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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 March, 2010

Freeware Game Pick: Jump, Copy, Paste (Arvi Teikari)

March 11, 2010 1:41 PM | Tim W.

Jump, Copy, Paste is a 2D platformer in which you overcome obstacles by copy and pasting parts of a level to build new platforms or create a passage through a wall. Parts which are greyed out cannot be affected by your copy and paste ability, so players need to work around those areas as they collect all yellow pieces to unlock the exit door.

There are seventeen levels to play through, and the game does get trickier with the introduction of bad guys, laser beams, switches, portals and even sawblades in the later stages. (Windows, 2.20MB)

Indie Games Summit Round-Ups: Day 2

March 11, 2010 4:26 AM | Tim W.

Here's our link round-ups for articles about the second day of Indie Games Summit talks, happening at the Game Developers Conference in San Franscisco this entire week:

Gamasutra: Exploratory Development
"Game development is one of the highest-pressure, most anxiety-inducing careers there is. An exploratory development process can be a solution, but only if it's managed with confidence and honesty, say ThatGameCompany's Kellee Santiago and Robin Hunicke."

Gamasutra: Ninjabee's Top 10 Development Lessons
"Ninjabee's art director Brent Fox shared a top ten list of development lessons learned from releasing games on Xbox Live Arcade and other platforms, offering useful advice for other indie developers during his lecture at GDC's Independent Games Summit in San Francisco."

Gamasutra: A Brief Postmortem Of Today I Die
"In a short talk during the Indie Games Summit at GDC in San Francisco, Daniel Benmergui (I Wish I Were The Moon) discussed the process of making the game that put him on the map, and is an IGF Nuovo finalist this year, Today I Die."

Gamasutra: Refenes' and Saltsman's Baffling $350 App Store Success
"I absolutely hate the iPhone App Store,' declared indie developer Tommy Refenes during his segment of the Indie Game Makers Rant at Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week."

GameSpot: Indie developers spew rapid-fire rants
"The Indie Gamemaker Rant session was an orderly procession of five-minute spiels from a dozen people with an interest in the independent development community."

Edge Online: Semi Secret Talk Canabalt, Flixel
"Semi Secret Software's Eric Johnson gave a candid post-mortem of their hit game at GDC's iPhone Game Summit, closing out by revealing that Flixel, the flash game API used to create Canabalt, is being ported to iPhone for native development, including an Actionscript to Objective-C translator to accelerate Flash to iPhone ports."

Boing Boing: How The Indie Fund Could Change Game Dev Destiny
"Opening the 2010 Independent Games Summit, 2D Boy co-founder Ron Carmel took to the stage to explain why the fund was needed, with Braid artist David Hellman illustrating the strange over-complex steamwork behemoth of traditional business models that no longer serve the indies best."

Browser Game Pick: Redder (dessgeega)

March 10, 2010 7:00 PM | Tim W.

In Redder you play as an astronaut forced to make an emergency landing on an alien planet after finding out that she has run out of crystals to power her ship. This 2D platformer features a world map, regular checkpoint locations, and an unlimited number of retries to assist players who are unaccustomed to difficult challenges.

The game takes about an hour to play through, and thankfully there are no additional fluffs like Time Attack or One Try modes included just to bulk up the achievements in Anna's latest browser-based effort.

Indie Games Summit Round-Ups: Day 1

March 10, 2010 3:40 AM | Tim W.

Here's our link round-ups for articles about the first day of Indie Games Summit talks, happening at the Game Developers Conference in San Franscisco this entire week:

Gamasutra: Wolfire's Guide To Indie PR
"Wolfire, developer of Overgrowth, managed to create a lot of buzz for its game before it was even released. John Graham, one of four people on the team, says that it doesn't matter. You can and should create buzz as an indie even if your game isn't finished."

Gamasutra: Hello Games' MacGyver Mentality
"Part of being an indie game studio means focusing on the benefits of being small, rather than dwelling on the drawbacks of not being big – to think like a guerrilla. Being an indie also means being resourceful, especially with a small but talented team of just four people."

Gamasutra: Nourishing Your Indie Community
"One benefit of being an indie developer is that there is a community out there made up of people who want to see the scene flourish. But organizing that community can be a challenge. At GDC's Indie Game Summit on Tuesday, Jeff Lindsay offered ten ways to nurture your local indie game community."

1UP: Abusing Your Players For Fun
"It's probably a good sign when a presentation opens by informing attendees that it may kill them if they're prone to seizures. Much like his games, Jonatan Söderström's GDC talk was filled with flashing lights, garish colors, clips from David Lynch movies, and the feeling that somebody is having a joke at our expense."

GDC: 2D Boy's Carmel On A New Alternative For Indies

March 10, 2010 12:26 AM | Simon Carless

2D Boy's Ron Carmel calls relationships between indies and publishers "a system that never worked". At the Independent Gaming Summit at the 2010 Game Developers Conference, he explained why -- and further detailed the Indie Fund, a new alternative for independent games funding.

When software development began to be conisdered as an engineering field, design came before building -- the "waterfall approach", as Carmel says, involving big design documents that everyone scrutinizes before implementing. But in the 1990s, people realized that system is less than ideal, and agile practices emerged that emphasized iterative over upfront design.

