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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 November, 2009

Weekend Watch: IGF Edition

November 6, 2009 12:36 PM | Tim W.

Swimming Under Clouds by Yacine Salmi and Orioto (preview)

Tale of Tales had compiled a list of videos submitted by entrants for the IGF 2010 competition which you can watch here and here. Lewie Procter of SavyGamer is also in the process of compiling links to IGF entries with playable builds online to download or play, although you might have to wait a bit for the rest of the alphabetical links to appear on his site.

More notable videos (IGF and non-IGF) can be watched in the extended.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of November 6

November 6, 2009 11:45 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 5th Cell, Insomniac and more.

Each position posted by employers will appear on the main Gamasutra job board, including positions from Sega of America, 2K Marin 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:

Rainbow Studios: Senior Producer
"Rainbow Studios, a subsidiary of THQ, is one of the largest video game developers in the Southwest and develops premier original and licensed titles for current and next generation console systems. Rainbow’s video game history includes the critically acclaimed Motocross Madness PC series, the award-winning ATV Offroad Fury, top-selling Splashdown, the highly praised MX franchise, the blockbuster Disney-Pixar Cars titles, and the critically acclaimed Wii title Deadly Creatures, along with the soon-to-be-released MX vs. ATV Reflex."

Relic Entertainment: Environment Artist
"Your friends will call in the middle of the night, cursing you. When you see them, they’ll wear sunglasses to conceal their bloodshot eyes, and they’ll be alone, because their romantic interests left them without even texting goodbye. They won’t be able to stop playing. It’s a terrible fate, but I’m afraid it’s what we want. And we need your help."

Freeware Game Pick: Kabloom‏ (The Death of Games)

November 5, 2009 3:02 PM | Michael Rose


The Death of Games are a team of five from DigiPen, and Kabloom is a project they developed over eight months. It's a short game in which an elephant living on a floating set of islands attempts to breathe life into her dying habitat by planting trees and nurturing them to health.

A very sandbox experience, players can suck in water and seeds (amongst other things) with their trunk, then spit them back out. You'll also need to stomp the ground, readying it for planting. Each tree successfully grown will spout fruit, and once all 6 fruit are collected, the game pans out to display your creation. There is no way to die - it's simply a slow and calm playtoy.

A word of warning: the download is 80MB in size, so this isn't one to play at work! Grab it from the DigiPen site. The trailer is below the cut.

Epic Offers Free Unreal Engine 3 For Non-Commercial Use

November 5, 2009 2:26 PM | Tim W.

Big (epic?) news today. Epic Games has just launched a free edition of its Unreal Engine 3, one of the best (if not the best) game engine around to use when developing 3D games. Called the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the toolset is also distributed with support resources and technical documentation which are all available to download from the official site.

No charge will be imposed for noncommercial and educational use of UDK, although you will still need to obtain an official licensing agreement (Epic receives twenty-five percent of revenue after the first $5,000 is made) to develop a commercial product using UE3.

The UDK site is already hosting two standalone games that runs on the new UDK framework, meaning that you won't need to have Unreal Tournament 3 installed to play them. The Ball deserves a bit of a special mention though, because it was originally developed as a mod for UT3 (hence the need for the full game to play it), but has since then been turned into a standalone version using UDK to showcase the versatility of the engine.

Epic Offers Free UE3 For Non-Commercial Use (Gamasutra)
UDK Version 1.0 - beta release mirrors (Epic Games Forums)

Freeware Game Pick: Gravmari (Hubris Arts)

November 5, 2009 1:36 PM | Tim W.

In Gravmari you control the Playertoid, a sphere that has to absorb asteroids and small planets to grow and fuel itself. There are only grey space rocks to collect at first, but soon you'll be able to absorb moons and orbiting planets after playing for a couple of minutes. The Playertoid can also eject mass at the press of a button to propel itself in the direction of your choosing.

Windows only.

Freeware Game Pick: Olu (Red Button Games)

November 5, 2009 1:28 PM | Tim W.

