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Mod of the Year 2009 Editors Choice - Best Upcoming Indie

Posted by Henley on Jan 28th, 2010

2009 saw many new Indies to arrive on the ModDB turf and many updates for those who are getting close to release, to be nominated for an award in Best Upcoming Indie projects need to have been updated significantly during 2009 and have not released (obviously). Here are the Editors of ModDB's top selection of 2009.

takes place in the savage world of Lugaru where rabbits, wolves and other animals are forced to use paws, claws and medieval weaponry to engage each other in battle. Combining 3rd person adventure platforming with intricate melee combat, Overgrowth achieves a unique feel.

Natural Selection 2
Whether you play as one of the elite marine Frontiersmen or the vicious alien Kharaa, you must use unique strategies and your abilities to win. Marines buy weaponry and form persistent squads to find and destroy alien hives. Aliens can choose a wall-running Skulk, pudgy Gorge, flying Lerk, murderous Fade or gigantic Onos that can devour enemies whole.

21st Century side scrolling. Musicians are warriors here! San Francisco is on the verge of being invaded by mysterious creatures. The city has become darker, quieter, and gloomier. The story is told through a group of musicians who have learned the ways of super natural powers from the use of music.

Frozen Synapse
You've patched in to the enemy's security system: get ready to make your plan. Frozen Synapse is the ultimate strategy game: you have full control over your strike team, directing their every movement. At the same time, your opponent is plotting to defeat you. Plan your moves, then hit the "Execute" button.

A dark and mysterious universe (inspired by Blade Runner, Ghost in the shell and Warhammer 40K) for hours of original gameplay thanks to 10 physical and psychic skills, 14 cybernetic and upgradable implants, along with an integrated R&D system, all serving a delicate scenario where conspiracy, horror and treason rule. Based on the RPG "AVA".

Post comment Comments  (50 - 100 of 102)
Headcrusher Jan 28 2010 says:

Overgrowth didn't deserve it, the devs troll people, the game has barley any in-game media, the art sucks, and the only people who like it are either furfags or greenpeace freaks.
Rate me down please.

0 votes     reply to comment
pvt.Johnson Jan 28 2010 replied:

"Rate me down please."
Your wish is my command.

You obviously have no idea what you are talking about, if you read any of the dev blogs that they post on the front page quite frequently maybe you wouldn't be such an ignorant fool.

+6 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Jan 28 2010 buried:


You mean the "non-news" posts? I haven't seen a larger non-news to news ratio in any other project so far.

-5 votes     reply to comment
qeloqoo Jan 28 2010 replied:

Of course, devs should praise all the dumb people over the internet...

-4 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jan 28 2010 replied:

No they shouldn't, but a wise saying I've seen around on the internet goes:
"If you don't have anything good to say, then don't say anything at all"

I'm a mod developer myself and you'll rarely find me saying something is crap without any good constructive critiscm indicating why and what could be done better. Constructive critism is a whole lot better than just bluntly stating your "opinions".

I don't know what the Overgrowth devs have said to be labeled "Trolls" but that's hardly got anything to do with deserving this award regardless.

+4 votes     reply to comment
PierreOfTheFrench Jan 28 2010 replied:

Your opinion is that, you don't need to trash talk a game. I think Overgrowth looks fantastic, the Dev's are extremely nice from what I've seen/heard and they constantly update their engine. I also think the artwork they do also looks awesome, you don't need to act like a ****.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Khameli Jan 28 2010 says:

ye i think OG totally deserver it (stfu headcrusher), ive been watching developement from the begining and even without trying the actual modding tools i can see its so cool ****!

all of them were great nominees, but this time (IMO) best one won!

+4 votes     reply to comment
REZBLUE Jan 28 2010 buried:


Mind enlightening us as to what you think is so cool about it? From what you have seen so far in their media, what are you excited for?

I ask because I cant find a single redeeming quality or trace of gameplay in it, just empty promises.

