With over thirty nominated games from 2016’s indie releases and a number of award categories, the 2017 Independent Games Festival will be a major chance to recognize and celebrate the work of independent developers of this past year. Popular games like Hyper Light Drifter, Stardew Valley, and Inside are among the nominees and there’s even a whole category dedicated to smaller titles produced by student-developed games.

Virginia is 2016’s big indie title to beat. The game has a whopping four nominations: Best Audio, Excellent in Narrative, Excellence in Visual Art, and The Nuovo Award.

virginia-screenshot

Hyper Light Drifter, Inside, and Event[0] are close behind at three nominations each. Expect some tight competition for some of the awards at the show this year.

The show’s biggest award to win is the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. The Grand Prize is something like the show’s equivalent of a “Game of the Year” Award, but not quite. The prize is the biggest cash award at the show at a whopping $30,000.

hyperlight-drifter-screenshot

The Independent Gaming Festival’s awards ceremony will take place Wednesday, March 1, in San Francisco. It will precede the Game Developers Choice Awards, and you will be able to watch the event via livestream.

You can read the Independent Gaming Festival’s full list of nominees and categories below. Any bets on which games will be taking home awards this year?

2017 Independent Games Festival Awards Nominees

Best Student Game

  • Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month)
  • Lily, Colors of Santa Luz (Lily, Colors of Santa Luz Team)
  • Un Pas Fragile (PAF team)
  • FAR: Lone Sails (Mr. Whale’s Game Service / Mixtvision)
  • Frog Climbers (TeamCrew)
  • Bamboo Heart (Sokpop Collective)

Honorable Mentions: Awkward Dimensions Redux (StevenHarmonGames); DYO (Team DYO); Code 7 – Episode 0: Allocation (Goodwolf Studio); You Must be 18 or Older to Enter (Seemingly Pointless)

Excellence in Audio

  • The Flame in the Flood (The Molasses Flood)
  • GoNNER (Art in Heart)
  • Virginia (Variable State)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • Everything (David OReilly)
  • Inside (Playdead)

Honorable Mentions: 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories); Kingdom: New Lands (Noio); Dropsy (Tendershoot, A Jolly Corpse); Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month); Sentris (Timbre Interactive); TumbleSeed (TumbleSeed Team)

Excellence in Design

  • Imbroglio (Michael Brough)
  • Ultimate Chicken Horse (Clever Endeavour Games)
  • Duskers (Misfits Attic)
  • Overcooked (Ghost Town Games)
  • Event[0] (Ocelot Society)
  • Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)

Honorable Mentions: She Remembered Caterpillars (jumpsuit entertainment); Elsinore (Golden Glitch Studios); Inside (Playdead); Antihero (Tim Conkling); Replica (Somi); Space Pirate Trainer (I-Illusions)

Excellence in Narrative

  • Ladykiller in a Bind (Love Conquers All Games)
  • 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories)
  • Virginia (Variable State)
  • Orwell (Osmotic Studios)
  • Event[0] (Ocelot Society)
  • One Night Stand (Kinmoku)

Honorable Mentions: A Normal Lost Phone (Accidental Queens); The Lion’s Song (Mi’pu’mi Games); Far from Noise (George Batchelor); Inside (Playdead); Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe); Burly Men at Sea (Brain&Brain); Sorcery! 4 (inkle / Steve Jackson)

Excellence in Visual Art

  • The Flame in the Flood (The Molasses Flood)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Virginia (Variable State)
  • Old Man’s Journey (Broken Rules)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • She Remembered Caterpillars (jumpsuit entertainment)

Honorable Mentions: Inks (State of Play); Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall); Mu Cartographer (Titouan Millet); Future Unfolding (Spaces of Play ); Sundered (Thunder Lotus Games); Un Pas Fragile (PAF team)

Nuovo Award

  • Islands: Non-Places (Carlburton)
  • Close (Tobias Zarges and Moritz Eberl)
  • Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month)
  • Oiκοςpiel, Book I (David Kanaga)
  • Everything (David OReilly)
  • Viriginia (Variable State)
  • Mu Cartographer (Titouan Millet)
  • Lieve Oma (Florian Veltman)

Honorable Mentions: Memoir En Code: Reissue (Alex Camilleri); Far from Noise (George Batchelor); Ladykiller in a Bind (Love Conquers All Games); Witchball (S.L.Clark); Project Perfect Citizen (Bad Cop Studios); Wheels of Aurelia (Santa Ragione); Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe)
  • Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)
  • Event[0] (Ocelot Society)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • Overcooked (Ghost Town Games)

Honorable Mentions: 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories); Orwell (Osmotic Studios); Imbroglio (Michael Brough); Virginia (Variable State); Duskers (Misfits Attic); Oiκοςpiel, Book I (David Kanaga)