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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 January, 2010

Freeware Game Pick: depict1 (Kyle Pulver & Alec Holowka)

January 31, 2010 10:56 PM | Michael Rose

depict.jpg

For those of you caught unawares, this weekend lots of gaming enthusiasts all over our blue and green planet took it upon themselves to create a ridiculous number of games - apparently it was called the Global Game Jam... or something. depict1 is such a game.

Created by Kyle Pulver (with Alec Holowka providing the ditties), depict1 is a platformer which will hurt your head lots, but probably also make you smile too. An unknown announcer barks orders at you, which you need to follow... maybe. The whole game is pretty much an incredible mind-bork. Put it this way - you're asked to 'Press Nothing to Start', then told the arrows keys will control your character, which a second later you'll realise is a complete fabrication.

In a word, wonderful. Just go play it, you'll see.

Interview: Dejobaan Talks to Dave Marsh from NimbleBit

January 31, 2010 10:00 PM | Tim W.

[Originally published on Mod DB, these interviews from Leo Jaitley of Dejobaan Games explores the neat nooks and crannies in indie gaming. This week the spotlight's on Dave Marsh, co-creator of Zero Gear and one of the three founding members of Nimblebit.]

In this latest episode of "Half a Million Seconds with an Indie Developer," we sit down (virtually) with Dave Marsh, one head in the three headed (sprinting) turtle that is NimbleBit. You might know Dave and the Bits from one of their plethora of iPhone games or from their soon-to-be-released PC title - Zero Gear.


Who are you?

DM: Hi, my name is David Marsh, and I am one of the three amigos that make up NimbleBit. I make many of the shiny and colorful stuff in our games, as well as pretty much anything else that needs to be done as long as it doesn't involve touching or writing code (which makes me stutter and drool).

The other two super-friends are my twin brother Ian Marsh, who is an iPhone developer whiz as well as doing a fair share of graphics artistry and Brian Cronin who is a beef jerky and mountain dew fueled engineering and programming evil genius.

Feature: The Best Xbox Indie Games Releases 2009

January 31, 2010 3:00 AM | Tim W.

[Originally published on XNPlay, Robert Fearon summarizes the top ten indie releases from last year in this special one-shot article, complete with links to their respective Xbox LIVE Marketplace pages.]

It's time to run through the XNPlay Best Indie Game releases of 2009. I'm much more at home and much happier celebrating the good things about the service than dwelling on the bad so rather than waste time on the old introductory text of death, let's just crack on and get down to business.



Download Echoes+ To Your Xbox 360
"Sure, on the surface we've got a twin stick shooter, a take on asteroids that's very much owes a debt to Geometry Wars and the glowing vector revival that followed in its wake but Echoes+ is its own game. Very much so. And it's what makes it so brilliant."

Interviews: Team Meat, Terry Cavanagh, cactus and More

January 30, 2010 1:00 AM | Tim W.

Let's take a look at the latest interviews with indie game developers on the web. Highlights include: more articles about Team Meat and Super Meat Boy, Terry Cavanagh speaks to the RPS crew, Dan Marshall on the future plans for Zombie Cow Studios, and a bit of update on the upcoming release of Cave Story Wii.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: VVVVVV Interview
"It was time to talk to Mr Distractionware - Terry Cavanagh - about all things VVVVVV. Discover below why the Jet Set Willy comparisons aren't quite right, the thinking behind the pricing decision and lots more."

Kombo: Team Meat Answers Questions About Super Meat Boy
"The indie devs behind the Flash hit Meat Boy talk about Ninja-Jonathan Blow, playing with themselves, and Super Meat Boy."

Elder-Speek: Super Meat Boy (audio podcast)
"Edmund and Tommy of Team Meat join us this week to talk about their upcoming title Super Meat Boy. The official interview starts at 19:00. We chat about past projects, Super Meat Boy development, the sexiness of the ratings system, going from indie to developing for Nintendo and a lot more."

The Escapist: Indie Developer Showcase, Meat Boy
"We spoke with McMillen about the ongoing development of SMB, censorship, and the lessons he's learned as an indie developer."

The Escapist: Indie Developer Showcase, Mondo Agency
"The first thing you need to know about Cactus, aka Jonatan Söderström, is that he's more interested in novelty and quantity rather than quality. Cactus has released over three dozen games in the last few years, all freely available on his website."

