The indie gaming scene has grown exponentially over the last several years. The proliferation of streaming, as well as the growth of digital storefronts run by companies like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, has elevated games that once might have been ignored by the greater gaming community. However, for 22 years now, the Independent Games Festival Awards has been doing just that, shining a light on the best indie games. This year is no exception; the IGF has announced the nominees for 2020, and they include some titles that have become household names over the last several months. The Seumas McNally Grand Prize nominees include:
- Untitled Goose Game
- A Short Hike
- Slay the Spire
- Ayodyne 2: Return to Dust
According to the IGF, more than 550 games were nominated, with 300 judges overseeing the initial screening process. The list was then whittled down by a team of expert IGF jurors from across the video game industry. The finalists will then by voted on by jurors who oversee each individual category.
In addition to the Seumas McNally category, categories include Excellence in Visual Art, Excellent in Audio, Excellence in Design, Excellence in Narrative, Best Student Game and Nuovo Award. While most of the categories are self-explanatory, the Nuovo Award is given to the title that makes the jurors think differently about gaming as a medium. The IGF refers to it as the "art prize." The individual nominees for these categories can be found here.
If there's any game on the list that epitomizes how far indie gaming has grown over the years, it's Untitled Goose Game. The title has become a pop culture phenomenon, selling more than one million copies, and earning a plethora of accolades since its debut in September, including a spot on the list of Comicbook.com's Games of the Year. In addition to its nomination for the show's grand prize, Untitled Goose Game is also a nominee in the category for Best Audio.
The IGF Awards ceremony will be held at the Game Developer's Conference on March 18th. The presentation will be aired on the GDC Twitch stream. GDC attendees will be able to play this year's IGF nominees throughout the conference at the IGF Pavilion, where some of the developers behind this year's award nominees will be on-hand, as well.
Have you played any of this year's nominees? What was your favorite indie game of 2019? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!