IGF 2006 Part 1 - The awards
It was one of the best nights of our lives. All four of the Directors of Introversion were present at the IGF awards ceremony - Chris Delay, Mark Morris, Thomas Arundel, and John Knottenbelt. We arrived at the event dressed in Tuxedos and walked straight past the massive queue and in through the vip entrance. Stuff like this doesn't happen to Introversion very often, so we're loving every minute of it.

Already an hour late, we realise the show is about to get started so we hit the bar hard. Tom and Mark start throwing back doubles in an attempt to calm the nerves, since they're the guys who will be doing the speaking tonight if we win anything. Despite asking everyone we know in the industry we couldn't find anyone who would admit to knowing the results in advance, so at this point in the evening we are both clueless and extremely nervous. Our second game Darwinia is nominated for four seperate awards including the Grand Prize, so we've got our fingers crossed that we get at least one of them.

Mark and Tom dressed to kill

The opening student showcase awards are blasted through at breakneck speed - we're sat next to last years Grand Prize winners (Chronic Logic with their game Gish) and they mentioned that last years awards went on forever with most people leaving before the end. This year its exactly the opposite, and our first nominated award is upon us before we know it - Innovation in Visual Art. The speaker says "And the winner is" and the entire crowd is silent - and I can actually hear my heart beating and the blood rushing in my ears.

Darwinia gets it.

We walk up on stage as calmy as we can - left foot, then right foot, then left foot, and try not to think about tripping over. We get on stage and Tom starts reading out a list of thank you's to the audience. Our plan was always to do the boring (for the crowd) thank you's in our first award (if we get one), and Mark's big speech in the main award (if we get it), and things are going well so far. Tom slurs some names slightly and I wonder if anyone noticed. What many people don't realise is that on stage you can't really see anything - there are blinding lights in your face so you can only just make out the first few rows of people, but we can hear the crowd - and this must be what rockstars feel like every day.

Tom, Chris, Johnny and Mark on stage

The next fifteen minutes are basically a blur, with the IGF organisers tearing through each award at light speed. Once you've been on stage you don't just walk down the same steps back to your table - you have to exit stage right, and try to keep your head from expanding too much as more and more people congratulate you on your way back to your table. By the time you get back to your table all the nominations for the next award have already been read out and the guy is already opening the envelope. We didn't even get to sit down for one of the awards - we reached our table just as the guy read out "Darwinia!" and just walked straight back on stage.

Darwinia picked up the award for Technical Excellence, but lost the award of Innovation in Game Design to Braid. We haven't been able to find a webpage for this game but we did play it during the IGF - its a fascinating platform/puzzle game in which time behaves very strangely. Sometimes you can rewind time, sometimes time is based on your position on screen, sometimes time runs forwards then backwards. Its very odd but definately very cool. We clap appreciatively and try to hide what we're really feeling deep down inside.

Two awards won out of three, and its time for the Big One - the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

Our two awards, and our green ordanance

We hastilly open our bag of foam green Darwinians and empty them onto the table, just in case we actually win. This is the award we're really after - the only award that can bring this biz trip into positive cash-flow, and the only award that can make us feel like we've actually won. We're up against some serious competition - especially Chris's hot favourite to win - Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space.

We just can't believe it.

To the sounds of defeaning applause we run up on stage and proceed to hurl a box load of around forty foam Darwinians into the audience. We're all on an absolute high at this point. Tom says thank you and then Mark takes the mic. He's been telling us all day that he knows what he's going to say, but he won't tell us, so we have no idea whats going to happen. Mark delivers the most perfect summary of everything Introversion stands for, and the crowd just goes wild. For about twenty seconds we get a full earfull of American enthusiasm - Mark has quite obviously touched a nerve.

There's no doubt about it - this is a _moment_ for Introversion.

In fact, those nice guys at Chronic Logic filmed the whole thing for us.

Video of Mark's acceptance speech


We were in America for ten days in three seperate cities.

Read Part 2 : What happened BEFORE the awards.

What happened after the awards ceremony will be coming up in part 3 soon.





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