The Escapist: Indie Developer Showcase, Flywrench
"If there's such thing as a 'typical' indie designer, it isn't Mark Essen, aka Messhof. For one, Essen makes individual games as much for art galleries and universities as he does for gamers at large. It all seems rather high brow until you actually get your hands on his work."

Joystiq: Tyrone Rodriguez on Cave Story, La-Mulana, and more
"Rodriguez spoke to us a bit about the progress of the (Cave Story) remake, as well as Nicalis' other projects, Nicklas 'Nifflas' Nygren's physics-based platformer NightSky and another WiiWare remake of a retro-style cave exploration platformer, La-Mulana."

Examiner: Q & A with The Odd Gentlemen on P.B. Winterbottom
"We asked Matt and Odd Gentlemen CEO, Producer and Janitor Paul Belleza to share their thoughts on Winterbottom, indie game development, and the creative process."

Bytejacker: Sean Murray of Hello Games talks Joe Danger
"Bytejacker was fortunate enough to get an interview with Managing Director Sean Murray to talk about Joe Danger's surprising inspirations, the distinction between simple and casual games, and the 'hidden subtlety' of uncomplicated control schemes."

Adventure Gamers: Dan Marshall, Zombie Cow Studios
"Dan Marshall took time out of his hectic lifestyle to talk to Adventure Gamers about Ben There, Dan That!, Time, Gentlemen, Please!, and forthcoming Revenge of the Balloon-Headed Mexican."

Indie Game Pick: Crimzon Clover (Yotsubane)

January 29, 2010 11:00 PM | Tim W.


Crimzon Clover is truly a wet dream for shoot 'em up fans. Though labeled as a trial version, this vertical 2D shooter sports a generous three full levels to play, jaw-dropping graphics, a limited shop section for unlockables, and the obligatory yet awe-inspiring boss fights.

In addition to your primary weapon, you can hold down the second shot button to target enemy ships, then release the key to fire homing beams at them. Collecting stars increases your special gauge, and when you press the C key it will either activate the bomb or your ship's break mode, depending on how much of the bar has been filled.

Note that the continues that you purchase from the shop can only be used once. The download link is here. (Windows, 139MB)

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of January 29

January 29, 2010 12:05 PM | 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 38 Studios, Vicarious Visions 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:

38 Studios: User Interface Engineer
"Would you like to become part of the team that includes the creative visionaries behind Drizzt Do’Urden and Spawn? 38 Studios is currently seeking a User Interface Engineer to join our Engineering department. This is a full-time position with competitive salary, full benefits and 401(k), and the chance to be part of online gaming history!"

Bungie: Gameplay Design Lead
"Do you love the challenge of designing great gameplay? Do you have 10 ideas on how to make Halo’s player interface better? Do you hate that moment in a game when you realize that you’ve found the ultimate powerful weapon, making all others pointless? Are you an experienced game designer looking to work on AAA games with talented and passionate people in a team environment? If so we have the job for you! Bungie Studios is looking for a passionate, creative and hard-working Gameplay Design Lead for our next project."

Indie Game Links: The Killer App

January 28, 2010 6:00 PM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links include a write-up on indie game devs in the UK, a selection of the best indie Metroidvanias around, and a comprehensive look at this year's IGF finalists courtesy of Big Download. (image source)

DIYgamer: The Indie 10 - Best Metroidvanias
"A Metroidvania game is simply a game that consists of an non-linear map, where by the player must gather or accrue items in order to get beyond certain obstacles in the game. We've decided to put together this handy little list of our very favorite indie Metroidvanias."

Big Download: IGF 2010 Finalists - Visual Excellence
"With the IGF finalists announced, game makers only have a short while longer to find out the best of the best in indie games from last year. From the best overall game to the one with the most impressive art, there's several different categories for indie game designers to aspire to be the top of." Also: Design, Audio, Technical Excellence.

Guardian: How Indie Gaming is Reviving the Britsoft Spirit
"Britain used to produce some of the most entertaining and idiosyncratic videogames in the world. Then the eighties ended. But are the glory days returning?"

Bytejacker: The most amazing Captain Forever ship you will ever see
"Someone enjoyed Captain Forever far more than we (or any other mere mortal) dared to."

Daniel Silber's Blog: Lessons learned while submitting to IGF
"My game was not selected as a finalist in any of the categories, but I still seem to be learning from the experience. It has become clear that in order to be successful in IGF, the submission needs a level of polish much higher than I had anticipated."

