Independent Games Festival Names Winners, Including A Short Hike Receiving The Grand Prize

Independent Games Festival Names Winners, Including A Short Hike Receiving The Grand Prize
Credit: GDC

When GDC 2020 moved online, the Independent Games Festival, or IGF, went along with it. Thankfully, this didn’t stop them from holding the festivities, and they’ve named a winner!

There’s a wide category for games to have won in – Excellence in Design, Excellence in Audio, and Excellence in Narrative to name a few. One outstanding game took grand prize as well – Adam Robinson-Yu’s A Short Hike.

A Short Hike has been named as the best indie game of the year, taking the Seumas McNally Grand Prize over all of the other contestants! Along with the obvious prestige of winning such a title, the developers also take home a $10,000 monetary award.

That isn’t the only thing that Robinson-Yu’s title is being awarded, though! Fans also gave A Short Hike their Audience Award, netting it another $2,000 award!

The Excellence in Visual Art award goes to Foam Sword’s Knights and Bikes in acknowledgement of the lovely hand-painted graphics and unique visual style.

For their incredible audio work, Danish development studio Die Gute Fabrik’s Mutazione takes home Excellence in Audio.

Excellence in Design is being given to Patrick Traynor’s Patrick’s Parabox, a surreal and creative game that provided an innovative puzzler experience through the manipulation of space.

Excellence in Narrative is being given to Inkle’s Heaven’s Vault, an archaeological science-fiction game that lets players explore and discover stories through interaction and puzzles.

Christoph Frey’s The Space Between will take home the Nuovo Award, given to games that manage to push the boundaries of games and forces the audience to rethink games as a whole. Their surreal and nostalgic title provided a dreamy atmosphere that transcended reality and presented human truths to the players.

Finally, Goblin Rage’s Bore Dome takes the award for Best Student GameBore Dome is being honored for the well-honed mechanics of their first-person exploration title that also speaks to the human experience.

Each of these awards will be taking home $2,000 as well, a sizeable award for any independent developer. More than anything, it’ll likely draw a great amount of traffic to these titles to get them the attention they deserve.

It seems like independent titles grow in popularity every year, with some of the most recognizable names in gaming nowadays being independent. Games like Minecraft and Undertale all started as independent titles, and they’ve revolutionized gaming powerfully over the last decade, with the help of countless other titles. Independent is the way of the future, and these titles are on the front lines.