2011 IGF Award Winners

By: Brandon McCartin (BMcC)

On: March 2nd, 2011

More Glow == Better Logo

Tonight, onstage alongside the esteemed Game Developers Choice Awards, the winners of the 2011 Independent Games Festival were announced. This lucky thirteenth year’s festivities were kicked off by now-veteran IGF Chairman Brandon “Real Brandon” Boyer, who you may know from Offworld, once one of the finest and most indie-friendly blogs around. (And source of countless aped posts back on TIGSource That Was.)

Andy was never heard from again.

The ceremony proper was helmed by another Indie Apostle, Anthony Carboni of Bytejacker, perhaps the first host to date with actual hosting experience (nothing personal, Andy). And he did quite the bang up job! Of course, it just wouldn’t be the IGF Awards if the live feed‘s audio wasn’t mixed by a partially deaf clown. Despite Anthony’s every breath being the only thing audible, inside sources have confirmed that, yes, people did in fact laugh at his jokes.
There were quite a few memorable moments peppered throughout the show, some of which I’ve listed at the end of this post. And, while I didn’t stick around to watch, word on the street is Limbo and Minecraft grabbed a number of GDC awards as well. Yet another landmark year in the growing History of Indie Games! But enough prevaricating about the bush.

Indicated by pink superlatives, The 13th Annual IGF Award Winners are…

Student Showcase Award


Technical Excellence


Excellence In Design


Best Mobile Game


Excellence In Visual Art


Excellence In Audio


Audience Award


Direct2Drive Vision Award


Nuovo Award


Seumas McNally Grand Prize


And now a few of my own meta-awards:

Smoothest Acceptance Speech
Desktop Dungeons Guy for “We didn’t write a speech, ’cause, you know… Minecraft.”

Coolest Goggles?
Desktop Dungeons Guy Also for His Goggles

Best In Synchronized Chanting
The Audience for “Nuovo! Nuovo! Nuovo!” I think.

Orange Guy is OP.
Sexiest Cosplay
GDFX and Messhof for Yellow Nidhogg Guy and Orange Nidhogg Guy, respectively
Creepiest / Most Intimidating
Tommy and Edmund for Lurking Ominously Behind Andy As He Attempted to Present the Grand Prize

Most Merciless Beatdown
Joe Lieberman vs. Roger Ebert
Runner Up: Tim Schafer vs. Notch

“Go indies!” <3

  • http://www.twitter.com/BeeMickSee Brandon McCartin

    Congrats again to all the winners and nominees! Y'all done me proud. :')

  • Ghidorah

    There are a couple in here that I haven't played yet. I didn't realize how much I would miss playing these games on the floor… guess I will have to try to catch some of them at PAXeast.

    Congrats to the winners!

  • Gnoupi

    Good to talk about the Desktop Dungeons guy's speech, but you actually forgot his category in your summary :

    Excellence In Design:
    Desktop Dungeons <- winner
    Faraway
    Minecraft
    Nidhogg
    Super Crate Box

  • Phubans

    I was at this shit… and I know ya'll haters are gonna be HATIN'… minecreRAFT ONE LIKE 1298347287 LEHHEHEHEHE

  • rinkuhero

    the mega64 and d2d videos were kind of embarassing, and the host's jokes were mostly not funny, but the edmund & tommy appearing behind andy thing was great, the highlight of the show easily

  • http://www.godatplay.com Godatplay

    Thanks for that. We can't miss what won in Design!

  • http://twitter.com/MattThorson Matt Thorson

    Anthony was a great host

  • Joremi

    D2D was kind of awkwards, I agree, but Mega64 videos were hilarious, haha:P

  • Phubans

    Wow, you have absolutely NO sense of humor.

  • Phubans

    Although I agree the IGN/D2D stuff was absolute shite.

  • http://www.twitter.com/BeeMickSee Brandon McCartin

    Hahaha, wow, thanks. I must've deleted it one of the three thousand times I reformatted this. Serves me for posting on no sleep. Fix'd!

  • http://www.twitter.com/BeeMickSee Brandon McCartin

    Very true!

  • http://twitter.com/sabanski_n Nathaniel Sabanski

    Aw.. No nudity or “FUCK YEAH” acceptance speeches this year. ): Although it was hilarious when Minecraft won, everyone got pissy at Notch because he “didn't expect to win anything”.

