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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

IGF 2010 Reveals Record Student Entry Numbers

November 18, 2009 3:22 PM | Simon Carless

Following record Main Competition entries, organizers of the 2010 Independent Games Festival have revealed 193 Student Showcase entries, a record 33% more entries than last year.

After this year's 12th Annual IGF Main Competition -- just one of the three IGF competitions taking place this year -- amassed 306 game entries, information on the almost 200 Student Showcase entries is now available on the official IGF website.

Previous notable IGF Student Showcase honorees have included DigiPen's Narbacular Drop (evolved into Valve's acclaimed Portal), USC's The Misadventures Of P.B. Winterbottom (now signed by 2K Games for XBLA), Hogeschool van de Kunsten's The Blob (made into a console title by THQ as De Blob), and early USC/ThatGameCompany (Flower) title Cloud.

This year's IGF Student Showcase entries will be judged by an opt-in subset of the more than 160 notable game industry judges, before the student-specific finalists are announced in mid-January 2010.

Ten Student Showcase winners will be given all-access GDC 2010 tickets to show their games at the show, as well as $500 towards travel costs. The overall Best Student Game will be awarded $2500 at the IGF ceremony during Game Developers Conference 2010 -- run by Think Services, as is this weblog -- in San Francisco next March.

Finally, IGF 2010 organizers are reminding that entries to the IGF Mobile competition -- encompassing iPhone, mobile phone, PSP, DS, Android and other handheld games -- are due by December 1st, 2009.

Freeware Game Pick: rComplex (Roger Hicks, Brian T.)

November 18, 2009 2:42 PM | Tim W.

rComplex is a short demo created by two people in under eight days as a proof of concept, plays quite similarly to Canabalt, and features a strong narrative that tells the story while you attempt to outrun a giant squid-like creature. The objective of the game is basically to survive for as long as you can while trying to escape from a high-rise building.

Running is automatic and done at a steady pace, but the distance between you and the monster is reduced whenever you stumble over another piece of furniture or obstacle. You can also keep the creature away from you by shooting at it, although ammunition is limited to just twelve bullets only. The music tends to drown out the protagonist's voice often, and there are no checkpoints implemented, but you should be able to reach the end of the level after a couple of tries. (Windows, 47.2MB)

Freeware Game Pick: Focus (Jesse Venbrux)

November 18, 2009 11:04 AM | Tim W.

In Focus you find yourself trapped in a cave full of traps and robots that fire missiles at you on sight. You will learn a skill called 'focus mode' early in the game, which can be used to teleport yourself anywhere inside a blue circle. Some momentum is applied as well, but the longer you hold the focus button the smaller the circle becomes, hence your teleport range will shrink until it is no longer possible to perform the feat. The focus field also causes everything inside the circle to move in slow motion, and focus power is regained by not using it for a couple of seconds.

Players who complete the game will receive a rank and a medal to honour their achievement, although some might find the game a bit too challenging because of random elements such as the behavior of falling debris and homing missiles. (Windows, 17.5MB)

Links: Under the Sea

November 17, 2009 3:24 AM | Tim W.

Today's pic is the cover image for Bit Blot's Aquaria two-disc soundtrack, drawn by Katie de Sousa (artist for Infinite Ammo's upcoming project Marian). Danny Baranowsky posted his remixed track from the album on the OCR site as a free MP3 download too.

On with the links:

Nifflas' Saira Release date set
A new commercial game from the creator of the Knytt series will be released on December 12th, 2009. Saira is for Windows only, and will cost around $15.

Canabalt Portable
A free offline version of Canabalt to download and play. Windows build only.

Unity3D Intro Tutorial
It does go on a bit, but Alec did a great job of showing how easy it is to start using the Unity3D game engine here.

Aquaria - Original Soundtrack
The soundtrack to Bit Blot's debut commercial release is now available for purchase.

JNK x 15 - 15 Fantastic Tip Top JNK Games
Fifteen of the best weekly games created by James, all collected into a handy zip file.

