First-person thriller Virginia, action RPG Hyper Light Drifter, puzzle platformer Inside, and sci-fi narrative game Event[0] are the most prominent finalists in this year's Independent Games Festival Awards.

Virginia has nominations across four categories, while the others each have three apiece.

The winners of each of the Independent Games Festival's nine categories will be announced at the official 19th annual awards on March 1, 2017 at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center.

The awards will be hosted by Nina Freeman, the game designer of acclaimed 2016 IGF Nuovo Award-winning title, Cibele (the Nuovo is designed 'to honor abstract... and unconventional game development.')

This year, finalists were chosen from a pool of 650 by more than 340 evaluators from across the industry. According to the IGF: "These expert juries specialising in distinct disciplines for each category have selected the IGF finalists after playing, discussing and rigorously evaluating them."

The total prize pool for the IGF Awards exceeds US$50,000, of which US$30,000 goes to the Seumas McNally Grand Prize winner.

Voting for the Audience Award begins in February.

This year’s IGF Awards ceremony will also see the introduction of the ALT. CTRL. GDC Award, which will recognise "the most creative and unique video game controller created and displayed for the ALT.CTRL.GDC showcase".

Prior IGF Award winners include Papers, Please, Braid, World of Goo, Her Story and Minecraft.

The full list of finalists for is as follows:

Best Student Game

Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month)
Lily, Colors of Santa Luz (Lily, Colors of Santa Luz Team)
Un Pas Fragile (PAF team)
FAR: Lone Sails (Mr. Whale's Game Service / Mixtvision)
Frog Climbers (TeamCrew)
Bamboo Heart (Sokpop Collective)

Honourable Mentions: Awkward Dimensions Redux (StevenHarmonGames); DYO (Team DYO); Code 7 - Episode 0: Allocation (Goodwolf Studio); You Must be 18 or Older to Enter (Seemingly Pointless)

Best Audio

The Flame in the Flood (The Molasses Flood)
GoNNER (Art in Heart)
Virginia (Variable State)
Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
Everything (David OReilly)
Inside (Playdead)

Honourable Mentions: 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories); Kingdom: New Lands (Noio); Dropsy (Tendershoot, A Jolly Corpse); Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month); Sentris (Timbre Interactive); TumbleSeed (TumbleSeed Team)

Excellence in Design

Imbroglio (Michael Brough)
Ultimate Chicken Horse (Clever Endeavour Games)
Duskers (Misfits Attic)
Overcooked (Ghost Town Games)
Event[0] (Ocelot Society)
Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)

Honourable Mentions: She Remembered Caterpillars (jumpsuit entertainment);Elsinore (Golden Glitch Studios); Inside (Playdead); Antihero (Tim Conkling); Replica (Somi); Space Pirate Trainer (I-Illusions)

Excellence in Narrative

Ladykiller in a Bind (Love Conquers All Games)
1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories)
Virginia (Variable State)
Orwell (Osmotic Studios )
Event[0] (Ocelot Society)
One Night Stand (Kinmoku)

Honourable Mentions: A Normal Lost Phone (Accidental Queens); The Lion's Song (Mi'pu'mi Games); Far from Noise (George Batchelor); Inside (Playdead); Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe); Burly Men at Sea (Brain&Brain); Sorcery! 4 (inkle / Steve Jackson)

Excellence in Visual Art

The Flame in the Flood (The Molasses Flood)
Inside (Playdead)
Virginia (Variable State)
Old Man's Journey (Broken Rules)
Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
She Remembered Caterpillars (jumpsuit entertainment)

Honourable Mentions: Inks (State of Play); Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall); Mu Cartographer (Titouan Millet); Future Unfolding (Spaces of Play ); Sundered (Thunder Lotus Games); Un Pas Fragile (PAF team)

Nuovo Award

Islands: Non-Places (Carlburton LLC)
Close (Tobias Zarges and Moritz Eberl)
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Sundae Month)
Oiκοςpiel, Book I (David Kanaga)
Everything (David OReilly)
Virginia (Variable State)
Mu Cartographer (Titouan Millet)
Lieve Oma (Florian Veltman)

Honourable Mentions: Memoir En Code: Reissue (Alex Camilleri); Far from Noise (George Batchelor); Ladykiller in a Bind (Love Conquers All Games); Witchball (S.L.Clark); Project Perfect Citizen (Bad Cop Studios); Wheels of Aurelia (Santa Ragione); Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

Inside (Playdead)
Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe)
Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games)
Event[0] (Ocelot Society)
Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
Overcooked (Ghost Town Games)

Honourable Mentions: 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (iNK Stories); Orwell (Osmotic Studios); Imbroglio (Michael Brough); Virginia (Variable State); Duskers (Misfits Attic); Oiκοςpiel, Book I (David Kanaga)