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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 December, 2009

Interview: Zach Gage Caught in a Lose/Lose Situation

December 14, 2009 7:00 AM | Tim W.

His game was branded by Symantec as a security threat. In Lose/Lose (quoting Mike), 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. We've already discussed this issue in length, so now it's time to find out what the developer has to say about his game.


Hi Zach, before we begin, can you introduce yourself to our readers and also fill us in on your game development background?

My game development background is really limited. I spent some time when I was in middle-school making tiny games that never really got released dreaming of being a game developer. After that I spent some time taking computer science courses in high-school but ended up going to college and getting a degree in fine arts. It wasn't until the end of my time there that I came back to programming, and started to bring it into some of my projects for my thesis show.

After college I took a year off before going to Parsons: The New School for my MFA and around then I started getting really into developing with OpenFrameworks and the iPhone SDK and kind of fell back into game-making as a way to explore interaction and then eventually as a way to push some of my other more art angled pieces.

Basically I've been doing this game making thing for a few months. I made an iPhone game called Unify, and after going to IndieCade right after Lose/Lose came out and I met a lot of really talented game developers and realized maybe I'm a game developer now.


Why did you make Lose/Lose in the first place? And what was the real reason or motivation behind the idea?

The very first motivation behind the idea was that I wanted to make a game that made me feel an emotion that I'd never felt from a videogame before. I've been really interested in the past with projects like Eddo Stern's Tekken Torture Tournament and how they take aspects of games (things like pain) and make them real. Making that kind of aspect of a game real is very strange.

I always felt like Eddos project was really amazing from a human interaction standpoint. But it felt kind of like cheating because he was rigging up a physical thing to create physical pain, so I came up with this idea of trying to create tangible pain while staying in the virtual space entirely, which is what Lose/Lose attempts to do by deleting your files if you chose to be violent in it. It seemed interesting enough for me to create the project.

Trailer: Silent Skies (Michael Todd)

December 14, 2009 12:56 AM | Michael Rose

Set up in the skies of his previous endeavour Broken Brothers, Michael Todd's Gamma IV entry Silent Skies has quite the atmosphere. But he won't tell me how it works with one button! The cad! I'm going to pretend not to care, but secretly wait until the Indie Game Summit to find out.

Freeware Game Pick: Jetpack Basketball (Messhof)

December 13, 2009 5:00 PM | Tim W.


Jetpack Basketball is a hotseat game for one or two players, where the challenge is to place the ball into the basket eleven times to win the match. Your opponent will attempt to do the same, and though you can't steal a ball directly, players can hover near the basket at the right moment to grab the ball before it enters the basket.

There is also a button that you can press to make more balls appear in the court. Terrific fun for a Sunday afternoon when you have some relatives over. (Windows, 10.2MB)

Indie Game Links: Marketing Your Indie Game

December 13, 2009 12:00 PM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links include a write-up by IndieGames editor Mike Rose about marketing your indie games properly, two articles about iPhone development and pricing, plus an insight about using Kickstarter to fund the development of your indie game. (image source)

Gamasutra: Michael Rose's Blog - The Idiot's Guide to Marketing Your Indie Game
"The misconception that gaming sites won't want to cover your game because it's 'not important enough' is slowly being lifted, and independent developers in general are beginning to realize that PR is actually a huge factor in selling your product. This, however, doesn't mean that developers are marketing their games correctly. In this guide, I'll be explaining exactly what it is you, the budding games developer, should be providing me, the eager games journalist, with."

Gamasutra: Pondering Indie Spirit, Derek Yu Speaks
"I'm in the process of doing graphics (for the XBLA version of Spelunky). I'm going for much more of a painterly look. Kind of like the work that I did for Aquaria. It's going to be kind of cartoony and comical, but... In terms of 2D games, I'm still a big fan of the painted look." Check out the comments too.

Kotaku: The Swapper, My Favorite Indie Fest Entry So Far
"I have for a number of years now been fortunate enough to help judge entries for the annual Independent Games Festival, and each year I come across at least one game that I fall deeply in love with. This year that game is The Swapper."

Gamasutra: Everything You Need To Know About iPhone Development
"This article covers the overall process of developing an iPhone game from start to App Store and beyond. The goal is to separate facts from myths and give developers an accurate idea of what to expect."

Gamasutra: Adam Saltsman's Blog - The 0.99 Problem
"I work at an iPhone game studio that I founded with my friend Eric last year. We've made just two iPhone games, both have been financially successful, and both were self-published without a marketing budget. Both games made the EDGE Magazine top 50 iPhone games list, and both games are original IP. I am going to explain why we don't sell our games for a dollar in the hopes that it might add something interesting to the iPhone game pricing debate."