-11 votes     reply to comment
Famouz Jan 28 2010 says:

Overgrowth, what else!

+2 votes     reply to comment
lethal_vortex Jan 28 2010 says:

overgrowth ftw :D + i got ns2 for free great indie game:D

+4 votes     reply to comment
REZBLUE Jan 28 2010 buried:


Let us know how it is in 5 years when it comes out.

-8 votes     reply to comment
Cozmin95 Jan 28 2010 says:

Where's 0 A.D.?

+8 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jan 28 2010 says:

Wow, just wow I didn't expect Overgrowth to be treated this badly.

First of all, this site is ModDB, Overgrowth is an indie game which supports Indie games quite heavily. Which do you think they'd pick?

Not only that, Overgrowth is a whole new game engine(or at least a heavily updated version of Lugaru's engine) Overgrowth and NS2 are the only two on here making such a high quality 3d engine from pretty much scratch. Overgrowth has so far shown more support for modding than NS2 that I'm aware of, thus weighing more.

NS2 and Overgrowth both haven't shown gameplay, the other 3 games and have hard work put into them as well, visually they may lack, but they make up in other area's, still Overgrowth has shown amazing things(and so has NS2) but Overgrowth favors modding more, hence it won this award for this is ModDB's Editor's pick and I'm fairly sure most if not all the people involved choosing the Editor's pick are or were modders once. It's obviously gonna be their favorite and with good reason! I'd choose the same in their position.

Knowing some of the hardships of just modding a game, I can't imagine the hard work any of these people put into their works, but for me as a modder, Overgrowth tops it all and so it did for the "Editor's".

+18 votes     reply to comment
Wills Jan 28 2010 replied:

Well said DuckSauce ;) Congrats to the Overgrowth team!

+13 votes     reply to comment
MrMazure Jan 28 2010 says:

go NS2.

0 votes     reply to comment
LopperUK Jan 28 2010 says:

E.Y.E looks like the best

-3 votes     reply to comment
geostigma Jan 28 2010 says:

Overgrowth is getting such a bad rep from the community because a lot of people are looking into what is polished, versus what is being developed.

People are attracted to flare and hype. E.Y.E and NS2 have a lot of screen shots that display and show off the "look" of the game versus the functionality and playability of the game. Overgrowth has been keeping a lot of it's assets hidden to the community and are probably more interested in the quality of their work then showing off a random compilation of content that will never be seen in the game.

What probably pushed Overgrowth to win was the engine and tools the team has been developing. Overgrowth doesn't have any in game playable mechanics or fancy environments and models to show , but the foundation on what the game is being built on is very, very important. Even if some of those things don't seem all that great to some people, the amount of insight the team has been giving to the community is amazing. I think its very interesting for a developer to almost "give out" a in depth behind the scenes development diary that other mod teams can freely follow or ignore in order to make there game successful. Its almost like being in school for free versus spending $7000 dollars on a game development stream.

I'm personally not interested in the game at all, but more interested on the information given out by the team its self. I learn something from them, I can apply it to genera of games I like to play or something I may want to work on in the future.

+8 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jan 28 2010 replied:

I agree, implemented gameplay isn't really what's at stake for this award either, it's after all upcoming indies.

None of these are playable for the public except Encore which seems to have a demo.

So does it matter what the gameplay is now? That's what has to be judged when the game comes out, for gameplay can only be judged in what it could be like. It only takes an imaginitive mind and a couple of playthroughs of Lugaru to know what you can expect from Overgrowth, NS2 has NS1 to allow people to imagine what NS2 will be like, Encore has video's and a demo and the rest also have video's.

Honestly, before they release the gameplay itself can't be accurately judged each of these could have brilliant gameplay, they also each have a number of other traits for them to have made it here as nomimees, one has to be picked and Overgrowth was it.

And people, you being here in the first place reading this, means you are likely familiar with mods anyway in which case you should already know what they can do. For Source there's mods that turn HL2(DM) into an RTS, racing game or more towards an RPG. Overgrowth is an Indie game that has shown to provide plenty of support for modding and they have build a great engine as a foundation for these mods.

