Here Are Your 2013 Independent Games Festival Nominees

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patrickklepek

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Edited By patrickklepek
Fez was the big IGF winner last year.
Fez was the big IGF winner last year.

2013 is already off and running, which means the first events of 2013 aren’t far off, including the Game Developers Conference in late March. Part of GDC is the coveted Independent Games Festival, and the outfit has announced its nominees for this year.

If past years are any indication, many of these games are ones we’ll be talking about at the very end of the year. Keep your eyes open!

We'll obviously be at GDC (with our new office, it's just down the street), and you can bet I'll be stalking the IGF booth. Since I'm a judge, I've already played a fair number of 'em, too, and there are some really interesting things happening with this year's games.

Excellence In Visual Art

Honorable mentions: Fly'n (Ankama Play); Eleven (Christoffer Hedborg, Datahowler); The Bridge (Ty Taylor and Mario Castaneda); Thomas Was Alone (Mike Bithell, David Housden and Danny Wallace); Hundreds (Semi Secret feat. aeiowu)

Excellence In Narrative

Honorable mentions: Goblet Grotto (thecatamites, j chastain, NEW VADERS); Analogue: A Hate Story (Christine Love); Papo & Yo (Minority Media); The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe); 7 Grand Steps (Mousechief)

Technical Excellence

Honorable mentions: Mobiloid (Monty Melby); Skulls Of The Shogun (17-BIT); Foldit (University of Washington); 140 (Jeppe Carlsen); Gateways (Smudged Cat Games)

Excellence In Design

Honorable mentions: Spaceteam (Henry Smith); Helix (Michael Brough); Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation); Rymdkapsel (Martin Jonasson, Grapefrukt Games); Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games)

Excellence In Audio

Honorable mentions: Thomas Was Alone (Mike Bithell, David Housden and Danny Wallace); Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation); Gone Home (The Fullbright Company); Fract OSC (Phosfiend Systems); Dust: An Elysian Tail (Humble Hearts)

Nuovo Award

  • Cart Life (Richard Hofmeier)
  • Spaceteam (Henry Smith)
  • Dys4ia (Auntie Pixelante)
  • Bientot l'ete (Tale of Tales)
  • 7 Grand Steps (Mousechief)
  • MirrorMoon (SantaRagione + BloodyMonkey)
  • VESPER.5 (Michael Brough)
  • Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation)

Honorable mentions: Renga (wallFour); Starseed Pilgrim (Droqen & Ryan Roth); Frog Fractions (Twinbeard); Thirty Flights of Loving (Blendo Games); The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games)
  • FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)
  • Cart Life (Richard Hofmeier)
  • Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation)
  • Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)

Honorable mentions: Gone Home (The Fullbright Company); Thirty Flights of Loving (Blendo Games); The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe); Super Hexagon (Terry Cavanagh); Starseed Pilgrim (Droqen & Ryan Roth)

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patrickklepek

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#1  Edited By patrickklepek
Fez was the big IGF winner last year.
Fez was the big IGF winner last year.

2013 is already off and running, which means the first events of 2013 aren’t far off, including the Game Developers Conference in late March. Part of GDC is the coveted Independent Games Festival, and the outfit has announced its nominees for this year.

If past years are any indication, many of these games are ones we’ll be talking about at the very end of the year. Keep your eyes open!

We'll obviously be at GDC (with our new office, it's just down the street), and you can bet I'll be stalking the IGF booth. Since I'm a judge, I've already played a fair number of 'em, too, and there are some really interesting things happening with this year's games.

