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These Are the IGF Juries for the Design, Narrative, and Nuovo Awards at GDC 2024

We're a couple short months away from the 2024 IGF Awards, and here's the second group of developers who will be judging our incredible selection of games for GDC 2024

GDC is thrilled to unveil the second group of jurors for the 2024 IGF Awards (head here for the first group). The IGF juries are made up of experts in specific disciplines—who will play, evaluate, and discuss the most-standout games entered in the 2024 Independent Games Festival competition.

Here are the jurors who will be judging games for the Nuovo AwardExcellence in Design, and Excellence in Narrative categories:

Nuovo Award

Pippin BarrPippin is an experimental game designer and associate professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University. He is a prolific maker of videogames, producing work addressing everything from airplane safety to the nature of video games and game technologies. He is a well-known figure in the independent and artistic video game scenes and makes his games, source code, and process documentation publicly available via his website. Pippin cohosts the podcast GAMETHING and his latest book, The Stuff Games Are Made Of, discusses video game design in terms of its materials.

Gabby DaRienzo: Gabby is a Toronto-based game developer and artist, best known as the creator of A Mortician's Tale and artist on several other indie games including Celeste, Nobody Saves the World, and Parkitect. She currently works at Drinkbox Studios as a senior artist.

A.M. DarkeA.M. (she/he) is a critical game maker and professor of Games and Playable Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 2020, she founded the Open Source Afro Hair Library, a free resource of 3D assets celebrating Black hair textures and styles, developed in collaboration with Black 3D artists from around the world. In addition to his creative scholarship in the arts, Professor Darke has also won awards for her groundbreaking work in computer graphics, helping to develop the first algorithm dedicated to the simulation of afro-textured hair.

Bennett FoddyBennett is a New York-based independent game designer. He designed QWOP, GIRP, and Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (which won the Nuovo Award at IGF 2018). 

Melos Han-TaniMelos (he/him) is the Tokyo-based co-designer and composer of games like Anodyne 2, Sephonie, and All Our Asias. Currently working on Angeline Era, he also writes essays about game design such as 2022's "Crafting Ludoancestry."

Noah SassoNoah is a game designer and composer whose work has been displayed and performed around the world. Creator of Sportsfriends' BaraBariBall and the beloved @infinitedeserts (now available on Mastodon!), he can also be heard weekly on

Jennifer Schneidereit: Jennifer is an award-winning game designer, programmer and creative director, specialising in unconventional games. In 2010, she co-founded Nyamyam. Her games are Tengami and Astrologaster

Excellence in Design

Luis Antonio: Luis is the creator and writer of the award-winning game Twelve Minutes, featuring James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley, and Willem Dafoe. He is known for his remarkable work as a senior 3D artist for the BAFTA Games award-winning The Witness; his earlier work includes art director at Ubisoft and artist at Rockstar Games.

Marina Díez: Marina Díez (she/they) is a Spanish award-winning game designer and filmmaker based in Berlin and London, UK. She's the CEO at Three of Cups Games, an ethical and diverse games studio based in London.

Osama Dorias: Osama is the lead gameplay designer at Brass Lion Entertainment; a career game designer who has worked at Blizzard, Warner Brothers, Ubisoft, and more. He is currently teaching game design at Dawson College and is one of three habibis on The Habibis podcast. Osama loves to empower people in expressing themselves through game making—he especially loves giving a voice to marginalized people and causes—and has hosted game jams, workshops, and other community activities to this end.

Liz EnglandLiz is a systems designer with over 15 years of experience, spanning indie games like Scribblenauts and AAA titles like Sunset Overdrive and Watch Dogs: Legion. She is currently game director at Possibility Space.

Megan FoxMegan is the queer AF founder of Glass Bottom Games. BAFTA Breakthrough. She made SkateBIRD, Hot Tin Roof, etc.

Jenny Xu: Jenny is a long-distance runner, programmer, gamer, fitness instructor, Forbes 30 Under 30: Games recipient, and CEO of Talofa Games. She started making games and running at age 12, and in her 12 years in the game industry, she’s shipped 10 titles on the mobile app stores with over 10-million downloads. She was the grand prize winner of the Niantic Beyond Reality Contest in 2019, right after she graduated from MIT studying Computer Science.

Kevin Zuhn: Kevin is the creative director and design lead at Young Horses Games. Their work on oddball indie games includes Octodad, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, and Bugsnax!

Excellence in Narrative

Leena van DeventerLeena is an award-winning narrative designer, writer, and producer working on indie horror roadtrip game Dead Static Drive. She taught interactive storytelling at various universities in Melbourne for seven years, including RMIT University, the Victorian College of the Arts at the University of Melbourne, and Swinburne University. She wrote Game Changers in 2016 for Affirm Press, and sits on the board of directors of the Victorian Women's Trust. 

Shawn Frison: Shawn has worked as a game designer and writer for over 20 years. He recently founded Scruffy Dog Games, where he hopes to make games that are both thoughtful and a joy to play. 

Meghna JayanthMeghna is an award-winning narrative designer and writer. She has contributed to games such as 80 Days (which won Excellence in Narratiave at IGF 2015), Sable, Horizon: Zero Dawn, This War of Mine, Sunless Sea, the recently released Thirsty Suitors, and more. Her work and talks are focused on designing counter to the fantasies and pleasures of capitalism-colonialism. 

Emma Kidwell: Emma is a writer and narrative designer who currently works at Firaxis.

Cat Manning: Dr. Manning is a Nebula-nominated game narrative designer and writer, now narrative director at Firaxis Games. Her prior work includes League of Legends and internal R&D at Riot Games, Where the Water Tastes like Wine, Scents & Semiosis, What Isn't Saved (will be lost), Pathologic 2, and the cult favorite Blaseball.

Johnnemann Nordhagen: Johnnemann is a multi-decade veteran of the game industry, who has worked on games such as the Bioshock series, Gone Home, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, and Museum of Mechanics: Lockpicking, among others. He currently works as a Senior Technical Narrative Designer at Remedy Entertainment.

Andrew Plotkin: Andrew has been playing interactive fiction since there were home computers, and tried writing some shortly thereafter. He now helps run an IF non-profit foundation and plays with other narrative game ideas.

Head here to check out all entries in the 2024 Independent Games Festival. Competition finalists will be announced soon, with the winners announced at the IGF Awards on Wednesday, March 20 (with a simultaneous broadcast on GDC Twitch) at the Game Developers Conference, which takes place at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. For those eager to see the awards for themselves, make sure to buy a pass for GDC 2024

Sign up for GDC 2024 here.

GDC returns to San Francisco this March 18-22, 2024—and registration is now open! For more information, be sure to visit our website and follow the #GDC2024 hashtag on social media.

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