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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

Browser Game Pick: Hell Is Other People (George Buckenham)

October 17, 2009 12:11 AM | Michael Rose


It has an awesome name. It is an awesome concept. Hell Is Other People is an 'asynchronously multiplayer' according to creator George Buckenham. The path that each player takes is recorded and future players are then pitted against their recordings.

This means that no two games are the same. It also means you are technically playing against humans - albeit humans who aren't actually aiming at you. It's a beautiful idea which starts off pretty easy and soon develops into a full-on war. Try taking on 15 ghosts at the same time. Chaos.

It's free to play, but if you pay £5 ($8) George will send you a downloadable version complete with dogheads which bark when you shoot at them. Splendid. Give it a try, then post your three character game-name in the comments below so others will know who they just destroyed. I'm MIK, just so you know.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of October 16

October 16, 2009 12:46 PM | 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 Realtime Worlds, A2M 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:

A2M (Artificial Mind and Movement) Lead Level Designer
"A new major action/adventure production is starting in Montreal. Still in early development, the project offers a chance to contribute to a new IP. We are looking for an innovator in level design to create truly engaging levels."

BioWare Austin Gameplay Programmer
"BioWare, the newest member of the incredible family of EA studios, has created some of the world's best-selling titles including the award-winning Baldur's Gate, the Neverwinter Nights series, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Original BioWare-created IPs include Jade Empire, the critically acclaimed Mass Effect and Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood for the Nintendo DS. BioWare is hard at work on the epic fantasy RPG Dragon Age; and Star Wars: The Old Republic, our massively multiplayer online game being developed at BioWare Austin. "

Trailer: Firefly (Sos)

October 15, 2009 6:22 PM | Michael Rose

Spotted by Mr Phil Fish, Firefly is a game controlled using a candle. As in a real candle. In your hand.

A small firefly on the screen is attracted to the glow from your candle and will follow your path - it's your job to guide him through caves, dodging obstacles and making sure not to hit the walls. I'm not 100% sure how it all works, but a bigger question springs to mind - won't this be a little dangerous? I mean, last time I checked, hot candle wax burns!

Review: Critter Crunch (Capybara Games)

October 15, 2009 5:48 PM | Michael Rose


Originally an award-winning mobile puzzler back in 2007, then ported to the iPhone last year, Capybara Games' Critter Crunch has been given a graphical beefing up, had some new modes thrown in and has headed out for the Playstation Network for the latest iteration of the franchise.

Critter Crunch is one of the those puzzlers which takes minutes to get into, but many hours to master. It's also great fun, incredibly (dare I use the word) cute, full of character and, most importantly, addictive to the highest degree. Because that's what you want from a console puzzle game, right?

Gameplay starts off at snail-pace, with three different types of critter to deal with. Flies can be fed to the medium-sized fuzzies, while the mediums can in turn be nom-nom-ed be the larger ones. Feed two flies to a medium and he'll explode, showering you with points. Similarly, two mediums will cause a large to go boom. There are some other little tricks of the trade too for those wanting to push the tactics - for example, feed a medium critter who has only gobbled on one fly to a large and that counts as feeding two mediums, hence explosion; there's also the 'Food Chain' feeding method involving feeding a fly to a medium who is directly beneath a large for multi-gobbles.

Trailer: Hydorah (Locomalito)

October 15, 2009 2:53 PM | Tim W.

Hydorah is the new freeware Gradius-style horizontal shooter from the developer of 8bit killer. No release date yet, but the game should be available to download from Locomalito's site sometime soon.

Farmville Reaches 60 Million Active Users

October 15, 2009 10:23 AM | Michael Rose


We don't give much love to casual gaming at Indie Games very often, but an article on Gamezebo regarding Facebook game Farmville caught my eye this morning. Developed by Zynga.Inc, the farming sim has now amassed near to 60 million users who actively play the game daily.

That's a lot of active players. As Erin Bell points out, that's more players than Nintendo have sold copies of Wii Sports, the best-selling console game ever. While the game is free to play, 'exclusive' items can be purchased to expand your farm faster than normal. Of this money, part of it goes to charity and as of this time, $321,000 has been raised for good causes. It's quite the success story, now the most popular game on Facebook.

Mark Skaggs of Zynga is a little optimistic when he says he wants their games to bring back "the experience of playing Monopoly around the dinner table", but to be honest I don't use Facebook often so I've no idea whether Farmville is worth trying or not! Are there any Indie Games readers who can recommend/veto this tractor-chugging simulation?

Indie Game Pick: River City Dodgeball (Miracle Kidz)

October 14, 2009 7:51 PM | Tim W.

River City Dodgeball All-Stars is an updated remake of Technos' Super Dodge Ball game, where the overall objective is to eliminate all members from an opponent's team inside the court by hitting them with the ball repeatedly until they are knocked unconscious. You can double tap an arrow key to run in any direction, then press the throw ball button to execute a power move. Players can also catch a ball thrown at them by tapping the same button at the right moment, just before it hits your team member in the face.

Simply click on any link with english text in it to grab the trial version for Windows XP and Vista. The game is available to download from the Xbox Live Indie Games service as well, under the name Downtown Smash Dodgeball.

Indie Watch: Kunio Series Returns With Downtown Smash Dodgeball (GamerBytes)

Freeware Game Pick: Mouse No. Probably A Rat (David Scatliffe)

October 14, 2009 5:49 PM | Tim W.

Mouse No. Probably a Rat is a remake of Oddbob's Squid Yes! Not So Octopus!, featuring similar squid controls and the same spread shot used to destroy the alien robots mushrooming out of everywhere. There are less epilepsy-inducing effects in David's creation, but it is just as difficult to survive for an extended period of time as some enemies will pursuit you relentlessly around the screen while others will continously spam the arena with bullets until they are obliterated by your patented electro beam. (high score table)

Sense of Wonder Night 2009 Presentation Videos

October 14, 2009 10:52 AM | Tim W.

Presentations from all ten finalists for the Sense of Wonder Night 2009 event at Tokyo Game Show are now online for viewing. Games presented during SOWN this year are as follows:

Ball Carry, by Takuya Ono
Shadow Physics, by Enemy Airship
Incompatible BLOCK, by Jun Fujiki *
You Only Live Once, by Marcus Richert *
Swarm Racer 3000, by Joseph White
para rail, by Kuniaki Watanabe and Onitama
Transcend, by Zach Aikman
ecolpit, by misi
Hazard - The Journey of Life, by Alexander Bruce *
His and Her Disconnected Conversations, by Himo *

* playable build available

Sense of Wonder Night 2009 Presentation Videos

Trailer: Capsized (Alientrap Software)

October 14, 2009 5:01 AM | Michael Rose

Coming to Steam and XBLA in 2010, there aren't many details on Capsized as of yet, but the above recently released trailer is looking pretty swish.

Lee Vermeulen of Alientrap threw us this little titbit of info:

"The new trailer shows off the fast physics based gameplay of the platformer, along with it's stylized art and unique setting. The game will focus on fast paced action along with physics based puzzles, as the player attempts to exit the strange alien planet."

Keep your eyes on the Capsized site for future details.

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