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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 April, 2010

Sleep is Death Animation: Rule by Simon Cottee

April 18, 2010 3:22 PM | Michael Rose

I've been looking forward to seeing the stuff people get up to with Jason Rohrer's Sleep Is Death. The flipbook stories are all very well, but it's such a sandbox experience that some crafty minds are bound to come up with a variety of different uses for it eventually, from machinima to novel-length adventures.

Simon Cottee created the above experimental animation using only footage and music from Sleep is Death, and it's very pretty. It also gives me the opportunity to remind everyone that the game is now available to buy for $14. You really should buy it - here's why.

Browser Game Pick: Hoshi Saga Ringoame (Nekogames)

April 18, 2010 10:00 AM | Tim W.

Already the fifth game in the series (and the second one to feature full colour), Hoshi Saga Ringoame is a collection of twenty-five puzzles from Yoshio Ishii in which the player has to find a star hidden somewhere in every stage. Perhaps the easiest game out of the five, the only challenge that players might have a problem with is when trying to line up objects properly while the in-game physics engine is at work.

None of the puzzles require dexterity or quick fingers to solve, so if you're having difficulties with a particular stage then it could be a good idea to take a step back and try an alternate method instead. A great starting point for beginners who are not familiar with these sort of games, but a slightly weak entry to the series as well because of how few surprises it manages to pull out of the hat this time.

Browser Game Pick: PlayPen (Farbs)

April 17, 2010 12:00 PM | Michael Rose


You've got to hand it to Farbs - everything he creates is stupidly awesome, and PlayPen is no exception. It's a world created entirely by the players and is constantly expanding as users build it up with their weird and wonderful ideas.

There's various routes to take and paths to go down, and each leads to more pixelated scenery and ways to venture. Eventually you'll reach a road which has not yet been created, at which point you'll be given the option to draw it yourself and set the next passages. Then other players will be able to continue their story using your scene.

You can also edit scenes already drawn, editing paths and creating your own, so the story will change constantly. Don't worry about people being dicks and messing it all up though - the adventure is built around MediaWiki technology, so every past scene is automatically recorded and can be rolled back to.

At the moment it's a little sparse, so get in there and draw your destiny!

Browser Game Pick: Poto & Cabenga (Honeyslug)

April 17, 2010 1:26 AM | Michael Rose


You may remember Poto & Cabenga as being one of this year's Gamma IV winners - we mentioned it briefly last month. Honeyslug have now released the game online for free.

It's a one-button game in which you control 2 separate characters. It works as follows: pressing down the space bar makes the top character jump, and releasing it makes the bottom character jump. While the space bar is held down, the bottom character will run forward while the top character falls back, and releasing the space bar will yield the opposite results.

Sounds incredibly tricky, yet it's really not that difficult at all. Collecting golden branches will add to your score, and getting hit by an enemy takes points away. Go help reunite rider and steed at

Indie Game Links: Granny's Desktop Interface

April 16, 2010 10:00 AM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes GameReactor's video interviews with IGF 2010 finalists, articles about Rodain Joubert's excellent roguelike Desktop Dungeons, new releases from Rod Humble (The Marriage) and Pixeljam, plus a free soundtrack from the multiple award-winning indie studio Digital Eel. (image source)

Gamasutra: Enjoy A Coffee Break Of Victory With Desktop Dungeons
"Roguelike expert John Harris talks with designer Rodain 'Nandrew' Joubert about the buzzed-about Desktop Dungeons, its inspirations, and a little bit about goats and orcs."

LazyGamer: Local Developers Create Desktop Dungeons, Yours To Play For Free
"The game only clocks in at 34MB, and Mac users will be happy to know that there is a Mac version available for them as well."

Super Meat Boy: Why am i so... hard
"An in-depth article about difficulty in game design, and how Team Meat dealt with it in Super Meat Boy."

Gamereactor: Team Meat on Super Meat Boy (video)
"We met up with IGF finalists Team Meat, Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, to talk about what inspired them to come up with Super Meat Boy, an indie title that is headed to PC, Wiiware and Xbox Live Arcade this summer."

Gamereactor: GRTV meets the Owlboy (video)
"The Norwegian indie title Owlboy was one of the nominated titles in this year's Independent Games Festival. Listen to what the team has to say about this beautiful 2D platformer..."

Rod Humble: Last thoughts of the Aurochs
"After releasing two deep and difficult games in The Marriage and Stars over Half Moon Bay, then working for so long on the ponderously long (and still unreleased) Perfect Distance, I had a desire to make something small, so small in fact it would be slight."

Adult Swim Games: Turbo Granny
"New game from Pixeljam. Drive like a maniac. An old, grumpy maniac."

