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The Independent Games Festival has announced the eight Student Showcase winners for the thirteenth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, celebrating the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year.
This year's showcase of top student talent include slapstick physical comedy adventure Octodad, from DePaul University's Team DGE2, University of Montreal student Richard E. Flanagan's boldly styled Myst-like adventure Fract, and Tiny and Big, an ambitious, comic-book styled 3D action platformer from Germany's School of Arts and Design Kassel.
The eight showcase winners will go on to compete for the Best Student Game Prize, which will be announced on stage at the Independent Games Festival Awards, held on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference 2011.
In conjunction with this announcement, IGF organizers are also revealing that this year's Independent Games Festival Awards at GDC will be hosted by Anthony Carboni. Carboni is host and producer of Bytejacker, the acclaimed indie and downloadable game video show and website, and one of the most enthusiastic and devoted followers of the independent game scene.
The full list of this year's winners is as follows:
Chosen from more than 280 IGF Student Showcase entries, these Student Showcase-winning games each win $500 and GDC 2011 show passes, and will go on to compete for an overall Best Student Game prize, which includes a special trophy and a $2,500 cash prize.
In addition, the IGF judges would like to highlight other outstanding Student Showcase entries for honorable mentions this year, recommending them to the public. Honorable mentions go to the following titles:
This year's Student IGF entries were distributed to an opt-in subset of the main competition judging body, consisting of more than 60 leading independent and mainstream developers, academics and journalists. Now in its ninth year as a part of the larger Indendent Games Festival, the Student Showcase highlights up-and-coming talent from worldwide university programs.
It has served as the venue which first premiered numerous now widely recognized names, including Cloud from the USC-based team that became Thatgamecompany (Flower), as well as DigiPen's Narbacular Drop and Tag: The Power of Paint, which would evolve first into Valve's acclaimed Portal, with the latter brought on-board for the upcoming Portal 2.
"Even as general awareness of independent developers and their creative output increases year over year, our Student Showcase continues to be the best place to be genuinely surprised and delighted by entirely unknown talent," said IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer. "This year's lineup continues that tradition, with eight distinctive and wholly unique games from teams and individuals that we'll surely be hearing much more about in the future."
The Independent Games Festival was established in 1998 by UBM TechWeb's Game Network to encourage the rise of independent game development and to recognize the best independent game titles, in the same way that the Sundance Film Festival honors the independent film community. Organizers would like to thank sponsors including Crytek (platinum), Microsoft (gold), GameTree.TV/Transgaming (platform), DigiPen (student platinum), ENJMIN (student gold), plus Direct2Drive (official download partner), who will be presenting finalists for its D2D Vision Award in the near future. Voting for an IGF Audience Award from participating titles will kick off in late January.
For more information on the Independent Games Festival, please visit the official IGF website at Igf.com - and for those interested in registering for GDC 2011, which includes the Independent Games Summit, the IGF Pavilion and the IGF Awards Ceremony, please visit the Game Developers Conference website, Gdconf.com.
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