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Grand Jury Award

The Jury Award allows IndieCade’s Distinguished Award Jurors to select a game that they feel deserves a special citation for overall excellence. This could be a game that couldn’t fit into any other category, but the Jury each year determines the criteria for assignment of this award.

Quadrilateral Cowboy

by Blendo Games PC, Mac

In Quadrilateral Cowboy, navigate through security systems and corporate intrigue in a cyberpunk world. When you have a top-of-the-line hacking deck armed with a 56.6k modem and a staggering 256k RAM, it means only one thing: you only answer to the highest bidder.

Story & World Design

Independent game developers bring unique vision, both literally and figuratively, to interactive media, exploring a wide range of visual styles beyond the well-trodden approaches of photo realism or the arcade cartoon. This award honors the quality and originality of art direction and the ability of visual design to carry us to other times and places.

Games create their own self-contained worlds through a unique form of writing and storytelling. This award honors the special craft of revealing narratives through interactions within an imagined world which players want to inhabit and explore.

Kentucky Route Zero

by Cardboard Computer PC/Mac/Linux

A magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky, and the mysterious folks who travel it.

Kentucky Route Zero is a magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky, and the mysterious folks who travel it.

Cardboard Computer is an independent game studio based in Chicago, made up of Jake Elliott, Tamas Kemenczy, and composer Ben Babbitt.


Sound and music are keys to the filmic experience, but they are even more important to the interactive experience. Audio is not only a way to create mood, feel and ambiance within a game, but are often a principle form of feedback, letting the player know her progress and performance in the game.

Gone Home

by The Fullbright Company PC, Mac

June 7th, 1995 1:15AM. You arrive home expecting your family to greet you, but nobody is there. Where is everyone? And what happened here?

Explore a house to discover the story of the people who lived there. Go home again.

We are a team of former AAA devs that went indie to make Gone Home.


This award pays tribute to independent games that have had/can have a significant impact on the gaming landscape. They may have social message, shift the cultural perception of games as a medium, represent a new play paradigm, expand the audience, or influence culture.

Dog Eat Dog

by Liwanag Press Tabletop roleplaying game

Dog Eat Dog - a game of colonialism and assimilation in the Pacific Isles. Have fun, tell stories with friends, experience microaggression!

Dog Eat Dog is a game of colonialism and its consequences. As a group, you work together to describe one of the hundreds of small islands in the Pacific Ocean, defining the customs of the natives and the mores of the outsiders arriving to claim it. The game begins when the war ends.

Dog Eat Dog was created by Liam Liwanag Burke, a game designer living in San Jose, CA, with lots of support from his wife Sarah and his friends Chris, Jennifer, Josh, Casey, Elizabeth and Shreyas.


The space in between - designing the space where the player meets the systems in any game is a craft unto itself. Great interaction design allows a player to fall into the engagement of an interactive experience, whereas poor interaction design can throw so many hurdles in the player’s way that they are unable to move from the cerebral to the visceral. This award honors those games that consider the player, while at the same time allowing the player to forget they are one.


by Henry Smith Mobile

Spaceteam is a cooperative party game for 2 to 4 players who shout technobabble at each other until their ship explodes.

Spaceteam is a cooperative party game for 2 to 4 players who shout technobabble at each other until their ship explodes. Each player needs a mobile device (phone or tablet).

Henry quit his job at BioWare last summer to go indie. Now he makes his own games full-time with help from some awesome friends.

Game Design

This award honors the unique quality of gameplay that engages us with an experience or subject in that way only games can. This can entail a simple twist to a familiar genre, inventing a totally new mode of play, or the stellar execution of familiar mechanics.



Nidhogg is a head to head acrobatic fencing game where players compete for the right to be eaten by a giant flying worm.

Nidhogg is a head to head acrobatic fencing game where players compete for the right to be eaten by a giant flying worm.

Messhof is an LA based game company specializing in an artistic sub-genre of seriously-serious social games for learning.


The craft of game development is inseparable from the medium in which it exists. This award honors the use of the medium to create an expression that simply couldn’t have been possible otherwise. A iPad game that leverages multi-touch input as an integral aspect of the experience, or a game that builds upon a computer’s processing abilities to make a digital work that wouldn’t be possible otherwise, this award honors bold and unexpected experiments with the affordances of the medium that transform technology to magic.

Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party

by KnapNok Games & Redgrim Wii U eShop

Turn off your TV, gather your friends, sit around the Wii U GamePad and play Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party. Look at each other, do silly challenges, and get closer.

Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party is a game for 2-8 players. Players sit in a circle around the GamePad and spin a virtual bottle. Two players are randomly paired up each round to do a collaborative physical challenge by using the Wii Remotes and each other to dance, spin, grab, jump, hide, pump, pass and squeeze.

