How to Qualify for IGR’s 2013 Indie GOTY – A Critical Checklist

Video Game player

Come Out With It

There are hundreds of millions of indie games being developed at this very moment by single parents working in Unity, GameMaker Studio and Twine. IGR has the soul-wrenching task of choosing only ten of these every year and has to recruit volunteers from four counties to help filter through all of the possible candidates.

A portrait of our Senior Editor, as you can see, he is an amiable fellow.

Therefore we created a checklist, and since this top secret internal document has since been leaked[no source available] we are now coming clean via an AMA, and suggest that you keep this list with you at ALL times when determining the concept for and developing your game.

In fact the editor-in-chief was overheard saying “If it doesn’t meet at least 15 of these points, it’s off the list, no questions.”

Indie 2013 Game of the Year Checklist

Print and staple this to the wall directly behind your monitor:

  • Is it a Metroidvania style platformer?
  • Is it a Roguelike with permdeath?
  • Is it an interactive narrative Half Life 2 mod?
  • Is it randomly or procedurally generated?
  • Does it feature retro 16-bit graphics or minimalist flat design polygons?
  • Does it look like a lost game from Atari 2600, Intellivision, Amiga, Commodore 64 or SNES catalogs?
  • Claymation?
  • Is it a lost Atari 2600 game done in claymation?
  • Is it like Dungeon Keeper?
  • Is it like Terraria?
  • Does it break the fourth wall?
  • Does it mashup more than 3 genres?
  • Online multiplayer co-op?
  • Chiptunes soundtrack?
  • Is it a de-make?
  • Is it an indie horror?
  • If so, does it stop being scary with your headphones off?
  • Was it successfully Kickstarted (if so how many stretch goals did it reach)? (If so in how many hours)?
  • Was it successfully Greenlit by the community (if so in how many hours)?
  • Does it provide insight about a social issue?
  • Was it an IndieCade finalist?
  • Was it made by three ex-pats from a AAA developer?
  • Did it get over 100 upvotes on /r/indiegaming?
  • Is it an underdog
  • Did Terry Cavanaugh design it?
  • Did Edmund McMillen play it?
  • Did Jonathon Blow mention it on Twitter?
  • Is it a Tim Schaffer prototype?
  • Did John Romero join the dev team?
  • Does the PS4 have a launch window exclusive
  • Is it from Sweden?
  • Is it from Toronto?
  • Is it by students at USC?
  • Did it grow out of a game jam?
  • Oculus support?
  • Is it a new spin on a Digital Trading Card game?
  • Does it have DnD nurd culture and scatalogical humor?
  • Does it involve 2D exploration of 3D?
  • Is it isometric?
  • Does it have the word “Star” or “Space” in the title?
  • Did Angry Joe make a vlog about it asking you to back the crowdfunding?
  • Did the dev send money/gifts? (Recommended donation of $50)
  • Is it a based on using a Playstation Move controller?
  • Voxels.

Please help us refine the criteria even further by letting us know what we have missed…