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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

Interview: Kenny Lee Tells You Not to Soil Your Pants

December 11, 2009 3:00 AM | Tim W.

Kenny Lee is a modest man. Together with his brother Teddy Lee, they've made a flash game that quickly gained fame and notoriety for its subject matter, although most do not know that since releasing their masterpiece the two are working on new projects under the moniker Cellar Door Games as well.

We caught up with the developer of Don't Shit Your Pants Kenny Lee (his pants are still on) for a chat about answering the call of nature in the most imaginative way possible.

Hi Ken, before we begin, can you introduce yourself to our readers who are not familiar with your game development background?

There's really not much to say about my background. I haven't actually been making games for a long time. Although I've been dabbling in it for a while, it was only recently that I took things seriously and made things publicly available. DSYP (Don't Shit Your Pants) was actually the first game I made that was put on the Internet.

How big is your development team, and who worked on what?

At the time, it was only the two of us, but after the incredible feedback we received on the game, several people were interested in working with us and we grew from there. For DSYP specifically, we had one other individual work on the design and sound, while I was responsible for the programming and art.

Is your team working on anything at the moment?

We actually made our first iPhone game, Tribal Tallies, two weeks ago that is a more commercial endeavour, which unfortunately means no potty jokes. Ever since DSYP, we formed a larger group and started Cellar Door Games. Decade Studios is still active, but for the foreseeable future we're working under that name. I don't know if that complicates things.

Are there any plans for a sequel to DSYP?

In my mind, DSYP was a one shot thing. It was like a funny joke that really doesn't work as well the second time. We've got a lot of people asking us to make Don't Piss Your Pants, but it probably would have been better if that was our first game, and Don't Shit Your Pants was our second.

You can't really follow up number 2 with number 1, if you know what I mean. However we have had some ideas that sound pretty good. We're also thinking of bringing it to the iPhone, if anyone would care for that kind of thing, since the fun is over in 15 minutes or less.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of December 11

December 11, 2009 12:47 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 2K Marin, Koei Canada 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:

2K Marin: Multiplayer Systems Designer
"2K Marin is looking for a dedicated, passionate and personable Multiplayer Systems Designer to join us on an exciting unannounced project. As a Multiplayer Systems Designer, you'll be in charge of taking high level goals and translating them into game systems and moment-to-moment experiences."

Guerrilla Games: Lighting Artist
"Ready to set Guerrilla alight with your awesome lighting skills? As a member of the lighting team, you will collaborate with level designers and environment artists to literally light the way for gamers, so they can enjoy our games to their fullest. You will work with our cutting-edge deferred rendering engine, adding lighting to levels and cut scenes using both real-time and pre-rendered solutions. You will take concepts created by our visual design team and turn them into reality within our levels, working closely with the art director to ensure that our vision is achieved."

Trailer: Leave Home (hermitgames)

December 10, 2009 7:00 PM | Tim W.

There's a preview of hermitgames' upcoming horizontal shooter over at XNPlay, and Bob's posted a couple of pictures to view as well. Leave Home should be available on the XBLIG service sometime this month.

Browser Game Pick: Obey the Game (John Cooney)

December 10, 2009 3:19 PM | Michael Rose


The elephant is back for another twisted yet beautiful gaming experience in the form of Obey the Game. This time around he's participating in a Wario Ware style minigame-a-thon, but with a catch - if the game tells you to DISOBEY the objective, it's opposites time!

This sounds easy enough, but just wait until the levels begin to speed up. There aren't that many different tasks to undertake, but the fact that there are actually two different ways to win each one makes for some frantic play.

There are other game modes to have a crack at too, although they don't really seem to be as much fun as the main mode - in fact, in the HidenRide mode I managed to achieve a score of 33 without even moving. Still, definitely worth giving a shot, if only to see the little guy again. Play over at Armor Games.

Preview: Bob Came in Pieces (Ludosity Interactive)

December 10, 2009 12:47 PM | Michael Rose

Via RockPaperShotgun, a trailer for Ludosity's upcoming puzzler Bob Came in Pieces was recently released. The game is due to land on 21st December and is really rather good fun. I've been meaning to write about it, so now is as good a time as any!

There are some very clever ideas to be found here. The idea is to fly your little ship around collecting coins and pickups, then reaching the portal at the end. What makes the game so interesting is the ship workshop - at points in each level, you can enter the workshop and edit your ship by sticking parts all over it. Need to press a button through a tight gap? Grab those pipes, nail them all to the side of your ship in a straight line, and fit them through the gap. Of course, this is completely unbalance the whole ship, so you'll need to put some rubbish on the other side of your ship too to level it out.

There are other gizmos to attach too, like the traction beam for grabbing objects, which make for some great puzzles. The level design is great for the most part too, while the art style is very fitting for the game's concept and atmosphere. I think for this kind of game, my number one concern is always how the control of the ship feels, and fortunately Ludosity have created a really fluid movement that feels great - I always felt in control.

So it's a 2D puzzle game revolving around building and rebuilding your little ship to get through every situation. No word on price yet, but you can be assured that this is one to look forward to.

Freeware Game Pick: Walker and Silhouette (C.E.J. Pacian)

December 10, 2009 5:00 AM | Tim W.

Walker and Silhouette is a short interactive fiction game about a pair of detectives named Nate and Ivy, working together to solve a case for the Oldchester Criminal Investigation Department. The interface is an easy one to use, all a user has to do is to click on a highlighted keyword to investigate further or progress the story forward. Occasionally certain words like leave, think and help have to be typed in, but these situations rarely occur and wouldn't cause too much of an inconvenience to any player.