Braid is now available on the PlayStation Network
Probably not out in some territories yet, but if you're waiting for the PSN version then keep an eye on this one. And the new video walkthrough is a great watch if you haven't seen it.

Browser Game Pick: ClickPLAY 2 (Tom Vencel)

November 17, 2009 3:22 AM | Tim W.

The premise of ClickPLAY 2 is that a play button is hidden somewhere in every level, and you must figure out the correct method to make it appear so that you can click on it and progress to the next puzzle. It shouldn't be too difficult to complete all twenty-four stages in the game, although some arcade sections requiring quick reflexes could prove to be a bit of a challenge to beat.

A video walkthrough is accessible from the main menu if you are seeking for hints on how to solve a couple of the trickier puzzles.

Freeware Game Pick: Devil's Tuning Fork (DGE Team)

November 16, 2009 8:22 PM | Tim W.

Devil's Tuning Fork is an exploration game viewed from a first-person perspective, where you play as a child trapped in an alternate reality after catching a strange illness and falling into a coma. The unknown world is a dark one and has no illumination, but a tuning fork that you find at the start of your adventure can be used to feel your way around the maze of rooms and platforms.

Locked doors can either be opened by collecting all toys inside a room, or by ringing a bell or a gong using a sound wave projected from your fork. Progress is saved automatically at checkpoint locations scattered throughout the maze, although if you quit the game and return to it later you will find that your previous save is no longer accessible. Some of the challenges are repetitive as well, especially when you are waiting for a moving platform to reach you for the umpteenth time, or trying to stand on the right spot to bounce a wave off a mirror and hit a gong. (Windows, 42.8MB)

Freeware Game Pick: Dungeon (cactus and Arthur Lee)

November 16, 2009 3:51 PM | Tim W.

Dungeon is a short 2D platformer created for the 14th Mini Ludum Dare competition, where you are thrown into a dungeon with minimal instructions on how to play the game displayed at the top of the screen. Each area presents a different challenge for players to overcome, and a small piece of the story is revealed the further you venture into the castle. Some obstacles are certainly designed to be harder to beat than the others, so you might need a small amount of perseverance and patience before finally making it through.

The game was developed with Multimedia Fusion. You can also switch to full screen mode by clicking on the square button located at the top right part of the window. (Windows, 3.41MB)

Dungeon Version 2.0

Freeware Game Pick: pixelProject (Balázs Sabransky)

November 15, 2009 10:32 PM | Tim W.

pixelProject is a short 2D platformer consisting of four levels to play in the public beta release. Created with Game Maker, the story is about a hero who has to collect coins for points and reach the end of a stage without losing all of his hearts. You can smash or push certain crates by running towards them, which will sometimes reveal paths to secret locations that harbour more coins to retrieve. (Windows, 3.17MB)

Freeware Game Pick: Featherweight (Ben Chandler)

November 15, 2009 8:12 PM | Tim W.

In Featherweight you play as Thadd, a scout for a rebel group fighting against robots who are out to capture all humanoids. Discovering that a fellow spy has been caught by the machines, he embarks on a mission to rescue her even with the knowledge that chances of succeeding is slim.

The interface is easy to use and puzzles aren't too difficult to solve, although there is a bit of reliance on challenges that require figuring out combinations for locks and doors throughout the adventure. Expect to do a bit of pixel hunting as well, but the game is short and the amount of frustration from retrying has been kept to a minimum. (Windows, 15.1MB)

Indie Games Article in New York Times

November 15, 2009 2:09 PM | Tim W.

Great coverage for indie games in the New York Times last Friday, about how indie game developers are making waves in the scene and drawing attention from the mainstream (although most of the quotes are from the perspective of Passage creator Jason Rohrer). The article offers a great insight on why games like Flower, Braid, and Blueberry Garden became successful ventures for their developers in a market that is largely driven by the need for more big budget realistic shooters.

Can D.I.Y. Supplant the First-Person Shooter? (

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