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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 December, 2009

Rush Coil: 8-Bit Christmas Album

December 22, 2009 8:00 PM | Michael Rose

While this isn't strictly indie gaming news, it is independent music inspired by classic game music, it's firmly embedded in the spirit of gaming and it's for charity, so I'm going to go ahead and plug it anyway.

Oh yeah, it's bloody brilliant too. 8-Bit Christmas is an album of chiptunes based on the classic Christmas songs you've come to know and love (read: hate). Produced, arranged, recorded, and mixed by Shane Barber aka Rush Coil, it's glorious stuff which is definitely worth checking out.

The whole album can be listened to via the 8-bit Christmas site for free. However, if you're feeling charitable, a downloadable version can be purchased for $4, or a CD version for $10. All net proceeds are donated to the Child's Play charity, which 'presents hospitalized children around the globe with games and toys during the holiday season'.

Minecraft Developer Reveals New Artist

December 22, 2009 7:28 PM | Michael Rose


It's no secret that both myself and Tim have a thing for Markus Persson's Minecraft - in fact we gave it an honourable mention in our Top 10 Indie Games of the Year. So it's pretty exciting to hear that Hayden Scott-Baron aka Dock, artist on Lost Winds for the Wii and developer of the awesome Tumbledrop, is the new artist for Minecraft.

Judging by the concept sketch featured on Markus' blog, it looks like Dock is planning on putting a playful spin on the original, more blocky graphical style. It will definitely be interesting to see where he takes it. Of course while many will be happy with the change, there will be others who grew quite fond of the original, more retro-style looks, so Markus makes the point that those who purchase the game while it's still in the alpha stages will be able to revert back to the classic model and skin.

Browser Game Pick: Blasting Agent (Darthlupi, Tim Hely)

December 22, 2009 6:45 PM | Tim W.

Blasting Agent is an action-oriented 2D platformer with gun upgrades, collectible treasures and awesome boss battles, featuring chunky pixel art contributed by one Robert Lupinek (The Cleaner). You play as a blaster-toting secret agent on a mission to save the world from being taken over by a terrorist group, which means infiltrating their secret base with guns ablazing and your adrenaline level on an all-time high.

Health can be replenished by collecting the hearts that enemies leave behind, and if you're diligent enough you might even find a special item that increases the agent's hit point counter. There are only three levels to play, but you can unlock special bonuses and secret items by completing them with the maximum score possible.

Freeware Game Pick: And Everything Started To Fall (Alexitrón)

December 22, 2009 4:58 PM | Tim W.

And Everything Started To Fall is a short 2D platformer about life experiences. There are no instructions provided in-game, so players are advised to learn the controls from the forum thread description before they start playing.

The game also comes with a creator's statement inside the included text file. (Windows, 2.88MB)

ModDB Mod of the Year 2009 Voting Begins

December 22, 2009 10:54 AM | Michael Rose

moty_logo.pngVoting for mod/indie game of the year has begun over at ModDB. Their Mod of the Year awards celebrate the best game mods and indie titles of the year, and past winners have usually gone on to receive critical acclaim and commercial success.

Each of the 6,100 mods and 740 indie games released this year on the ModDB site now have a ruddy big VOTE FOR MOD buttons on their individual pages, so now it's your job to choose your favourites and push their buttons. Voting ends on Feb 20th, so you've got a while to make your selections.

ModDB will also be doing 'a year in review' between now and then, discussing all the best of the past year's releases. For more details on the competition, get on down to the ModDB site.

Indie Game Links: Go East

December 22, 2009 9:28 AM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links include the announcement of PAX East's Boston Indie Showcase (a chance for Boston developers to showcase their work), more indie game recommendations, and the release of a new sculpting tool from sfxr creator Tomas Pettersson.

PAX East 2010: The Boston Indie Showcase
"The Boston Indie Showcase at PAX East will offer top Boston developers the opportunity to exhibit their best work to the gaming community on the exhibition floor – for free." You can only enter if you're from the local Boston area though. Ten Indie Games you SHOULD play
"I've come up with a list of the ten independant gems I've excavated and I'd like to polish them up and put them on a velveteen pedestal for all to see."

