Minecraft, Amnesia lead IGF Award finalists

Mojang and Frictional Games score trio of nods for GDC's top indie-game prizes; ceremony to precede Game Developers Choice Awards on March 2.

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Who will follow Monaco as the latest Seumas McNally Grand Prize winner for independent gaming? The front-runners have been identified, as the Independent Games Festival today announced the Main Competition finalists for this year's competition. The IGF Awards will precede the Game Developers Choice Awards on March 2, a date situated in the midst of the 2011 Game Developers Conference, which will be held at San Francisco's Moscone Center from February 28-March 4.

Amnesia gained notoriety for its atmosphere.
Amnesia gained notoriety for its atmosphere.

Five games are up for this year's top prize, which carries a $20,000 purse. These games include Frictional Games Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which received high marks upon its PC release in September, as well as Mojang's still-in-beta Minecraft, each of which received nods in three categories. The two games will be going head-to-head for the Technical Excellence award, while Minecraft is up for Excellence in Design and Amnesia vies for Excellence in Audio accolades.

Gaijin Games' Bit.Trip Runner also received three nods from the IGF jury, though none came for the top Seamus McNally award. Other multi-award nominees this year include Messhof's Nidhogg (two), QCF Design's Desktop Dungeons (two), and Supergiant Games' Bastion (two).

The IGF will be dispersing an additional $30,000 to indie developers across a number of other categories. Listed below, these categories include Excellence in Visual Art, Technical Excellence, Excellence in Design, Excellence in Audio, and Best Mobile Game.

This year's IGF will also feature a new category, the Nuovo Award, which will honor "abstract, short-form, and unconventional game development that advances the medium and the way we think about games." The IGF named eight contenders, including Monobanda's Bohm, Cardboard Computer's A House in California, Messhof's Nidhogg, Stout Games' Dinner Date, Nicolai Troshinsky's Loop Raccord, Peter Brinson and Kurosh ValaNejad's The Cat and the Coup, Copenhagen Game Collective's Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally OK Now (B.U.T.T.O.N.), and Demruth's Hazard: The Journey of Life. The award carries a $5,000 prize.

More information on this year's IGF Award contenders can be found on the organization's official website.

Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games)
Desktop Dungeons (QCF Design)
Minecraft (Mojang)
Nidhogg (Messhof)
SpyParty (Chris Hecker)
Honorable mentions:
Bit.Trip Runner (Gaijin Games); Neptune’s Pride (Iron Helmet Games); Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale (Carpe Fulgur); Retro City Rampage (Vblank Entertainment); Super Crate Box (Vlambeer)

Excellence in Visual Art
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Bit.Trip Runner (Gaijin Games)
Cave Story (2010 Edition) (Nicalis)
The Dream Machine (Cockroach)
Hohokum (Honeyslug & Richard Hogg)
Honorable mentions:
Cobalt (Oxeye Game Studio); Faraway (Steph Thirion); Flotilla (Blendo Games); Helsing’s Fire (Ratloop); Retro City Rampage (Vblank Entertainment)

Technical Excellence
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games)
Confetti Carnival (SpikySnail Games)
Miegakure (Marc ten Bosch)
Minecraft (Mojang)
Neverdaunt:8Bit (Robot Loves Kitty)
Honorable mentions:
Achron (Hazardous Software); Cobalt (Oxeye Game Studio); Hazard: The Journey of Life (Demruth); Overgrowth (Wolfire Games); Swimming Under Clouds (Piece of Pie Studios)

Excellence in Design
Desktop Dungeons (QCF Design)
Faraway (Steph Thirion)
Minecraft (Mojang)
Nidhogg (Messhof)
Super Crate Box (Vlambeer)
Honorable mentions:
Bo (Mahdi Bahrami); Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally OK Now [B.U.T.T.O.N.] (Copenhagen Game Collective); Flotilla (Blendo Games); Helsing’s Fire (Ratloop); Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale (Carpe Fulgur)

Excellence in Audio
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games)
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Bit.Trip Beat (Gaijin Games)
Cobalt (Oxeye Game Studio)
Retro City Rampage (Vblank Entertainment)
Honorable mentions:
Bit.Trip Runner (Gaijin Games); Cave Story (2010 Edition) (Nicalis); Jamestown (Final Form Games); NightSky (Nicalis); Planck (Shadegrown Games)

Best Mobile Game
Colorblind (Nonverbal)
Halcyon (Stfj)
Helsing’s Fire (Ratloop)
Shot Shot Shoot (Erik Svedang)
Solipskier (Mikengreg)
Honorable mentions:
Flick Kick Football (PikPok); Shibuya (Nevercenter); Spirits (Spaces of Play); Tentacles (Press Play); Trainyard (Matt Rix)

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