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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 March, 2009

Preview: Stalin vs. Martians (Mezmer Games)

March 7, 2009 3:20 AM | Michael Rose

Stalin vs. Martians is a real-time strategy game to be released in April this year and, if the above trailer and the official website are anything to go by, we're in for an extremely odd experience.

Based around the idea of aliens landing in Russia in 1942 and Stalin leading his troops to victory over these unruly martians, the game depicts Stalin as a huge, playable colossus who... like to dance. A lot.

Honestly, Stalin vs. Martians looks like it's going to be hilarious. Quoted from the SvM site:

"Under the Stalin's command we must take control over Red Army forces and kick some alien ass. What shocks the most is that the martian forces look like a gay parade of Nintendo-styled cartoonish creatures."

Quite. Just take a look at the FAQ section of their website to see what kind of developers you're up against. Strangely enough, the game is actually developed by 3 different studios, hence why we have provided the name of the publisher (Mezmer Games) above instead of piling all 3 names into the title line.

We'll have more news on the game in the next few weeks leading up to release.

World of Goo $5 This Weekend + Ye Olde Goo

March 7, 2009 3:03 AM | Michael Rose


If you still haven't picked up a copy of the brilliant World of Goo yet, give yourself a big slap in the face then head over to the Steam store and grab your copy for just 5 measly dollars. This weekend only, mind!

Also on the subject of World of Goo, 2D Boy have decided to treat their fans to early screenshots and playable code of the game in its infancy, starting with the screenie above which was taken on August 20, 2006. Try to guess where the background is from, then download the playable code from here. Or head over to the 2D Boy blog and read all about it in depth.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of March 6

March 7, 2009 12:01 AM | Simon Carless

In this round-up, we highlight some of the notable jobs posted in big sister site Gamasutra's industry-leading game jobs section this week, including positions from 2K Marin, Infinity Ward, ngmoco 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:

GDC 2009's Game Design Challenge: "My First Time"

March 6, 2009 12:07 PM | Michael Rose


Each year at the Game Developer's Conference a special Game Design Challenge is held where 'three amazing game design greats create original concepts around a very unusual game design problem'.

This year's is a little unusual. Entitled "My First Time", the participants will be asked to come up with a concept which revolves around sex and autobiography. Once each has presented their idea, the audience will then choose who is crowned winner of the Game Design Challenge 2009.

2009 sees some interesting choices stepping up, with Infocom veteran Steve Meretzky, Portal co-creator Kim Swift and Habbo lead designer Sulka Haro all giving it a shot. The event has been organised by Gamelab chief design officer Eric Zimmerman.

The talks will be held on Wednesday, March 25 from 2:30 to 3:30pm at this year's GDC at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Check out the GDC blog for all the latest.

Preview: Ouch! (Hondune Games)

March 5, 2009 9:27 PM | Michael Rose

Ouch! is a ragdoll physics game developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch which looks like absolutely brilliant fun. Presented with a little person on the screen, the player tilts the device, causing him to fly about and smash into objects, walls and anything else that features in his trajectory line. He can also be knocked about my touching him, as too can objects around the world be interacted with in order to real him even more pain.

As if it wasn't enough to be able to give a man with no face immeasurable agony, you can even slot a picture of a friend's (or enemy's) face onto the little guy and have fun terrorizing them too!

Finally, the icing on the cake is that, as well as the 40 levels supplied, there is a level editor so that you can create your own worlds of hurt and then share them with your friends! Did I say that was the icing? No, the real icing is the price tag - a mere $2.99.

All looks like hilarious fun. According to the Hondune Games blog, it will be hitting the App Store soon. For now, watch the gameplay trailer above. I personally have not seen a more fantastic sight than that of a grinning boy being struck down by two racing cars.

