12th Independent Games Festival kicks off -

Today sees the opening of the Games Developers Conference (GDC) 2010 at the dreaded Moscone Centre in San Francisco, and with it the 12th Independent Games Festival and 4th annual Independent Games Summit.

The Independent Games Festival Awards will be streamed online this Thursday on Gamespot's GDC 2010 page hosted by indie World of Goo developer Kyle Gabler and Puzzle Bots developer Erion Robinson. The awards will see a total of $40,000 in awards handed out to upcoming indie developers. Also on show are student projects, like the excellent Continuity which combines traditional sliding puzzles with platforming.

Finalists for the Independent Games Festival Awards, along with links to info pages, game downloads, screenshots, videos and official websites can all be found at the official page here.

Further supporting indie game developers at the GDC is the newly announced Independent Game Luminaries Indie Fund, which will work as a kind of angel investor platform for game developers.  

The Eye reckons independent games don't quite get the attention they deserve, many games sporting excellent design, soundtracks and truly innovative play often genius in their simplicity. With indie games slowly becoming more and more popular on outlets like PlayStation Network, it's clear that they're on the up and up. We think conferences like these are hugely important and really go to showcase the sheer enthusiasm, dedication and talent of smaller devs.

Some of our favourite from the IGF award nominees are:

Rocketbirds Revolution, which runs smoothly, looks beautiful, sounds great and plays really well too. Flash games have come a long, long way and Rocketbirds proves it. We dare you to sit through the intro and not be impressed. You can grab the Windows and Mac launchers here with the first stage free to play.

Closure, a creepy flash puzzle game that combines arty black and white sketches with being immersed completely in the dark. The game encourages you to figure out how it works for yourself, with no 'how to play' tab before the action starts. Check it out here.

To keep up with Indie news and launches, we reckon you could do worse than to check out IndieGames.com's new blog, which you can find here.