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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: TowerClimb (Davioware)

January 25, 2010 8:00 PM | Tim W.


TowerClimb is a procedurally-generated 2D platformer created for Game Jolt's Rogue Contest, in which you play as a random explorer trying to reach the highest point of an endless tower. There is only one action button to use in addition to standard character movement controls, but when holding the X key down you can jump off platforms, scale walls and even climb ceilings.

Besides the items that you carry in your inventory, you can also trade orange berries with shady merchants for more equipment to use. Purple berries bestow the power to double jump, but try not to consume too much or you'll have a rather upset stomach to contend with. Download the game here. (Windows, 18.4MB)

Gamma Reminds On Deadline For 'One Button' GDC 2010 Showcase

January 25, 2010 12:00 PM | Simon Carless

Montreal’s Kokoromi collective is reminding possible entrants on the January 31st deadline for Gamma 4, with game makers challenged to make "innovative, experimental new games played with just one button" to be showcased at GDC 2010 in San Francisco.

As recently announced, Kokoromi is partnering with Think Services' Game Developers Conference to bring the fourth edition of its renowned Gamma game showcase to GDC 2010 next March.

Comparable to a longer-form, targeted version of the 'indie game jam' concept, previous years’ themes have included Gamma 01: Audio Feed (games driven by live audio), gamma 256 (games with extremely small pixel dimensions), and GAMMA 3D (games using red-blue stereoscopic 3D). Standout games like Passage, Paper Moon, and Super HYPERCUBE resulted.

This time around, the Gamma organizers have framed the competition as follows: "Gestural controls, multi-touch surfaces, musical instruments, voice recognition—even brain control. Games are moving beyond the iconic hand-held controller, and into the future. But is the secret to good games found in high-tech interface hardware? Kokoromi proposes that game developers can still find beauty in absolute simplicity."

A number of intriguing entries have already started development for Gamma 4, with IndieGames.com highlighting videos of contestants in a recent post, and a special messageboard at independent site TIGSource to showcase and discuss entries.

Freeware Game Pick: Coptra (Jan Willem Nijman)

January 25, 2010 12:00 PM | Tim W.


Coptra is an arena shooter in which you have to destroy enemy vehicles and survive for as long as possible. The power-ups that you collect can stack up, hence if you collect two or more power-up items their attributes will combine into a super-weapon until the ammo count is exhausted.

Scanlines can be turned on or off using the N key, and you can quickly skip to the next round by pressing the enter key. Tips on increasing your survival chances are given at the end of each game, and support for standard dual analog and Xbox controllers are included as well. The high score table is located here. (Windows, 3.34MB)

Browser Game Pick: Monkey Kong (Mike Meyer)

January 25, 2010 11:00 AM | Tim W.


Monkey Kong is a tribute game based on the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong, created by Mike Meyer for the Mini Ludum Dare 15 competition. This version is all about collecting bananas, although after playing for a couple of minutes you'll realize that the structure of a level gets repeated with just the order of it randomized.

Still, it has a nifty backflip element that could be fun if the challenges had more variety and a timer or online high score feature was built in. (source: Rob Fearon)

Freeware Game Pick: Lethal Application (Daisessen)

January 24, 2010 6:00 PM | Tim W.


Lethal Application is a 2D action game that introduces a unique gameplay system for moving your character around each stage. Instead of a jump button that most players are accustomed to, we have here a weapon so strong that its recoil effect can propel the protagonist in the opposite of her shot direction.

Using the weapon does deplete your energy resources, which fortunately can be replenished by collecting items marked 'E' scattered around the area. Press the Z key to shoot and the X key to activate your special move. You can swap special moves by pressing the C key but only after acquiring its corresponding power-ups.

