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About The IGF

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: Sunshine (Kyle Gabler)

January 4, 2010 7:04 PM | Tim W.


Sunshine is a project created by Kyle Gabler (one half of 2D Boy) for the Experimental Gameplay's art game theme, where players are tasked with guiding a plant towards the skies while growing flowers and avoiding rocks. Looping around people causes them to turn into flowers, which gives off more energy for your plant to grow taller. It is necessary to trap as many people as you can for combos, since doing that rewards more energy compared to going for one of them at a time. (Windows, 10.6MB)

Independent Games Festival 2010 Announces Main Competition Finalists

January 4, 2010 5:04 AM | Simon Carless

The Independent Games Festival has announced the Main Competition finalists for the twelfth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, celebrating the most innovative creations to come out of the independent game development community this year.

Nearly $50,000 in prizes in various categories, including the $20,000 Seamus McNally Grand Prize will be awarded on stage at the Independent Games Festival Awards on March 11, 2010 during the 2010 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The record-setting 306 Main Competition entries represent a 35% increase over last year's record 226 entries, many of them striking new titles from leading indie developers.

This year's finalists are led by multiple nominations for several notable games, including three nominations for innovative light-centric puzzle platformer Closure, Krystian Majewski's gestural photographic adventure game Trauma, and Ratloop Asia's cinematic avian action title Rocketbirds: Revolution!.

There were two nominations each -- including a Grand Prize nomination -- for Pocketwatch Games' stylish co-op heist game Monaco, Hello Games' polished stunt motorbike title Joe Danger, and Team Meat's cartoon-gory 2D action title Super Meat Boy!.

To ensure the highest-quality judging for the IGF, more than 150 leading indie and mainstream game industry figures -- from 2D Boy's Ron Carmel through Spore's Soren Johnson to ThatGameCompany's Kellee Santiago and beyond -- were recruited to choose finalists via a carefully constructed empirical process.

The Festival is particularly keen to give constructive, written feedback to Main Competition entrants -- even if they did not place as a finalist. As a result, over 1500 written, anonymized judge comments will be passed along to entrants in the next few days, an important part of deriving value and takeaway from entering the IGF.

In addition, for the first year, the IGF's Nuovo Award, intended to "honor abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which advances the medium and the way we think about games", was judged by a separate, smaller juried panel of notable game and art world figures. These spanned previous IGF Nuovo winner Jason Rohrer (Passage), Area/Code's Frank Lantz, N+ co-creator Mare Sheppard, EA division head and art-game creator Rod Humble, and more.

The jury for the $2,500 Nuovo Award, which allows more esoteric 'art games' to compete on their own terms alongside longer-form indie titles, has released a statement about the chosen Nuovo finalists, including several 'honorable mentions', on the official IGF website.

The finalists for the 2010 Independent Games Festival are:

2010 IGF Nuovo Jury Releases Finalists Statement

January 4, 2010 2:04 AM | Simon Carless

Alongside the announcement of 2010 Independent Games Festival finalists, the IGF Nuovo Award jury has revealed its finalists for the $2,500 award, which is intended to "honor abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which advances the medium and the way we think about games."

The 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, recommended 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 -- spanning previous IGF winner Rohrer, Area/Code's Frank Lantz, N+ co-creator Mare Sheppard, EA division head and art-game creator Rod Humble, and more, have decided the finalists (and will decide the winner) for the Nuovo Award in discussion-based, juried form -- mirroring similar, artistically important awards in other industries. All five Nuovo finalists will exhibit their games at GDC 2010 in San Francisco in the IGF Pavilion, and a Nuovo Award winner will be revealed at the IGF Awards Ceremony on the evening of March 11th, 2010.

The Nuovo Jury's finalist statement discussing and justifying their picks - also adding a number of 'honorable mentions' for games that were just outside the finalist selection, but had fascinating characteristics - reads as follows:

Freeware Game Pick: Adrenaline (Adrenaline Team)

January 3, 2010 9:40 PM | Tim W.


Adrenaline is a freeware multiplayer top-down shooter created with the Game Maker engine, featuring a wide variety of weapons to use, four different game modes and support for user-created maps in addition to the official maps that comes with the download. The latest version of the game (1.0.0, released on January 1st 2010) includes plenty of graphical settings that can be tweaked to accomodate slower computers, a single-player mode with bots, and even stat tracking for registered Reflect users.

Besides your standard ranged weapon, you can also swing a knife for melee attacks or throw grenades to hurt other players. The frequent disconnections and lags could disrupt your enjoyment of it, but if you are looking for a multiplayer deathmatch game that is free to play then Adrenaline might fit the bill nicely. (source, controls)

Feature: Top Browser Platformers 2009

January 3, 2010 9:32 AM | Tim W.

