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IndieGames.com is presented by the UBM TechWeb Game Network, which runs the Independent Games Festival & Summit every year at Game Developers Conference. The company (producer of the Game Developers Conference series, Gamasutra.com and Game Developer magazine) established the Independent Games Festival in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers.

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Archive For March, 2008

Game Competition Alert: Announcing The Dobbs Challenge

March 13, 2008 9:23 PM | Simon Carless

- [IndieGames.com parent Think Services also manages Dr. Dobb's Journal, the seminal programming website/magazine - founded in 1975! - which provides plenty of hardcore coding info. It's just launched the Dobbs Challenge game competition, which is fairly pertinent to indies - full info below!]

Think Services is pleased to announce the launch of the first ever Dobbs Challenge, a special game competition brought to you in association with the world-renowned Dr. Dobb's Journal for software developers, and Microsoft.

To participate, firstly download the specially created 'Dr. Dobb's Challenge' games for either Windows and Windows Mobile. Then you can win from a prize pool of $10,000 by modifying the games using a trial version of Visual Studio 2008.

The games star the first-ever personification of Dr. Dobbs, alongside the characters from Microsoft's 'Defy All Challenges' machinima videos, as you battle to collect Visual Studio icons and complete the levels. Full source code and art for the games are freely provided for programmers to 'mod' the results and win prizes. Here's all you need to know to participate.

Some notes for indie developers interested in participating. Firstly, the Windows version of the game (which is fun to play even if you don't know how to mod it, actually) was created by the folks at Grubby Games, the makers of IGF finalist Professor Fizzwizzle. The whole thing is really well commented in code, and there are also tutorials on the site.

- The Grubby folks designed the fun SD-style cartoonization of Dr. Dobbs and Microsoft's 'Defy All Challenges' machinima characters - who are featured in this video, in case you wondered who they are. The game itself lets you pick from the main characters and has somewhat of a 'time attack' feeling to it - you can also use the mouse to grab icons from far away.

In addition, there's a different Windows Mobile version of the game designed by the folks from indie PocketPC developer B3Team, and there's actually a conventional Windows executable version of that game in the Windows Mobile download package, if you want to check it out. It has slightly different, more 'oldschool' gameplay and specially designed pixel art of the main characters from Adam Saltsman.

As for deadlines and other info, there's a $1,000 'First Month Challenge' that closes on April 14th, and the other $9,000 of prizes have a June 13th deadline - including Best Windows Game ($4,000), Best Windows Mobile Game ($2,000), Best One Button Game ($1,000), Best Game Starring Dr Dobbs And The Defy All Challenges Crew ($1,000, and Best Total Conversion ($1,000) - for making something that's completely different in genre/style from the original Dr. Dobbs Challenge, but still keeps 'collect Visual Studio icons' as the mechanic and starts from the same codebase.

Finally, we know independent game developers care about what they can do with games after they've made them. So we are intending to allow games that use the source code to be released elsewhere by the creator - if they desire - after the competition is finished. This will probably be by licensing the underlying code itself under a BSD license at that point, though you would obviously need to remove any Microsoft/Dobbs character assets if wanting to release it elsewhere - watch this space.

Freeware Game Pick: The Hangover (Jan Willem Nijman)

March 13, 2008 6:18 PM | Tim W.


The Hangover is a new art game experience which should feel very familiar to those who have been in similar situations. The trippy ride is a short one, and comes with a seizure warning.

Name: The Hangover
Developer: Jan Willem Nijman
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB
Direct download link: Click here

Flash Game Pick: Open Doors (Ozzie Mercado)

March 13, 2008 3:48 PM | Tim W.


Open Doors is a puzzler created by Ozzie Mercado. The objective of the game is to shift a white square towards the exit marked X in each of the twenty-five levels.

Use the arrow keys to slide the square around, and press the R key to reset a room at any time. Doors can only swing open or close in one direction, and progress in the game is saved automatically. Completing all stages unlocks a bonus mode.

Name: Open Doors
Developer: Ozzie Mercado
Category: Puzzle
Type: Browser

Noiz2sa iPhone Port

March 13, 2008 3:58 AM | Tim W.


There's a new port of Kenta Cho's Noiz2sa for the iPod Touch and iPhone. Fancy that.

Apple iPhone School: NOIZ2SA v1.0
Noiz2sa for Ipod Touch, Iphone web site

News: Indie Games Make Their Mark

March 13, 2008 3:33 AM | Tim W.


Something came up in the local papers today, so I scanned the entire article for your reading pleasure.

Freeware Game Pick: Guardian (Graffito Games)

March 12, 2008 10:12 PM | Tim W.


Guardian is a vertical shooter developed using the Game Maker engine, in which five levels are promised but at times a small bug will cause gameplay to stop at the third. Hold the C key to shoot, press the Z key to activate your shields, and tap the X key to use any special attacks acquired from collecting power-ups.

The game isn't without flaws, but delivers just enough action to distract most players from its shortcomings.

Name: Guardian
Developer: Graffito Games
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB

Indie Game Pick: Armed Seven (Astro Port)

March 12, 2008 9:49 PM | Tim W.


Armed Seven is the new mech-based horizontal shooter by Astro Port, the development team previously known as DHC. The trial version features two playable levels with obligatory boss battles at the end of each. Hold the Z key to shoot, and press either the X or C key to use your special weapon.

Name: Armed Seven
Developer: Astro Port
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 20MB
Direct download link: Click here

Top 100 Indie Games (Caltrops)

March 12, 2008 7:32 PM | Tim W.


A hundred indie games (revealed weekly, over the period of one month) ranging from freeware, shareware, imports, mods and even abandonware to waste more time on.

Caltrops: The Top 100 Indie Games

Freeware Game Pick: Switching Gears (Affectworks)

March 12, 2008 2:06 PM | Tim W.


Switching Gears is a 3D platformer made in the style of the Ratchet and Clank series, in which you step into the metal boots of a delivery robot on a mission to save his city with the help of a few droid buddies.

The game consists of one short level, and was recently picked by InstantAction as one of their upcoming products for GarageGames' new web gaming platform. Use the W, A, S and D keys to move, tap the space key to jump, and hold the left mouse button to shoot. Both mouse buttons are also used to interact with levers or direct helper droids.

Broken droids can be regenerated at cloning stations, provided that you have their discs in possession when attempting to revive them. Only one disc can be carried at any time, but you will need all three near the end of the first stage to complete the game. An uninstaller is not included.

Name: Switching Gears
Developer: Affectworks
Category: Action, Platformer
Type: Demo
Size: 30MB
Direct download link: Click here (right-click to save)

Jason Rohrer Speech at NYU, April 11th

March 12, 2008 12:42 PM | Tim W.

From the Braid journal: Jason Rohrer (Passage, Gravitation) will be presenting a speech at NYU on April 11th 2008. The event is taking place on the 9th floor of Tisch Hall, in the lobby. The talk is titled 'art games' and 'game mechanics as metaphor'. Videos will be posted shortly after the seminar.

"In his lecture "The Game Design of Art," Jason Rohrer will present his observations from the front lines of the "games as art" debate. The fundamental question for Rohrer is not "Can games be art?", but instead, "How can we make art with our games?" Through comparison with film and critical analysis of several example artgames, the talk will explore one possible creative route: using game mechanics as metaphor." (source: Gaming Seminar)

Jason Rohrer: games as art

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