The game was originally sold as a commercial doujin title, but was recently re-released as a free download on the developer's official site. There are ten stages to play in total, although this count doesn't include the boss battles that await the player after every one or two normal levels beaten. You might also need to have the Japanese language pack installed on your Windows operating system to be able to run this game. (Windows, 148MB)

Browser Game Pick: gnop (Bit Battalion)

January 24, 2010 5:00 PM | Tim W.


gnop is a clever take on the arcade classic by Bit Battalion, with very minimal instructions given on how to play the game. This particular challenge doesn't really take longer than a couple of minutes to beat If you are good at deciphering cryptic clues and have a bit of skill to go along with it.

Browser Game Pick: MyChess (Michael Keating)

January 23, 2010 11:00 PM | Tim W.


MyChess is a browser implementation of the classic board game, designed especially just for multiplayer sessions with other Kongregate members. To play you will need a Kongregate account, and once you've logged in you'll be presented with a chat room where other players can be invited for a game. You can watch live games, play competitive or friendly matches, set the rules, decide the amount of time allowed per player, and even choose a side before initiating a match.

If you enjoy a game of chess regularly then you'll like this version quite a bit. Otherwise, not so much.

Freeware Game Pick: Strangers (JW, Jonathan Dijkstra)

January 23, 2010 7:00 PM | Tim W.


Strangers (direct link to game file) is a short experimental game about the adventures of an astronaut and his faithful dog, who had just landed on an alien planet with no data whatsoever about its inhabitants. There's quite a bit of text to read here, although your mission pretty much reaches its climax in the space of five minutes or less. (Windows, 5.34MB)

Indie Game Links: Xbox Live Indie Games

January 22, 2010 10:57 PM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links include an update on Metanet Software's Robotology situation, articles about the Xbox Live Indie Games channel, an opinion piece about jRPGs, and a tribute video for one of Flashbang Studios' more popular game on Blurst. (image source)

metablog: Robotology - Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?
"We decided that instead of trying to press on with Robotology, it would be better for us and for the project if it was put on hold for the time being, allowing us to take a break from it by working on those small projects (one of which is prototyping Office Yeti). Exciting!"

DIYgamer: Taking Stock of the Xbox Live Indie... Apps
"The XBLIG channel was beginning to become a home for 'games' that weren't actually games at all. Now, stuff like massages, flashlights, screensavers, and 'girl guides' are becoming even more prominent than ever. I feel like it would be a good idea to take stock in the channel and lay out every single 'game' on the XBLIG service that is actually more of an application."

Boing Boing: What's Microsoft doing for Indie Games?
"It's been a year and a quarter since Microsoft first launched their initiative to 'democratize gaming', and nine months since they co-opted the 'Indie Game' brand for that initiative, and the report card on those efforts is looking a bit bleak."

Boing Boing: Guide to the 2010 Indie Games Student Showcase
"A breakdown of the ten student showcase finalists -- with links to downloads for nearly all the games to play yourself."

Necessary Games: Exit Fate, Why jRPGs Suck and Why You Should Play Them
"The indies gave us classics like the irreverent Three the Hard Way, artistic experiments like the non-violent Sunset over Imdahl, poignant parodies like Barkley's Shut Up and Jam. And thankfully, they gave us great homages like Exit Fate."

Oxeye Game Studio: The Harvest Legacy
"Almost 3 years have passed since I made the first Harvest prototype. This concept has in turn inspired other game developers to make their own implementations."

Super Fun Dungeon Run: Merry Gear Solid 2 Official Soundtrack
Now available for download.

Pitchfork: Let There Be Horns (video)
"Thom Glunt produced a music video that pays homage to Minotaur China Shop, and it is awesome."

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of January 22

January 22, 2010 10:15 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 BioWare Austin, Webkinz, 2K Marin 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: Networking Programmer
"2K Games seeks the talents of a seasoned and passionate Networking Programmer who enjoys a collaborative and creative work environment and is looking to work with like minded professionals to create truly amazing experiences.Design, implement, and debug networking code for state of the art current and next gen titles."

Ganz/Webkinz: Flash Developers
"Now is your chance to join the Ganz team that has brought you such products as Webkinz and Webkinz Jr. You can be a part of developing new adventures!! Ganz is seeking talented and motivated people with a proven love of online entertainment for these positions."

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