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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 May, 2009

Preview: Gum Drop (Elbert Perez)

May 6, 2009 11:01 AM | Michael Rose

Gum Drop is an XNA-developed space shooter which Elbert has been developing for quite a while now. Recent chopping and changing saw the game undergo a drastic design shift, with the addition of the SMASH mechanism.

Players grab the SMASH ball and use momentum to swing it around their ship, before planting it firmly into the hull of an enemy ship. The momentum building looks like it's really well done and could potentially be good fun.

Elbert will be releasing the 'near-final build' version he submitted to PAX and Indiecade on May 9th for public use.

GDC Vault Adds IGS' Indie Game Maker Rant, Rohrer Talk

May 6, 2009 11:00 AM | Simon Carless

[UPDATE: Due to high demand, the free GDC Vault lectures were temporarily unavailable for some time last night and this morning - sorry about that. They are now accessible for all once again, so check 'em out if you didn't have a chance.]

Game Developers Conference organizers have made free streaming video of two major Independent Games Summit lectures, the Indie Game Maker Rant and Jason Rohrer's talk, as well as the main conference's Game Design Challenge, available as part of the newly launched myGDC Vault service.

The myGDC Vault website allows GDC 2009 All-Access Pass holders to view hundreds of specially video-recorded sessions from this year's Game Developers Conference, with synchronized slides and easy one-click viewing.

In addition, organizers will be making select GDC lectures available for free to the general public, and the first set of GDC 2009 lectures are now available. These include the following talks:

- The Indie Game Maker Rant
One of the most explosive and entertaining lectures at the Indie Games Summit earlier in GDC's week, a multitude of indie game makers assembled by Fez creator Phil Fish rant, using slides and examples, about everything from game demos through Roger Ebert.

Some of the highlights of the Pecha Kucha-style rant session, recapped at indie site TIGSource if you'd like a key to the order and background of speakers, include Steve Swink (Minotaur China Shop) on ethical game design, thatgamecompany's Kellee Santiago (Flower) on changing the game biz, and an amazing finale from Crayon Physics's Petri Purho.

Squid Yes! Not So Octopus! 2 Coming May 16th

May 6, 2009 10:42 AM | Michael Rose

synso2.jpg

The sequel to Oddbob's arena blaster Squid Yes! Not So Octopus is coming in a couple of weeks time.

Titled 'Squid Yes! Not So Octopus!: Squid Harder', the game will be freeware for Windows and maybe the answer to all your shmuping needs.

If you've not given the original a play yet, now is as good a time as any - it's pretty addictive.

Oh, and while you're downloading it, check out the latest trailer for Squid Harder just below.


Preview: 'Splosion Man (Twisted Pixel)

May 6, 2009 10:17 AM | Michael Rose

Twisted Pixel, creators of last year's The Maw, have released a trailer for their next big release 'Splosion Man.

As you can probably tell, it's a platformer based around the idea of exploding over and over again. To be released soon on the Xbox Live Arcade, Twisted Pixel reckon it "will assuredly 'splode your face off." Nice.

Browser Game Pick: Mars TD (Taro)

May 6, 2009 3:54 AM | Tim W.


Mars TD is an excellent tower defense game created by Taro, developer of the unfairly difficult platformer Super Ear Man Bros. The objective here is to build turrets around the map and protect your base from the incoming alien invasion, because every enemy that reaches the base will steal some gold from your resources. You will lose if you run out of gold at the end of a wave, although players are allowed to continue up to three times from the level they last attempted.

Three options are available to you whenever you click on a friendly unit on the map. Selecting the first choice upgrades the turret by one level, up to a maximum of five. The cost of upgrading a unit depends on how much experience points it requires before the level counter is automatically increased by one.

The second option is used to switch the location of two turrets. No cost is incurred if this action is taken in-between waves, but the amount of gold required to switch units during battles will be indicated inside the selection box. Turrets and walls can be sold by choosing the third button.

You're definitely missing out on something special if you let the lack of English text for menus and descriptions prevent you from playing one of the best tower defense games ever made. (screenshots)

Browser Game Pick: Today I Die (Daniel Benmergui)

May 6, 2009 3:16 AM | Tim W.

Daniel Benmergui's Today I Die is a puzzle game created in a style that fans of his works should already be familiar with.

Similar to I Wish I were the Moon, the adventure is a short one and shouldn't take longer than a couple of minutes to play from start to end.

You'll be interacting with objects using only the mouse, but what you do with your surroundings is something that you'll have to figure out for yourself. The game also features multiple endings to discover. (source: Edmund McMillen)

Freeware Game Pick: W*H*B (Bob Smith)

May 5, 2009 4:13 PM | Tim W.


W*H*B is a puzzler that resembles Damien Clarke's Bloxorz in many ways, although this version features configurable button settings, great chiptunes and lovely retro graphics that the original had never offered. The game also doesn't punish you as severely for making mistakes, with the screen flashing red if your next move could cause the block to fall off the map.

