Submissions are now open for the 13th annual Independent Games Festival (IGF), an awards show that honors the best and brightest of the indie gaming community. (Past winners have included World of Goo and Braid.) Developers have until Oct. 18, 2010 to submit their entries for the main categories, and until Nov. 1 for the Student Showcase categories.

This year, the festival is expanding its acknowledgement of mobile and handheld game developers. Games made for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, the Android operating system, Nintendo DS/DSi, PlayStation Portable, and all handheld devices will compete in the same traditional IGF categories. They will also be eligible for a new Best Mobile Game award, honoring innovation, achievement and artistry in handheld gaming. As well, the number of finalists for the IGF Nuovo Award, which honors “abstract, shortform and otherwise esoteric ‘art games,'” has been increased from five games to eight.

All games selected as finalists will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor, and will compete for nearly $50,000 in prizes, including the Nuovo Award, Excellence in Design, Art, Best Student Game, the Audience Award and the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Important dates for IGF 2011 are as follows:

  • June 28th, 2010 – Submissions are Open
  • October 18th, 2010 – Submission Deadline, Main Competition
  • November 1st, 2010 – Submission Deadline, Student Competition
  • January 3rd, 2011 – Finalists Announced, Main Competition
  • January 10, 2011 – Finalists Announced, Student Competition
  • February 28 – March 4, 2011 – Game Developers Conference 2011
  • February 28 – March 1, 2011 – Indie Games Summit @ GDC 2011
  • March 2 – March 4, 2011 – IGF Pavilion @ GDC 2011
  • March 2, 2011 – IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners Announced!)