Budding gamesmiths submit their homebrewed sweat-and-code for recognition and reward during each year's Independent Games Festival, but staying on gamers' radar after the competition's close can be challenging for these small teams. No more: In an announcement released today on the festival's official website, the organizers revealed Valve will offer Steam distribution deals to all finalists of each of the seven award categories. Yep, all of them.
Note the deal isn't automatically inked if an entrant makes it to the finals—they have to give the final nod to Valve to go ahead with including their works in Steam's gargantuan library. (Read: no-brainer.) The finalists for each category—the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Excellence In Design, Excellence In Art, Excellence In Narrative, Technical Excellence, Excellence in Audio, and the Nuovo Award—will get announced in January before undergoing an awards ceremony at the Game Developers Conference in March.
Considering indie luminaries such as Portal predecessor Narbacular Drop, Minecraft, and Fez have won IGF accolades in the past, this is a definite win-win for all involved.