Small Names Take Big Prizes: 2015 IGF Winners

don't let it go to your head, Outer Wilds

Winners have won, partiers have partied, and another year’s Independent Game Festival awards are done. It was a less predictable list of finalists this year than in recent times, and in turn the winners weren’t ones you could spot a mile off or who’d already won in years past. I’m happy about that, though it does leave me in the mildly awkward situation of not having played most of the winners yet.

Sci-fi exploration title Outer Wilds (which we’ve only ever mentioned here, more fool us) proved to be the festival darling of 2015, taking home both the Grand Prize and the Excellence In Design award. while This War Of Mine also wandered off with a gong. The full list is below, you’ll be unsurprised to hear.

Excellence in Visual Art ($3,000)
Metamorphabet (Patrick Smith of Vectorpark)

Nuovo Award ($5,000)
Tetrageddon Games (Nathalie Lawhead)

Excellence in Audio ($3,000)
Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure (SuperChop Games)

Excellence in Narrative ($3,000)
80 Days (inkle)

Best Student Game ($3,000)
Close Your (Goodbye World Games – University of Southern California)

Audience Award ($3,000)
This War of Mine (11 bit studios)

Excellence in Design ($3,000)
Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize ($30,000)
Outer Wilds (Team Outer Wilds)

Sadly a few of those aren’t available on PC. I’ve been hoping Inkle’s steampunky choose-your-own-adventure 80 Days would head this way for a while now, while I hear only good things about Vectorpark’s Metamorphabet (which I should probably point my toddler at, in fact).

The others are either already on PC or coming out soon. Let’s do the trailer thing to get a better sense of them:

Close Your:

Ephemerid: (out now, paid)

Tetrageddon Games: (out now, free)

This War Of Mine: (out now, paid)

Outer Wilds: (alpha out now, free)

Congrats everyone. It’s good to see less familiar games wearing crowns, which is at least partly because I now have a new bunch of games to eagerly check out.


  1. Harlander says:

    Outer Wilds looks pretty charming – I watched Scott Manley’s video about it a day or two ago – but is it actually finished yet?

  2. amateurviking says:

    Gosh Outer Wilds looks amazing. Tonight is gehms night so I shall have a pootle through this list this evening.


  3. Crafter says:

    Nice !
    I have been following Outer Wilds for quite some time. The concept looks very strong and the team ready to work on it long enough to produce a polished experience. I can’t wait for a release.

  4. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    I played lots and lots of Outer Wilds some months ago. It’s absolutely superb and deserves all the recognition it can get. I expected something like no man’s sky, but instead it’s actually a very small almost clockwork-like model solar system completely covered in sweet, dripping character. There’s a lot to discover on each of the planets, and in between them and I’m looking forward to go back to it once it’s finished.

  5. noodlecake says:

    Man! I forgot about IGF. It was my window into the then underground independent gaming scene back in 2007. It’s crazy how much indie games have exploded in the last 7 years. I used to just have tigsource until RPS took over as my favourite gaming website.

  6. karthink says:

    I have been playing the alpha build of Outer Wilds (“for educational use only”) a few times every week since January, from when Tom Francis gave it high praise on the Crate and Crowbar podcast.

    It is brilliant. I didn’t know what it was about, and the first time I Did The Thing and left the little village behind my jaw dropped. I have since been shouting about it and pushing it onto everybody I know that plays games.

    I still find little alcoves and music sources, marshmallow roasting and all, after a month of in-and-out play.

  7. Shazbut says:

    Outer Wilds is brilliant and must become more brilliant still. Please

  8. JB says:

    Another voice commending Outer Wilds. I played it when RPS first mentioned it and I’ve since changed HDDs and forgotten about it. I’m reinstalling now, I believe I have an appointment with a planet made of brambles…

  9. Muzman says:

    Cool stuff. I look forward to checking these games out and hearing about the close confederacy or romantic ties these developers had with the judges or IGF management.