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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 April, 2010

Indie Game Links: From Boston to Toronto

April 13, 2010 9:00 PM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes interviews with developers in attendance at PAX's Boston Indie Showcase event, an announcement for the fifth TOJam game development meet, plus Flash ports and game re-releases that should please fans of shoot-'em-ups. (image source)

Gamasutra: Creating Blueberry Garden
"Erik Svedäng (creator of the 2009 IGF Grand Prize winner Blueberry Garden) shares the thought processes and inspirations that shaped his exploration-based PC indie game."

SavyGamer: Boston Indie Showcase, Where Everybody Knows Your Game
"The Boston Indie Showcase presents a selection of what the thriving indie community in the Boston area have to offer." Lewie P. does a great job of interviewing the developers of each selected game, though the highlight is definitely his chat with Aaaaa! developer Ichiro Lambe.

The Toronto Game Jam: Registrations Just Went Live
"The Toronto Independent Game Development Jam (TOJam) is a free, annual game-making event open to the public. For the last four years, we've gathered together the craziest game makers in the world for a 3-day, around-the-clock game making binge. We're looking for coders, artists, musicians, designers - anyone that has game making ability." Starts April 23rd!

GameSetWatch: Ogmo Editor, a 2D Level Editor For Indies
"Matt Thorson (Jumper) announced the release of Ogmo Editor, a general purpose 2D visual level editor geared for hobbyist and independent game developers. Created as an Adobe AIR application that runs on Windows, OS X, and Unix, Ogmo Editor uses an XML file to define all the tilesets, objects, layers and settings for a project."

Lazy 8 Studios: Q & A with an Award-winning Indie Game Developer
"In February, Cogs won three awards at the Indie Game Challenge, including the $100,000 grand prize. Rob Jagnow from Lazy 8 Studios (and developer of Cogs) is here to give advice to help other indie developers succeed."

Mirosurabu Games: Spotlight on Coptra
"Coptra is an arena shooter by Jan Willem Nijman the author of Extreme Gardening and Atomic Super Boss. Recently ported by Kristian Macanga and Miroslav Malešević, it’s the next game in the series of sponsored Poppenkast games." Hardly as good as the full screen version though.

Resolution Magazine: The Silence of Saira
"Why didn’t Saira receive more attention? Nifflas is an indie uber-god. Puzzles are a favourite indie element. Platforming is an even-more-favoured indie trope. The stars seem like they should have been aligned for a major success. Why, then, were so many news outlets silent about it, and why hasn’t there been much news about its recent rerelease on Steam?"

hermitgames blog: HGX002 - 'troid - free
"I've made my second game, 'troid, free."

GDC Video: Crashfaster @ GAMMA IV

April 13, 2010 3:00 AM | jeriaska

On March 10, independent game designers and game-inspired musicians were brought together under one roof for the GAMMA IV one-button game festival at the San Francisco Mezzanine. Featuring music acts by chiptune artists and indie game creators, the GDC kick-off party was organized by Heather Kelley and the Kokoromi game collective. Based in Montreal, Quebec, Kokoromi sees events like the GAMMA series as a way of showcasing the creative possibilities of the gaming medium.

Among the artists that helped bring the GAMMA IV concept to fruition is Crashfaster (Morgan Tucker). A chip musician that creates original tracks and arrangements on a Game Boy running Little Sound DJ, his richly evocative old school beats add texture to his sung vocoder vocal numbers. His music can be seen live in the San Francisco area as part of the 8bitSF and Dutycycle shows, while his chiptune tracks have appeared on free online compilations including the March 8bitSF Show Sampler, An 8bc Tribute to The Smiths, and the IWADON: Hiroyuki Iwatsuki Tribute Album.

Did you feel this year's GAMMA managed a successful convergence of the independent game and chip music domains?

Crashfaster, chip musician: There was a simpatico aesthetic running through the music, visuals and games. I definitely believe there is a cross-over audience. What we saw at GAMMA, with talented people from all disciplines getting together to create a successful event, was similar to the original vision of 8bitSF. I feel very fortunate to have played that show.

What in your observation are the motivational areas of overlap between the indie game and chiptune scenes?

I would say it's the DIY mentality. A lot of indie games are made by one or two people. It's about having a great idea and getting it done, whatever it takes. In the chip music scene a lot of that is true as well. You pick up what you have lying around, whether it's a Nintendo, a Game Boy, an old toy... and try to make it sound great. There is also a support network in chip music, where people really try to help each other. I imagine the same is true for indie games - a community working towards the common goal of making awesome things happen.

Do you have an interest in working with independent game developers yourself?

Absolutely. I've worked on sound design for independent films in the past, and games have been a big part of my life. I would love to be involved with one on some level. The one-button games at the Kokoromi event were fantastic. The level of creativity and discipline that went into the control schemes and artwork were breathtaking. To me, watching the surge of activity in independent games over the past few years is like witnessing the birth of a brand new creative medium.

Freeware Game Pick: Zombie Movie (Edm Games)

April 13, 2010 12:01 AM | Michael Rose

zombiemovie.jpg

Zombie Movie puts a great twist on the rather tired zombie-killing genre. A helicopter flies overhead, filming your every move, while you plough your way through hordes of the undead. Move too far away from the helicopter, however, and you'll find a fate worse than having your brains eaten. That's right - you'll get FIRED.