Should you buy Overgrowth and not like the gameplay, wait for someone to start a mod that's more your cup of tea, or take matters into your hands and build your own mod, they're making the tools to make it easy for you to realise your wildest dream, yet you're complaining on a site about modding that it won an award?

+6 votes     reply to comment
MatthewD Jan 28 2010 replied:

@geostigma: Since when is a huge trailer devoted to showing non-stop gameplay considered flare (EYE)? EYE is the only game out of these nominees that has shown cool and new original gameplay.

-3 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Jan 28 2010 replied:

Not really the only one. Frozen Synapse and Encore both have a unique gameplay going for them. Can't speak for E.Y.E since I didn't check it out yet ( didn't even know it's around ).

-3 votes     reply to comment
Mastix Jan 28 2010 says:

I think Overgrowth got a great potential, and it does deserve to be a nominee, but the best upcoming indie game? It's not very fair.
Why isn't it fair? because there is No info about Overgrowth as a game what-so-ever, no info about the gameplay (except that's it's like Lugaru which is not very helping), no screenshots or videos of raw gameplay, nothing.
So yea, they did show the great engine and editing tools but it got nothing to do with the gameplay (which is why every game in the world is being played / not played).
P.S - I do think it's look promising but still...

-1 votes     reply to comment
Kasplatt Jan 28 2010 replied:

Uhmm.. Alright, so you're saying, exclude NS2 and Wolfire from winning, they don't have raw gameplay. Okay, yeah that makes a whole lot of sense for the "Upcoming indie game". Or maybe you don't know what upcoming means?
There is a lot of info on what kind of game it's going to be, if you only bothered to look around a little bit, you'd know.
Editing and tools are what you MAKE THE GAME WITH.
But okay, you go make a game with no tools, and no engine. Good luck.
Do you really think it's fair to exclude them only because they're focusing on having an engine ready to build their games upon?
If they just went out and made their game with gameplay straight away, the engine probably wouldn't be anywhere near the state it is in now, and surely NOWHERE near as modable as it will be.
The engine is being made with modability in mind, so that the tools that they make can actually change pretty much everything in the game. I think that's pretty neat, but okay whatever.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Jan 28 2010 replied:

What are tools and an engine worth for if there is no actual ( usable ) game coming out of it? If you design an engine without gameplay in mind then you are in deep ****. Both have to go hand in hand. So if there is no gameplay visible then a project does not qualify for upcoming. Upcoming means you get usable results or even a release in the next year or two. Otherwise you have only hype to base your opinion on and that's a rather muddy ground to base an opinion on. What you talk about is "Announced" which are games in concept stage which is not the same as "Upcoming" which is developed roughly 50% or more through.

-2 votes     reply to comment
geostigma Jan 28 2010 says:

The possible modding opportunities is why I like Overgrowth. Look at the source engine or UDK , people like the game because of the things that can be changed and added to the game. hl2 is getting close to 6 years old and is still the most modded. Best upcoming Indie game doesn't mean "Will it bomb on release" but what has the best potential to the community who support them.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Xular Jan 28 2010 says:

I thought NS2 would win this easily...but meh :)

The guys from Overgrowth deserve it yeah - but ns2 still looks much better in my eyes (guess thats true for almost every ns1 player) - I've played around with both editors since I got an overgrowth key for free.. - I prefer spark, more functionality and less shiny/buggy icons ;)

Wolfire's blog entries are great though, high quality

+2 votes     reply to comment
L0K Jan 28 2010 says:

Great work by all Developers involved; You guys have done a hell of a job!

Although, I was hoping 0AD would make it up there considering its both free and gorgeous.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Havoc89 Jan 28 2010 says:

All of em look fantastic. I cannot wait. Congrats to all!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Mode7Games Jan 28 2010 says:

Congrats to the Overgrowth team and thanks to everyone who supported Frozen Synapse!

