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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 June, 2010

Freeware Game Pick: Lackadaisium (Sebastian Janisz)

June 12, 2010 6:00 AM | Tim W.


A surreal puzzle game with some elements of action in it, Lackadaisium is a small-scale project that the developer claims to be partly inspired by his own personal experiences and dreams. Everything is controlled with the cursor keys, and you can press the escape key to quit at any time.

No progress save feature is available, but Lackadaisium doesn't really need one since it only takes about ten or fifteen minutes to play through the entire game. For a direct download link, click here. (Windows, 7.76MB)

Exclusive Preview: The Oil Blue (Vertigo Gaming)

June 11, 2010 8:28 PM | Michael Rose

oilblue1.jpg
[Update: There are now two videos at the end of this post, showing the game in full flow.]

I am literally brimming with excitement to divulge details on a new indie game coming to PC later this month. LITERALLY.

Every now and again, an indie title will come straight out of the blue and knock my socks off. Except this time, it really shouldn't have been that big of a surprise - I mean, it's got Blue right there in the title.

Vertigo Gaming's The Oil Blue is a simulation title set for release on June 22nd. I will now explain why it should sit firmly in your 'do want' list. Here I go.

Set in the not-so-distant future, you've been put in charge of a drilling crew for a huge oil company, United Oil of Oceana. The company finds abandoned oil-rig islands and claims them as their own. You'll spend your days firing up machines, digging deep into the Earth's crust and pumping out barrel upon barrel of the black stuff.

Browser Game Pick: Shellbreak (Nathan McCoy)

June 11, 2010 11:00 AM | Tim W.


Shellbreak is a browser-based vertical shooter created by Nathan McCoy for the Experimental Gameplay Project game development jam, where players have two minutes to destroy multi-coloured orbs and score as many points as they can. You can only zap red orbs at first, but by filling up the gauge on the right side of the screen you'll eventually be allowed to break orbs of other colours as well.

Your ship also gains an incremental rapid fire upgrade for every time a new type of multi-coloured orb is added to the range of objects you can zap. The lack of an online high score table is a missed opportunity for the developer, although Shellbreak is still a fun game to play if only to find out how much better you can do at it with a bit of practice.

GDC Video: Baiyon @ GAMMA IV

June 10, 2010 5:00 PM | jeriaska

The Gamma installation series is part of indie game collective Kokoromi's mandate to inspire and present diverse, experimental game content to a wide public audience. At this year's GAMMA IV party, whose subject was one-button gaming, a live DJ set was performed by Kyoto artist Baiyon during his second consecutive appearance at the San Francisco Game Developers Conference.

Baiyon was responsible for art and music design for Q-Games' PixelJunk Eden and PixelJunk Eden Encore for the Playstation Network. Renditions of Eden game tracks "Summer in winter" and Flat frog" make appearances in the above video from the GAMMA IV event. The following brief discussion took place recently on the subject of the artist's participation at GDC and collaboration with game designers and musicians of diverse backgrounds.

Noby Noby Boy designer Keita Takahashi maintained in your interview on Gamasutra that you would not enjoy GDC as much this year as you had last year. Was that the case?

Baiyon: Well, it's not that Takahashi-san says, "GDC's no fun." I think the conference has grown more business oriented over time and he's nostalgic for the days when it was only about game designers sharing their own ideas on how to create better products.

Personally, I was not around to experience the earlier era of GDC. It's difficult for me to comment on this. For my part, I can say that I honestly enjoyed sharing a session with Richard Lemarchand from Naughty Dog, performing at GAMMA IV and meeting many more people this year than last year.

You have a series of EPs on iTunes called "In the Collaborations." What were you looking to accomplish by working with a different artist each month?

For some time the idea of collaborating with other musicians has appealed to me. It was always a question of what might be the best format for such an endeavor, and I finally decided on releasing a series of collaborative music tracks. I hope that people can anticipate it much like a monthly magazine publication, wondering in advance what the next collaboration will be and how it will turn out.

At the end of 2009, I started my own label Descanso. The fourth installment was just released, and there's a larger response with each new EP. It makes me feel that there is a lot of potential for this series. So far, In the Collaborations 01 was with August Engkilde (bassist from Senor Coconut, Burnt Friedman and The Nu Dub Player), also including a remix by Lorenzo Chiabotti. That was followed by Collaborations 02 with Shane Berry, featuring a Takuya Morita remix. Collaborations 03 is with Hirokazu Tanaka, a.k.a Hip Tanaka Ex., who composed for Metroid, and also EarthBound with Keiichi Suzuki. The most recent entry, Collaborations 04, is with Takeshi Nishimoto, the guitarist from I'm Not a Gun with John Tejada. This one has a remix by Akiko Kiyama of Contexterrior and District of Corruption.