An emulator may be required to play W*H*B, assuming that you don't own a working ZX Spectrum anywhere around the house. ZX Spin is a free emulator that works well enough with the game. It is also recommended that players reconfigure the key settings to their preferences before starting the first puzzle, since buttons are placed too far away in the default configuration for one hand to handle.

There are forty levels to play in total. (screenshots, level passcodes)

W*H*B download page

Browser Game Pick: Paneroku (Momo)

May 5, 2009 2:00 PM | Tim W.


Paneroku (Click Panel) is a browser-based board game for four players, where the objective is to guide your avatar to the destination in the middle of the screen before any of the other computer-controlled characters reach it. Instructions are only available in the Japanese language, although with a bit of trial and error you should be able to grasp most of the rules after a couple of sessions.

The round begins with each player taking turns to either place roads on the board or draw some cards from the two decks. You can place as many roads as you like before drawing cards or ending your turn, but a card cannot be placed if it causes any other path already created on the board to lead to a dead end. Players are not allowed to set any more cards on the board after drawing a card from the deck as well. You can only draw a second card or end your turn so that the next player may make their move.

Roads can be drawn from the blue deck, while effect cards are obtainable from the red deck. Using the red X on the board will deny other players from placing a card on that space. The red arrow nullifies an effect, and blue arrows can be used to remove existing roads from the board. Starting from the second round, players would first have to roll the dice to move their avatars before they can place roads or draw cards from the deck. To end your turn, simply click on the blue button at the bottom of the screen.

This release is the prototype version, so players should naturally expect to encounter a bug or two when playing.

Browser Game: 'GDC: The Game' (Jim Munroe)

May 4, 2009 8:01 PM | Simon Carless

For this year's Game Developers Conference, those at IndieGames sister blog GameSetWatch decided to try a little journalistic/interactive experiment

(NOTE: This wasn't really a promotional deal, for the skeptical, the author had carte blanche to write anything about the event, and we didn't tell the main GDC organizers we were doing this!)

We recruited Canadian author and game creator Jim Munroe, whom, as his Wikipedia page explains, is a former editor at Adbusters Magazine and a HarperCollins-published author ('Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask').

In the game field, he founded the Artsy Game Incubator project, and his poignant illustrated text adventure, 'Everybody Dies', took third place at IFComp last year and picked up a number of other media honors.

So, we got Jim -- in exchange for a press pass to the event -- to write his experiences at GDC and what he finds out, and use that as inspiration to write a text adventure with some kind of Game Developers Conference theme, and that's just what he did.

Here's his brief explanation before you get into playing what is, intriguingly, more of a social simulator (very befitting of GDC!) than a traditional IF work:

"I wanted to try something that was more of a "text game" rather than "text adventure game". Think of it as a round of cards rather than an immersive and colourful narrative. If you don't like the hand you're dealt, you can always reshuffle with a restart. If you find you're playing "guess-the-verb" (IF's most infamous minigame), restart and read the beginning carefully."

You can now play 'GDC: The Game' in your web browser using Java [UPDATE: If you don't have Java, try this Parchment link], or, if you'd like to download the Z-Machine file to play it on your computer, here's 'GDC: The Game's zcode file - go check out the IFGuide's Wiki for info on an interpreter.

In addition, if you'd like to read the process whereby Jim experienced GDC, thought through the game creatively, and then made it, we've archived his GameSetWatch.com posts made during the event and afterwards, with lots of insight into what he considered, and how that birthed the game.

Browser Game Pick: Spewer (Edmund McMillen, Eli Piilonen)

May 4, 2009 7:52 AM | Tim W.


Spewer is a new physics-based platformer created by the prolific Edmund McMillen and Eli Piilonen, featuring music by Gravity Hook and Meat Boy music composer Daniel Baranowsky. You are in control of a test subject named Spewer, who must escape from the clutches of a scientist by surviving all fifty-five rooms inside a maze-like laboratory, one level at a time.

Spewer's ability to regurgigate and consume bodily fluid will be called upon frequently, as you attempt to make it past the traps and obstacles that had been placed cleverly to halt your escape. The first few stages also act as sort of a tutorial, where you will be put through your paces under the watchful eye of your observator. Note that there is a limit to how much fluid your body can store and spew out, so if you empty the tank completely then you'll have to eat food or even your own vomit before being allowed to regurgigate any further.

Due to the heavy use of liquid physics, the game might probably run a bit slow on some browsers. To counter this problem, Edmund has included a link to the download version on the title screen which should work better on older machines.

A secret chapter with additional stages is unlocked automatically once you've completed the original five story chapters. The game also features a map editor that can be used to create and share new levels of your own design with other players. (source, preview, direct download link)

Play Spewer at Newgrounds

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