Excellence In Visual Art

Honorable mentions: Fly'n (Ankama Play); Eleven (Christoffer Hedborg, Datahowler); The Bridge (Ty Taylor and Mario Castaneda); Thomas Was Alone (Mike Bithell, David Housden and Danny Wallace); Hundreds (Semi Secret feat. aeiowu)

Excellence In Narrative

Honorable mentions: Goblet Grotto (thecatamites, j chastain, NEW VADERS); Analogue: A Hate Story (Christine Love); Papo & Yo (Minority Media); The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe); 7 Grand Steps (Mousechief)

Technical Excellence

Honorable mentions: Mobiloid (Monty Melby); Skulls Of The Shogun (17-BIT); Foldit (University of Washington); 140 (Jeppe Carlsen); Gateways (Smudged Cat Games)

Excellence In Design

Honorable mentions: Spaceteam (Henry Smith); Helix (Michael Brough); Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation); Rymdkapsel (Martin Jonasson, Grapefrukt Games); Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games)

Excellence In Audio

Honorable mentions: Thomas Was Alone (Mike Bithell, David Housden and Danny Wallace); Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation); Gone Home (The Fullbright Company); Fract OSC (Phosfiend Systems); Dust: An Elysian Tail (Humble Hearts)

Nuovo Award

  • Cart Life (Richard Hofmeier)
  • Spaceteam (Henry Smith)
  • Dys4ia (Auntie Pixelante)
  • Bientot l'ete (Tale of Tales)
  • 7 Grand Steps (Mousechief)
  • MirrorMoon (SantaRagione + BloodyMonkey)
  • VESPER.5 (Michael Brough)
  • Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation)

Honorable mentions: Renga (wallFour); Starseed Pilgrim (Droqen & Ryan Roth); Frog Fractions (Twinbeard); Thirty Flights of Loving (Blendo Games); The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games)
  • FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)
  • Cart Life (Richard Hofmeier)
  • Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation)
  • Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)

Honorable mentions: Gone Home (The Fullbright Company); Thirty Flights of Loving (Blendo Games); The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe); Super Hexagon (Terry Cavanagh); Starseed Pilgrim (Droqen & Ryan Roth)

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Optix12

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#2  Edited By Optix12

Ooh

Edit: Yay, first time i even tried to get this quest!

Good thing Patrick is still on the ball with the indie game information. Hopefully that stays up this year as it introduced me to alot of games I never would have thought to look at.

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HappyCheeze

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#3  Edited By HappyCheeze

damn you

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Purple_eye

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#4  Edited By Purple_eye

Really looking forward to Gone Home.

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PimblyCharles

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#5  Edited By PimblyCharles

I see Hotline Miami is getting the recognition it deserves. I still can't stop listening to the soundtrack even though I've listened to it well over 100 times now...

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Jackhole

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#6  Edited By Jackhole

I would have taken Super Hexagon and Thirty Flights of Loving over Cart Life and Kentucky Route Zero.

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Video_Game_King

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#7  Edited By Video_Game_King

Wait, how is this a list of the most interesting games of 2013 when all the ones I've heard of were released (and discussed) in 2012?

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mosespippy

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#8  Edited By mosespippy

It should also be noted that the nominations for the student categories will be revealed next Monday, so there will be even more indie game goodness to come.

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Winternet

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#9  Edited By Winternet

@Jackhole said:

I would have taken Super Hexagon and Thirty Flights of Loving over Cart Life and Kentucky Route Zero.

Yep.

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cornbredx

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#10  Edited By cornbredx

So many good things coming from indie games recently. 
 
It will be interesting to see if my personal choices for these actually win. 
 
Just as a side note, it is unintentionally funny seeing Fez as the picture for this article (just because of the controversy around it, I guess). It made me laugh is all- I know that had nothing to do with why it was used.

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DrFlapjack

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#11  Edited By DrFlapjack

I enjoyed the award show last year, can't wait to go again this year!

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Gerhabio

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#12  Edited By Gerhabio

How dare they not put Analogue: A Hate Story in the actual Narrative list!

Real cool to have this list on the site. I'll try to go through these games this year.

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Humanity

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#13  Edited By Humanity

A little nitpick but they should have attached a thumbnail of one of this years candidates for the article instead of highlighting Fez once again. Let someone else shine, like the great Hotline Miami.

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Gyrfal

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#14  Edited By Gyrfal

One of the staff should really play through the entirety of Little Inferno, it goes to a pretty cool place at the end of the game. Plus it's only about 3 hours long.

