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The annual Independent Games Festival (IGF), founded in 1998 by UBM, recognizes the best and the brightest of the independent video game developers and inspires and assists innovation in video games and creates major exposure and a higher profile for them.

The largest gathering is at the Game Developers Conference, which this year, 2018, was held March 21 through March 23 in San Francisco, The City by the Bay, which was excited about this video game get-together, which celebrated a bumper crop of outstanding and diverse entries. The organizers were delighted to proclaim that almost 600 entries were accepted into this IGF 2018 Competition.


Submitting the Games

For the reasonable entry fees of $75 or $25 for students, this is open to all worldwide independent game developers who compete for more than $50,000 in prizes in various categories.



There were finalists for each award named in January of 2018. Each finalist was given free show passes and was invited to the IGF awards ceremony.


Eight Major Prizes

The IGF Awards took place on the evening of the third day and were a significant celebration of the best in indie gaming as the award winners were honored on stage. The Seumas McNally Grand Prize was $30,000; and $3,000 each was awarded in Excellence in Design, Excellence in Visual Art, Excellence in Narrative, Excellence in Audio, Best Student Game, Nuovo Award, and an Audience Award that was voted on via a public web-based poll. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash prizes have been given out over the years.

Titles for each prize were recommended by 250 to 300 jury members who were context and discipline experts. The judges were comprised of veteran judges from previous IGF judging pools, mainstream game representatives, independent gaming websites and developers, game journalists, as well as past winners and finalists.


Independent Games Festival Pavilion

The Pavilion on the show floor at the Conference and was open to any of the public or game professionals who had an Expo Pass. It showcased the development team for every finalist, which demonstrated in playable form and discussed the title at length with top game distributors and publishers who attended.


Independent Games Summit

There were discussions about game designs, methods of distribution, marketing concepts, and student games.


Hal Abramson is a festival promoter based in Los Angeles who has a love of gaming and technology. Be sure to check out his other gaming blogs or follow his travels on Twitter!