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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

Road To The IGF: Nicalis Duo On Night Game's Serenity

March 15, 2009 1:18 AM | Simon Carless

[Continuing our series of interviews with the 2009 Independent Games Festival finalists, Eric Caoili talks to Nicalis' Nicklas Nygren and producer Tyrone Rodriguez about Night Game -- a physics-based ambient action puzzler nominated for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and the Excellence in Design awards.]

Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren gained a strong fan following with his indie games Within A Deep Forest and Knytt, and IGF title Night Game marks his first WiiWare effort.

He's known for an innovative, dreamlike style backed by soft skies, detailed sprites, and ambient music and sound he usually composes entirely himself -- Night Game gets musical aid from Chris Schlarb, of Twilight and Ghost Stories and experimental jazz duo I Heart Lung.

Night Game also differentiates itself strongly from Nygren's previous work with a strong silhouette style outlined against vivid sunsets and surreal backdrops. He's working on it alongside a Wii port of Pixel's Cave Story, and ahead of the 2009 Independent Games Festival, We spoke to Nygren and producer Tyrone Rodriguez to get details on both projects:

50% Off at Big Fish Games

March 14, 2009 11:52 PM | Michael Rose

If you're hankering for some cheap games, Big Fish Games are having a 50% off sale leading up to St. Patrick's Day (March 17). I must admit, I've not exactly sampled many of the games on their site (that is to say, I'm not even sure that I've played a single one) - however, there are demos supplied for each and every game and from what I've read, there's some nice finds on there.

Simply add a game to your basket, then use the discount coupon LUCKOFTHEIRISH to receive your 50% off.

iPhone Game Pick: Eliss (Steph Thirion)

March 14, 2009 10:40 PM | Michael Rose


Eliss is a multi-touch based action game for the iPhone/iPod Touch developed by Steph Thirion with innovation written all over it. Lots of different coloured planets pop onto the screen and it's your job to grab them with your fingers, build them up in size by sliding them into planets of the same colour then plunge your creation into the squeesars that appear.

The problem is, if two planets of different colours collide, your health bar will decrease rather rapidly and if you don't pull them apart in time you'll meet your doom. There's other little additions here and there, like wiping stardust to keep your energy up, but this is the game in a nutshell and it's pretty fantastic to play.

Browser Game Pick: Perspectite (Luke Brown)

March 14, 2009 10:45 AM | Tim W.

Perspectite is a short puzzle game consisting of four screens in total, where the solution can only be derived by aligning the right objects in the foreground and background to reveal the path to progress. Only the cursor keys are required to play, although one particular puzzle in stage two might require a bit of trial and error when attempting to slide objects into their correct positions. (source: David Scatliffe)

Stalin vs. Martians Gains 'Heavy Metal Thunder'

March 14, 2009 12:04 AM | Michael Rose

As if the trailer for Mezmer Games' Stalin vs. Martians wasn't the most random yet brilliant thing we've seen in a while, a video of equal strange/awesomeness has appeared on their site.

Russian heavy metal band ANJ have handed over their thrash song 'Gorbachev' to be included in the Stalin vs. Martians soundtrack and the music video is every bit as odd as you'd expect. Apparently this video will feature in the game - intro video perhaps?

The website exclaims that we should 'prepare for the raging heavy metal thunder!', so you can't argue with that. And for those of you who, for some strange reason, would like an mp3 copy of the music from the original trailer (called 'Stalin Loves Disco'), that is now also supplied.

Free Games for the Weekend

March 13, 2009 7:46 PM | Tim W.

Had these links for a while but it was never on a weekend whenever I thought of posting about them.

The 20 Best Free PC Games (ExtremeTech)
Twenty of the best freeware games unveiled in this special feature published just last month. Not a bad list at all, although some picks aren't actually indie games.

The Indies, February 2009 (Crispy Gamer)
A couple of indie game picks which Mr. James was playing in February.

reasons why it's worth to be a pcgamer (Adrian Werner)
A big list of freeware and browser games released in 2009. Might take a while to download the page though.

Freeware Game Pick: Physical Combat (Kobe Institute)

March 13, 2009 4:43 PM | Tim W.

Physical Combat is a 3D tank game where the act of replenishing shells shot out of your cannon requires collecting pieces of enemy tanks you've destroyed or debris from shattered walls and structures placed around the level. You can move the tank using the arrow keys, shoot with the left mouse button, and absorb ammunition for your cannon by holding down the right button.

The game is pretty fun to play, but the lack of content makes it a very unfulfilling experience and may leave players wanting more of the same once they've completed the three stages included with this version. (direct download link)

Freeware Game Pick: Social Experiment (Andrew Brophy)

March 13, 2009 1:59 PM | Tim W.

Social Experiment is a puzzle platformer for one or two players, where the objective is to get both characters to the checkered point safely while avoiding pitfalls, enemies and traps carefully laid to hinder your progress. Throughout the game, you'll be required to swap characters frequently to access their unique abilities for overcoming challenges. While directing the actions of one protagonist, the other can be ordered to follow you or remain stationary in one spot with every press of the control key.

Though pleasing to the eye, the game does have a couple of notable flaws here and there. Switching characters isn't exactly a smooth process, high jumps are tricky to execute at times, and the difficulty can be a huge turn-off especially during the last few levels where one mistake would mean having to press the R key for another quick restart. Still, it's a decent effort from a promising developer looking to emulate cactus and 2Dcube's success with Mark Overmars' versatile game maker engine.

PAX 10 Indie Game Competition Accepting Submissions

March 13, 2009 1:43 PM | Tim W.

Penny Arcade Expo's "PAX 10" competition for indie games is now accepting submissions for display at the three-day major gaming event, to be held at Seattle on September 4th, 2009. The first PAX 10 featured in last year's Penny Arcade Expo received more than eighty submissions in total, which was then reduced to ten finalists for showcase at the exhibition floor with Twisted Pixel's The Maw being selected as the eventual Audience Choice award winner.

All eligible submissions must be received before May 9th. while names of the ten finalists and their games will be announced sometime around July 15th.

Full rules and submission guidelines for PAX 10 are available at the expo's official site.

PAX 10 Indie Game Competition Accepting Submissions (Gamasutra)

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of March 13

March 13, 2009 12:27 PM | 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 Capcom, Volition, Monolith 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:

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