Umurangi Generation wins highest honour at the IGF Awards

The Australian/Maori antifascist photography game took IGF 2021 Seumas McNally Grand Prize among brilliant competition.
A screenshot from IGF Award winner Umurangi Generation

Once more, the world’s favourite indie game awards are here: The Indie Games Festival is back in 2021, along with the IGF Awards in a digital ceremony hosted by Among Us Communications Director Victoria Tran, and the nominations were filled with local flavour. Most exciting was the success of Napthali Faulkner’s Umurangi Generation, a brilliant antifascist photography game that has taken the indie world by storm this year. Umurangi Generation won the festival’s greatest honour, the Seamus McNally Prize, as well as picking up the award for Excellence in Narrative. Faulkner’s acceptance speech was characteristically off the cuff, with the developer quipping: ‘look, if award-winning stories are coming out of Lismore, you know… then I think any story can be told well, can’t it?’ 

At Screenhub, we were elated but far from surprised to see this stunning game take out the top prize: it was my favourite local game of 2020, and its recent release on Switch has been well received. Last year Edmond Tran wrote about Umurangi Generation’s antifascist game design, describing how the title ‘works around the idea that fascism is malleable and can coagulate around any one of a number of different traits – disdain for women, the obsession with a plot to create a threat, or religious extremism to name a few.’

READ: ​​Australian anti-fascist photography game ‘Umurangi Generation’ coming to Nintendo Switch

Australian games publisher Fellow Traveler was well represented at the awards, garnering four nominations for Genesis Noir, including two wins in audio and visual art. The label also published the London-made game In Other Waters, which received nods for Excellence in Narrative and Visual Art, as well as Paradise Killer, which picked up a nomination for the ceremony’s biggest honour, the Seumas McNally Prize.

The full list of winners, nominees, and honourable mentions is below:


IGF Awards 2021: Winners and nominees

AUDIENCE AWARD

  • Arrog (Hermanos Magia and Leap Game Studios)

EXCELLENCE IN AUDIO

  • Say No! More (Studio Fizbin)
  • Blind Drive (Lo-Fi People)
  • Sunlight (Krillbite Studio)
  • Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)
  • Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus)
  • A Monster’s Expedition (Through Puzzling Exhibitions) (Draknek & Friends)

WINNER: Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)

Honorable Mentions: Ikenfell (Happy Ray Games), Stilstand (Ida Hartmann & Niila Games), BPM: BULLETS PER MINUTE (Awe Interactive), Creaks (Amanita Design), In Other Waters (Jump Over the Age), Olija (Thomas Olsson / Skeleton Crew Studio, Inc.), Chicory: A Colorful Tale (The Chicory Team), Mixolumia (davemakes)

BEST STUDENT GAME

  • Vessels (Local Space Survey Corps, LLC)
  • Dorfromantik (Toukana Interactive)
  • Some Old Stuff (Hao Fan, Harry (Weizhong) Chen, Haku (Minyan Cai), Emi Schaufeld)
  • Rainy Season (Inasa Fujio)
  • SYMPHONIA (Guillaume Roux, Nicolas Derio, Pierre Vrel, Guillaume Gille, Alexis Grand, Simon Larguier, Martin Lepretre, Corentin Pauvrasseau, Kilian Dufour, Alexandre Mansois, Quentin Vernet, Hicham Benrhannou, Olivier Esman)
  • Hadr (Dominik Konečný of Ateliér Duchů)

Winner: Vessels (Local Space Survey Corps, LLC)

Honorable Mentions: Quest 4 Papa (Rumba Corp), Bots Are Stupid (Leander Edler-Golla), FAITH: The Unholy Trinity, (Airdorf Games), Liquidators (1986 CL3), Pink Gum (Mad Cream Games), Running Souls (Bar Levi, Asaf Kali, Yakir Oz, Michal Shoshan), Flicker of Hope (Studio Whip), Sketchball (Pincun Liu), Bunny Hill (Brendan Roarty)

