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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

Browser Game Pick: Steambirds (Andy Moore and Dan Cook)

March 4, 2010 5:06 AM | Tim W.

Steambirds is a turn-based aerial dogfight game that is viewed from a top-down perspective, where players are given command of a squadron of planes with their own unique abilities to deploy. Anyone familiar with strategy games like the Advance Wars series would feel right at home here, with the only differences being that combat takes place in the skies and rigid tile-based movement has been done away with.

A tutorial is provided to teach you the basics of issuing orders to your planes, and as the years advance newer weapons and harder enemies will be introduced at a steady pace to vary the proceedings a little bit. There are also bonus levels to attempt for anyone who has completed the main campaign mode, although only one mission is actually playable at the moment with more content to come in the coming weeks.

Freeware Game Pick: Maru (Jesse Venbrux)

March 4, 2010 4:19 AM | Tim W.

Maru is a simple platformer that plays rather similarly to Frozzd, although the tone in both games are practically on different ends of a spectrum. The adventure basically involves leaping from one planet to another to collect the spirits or souls of other creatures that look just like the protagonist, then figuring out how to get to the portal that will transport you to the next area and continue with your mission.

There are only seven stages to visit in total, and most players should be able to complete the entire game in about half an hour or less. (Windows, 12.6MB)

IGF, Game Developers Choice Awards To Live-Stream On GameSpot

March 3, 2010 5:03 PM | Simon Carless

[For those who sadly can't make it out to GDC next week, we've set up a live-stream of the IGF and Choice Awards for the first time in association with the folks at GameSpot - here's the info.]

Game Developers Choice and IGF Awards organizers have confirmed that next week's awards shows will be streamed live on, with TV network G4 also present to capture highlights for a GDC special.

The major CBS-owned website has set up a special Game Developers Conference 2010 landing page for its coverage, and will be exclusively live-streaming the awards, which take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco on Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 6:30 pm PT.

The ceremonies kick off with the 12th Annual Independent Games Festival Awards, this year presented by indie developers Kyle Gabler (World Of Goo) and Erin Robinson (Puzzle Bots), and honoring an outstanding set of finalists from the world of independent games.

The event will give out over $40,000 in awards, including the prestigious Seumas McNally Grand Prize, the Audience Award, and the 'art game'-centric Nuovo Award, as well as exclusive videos on indie games filmed by comedy troupe Mega64.

Following the conclusion of the IGF Awards, the live stream will showcase the Game Developers Choice Awards, now in its tenth year, and the leading mainstream game awards voted on by video game creators.

Freeware Game Pick: Six-Chamber Champion (C.E.J. Pacian)

March 3, 2010 2:24 PM | Tim W.

Six-Chamber Champion is a single-room IF game created by C.E.J. Pacian in under two hours for the 371-in-1 Klik & Play Pirate Kart event held last weekend. This particular adventure should be tried out without reading anything about it at all, since every screenshot and mention of it only serves to spoil the best bits. Suffice to say that the story involves a gun and trying to avoid killing yourself.

The Windows executable is available from Pacian's site. If you are using Mac OS or Linux, you can download an interpreter for your operating system and run the .t3 file to play. (Mac/Win/Linux, 1.12MB)

Sense of Wonder Night 2010 Info, New Changes

March 3, 2010 11:44 AM | Tim W.

According to an article posted on Game Watch, the Tokyo Game Show organizers have confirmed that Sense of Wonder Night will return for a third run at TGS 2010. This year's edition introduces a new category for mobile games, and a SOWN pavilion will be set up in the main exhibition hall as well. Anyone attending TGS will be able to play the games selected as SOWN finalists at any time during the course of the show.

Thanks to Marcus Richert for passing along (and translating) this excellent piece of news!

Indie Game Links: I Made a Post with Links in It

March 3, 2010 10:09 AM | Tim W.

SnapshotToday's collection of independent game links include the release of a new Captain Forever episode, sales numbers for a top-selling XBLIG game, and the announcement of a new experimental gameplay theme for the month of March. (image source) Captain Impostor is Go
"This new episode in the Captain Forever series wraps up the Captain Successor story arc and experiments with an alternate construction mechanic. Forget the drudgery of module-by-module construction - now you can steal a nearby vessel's entire configuration."

Gamasutra: I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!!1... And Sold 200K Units
"Ska Studios' Xbox Live Indie Games release, I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!!1 surpassed the 200,000 unit sales mark this week, the developer said Tuesday, with each unit selling for $1."

Experimental Gameplay Project: 10 Seconds is long enough in March
"The theme this month is 10 Seconds. What can you have the player do in ten seconds?"

