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The Daikatana of the IGF
by Michael Lubker on 03/08/12 04:08:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutraís community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

As an independent game developer, IGF entrant, and IGDA Indie SIG chair, I've tracked the independent game industry a lot the past 8 years.

But in these 8 years I have never seen something like this year's IGF.

We have seen threats from folks like Tim Langdell, Leland Yee, Lamar Smith, and Jack Thompson.

This time its internal.

The Independent Game Festival is off the rails. Not only is it showing favoritism, in awarding a game that already got a reward in past years, and awarding someone who knows most of the judges and staff, but they are awarding someone who shows no taste in what they have to say about the game industry.

I'll just leave this here:

To the winner of the IGF: Please clean up your Twitter account. Bad things happen to games with these attitudes behind them.

Thank you,

The Independent Game Developer Community

(or at least quite a few of us)


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Comments


sean lindskog
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There are some valid concerns about the IGF rules and judging. And this is a good conversation to have, since the IGF guys have addressed a lot of problems in the past.

The rules for re-entering a game should be, and are being addressed, so that's cool.

Ensuring the judges properly play and evaluate each game, while providing some element of transparency, does not seem resolved. There is a noticeable disconnect between what many indie devs are saying, and how the IGF has responded so far. Hopefully this is something that can be worked out.

Personal attacks against the IGF winners doesn't help. Even if they have said or done things that offend you or seem in poor taste - it shouldn't matter. After all, what most people are asking for is fair and attentive judging based purely on the quality of the game, and if that's the case it shouldn't matter what you think of the person or team who made it.

Michael Lubker
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Not really a personal attack - just pointing out that being arrogant can lead to poor sales.

Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

Michael Lubker
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Also, what's with the arrogance anyway? The industry wouldn't be here if it weren't for japanese devs, most likely, and the twitter comments being made are uncalled for.

Michael Lubker
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Winning the IGF doesn't give you a Get out of Troll free card...

sean lindskog
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"Winning the IGF doesn't give you a Get out of Troll free card... "
heh.

Sure, but whether a person is a dick, and whether the IGF has problems are two different issues. Combining them into a single discussion confuses things.

I don't get the "John Romero" image, what does that mean?

Eric McQuiggan
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You don't speak for the entire indie games community, please don't act like you do.

David Roberts
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sour_grapes

Michael Lubker
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Hey, I didn't even enter this year.

Trevor Howden
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The indie game scene is just like music genres inthat as it becomes more successful and commercialised, forgets its own underground roots and slowly turns into the entity that it once hated.

Michael Lubker
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There will always be more indies.

Lex Allen
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I think that Michael is doing the right thing by speaking out. I don't think that old games should be resubmitted to win additional awards if they have already won in the past.

I initially thought that it was just me.

This isn't an attack against the winners. The issue is whether the prize is the result of chronyism (Fez is great of course, but I think you'll get the point I'm trying to make).

The bigger issue is what Trevor referred to. If the IGF loses its integrity, we'll all be looking for a new competition to emerge.

Michael Lubker
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Thanks!

I am not meaning to attack the winners either - he is getting a lot of trolls on Twitter, just happens to be the sort of person that feeds them.

I have played Fez at a showcase, it's not my type of game but I'm sure it can sell some copies.

We need the IGFI (Independent Games Festival with Integrity) ;)

Tim Keenan
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I agree that IGF seems broken. I believe after you've played your set number of games you can play and vote for any other game that's entered. While I'm sure it wasn't the intention, this leads to well known games/devs garnering more votes simply because more judges will play them.

I also think breaking awards up into "newly released" games and "future titles" might help, such that there aren't a large percentage of games re-submitting each year and that would make the number of entries more manageable. Awards are sortof a tough problem.


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