GameSetWatch: Digital Eel Collects Award-Winning Music Into VooDoo Interface
"Digital Eel has released a free soundtrack collection for Dr. Blob's Organism, Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, and Brainpipe: The Plunge to Unhumanity, the latter three having won the IGF's 'Excellence in Audio' awards in 2004, 2006, and 2009, respectively."

PAX East Music Q&A: Grant Henry (Alpha Squad)

April 16, 2010 1:00 AM | jeriaska

Metroid Metal began modestly as a single Metroid remix posted to a message board by musician Grant Henry. Since then, the band's debut album Varia Suite has premiered at the 2009 Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle and received the favorable notice of legendary composer Hip Tanaka. Writing original music under the artist name Stemage, Henry is currently in the process of creating his first game soundtrack. Called Alpha Squad, the Xbox Indies action title is being designed by independent developer Dragon Divide.

At the PAX East expo in Boston, the musician joined Dan Behrens, Micheal Molnar, Dan Taylor and Kevin Lawrence in performing live arrangements of music from the Metroid game series. The performance followed a panel on videogame arrangements hosted by Game Music 4 All, centering on a compilation called IWADON that I helped research and featuring a Ninja Warriors cover by the artist. This discussion, the first in a short series on PAX East, centers on Henry's approach to composing for an indie title and how the score has been influenced by his prior experiences in game arrangement.

<a href="">Sampler - (City, Sewer, and Winter Levels) by Stemage</a>

Do you feel your experience with Metroid Metal has been good preparation for writing the soundtrack to Alpha Squad?

Grant Henry (Stemage), musician: I do. This is the first time I’ve ever worked on something contributing to a videogame instead of covering music from it. Always striving for better quality for Metroid Metal has improved my production, and I feel more confident producing music that starts and ends out of my studio.

When did Steve from Dragon Divide first approach you to write music for the game?

He contacted me last September (later starting on it right after finishing the Super Metroid ending for Metroid Metal) and I wasn’t really sure at the time if I wanted to take it. I’ve always done music at my own leisure, without any time constraints. This is the first time I’ve ever signed on to something that had a definite end and had this amount of material involved. It’s a ton of tracks.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of April 16

April 16, 2010 12:30 AM | Chris Remo

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 THQ, Bungie, 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:

THQ/Kaos Studios: Senior FX Artist
"Along with the opportunity to live in one of the most exciting cities in the world, we create exciting titles like Frontlines: Fuel of War (PC/XBOX360) and our newest title Homefront! We also offer competitive salaries, comprehensive health benefits, and an excellent compensation package."

Bungie: UI Engineer
"Do you appreciate silky smooth UI experiences? Do you cringe at unintuitive menus and unresponsive controls? Do you have an eye for detail and polished experiences? Do you have mad coding skills and a deep love of video games? Then come help Bungie develop kick ass games by advancing the art and science of user interaction in an environment fueled by passion, creativity, and refinement!"

Coming Soon: Winterbottom, Frozen Synapse and Sleep Is Death

April 14, 2010 10:04 PM | Michael Rose

There is a plethora of indie gaming goodness heading our way soon, with a couple of pre-order offers too. Feast your eyes, my friends...

The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom

P.B. Winterbottom is after one thing, and one thing alone - pie. He wants it so much, in fact, that he's willing to clone himself, travel through time, then co-operate with his past and future selves in order to get it. With over 80 unique and wacky puzzles, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom is available to pre-order now via Steam for £3.99, and will be released on 20th April.

World of Love Indie Games Conference

April 14, 2010 5:57 PM | Michael Rose

worldoflove.pngPixel Lab have announced the World of Love indie game development conference. Taking place in London, UK, on June 25th, the event will be host to some of Britain's (and Ireland's!) greatest indie talent.

Several guest speakers have already been announced: Terry Cavanagh of VVVVVV fame, Rolando creator Simon Oliver, Sean Murray of quartet Hello Games and the illusive Stephen Lavelle aka increpare. It's going to be like a huge, UK indie love-in.

The event is being hosted by none other than Channel 4, who have clearly have caught the indie gaming bug. Tickets are on sale now for £65.00.

Freeware Game Pick: Linepatterns (Erik Leppen)

April 14, 2010 10:00 AM | Tim W.

Linepatterns is a puzzle game created by Erik Leppen for submission to the Experimental Gameplay Project game development event, where the theme selected for this month is 'Repeat'. The objective here is to fill up as much of the screen with multi-coloured lines as possible, since new puzzles are only unlocked if the average screen filled percentage is more than sixty percent for all previous levels.

Some rules apply here to make things a bit harder for the player. You can't press the same directional key twice in sequence, none of the lines can cross each other, and the length of a line drawn is determined by the move size cycle indicator shown at the top of the screen. Players can replay a puzzle as many times as they like to improve their average, and there's even an unlimited undo option for you to experiment with.

The game was made in under two days, and features twenty-six stages to play in total. (Windows, 2.20MB)

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