Yesterday evening, the annual IndieCade festival of independent games came to a close with its traditional ‘red carpet’ awards. A real red carpet there was not, but the event was no less star-studded, with talents like Ashley Burch and Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail among presenters honoring more than a dozen titles for excellence in the field.
iNK Studios’ 1979 Revolution: Black Friday, a Telltale-styled story game exploring the Iranian Revolution, took top honors with this year’s Grand Jury Prize. Somi’s Replica received the year’s Impact award, a category intended to celebrate games of social and political importance. Threadsteading — a strategy game played on a Singer sewing machine — took home the year’s Technology award, while lushly animated action game Hyper Light Drifter received a special Jury Choice award.
Hyper Light Drifter‘s win is especially symbolic because this year’s IndieCade festival was hosted at the University of Southern California’s Interactive Media and Games Division, from which HLD designer Teddy Diefenbach is a recent graduate. Diefenbach joins fellow alums Asher Vollmer (Threes!), Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago (Journey) in a growing pool of successful graduates from USC’s games program.
(Disclosure: I’m a USC alum myself, though not of the games program. I’ve also served as an IndieCade review juror in the past, but I was not involved this year.)
The full list of IndieCade award nominees and winners follows below. IndieCade is expected to return to Los Angeles in 2017, with date and location forthcoming.
- 1979 Revolution: Black Friday by iNK Stories (our coverage) – WINNER: GRAND JURY AWARD
- Antariksha Sanchar: Episode Zero by Quicksand GamesLab
- ARMAGAD (also Tetrageddon Games) by alienmelon
- Bad News by Expressive Intelligence Studio – WINNER: AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD
- Beautiful Corner by Martzi Campos
- Beglitched by Hexecutable
- Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor by Sundae Month – WINNER: STORY/WORLD DESIGN AWARD
- Elsinore by Golden Glitch Studios
- EVERYTHING by David O’Reilly
- #Feminism by #Feminism Collective
- Fracture | AutomataTiles by Jonathan Bobrow
- FRKN WKND by Aquma
- Hamlet-Mobile by Capital W – WINNER: GAME DESIGN AWARD
- Hyper Light Drifter by Heart Machine – WINNER: JURY CHOICE AWARD
- Infinit-O by Corazon Del Sol – WINNER: VISUAL DESIGN AWARD
- Keeping the Candles Lit by Shoshana Kessock
- Killbox by Biome Collective
- Killing Time at Lightspeed by Gritfish
- Lieve Oma by Florian Veltman
- OCTOBO by Thinker-Tinker
- Open Sorcery by Abigail Corfman
- Reigns by Nerial
- Replica by Somi (our coverage) – WINNER: IMPACT AWARD
- RIOT – Civil Unrest by IV Productions/Leonard Menchiari
- Seance by Twocan Consortium
- Shackle by Shackle Dev
- SoundStage by Logan Olson – WINNER: AUDIO DESIGN AWARD
- Stone Story by Gabriel Santos
- Survivance by Wisdom of the Elders with Elizabeth LaPensee
- The Order of the Oven Mitt by Inquisiment – WINNER: INTERACTION AWARD
- This is My Memory of First Heartbreak, Which I Can’t Quite Piece Back Together byJenny Goldstick, Owen Roberts, and Stephen Betts
- Threadsteading by Disney Research Pittsburgh (our coverage) – WINNER: TECHNOLOGY AWARD
- ULTRAWORLD EXODUS by James Beech
- VR Spa by Portland Immersive Media Group
- We Are Chicago by Culture Shock Games – WINNER: DEVELOPER CHOICE AWARD
- Wheels of Aurelia by Santa Ragione
- You Must Be 18 or Older to Enter by Seemingly Pointless – WINNER: MEDIA CHOICE AWARD
Additionally, IndieCade presented two individual awards: the Trailblazer award for lifetime achievement, awarded to Myst co-creator Rand Miller; and the Game Changer award for emergent game developers, awarded to Midboss Games and GaymerX co-founder Toni Rocca.
Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!
Top image: iNK Studios co-founder Navid Khonsari accepts the Grand Jury award for 1979 Revolution. Photo provided by IndieCade.