Olu is a rail shooter game inspired by Q Entertainment's Rez, where players use a reticule to target enemies and destroy them for points. At the end of each area is a red cube that you must shoot in order to progress to the next section.

Both the Xbox 360 controller and keyboard controls are supported, although you will need the latest version of DirectX 9.0c, .NET Framework 2.0 and XNA Framework 2.0 to get the game working on your PC.

XBL Indie Game Pick: Carcophony (Green Light Projects)

November 5, 2009 8:21 AM | Michael Rose

A traffic management game? What tomfoolery is this! Carcophony is indeed such a thing, but while I've not exactly loved such titles in the past (see Armor Games I Love Traffic, which was incredibly boring), Green Light Projects' take on the idea quickly warmed to me.

Everything about this game makes me think of a horrible commute to work. The plodding music, the constant traffic jams, the slow-going - yet watching from above, it makes for quite a hectic experience. It all starts off slow and steady, and easy to keep organised. Traffic lights need to be switched to let cars through, and at the end of each wave an ambulance comes powering through and needs to make it from one side of the screen to the other before time runs out. If you have a queue, he's going to find that difficult!

As time goes by, more and more cars fill the screen, and if a jam gets too big, you've had it. There's also a multiplayer mode in which you handle traffic jams versus another player - makes for a lot of shouting and cursing. Right now Carcophony is priced at 400 MS Points ($5) which is possibly a little too much to ask for an arcade traffic sim, but there is of course a demo you can check out that should give you more to go on.

Remake Game Pick: COBEX (TCKSOFT)

November 5, 2009 7:47 AM | Tim W.

COBEX - Cruising on Broadway Extra is TCK's remake of the ZX Spectrum game Cruising on Broadway, created with the permission and feedback from the original author of the software. The game involves colouring grids in each stage by moving over them while trying to avoid colliding with enemy ships called chasers.

You can press the space key to break lines and prevent chasers from following your ship, and there is also a combo system that rewards players with bonus points for continuously changing the colour of lines. Windows only.

Symantec Flag Lose/Lose Game As a 'Trojan Horse'

November 4, 2009 5:15 PM | Michael Rose

A couple of months ago you may have noticed an indie game doing the rounds called 'Lose/Lose'. In said game, players took part in a space invaders clone with a twist - each alien represented a file on their computer, and destroying a baddie would actually delete the file.

The idea that Zach Gage was exploring was the player's assumption that they are MEANT to destroy things. The game never technically asks you to shoot at anything, and Zach asks 'Is the player supposed to be an aggressor? Or merely an observer, traversing through a dangerous land?'

Whatever the case, the Anti-Virus 'Security Experts' definitely didn't see what Zach was supposedly getting at, and yesterday Symantec Software sent out a 'Security Response' video (above) warning Mac users of 'a new threat cleverly disguised as a classic video game'. In a Symantec blog post, Ben Nahorney states:

"There's nothing stopping someone with more malicious intentions from modifying it slightly and then passing it on to unsuspecting users, causing significant damage to a computer. As a result, we're detecting this threat as OSX.Loosemaque."

It's either good or bad timing (depending on how you look at it!) for Zach, as he just recently entered the game into the IGF contest. So what do we think of this 'security threat'? Can what is meant to be an artistic game be considered a virus? Zach clearly states both on his site and in the game that files WILL be deleted if you play the game, but at the same time you can definitely see it from Symantec's point of view.

Browser Game Pick: Pyroblossom (Ali Maunder)

November 4, 2009 12:47 PM | Tim W.

In Pyroblossom you play as an ace pilot named Red Rage, who undertakes mercenary missions to satiate his captain's greed for money. Bullets come thick and fast, but you do have a special psycho mode in your arsenal that can be used to turn your heli invincible for a couple of seconds. Additional copters can also be purchased at the end of each level, while weapon upgrades are granted automatically after you've destroyed enough enemy planes and increased your ship's level counter.

There are a total of six stages to blast through. (Newgrounds mirror)

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