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.

ultimate game sale rise of the tomb raider

Tomb Raider Writer Rhianna Pratchett Moving On From Series

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Tomb Raider developers Crystal Dynamics announced that new reboot writer Rhianna Pratchett will be moving on from the now two-game series.

“Rhianna was instrumental in helping us find Lara’s voice in the 2013 origin story,” writes Crystal Dynamics. “And through Rise of the Tomb Raider she shaped Lara into the evolving heroine we know today. The entire team thanks Rhianna for her dedication and tireless efforts on the games.”

Pratchett took to twitter to express her own heartfelt thanks with the amicable split.

The recently rebooted series have received very favorable reviews. One of gaming’s most famous characters was re-imagined as a more realistic and gritty action heroine rather than a blow-up doll with guns. The sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, continued the same superior writing and gameplay. It was released as an Xbox exclusive in 2015 before coming to PlayStation 4 and Windows PC in 2016.

For her work on Rise of the Tomb Raider, Pratchett won Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing from the Writer’s Guild of America Awards in 2016.

While her work on Tomb Raider has been her biggest yet, Pratchett has been quietly working as a writer in the video game industry for far longer than that. Her writing credits include Prince of Persia, Mirror’s Edge, and the Overlord series.