Gamasutra: Borut Pfeifer's Blog - Kickstarting a Serious Game
"I thought I would get the perspectives of more indie developers who've used Kickstarter or patron-based funding successfully. Daniel Benmergui uses donations to help support the development of his games, such as Today I Die and I Wish I Were the Moon. Vince Twelve put his retro-style adventure game Resonance up on Kickstarter to pay the $95 IGF entry fee, and then proceeded to raise over $2,000."

IndieGames Crossword # 5 - IGF 2010 Special

December 12, 2009 11:00 AM | Michael Rose

It's a special bumper edition of the IndieGames Crossword this time around - it's bigger and better! Huzzah!

Every single answer is the name of an entry into the Independent Games Festival 2010, so this should be pretty easy, huh? Say that to the 303 possible answers. So... what are you waiting for? Hop to it!


Fill the grid by clicking a line, reading the clue and entering it in the text box provided. Answers this week are all indie games submitted to the IGF 2010. Enjoy!

This interactive crossword puzzle requires JavaScript and a reasonably recent web browser, such as Internet Explorer 5.5 or later, Netscape 7, Mozilla, Firefox, or Safari. If you have disabled web page scripting, please re-enable it and refresh the page. If this web page is saved to your computer, you may need to click the yellow Information Bar at the top of the page to allow the puzzle to load.

Trailer: Big Pixel Racing (Big Pixel Studios)

December 12, 2009 9:57 AM | Michael Rose

Vroom! Beep Beep! etc. Big Pixel Racing is headed to Armor Games very soon, so check out the above trailer for a pre-taste. It has ranking tables, upgrade shops, customizable doo-dahs, the works.

Indie Game Pick: Saira (Nifflas)

December 12, 2009 9:00 AM | Tim W.


Saira is a non-linear 2D puzzle platformer in which levels are separated into worlds that you can travel to at any time, although every journey uses up your ship's energy and the batteries must be charged first before you can embark on another trip. The objective of the game is basically to search for parts that could be used to build a teleporation device, so that you can reunite Saira and her friend Bobo who is on a distant planet somewhere in the galaxy.

Most of the puzzles that you encounter are stored within computers, consoles or terminals, and solving a riddle usually opens up an entirely new area that players can explore further. Your PDA's camera feature will come in handy for taking snapshots of puzzle hints in every world, but storage is limited and no new pictures will be added when the memory banks are full.

The game features multiple endings, and the one that is shown to the player is decided by the quality of the parts that you use for your teleportation device. Depending on the outcome that you are aiming for, it could take up to an entire day or two to find all parts and gain access to all of the ending sequences included.

There are six worlds to explore in the demo, while the full version (costing $17) offers a total of fourteen planets to visit. (Windows, 240MB)

Trailer: Duum Mashine (Scattle)

December 11, 2009 5:21 PM | Michael Rose

Loving the style of this latest WIP from David Scatliffe. Balancing energy consumption from the sun and unleashing this all over your enemies appears to be what's on the cards. Let's hope it's simple yet fun!

GDC 2010 Reveals First Conference Lectures

December 11, 2009 3:13 PM | Simon Carless

Game Developers Conference 2010 organizers have announced its first set of Main Conference lectures for the March 9th-13th event, with Uncharted 2, Braid and Brutal Legend-specific talks already confirmed.

An initial set of talks for the Audio, Business, Design, Production, Art, and Programming tracks for next March's event -- as well as some Indie Games Summit-specific sessions -- are now viewable in GDC 2010's schedule-building app or via the official Game Developers Conference website.

Organizers of the industry-leading San Francisco-based event (part of Think Services, as is this website) will be highlighting track-specific talks gradually over the next few weeks, but some of the notable lectures already posted include:

- Among Friends - An Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Post-Mortem (Production Track)
In this postmortem, Naughty Dog co-lead game designer Richard Lemarchand examines what went right and wrong in the creation of the critically acclaimed PS3 title, "...in expanding our gameplay through the use of new traversal, combat and AI technologies, introducing characters that shed new light on our hero Nathan Drake, and tackling our first foray into multiplayer in four years."

- Rock Show VFX - The Effects That Bring Brutal Legend to Life (Art Track)
Two of Double Fine's key employees -- lead platform programmer Peter Demoreuille and technical/VFX artist Drew Skillman -- will discuss the making of the visual effects for action-adventure Brutal Legend, covering "the design and most commonly relied upon features of our particle rendering, simulation, effects timeline and climate packages."

Weekend Video Watch: The Next Great Game Gods

December 11, 2009 12:00 PM | Tim W.


In this twenty-minute Spike TV special, Geoff Keighley and the GameTrailers crew pay Osmos developer Eddy Boxerman a visit, then drops by the studios of RedLynx (Trials HD), Twisted Pixel ('Splosion Man) and thatgamecompany to interview the people behind the production of your favorite indie games. Great stuff, watch the entire thing in HD here.

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