EXCELLENCE IN DESIGN

  • Teardown (Tuxedo Labs)
  • Disc Room (Kitty Calis, Jan Willem Nijman, Terri Vellmann, Doseone)
  • Shady Part of Me (Douze Dixièmes)
  • There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Draw Me A Pixel)
  • Signs of the Sojourner (Echodog Games)
  • A Monster’s Expedition (Through Puzzling Exhibitions) (Draknek & Friends)

Winner: Teardown (Tuxedo Labs)

Honorable Mentions: Boomerang X (DANG!), Ancient Enemy (Grey Alien Games & Jim Rossignol), Biped (NExT Studios), Ynglet (Nifflas & Triple Topping), Chicory: A Colorful Tale (The Chicory Team), Moncage (Optillusion), Airborne Kingdom (The Wandering Band), The Last Cube (Improx Games)

EXCELLENCE IN NARRATIVE

  • Lost Words: Beyond the Page (Sketchbook Games)
  • Across the Grooves (Nova-box)
  • Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)
  • Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital)
  • Haven (The Game Bakers)
  • In Other Waters (Jump Over the Age)

WINNER: Umurangi Generation 

Honorable Mentions: Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus), NUTS (Joon, Pol, Muuutsch, Char & Torfi), Blaseball (The Game Band), Inkslinger (Gateway: Jacob Hvid Amstrup and Lucas A. V. Møller), Paradise Killer (Kaizen Game Works), South of the Circle (State of Play), Stilstand (Ida Hartmann & Niila Games), Blind Drive (Lo-Fi People)

EXCELLENCE IN VISUAL ART

  • Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)
  • Arrog (Hermanos Magia and Leap Game Studios)
  • In Other Waters (Jump Over the Age)
  • Shady Part of Me (Douze Dixièmes)
  • Call of the Sea (Out of the Blue)
  • Carto (Sunhead Games)

WINNER: GENESIS NOIR

Honorable Mentions: Stilstand (Ida Hartmann & Niila Games), Bloodroots (Paper Cult), OMORI (OMOCAT), Chicory: A Colorful Tale (The Chicory Team), Going Under (Aggro Crab), Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital)

NUOVO AWARD

  • Blaseball (The Game Band)
  • Nightmare Temptation Academy (Lena NW & Costcodreamgurl)
  • THAT NIGHT, STEEPED BY BLOOD RIVER (Taylor Swietanski)
  • Airplane Mode (Bacronym)
  • Welcome to Elk (Triple Topping)
  • Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital)
  • Chasing Light (Vittgen Inc.)
  • Kristallijn (Gaël Bourhis)

WINNER: Blaseball (The Game Band)

Honorable Mentions: Cai Cai Balão (LookUp Games at DADIU 2020), Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den), Gnosia (Petit Depotto), Liquidators (1986 CL3), Night Dreams (Salem Hughes), Rainy Season (Inasa Fujio), Stilstand (Ida Hartmann & Niila Games), There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Draw Me A Pixel)

SEUMAS MCNALLY GRAND PRIZE

  • Paradise Killer (Kaizen Game Works)
  • Teardown (Tuxedo Labs)
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale (The Chicory Team)
  • Genesis Noir (Feral Cat Den)
  • Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital)
  • Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus)

WINNER: Umurangi Generation

Honorable Mentions: A Monster’s Expedition (Through Puzzling Exhibitions) (Draknek & Friends), Blaseball (The Game Band), Bugsnax (Young Horses), Carto (Sunhead Games), Disc Room (Kitty Calis, Jan Willem Nijman, Terri Vellmann, Doseone), NUTS (Joon, Pol, Muuutsch, Char & Torfi), OMORI (OMOCAT), Spelunky 2 (Mossmouth, BlitWorks), There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Draw Me A Pixel)

Jini Maxwell is the Games and Digital Content Lead for Screenhub, where they write about the people and circumstances that create videogames. They also write a monthly games criticism column for The Saturday Paper, and host ACMI's Women and Non-Binary Gamers Club. You can find them on Twitter @astroblob

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