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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 November, 2009

Interviews: Erin Robinson, Frictional Games and More

November 27, 2009 5:04 AM | Tim W.

Let's take a look at the latest interviews with indie game developers on the web. Highlights include: an interview with the development team for Devil's Tuning Fork, Frictional Games answering questions about their upcoming horror adventure game Amnesia, and Puzzle Bots designer Erin Robinson talking about her love for the adventure game genre.

Uncommon Assembly: The Mesmerizing World of Devil's Tuning Fork
DePaul Game Elites members speaking to UA about the process of creating their unusual 3D exploration game.

Adventure Gamers: Erin Robinson Interview - Puzzle Bots
"Erin spoke with AG about her path to success and what we can expect from her in future."

Linux Gaming News: Interview With Frictional Games - Amnesia
"Amnesia is more about the exploration and horror than Penumbra, and we have definitely concentrated on a game where the atmosphere is dense and trying to create an intriguing story. Much of the game is about finding out who you are and piece everything together to get the answers you seek."

Punch-Drunk in the Age of Information: Revisiting an Interview with Edmund McMillen
"McMillen makes games that deal with such occult themes as death and discovery. Now in his 30's with about ten years of experience under his belt, Edmund's work does not seem to have lost its edge one bit. We talked to him about what it means to be artistically independent."

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of November 27

November 27, 2009 4:36 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 Rockstar North, BioWare Austin, 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:

Rockstar North: Physics Programmer
"Rockstar North is seeking an experienced highly talented physics programmer to help breathe life, realism and fun into our next-generation games. This is an exciting opportunity to develop cutting-edge physics and collision systems and use them in creative and novel ways, working together with other departments to solve physics, animation and AI problems."

Digital Extremes: Level Designer
"Digital Extremes is always on the lookout for top-notch talent to join our team in London, Ontario, Canada. With a tight-knit team, a passion for best practices and an environment that fosters creativity not to mention fantastic perks - Digital Extremes is a great place to challenge and enhance your creative abilities. All you need to do is apply!"

Freeware Game Pick: Magic Planet Snack (Elephant Kiss)

November 27, 2009 4:08 AM | Tim W.


In Magic Planet Snack you are a wizard who turned himself into a worm by accident, and has to travel through the cosmos to devour wizards on other worlds for points. Gathering orbs will power up your hyper gauge, and once that is full all edible objects on screen are transformed into confectionery for your worm to chew on. This effect only lasts for a couple of seconds, but it should be enough time to score some bonuses that will edge you closer to a bonus life. Things like trolls, lava and satellites should be avoided.

Only the cursor keys are needed to play, and there is a proper ending that you can reach by consuming the rival wizards in all five (or seven) worlds. (Windows, 8.76MB)

Sale: 11 Rake in Grass Games for Mac at Only $30

November 27, 2009 12:38 AM | Tim W.

A real bargain for Mac users. MacUpdate Promo is offering up a total of eleven games by Rake in Grass for only $30 (normal price $145), a package that includes last week's free Giveaway of the Day promo Archibald's Adventures and the action horror game Larva Mortus. Just buying Jets'n'Guns Gold would usually cost you $29.95, so customers are basically getting ten games for free in this package (although admittedly one or two of them do come rather close to being turkeys).

PayPal payments are accepted too, but if you're thinking about getting the bundle you'd better hurry as the offer ends tomorrow. (source)

MacUpdate Promo - Buy Rake in Grass Games for $29.99 (79% off)

Impressions: VVVVVV Beta (Terry Cavanagh)

November 26, 2009 4:20 PM | Michael Rose

vvvvvv.JPG

Hopefully you are more than aware that the beta for Terry's gravity-bending VVVVVV is now available to those who show their support and donate to his cause. If not, details are here and here. Whether you decide to throw some moolah his way, there's no two ways about it - VVVVVV is a vvvvvvanderful thing.

While I'm going to hold off on writing a full review until the main release, it really must be said that every time I see this game, it gets better and better. The beta features the majority of the game with nearly all the worlds and a fantastic 'overworld' to link them all together. The overworld map looks and feels very Metroid-like, apart from one big point - since your character doesn't gather special abilities or anything that can be used to overcome special obstacles, each world can be tackled in any order you'd like.

Each world, too, has its own special mechanics that sets it apart from the others, although I won't go into detail and throw spoilers everywhere. Long story short, it helps keep the formula fresh and it's genuinely exciting to see what the next area will throw at you. Of course, to find all the worlds you'll need to go exploring, which is again incredibly good fun.

Indie Game Links: Packed with Meaty Goodness

November 26, 2009 7:50 AM | Tim W.

Not hard to guess the theme for today. An opinion piece about which games are indie and which games aren't, first look at a boss design for Super Meat Boy (plus previews), Time Fcuk postmortem, and some links which have nothing to do with our good friend Edmund.

Here goes:

DIYgamer: 3 Indie Games That Aren't All That Indie
"I'm in no way bashing or disrespecting these games. While I have yet to play Axel and Pixel, I can honestly say I loved both Braid and Castle Crashers. So please keep this in mind..."

GamesRadar: Super Meat Boy - first look
"Titles that absolutely describe their game are a dying breed. What is there that 'Super Meat Boy' doesn't tell you? He's made of meat, he's super, and he's a he. What else do you want?"

Bytejacker Episode 064: Side of Beef - Super Meat Boy Hands-On
"We had the chance to play an early build of Super Meat Boy. How is it? Fcuking delicious. We've got all the juicy details, lightly seasoned and pan-seared. Meat analogies."

