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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 June, 2010

Freeware Game Pick: Hero, Defeat the Demon (R)

June 22, 2010 12:00 PM | Tim W.

Hero! Defeat the Devil! is a puzzle game that plays rather similarly to Hojamaka's Mamono Sweeper, where the noble knight has to defeat lower-level enemies first and gain enough battle experience before taking on the stage boss. A chart on the right side of the screen shows the amount of experience points that you can gain from defeating different types of enemies, while the counter placed next to your hero icon keeps track of your character's current level.

A tombstone will take over the place of an enemy which you slay in combat, and when you step off this tile the grave will act as an obstacle that prevents you from walking over it. The challenge here is to figure out a way to defeat all enemies on the map without boxing yourself into an inescapable route, but if that happens you can always reset the puzzle by pressing the space key. Note that the reset feature will only work when your hero is facing one of the graves on screen.

There are nine levels to play in total. To download the game, just click on the animated red arrow icon (pointing downwards at a disk drive) here, then click on the link underneath the red text in Japanese on the next page. (Windows, 1.56MB)

Indie Game Links: Sorcery is Afoot

June 22, 2010 10:00 AM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes a handful of E3-related articles and announcements, a video interview with Flywrench creator Mark Essen, and a lengthy podcast chat with the president of Dejobaan Games Ichiro Lambe. (image source)

The Creators Project: Mark Essen (video)
"The Creators Project is a global initiative that seeks to bring together the world’s leading and most relevant innovators in music, art, film, design and architecture. In this short feature, VICE sits down with Mark Essen in his studio, dukes it out over joysticks, and discusses the concepts behind his work."

Develop: Independents' Day (pdf, page 24)
"Rogue tiny teams are all the rage - and the indie scene is exploding in the UK. We talk to a handful of them to find out what's inspiring them to go it alone."

GameSetWatch: Sword & Sworcery Looks Even Better On An iPad
"Nathan Vella walks us through the initial exploration and combat portions of Sword & Sworcery, and also shows off the menu system for accessing/sharing background info and lore. Capy doesn't expect to finish developing and polishing Sword & Sworcery for a few months."

GameCrashers Radio: A reckless disregard for E3 (audio podcast)
"We’ve called upon President and Founder of Dejobaan Games, Ichiro Lambe, to come in and share his thought on the importance of E3, and how it’s both good and bad for indie developers."

Locomalito: The 'Making of Hydorah'
"The 'Making of Hydorah' document is now uploaded. You can find out how a homebrew free indie shmup is developed."

Big Download: The first official interview with Frozenbyte on Trine 2
"We are working on another project in addition to Trine 2 and it will be a completely different experience. You will be surprised."

ACE Team: Rock of Ages... where did it come from
"A brief insight about how we came up with Rock of Ages, which was referred to as 'Boulder' when we started working on the concept."

E3 Video: Jenova Chen's Journey

June 21, 2010 7:00 PM | jeriaska

Adam Robezzoli, of the Los Angeles game culture shop Attract Mode, met with several indie game designers during last week's E3 Expo for a brief series of video interviews. Among them, Jenova Chen of ThatGameCompany has just announced Journey, his third title for the PS3's Playstation Network. The game is intended to encourage unique interactions between participants, enabled by online play taking place in a vast and mysterious desert locale.

For the video discussion, Chen shares thoughts regarding music scores in games, informed by his previous collaborations with Austin Wintory on the soundtrack for FlOw and Vincent Diamante on the interactive score for Flower. Related video content from the Game Developers Conference, where sound designer Steve Johnson spoke on his role on ThatGameCompany audio design, can be found on Vimeo under the title Sound and Music as Narrative in Flower.

[Other videos in this series can be found at Attract Mode. Camera and editing by Nobuooo. Photo by Jeriaska.]

Freeware Game Pick: Teppoman 2 (Ikiki)

June 21, 2010 6:00 PM | Tim W.

Teppoman 2 is a 2D action platformer that puts you in control of a caped assassin with a craving for bananas, specifically the brown-coloured ones which can only be found inside a heavily-fortified base under the command of a white-hooded man.

Our trained killer has a number of specialized skills that could be used to navigate around traps and silence unsuspecting enemies, plus he can also utilize all manner of ranged weapons when the situation calls for it. Players have to learn how to execute dash, wall jumps, reverse jumps, glide, body surf, and more if they plan to make it further into the enemy's fortress.

There is a boss battle in every fifth stage, and you're only allowed to continue playing after beating the boss challenge if you manage to meet the banana collection requirements. For example, to pass the fifth level you would need to have five bananas in your possession, and playing level eleven and onwards require a minimum of fifteen bananas.

