I don't know how many of you get to go to the Game Developers Conference each year, but I suspect that those who have had the pleasure will agree with me that one of the coolest parts of the event is the Independent Games Festival.
The Independent Games Festival (known by day as the IGF) is a sort of convention-within-a-convention at GDC, occuping a small but ever-growing corner of the show, wholly dedicated to games made by developers working on their own outside the traditional publisher system. The IGF features rows and rows of the current year's crop of independently developed games, all of which are demoed by their respective, eager-to-chat (or, in the later days of the conference, eager-to-feign-sleep) developers. Walking around the booths each year fills me with an infectious, unshakable, and slightly unsettling feeling of happiness, and, you know, reminds me why I like games.
I lost where I was going with this, but long story short, the finalists for the 2007 Independent Games Festival were announced, and our very own Bone: The Great Cow Race is a contender for the "Excellence in Audio" category. Woo! Also up for an award is fellow Telltale Now game, Amanita Design's Samorost 2, for best web browser game.
What does that mean for us? For you? Well, if you're at GDC this year and head by the IGF area, you'll be able to play a bit of The Great Cow Race, and chat it up with a randomly-selected (and possibly randomly-generated) Telltale staffer. Also, Cow Race will be going up against four other great looking independent games for the Excellence in Audio award at IGF's award ceremony, which is part of the conventions annual Game Developers' Choice Awards.
A big old congratulations is in order for the Cow Race team, and especially for Jared Emerson-Johnson and Julian Kwasneski at Bay Area Sound, who did the music and sound design for both Bone games (and for Sam & Max).
Also, if you haven't had a chance to check them out yet, we've posted Jared's entire musical scores to both Bone games right here. (Out From Boneville is on the left, The Great Cow Race is on the right.) Or, if you're in the mood to download, you can always check out the sound in the game itself, by downloading the free Great Cow Race demo.
I was already planning on going this year. Now I really have a reason to show up!
In 2005, I went to the GDC for the first time. I was still a student then and could only afford the 'oh cute, you made it here but you can't see the really cool stuff' pass. Between the five free lectures, the expo, and the Massively Multiplayer GDC game, I spent a lot of time at the IGF section. That year, Gish and Alien Hominid were the favorites. Got to talk to Tom Flump of NewGrounds / The Behemoth. Really nice fellow!
Also found another gem of a game called Steer Madness by Johnathan Skinner and crew. If you ever thought what would happen if PETA decided to make a game similar to GTA, this is the game you're looking for. Even though the vegan themes are rather strong, the game itself was very enjoyable. Bought the game on the spot and still have it. The soundtrack was provided by various independent bands in the area and helped the title win the Innovation in Audio award that year.
I hope to be there again this year, only this time I'm able to get a more comprehensive pass. Though this time I'll be attending the lectures, stopping by the Telltale booth will be a priority!
Comment by Seg
December 10, 2006, 4:26 pm
I played Castle Crashers (the Behemoth's new game) at the San Diego Comic-Con this year and it looked awesome. Sadly the Behemoth guy I talked to seemed to think I was a poor misguided sap because I mentioned the Gamecube (which had been repeatedly declared dead by then), and the conversation didn't really recover. Oh well. Looking forward to seeing the game again at this year's IGF.