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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

Browser Game Pick: Shift 4 (Antony Lavelle)

May 20, 2009 11:38 PM | Tim W.


In Shift 4 you're in control of an astronaut whose ship was attacked by a giant squid, forcing our protagonist to make an emergency landing at the closest planet. Waking up to find your family members missing, you decide to explore a deserted facility nearby and search for clues about their current whereabouts.

This particular episode is a little more challenging than previous releases, since players are required to switch between two or more characters often to solve some of the harder puzzles. New gameplay elements such as gravity and contact-sensitive switches are introduced at a steady pace, which is a boon considering that the map is a lot less linear and there is a bit of backtracking to do as well. (mirror)

Preview: Hitlers Must Die (Cryptic Sea)

May 20, 2009 2:15 PM | Michael Rose

Beta footage of track 1 from upcoming gaming album No Quarter, called Hitlers Must Die, has been released and should give a good idea of how the physics shooter will play.

Preview: Max & the Magic Marker (Press Play)

May 20, 2009 1:49 PM | Michael Rose

Ever wondered what a simple platformer would look like if it had a kind of Crayon Physics-style gameplay attached to it?

Max & the Magic Marker appears to be just that. Coming soon to WiiWare, players use the Wii remote to pause time and draw shapes on the screen to solve puzzles. These shapes can be used to dodge obstacles, reach ledges et al.

Looking pretty fantastic. One to stick in the calendar, me thinks.

Zeno Clash 2 Announced

May 20, 2009 1:25 PM | Michael Rose

ACE Team have announced that a sequel to the recently released Zeno Clash is already in the pipeline.

Along with the above new trailer for the original game, the team also gave a fair amount of details regarding the continuation of the Zeno Clash story. Carrying on from the original story, Zeno Clash 2 will again put players in the boots of Ghat.

Lots of characters from the first game will also feature, including Golem and Father Mother, along with a brand new cast. It would appear that ACE Team have also listened to any criticism taken from Ghat's first outing and will be expanding the world to feature more open-ended gameplay, featuring larger, explorable environments and even RPG elements.

Despite this announcement, the free DLC updates for the original Zeno Clash are still in developement with the next one to be released "during the following weeks".

2009 GDC Austin Adds Indie Games Summit, Calls For Submissions

May 19, 2009 3:04 PM | Simon Carless

[So we're doing an Indie Games Summit at GDC Austin this September, and we're opening lecture submissions, too -- so if there's any indies out there interested in submitting, here's the info. First speakers will be announced in the near future, too...]

Organizers of this September's GDC Austin have announced a call for submissions for the first-ever Independent Games Summit there, also revealing the Advisory Board and topics to be discussed at the two-day Summit.

Initial information about the September 15th-16th Summit is available on the GDC Austin website, with organizers noting that the Indie Games Summit will include "discussions surrounding business models and methods, promotion and marketing, deep game design techniques and inspirational case studies."

The Advisory Board for the Summit, which will be announcing its first speakers in the next few weeks, include local Austin-area independent developers Adam Saltsman (Paper Moon, Cave Story WiiWare contributor) and Brandon Boyer (editor of indie-friendly BoingBoing-affiliated game site Offworld.com).

In addition, the three main Advisory Board members of GDC San Francisco's yearly Independent Games Summit, Flashbang Studios' Matthew Wegner and Steve Swink (Minotaur China Shop) and IGF Chairman Simon Carless, are also helping to oversee the event.

The San Francisco version of the IGS -- held alongside the Independent Games Festival -- has hosted some of the most notable names in indie gaming over the previous years, from World Of Goo's Ron Carmel and Kyle Gabler through Flower's Jenova Chen, Braid's Jonathan Blow, and many more.

As the GDC Austin Indie Games Summit call for submissions page explains, organizers are looking for the following topics, spanning both smaller one and two-person indies and somewhat larger independent console and PC game developers:

- Indie Business: "How to make money, manage teams, and run a company without going insane."
- Promotion & Marketing: "How to get noticed when the "Marketing Department" = you
- Design and Philosophy: "Deep dive into design techniques, for example: constraints, rapid prototyping, tools."
- Case Studies and Postmortems: "Inspirational talks that demonstrate what worked, what didn't, what surprised you and made you wiser."