Every single bit of attention we get is absolutely vital so it's great to be up here alongside these guys. You'll hear more from us soon - thank you for all the nice comments.

+6 votes     reply to comment
cheesemoo0 Jan 28 2010 says:

I'm most looking forward to Frozen Synapse.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mode7Games Jan 28 2010 replied:

Awesome - thank you!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Aniki Jan 28 2010 buried:


Overgrowth didn't deserve this, should have been Natural Selection 2.

-6 votes     reply to comment
sathanas Jan 28 2010 says:

Has anybody done that Taylor Swift thing yet? Imma let you finish, but all the other games on this list looked more interesting and promising.

It's enough that the video has given me awareness of a couple of interesting looking Indie titles in Encore and Frozen Synapse. I couldn't quite tell what was going on with FS, but I'll be looking into it, that's for certain.

Also: Congrats to Overgrowth. While it's not exactly the most exciting looking mod, it's nice to see an award for the least flashy looking mod imaginable.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Brightgalrs Jan 28 2010 replied:

Well deserved!
An "upcoming" indie game should be rated on awesomeness divided by progress, originality, and of course the game engine. Overgrowth hits all of these things perfectly.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord Jan 28 2010 replied:

Your math is failing. Dividing a/b where b goes to 0 makes a/b go to infinity. Meaning projects with no progress would be rated the highest. Long lives the internet :/

+1 vote     reply to comment
Trestkon Jan 28 2010 replied:

Maybe it's scored like golf :-p

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord Jan 28 2010 replied:

Hah... nice idea. You didn't wanted to make a minigolf court in Scara's office or something like that? You know one of these office-golf thingies :P

-1 votes     reply to comment
Brightgalrs Jan 28 2010 replied:

Divide by negative or positive zero?
Dividing by negative zero results in negative infinity... therefore the lowest score. ;p

+1 vote     reply to comment
altercuca Jan 28 2010 says:

congratulations guys!!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
SliderFF Jan 28 2010 says:

yeey, congrats!

+2 votes     reply to comment
vfn4i83 Jan 28 2010 says:

Great tittles had been nominee; all of then are great either away.

I looking forward to all of then, and many more, since the indie developers are the best softhouse nowdays.

Congrats to all.

+2 votes     reply to comment
formerlyknownasMrCP Jan 28 2010 says:

I think Dragon Lord is right to some extent.. however this is Best "Upcoming" release- that word alone makes it a PR spam fest anyway.

However Infinity Quest for Earth won this once as well using the same method and still nothing was acted on.

It's modDB's call. Either way I support their decision and I give my support to Overgrowth in their efforts. (as I do Infinity as well).

+2 votes     reply to comment
MiniHendrix Jan 28 2010 says:

OverGrowth. Although they've made no gameplay footage, they've progressed a lot technically.

+2 votes     reply to comment
broadsword Jan 28 2010 says:

I'm looking forward to Natural Selection WAAAY more then overgrowth but I think one of the games with actual gameplay footage should have won.

-1 votes     reply to comment
skarai Jan 28 2010 says:

These awards are ******* stupid. Overgrowth? Really?
What a joke

0 votes     reply to comment
smurfbizkit Jan 29 2010 replied:

I agree, and this reflects badly on Moddb for giving "best upcoming indie GAME" award to a project it even a game? From their updates it almost seems as if they are making a series of tutorial dvd's, hair coloring products and comic books. :P

Giving insight into development is great, and I enjoy reading Overgrowth's posts. However, I have read most of their 100+ news posts and I have very little idea what their actual game is like.

This "editors choice" award is just a gimmie to the Overgrowth team. Moddb should've just created a "most prolific indie game in the news" award.

+1 vote     reply to comment
pone Jan 29 2010 says:

upcoming ... overgrowth of course

+3 votes     reply to comment
Cryrid Jan 29 2010 says:

I can't say I didn't see this coming from a mile away. Overgrowth seems to push itself on the front page so often that lately I can't help but associate moddb with it.

