Tabletop Design – US & EUR
Staring across a board, a hand of cards, or even a chaotic pile of detailed paper notes, games played at the table, often with friends, leveraging the imagination of players to create unique and companionable experiences is the heart of games for many of us. The Tabletop Design Award celebrates the indie tabletop games of the year that innovate, surprise, and delight the heart.
Location Based & Live Play – US
The oncoming frontier of play and experience design includes the amazing worlds of immersive theater, themed experience, virtual and augmented reality spaces, escape rooms and more exploration of bespoke, physical experiences often designed for groups of people and social engagement. The Location Based Design award rewards experiences innovating in these spaces and creating magical new spaces for play.
Adaptation – US
The inspiration for games comes from wildly different sources and places, and games that interpret the world or another piece of media, reflect a documentary of real world systems, or adapt the experience of other places and stories explore the innovative edge of why we play. The Adaptation Award celebrates a game that examines and interprets using the logic of play and the power of interaction.
Cooperative Design – US
Playing with others, driving with friends and allies toward a shared experience is at the heart of many of the experiences we have engaged with over the course of human history. Experiences designed to create inventive and unique interactions that bring us together, working towards a shared goal. The Cooperative Design award rewards experiences innovating in how we play together.
Narrative Design – US
As games grow across boundaries, platforms, and formats, an ever growing array of narratives are communicated in an ever growing number of ways. The delicate art of creating a living, breathing story through design of spaces, characters, conflicts, and more has become a defining art for games and play. The Narrative Award celebrates accomplishment and innovation in this amazing and emergent art of interaction driven narrative.
Procedural Design – US
The Procedural Design Award honors a game that leverages randomness and algorithmic content or behavior to create unique and innovative interactions. Procedural Design is a growing skill with new discoveries made in many fields related to game development – graphics, narrative, level design, meaningful randomness, artificial behavior, and more. This award celebrates the amazing design of procedural and random chance that drives amazing discovery in the field of play.
Performance – US
The Performance Award honors a game with a unique or particularly sublime performance: voice, motion capture, video, live and more. As games grow in cultural weight and professional development, the field of independent development has involved a larger variety of artists from all disciplines. The brilliant pacing, empathy, and understanding of the best performers have been harnessed this decade to make some of the most arresting play experiences we have ever seen. This award celebrates the actors doing the amazing work in the field of play.
Innovation in Experience Design – US & EUR
Innovation in Experience Design honors a game that provides a unique, curated experience. This can come in the form of a rich narrative or be entirely ‘story-less’. It takes the player on an emotional arc that can’t be had anywhere else.
Innovation in Interaction Design – US & EUR
Innovation in Interaction Design honors the specialized artistry and innovation required to engage with games on a new level. This may be in the form of original controllers, unique interface design, or bold new game mechanics. At its utmost, the Interaction Award acknowledges a work that asks us to reconsider the ways in which we play.
Social Impact – EUR
The Social Impact Award honors a game which explores social, cultural, and/or political issues in a whole new way. It may take us out of our comfort zones, and confront us directly on social progress yet to be done, or mark a real change in the industry. Social Impact isn’t simply about diversity or doing good in the world. It can be creating new access points for unlikely players engaging with unlikely topics, new points of connection for people across the globe, or new shared experiences that resonate in our modern culture.
Environmental Design – EUR
As games grow across boundaries, platforms, and formats, narrative and sense of place are communicated in an ever growing number of ways. The delicate art of creating a living, breathing world through design of spaces, characters, conflicts, soundscapes and more has become a defining art for games and play. The Worldbuilding Award celebrates accomplishment and innovation in this amazing and emergent art.
IndieCade Jury Prix – US & EUR
The IndieCade Jury Prix Award is for a game the jury wishes to confer honor for separating itself from the pack through its craftsmanship, innovation, and /or design.
IndieCade Grand Jury – US & EUR
ThThe IndieCade Grand Jury Award represents the best of IndieCade’s best. This is the one game out of tonight’s 36 nominees, and the hundreds and hundreds of submissions to this year’s festival, that not only captures how far independent games have come, but how much farther they can still take us. Past winners include Her Story, 1979 Revolution: Black Friday, and last year’s Oikospiel Book I.
Trailblazer Award – EUR
The IndieCade Trailblazer Award is an honorary prize given to a working creator who has made both great contributions to the field of games and captures the independent and pioneering sprit. The Trailblazer award is for distinguished accomplishment over a career of creation, and recognizes those personalities without whom many of us would have never fallen in love with the field.
Game Changer Award – US
IndieCade’s Game Changer Award celebrates an individual who has impacted the gaming landscape in a significant way, a positive disruptor who has has brought a paradigm shift to our community. Whether it’s advocating for independent developers or creating space for conversations to take place, a Game Change is someone who makes us proud to be part of the industry.
Bernie DeKoven Big Fun Award – US
This annual honorary award was created in collaboration with Bernie DeKoven, to honor his legacy and to recognize creators significantly furthering the field and impact of new, big, and physical games. We love big, pervasive games, because of they way they bring people together and forge connections on a large scale.