Skip to main content


New Awards Categories!

We have some new and exciting award categories this year!  For the first time ever, IndieCade will be introducing area specific awards open to all submitted games. Games and artists will be nominated to these new categories from the entirety of event submissions. Here are are the first three of these awards:

Location Based Design
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.

Vocal Performance
The Vocal Performance award honors a game with a unique or particularly sublime performance from one or more vocal performers. As games grow in cultural weight and professional development, the field of independent development has involved a larger variety of artist from all disciplines. The brilliant pacing, empathy, and understanding of the best vocal artists have been harnessed this decade to make some of the most arresting play experiences we have ever seen. This award celebrates the vocal casts doing the amazing work in the field of play. 

Social Impact
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.

The Jurying Process

Each year IndieCade’s annual awards celebrate the best and most innovative in the industry. The focus of the IndieCade Awards is to honor the people, the games, and the work that move the industry forward.
Hundreds of jury members, alongside an international review committee play, review, discuss, and thoughtfully consider each of our game submissions. The process takes nearly three months and in the end a selection of 36 nominees are determined. Some additional selections are hand-picked by the curation committee to join the show, as Official Selections.
All submitted games are eligible to be nominated and all nominated games are eligible for all of the awards which are selected based on the jury process. All other games that are featured at the events are eligible for the choice awards which are voted on site by developers, media, and the audience. Additionally, IndieCade confers annual Trailblazer, Game Changer, and Bernie De Koven Big Fun awards.


IndieCade Grand Jury

The IndieCade Grand Jury Award represents the best of IndieCade’s best.

IndieCade Jury Prix / Special Recognition
The IndieCade Jury Prix / Special Recognition Award is not given every year. It is for a game the jury wishes to confer honor for separating itself from the pack through its craftsmanship, innovation, and /or design.
Impact Award
The Impact Award has multiple different potentials. One is to honor a game which tackles, or offers a method for discussing social issues in a whole new way, the other is to honor a game that reaches new areas or communities and yet another is to honor a game that has made a marked impact on the industry.
Innovation in Interaction Design
Innovation in Interaction Design honors the specialized craftsmanship and innovation necessary to get us to engage with games on a new level.
Innovation in Experience Design
Innovation in Experience Design honors the craft or design of the game that provides a unique, curated experience.
Innovation in Aesthetics Design
Innovation in Aesthetics Design honors a game which offers a unique, immense or sublime experience, be it visual, or by taste, touch, sound or some synesthetic combination.
IndieCade Developers Choice Award
The IndieCade Developers Choice Award is voted on by nominated IndieCade Festival developers.
IndieCade Choice Award
The IndieCade Choice Award is voted on by media and audience attending IndieCade Festival.


IndieCade Jury Prix Europe
IndieCade Jury Prix Europe represents the best of IndieCade Europe.
IndieCade Europe Choice Award
The IndieCade Europe Choice Award is voted on by developers, media, and audience.


IndieCade Jury Special Recognition
The IndieCade Jury Special Recognition Award is not given every year. It is for a game the jury wishes to confer honor for separating itself from the pack through its craftsmanship, innovation, and /or design.
IndieCade Honorary Awards
IndieCade confers three annual honorary awards. The awards are Trailblazer, Game Changer, and the Bernie De Koven Big Fun Award. These awards rotate between IndieCade and IndieCade Europe.
Festival 2018: iThrive Find the Kind Prize

This sponsored cash prize of $2,500 will be awarded to the game that contains examples of kindness which goes beyond mere dialogue choices and resource management, but which approaches the idea of kindness thoughtfully and sincerely. You can learn more about iThrive HERE and check out their video “What Makes Games Meaningful?” HERE.

Sign up for the IndieCade Newsletter


* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from IndieCade:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

If you are having trouble with this form, you can also send your name and email information to with subject line "Sign up for the IndieCade Newsletter".

Alumni Signup

Are you an IndieCade Alumnus? We want to know! If you've been a speaker, organizer, juror, or presented your game at IndieCade or any IndieCade-related showcase (ex. IndieCade @ E3, IndieCade @ SIGGRAPH, etc. - doesn't need to have been a finalist) we'd like to be in touch.