If you’re an aspiring developer hoping to make a splash in the next Independent Games Festival, choose your timing wisely. Due to a recently announced rule change for the awards competition, your first shot in the finals will also be your last.
In advance of the 2013 IGF Awards, chairman Brandon Boyer announced a few changes which entrants should note:
- IGF will be accepting submissions in late July, rather than mid-June.
- Deadline dates remain the same, though: October 17th is the last date for main competition submissions, with October 30th being the cutoff for students.
- There will no longer be a “mobile” category.
- Each category will have six finalists instead of five.
- Student showcase winners will get $1000 instead of $500
- Previous IGF attendants will not be allowed to enter the same game.
By far, the last rule change is most important, and affects developers who take half a decade to finish their games. Generally, the same game doesn’t win category awards during multiple years in IGF, but Phil Fish’s Fez took home awards in 2008 and 2012 by nature of a long development cycle.
As Boyer outlines, that rule wasn’t in full effect last year, but he’s officially closing the gates:
As I mentioned last year, the 2012 IGF was a leeway year, meant to give finalists from prior years one last chance to have their work recognized, rather than slamming the door in their face with no prior warning. From IGF 2013 on, this rule will be firm. To be clear: this does not mean that a developer who has previously been a finalist with one game cannot enter another. It simply means they can not continue to re-enter that particular game. This rule also does not apply to any of our “honorable mentions”.
Lots of format changes are coming, but even with the elimination of the mobile category, the IGF awards are undoubtedly opening up their competition to as many people and venues as possible. It’ll be interesting to see the upcoming games and indie projects that fill up the queue in the coming months.