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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 May, 2009

Freeware Game Pick: Astatine (Phillip Skwarski)

May 24, 2009 1:57 PM | Michael Rose


Astatine is an apocalyptic platform which focuses on exploration, combat and story. Astatine wakes up in a strange place and, with the help of a spirit, tries to remember who he is and why he is there.

It's pretty much your classic exploration platformer with quite an interesting story and lots of zombies and evil, unpleasant things to kill. The game runs in a small window but strangely for me didn't seem to have any sound or music, although one of the game's tips states that pressing M turns the music on and off, so it may possibly just be my system.

It's a nice little thing to pass away some time on a Sunday afternoon. Download Astatine here.

Freeware Game Pick: Ivory Springs (Konjak)

May 23, 2009 12:25 AM | Tim W.

Similar to Joakim's The Legend of Princess, Ivory Springs is an incomplete project that is short on length but packs enough content to entertain for about half an hour or so. The game is an enjoyable exploration platformer which features great background art and sprite designs, a catchy soundtrack, directional shooting, Mega Man-type slides, and memorable boss fights.

There is a special guest appearance included as a surprise, but if you haven't been following konjak's work for a while now you'd probably wouldn't even notice her cameo.

Mega64 Interview thatgamecompany's Kellee Santiago

May 23, 2009 12:20 AM | Michael Rose

'Marcus' from Mega64 interviews Kellee Santiago of thatgamecompany, developers of fl0w and Flower.

Eat eat eat eat eat.

Freeware Game Pick: The Gutter (Jan Willem Nijman, Robin Rodrigo Ramirez Rodriquez)

May 22, 2009 10:27 PM | Tim W.

JW and Robin's art game The Gutter is an experimental piece of art that is free to play, but by sending in a five dollar donation to the developers you can download the full version which comes with one additional feature. The story is about a man who wanders the streets at night, not knowing the fate that would befall him further down the path he chose to take.

This particular journey won't take longer than a couple of minutes to complete at most. (source)

Also: The Eggyard

In-Game Ads a Piracy Beater for Indie Devs?

May 22, 2009 11:58 AM | Michael Rose


There's an interesting article over on Kotaku discussing the use of in-game advertising as a means of making revenue for indie developers.

An interview with John Warner, who recently had a hand in the creation of Raycatcher, he talks about his disappointment concerning the level of piracy his game encountered and how a new project he is working on (under the name Greener Grass Games) will be 'a free, browser-based and ad-supported game'.

John and his developer partner Mitch Lagran explain:

"I don't want to do anything The Man-ish... but in order to make games consistently, we need to make money. Otherwise, we can't pay the rent. And if people pirate a lot, advertisements make sense."

But Jeremy Liew, managing director of Lightspeed Venture Partners, brings the other side of the spectrum describing in-game advertising as "a little bit of a disappointment".

"It's not lived up to expectations as a major driver of revenue. That was true even when the ad market was strong, and obviously there's an advertising recession going on right now."

It's a good read and may provide indie developers with something to think about. Read the whole article at Kotaku.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Just had to chime in here, since I agree with Jeremy's comments and I'm worried this piece is a little misleading. Unfortunately, from what I know of the in-game ad market, it's not generally that lucrative at current CPM rates -- unless you're talking about actual advergames.

So I think the 'free+ads' angle, which is promoted by a Vancouver-based, VC-funded portal here (sigh), is a little bogus. But here's some real stats from a successful set of browser games to get a good idea of the fact that, even for the Hunted Forever creator, ads are a small part of the equation. But you can certainly make money with web games, this article just seems... unbalanced.

-Simon C.]

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of May 22

May 22, 2009 11:56 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 Radical Entertainment, Ubisoft 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: Turba (TurbaGame)

May 22, 2009 11:28 AM | Michael Rose

Looky here, it's another of those 'use your own music in the game' games!

Turba is a match-3 game in which each level is influenced by the music you pick to accompany it. Effectively, you can choose any song on your computer (in a range of formats including mp3 and ogg) and the game will create a level from your chosen track.

Blocks are selected with the mouse and then destroyed with the beat. Turba will feature 2 different game modes, online leaderboards and special abilities to spice the gameplay up.

The Turba team are looking at a June release. Read more about the game on the Turba site.

Freeware Game Pick: Striptease (Stephen Lavelle)

May 22, 2009 2:18 AM | Tim W.

Striptease is a story-oriented puzzler with some inappropriate images that should not be viewed by younger audiences, although Stephen has made it rather clear from the title of his latest work. It also happens to be another one of his experimental releases which explores the use of gameplay elements in surprising new ways.

There are only three playable levels included. The game is available for both Mac OS X and Windows platforms. (source: auntie pixelante)

Browser Game Pick: The Scene of the Crime (Pastel Games)

May 22, 2009 12:43 AM | Tim W.

The Scene of the Crime is a typical escape the room game with very little story development, in which you play a detective who has to figure out events that had transpired inside a motel room just hours before his arrival. The investigation gets off to a decent start, but players might feel slightly disappointed by how short the actual adventure is.

Be prepared to dust for fingerprints, search the wardrobe of total strangers, peek under or behind their furnitures for evidence, and even rummage through garbage if you are to find enough clues to solve this murder mystery.

Browser Game Pick: Panic Breakout (GameDesign)

May 21, 2009 11:03 PM | Tim W.

Panic Breakout is an arcade game that plays like all other Breakout clones, but in GameDesign's version you are pressured to destroy all blocks as quickly as you can. Blocks are pushed downwards continuously, and the game ends immediately if you run out of balls to use or allow any block to cross the dashed line.

Left clicking releases all balls in your possession, and any balls still in play after you've completed a level will be carried forward to the next round. Bonus rounds appear every fifth stage as well, with the first type conferring bonus balls while the second reduces your spare ball count.

Power-ups include those that increases or reduces the size of the circle you are in control of, barriers, extra balls, and stars that boosts the travel speed of all balls.

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