Over the weekend, the Indie Game Developer Network released the list of winners for the 2022 Indie Groundbreaker Awards, revealing the list of tabletop games the company believes is driving the business in bold and creative new directions.
Independent RPGs are then reviewed and chosen by a panel of five judges, two members of which come from the organisations ranks, while three others are broadly from the independent side of the tabletop RPG industry. According to the IGDN, the awards honor new and exciting game designs that push the boundaries in innovation, in promoting diversity, and in expanding what it teaches to be indie.
In each of the five categories, five tabletop RPGs were selected, among the winners and their designers. IGDNs awards aim to highlight artwork, rules, and setting as three key and significant design elements, but they do not yet include one for editing, layout, production, or other unnecessary labor.
Most Innovative: My Body is a Cage, by Batts Best Art: Gun&Slinger, by Tim Hutchings Best Rules: Gun&Slinger, by Kienna Shaw and Jason Cutrone Game of the Year: Brave Zenith, by Giuliano Roverato and Rodrigo Melchior
- Most Innovative: My Body is a Cage, by Batts
- Best Art: A Fantastic Longing for Adventure, by Tim Hutchings
- Best Rules: Gun&Slinger, by Nevyn Holmes
- Best Setting: Arcon - City of Light, by Kienna Shaw and Jason Cutrone
- Game of the Year: Brave Zenith, by Giuliano Roverato and Rodrigo Melchior
Brave Zenith has been a popular feature for its inclusion in the recent LATAM Breakout initiative, which seeks to highlight the vibrant design and player scene in Latin America. Regional crowdfunding restrictions and a general tendency to favor the United States and Western Europe enabled tabletop designers to take issues into their own hands, creating several games from independent artists and wrapping them together into a published collection.
Winners in the four major categories receive a digital package of all games, rights to apply their win, and the IGDA logo to their games, and public acknowledgment. Game of the year winners are invited to sell their game at all conventions where IGDA meets in an official capacity over the next year.
On Twitch, you can check out the IGDNs Indie Groundbreaker Award page, which lists all of the nominees for 2022. Dicebreaker has previously written about tabletop RPGs such as Gun&Slinger, Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall, and Monster Care Squad for their amazing concepts and executions. Grasping Nettles, Archives of Alexandria, and Stacks of Goblins demonstrate that even smaller games are capable of generating huge thoughts and emotional connections.