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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 October, 2009

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of October 9

October 11, 2009 6:16 AM | Simon Carless

In our latest employment-specific 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 ArenaNet, Radical Entertainment, THQ 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 this week include:

ArenaNet Cinematics Producer
"ArenaNet is seeking a Cinematics Producer who will be responsible for ensuring the successful delivery of the in game cinematics and marketing videos to a high creative standard. The role will oversee the entire lifecycle of the cinematics production process from concept to delivery. The Producer will collaborate with the Cinematics Lead to execute a vision and provide the link and liaise between the Cinematics team and the art, design, programming and production teams."

Radical Entertainment/Activision Mission Scripter (Intermediate)
"Our 50,000+ square foot studio situated on the cusp of downtown Vancouver, overlooks the coastal mountains and offers a fully stocked kitchen, in-house gym, log cabin, ski lift tickets, art gallery passes and a wide variety of training, mentorship and career development initiatives. At Radical we're here to create great games and learn and have fun doing it."

XBL Indie Game Pick: WhipCrack (Scott Peterson)

October 10, 2009 12:29 PM | Michael Rose

Whipcrack may appear to be another space shooter (or space whipper, as the case may be) but there's a lot more going on here - it's actually more of a puzzler in shooter clothing. The task is to destroy aliens, give them to your master Recycler Twelve to harvest the energy, then use that to rebuild the downed communications tower.

Enemies are easy enough to destroy with one sharp crack of the whip, but then once the recycler has had his way with them and turned them into power, they will hoard around him and try to eradicate the collected balls of electricity. You can harvest the power instantly to make it disappear, but if you hold the enemy back instead and don't harvest it straight away, collecting multiple balls will lead to upgrades, making your life a whole lot easier.

As the main campaign progresses, different types of enemy are introduced which require new ways of thinking to use them to your advantage. This progression is really well thought out and each new level feels like a brand new challenge rather than just the same thing, only harder.

There is multiplayer too, for up to 4 players. I managed to give a 2-player game a go and it turned out to be good fun, although I'll assume that adding extra people to the fray would make it a whole lot crazier. If you're a little dubious about the Xbox Live Indie Games collection, this may well change your mind. WhipCrack is a great twist on the shooter genre and, at 240 MS Points ($3), well worth at least trying out the demo.

Browser Game Pick: Miami Shark (Mausland Entertainment)

October 9, 2009 9:37 PM | Michael Rose


Another great game to compliment your glorious Friday evening, Miami Shark is all about causing destruction by leaping out of the water and eating men, women, children, swans, boats, helicopters, planes and space shuttles (amongst other things).

It's wonderfully simple and really, could there possibly be anything more brilliant than pulling an entire jumbo jet out of the sky with your teeth? I think not. There's also a whole combo points system going on, so you can attempt to string together lots of death and annihilation for massive score.

You have to give this a try - it's too hilarious to pass on. Release the teeth over on Newgrounds. (Source: The ever wonderful Rock Paper Shotgun)

Browser Game Pick: Cave Chaos (Nitrome)

October 9, 2009 9:15 PM | Michael Rose


You know those situations you sometimes find yourself in where you're in a cave and it suddenly starts falling down around you, and your only chance of survival is to run on a 2D plane, dodging falling barrels and the ghosts of various dead creatures? Cave Chaos is like those times - but in a game!

See, those situations in real life are incredibly stressful and just a little bit scary, but playing this game takes all the stress out of it and actually makes it really fun! That feeling of anxiety is replaced by some all round good fun and there's even a 2-player mode so you and your friend can re-construct some memories you may otherwise have rather forgotten.

So yes, I heartily recommend checking out Nitrome's Cave Chaos. What's with those extremely annoying bouncy mushrooms though? So completely unrealistic. (Thanks for the tip Mr. Dave Harkins!)

Kickstarter Introduces Tags - Find Indie Projects to Support!

October 9, 2009 3:20 PM | Michael Rose


Paul posted a few weeks ago regarding Kickstarter, a site where people can post up their projects in the hope that users will find their causes worthwhile and help fund them. It's been especially helpful for some independent game developers who have used Kickstarter to fund their latest games and even entry fees into the IGF.

Unfortunately it was rather difficult to find all the indie projects as there was no tagging system to speak of and a pretty poor effort of a search mechanism. Lucky for us, the guys behind Kickstarter are good listeners and a new update has arrived, one of the latest features being the addition of a tagging system. It's now possible to check out every gaming project by clicking here.

It's definitely worth checking through the entries as there's some great-looking stuff to find. Of course, you may even want to donate a little bit of cash to a project if you decide it worthy enough!

