“Return of the Obra Dinn” won this year’s Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the Independent Games Festival. The game was also the Excellence in Narrative winner.
Developer Lucas Pope won the same award, a pinnacle in independent game development, in 2014.
“Five years I won the award for ‘Paper’s Please’ and I said it was the peak of my career,” he said while accepting the award. “I still believe that, but the downhill ride from that peak has been pretty nice.”
The 21st annual Independent Games Festival took place Wednesday night in the midst of the weeklong Game Developers Conference. The award show, which honors innovation in game development and the best independent game developers, kicked off with host Meg Jayanth calling out the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, saying it was committed by a “monster who went to a mosque with murder in his heart” and that society needs to reject the sort of hate that fueled his attack.
The awards kicked off with an emotional win for “After Hours” — developed by Bahiyya Khan, Claire Meekel, Tim Flusk, and Abi Meekel — for Best Student Game. The team from Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand took the stage to give a profanity-laced, but cheerful acceptance speech.
The winner of this year’s Nuovo Innovation Award, “Black Room,” was a browser-based narrative game designed by Cassie McQuater.
The Excellence in Audio winner was “Paratopic,” a horror adventure game by Arbitrary Metric.
The Excellence in Design winner was “Opus Magnum,” an alchemy puzzle game by Zachtronics.
The Excellence in Visual Arts winner was “Mirror Drop,” a 3D puzzle game by Ian Lilley.
The show also honored Jerry Lawson, who developed the technology to put games on game cartridges. He created the game cartridges while helping to develop the Fairchild Channel F video game console. Lawson died in 2011.