Review: Raycatcher (Thinking Studios)

March 5, 2009 9:13 PM | Michael Rose


[UPDATE: Since this review was written, the price of Raycatcher has been dropped by $5 putting it at $14.95. As discussed below, one of our main problems with the game was the steep price, so the drop is very welcome. It just needs some online features now for a definitive recommendation!]

Raycatcher is a unique offering from Thinking Studios which demands quick reactions and a sturdy music collection. Utilizing the ability to import all your musical purchases into the game, each song is transformed into an array of rays which must be caught appropriately.

Let me explain a little better. A ball of colours sits in the centre of the playing field. The rays created from your music are fired at the ball as the piece plays and it's your job to spin the ball via the mouse so that each coloured beam meets up with the same tinted side on the ball. It's a simple premise and, for the most part, is pulled off fashionably.

Zeno Clash Delayed as New Survival Mode Added

March 5, 2009 7:11 PM | Michael Rose

Don't worry - it's only a slight delay and it looks like it's going to be quite worth it.

Zeno Clash, the debut from ACE Team, will now feature a new game mode called Survival Mode. Taking place in a tower, players must complete challenges and defeat enemies to progress up the tower. Score will be dished out based on the speed and performance of the player and scores can be uploaded to a ranking system to allow comparison with friends.

Andres Bordeu of ACE Team explained the addition of this new mode:

"We took in consideration the feedback we were getting from the community and decided Zeno Clash needed a game mode with a competitive component where the players could enjoy the fun of the combat mechanics without having to go through the single player campaign again."

The addition of this new gameplay mode has pushed the release of Zeno Clash back ever so slightly, with the new release window now being April. A definitive release date will be announced soon.

Check out the Zeno Clash blog for all the latest details on the game. For now, watch the development video above which gives a nice insight into how the combat mechanics will work.

Preview: The Path (Tale of Tales)

March 5, 2009 10:57 AM | Michael Rose

The Path is a horror game inspired by the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Developer Tale of Tales calls it a 'Slow Game' for the simple reason that nearly every activity in the game is optional - you can volunteer to do as little or as much as you want. The Path has purposely been created with accessibility in mind - there are no difficult puzzles to solve or raging monsters to defeat. It's all about how much you are willing to explore.

With the game penned for an 18th March release, Tale of Tales are now churning out the teaser videos in order to gather as many followers as possible and the latest (shown above) is just as odd as the rest. You can check out all the trailers over on Vimeo.

Head over to the developer's blog for all the latest info or take a trip to Grandmother's house and get spooked.

Browser Game Pick: Don't Look Back (Terry Cavanagh)

March 5, 2009 12:57 AM | Michael Rose

Don't Look Back is Terry Cavanagh's latest indie offering under his label Distractionware. It's a platforming affair this time around and it's simply quite brilliant.

As we mentioned in our recent preview, Don't Look Back exposes Terry's dark side, plunging the player into hell-like surroundings with the likes of quick-moving snakes and spiders which drop from the ceiling to cope with. As you'd expect, the difficulty initially starts low and ramps itself up bit by bit throughout play. There's even a few boss battles thrown in there to make the package feel complete.

All in all it's great platforming fun that deserves to be played. Descend to the depths of Kongregate and give it a spin.

Browser Game Pick: Exploit (Gregory Weir)

March 5, 2009 12:44 AM | Michael Rose


Exploit is a puzzle game about terrorism through hacking. By using ports to fire packets of data, the object of the game is to break the code and access the root node. Along the way you'll encounter many a hinderance, including blocker nodes, buffers and port keys.

The tutorial is the best place to start, as it explains the gameplay very nicely. Once you understand the core elements to the game, there's a brilliant Story Mode to play through as well as a Challenge Mode. Not only that, once you've managed to beat the 70+ puzzles available, you can even use the Puzzle Editor to create and share your own!

It's a great little game which very early on feels extremely complicated, yet once the solution has been identified, it exposes itself as actually quite a simple set-up which makes you feel rather clever from figuring it out.

Head on over to Kongregate and see if you can hack it.

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