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#15  Edited By MjHealy

Just starting playing Cart Life - 'tis a strange little game. Also plan to pick up Kentucky Route Zero due to this IGF business.

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Animasta

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#16  Edited By Animasta

dys4ia over frog fractions is fuckin bullshit

and the snubbing of analogue too :(

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kraznor

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#17  Edited By kraznor

Keep an eye on Cart Life. One of the most important games I've played in some time. Weaves narrative and gameplay together in a very compelling way.

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AssInAss

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#18  Edited By AssInAss

Might have to check out Kentucky Route Zero. The aesthetic is very Out of this World.

@Video_Game_King said:

Wait, how is this a list of the most interesting games of 2013 when all the ones I've heard of were released (and discussed) in 2012?

Yeah, I've played and loved most of these (Thirty Flights of Loving, Hotline Miami, Cart Life).

A new Tale of Tales game? Oooooh. I love The Path. Red Riding Hood: The Game.

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bacongames

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#19  Edited By bacongames

I don't know who said it on twitter but it finally made me realize why the IGF was always weird and wonky: they mix unreleased and released games together.

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BlackLagoon

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#20  Edited By BlackLagoon
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#21  Edited By LiquidPenguins

Fez won two awards it wasn't eligible for and is up again? IGF is a joke.

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#22  Edited By teix

@LiquidPenguins said:

Fez won two awards it wasn't eligible for and is up again? IGF is a joke.

Fez is not one of the nominees. Patrick just decided to use it as an image for the article instead of, you know... an actual nominee.

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mrfluke

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#23  Edited By mrfluke

really interested in checking out thirty flights of loving after Jaffe endorsed it, and cart life looks interesting.

other than that, i kinda dont care, good for these guys getting their props though

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evanbower

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#24  Edited By evanbower

@Video_Game_King said:

Wait, how is this a list of the most interesting games of 2013 when all the ones I've heard of were released (and discussed) in 2012?

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say it's possible the ones you haven't heard of could be interesting. Also, them having not been released is probably the most likely reason that you haven't heard of them. Once they're released, you will have!

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mrfluke

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#25  Edited By mrfluke

also i find it perfect that max temkins eyes are right above this story :P

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granderojo

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#26  Edited By granderojo

I'm kind of underwhelmed this year compared to years previous.

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Dr_Ryan

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#27  Edited By Dr_Ryan

If Hotline Miami doesn't win the audio award, I may go on a murderous SF rampage.

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SharkMan

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#28  Edited By SharkMan

wish there were pages linked on the site up for some of those games, anything space related is worth checking out.

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PurpleMoustache

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#29  Edited By PurpleMoustache

I just bought the whole season of Kentucky Route Zero, and played Act 1, the only act out right now.

Absolutely incredible.

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claudius

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#30  Edited By claudius

Cart life owns owns owns

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PurpleMoustache

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#31  Edited By PurpleMoustache

@dinkley2: or it just means you haven't heard of them.

Lots of games come out all the time, and go under most peoples radar. Having played most of these games, I can vouch for their awesomeness.

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Snail

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#32  Edited By Snail

@LiquidPenguins said:

Fez won two awards it wasn't eligible for and is up again? IGF is a joke.

Fez isn't nominated this year. It won last year, hence the thumbnail. Good job reading the article.

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posh

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#33  Edited By posh

FTL!

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deactivated-59694a80bc6d9

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Enough with the indie game and Kickstarter reporting, it's getting beyond a joke.

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buemba

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#35  Edited By buemba

Cart Life is excellent and free, so go play it people!

I didn't know Kentucky Route Zero was out yet. Gonna have to check it out soon.

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falling_fast

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#36  Edited By falling_fast

I don't really keep up with this, so forgive my ignorance, but didn't a lot of these come out last year?

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Scrawnto

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#37  Edited By Scrawnto

I will definitely look into Kentucky Route Zero. I didn't expect Little Inferno to get so much recognition though. I'll have to see what that's all about too.

