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About The IGF 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, 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 January, 2009

Interviews: Jonathan Blow, Dylan Fitterer

January 23, 2009 5:01 PM | Tim W.

Links to some of the recent interviews with prolific or high-profile indie game developers of today:

Jonathan Blow: The Next Phase (text)
Jon talks about the upcoming PC port of Braid, Steam, and his next possible project.

BestRideEver: A Talk with Dylan Fitterer (text)
Find out what Dylan has been up to these days, nearly a year after the release of his bestselling game Audiosurf.

Zeno Clash Interview - Part 1 (text)
Part one of the two-part interview with Andres Bordeu, designer of the upcoming Source-powered melee action game Zeno Clash.

Unknown Pleasures 2009: Blush (text)
This is the part where Flashbang Studios sign a pact with the devil, the minute they promise the internet that there would be six new Blurst games this year.

Freeware Game Pick: NUD (Sean Chan)

January 23, 2009 3:56 PM | Tim W.

Note: This is a beta build.

NUD is a tower defense game created by the developer of Battleships Forever, a 2008 IGF finalist in the Design Innovation Award category. Towers in the game (called NUDs) can be placed so that enemies would have to traverse further than usual to reach the exit point, hence allowing players to change their route and also get a couple of extra shots at them along the way. Each NUD confers a different bonus to adjacent NUDs regardless of the type, and when used in conjuction with upgrades your NUDs can cause some serious damage to enemy units.

Name: NUD
Developer: th15
Category: Strategy (Tower Defense)
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB

Preview: Fez (Polytron Corporation)

January 23, 2009 5:57 AM | Tim W.

A new site for the IGF award-winning Fez is now live, with a couple of teaser screenshots posted for good measure. No firm release date has been mentioned yet, although the team is confident that fans would be able to get their hands on the game sometime in 2009.

Polytron Corporation

Fez 'GDC 08' gameplay (GameVideos)
GDC 2008: Cam Gameplay (Gametrailers)
Fez teaser trailer (Vimeo)

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of January 23

January 23, 2009 5:52 AM | Simon Carless

In this round-up, we highlight some of the notable jobs posted in sister site Gamasutra's industry-leading game jobs section this week, including positions from Nintendo of America, Square Enix, N-Fusion Interactive, Redtribe, and more.

Each position posted by employers will appear on the main Gamasutra job board, and appear in the site's daily and weekly newsletters, reaching our readers directly.

It will also be cross-posted for free across its network of submarket sites, which includes content sites focused on online worlds, cellphone games, 'serious games', independent games and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted in each market area this week include:

Preview: Blush (Flashbang Studios)

January 23, 2009 5:30 AM | Tim W.

Shown above, a test footage from Flashbang Studios' next Blurst game. Titled Blush, this ecological action game is scheduled for a release on March 1st, 2009. (source: Offworld)

Blush Game Announcement (Flashbang Studios)
Blush: First Test Footage (Vimeo)

Road To The IGF: 24 Caret's Retro/Grade

January 23, 2009 1:15 AM | Simon Carless

[We're talking to this year's Independent Games Festival finalists, and this time Eric Caoili interviews 24 Caret Games' Matt Gilgenbach about Retro/Grade, a rhythm game and shoot'em-up -- played in reverse -- which is nominated for the Excellence in Design and Audio awards.]

Far from a traditional shoot'em-up, Retro/Grade has players guiding their spacecraft in reverse through stages where the action has already played out.

To prevent damage to the space-time continuum, players dodge lasers returning to the enemies that fired them, while also positioning themselves to "catch" their own reversed shots. Power-ups enable players to temporarily restore the flow of time and correct their movements.

Retro/Grade features rhythm game elements, in that the timing of all the shots are based off beats in the music. Players also have the option of using either a keyboard/gamepad setup or a guitar controller, the latter control scheme allowing players to quickly maneuver their ship through different lanes by hitting corresponding frets.

We spoke with 24 Caret Games' co-founder, game director, and gameplay programmer Matt Gilgenbach about Retro/Grade, nominated for both Excellence in Design and Excellence in Audio awards at this year's Independent Games Festival (part of Think Services, as is this website).

