometimes need to get cash/backing to finish their game – but surely that’s more about capitalising the business (or – selling your idea).

    I can’t think of many other industries where you can win an award for something that’s not actually been done/finished … can someone counter and tell me why it /is/ a good idea? (KG?)


  16. sighus says:


    It provides encouragement to do well I guess? Doesn’t make sense to me either. Half of the IGF winners end up being piss poor and irrelevant games that had a gimmicky or unique concept but failed as actual games. It’s all an indie circle jerk, to me.

  17. Jayt says:

    If it was completed games, I would give more of a stuff

  18. sexyresults says:

    Oh but massive props to Andy and co., can’t wait to get ma grubby mits on Monaco!