KnapNok teamed up with Swedish indie studio Redgrim to develop Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party. KnapNok Games have been part of Copenhagen Game Collective since 2009 and developed experimental party games, such as Dark Room Sex Game and B.U.T.T.O.N., and Redgrim are known for making silly games with awesome graphics, such as MRS.DAD vs KÖRV and Jones – Change the World.

Special Recognition

This game best reflects the IndieCade values in the group of finalists each year. It exemplifies a true work of passion, contributing to the cultivation of artistry in games. This award honors the finalist that uses the medium of games in a way that elicits the elusive, yet universal, experience often associated any work of true art.

Porpentine's Twine Compilation

by Porpentine PC

CYBERQUEEN is like if SHODAN won and was horney as fuck.
Howling dogs is "brilliant and horrible", "holy dread", "bigger than the player".
Naked Shades plays with online spaces from an experimental, human angle--a corpse economy where players scavenge identity from the dead--a world written partially by the players.
Cry$tal Warrior Ke$ha is me listening to a Ke$ha song on loop for 8 hours and making a game.
Parasite is about what it means to let someone else into your dreams.
Ultra Business Tycoon III is for my sister.

Trailblazers Award

The Trailblazer award is an honorary prize given by IndieCade every year to a working game creator who has both made great contributions to the field of games and captures the independent spirit. The Trailblazer award is for distinguished accomplishment over a career of game creation, and recognizes those personalities without whom many of us would have never fallen in love with the field. Past recipients include: Tim Schafer (2010), Megan Gaiser (2011), Elan Lee (2012).

Tracy Fullerton


Tracy Fullerton, M.F.A., is an experimental game designer, associate professor and chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she directs the Game Innovation Lab. This design research center has produced several influential independent games, including Cloud, flOw, Darfur is Dying, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, and The Night Journey, a collaboration with artist Bill Viola. Tracy is the author of "Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games", a design textbook in use at game programs worldwide, and holder of the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair in Interactive Entertainment.

Recent projects include Collegeology, a suite of college preparation games funded by the Department of Education, the Gilbert Foundation and the Gates Foundation; Participation Nation, a history and civics game funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and developed in collaboration with Activision-Blizzard and KCET; and Walden, a simulation of Henry David Thoreau’s experiment at Walden Pond. Prior to entering academia, she was a professional game designer and entrepreneur making games for companies including Microsoft, Sony, MTV, among many others. Tracy’s work has received numerous honors including an Emmy nomination for interactive television, Indiecade’s "Sublime Experience" and "Impact" awards, and Time Magazine’s Best of the Web.

Game Changer Award

anna anthropy


anna anthropy is a gamemaker, artist, writer, teacher, and historian. She has opinions on things and she just won't shut up.

Developers Choice Award

Each year, IndieCade asks its finalists to vote for their favorite game of the festival. This is a way for indie developers themselves to acknowledge their admiration for the work of their peers.

Killer Queen Arcade

Big Game
by Joshua DeBonis & Nikita Mikros

Killer Queen Arcade is a 10-player real-time strategy arcade platformer. Two teams, each led by a powerful Queen, face off to be the first to bring the giant snail god home, horde twelve morsels of nectar, or assassinate the enemy queen three times.

Audience Choice Award

Each year, IndieCade invites the broad audience of attendees to vote for their favorite game of the festival. This is a way for participants themselves to voice their opinion.


by Nevernaut PC/Mac

SLASHDASH is a 2 vs 2 capture the flag game wherein each player is a ninja with the ability to teleport through walls, stun targets with shuriken, and kill them with kunai and katanas. Cooperation is the core of these ninjas' code. When your teammate has the flag, slash her to help her dash! When your enemy has the flag, slash him to help him die! The topdown camera insures that every spectator can gain a quick grasp of the current tactical situation, providing opportunities for un-ninjalike hooting and hollering.

Media Choice Award


by Matt Makes Games PC, OUYA

A fast-paced versus archery platformer about destroying your friends. Fosters epic rivalries, tense moments, and dramatic victories.

An archery combat platformer for up to 4 players. It's a local party game centering around hilarious, intense versus matches. The core mechanics are simple and accessible, but combat is fast and fierce. TowerFall is best played competitively with friends, crossed-legged on the floor within punching distance of each other.

Matt Thorson did the design and code and lives in Vancouver Indie House with his awesome friends. Pedro and Amora, known as Miniboss, drew all the pretty pictures and live in São Paulo. Alec Holowka is Matt's roommate and created the beautiful music. Kevin and Jeff are also from Vancouver, they go by Powerup Audio and made all the sounds.