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Y2Ken

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#38  Edited By Y2Ken

Certainly going to keep an eye on a few of these. That said I do struggle to see what their conditions for selection are; these lists feel a bit all over the shop in terms of releases and current development status.

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#39  Edited By biggiedubs

How the fuck didn't The Stanley Parable get nominated proper for anything? C'mon! Especially over Dys4ia which, whilst an important story and is decently told, isn't anything I'd describe as excellent. Seems like Passage all over again, to me.

The only dog I've got in this fight is Thirty Flights of Loving, which I really hope wins.

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#40  Edited By kerse

No FTL for the audio award? The music is incredible.

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#41  Edited By AMyggen

@Humphreys said:

Enough with the indie game and Kickstarter reporting, it's getting beyond a joke.

There's not that much reporting on those subjects here, it's just that people keep bitching for some reason every time an article is posted about it. And personally, I think indie games is one of the most interesting subjects in gaming (especially when seeing how many of the best games of 2012 were indie games), so I have absolutely no problem with it getting coverage. IGN etc. has Halo and CoD covered.

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deactivated-59694a80bc6d9

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@AMyggen said:

@Humphreys said:

Enough with the indie game and Kickstarter reporting, it's getting beyond a joke.

There's not that much reporting on those subjects here, it's just that people keep bitching for some reason every time an article is posted about it. And personally, I think indie games is one of the most interesting subjects in gaming (especially when seeing how many of the best games of 2012 were indie games), so I have absolutely no problem with it getting coverage. IGN etc. has Halo and CoD covered.

For the past few weeks all i've been seeing at the end of the week is that green Kickstarter logo, it is being drummed into my head.

I don't come to Giant Bomb for reports on Halo and COD either. I do rather enjoy Alex's articles though, you know, actual news.

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#43  Edited By l3illyl3ob
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AMyggen

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#44  Edited By AMyggen

@Humphreys: I went back to the beginning of October on the news section, and the only news about Kickstarter I can see is an article from beginning of December. So that's it over the last three months (didn't bother to go further back than that).

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Getz

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#45  Edited By Getz

I really don't think Thirty Flights of Loving deserves the hype. Excellence in Narrative, just because it doesn't use dialogue?

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Allison

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#46  Edited By Allison

Really glad that Dys4ia and Anna Anthropy/Auntie Pixelante are on the voting block and HOLY CRAP DOES SHE DESERVE A WIN HERE. I mean winning would be kind of a joke and losing is the joke itself so I expect her to lose and then take it as ungraciously as possible and I will party with her so hard you do not even know.

Also why the fuck is Fez in the thumbnail and article. Get off Phil Fish's dick already. Sheesh.

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thepantheon

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#47  Edited By thepantheon

FTL better fuckin' win the grand prize. My crew members deserve it.

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MordeaniisChaos

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#48  Edited By MordeaniisChaos

Technical Excellence in what way? Hrm...

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@AMyggen said:

@Humphreys: I went back to the beginning of October on the news section, and the only news about Kickstarter I can see is an article from beginning of December. So that's it over the last three months (didn't bother to go further back than that).

More to do with the regularity of Patrick bringing up Kickstarter and independent games and less of the articles being attached to the Kickstarter Funded page.

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AMyggen

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#50  Edited By AMyggen

@Humphreys: I see what you mean, I just think that Patrick's articles doesn't bring up Kickstarter nearly as much as people think. A simple search shows that he hasn't brought it up more than once or twice the last few months in the articles he's written, and it hasn't really been a subject in the podcast or anything like that either.

Patrick does seem to have a big focus on indie games, but that's because he seem to love those kind of games, and this site is all about the crew covering what they want to cover. And if you go back and look at the news articles from the last few months, there isn't that much indie coverage outside the "Play this" part of his regular column on Fridays. Most of his news posts are about bigger events like THQ going down the drain, and it seems strange to bring this up on this article seeing as IGF is a big deal for the indie scene, which has given us some of the best games of the last few years. I just think GBers have a tendancy to talk up his focus on indie games in articles as much bigger than it actually is.

Anyways, I come here for the video and audio content, not the written content.