The Independent Games Festival transition into the jurying phase continues! As July’s award ceremony comes closer and closer, the organizers of the IGF awards would like to introduce the next batch of industry experts judging this year’s incredible nominees.
This group of jurors has signed up for the incredible task of evaluating and celebrating the games submitted to this year’s IGF 2021 awards ceremony, taking place at the all-digital Game Developers Conference in July.
Without further ado, here are the assembled panels for the Excellence in Audio Award, the Excellence in Narrative Award, and the Nuovo Award for IGF 2021.
Eduardo Ortiz Frau
Eduardo has worked in audio and music production for over sixteen years and has been doing sound design for games since in 2011. As a sound designer he's been part of games like Gorogoa, Everything, What Remains of Edith Finch, and The Stanley Parable. He's now focused on creating and designing his own (musical) games and is very much excited about this new part of his career.
Shawn Pierre is an independent developer creating digital, physical, non-traditional games. He is also the Project Director of Philly Game Mechanics, a community group dedicated to supporting game development in the Philadelphia region.
Juan Orjuela is a musician and game developer from Bogotá, Colombia who specializes in interactive composition and sound design for video games and experimental audiovisual installations. Juan is now established in Cologne, Germany where he co-founded the independent game studio Ludopium, responsible for the titles Vectronom and Project MMM.
Daniel Rosenfeld is a German musician, producer and sound engineer, best known as the composer and sound designer for the sandbox video game Minecraft. He is currently undercover in Austin, Texas, creating the soundscape of a new unannounced game.
Ali Cedroni is a nomadic sound designer, who can generally be found freelancing somewhere between North America and Europe. She is a Co-founder of NokNok Audio in Oslo Norway and Dialogue Director at Unlock Audio in Chicago Illinois.
m@ boch is an Associate Professor in game design at the NYU Game Center. They also served for over a decade at Harmonix Music Systems as a designer & creative director. They are presently working as an independent game developer & sound designer, having notably crafted BAFTA-winning the ambitious music system & sound design of Ape Out.
Anne-Marie is an audio designer who has been working on games both big and small for 15 years. Best known for her work on Hand of Fate 1 and 2, she is active in Games Creative Mentorships Australia and is a regular speaker at MIGW's HighScore audio conference.
Kaitlin Tremblay is the lead narrative designer at CAPY Games. Previously, she was the lead writer on A Mortician’s Tale with Laundry Bear Games and a team lead narrative designer at Ubisoft Toronto. Kaitlin is also a co-director of DMG, a non-profit for queer and gender marginalized developers to make and play games.
Leena van Deventer
Leena van Deventer is Creative Producer and Writer at Team Fanclub working on Dead Static Drive. She taught interactive storytelling at multiple universities for 6 years in Melbourne, Australia, and has her Masters in Arts Management from RMIT University.
Sam Barlow is the founder of Half Mermaid Productions and best known as a director and writer of games that push the boundaries of interactive narrative. With Silent Hill: Shattered Memories he created a classic that psychologically profiled its players and in Her Story he reinvented the detective genre for the YouTube generation. In 2019 he released his most ambitious title yet, the investigative thriller Telling Lies. He is currently working on a mystery project about cinema and death.
Andrew Plotkin has been playing interactive fiction since there were home computers, and tried writing some shortly thereafter. He now helps run an IF non-profit foundation and plays with other narrative game ideas.
Darshana Jayemanne (he/him) is Lecturer in Art, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University and the author of Performativity in Art, Literature and Videogames (Palgrave MacMillan 2017). This book’s title names many of his main research interests, and develops a media studies approach to performance in digital space and time. He has served as a jurist on the Independent Games Festival’s Award for Narrative Excellence, was convenor of the Game Engines Beyond Games symposium with Babycastles Gallery in New York City and is organizer of Keywords in Play, an interview series highlighting diverse games research.
Kevin is a designer and producer at Asymmetric Games, where he has worked on several narrative-heavy titles including the Kingdom of Loathing and the IGF Grand Prize-nominated West of Loathing.
Kim is a long-time game designer and programmer, specializing in cognitive science and AI. She's passionate about the importance of games in society, and designing for healthy, inclusive spaces both in games and in the studio. She co-founded the Fair Play Alliance in 2017, and today she runs a small studio working on co-operative games.
For the past 15 years, Rob covered indie games for G4, Gametrailers, and Geek & Sundry along with curating shows for the Indie MEGABOOTH. You can find him nowadays helping to produce digital conventions, talking to developers about reaching new audiences, and creating communities around indie games.
Liz Ryerson is a writer, composer, podcaster, and game designer currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Her artistic and curation work explores the strange, ephemeral, and oft-ignored aspects of digital culture. Notable works include her experimental game Problem Attic, the music for the IGF-nominated Dys4ia, and the music and sound for the cult game Crypt Worlds.
Mad scientist of video games. Creator of Thelemite, McPixel, Mosh Pit Simulator and many other games you have never heard about. Lover of retro hardware, still creating games for old computers. Organizer of 0h Game Jam. Formerly a schoolteacher. Currently on a quest to create the worst video game ever.
Pippin Barr is a videogame maker, educator, and critic who lives and works in Montréal. He is an Assistant Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University and the Associate Director of the Technoculture, Art, and Games (TAG) Research Centre. Pippin is a prolific maker of videogames, including games about film adaptation, Eurovision, contemporary performance art, and the future of work.
Eris Koleszar is a developer at Funomena working in creative explorations of AR/VR. She is an award-winning musician and queer activist. Excited by the intersection of games and depth psychology, her latest non-work project is an unannounced game exploring interpretation and intuition in a single-player game.
Cindy Poremba is a digital media researcher, gamemaker and curator. They are an Associate Professor in Digital Futures at OCAD University (Toronto, CA) and Co-Director of the game:play Lab. Their award-winning game and “New Arcade” work as a member of the kokoromi experimental videogame collective has been featured in both international game and digital art exhibitions.
Lonnie Rad is a writer whose work curating and reviewing indie games has appeared in numerous online publications since 2012, including Kill Screen, IndieGames.com, and IGN.
You can view all entires for the 2020 Independent Game Festival on the IGF website. Competition finalists will be announced soon, with winners announced during the award ceremony at GDC 2021
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