Critter Crunch Out On PSN

October 8, 2009 8:42 PM | Michael Rose

Capybara Games' eat-em-up puzzler Critter Crunch is now available to download via PSN for your Playstation 3. Going for $6.99, the above trailer was released in the hope of taking your fancy.

According to a post on the Playstation blog, there are four single player (Adventure, Puzzle, Challenge and Survival) and two multiplayer offline/online modes (Versus and Co-Op). I'll be giving it a gander sometime in the next week and writing some word-a-thinks.

Related: May Trailer

Trailer: The Black Heart (Andrés Borghi)

October 8, 2009 8:05 PM | Michael Rose

The Black Heart is a fighting game from Argentinian developer Andrés Borghi. The release date set is Halloween (31/10/09).

The art style is reminiscent of old fighting games like Mortal Kombat and the special attacks look just as silly too. 7 years in the making (in Andrés' spare time, of course), there are barely any details at present regarding multiplayer, modes etc, but it's all looking delightfully atmospheric and needlessly gory. You may also spot a 4 player free-for-all going on round about the 1:17 mark in the trailer, hence expecting up to four players on one computer would be a safe bet. Let's hope it turns out to be good fun.

IndieCade Europe Details Released

October 8, 2009 12:44 PM | Michael Rose


With IndieCade in Culver City now all over, it's time for the independent gaming festival to visit the Europeans with all its indie gaming goodness! Details of the IndieCade Europe Expo have begun to emerge on the GameCity website. The event will be hosted in the IndieVillage at Gamecity Squared in Nottingham, starting 27th October and running for 5 days.

Featured games which have been announced up to now are as follows:

Akrasia - Team AHA!
Classic Night - JoYoung Won / Akarolis
Dear Esther - Dan Pinchbeck
Moon Stories - Daniel Benmergui
Nanobots - Erin Robinson, Vince Wesselmann
Papermint - Avaloop
The Path - Tale of Tales
Shadow Physics - Steve Swink, Scott Anderson
Sowlar - Odd Man In

Gearbox's Pitchford: Steam Is Exploiting Indies

October 8, 2009 12:13 PM | Michael Rose

steam.jpgSister site Gamasutra are reporting that Randy Pitchford, co-founder of Gearbox Software, has said that Valve is exploiting independent developers with its Steam digital distribution service.

While we normally hear developers proclaiming that Valve is boosting the indie gaming market, Pitchford commented that there is too much "conflict of interest" involved and maybe a little too much money-grabbing. He said:

"Steam helps us as customers, but it's also a money grab, and Valve is exploiting a lot of people in a way that's not totally fair. Valve is taking a larger share than it should for the service it's providing. It's exploiting a lot of small guys. For us big guys, we're going to sell the units and it will be fine."

He finished by saying that as a distribution system, "Steam isn't the answer".

I'm personally one of those who believe Steam is doing a great amount of good for independent gaming, but Pitchford's comments seem to throw that a little. If there are any independent developers who have dealt with Steam in the past, we'd love to hear your take on the issue. Are Valve helping independent gaming develop and be taken more seriously, or is it all about the moolah?

Read the full story over on Gama.

IGF Note From The Organizers, October 2009: Deadline Reminders, IGS Austin, GAMMA @ GDC, New Judges

October 8, 2009 10:13 AM | Simon Carless

[Not to beat everyone over the head, but here's the latest IGF-related news, as the November deadline for IGF 2010 nears, including specifics on competition deadlines, related events, and more.]

As the Independent Games Festival continues, we thought it might be a good idea to update periodically with the latest news on submissions, previous winners, judging, relevant events, and so on. Here's the final update before the November deadlines, with info on those dates, news from IGF China and the Independent Games Summit at GDC Austin, plus a new indie event that's debuting at GDC 2010.

Deadline Reminders

We've heard from a lot of you who are preparing to submit your game to this year's Independent Games Festival, so we know you're getting ready. But another reminder doesn't hurt -- and you'll need to submit by November 1st, 2009 for the IGF 2010 Main Competition, and by November 15th, 2009 for the IGF 2010 Student Showcase Competition. Don't be late!

One notable new thing this year - several indies such as Resonance's Vince Twelve and Flywrench's Mark Essen are funding their IGF entrance fee and time to prepare their games for our Festival through the pledge-based website Kickstarter -- an interesting new method of bankrolling independent games.

Also worth noting, for those who didn't see our recent announcement - the Independent Games Festival Mobile is returning for 2010, with handheld-specific submissions being accepted at the official IGF Mobile website through December 1st, 2009. We're looking forward to a host of interesting game entries for platforms like iPhone, cellphone, DSi, PSP, and even perhaps new platforms like Google's Android operating system.

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