Gilgenbach discusses how the team stumbled upon the game's novel design, the differences between its two control schemes, and the need for publishers to fund innovative, low-budget projects:

2009 IGF Student Showcase Winners Announced

January 21, 2009 3:26 PM | Simon Carless

The 2009 Independent Games Festival (IGF) has announced the ten winners in the Student Showcase for its 11th annual awards, with games from three continents spanning ecological, paint-splattering and fantasy exercise games to be shown at GDC this year.

Chosen from a new record of 145 Student Showcase entries (up over 15% on last year's 125 entries), these games will go on to compete for an overall Best Student Game prize, to be awarded at the IGF Awards Ceremony on the evening of March 25th, 2009.

Some of this year's Student Showcase winners include CMU's 'active play' exercise-centered game Winds Of Orbis, quirky Danish first-person dish cleaning game Dish Washington (pictured), and ecological management puzzle game City Rain from Brazilian students.

Also honored are titles including USC's abstract painting game The Unfinished Swan and reality-manipulating German side scrolling shooter Zeit Squared:

Preview: Monospace (Faber)

January 20, 2009 10:01 PM | Tim W.

Monospace is an iPhone and iPod Touch puzzle game where players would need to collect a certain number of white cubes in each level to advance. To achieve this, you would need to switch between the 2D and 3D view frequently so that a solution can be found.

The game will be available from the iTunes store starting this 21st of January 2009, retails at $1.99, and comes with sixty-four levels in total (sixteen stages assigned to each difficulty setting). Music from the embedded video is not included in the game.

Interviews: 2D Boy, Q-Games, Mousechief, Wolfire Games

January 20, 2009 9:02 PM | Tim W.

Links to some of the recent interviews with a couple of IGF 2009 finalists and high-profile indie game developers of today:

Eurogamer: 2D Boy's Ron Carmel and Kyle Gabler (text)
Beautiful things happen when you lock both Ron and Kyle inside a small room.

RPS: Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble (text)
A brief chat with Keith Nemitz about the recent WGA nomination for his critically-acclaimed social board game.

RPS: McMillen’s Myriad Marvels (text)
The designer of IGF finalist Coil reveals his plans for 2009. No mention about the upcoming Wii Ware version of Meat Boy though.

Gamasutra: An Audience With Q-Games' PixelJunk Team (text)
Kentaro Yoshida (studio director, Q-Games) and Shouichi Tominaga (director, PixelJunk Eden) interviewed for this special Gamasutra feature.

Gnome's Lair: Pacian (text)
The developer of Snowblind Aces and Gun Mute attempts to explain his obsession with interaction fiction.

GamerBytes: From Nintendo DS To XNA Community Games (text)
Cornered by Ryan Langley, Craig Forrester is forced to answer a few questions about his recent XNA Community Games release, Johnny Platform's Biscuit Romp.

The Escapist: Indie Developers Showcase (text)
Ten upcoming developers and their games were selected for a special feature on the award-winning online magazine, with a new interview to be added daily for the next eight days or so.

Developer Banter: Overgrowth (audio)
Lots of tips on getting publishers to notice your game(s) were revealed by the Wolfire team in this special eighty-minute long podcast. (indie-friendly online distributors, game review sites)

Road To The IGF: The Pic-Taking World Of Snapshot

January 20, 2009 9:01 PM | Simon Carless

[Leading up to the 2009 Independent Games Festival in March, Eric Caoili is talking with the finalists for the preeminent indie game competition, this time interviewing Kyle Pulver and Peter Jones about Snapshot, a 2D PC platformer with a photography twist and a Yoshi's Island-esque visual style.]

In Snapshot, players guide Pic through a colorful, pastel-hued world in which they can capture objects or creatures with a photograph, then place them elsewhere to reach previously inaccessible areas, complete puzzles, or move around creatures.

We spoke with the game's core team, designer/programmer Kyle Pulver and designer/artist Peter Jones, about Snapshot -- which was nominated for an Excellence in Design award at this year's Independent Games Festival (part of Think Services, as is this website).

Subjects discussed include how the team motivated themselves to complete the project, the designers' thoughts on I Wish I Were The Moon's photo element, and planned features for future Snapshot builds, which include a Portal-esque mechanic that allows players to record and redirect the velocity and direction of moving objects:

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