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Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab

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trenches are a lot like corridors, I guess, but I wish more games were set in them

It’s quite warm here this morning for the first time in days and I was dangerously close to enjoying the sun’s gentle caress, which would be a terrible betrayal of mistress moon. Thankfully I keep a stock of chilly and chilling games behind glass for just such an eventuality and today I’ve broken out The Snowfield, from brainy chaps at the Singapore-MIT Gambit Game Lab, whose output we’ve covered previously. This third-person adventure runs in browsers through the magic of Unity and it’s quite conventional to play in some ways, though shot through with atmospheric and narrative weirdness. Best to play it rather than listen to me, or read a little more in the icy depths below.

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The Independent Games Festival has announced the eight Student Showcase winners for the fourteenth 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 the lithograph-sketched 2D logic puzzler The Bridge, from Case Western Reserve University, Art Institute of Phoenix's magic-moth platformer Dust, and DigiPen Institute of Technology's part-psychological-evaluator, part-boot-camp-instructor, possibly-part-malware action game Nous.

In total, this year's Student Competition took in nearly 300 game entries across all platforms -- PC, console and mobile -- from a wide diversity of the world's most prestigious universities and games programs making the Student IGF one of the world's largest showcases of student talent.

All of the Student Showcase winners announced today will be playable on the Expo show floor at the 26th Game Developers Conference, to be held in San Francisco starting March 5th, 2012. Each team will receive a $500 prize for being selected into the Showcase, and are finalists for an additional $3,000 prize for Best Student Game, to be revealed during the Independent Games Festival Awards on March 7th.

The full list of Student Showcase winners for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, along with 'honorable mentions' to those top-quality games that didn't quite make it to finalist status, are as follows:

The Bridge (Case Western Reserve University)
Dust (Art Institute of Phoenix)
The Floor Is Jelly (Kansas City Art Institute)
Nous (DigiPen Institute of Technology)
One and One Story (Liceo Scientifico G.B. Morgagni)
Pixi (DigiPen Institute of Technology - Singapore)
The Snowfield (Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab)
Way (Carnegie Mellon University, Entertainment Technology Center)

Honorable mentions: Be Good (DigiPen Institute of Technology); Lilith's Pet (University of Kassel); Nitronic Rush (DigiPen Institute of Technology); Once Upon A Spacetime (RMIT); Tink (Mediadesign Highschool of Applied Sciences)

This year's Student IGF entries were distributed to an opt-in subset of the main competition judging body, consisting of more than 100 leading independent and mainstream developers, academics and journalists. Now in its tenth year as a part of the larger Independent Games Festival, the Student Showcase highlights up-and-coming talent from worldwide university programs, and has served as the venue which first premiered numerous now-widely-recognized names including 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 Portal 2.

Others include USC's The Misadventures Of P.B. Winterbottom (later released by 2K Games for XBLA); Hogeschool van de Kunsten's The Blob (later becoming one of THQ's flagship mobile/console franchises as De Blob); and early USC/ThatGameCompany title Cloud, from the studio that would go on to develop PlayStation 3 arthouse mainstays like Flow, Flower, and their forthcoming Journey.

For more information on the Independent Games Festival, for which Main Competition finalists were also just announced, please visit the official IGF website.

For those interested in registering for GDC 2012 (part of the UBM TechWeb Game Network, as is this website), which includes the Independent Games Summit, the IGF Pavilion and the IGF Awards Ceremony, please visit the Game Developers Conference website.

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igfchina1.jpgThe Independent Games Festival China
has announced the Main Competition and Student finalists for its third
annual awards ceremony celebrating the most innovative indie and student
games from throughout the Pan-Pacific area.

This year, the finalists offer an extremely broad range of game types and genres, from action brawlers like Pixel May Cry to mobile arcade titles like Super Sheep Tap, with developers hailing from throughout China and its surrounding regions.

Drawing from a prize pool totaling 45,000 RMB (roughly $7,000), IGF
China's Main Competition will give away five distinguished awards,
covering Excellence in Audio, Technology, and Visual Arts, as well as
the Best Mobile Game and Best Game awards. In addition to the prestige
and prizes, winners will also receive two All-Access Passes for the upcoming GDC 2012 in San Francisco.

Alongside IGF China's Main Competition, the ceremony will also host
the Student Competition, which honors six of the top regional student
games, with teams hailing from DigiPen Singapore, the China Central
Academy of Fine Arts, and more.

This part of the competition includes two awards -- for Best Student
Game and Excellent Student Winners -- and offers roughly 13,000 RMB
(roughly $2,000) in cash prizes.

Winners in both competitions will be chosen by a panel of expert jurors including Kevin Li (CEO, TipCat Interactive), Monte Singman (CEO, Radiance Digital Entertainment), Xubo Yang (director of digital art lab and assistant professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University's School of Software), Haipeng Yu (producer, Tencent Shanghai), and jury chairman Simon Carless, IGF Chairman Emeritus and EVP of the GDC shows and Gamasutra.

This year's IGF China will take place on November 12, 2011 alongside
GDC China, which will be held at the Shanghai Convention Center in
Shanghai, China.

Here are the finalists for this year's IGF China:

Main Competition

Billy Makin Kid!, by SLAB Games, Indonesia [Website, Video]

Clay's Reverie, by SuperGlueStudio, China [Video]

FTL (Faster than Light), by Matthew Davis & Justin Ma, China [Website]

One Tap Hero, by Coconut Island Studio, China [Video]

Pixel May Cry, by Feng Li, China [Video]

Pocket Warriors, by WitOne Games, China [Website, Video]

Super Sheep Tap, by aBit Games, China [Website, Video]

The Line HD, by Ant Hive Games, China [Website, Video]

Student Competition

Nanobytes, by Singapore Polytechnic School of Design Splat Studios, Singapore [Video]

Pixi, by DigiPen Institute of Technology, Singapore [Website, Video]

Robotany, by Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, Singapore [Website]

Shadow Fight, by China Central Academy of Fine Arts, China [Video]

Terra: the Legend of the Geochine, by DigiPen Institute of Technology, Singapore [Website, Video]

Void, by DigiPen Institute of Technology, Singapore [Website, Video]

In addition to the awards ceremony, GDC China will also host its own dedicated Independent Games Summit, which offers a host of lectures
covering some of the most pertinent issues in independent development,
featuring speakers such as thatgamecompany's Jenova Chen, Supergiant
Games' Amir Rao, and more.

To attend either the IGF China awards ceremony or the Independent
Games Summit, interested parties can register for a GDC China pass on the event's official website -- see site for more details on deadlines and restrictions.

For more information on GDC China as the event takes shape, please visit the official GDC China website, or subscribe to updates from the new GDC Online-specific news page via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC China is owned and operated by UBM TechWeb.

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