Game Jolt: Meat Boy Mini
"Meat Boy Mini is a fangame of Edmund Mcmillen and Jon McEntee's game Meat Boy, in lo res graphics (almost all the graphics are in 2x2 pixels)."

GameSetWatch: Team Meat Shares Super Meat Boy Boss, Danny B Music
"Developer Team Meat fashioned a boss that preys on that weakness to moving blades: Lil Slugger, a chainsaw mech with legs, controlled by Meat Boy's arch-enemy Dr. Fetus. The studio also debuted an equally devious music track to accompany the Forest boss, composed by Danny Baranowsky (Canabalt)."

Nintendo Life: First Impressions - Super Meat Boy
"No platformer fan in general should miss this unique title when it hits the Steam and WiiWare services next year."

Edmund's Dev Blog: Time Fcuk (update/postmortum)
"So its been almost 2 months since Time Fcuk was released and since then its been played over 3.5 million times 1million of those being from newgrounds.com. There have also been a startlingly huge amount of levels submitted closing in on 7k."

Tower Defense Wiki
In Japanese only, but they did a great job of linking to most of the noteworthy tower defense games out there.

xii games: Oh, so THAT's what Linus Bruckman Saw
"I wanted to give people who didn't complete the game the chance to see the ending, and I think after three years it's ok to do that."

Sale: Osmos is Only $2 Today on Steam

November 26, 2009 12:08 AM | Tim W.


A one-day offer only, Hemisphere Games' Osmos is available to purchase from Steam for USD $2 (usually $10). The Metacritic score is good (81%), there are 11 Steam achievements to unlock, and the game even comes with a recommendation from Braid designer Jon Blow. If you're unsure about whether Osmos is for you, there's a demo that you can download from the official site.

Indie Game Links: Going Pro

November 25, 2009 2:45 AM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links include an article that highlights the differences between working on an independent project and doing mainstream game development, the announcement of a new Casual Gameplay competition theme that will delight IF authors, and Flixel game templates for a couple of classic shooters served by Canabalt creator Adam Saltsman.

Here goes:

Hardy Dev: Visually Directing the Player
"In some of the play-tests I've had, I would run into a recurrent problem about the player's visual direction. I want the player to go a certain way, open a certain door, or go down a certain ramp, but what's the obvious direction for me is not the obvious direction for the player."

GameCareerGuide: Differences Between Indie/Student Development and Professional Game Development
"Many talented students and hobbyists become professional game developers only to be surprised that the job wasn't exactly what they thought it was. These are examples of the kind of culture shock that new entrants to the games industry can experience." (source: Dev.Mag)

Indiebird: Marketing is more important than quality
"The sad truth is that for most games spending one hour on implementing more features or polishing the game quickly becomes sub-optimal when compared to spending an hour on talking about your game."

JayIsGames: Casual Gameplay Design Competition no. 7
IF authors invited to craft one-room games incorporating the theme 'escape'.

British Indie: Get in the game – over
Some advice on preparing for a pitch or presentation.

Eversion HD - official game website
"For the real fans of Eversion, a high-definition version of the game (640x480 only though) is now available." Works on Windows and Wine.

AdamAtomic's Flx-Invaders at master - GitHub
Simple Flixel games inspired by the classic arcade shooters. (FlxTeroids)

Xbox Live Indie Games Pick: Platypus (Escapist Games/Anthony Flack)

November 24, 2009 2:59 PM | Simon Carless

Escapist Games (AtomHex) announced the release of Claymation shoot'em-up Platypus to Xbox Live Indie Games. Some of you might recognize this from its original edition for PC by Cletus Clay developer Anthony Flack (later ported to iPhone and PSP, with GameSetWatch's impressions on the latter here).

The XLIG release retains the horizontal-scrolling shooter's plasticine graphics but also adds "enhanced high-definition widescreen graphics, improved audio", and full localizations for French, Italian, German, and Spanish. Like Platypus PSP, this release has multiplayer support and was actually "built from the ground up as a co-op game".

I remember that Flack had serious complaints with the PSP version (e.g. janky bonus scoring, his name missing from the credits), primarily due to that porting team, MumboJumbo LA, having only six weeks to complete the adaptation with four people. It sounds like Escapist Games took those issues into consideration and had more time to work on this release.

[Incidentally, this post is a GameSetWatch crosspost, but we'd love IndieGames.com to run more Xbox Live Indie Games coverage. If anyone plays a lot of XBLIG titles and could do round-ups regularly, contact us.]

Freeware Game Pick: Saintrooper (Yamoto)

November 23, 2009 12:43 AM | Tim W.


Saintrooper is a challenging exploration platform game that takes place mostly under water, where your character has to swim up for air often or collect oxygen tanks to prevent from losing valuable hearts. The game ends if you run out of lives, but players can always continue playing from the last level attempted by using the stage select option shown after the control selection menu.

One key feature of the game is that you have the ability to grab on to walls and climb upwards by jumping off a vertical surface. You can shoot in four different directions, and acquiring the special power-up item will temporary increase your firepower and oxygen reserves. By firing downwards during a freefall, it is even possible to reduce the falling speed and soften the impact of your landing.

There is an exit to be found somewhere in each level, but to get there you would first have to find a set of keys and unlock the doors that prevent you from reaching them easily. Leaving treasures uncollected might not be a good idea either, since extra lives are given out generously whenever you've scored a certain amount of points during your rescue mission.

Download link can be found at the bottom of the game info page. (Vector link, direct download, download mirror)

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