Minecraft strikes gold at Indie Game Fest

GDC 2011: Mojang's sandbox game triumphs at Game Developers Conference-associated awards show; Bit.Trip Runner takes home Excellence in Visual Art.

As is the case every year, the annual Game Developers Choice Awards were immediately preceded by the Independent Games Festival awards, which honor some of the most innovative smaller-scale titles created during the prior year.

New IGF chairman Brandon Boyer took the stage to discuss the grand prize purse for the night--some $50,000. Anthony Carboni, host of Web series Bytejacker, served as the night's emcee and began with a round of jokes that drew mixed reactions. "I hope you enjoy tonight, because soon you'll all be subsidiaries of [FarmVille publisher] Zynga," he joked to widespread chuckles. "I hope you like farms."

Minecraft won big at the 2011 IGF Awards.

Then it was on to the awards. First up was Technical Excellence, a category won by the first-person horror game Amnesia: The Dark Descent from Frictional Games. In other categories, the Excellence in Design nod went to 10-minute "dungeon crawl" adventure Desktop Dungeons from QCF Design. Best Mobile Game went to Ratloop's Helsing's Fire, and Excellence in Visual Art was won by WiiWare actioner Bit.Trip Runner from Gaijin Games.

However, the main trophy--the Seumas McNally Grand Prize--was handed out by last year's winner, Monaco creator Andy Schatz. Schatz revealed this year's big winner to be Mojang's indie sensation sandbox game Minecraft, which also garnered the audience award earlier in the evening.

The full list of nominees and winners follows below.

Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games)
Spy Party (Chris Hecker)
Desktop Dungeons (QCF Design)
WINNER: Minecraft (Mojang)
Nidhogg (Messhof)

Honorable mentions: Neptune's Pride (Iron Helmet Games); Super Crate Box (Vlambeer); Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale (Carpe Fulgur); Bit.Trip Runner (Gaijin Games); Retro City Rampage (Vblank Entertainment).

Excellence in Visual Art
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
The Dream Machine (Cockroach)
Cave Story (2010 Edition) (Nicalis)
WINNER: Bit.Trip Runner (Gaijin Games)
Hohokum (Honeyslug & Richard Hogg)

Honorable mentions: Retro City Rampage (Vblank Entertainment); Cobalt (Oxeye Game Studio); Faraway (Steph Thirion); Helsing's Fire (Ratloop); Flotilla (Blendo Games).

Technical Excellence
Minecraft (Mojang)
Confetti Carnival (SpikySnail Games)
WINNER: Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games)
Neverdaunt: 8Bit (Robot Loves Kitty)
Miegakure (Marc Ten Bosch)

Honorable mentions: Cobalt (Oxeye Game Studio); Achron (Hazardous Software); Hazard: The Journey of Life (Demruth); Overgrowth (Wolfire Games); Swimming Under Clouds (Piece of Pie Studios)

Excellence in Design
WINNER: Desktop Dungeons (QCF Design)
Super Crate Box (Vlambeer)
Nidhogg (Messhof)
Faraway (Steph Thirion)
Minecraft (Mojang)

Honorable mentions: Helsing's Fire (Ratloop); Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale (Carpe Fulgur); Flotilla (Blendo Games); Bo (Mahdi Bahrami); Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally OK Now [B.U.T.T.O.N.] (Copenhagen Game Collective)

Excellence in Audio
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Retro City Rampage (Vblank Entertainment)
WINNER: Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games)
Bit.Trip Beat (Gaijin Games)
Cobalt (Oxeye Game Studio)

Honorable mentions: Bit.Trip Runner (Gaijin Games); Cave Story (2010 Edition) (Nicalis); Jamestown (Final Form Games); NightSky (Nicalis); Planck (Shadegrown Games)

Best Mobile Game
Shot Shot Shoot (Erik Svedang)
Colorbind (Nonverbal)
WINNER: Helsing's Fire (Ratloop)
Solipskier (Mikengreg)
Halcyon (Stfj)

Audience Award
WINNER: Minecraft (Mojang)

Nuovo Award
WINNER: Nidhogg (Messhof)

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Discussion

30 comments
DitchyJ
DitchyJ

haha got to love minecraft. Its just one of those games you can just keep playing and playing. People play it for artistic stuff, to show off, to survive alone or with friends or like me, just chillout and see what happens. I have followed it since alpha, and the developer is one of a kind. Good bloke who really understands how to make a great indie sandbox game. Keep smiling :)

TheRealLisaAnn
TheRealLisaAnn

Why the trollin' on Dec 31, 1969? It's a typo. Get over it n00bs.

oUNKNOWNo
oUNKNOWNo

What IS Minecraft? Is it fun? It looks.... Very creative :)

FireboltDS
FireboltDS

Amnesia is in many of these lists. Good!

Taix34
Taix34

Go Mojang! i Love Minecraft!! :D

hostX9
hostX9

It's great to see that indie games are actually drawing some attention of people. I just love indie games and their ideas! 3 times hooray for Minecraft :D

franzito
franzito

Go indie develops, go! They make me wanna play!

sieg6529
sieg6529

that game is like crack. as I'm tunneling down, down, and down, I wonder "why the hell am I doing this?"

swiftsilk
swiftsilk

Such a fantastic game..so many memories,the best indy ive ever played

Hanzoadam
Hanzoadam

Oh the joys of minecraft, though it takes so much of your time with out you realising it

HT89488
HT89488

I would pay 1600 MS points to have this on xbox 360, maybe even more.

eriktkire
eriktkire

there are so many minecraft clones now that don't require you to buy into the alpha/beta to access multiplay... it's so good too hear that Minecraft is winning out in the end despite those freebie imitations. Andy deserves the support, he was the originator of this pixellated Minecraft style sandbox genre(-ish) and he's doing a great job.

broncosfan
broncosfan

Congrats Notch on a job well done!

juzek
juzek

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

CaptainAhab13
CaptainAhab13

Let's be honest here -- Minecraft is so awesome people were talking about it 41 years ago. Now THAT'S what I call a solid fanbase. :D

BAD-C0MPANY
BAD-C0MPANY

"Dec 31, 1969" What in the world is a Gamespot? IS THAT A MAN HIDING IN THIS HERE TV SCREEN?

Shardz7
Shardz7

I think Notch struck gold well over a year ago, but more awards and trophies are always fun to look at between game builds. I'm also glad that Amnesia made it in the mix and the others, as well. Indie games are filling the deep, dark void that gamers have been craving for years now and it's paying off for everyone. Especially my wallet.

thecartman80
thecartman80

I wonder why this game is awsome. better than roblox with the spam, noobs and lagg MINECRAFT IS EPIK!!

Echofoxz
Echofoxz

Not only was it big in IGF, Minecraft also won some big ones in GDC awards

CaptainAhab13
CaptainAhab13

I didn't know Gamespot was around in the late 60s. >.>

ZaGodmon
ZaGodmon

And Tor Thorsen is a lot older than he looks.

ZaGodmon
ZaGodmon

OMG, they predicted the winners for Indie Game Fest 2011 in 1970!

Miden08
Miden08

Dec 31, 1969 nice.....

Gezo24
Gezo24

January 1st, 1970. Thats when this article was posted?