I'll be jumping in on the disappointment bandwagon. The category was best upcoming indie, not loudest upcoming. There's a lot of posts bragging up their tools and techniques, but at the end of the day all I've really seen from the game is vast and empty terrain demos and reminders that overgrowth exists. Even the race video seemed pretty weak compared to most platformers and offered no excitement. I say start showing the ninja-rabbit combat, that's what I'm most interested in seeing. And do something with the environments, open terrain like that can only be fun with massive armies to populate the rolling hills, or vehicles / aerial fighting .

0 votes     reply to comment
Mularac Jan 30 2010 says:

Would you stop being such babies! Does it really matter which of the games actually won?
all five of them were nominees! that's a HUGE honor! I mean, for the staff those five make up for the best of the best, and deciding wich is better from the other is blurry and all, but that's not really the point. They made it to the editor's choice, all five of them, and that's what really matters!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mars_3K Jan 30 2010 says:

I have a strong aversion to Furfaggery that colours my judgement on this one, but even the community maps developed for NS2 show more promise than anything the OG team has offered up so far.

0 votes     reply to comment
fuyuki359 Jan 31 2010 says:

I'm not a hardcore NS2 fan or anything, but before you guys start bragging nonsense about Overgrowth, a game that have absolutely close to no game showcases beside their modding tools. I don't know what's the deal is, but clearly you guys are blindingly defending this game without having one bit of clue about the other for example NS2

Fact 1: the footage of NS2 showing the huge gigantic monster bashed through the an in game graphic imagine the kick ***-ness the game graphic gonna bring when it got release.

Fact 2: NS2 is a FPS & Real time strategy, which is pretty damn ground breaking in game play aspect. If you have played NS1, the gameplay strike heavily on team work for Overgrowth, play Matrix.

Fact 3: Who to say that NS2 don't support their community? have you check out their forum? the developers works with people that responded to their post.

Fact 4: NS2 allow modders to do on the spot textures editing on models and props. Flexible game engine allow people to fix, mix, and even create their own game modes.

Really though...I didn't really meant to bash at Overgrowth. I mean, Wolfire and Unknownworlds did join up together on a bundle pack which is really cool, but what really got me mad is that people start being complete ignorant, and blindingly agree with MODDB just so they can suck their dicks.

0 votes     reply to comment
MiniHendrix Feb 3 2010 replied:

Those aren't facts. I will combat them, though.

Fact 1
No. No its not. I don't think that in the game you are an unarmed guy walking through a corridor, with his eyes darting around, only to be smashed and killed by a lumbering giant. It probably will use the same models, though. Not the same animations.

Fact 2
It's not groundbreaking as it has been done before.
No one in the games I played in played as the commander.
Everyone just clumped together when I played it and they only fired at the Khaara when they were in danger.
No, Overgrowth is a physics-based fighting game using a powerful, revolutionary engine. Considering it will use context sensitive attacks (press a button when someones about to kick you makes you grab his or her leg), physics engine that's similar to Euphoria, and you can kick people into walls or other props and, if it is breakable, watch them get crushed by it as it crumbles down.

Fact 3
No one said that. And Overgrowth supports their community as much or even more.

Fact 4
"jeffr Jun 23 2009, 12:03pm replied:

It will be quite moddable :) That's why we're spending so much time on the editors."
Overgrowth will be pretty moddable.

No one is bragging nonsense; in fact, most posts that are pertaining to Overgrowth are of ignorant people who don't know what Overgrowth is about. Most people know what NS2 is about. It’s a shooter. Your first paragraph isn't right at all. Yeah, I’m a Wolfire fanboy. No, I hate furries. But keep in mind that I don’t hate Frozen Synapse or NS2. I already preordered NS2, but I don’t think I’ll like their community.
I'm gonna brace myself for flames.
(Darn 2000 character limit)

+1 vote     reply to comment
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