    Andy Schatz needs to come back to host. Tim Schafer is a waaay more entertaining MC than whoever did the indie show this year.

  • http://twitter.com/GabrielVerdon Gabriel Verdon

    I was really hoping Hohokum would win for visual art. I have never seen a game like it.

  • Squidly

    How did Bit.Trip Runner win the “Excellence In Visual Art” award?

    Don't get me wrong, it's a fun game… but it's not particularly impressive on any level.
    The hand-drawn graphics of Bastion look far more deserving. Pixel, too, surely deserved something.

  • Phubans

    I'm actually surprised nobody thought it in poor taste for that rape joke. I guess it's okay for Penny Arcade to joke about stuff that could be a psychological trigger for people, right?

  • Marcus

    Mega64 was fun two years ago, less so last year, and this year it just felt old. I thought Anthony's jokes were good enough though (but when you don't hear the laughter, it makes it sound really really awkward)

  • 14123

    It was because of all the shit that went down about the dickwolves thing, they got a lot of stick for doing a joke about the dickwolves that come and rape people. I'm notsure if the striP is still up, but I think until recently you could buy tshirts that said something like “I support team dickwolves”

  • Jay

    Desktop Dungeons Excellence In Design ?
    What.The.Fuck.

  • salade

    why not?

    Great awards show. This was way better than the Oscars.

    Anthony did a great host Job, although Tim Schaeffer just has to be one of the funniest men alive.

  • DragonSix

    In the end I'm not quite sure how I should feel about minecraft winning the grand prize.

  • Robert2

    Newsflash: nobody cares what you think

  • AGuy

    Now the only difference between the IGF and the GDCA is that the GDCA has better jokes.

  • http://blog.redpointsoftware.com.au/author/jrhodes/ James Rhodes

    Personally I think the awards this year were much easier to watch because Anthony was a great host, not completely awkward like last years.

    And Team Meat just walking on stage for the final award was just hilarious (especially their reaction to the announcement of the winner :P).

  • Robert2

    yeah let's complain how even mainstream developers agree that indies kick their asses. Obviously this is a horrible thing. Obviously IGF judges should decide who to nominate only after talking it through with the GDCA judges.

  • AGuy

    Newsflash: You're not very smart. :)

  • http://twitter.com/poe_ope PatrickC

    Wow, you have absolutely NO sense of humor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Francis-Coulombe/906110494 Francis Coulombe

    Haha just saw the video of the ceremony. They did have awful sound there. Between the crowd seeming completely silent and dead to all of Anthony's jokes, to Anthony's mic catching his breathing like that, it made the whole thing sound super awkward…

    But it was pretty good still!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Francis-Coulombe/906110494 Francis Coulombe

    Its pretty funny how the context of the videos shown affected how theyre perceived.
    The three videos shown being in the context of an award show, we expect to hear an audience reaction to the jokes in them (even if we dont usually expect that in mega64 videos). And so the lack of an audience reaction made them seem really terrible and unfunny. Even worse; the jokes in them poking fun at indies themselves who make up most of the audience, the lack of reaction made the jokes seem MEAN instead of tongue in cheek, as if no one was laughing because everyone was offended (worse it even makes it seem like that was intended!)
    While I am sure the audience was cracking up the whole time.

  • lokijki

    I actually saw a few Twitter post complaining about the Direct2Drive video, I'm sure that was actually offensive to at least a few of the people there and it really wasn't all that clever to begin with. I loved Anthony's jokes and chuckled at the Mega64 videos, though. :P

  • Bobiv

    who cares what games won this joke competition

  • lokijki

    Several people, I think.

  • WasAtShow

    This year had a strange feeling of blurring of lines between the 2 awards ceremonies. Probably proving that we are all just making games. The criteria lies in a strange grey area. Where not just a company but a specific game can transition from one ceremony (Super Meat Boy) to another… even inside of a year! (Minecraft). It made me think about game development in terms of people, creatives, and CEO's rather than Companies. So Jon Blow, not Number none. Etc… Who ever has the true control is independent in whatever is being done. In many cases everybody has atleast a tiny bit of control. In most accepted-as-indie games there are just a few. right? Sorry, i forgot, no real criteria. lol

  • Thewreck

    I dont know if it was just my table, but everyone i could see enjoyed the show a lot. Maybe it was the free beer and free wine, but i can assure you the audience was not silent to the jokes or the movies.