Oxeye Game Studio: Nordic Game Program Round 1, 2010
"Two times a year for six years, that's how often the Nordic Game Program is choosing projects for their development support grant. The program is intended to promote game development in the Nordic countries, and focuses mainly (but not only) on games for younger audiences."

DIYgamer: How to Make XBox Live Indie Games Better
"What can Microsoft do to make XBox Live Indie Games better? Here are a few ideas."

Steam News: Midweek Madness - Indie Games Sale
"Seven Indie Games are available for $2: Gridrunner, Space Giraffe, Bullet Candy, Bob Came in Pieces, Altitude, Super Laser Racer, and Galcon Fusion. Buy all the games in the Midweek Madness Indie Game Pack and save even more for just $9.99."

The Games Collective
A nice, clean forum about indie games and game development activities, managed by Stephen Lavelle (increpare).

Announcement: IGF Finalist Limbo Headed to XBLA

March 3, 2010 3:08 AM | Tim W.

The development team Playdead has announced that their first game Limbo will be coming to the Xbox Live Arcade service, according to an article posted on Playdead CEO Dino Patti also confirmed that the IGF-nominated puzzle platformer will be launched this summer, so mark your calendars for this one.

Limbo is currently competing for the Technical Excellence and Visual Art awards in this year's IGF, and if you're attending GDC next week you'll be able to play the game at the IGF showfloor as well.

GDC 2010 Rounds Off Indie Coverage With Indie Fund Talk, Gamma, Nuovo Sessions

March 3, 2010 12:02 AM | Simon Carless

Game Developers Conference organizers have confirmed the final set of independent game-specific content, including Ron Carmel on the just-debuted Indie Fund, the Gamma IV party/showcase, and the EGW-replacing Nuovo Sessions game showcase.

The newly confirmed details round off a multitude of independent game-specific content at the March 9th-13th event, held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, including the 12th Annual Independent Games Festival -- featuring over 30 top indie games playable on the GDC Expo floor from Thursday 11th to Saturday 13th, as well as the major IGF Awards on Thursday 11th at 6.30pm.

In addition, the 4th Independent Games Summit on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th has added and clarified a number of sessions, with 2D Boy's Ron Carmel kicking off the event with 'Indies and Publishers: Fixing a System That Never Worked', now confirmed to discuss the new Indie Fund organization.

Another major new panel, 'Tripping The Art Fantastic', features Spelunky creator Derek Yu, Braid artist David Hellman and Super Meat Boy co-creator Edmund McMillen discussing "how each one of these figures influences the state of game art, from hand painted epics to short form experimental Flash games."

Independent Game Luminaries Announce Indie Fund

March 2, 2010 6:43 PM | Simon Carless

Independent game stars like World Of Goo's creators, Braid's Jonathan Blow and Flower's Kellee Santiago have revealed Indie Fund, an 'angel'-style funding source for indie game makers.

According to the Fund's official website, "Indie Fund is a brand new funding source for independent developers, created by a group of successful indies looking to encourage the next generation of game developers."

The Fund was established "as a serious alternative to the traditional publisher funding model", and its aim is to support the growth of games as a medium by helping indie developers get financially independent and stay financially independent.

The current list of investors backing Indie Fund includes some of the most successful independent game creators of the last few years, as follows:

- Ron Carmel and Kyle Gabler, 2D Boy (World of Goo)
- Jonathan Blow, Number None (Braid)
- Kellee Santiago, thatgamecompany (Flower)
- Nathan Vella, Capy (Critter Crunch)
- Matthew Wegner, Flashbang Studios (Off-Road Velociraptor Safari)
- Aaron Isaksen, AppAbove Games (Armadillo Gold Rush)

The Indie Fund has already backed unnamed independent game projects, and will be announcing the name of them soon. Additional details about the need for Indie Fund and the rationale behind it will be shared at next week's Game Developers Conference, at Ron Carmel's talk during the Independent Games Summit entitled 'Indies and Publishers: Fixing a System that Never Worked.'

Alongside the announcement, we caught up with Indie Fund spokesperson and World Of Goo co-creator Carmel to discuss the announcement and its ramifications:

Browser Game Pick: Gravity Hook HD (Adam Atomic)

March 2, 2010 1:19 PM | Tim W.

Adam Atomic's original Gravity Hook game has now been updated to HD, featuring artwork designed for higher screen resolutions, gameplay rebalancing, new elements, Twitter support, and remixes of the original soundtrack plus new songs by his collaboration partner Danny B.

Reaching the 500m goal to unlock the first Gravity Hook build is easily attainable, but the game does get pretty hard past that point as just about every mine is placed even more sporadically than in the lower levels. Time to get hooked right away, and if you have an iPhone there are even greater news as Adam has promised to release a mobile version for your choice of Apple device very soon.

Play Gravity Hook HD here.

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