The writing on display is good, the storyline is intriguing, and there are some clever puzzles designed just for the single keyword system. A windows executable is included with the Windows version, while Linux and Mac users can play the game by using a TADS interpreter to run the TADS 3 game file. (Mac/Win/Linux, 1.60MB)

Indie Game Links: The One Button Dilemma

December 9, 2009 5:00 PM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links include the release of a new game from Gregory Weir (I Fell in Love With The Majesty of Colors), a look at the development process of Dejobaan Games' Aaaaa!, and some news about the status of D-pad Studio's Owlboy.

Ludus Novus: Backup Released
"Heavily inspired by Gun Mute, Backup is a (potentially) violent piece of interactive fiction with multiple endings set in a science fiction world of robots, plasma swords, and intergalactic finance."

pixelate: The Black Forest
"The Black Forest is a series of tiny, experimental games to be released online this December. The first episode is now playable, and the other three episodes will be released this month, one on every Sunday."

Mod DB: Half a Million Seconds with an Indie Developer, Dejobaan Games
"My name is Ichiro Lambe, and I'm the President of Dejobaan Games, LLC. I'm going to tell you a bit about the life of our studio during the development of our 13th title, AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Gravity (Aaaaa! for short)."

YoYo Games Glog: Mac Version of Game Maker Delayed Indefinitely
"Sorry to bring bad news, but our Mac Developer has resigned with immediate effect. There are still too many bugs, so until we know how and when we can complete the project, we’ve taken the painful decision to temporarily suspend our plans to produce a Mac version of Game Maker."

Kokoromi Collective: Clarified Gamma 4 Rules
"Clarified Gamma 4 rules and a FAQ, now live." One Switch Help
"The Gamma 4 competition seeks to encourage unique one-button game experiences. This has the potential to be a fantastic thing for those who normally use a single button, or accessibility switch, to play games. For curious coders and game designers interested this far..."

Gamasutra: One Button Games
"In this article, one button is the limitation on interaction. By the end of this, it should be apparent just how many applications there are for such a basic interaction."

D-pad Studio: IGF and a few other things
"Naturally, I really want to see Owlboy completed. Without a programmer present, this game isn't going anywhere though. I've finally found someone that might help out but who knows how long it will take before some actual work can be done."

IGF Mobile Announces Record Entries For 2010 Competition

December 9, 2009 3:23 PM | Simon Carless

[We're announcing entrants for IGF Mobile today, and not only are there a record amount, there's a bunch of really interesting titles for iPhone and other handhelds in there - go check them out.]

IGF Mobile organizers have revealed record entries for the third annual handheld indie game contest, with 172 games entered in total, a 65% increase on last year's competition.

This follows a similarly all-time high number of submissions for IGF's Main and Student competitions, and means over 650 entries in total for the leading independent game competition.

This year's competition -- the sister event to the main Independent Games Festival -- is showcasing independently-developed handheld games for all mobile devices including Apple's iPhone, other cellphone and smartphone OSes, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and other handheld devices.

The full list of 172 entries for 2010's IGF Mobile, including a number of interesting and previously unannounced titles, is now available to view on the competition's official website.

Previous successes for IGF games include Apple's App Store creating a special Store section just to highlight the IGF-nominated iPhone games from 2009's IGF Mobile competition, which included acclaimed titles such as Fieldrunners, Real Racing, Zen Bound and Galcon. In addition, last year's IGF Mobile 'Next Great Mobile Game' winner Reflection has been signed by Konami for Nintendo DSi.

IGF Mobile finalists will be announced on January 22nd, 2010, and will each receive one All-Access pass to attend the 2010 Game Developers Conference. Finalists will compete for $5,000 in prizes, including notable awards for design, art, and technology innovation in mobile game development.

This year, winners in each category (with the exception of 'Best Game') will be announced before the show, on February 8th, 2010. Each category winner will receive $500 in spending money to come to the 2010 Game Developers Conference in March 2010 and showcase their mobile game, alongside their GDC pass.

The five category winners will exhibit their games in a special area of the main IGF Pavilion, the winners will then compete for the coveted IGF Mobile Best Game award, worth $2,500. The prize is presented on stage during the main Independent Games Festival Awards, preceding the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony on March 11th, 2010.

For a complete list of IGF Mobile 2010 specifics and to check out this year's entrants, please visit

Browser App Picks: SiON140 and MMLTalks (Kei Mesuda)

December 8, 2009 12:00 PM | Tim W.

Chiptune lovers and composers, here's something for you. SiON140 and MMLTalks are two software synthesizers which use the Music Macro Language (MML) to represent musical notes and synthesizing information, both already having a decent library of user contributions that could be listened to or shared with others.

Between the two, MMLTalks has more features while SiON140 was especially designed so that short MML compositions be shared via Twitter. Under the SiON140 interface, there's a small play button at the start of each comment that you can click on to play any user submission instantly. For MMLTalks, all you have to do is click on the song name and the tune will play automatically. The only thing you need to run either application is Flash Player 10, although composing something that's as masterful as some of the song contributions will require spending time studying the SiOPM MML reference. More information here and here.

Trailer: Starlings (Russ Morris)

December 7, 2009 11:00 PM | Michael Rose

As Russ Morris' Starlings draws closer to a release, he's thrown out the above trailer to give the intrigued a better idea of what it's about. In development for Mac OS X, it's like thatgamecompany's Flower, but with less flora and more feathers.

"The high-concept of Starlings is a game that attempts to create an emotional connection between the player and game through dynamic audio and visuals. Beginning with one starling, the player must explore an expansive rural environment in order to recruit more birds to their flock. As the flock size increases, so do the accompanying musical score. More instruments are introduced to an initial basic melody, directly relating to the current size of the flock."

Coming 2010!

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