This is not only easier but more cost-effective in both the short and long-term, Carmel points out. "I think we're facing the same kind of situation in the game industry today in comparing retail games to digitally-distributed games," he says.

What are the problems caused by this mismatch? For one, publishers give too much money; for digital games the budgets are much smaller (for example, 2D Boy's World of Goo had a budget of only $120,000.) Large budgets on smaller games are less efficient -- publishers not only invest too much, but they take too much in return, and the result is developer as "tenant farmer."

First Spelunky XBLA Screenshots Released

March 9, 2010 2:47 AM | Tim W.

Granted that these screenshots are still a work in progress and may look different at a later date, but the new images posted up on Spelunky World today does show what kind of art direction that Derek is going for in the upcoming XBLA version of Spelunky.

The game is still scheduled for a release on the Xbox Live Arcade service sometime in 2010. Derek will also be participating in an hour-long IGS panel on the subject of art this year together with Edmund McMillen (Super Meat Boy), David Hellman (Braid) and Ben Ruiz (Aztez), so if you're attending GDC don't miss the session which happens on Wednesday, March 10th.

World Of Goo, Henry Hatsworth Co-Creators Form Tomorrow Corporation

March 8, 2010 6:35 PM | Simon Carless

2D Boy co-founder Kyle Gabler (World Of Goo) and Experimental Gameplay Project cohort Kyle Gray (Henry Hatsworth) have founded the "authentic indie labor"-powered developer Tomorrow Corporation.

The duo have teamed up with fellow Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center graduate and World Of Goo dev Allan Blomquist, with all three developers also co-founders of the influential rapid prototyping-centric Experimental Gameplay Project.

An EGP announcement of the studio notes that the trio "have been silently toiling away on an actual real game for months now, and while we’re not yet ready to announce it, expect more information to flow from our brand new studio’s brand new website."

The official site's art style reflects the visual persona of World Of Goo co-creator Gabler, who also continues to operate 2D Boy with Indie Fund co-founder Ron Carmel.

As referenced above, he is joined by former Electronic Arts staffer Kyle Gray -- creator of the critically acclaimed Nintendo DS title Henry Hatsworth In The Puzzling Adventure before departing EA Tiburon.

"The secret to a truly great indie game is that special human touch," said a Tomorrow Corporation spokeswoman alongside the announcement, "which our producers have scheduled for insertion shortly before the product ships."

Indie Game Pick: Siromaru (Abaruzu)

March 8, 2010 5:23 PM | Tim W.

Shiromaru is a 2D action game in which you attack enemies by commiting suicide and causing a chain of explosions. The longer the chain reaction, the more extra life items appear for you to collect. Certain enemies glow brighter than the rest, indicating that you should aim for them for a larger explosion and a better chance to create longer chains.

This demo features three levels to play and an extra hard mode with just the first stage to sample. The game isn't particularly difficult to beat, but one cool thing about it is that you can die even at the title screen. Download it here or here. (Windows, 21.0MB)

Freeware Game Pick: Fish Face (Beau Blyth)

March 8, 2010 12:18 PM | Tim W.

Fish Face is a one-button arcade game with three levels to play, each taking roughly five to ten minutes to complete. Here you play as a fish that uses its buoyancy to move in and out of the water, avoiding walls or enemies that will hurt our aquatic friend on impact.

Red loops can be collected for points, while the blue ones act as checkpoint locations that you can return to when your fish crashes into a solid object. Fish Face was originally created by Beau Blyth for submission into the Gamma IV competition, though the game eventually lost out and didn't make it through the final cut. (Windows, 3.36MB)

Indie Game Links: Tomorrow, It Begins

March 8, 2010 12:00 PM | Tim W.

Matt HammillToday's collection of independent game links include a couple more IGF 2010 features and interviews, a big list of Gamma IV submissions, and G4's coverage of the recent Indie Game Challenge awards presentation ceremony. (image source)

gamebase: Gamma IV Games
"The Gamma IV competition has seen the creation of 154 new one-switch games. Here's a list that is as complete as I can make it today." IGF 2010
"In recent years independent gaming has exploded with each annual Independent Games Festival reporting more and more submissions. While there has been the usual mixed views on the finalists and omissions, there is no denying that the standard of work is improving year upon year." Indie Week - Talking To The Top Contenders
"We take some time to chat with IGF 2010 finalists, discussing the pros and cons of being an indie developer and touching on their opinion of 'mainstream' games."

NeoGAF: The Best and Worst of Xbox Indie Box-Art
"Most Xbox Indie games are so unbelievably off putting, based entirely on their box art. You have to think, if these people can barely utilise Microsoft Paint, how can they be proficient in coding and game design? People say don't judge a book by its cover, but with over 700 indie games on the store it's hard to not avoid games entirely because the font is Comic Sans. With a drop shadow."

Clickteam: SWF File Exporter for Adobe Flash Player
"A MMF2 and TGF2 SWF File Exporter that allows you to create applications compatible with Adobe Flash Player is now available." Indie Game Challenge Awards (video)
Part one of the three-part DICE 2010's Indie Game Challenge awards presentation ceremony, hosted by G4's Adam Sessler. All three parts are available to watch at

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