A beta build of Teppoman 2 (previously called Teppomanto) was released in late 2008. This new release (version 1.0) contains more content, levels, and cutscenes not included in the previous build. To download the game, just click on the second link inside the green table on this page. The original Teppoman can also be download from that list - simply scroll down under you find the link marked with the date '03/05/05'.

Trailer: Norrland (cactus)

June 20, 2010 3:00 PM | Tim W.

Norrland is a game made by cactus for an exhibition at Kulturbygden in Sollefteå this week, a project which he intends to release for free once all physical copies of it have been sold out. It'll be up on eBay to purchase soon, and fans of cactus' previous works shouldn't miss the chance to grab a copy since there are only ten of these printed.

We'll link you to the purchase page once one is made available. [UPDATE: You can now buy the CDs from here.]

Preview: Limbo (Playdead)

June 20, 2010 3:00 AM | Tim W.

Microsoft had recently announced at E3 that Playdead's upcoming puzzle platformer Limbo will be released as part of their XBLA Summer of Arcade promotion, which has helped push games like Braid and Castle Crashers to the forefront in previous years. Limbo will be priced at 1200 MS Points when the Summer of Arcade 2010 begins sometime next month.

The game picked up two awards at IGF 2010 back in March (in both Technical Excellence and Excellence in Visual Art categories), and was showcased at the E3 exhibition event earlier this week. IGN has a couple of short clips of it posted online, and we've also included a video that previews the first area of the game and the montage that was used to reveal Summer of Arcade 2010 after the break.

ModDB Launches Indie Community Site IndieDB

June 19, 2010 4:00 AM | Michael Rose


Popular gaming community ModDB, the folks behind the upcoming Desura game browser, has just launched IndieDB, a site dedicated to showcasing and storing info on indie releases big and small.

It all works very much in the same way as its big daddy ModDB - indie developers can sign up and create a profile for their game, adding images, videos, updates and downloads for exposure. Gamers can then check check it all out and keep watch if they're interested. There's already tons of indie games added to the database, so it's well worth checking it all out.

The team are also running a couple of competitions to celebrate the launch, with money and developing tools on offer - check here for all the details.

Browser Game Pick: Crush the Castle 2 (Joey Betz and Chris Condon)

June 18, 2010 9:23 PM | Michael Rose


I was up 'til four in the morning playing the original Crush the Castle, and I have my suspicions that I will again be seeing the sun rise as Crush the Castle 2 hits the interwebs.

It's pretty much the same as the prequel, but with more stuff to lob and new castles to demolish. The idea is simple - click once to start the launch, then click again to let your ammo fly. Hit the castle in just the right places and watch the little people inside go splat. Take all the royalty out with a set number of moves and you're awarded a gold medal - earn lots of gold medals to feel good about yourself.

There's also a level editor for creating your own castles, and the ability to download other players' castles and demolish those too. Armor Games awaaaay!

Preview: Tom's Crown Affair (Tom Sennett)

June 18, 2010 8:00 PM | Tim W.

Here's a video of Tom Sennett, developer of Runman: Race Around the World, explaining how to play his new multiplayer Flash game (currently in public beta). In Tom's Crown Affair, one player will be chosen as the king and given a crown to wear, which is used to fire laser beams at any other player who tries to steal his or her head gear away. All other players start from a different side near the edge of the screen, and must mash their keyboard to make their avatars move slowly to the center. You need to be careful though, because if the king manages to shoot you with the laser beam, you'll be sent back to the starting point for another try at the crown heist.

There are also a couple of extra things to take note of. When you play as the king, you'll only be able to see where you're aiming at. Crown thiefs are also invulnerable to laser beams when they don't move. The player who manages to snatch the crown successfully will start the next round as the king. And that's all there is to it. I've included a couple of recorded gameplay sessions after the break, but unlike the video above none of them feature the reactions of players frantically attempting to win a round in this madcap keyboard-breaking game.

Browser Game Pick: Transformice!

June 18, 2010 12:07 PM | Michael Rose


Transformice! is a hectic online multiplayer game which is part co-op, part everyone go ballistic. On each level there is a piece of cheese and a mouse hole, and the idea is to run and grab the cheese, then take it back to the hole.

On the majority of levels either the cheese or the hole will be out of reach, so it's up to the Shaman mouse to create platforms and air bursts to help all the mice reach their goal. While all participants are really meant to be working as a team to help each other to the finish, score is awarded based on the order in which the mice reach the goal - hence, it becomes a messy scramble to climb over the heads of your supposed mousey friends and make it before they do.

The Shaman mouse is randomly chosen at the start of each level, and is awarded points based on how many mice reach the end. Controlling the Shaman initially feels quite complex, and it doesn't help that there is no practice mode for trying out each of the powers. Transformice is only at version 0.24 right now, however, so hopefully that will be added at a later date.

Give it a try, but be warned - since this is an online game, expect to receive lots of abuse in the chat box every time you're selected to be the Shaman.

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