The submission deadline for presentation abstracts for the 2009 Indie Games Summit at Austin GDC is June 3rd at midnight PST, and more information is available on the official GDC Austin IGS website.

Browser Game Pick: Learn To Fly (Light Bringer)

May 19, 2009 12:21 AM | Michael Rose

learntofly.JPG

Learn To Fly is the story of one penguin's mission to prove once and for all that penguins can indeed fly... or not.

Launching said penguin down an icy ramp, players must tap the left and right button to angle appropriately and perfect the height-to-speed ratio, allowing him to fly faster and further.

It's not exactly a unique concept - this kind of game has been scattered all over the interwebs since the dawn of man - but Learn to Fly does have a number of things going for it. Firstly, the music is infectious (whether that be a good or bad thing, who knows). Second, strapping a glider and rocket combo onto a penguin can never be a bad thing.

Finally, trying to get the almighty 6000 feet at the end is incredibly difficult and took me a good 5 attempts. For anyone who is stuck at this point and cannot reach that elusive number, check out Tasselfoot's walkthrough.

Help Mr. Penguin Learn To Play over at Armor Games.

Freeware Game Pick: Storm Assault (Storm Project)

May 18, 2009 4:37 PM | Tim W.


Storm Assault is a horizontal shooter created by the Storm Project development team as a tribute to Konami's early Gradius series. Everything from the classic power meter, upgrade capsules, and boss ships with specific weak points have been transferred and updated with slight changes for this loose remake.

There are two stages to play in version 0.2 and upwards. The second level features battles with Moai statues, which was originally never included in earlier releases. Joystick and gamepads are automatically detected, but you can use the keyboard to control your ship as well. (stage one gameplay video in the extended)

Browser Game Pick: Swords & Sandals IV (Oliver Joyce)

May 18, 2009 8:09 AM | Michael Rose

S%26S4.jpg

Swords & Sandals IV is a browser board game very much in the style of Mario Party. Players create their own warrior, move around the board collecting coins and sandals and play little minigames and duels to aid them on their quest.

Each character also has a level and a type and now and again will need to compete in RPG style battles with health, magic and luck to play with. It's all very nicely done, but unfortunately there are a number of bugs that riddle the experience, including characters randomly disappearing.

The game can be played against the computer or as a hotseat game against friends on the same PC. This is a demo version but features a good portion of the game. Play it over on Newgrounds now.

Preview: Angry Barry (Arrogancy Games)

May 18, 2009 7:26 AM | Michael Rose

Angry Barry is a side-scrolling beat-em-up for the Xbox 360 Community Games and PC with a little bit of politicial parody and a big ton of crazy thrown in.

On Barry's quest "for the presidency of the United States", he must fight his way through an assortment of different characters over 9 stages. The first noticeable feature worth mentioning is the amount of enemies on screen - racking up those combos looks like pretty good fun.

The other is the seemingly fully interactive world - or should that be fully pickupable world? Benches, buses, buildings, giant shoes... that could potentially turn out to be rather amusing. Throw in there local 2 player and a price of 400 MS Points (price for PC still to be determined) and mindless button bashing awaits.

Check out more info at Arrogancy Games.

Browser App Pick: Taro Paint (Taro)

May 18, 2009 5:08 AM | Tim W.


Taro Paint is a simple paint program with basic image editing options, designed to run on any Flash-enabled browser. Though the default language is Japanese, the interface should be familiar to artists who have been exposed to one professional graphics editing program or another in recent years.

Some of the features which can be used in this nifty application include layers, uploads, undo, brush size, and even a fully-functional colour palette. It might not replace your choice of image editing program any time soon, but Taro Paint could be useful in a situation where you have to draw something up real quick without resorting to downloading or installing any additional software. You don't even need to have the latest Flash Player installed to get it working, since the requirements state that Flash Player 9.0 will do just nicely.

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