If you had the resources to make any game of your choosing, what would you create?

A game about love.

[This article is available in Japanese at Digital DJ Network. Translation is by Yoshi Miyamoto. For more about Baiyon, visit the artist's website. For more about GAMMA IV, see the interviews with chip musicians Crashfaster and Starpause. GAMMA IV photo and video coverage by Jeriaska.]

Trailer: Shank (Klei Entertainment)

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


Still penned for a summer 2010 release, Klei Entertainment had released a new trailer for Shank to coincide with the E3 event happening next week. No concrete dates yet, but the game should be out for the Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network and PC real soon.

Browser Game Pick: Constellation Z (increpare)

June 10, 2010 11:01 AM | Michael Rose

constellation.PNG

A few days, increpare went on a bit of a games blitz and uploaded nine games for your playing consumption. You can check out all nine here, but the one I found most interesting is Constellation Z.

With an incredibly simple interface, your task is to fill the blue blocks with pink blocks on each level. However, you're not allowed to have any pink blocks left over, hanging around in space by themselves. After a quick few intro levels to show what's going on, it then gets stupidly difficult. Step your pink blocks into a white teleporter and random things will happen, like new blocks spawning, blocks changing position or simply disappearing entirely.

Filling those blue exit points becomes very challenging. The aspect that attracts me to the game the most is that I spent my entire play with a underlying suspicious that it really wasn't that difficult at all, and it was just a simple case of stepping back and really thinking about what I was doing.

Either way, it's simple and interesting stuff. Give it a go.

Browser Game Pick: Heir (Antony Lavelle)

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


In Heir you play as an unnamed stranger who has sworn to defeat the three giant Golems for the king of the land. This boils down to a lot of jumping and scaling up the sides of these behemoths, as you try to make your way to the top and strike at their weak spots (à la Shadow of the Colossus).

Progress is saved automatically when you reach a checkpoint location, but the game still has one too many ledges out of view that requires leaps of faith. Heir is also a very short game in the sense that there are only three chapters to play, and knowing Flash developers these days one it wouldn't be too surprising to hear that another DLC-style episodic sequel might already be in the works.

Indie Game Pick: Mamotte Knight (Ancient)

June 9, 2010 7:00 PM | Tim W.


Mamotte Knight (also known as Protect Me Knight) is basically a tower defense game with RPG elements, where you have to protect a princess from hordes of enemies who will try their utmost best to get to her. Every new level starts off with some basic fences and barricades that surround our princess, and you can also build new structures or even upgrade existing ones if you have stored enough magic points to create them.

You earn more magic points by killing enemies, while any unspent MPs can be traded in to level up your character after the completion of each stage. The Japanese demo features three of the ten levels from the full game, which is only available to purchase from the Xbox Live Indie Games channel for 240 MS Points.

Mamotte Knight really shines when you can get a few friends to play together, and the trial version even supports this option if you have a couple of controllers to plug in. The demo (again, Japanese only) can be downloaded from this page (by clicking on the black floppy disk) or by clicking here, but before trying it you should note that there's a chance it might not run on some PCs for some reason or another. (Windows, 16.1MB)

Freeware Game Pick: NeonPlat 2 (James Gamble)

June 9, 2010 12:00 PM | Tim W.


NeonPlat 2 is an update to the score-based arcade platformer released by Jayenkai last year, featuring a new co-operative mode that supports up to four players simultaneously on the same system. The graphics have been overhauled as well, and there are minor tweaks and additions that improves the game in some areas but had made it more confusing than before for others.

One example would be the enemy that could only be stomped on, as the balls that you collect and throw at it would cause the critter no harm at all. It is also hard to tell when your character can do a double or multiple jumps in the air, and the white floor tiles that you have to colour to progress to the next level is frequently hidden behind the multi-coloured neon lines.

The game is fun when you can get a bunch of friends to play together, although the lack of clear instructions and proper gameplay balancing issues might deter many from giving NeonPlat 2 a good try. (Mac/Win/Linux, 3.92MB)

Freeware Game Pick: Beeps and Blips (easyname)

June 9, 2010 6:00 AM | Tim W.


Beeps and Blips is a remake based on an Action 52 game with the same name, where players are put in control of a purple object stuck inside an ship full of automated missile launchers and rotating turrets. The exit to the next area will only open once you've destroyed all enemies in a room, although red turrets are excluded from your list of stuff to break because they are simply invincible against all of your projectiles.

There's a basic progress save feature that'll assist players somewhat with difficult sections of the game, but you'll need to muster all of your bullet-dodging skills to beat the final challenge in that last level. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes to play through this remake of Beeps and Blips. Download the game here. (Windows, 1.82MB)

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