The Spirit Engine 2 is going freeware
"We decided to take the significant move of making The Spirit Engine 2 freeware, like the first game. The (freeware) release will hopefully come in the next couple of months."

Boing Boing: What do Indie Gaming's All-Stars think of Apple's iPad?
"I called together a handful of the best and brightest developers pushing the medium forward across every new device to ask what's the iPad going to mean for the future."

Preview: Flotilla (Blendo Games)

January 28, 2010 12:00 PM | Tim W.


Brendon Chung (of Gravity Bone fame) sent out a press release today announcing his new turn-based strategy game called Flotilla, set to be released soon for the PC and Xbox Live Indie Games service. In the video that's up on the official site, he demonstrates how a skirmish in space works (complete with full 3D movement) and previews some of the content that we can expect to see in adventure mode.

Flotilla isn't the first game by Brendon that is set in space (see Pilot Light), so expect to find yourself in some really wacky situations and unusual encounters while exploring the far reaches of the universe. There's splitscreen support for cooperative playthrough in adventure mode and versus skirmishes too.

Browser Game Pick: VVVV (Markus Persson)

January 28, 2010 12:18 AM | Michael Rose

vvvv.PNG

Created for the Java4K 2010 Competition (for which all the submissions must be 4KB or less in size), VVVV is Markus' "re/demake" of Terry Cavanagh's recent indie hit VVVVVV. Your crew has been scattered, and it's your job to flip gravity, dodge spikes and rescue them all while dying a ridiculous amount of times.

If you thought the original platformer was difficult, just wait until you get a load of this! This remake is beautifully done - pressing M brings up the minimap, every gameplay mechanic from VVVVVV has been bundled in, and while each room doesn't have a name, this remake does have its own version of 'Doing Things The Hard Way'. Be afraid. Give it a go.

Interviews: Road to the IGF Edition

January 27, 2010 9:00 PM | Tim W.

Let's take a look at the latest interviews with indie game developers on the web. Highlights include: interviews with this year's IGF finalists, Farbs spilling the beans on Captain Impostor, Terry Cavanagh lays out his plans for 2010, and Adam Saltsman (pictured) talking about Flash, flixel and prototyping.

Gamasutra: Road To The IGF - Team Meat's Super Meat Boy
"In this interview, McMillen and Refenes borderline incoherently discuss their development history, their relationship as a team, and their thoughts on the indie scene."

Gamasutra: Road To The IGF - Strange Loop's Vessel
"Although Strange Loop is new to the indie community, Krajewski doubts that he'll ever go back to the corporate scene -- he believes that 'the most important stuff' is coming out of indie video game development."

Gamasutra: Road To The IGF - Trauma's Krystian Majewski
"In the creation of intriguingly-navigated adventure title Trauma, Majewski analyzed the adventure game genre closely, paying attention to its trends over the years, finding out where they fall flat, and experimenting with new ideas."

A Hardy Developer's Journal: Krystian Majewski, Trauma
"Trauma creator Krystian Majewski agreed to have his mind picked for a bit, so that we could find out more about the history of the game."

Gamasutra: ThatGameCompany's Santiago, Hunicke Interview
"A wide-ranging interview with ThatGameCompany's Kellee Santiago alongside the studio's newest hire, Electronic Arts veteran Robin Hunicke (Boom Blox) on the indie space, the studio philosophy and more."

The Escapist: Indie Developer Showcase, Captain Forever
"Captain Forever took home the prize for Best Game at GDC China's Independent Games Festival, but Farbs is not resting on his laurels. He's already released a sequel called Captain Successor and is busy working on a third game in the series. The Escapist spoke with him about his journey so far as an indie developer."

The Escapist: Indie Developer Showcase, VVVVVV
"Terry Cavanagh (aka Distractionware) resides in Monaghan, Ireland, and makes games. Cavanagh has continued to develop as a designer, recently releasing a game which equally tests players' platforming and pronunciation skills, VVVVVV. The Escapist recently asked him a few questions about VVVVVV and indie game design in general."

Activetuts: Interview with Adam Saltsman
"Adam Saltsman (AdamAtomic) is a game developer and the creator of flixel, an opensource AS3 game library. He recently spent some time answering a few questions about how he began in Flash and the work he currently does."

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