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Finalists named for 3rd annual Indie Game Challenge

Winners of $250,000 in prizes to be announced Feb. 10 at 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit

January 19, 2012

DALLAS (SMU) – The ten finalists in the 3rd annual Indie Game Challenge hosted by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS), The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University and GameStop, were announced today. 

Indie Game Challenge LogoReflecting the international scope of this year’s Indie Game Challenge, three of the ten finalist teams are from Finland, Sweden and Germany.

The Indie Game Challenge finalists are eligible for $250,000 in cash and prizes.  Winners will be announced Feb. 10 at the 2012 D.I.C.E.™ (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit at the Red Rock Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.  D.I.C.E. is an annual conference hosted by the AIAS dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression as they uniquely apply to the development of interactive entertainment.  Returning to host the IGC awards ceremony is Adam Sessler, host of G4’s X-Play.

“Hosting the Indie Game Challenge is one of the highlights of the year for me – I get to geek out with the next generation of budding game makers and talk games with them for a couple hours,” said Adam Sessler, host of G4’s X-Play.  “Coming out of the Indie Game Challenge, I always feel that once again the future of the industry is safe in the hands of these young talented designers.”

In addition to monetary awards and industry recognition, all ten finalists have the unique opportunity to pursue potential commercial avenues for their games while at D.I.C.E.  Members of each team will be rewarded with the opportunity to pitch their games face-to-face with publishers like Sony, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Microsoft, NAMCO Bandai, THQ and Ubisoft among others. 

The ten finalists include the following (Team/game):

  • Blendo Games - Atom Zombie Smasher
  • Eyebrow Interactive - Closure
  • Zeroscale - Demolition Inc.
  • Team Nitronic - Nitronic Rush
  • Paradox Shift - Paradox Shift
  • EmptyClip Studios, Inc. - Symphony
  • Ty Taylor and Mario Castaneda - The Bridge
  • Team Dream - The Dream Machine
  • The Fourth Team - The Fourth Wall
  • Facepalm Games - The Swapper


Besides the once in a lifetime opportunity to present their game to AAA publishers, the IGC offers a $100,000 grand prize.  Additional cash awards for technical categories include: three $2,500 Skill Award winners in the categories of art, technical and gameplay, and a $2,500 "Gamer's Choice" prize.  Also, a $50,000 scholarship to attend The Guildhall at SMU, one of the premier graduate level video game development education programs in the U.S., will be awarded to an eligible participant of the 2011 competition.   

For more information on the competition, learn more about the finalists, and vote for the Gamer’s Choice prize, visit: .

About the Indie Game Challenge
The Indie Game Challenge (IGC) is an annual competition for video game developers offering more than $250,000 in prizes for professional and non-professional categories.  Founded by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, The Guildhall at SMU and GameStop, the IGC was created to foster game development innovation by independent developers.  Prizes include cash awards, scholarships, national consumer exposure for the top games and an opportunity for the finalists to obtain professional feedback and seek commercial avenues for their games through face-to-face meetings with representatives from the leading video game publishers.  For more information on the IGC visit,, or



Ron Jenkins
The Guildhall at SMU

Debby Chen
Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
818-876-0826 ext. 206

Wendy Dominguez
GameStop Corp.