The chillingly atmospheric computer game Amnesia: The Dark Descent won in three of its four categories at the Independent Games Festival, while Minecraft clinched two.
Following a September 2010 launch, Amnesia sold 36,000 copies during its first month and a total of 200,000 copies by the end of the year.
That's not bad at all, considering the team at Swedish company Frictional Games funded and published the game themselves, very nearly dropping it during development as financial hardships took hold.
Fellow Swede Markus Persson was on hand to receive both the Audience Award and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize following an incredible year, first as creator of Minecraft and then as co-founder of Mojang AB.
The construction game has close to 1.5 million paying customers, each putting down between €10 and €15 to fund the game and get early access - the kicker is that the game isn't considered fully finished.
Minecraft also won Best Debut, Best Downloadable, and the Innovation Award at the main GDC Awards that followed, beating big-name retail games such as Heavy Rain and Dance Central. "Apparently we are a real game now," quipped Markus.
Independent Games Festival Awards 2011
Amnesia: The Dark Descent by Frictional Games (€15 / $19)
Playable on: Windows PCs, Linux, Mac
IGF Awards: Direct2Drive Vision Award, Technical Excellence, Excellence in Audio
Official website: http://www.amnesiagame.com
Minecraft by Mojang AB (€15)
Playable on: Windows PC, Linux, Mac. Mobile versions to follow
IGF Awards: Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Audience Award
Official website: http://www.minecraft.net
Desktop Dungeons by QCF Design (free)
Playable on: Windows PC
IGF Award: Excellence in Design
Official website: http://www.qcfdesign.com/?cat=20
Helsing's Fire by Ratloop (from $0.99 / €0.79 / £0.59)
Playable on: iOS 3.0+ (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
IGF Award: Best Mobile Game
Official website: http://ratloop.com/?games/helsings_fire
iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/app/helsings-fire/id380290526
Bit.Trip Runner by Gaijin Games ($8.99 / €7,99 / 800 Points)
Playable on: Nintendo Wii (WiiWare), Windows PC, Mac
IGF Award: Excellence in Visual Art
Official website: http://bittripgame.com/bittrip-runner.html
Nidhogg by Messhof
Not yet released
IGF Award: IGF Nuovo Award
Official website: http://www.messhof.com/nidhogg
FRACT by Richard E Flanagan (free)
Playable on: Windows PC, Mac
IGF Award: Best Student Game
Official website: http://richardeflanagan.com/lab/10-fract-beta-come-and-play