Play This Thing: The Year of the Indie - My Top 5 of '09
"What a year to be indie. We've had tons of amazing games come out within the past 365 days; I'm sure we all have our favorites. Here's my top five."

indievision: Making of 'Gratuitous Space Battles'
"GSB was self-funded, and was a full time job, so with one eye on the budget I was very tempted to use stock spaceship models. I bought the licence to use a number of 3D models and did some test renders and playtesting, but they just didn’t look the part."

BigDownload: Mac Monday - Osmos, Guns of Icarus
"The indie games sector remains healthier than ever, and it's with pleasure that we use Mac Mondays to focus on games that might otherwise slip mainstream notice."

DrPetter's homepage: Sculptris alpha release
"An early test release of my new sculpt application. Its main feature is dynamic mesh tesselation that will provide additional detail where necessary, without the user needing to worry about it."

Browser Game Pick: Every Day the Same Dream (Molleindustria)

December 22, 2009 5:00 AM | Tim W.

In Molleindustria's Every Day the Same Dream, you play as a white-collar worker who goes through the same routine of driving to the office daily, but deep down inside his soul he harbours a yearning to take the path less travelled. This is where the story begins, as players try to figure out ways to break away from the monotony of adulthood life.

Made in under a week for the Experimental Gameplay's art game theme, Every Day the Same Dream is a short game that can be completed in under fifteen minutes or less.

2010 IGF Announces Jury For Nuovo Award

December 21, 2009 11:39 PM | Simon Carless

[We're trying to do something different with the Nuovo Award at the Independent Games Festival this year, and here's info on the jury which is even now discussing what's new and different among IGF entrants.]

Organizers of the 2010 Independent Games Festival have revealed jurors for the $2,500 Nuovo Award, which is intended to honor abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which "advances the medium and the way we think about games."

The IGF's Nuovo Award, which was won (when called the Innovation/Nuovo Award) by Jason Rohrer's acclaimed abstract multiplayer title Between in 2009, allows more esoteric 'art games' to compete on their own terms alongside longer-form indie titles.

For the 2010 Independent Games Festival, the IGF Main Competition judges, numbering over 160 in total, will recommend games entered into the IGF Main Competition this year to be considered for this award.

But a separate panel of notable game and art world figures will decide the finalists and winner for the Nuovo Award in juried form, mirroring similar, artistically important awards in other industries.

Organizers have now announced the full jury for the award, which will be given out during the Independent Games Festival Awards on the evening of Thursday, March 11th, 2010 during Game Developers Conference 2010.

It consists of the following notable individuals:

The Best Of 2009: Top 10 Indie Games

December 21, 2009 6:32 AM | Tim W.

[Continuing big sister site Gamasutra's 2009 retrospective, Tim W. and Mike Rose of examine this year's top 10 independent games from their unique micro-indie perspective. Previously on Gama: Top 5 Biz Trends, Top 5 iPhone Games, Top 5 Controversies, Top 5 PC Games, Top 5 Handheld Games Of 2009, Top 5 Console Downloadable Games, Top 5 Major Industry Events and Top 5 Developers.]

It's been an incredible year for fans of indie games. The 2010 Independent Games Festival recorded a 35 percent increase in submissions, indie games have gained more prominence and recognition in the mainstream industry, and quite a few of them even turned out to be decent commercial successes for their developers.

To celebrate the achievements of these up-and-coming game designers, we thought it'd be great idea to list out a couple of our favourite independent video games from the past twelve months.

Bear in mind that for every game mentioned here, there are twenty more that are dear to us which got left out, so we'd like to apologize in advance if your picks didn't make an appearance in this article.

Here are our picks for the top ten independent games of this year:

Browser Game Pick: Basketball (Online Games)

December 21, 2009 6:00 AM | Tim W.

Online Games' Basketball is a shoot the hoops game in which players have to get the ball through the basket as many times as they can in under two minutes. The further the ball is from the basket, the more points you score when you successfully make the shot. A multiplier bonus is also awarded if you manage to put the ball through the basket without it touching the metal hoop.

Players can create profiles, join groups, and compete for a place at the top of the high score table with colleagues or friends. (source: ortoslon)

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