[From now until mid-January, IndieGames.com: The Weblog will be counting down the best independent and freeware games of 2009, with descriptions, screenshots, and links of the best games in each major category. Previously: Top 10 Shoot 'em Ups, Top 10 Puzzle Games]

The third of our in-depth 2009 Best Of Features here on the IndieGames.com blog (after the overall Top 10 we did for Gamasutra and the 10 Indie Games for '10 article), we're proud to present ten of the best Flash-based platformers released in 2009.

It has been an incredible year for indie games, and more so for the platformer genre. We have no intentions of leaving Mac OSX and Linux users out in the cold, so here's ten games that will run on any modern-day internet browser to satiate your need for run 'n jump games.

(You can also access the full 2009 Top Browser Platformers chart -- with extra screenshots and information -- as part of the IndieGames.com Features section, which includes indie game charts from 2006 to 2008.)

Here are the top freeware browser platformers of the year:

Freeware Game Pick: ArGeeBee (Rodain Joubert)

January 2, 2010 12:34 PM | Michael Rose

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Created for the Game.Dev 'Coherence' competition, ArGeeBee is Rodain's attempt at splicing three different genres together. Supplied with three different little men, the green guy must use his match-3 skills to forge a path for the red who uses his vague RPG skills to kill baddies who are the same level as him, level up and defeat the boss. The blue can then use his platforming abilities to reach the goal.

It's definitely not as simple as that though - in fact, by merging those three genres, he's finished up with a puzzler. On each level, there is always a specific order in which the three heroes need to be moved and each must help the others out. It's also possible for each to not completely finish their mission fully, as long as there are enough lives available on that level.

It's pretty short with 5 tutorial levels + 15 main missions, but still definitely worth your time. Download from this forum thread.

Freeware App Pick: Audia (Davioware)

January 2, 2010 12:51 AM | Michael Rose

audia.PNG

Wonderfully experimental music maker, this. By creating note bars, gates and spawners, then fiddling around with a variety of sounds, noises and effects, Audia allows the user to create some incredibly brilliant sounding music pieces courtesy of bouncing bloom balls.

The controls are initially a little difficult to understand, but once you're going it's beautiful stuff. Holding down the middle mouse button creates a ball spawner, while holding the right mouse button creates bars which, when collided with, supply the music. Once you've got these basics down, there are a ton of special effects you can get on the go - changing the pitch, tone, volume etc of a note; placing 'gates' which allow for specific timing of notes; crazy movements for the note bar, like pulsing and spinning.

Awesome fun to play around with - you can even save your compositions for others to listen to. Go give your creative mind a workout at Gamejolt.

Freeware Game Pick: Dungeon of EEEvil (John Baker)

January 1, 2010 10:02 PM | Tim W.

Dungeon of EEEvil is a low-res 2D action game in which you play as a knight trapped inside a prison, surrounded by the walking dead that will chase after you if you get close to them. By doing a bit of exploration you can find weapons to protect yourself with, but watch out for ambushes and traps that might be sprung on you unsuspectingly upon entering a new room.

There's a fair bit of backtracking involved, although the game doesn't actually take longer than an afternoon to play from start to finish. (Windows, 1.88MB)

Video: 100 Game Maker Games in 10 Minutes (2009 Edition)

January 1, 2010 7:55 PM | Tim W.


Matt Scorah of the GameMaker Blog spent the last few weeks putting this video together, and I can confirm that it is awesome. All of the games featured were either made or completed in 2009, with every developer allowed to have a maximum of only two games in it.

Get the download links from the GameMaker Blog.

Feature: Top Freeware Puzzle Games 2009

January 1, 2010 8:27 AM | Tim W.

[From now until early January, IndieGames.com: The Weblog will be counting down the best independent and freeware games of 2009, with descriptions, screenshots, and links of the best games in each major category. Previously: Top 10 Shoot 'em Ups]

The second of our in-depth 2009 Best Of Features here on the IndieGames.com blog (after the overall Top 10 we did for Gamasutra and the 10 Indie Games for '10 article), we're proud to present ten of the best puzzle games released in 2009.

Love a bit of puzzle-solving in your platformer or adventure game? We've got boxes in all shapes and sizes, shadows, silhouettes, and even the odd hacking game that will offer you the sort of challenges crossword puzzles don't provide.

(You can also access the full 2009 Top Freeware Puzzle Games chart -- with extra screenshots and information -- as part of the IndieGames.com Features section, which includes indie game charts from 2006 to 2008.)

Here are the top freeware puzzle games of the year:

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