IndieCade 2012 Indie Game Award Winners – The Complete List


[Santa Monica, California – October 4th, 2012]Felicia Day, creator of legendary webisodic series The Guild did a smart job of presenting the IndieCade awards on the west end of Los Angeles to a raucous, enthusiastic crowd comprising mostly indie game developers and an assortment of interesting presenters that included John Romero (id, THQ), Richard Lemarchand (Naught Dog Studios) and Mackenzie Mason – the model/actress who plays the new Cortana in Halo 4, among others.

Felicia Day introduces the IndieCade Award Show

We spotted Phil Fish hanging out at the back of the room watching the proceedings (did he fly in from Canada?) and the crew behind thatgamecompany’s amazing Journey were making the rounds but in new job positions…

The point is, it is a family and the people in it are not stuck in their roles. They are shifting, evolving group of thinkers and doers experimenting with indie games as a form of art, expression, exploration.

After a highly energetic proceedings that included rap games, Balloon crowd sports and a lot of Stella Artois soaked self-effacery, by 10PM all the winners had been announced and were off to dance to LeMarchand’s cracking electro set while chowing down on some fancy grub.

mackenzie mason - halo 4's Cortana
Mackenzie Mason who takes over as Cortana in Halo 4, walked IndieCade’s red carpet. What this has to do with indie games, we are not quite certain. But – Cortana!

Here are the official IndieCade 2012 Indie Game Award winners in all categories (except Audience which will be announced at the end of the festival).

INDIECADE Award Categories


Independent game developers bring unique vision, both literally and figuratively, to interactive media, exploring a wide range of visual styles beyond the well-trodden approaches of photo realism or the arcade cartoon. This award honors the quality and originality of art direction and the ability of visual design to carry us to other times and places.

WINNER: Gorogoa

Game Design:

This award honors the unique quality of gameplay that engages us with an experience or subject in that way only games can. This can entail a simple twist to a familiar genre, inventing a totally new mode of play, or the stellar execution of familiar mechanics.

WINNER: Armada d6

Eric Zimmerman's "armada d6"
Eric Zimmerman’s “armada d6”


The craft of game development is inseparable from the medium in which it exists. This award honors the use of the medium to create an expression that simply couldn’t have been possible otherwise. A iPad game that leverages multi-touch input as an integral aspect of the experience, or a game that builds upon a computer’s processing abilities to make a digital work that wouldn’t be possible otherwise, this award honors bold and unexpected experiments with the affordances of the medium that transform technology to magic.

WINNER: Vornheim

Story/World Design:

Games create their own self-contained worlds through a unique form of writing and storytelling. This award honors the special craft of revealing narratives through interactions within an imagined world which players want to inhabit and explore.

WINNER: Botanicula


Sound and music are keys to the filmic experience, but they are even more important to the interactive experience. Audio is not only a way to create mood, feel and ambiance within a game, but are often a principle form of feedback, letting the player know her progress and performance in the game.



The space in between – designing the space where the player meets the systems in any game is a craft unto itself. Great interaction design allows a player to fall into the engagement of an interactive experience, whereas poor interaction design can throw so many hurdles in the player’s way that they are unable to move from the cerebral to the visceral. This award honors those games that consider the player, while at the same time allowing the player to forget they are one.

WINNER: Interference

Eric Zimmerman (holding award) and John Romero (R)

Special Recognition:

This game best reflects the IndieCade values in the group of finalists each year. It exemplifies a true work of passion, contributing to the cultivation of artistry in games. This award honors the finalist that uses the medium of games in a way that elicits the elusive, yet universal, experience often associated any work of true art.

WINNER: The Stanley Parable


This award pays tribute to independent games that have had/can have a significant impact on the gaming landscape. They may have social message, shift the cultural perception of games as a medium, represent a new play paradigm, expand the audience, or influence culture.

WINNER: Reality Ends Here

Grand Jury:

The Jury Award allows IndieCade’s Distinguished Award Jurors to select a game that they feel deserves a special citation for overall excellence. This could be a game that couldn’t fit into any other category, but the Jury each year determines the criteria for assignment of this award.

WINNER: Unmanned

Trailblazer Award:

The Trailblazer award is an honorary prize given by IndieCade every year to a working game creator who has both made great contributions to the field of games and captures the independent spirit. The Trailblazer award is for distinguished accomplishment over a career of game creation, and recognizes those personalities without whom many of us would have never fallen in love with the field.

Past recipients include: Tim Schafer (2010), Megan Gaiser (2011)

WINNER: Elan Lee

Celia Pearce, Stephanie Barish, Sam Roberts
Stephanie Barish, Celia Pearce, Sam Roberts – the people behind IndieCade – announcing IndieCade East for NYC in 2013, and Audience and Dev choice award winners

Developer’s Choice:

Each year, IndieCade asks its finalists to vote for their favorite game of the festival. This is a way for indie developers themselves to acknowledge their admiration for the work of their peers.


Audience Choice:

Each year, IndieCade invites the broad audience of attendees to vote for their favorite game of the festival. This is a way for participants themselves to voice their opinion.