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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 May, 2010

Freeware Game Pick: Subsonic (Team Height Advantage)

May 18, 2010 3:00 AM | Tim W.


Subsonic is a 2D stealth game in which you play as a test subject for Subsonic Inc., an organization that deals with the research of high-tech equipment and top secret technology. Each level is populated by guards who will attempt to apprehend you on sight, although they tend to give up the chase easily when you quickly find cover behind a wall or crawl into an air duct for safety.

In most rooms you will be presented with a selection of guns to pick up. The blue gun emits soundwaves that can distract guards, while the red ones are useful for shattering glass. The white-coloured gun can mask the sound from your footsteps, so that players are able to sneak past an unsuspecting guard looking the other way for intruders. The game is divided two parts, a tutorial and a campaign, although there are only six levels to play in the campaign mode. Subsonic was created by a group of four students as part of their sophomore project for DigiPen this year. (Windows, 23.1MB)


Zeno Clash Ultimate Edition Soundtrack Free Until May 31st

May 17, 2010 9:00 PM | Tim W.

Here's a rather nice gift for the day, courtesy of ACE Team and their publisher Atlus. The complete soundtrack to Zeno Clash Ultimate Edition is now available to download from the official site until May 31st 2010, free of charge and with no strings attached. All that's required is to visit the game website and click on the soundtrack button to access the download link (108 MB zip file). No registrations or purchases necessary, with the only hassle being the need to input a legal age to access mature content on the site.

Originally it costs about $10 to purchase the soundtrack from ACE Team. Zeno Clash Ultimate Edition was released on the Xbox Live Arcade just two weeks ago, while the Windows version is available from Steam and Direct2Drive. (information via press release)

Preview: Voyager (Big Block Games)

May 17, 2010 12:00 PM | Tim W.

Voyager (currently in alpha) is a space trading game in which you play as the pilot of a spacecraft, transporting goods for a quick profit and earning the experience needed to access other planets around the system you're in. At each port you're usually given the options of trading at the commodities market, installing new weapons or ship parts, talk to patrons at the local watering hole, or purchasing a bigger ship in exchange for the old one if your budget allows for it.

Occasionally pirates or law enforcement ships will harass you on your travels, and you can decide whether to surrender your belongings to them or fight it out and take what's theirs instead. Voyager is still being worked on by Big Block Games daily, but what's available to play already shows plenty of promise and can only get better with new content and just a couple of gameplay balance fixes.

Xbox Live Indie Games: Ten Titles For 2010

May 16, 2010 11:06 PM | Simon Carless

[With almost 1000 titles now available on Xbox Live Indie Games, what kind of games are breaking through from a quality - or quirkiness - point of view on the service? We look at ten of the best new titles on the Xbox 360's hobbyist/indie-contributed game service, from Mamotte Knight through Zombie Estate and beyond.]

As is often true in the independent games scene, the biggest problem with Xbox Live Indie Games for Xbox 360 is the obvious one. There's simply too many games for one or even multiple individuals to check out -- and not enough bandwidth for the press to give them detailed attention, even though there are some gems out there.

Even dedicated sites like XNPlay are having a lot of trouble keeping up with the sheer amount of releases for XBLIG, with a total of 980 available as of the time of writing this. (Remember that Microsoft has a pretty decent web-based browse/download structure for Xbox Live Indie Games on Xbox.com - here's the top-selling titles in the U.S. store.)

However, Microsoft's solution for this - rolling out user-given star ratings to all of its online content, including Xbox 360 demos, XBLA titles and Xbox Live Indie Games in 2009 - has significantly helped cut through the clutter. Although you'll find the top-selling games led by a lot of avatar-based titles (some of which are fairly good!), you'll also find the XBLIG top-rated games list to be incredibly helpful in finding new/notable titles.

(One note on this - you can easily look through the complete chart of top-rated games on the Web via the previously mentioned Xbox.com link. But if you're browsing from your Xbox 360, you won't find a 'more' link at the end of the Top 20 charts. To look at lower-rated titles, go to 'Browse' in the Indie Games section, select 'All', and you can then sort by highest-rated.)

So, given that we do believe many of these titles are significantly underexposed, here's a look at ten (relatively) recently launched Xbox Live Indie Games that deserve at least a trial look, and are often extremely cheap to buy. Click through on the links to see their Xbox.com overview page, including screenshots, download links, etc:

Freeware Game Pick: Block Pusher (chuchino)

May 16, 2010 8:00 PM | Tim W.


Block Pusher is a puzzle game that plays rather similarly to Sokoban, in which you solve puzzles by pushing one block at a time and being very careful not to trap yourself into a corner while doing it. There are items to collect in certain rooms, although the game doesn't actually reward you with anything even if you do manage to acquire them all.

Pressing the F4 function key switches between full screen and windowed mode, while the R key can be used to reset a puzzle whenever you're stuck. Block Pusher was originally created as a submission for the Klik of the Month game development event. Download it here. (Windows, 1.17MB)

Indie Game Links: Don't Bet the Ranch on It

May 16, 2010 9:00 AM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes the announcement of a new YoYo Games competition, an interview with the creator of Kingdom of Loathing, and a one-button game recommendation from sister site GameSetWatch.

