Independent Games Festival

All the Nominees for the 2017 Independent Games Festival Awards

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The annual Independent Games Festival is a prestigious peer-reviewed award show for the gaming industry. Nominees for each category of indie games released in 2016 have been announced. Thirty different indie games have been selected, with many receiving nominations in multiple categories.

Virginia tops the list with four nominations, followed by Inside, Hyper Light Drifter, and Event [0] with three nominations each.

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Inside
  • Stardew Valley
  • Quadrilateral Cowboy
  • Event[0]
  • Hyper Light Drifter
  • Overcooked

Nuovo Award

  • Islands: Non-Places
  • Close
  • Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor
  • Oiκοςpiel, Book I
  • Everything
  • Virginia
  • Mu Cartographer
  • Lieve Oma

Excellence in Visual Art

  • The Flame in the Flood
  • Inside
  • Virginia
  • Old Man’s Journey
  • Hyper Light Drifter
  • She Remembered Caterpillars

Excellence in Audio

  • The Flame in the Flood
  • GoNNER
  • Virginia
  • Hyper Light Drifter
  • Everything
  • Inside

Excellence in Design

  • Imbroglio
  • Ultimate Chicken Horse
  • Duskers
  • Overcooked
  • Event[0]
  • Quadrilateral Cowboy

Excellence in Narrative

  • Ladykiller in a Bind
  • 1979 Revolution: Black Friday
  • Virginia
  • Orwell
  • Event[0]
  • One Night Stand

Best Student Game

  • Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor
  • Lily, Colors of Santa Luz
  • Un Pas Fragile
  • FAR: Lone Sails
  • Frog Climbers
  • Bamboo Heart

The Independent Games Festival kicks off the annual Game Developer’s Conference, March 1-3, 2017. This year’s awards will be hosted by game designer Nina Freeman, whose game Cibele won the Nuovo Award last year.

Nominees for the IGF are reviewed by hundreds of judges and peers from the gaming industry who specialize in each category. The IGF also includes an Audience Award, where anyone can vote for their favorite title from the list of finalists above. Voting will begin later this month.

scalebound

Microsoft Cancels Xbox One Exclusive Scalebound

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After several years in development, upcoming action-dragon Xbox One title Scalebound has officially been canceled. Microsoft has released the following statement:

After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for “Scalebound.” We’re working hard to deliver an amazing lineup of games to our fans this year, including “Halo Wars 2,” “Crackdown 3,” “State of Decay 2,” “Sea of Thieves” and other great experiences. For more information on our 2017 plans, please visit https://news.xbox.com/2017/01/05/xbox-closes-milestone-year-in-2016/.

According to Windows Central, the only explanation given for the sudden cancellation was “business decisions”. As of E3 2016 game development on Scalebound was still going strong. PlatinumGames released a new trailer that focused on multiplayer.

But social media and updates for the game quietly slowed down, and stopped completely last September.

Scalebound was to be a third-person action game starring a young man from our world who’s transported into a magical realm of dragons and monsters. The hero bonds with a dragon, and the pair would travel and battle together. The game was officially announced back at E3 2014, and was initially set to release at the end of 2016 before being delayed into 2017.

PlatinumGames is known for making over-the-top action games like Bayonetta and Transformers: Devastation. Their recent titles have not fared very well, however. Star Fox Zero received mixed at best reviews, with a 69% metacritic rating. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan hovers around a 50% metacritic rating, and has since been pulled from digital stores.

News of Scalebound’s cancellation is also bad news for Microsoft, who’s left with a dwindling supply of stalwart 2nd-party developers and a dearth of console exclusives for the Xbox One.

disney-kids-tv-box

Disney Kids TV Streaming Box Unveiled at CES 2017

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Over the weekend at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Disney announced a new streaming box called Disney Kids TV. Like other streaming devices, it’s a small box that plugs into your TV and internet, and allows you to stream Disney movies, TV shows, music, and even games.

As reported by Tom’s Guide, The Disney Kids TV box uses Google’s Android system, and is manufactured by Snakebyte. Snakebyte is known for developing third-party controllers and headsets.

The box will cost $99 and come pre-loaded with games and movies, though no details were available. To play games you’ll need to have a controller. A specific Disney Kids TV controller will be sold separately (also made by Snakebyte), but standard Bluetooth controllers will work as well.

Parental controls on any digital device for your child is important. The Disney Kids TV box will only allow kid-friendly Disney programming. It will have kid-friendly menus, making it easy to navigate for little ones, and no ads. It also allows you to connect external storage to download and play content for quicker, off-line access.

No details were given on packaged or available content for the streaming box. We’re especially interested in what games it could play. Disney Kids TV will cost $99, though no pricing was given for the optional controller. The streaming box is due out sometime in 2017.

christopher perkins

D&D Story Designer Chris Perkins To Provide PAX South Keynote

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PAX South 2017 has announced its full schedule of panels and tournaments today, along with its keynote speaker. Christopher Perkins, the primary story designer and writer for Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast, will kick off PAX South 2017.

Over the last two decades Perkins went from pitching stories to Dungeon Magazine into his current role as Senior Producer and Story Manager for Dungeons & Dragons. His incredible knowledge of the Forgotten Realms and the D&D systems helped forge the great success that has been Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition.

He’s also something of a celebrity Dungeon Master, a concept growing increasingly popular thanks to live streaming D&D games. Perkins hosts Acquisitions Incorporated, the name of the D&D group for the Penny Arcade duo of Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, along with PvP‘s Scott Kurtz and best-selling fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss.

What began as a simple podcast to help test and show off the then-new D&D Fourth Edition soon grew into a series of live shows showcased at PAX events. Last year the team ran a video series called Acquisitions Incorporated: The Series.

Although this will be the third annual PAX South event, this marks the first time that Acquisitions Incorporated will be there hosting a live D&D show. The last few years they’ve done live shows at PAX East and PAX West.

“When we held the first PAX in 2004, a show about games seemed like a pretty good idea,” said Holkins. “Now it’s this whole big thing. It’s been a lot of fun watching PAX South grow every year, and I can’t wait to get back down there.”