Standing directly underneath the chopper while taking the advancing enemy out earns you the most points, but it's not always the best place to stand as the swarm grows to ridiculous sizes. After a set number of kills you'll receive a more powerful weapon, but new more powerful zombies appear too. If you can survive for the whole time, you truly are a zombie-destroying god.

A lovely feature rears its head once you've been devoured - stats, stats, stats, ranging from which zombies you killed to how many kills you got from directly under the helicopter. There are also film reviews from critics. Clever stuff over at Gamejolt.

Noitu Love 2 Coming to WiiWare

April 12, 2010 11:59 AM | Tim W.


In a surprise announcement posted by Golgoth Studios today, the development team that is currently working on a remake of Toki and Joe & Mac had stated that they will be bringing Joakim Sandberg's Noitu Love 2 to the Wiiware service later this year. No details yet on the pricing or whether it will be a straight port, but fans can definitely expect to hear more about this collaboration from both parties in the coming weeks.

Noitu Love 2 Wiiware (Golgoth Studio Official Blog)

Browser Game Pick: Quietus (Time)

April 11, 2010 10:54 PM | Michael Rose

quietus.PNG

Quietus is a tough platformer which feels like a cross between Meat Boy and the castle levels from the 2D Super Mario games. You play a guy who has hanged himself, then been throw into a gauntlet in Hell by Death.

There's swinging spike balls, things with teeth that spring from the ground, ghostly beings and other sorts of nasty things. It starts off simple, then gets fiendishly difficult, with precision platforming essential. There are 40 levels in total, and some of the levels contain chests which can be opened by pressing down in front of them. I didn't have the skill to reach the end of the game, so I'm not exactly sure what the stuff in the chests does. Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Freeware Game Pick: Action Fist (Beau Blyth)

April 11, 2010 3:00 PM | Tim W.


Action Fist is a 2D action platformer that features both single and two-player co-op gameplay modes, multiple weapon power-ups, frequent checkpoint locations, and the usual array of boss fights that require some thought and strategy to defeat. Switching weapons and the wall jumping ability does take a bit of getting used to, but once you've played past the first level these actions should come just as naturally as shooting and jumping in the game.

Though an easy mode exists in Action Fist, you definitely won't feel challenged at all by anything other than the Normal and Hero difficulty settings. Surely the pick of the week, so don't miss out on this gem folks. (Windows, 5.53MB)

Browser Game Pick: Kill Me (Kill Me Team)

April 10, 2010 12:00 PM | Tim W.


Kill Me is a clever little puzzle platformer that tells the story of a superhero named Invincible Man, tired of doing noble deeds for mankind and is desperately seeking for an end to his life. The problem is that our hero cannot die, and even after a fatal fall or death by spikes he will just be resurrected and reappear again at the starting point of a level.

Thing is, immortality is actually a rather useful ability because the last three bodies of his left behind can be utilized as either weights or platforms for puzzle-solving purposes. You can't have more than three bodies on the screen though, and any excess bodies will just disappear into thin air. Be advised that there is no progress save feature in this game, so if you exit back to the title screen you won't be presented with a level selection menu to continue on with your adventure.

There are sixteen stages to play in total. (source)

Trailer: Hero Core (Remar Games)

April 8, 2010 8:22 PM | Michael Rose

Here's the official trailer for Hero Core from Remar Games, the sequel to Hero. Coming May 1st!

Olympics Hijinks: Murigee 7's Best

April 8, 2010 4:29 PM | Tim W.


A disclaimer before I begin: everything written here is to the best of my knowledge. I don't speak Japanese so most of the stuff I'm going to mention will be based on guesses or assumptions, plus I'm sure someone will correct me later if any of this information is wrong. Murigee holds a friendly game development competition every month(?) with a different theme for participants to create their Flash or Java-based games on, and when the submission date has passed all entries will be posted on the front page of Mogera.jp for everyone to play. The theme they've selected had always yielded some interesting entries in the past, with the last three themes being 'ball/orb', 'Final Fantasy' and 'farming' if I remember correctly.

Getnews.jp has a list of all thirty-two entries from the Olympics-themed competition, but since I've played just about everything I could get working on my PC I shall present some of my favorites here. Pictured above is Tansio's Hyper Morinpic, a physics-based stacking game which calls for the player to launch athletes into the air and land them on the top of the bowl for points. Nothing really spectacular, but it will definitely elicit a laugh or two if you enjoy these sort of distractions. You can play Hyper Morinpic here, or hit the extended for four more entries to look at.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of April 9

April 8, 2010 7:20 AM | Leigh Alexander

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 opportunities at 2K Marin, Tencent Boston 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, Multiplayer Programmer
"Got what it takes to produce a cutting-edge AAA title? 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."

Sledgehammer Games, Sound Designer
"Check out our brand new studio, headed up by industry veterans Glen Schofield as Vice President and GM and Michael Condrey as Vice President and COO, the leaders of the Dead Space franchise. They are joined at Sledgehammer Games by many award winning developers from across the industry. Sledgehammer Games is actively recruiting top industry talent to join their development team. Our studio based in sunny Foster City and is walking distance to plenty of restaurants and shopping, or one of our two free gyms."

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