YoYo Games: Competition06 - Summer Compo
"Following from the success of Competition05, we have decided on a new competition with the theme 'Discovery'. You can do anything around that theme from sailing ships and map making to mad professors, so put your thinking caps on for this one and let the creative juices flow."

DIYgamer: Kingdom of Loathing Interview
"Zack Johnson, the creator of the long-standing indie MMO Kingdom of Loathing, has been chipping away at the same game for over seven years now. I got a chance to talk to Zack about his game recently, just to see where things are these days and what’s next."

In The Games Of Madness: Penumbra Overture goes Open Source
"Penumbra: Overture and the HPL1 Engine are now open source. The HPL1 Engine has powered all of the Penumbra games, and it even includes the stuff used to create the 2D platformer Energetic."

GameSetWatch: Gambler, One-button Minigames In A Ukiyo-e Inspired World
"Gambler is a beautiful little one-button game from Lobo, a name you might recognize from his work on the fabulous Dracula Cha Cha. Unlike that holiday production, this new release was created from original assets, and is designed as a short simulation of traditional Japanese gambling game Cho-Han Bakuchi."

DIYgamer: The Most Unforgiving, Unrelenting, and Refreshing MMO You'll Ever Play
"Faldon is an MMO that is completely open with little to no quests, features unforgiving PVPs, and has zero classes whatsoever."

AquaGeneral: TIGRadio MP3
"A collection of TIGRadio (a weekly live-format radio show for indie game developers) episodes converted to MP3." (older episodes)

Impressions: Frozen Synapse Beta (Mode 7 Games)

May 15, 2010 12:06 PM | Michael Rose

frozensynapse1.jpg

Lagging behind with this one, but I've finally gotten around to giving the Frozen Synapse beta a playthrough. For those out of the loop, it's an upcoming turn-based strategy with a Rainbow Six feel to it.

The battlefield is blue, and your squad is waiting for orders. Soldiers can be given waypoints and firing orders, and your job is to eliminate the enemy before the game ends. A lengthy (but very informative/useful) tutorial takes you through the ins and outs of combat and movement, then you're thrown into single and multi-player firefights.

Matches can be played against an AI-controlled enemy, or online versus other players. Set the red light in the corner of your screen to green, and the game will automatically start looking for players to challenge, usually finding you a match within 60 seconds.

There's a huge amount of depth to be found. On each turn, squaddies can be ordered to move, cover and shoot in a huge variety of ways. When spotting an enemy, a soldier can be told to shoot on sight, or continue moving in order to be placed in a better position. If set to aiming mode, he'll move slower, but fire earlier.

Browser Game Pick: Labyrinthos (Daredevil)

May 15, 2010 12:10 AM | Tim W.


Labyrinthos is a small role-playing game in the style of the Dungeon Master series, where players assume control over a hero who is looking for monsters to slay for combat experience. Your starting equipment can never be changed or removed, meaning that stats can only be increased by raising the level of your character.

Health is restored automatically after every battle, and you can save or load your game using the menu shown in the map screen.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of May 14

May 14, 2010 10:00 PM | Eric Caoili

In an exciting week for new job postings, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles across the world and in every major discipline, including opportunities at EA Tiburon, Square Enix, and many 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:

Electronic Arts Tiburon: Development Manager
"Employing several hundred, Tiburon is the second largest studio among Electronic Arts' World Wide Studio facilities. Our top-notch facility plays a big role in helping us produce some of the top titles in the world. ... We have grown into a campus-style facility with three main buildings all clustered in a small area. There is a wealth of amenities offered at our studio making for a highly productive, yet accommodating environment."

Square Enix: Character Rigger/Animator
"Square Enix, Inc., is 100% subsidiary of Square Enix Co., Ltd. located in Los Angeles, CA. It handles operations in North America including development, localization, marketing and publishing of Square Enix titles. Square Enix, Inc. is committed to marketing innovative titles using creative techniques that will propel game play to new heights of interactivity and realism."

Sleep Is Death Pay-Whatever-You-Want

May 14, 2010 3:00 PM | Michael Rose

sleepisdeath.PNG

Well this seems a little premature, but I'm sure no-one will complain! Jason Rohrer's two-player story-telling game Sleep Is Death is now available for whatever price you want to pay for it.

Simply head over to SleepIsDeath.net and enter your cash amount into the box. There's a minimum price of $1.75, but it's worth way more than that anyway.

I'm being a little speculative here, but this would suggest that SiD didn't sell all that well after the initial release - which begs the question, why not? The game received glowing reviews from a variety of sites and magazines - including a 90% from PC Gamer UK.

[EDIT: Sister site GameSetWatch notes that "The game has already sold some 4,000 copies as of April 30th -- 2,600 of which were $9 preorders and the remaining priced at $14 apiece, making the developer $43,000 so far. While that's only a fraction of what most major titles sell/make, Rohrer said he's pleased with those numbers, as he keeps all the profit instead of receiving just a cut." It's up to you if you consider this 'selling well'.]

Did you grab a copy when it was full price? Let me know in the comments what attracted you/put you off trying it out.

Source: SavyGamer

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