Wednesday, January 7, 2009

IGF fun!

So the IGF finalists were announced last night at 6am. I ended up going to bed at 3 then waking up at 6 again to check out who made it. To my surprise i found out that Coil was nominated for the innovation award.

Now that's all fine and dandy, and i feel like i should be happy that a game i put my heart into made it to the finals, but the IGF has left a bad taste in my mouth that just wont go away.

At first glance when you read through all the finalists you instantly realize.. you dont know any of these games. then after watching the trailers for them (CarneyVale Showtime for game of the year?!) you realize that most of the games that made it will be easily forgotten shortly after the awards are over.

Now id love to just say, hey i guess it was just a bunch of shitty games that were submitted this year... but that's just not the case. There were quite a few very solid indie games that are just way better then the ones that made it and ill give you a few perfect examples.

I wish i were the moon (for innovation) - far beyond all of the games that made it into the innovation finals
A new Zero (for technical) - a 3d multiplayer flight sim that fits into a 800k file wtf?
Aether (for innovation) - my most critically acclaimed game and by far my best work of art.
Arc Aether Anomalies (for art) - look at the fuckin trailer for fuck sake! how didn't that get in for art?!
Goo (for Tech) - this game won the Intel award...


Mighty Jill off
Mondo Nation
Calamity Annie

Now im either extremely out of touch with what a good indie game is (and that might be the case) but im starting to think the judging for the igf is broken and in bad need of fixing.

And as usual we have the larger indies entering that already have their games published on console and dont need the money or attention, im looking at you pixel junk eden... you have a huge budget game designed by a company that's almost 2nd party to sony made by 20+ people going up against games made by teams of 2 people with no budget. I guess its a moral issue, but if i had a team of 20 people with any budget at all and i was making games exclusively for sony.. i wouldn't view myself as indie anymore, and even if i did i wouldn't try and steal the thunder/attention/money of a smaller dev just so i could puff up my chest and show off a game thats already quite popular in the mainstream... dude, lame.

anyway i felt the need to rant, i still appreciate the nomination and im still going to gdc... i just dont get it, i really feel like people got shafted.

Congrats to cortex command, you're the one game im really happy to see make it to the finals!



Tom Brien said...

Wow: You Have to Burn the Rope nominated for innovation. The whole point of the game is that it's not innovative and it's not trying to be.

Crazy decisions all over the place here. From the outside looking in I thought the IGF was probably on-the-ball with stuff like that.

I guess PixelJunk didn't know they were offending anyone. Nice to see that World of Goo and Braid seem to have not entered, cos I think I've heard enough about those.

Douglasbackhand said...

I agree: the IGF judges seem far more preoccupied with innovative and free form level design as well as "gimmick" games. While none of that's bad, it completely overlooks all the other ways a game can be unique and different, such as storyline and presentation. I'm completely at a loss as to why YHTBTR was nominated. It's cute to be sure, but it's a simple joke and the ending is a poor-man's Portal. What the hell, IGF?

Anonymous said...

@Tom Brien: Both World of Goo and Braid already won prizes or at least got plenty of positive attention. Braid is an indie best-seller. Heck, what more could mr. Blow want?

As for PixelJunk, come on, it's an official rule that no game can enter that has been published. I also don't understand why it has been nominated in the first place, but that's perhaps more of a taste issue than I would admit.

I don't think 'You Have To Burn The Rope' deserves to be nominated either, but I'm quite sure it won't win. I mean, it's okey to applaud for an idea that unconventional, but nominate it for 'most innovative'.

Heck, at first I thought 'oh, then a lot of those wonderful looking entries must suck when it comes to gameplay', but YHTBTR reminded me quickly that it hardly can be called a game as far as gameplay goes..

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