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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 July, 2010

Freeware Game Pick: Mind Jolt (Matt Scorah)

July 31, 2010 9:26 PM | Michael Rose

mindjolt.PNG
It's the weekend, so how about some bullet-hell blasting? Mind Jolt is a fairly intense arena shooter based around a story involving Cold Fusion - it's a demake of a game by Ted Lauterbach.

It's quite tame to begin with, but don't let that fool you - by level 7, you'll be dodging all over the place as strangely shaped enemies duck and weave around you, spraying lasers in your general direction. The way each bad guy is made up of lots of pieces attached together reminded me a lot of Captain Forever - including the fact that each one has a core piece which must be destroyed to kill a baddie.

It's fun! It's shooty! You should play! Gamejolt! Go!

Trailer: Blocks: The Devilish Delivery Game (Darkwind Media)

July 31, 2010 9:50 AM | Michael Rose


Blocks: The Devilish Delivery Game is a physics-based puzzler/racer in which you carry crates around levels on a hovering platform. The box must be taken all the way to the end, but there are plenty of obstacles along the way to impede your progress.

The general look and feel of Blocks reminds me a lot of Ludosity Interactive's Bob Came in Pieces, which is a good thing. Being able to control the two thrusters separately is a nice touch, although it's one of those elements where depending on how well it's implemented, it could either be really good fun or frustratingly difficult.

Either way, a demo is available to download from the Blocks site which shows a fair number of levels. The game will be released for PC and Mac soon.

Browser Game Pick: One Step Back (Daniel Yaroslavski)

July 31, 2010 6:25 AM | Tim W.


One Step Back is a 2D platformer that deals with the consequences of time travelling, where players have to guide their on-screen character to the exit without running into their other selves. For every few steps you take, another version of yourself will appear from the entrance of the level and retread the same path that you walked on just seconds ago. The current level resets if you accidentally touch any of your past selves, so you'll have to figure out ways to avoid them until enough time passes for the exit door to unlock itself.

There are nine levels to play in One Step Back.

Freeware Game Pick: Frogatto (Lost Pixels)

July 30, 2010 5:00 PM | Tim W.


Frogatto is a freeware 2D platformer which stars a frog that can swallow and spit out enemies as projectiles. At the beginning of the adventure you'll discover that his reach is rather short, but the coins that you collect along the way can used to purchase upgrades that'll increase the length of his tongue.

The game features six distinct areas with thirty levels split between them, and you can use magical pedestals to teleport yourself to the start of any location that you have previously explored. You'll want to open any treasure chests that you find as well, since some of them carry life capsules or huge coin bonuses.

Frogatto is free to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux users (the iPhone version costs $5). Depending on how thorough you are when searching for secrets and hidden areas, playing the game from start to finish could take up to a couple of hours. An interesting piece of trivia about the development team is that all of them were involved in the Battle of Wesnoth project, and working together on the turn-based strategy game was how they got acquainted with each other. (Mac/Win/Linux, 92.1MB)

IGF China 2010 Opens Call For Submissions

July 30, 2010 3:00 PM | Tim W.

Organizers of the Independent Games Festival China, which runs in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference China, have officially announced its call for indie game submissions from the pan-Pacific area now through Wednesday, September 15.

Following on its 2009 success, GDC China -- part of the UBM TechWeb network, as is this website -- will continue to host the three main elements of IGF China, including the Independent Games Summit, which provides valuable conference sessions specializing in the challenges of independent game development.

These include the Independent Games Festival Pavilion, an onsite exhibition of the very best in local indie games, and the Independent Games Festival Awards, which honors the work of the talented pool of local independent game developers.

The 2010 IGF Main Competition will give out awards in five categories, including Best Game, Mobile Best Game, Excellence in Audio, Excellence in Technology, and Excellence in Visual Arts. Finalists in all categories will receive VIP and expo passes to attend GDC China and the IGF awards ceremony on December 5, 2010.

Finalists -- who will compete for RMB 20,000 ($3,000) will be chosen by a panel of expert jurors including Kevin Li (CEO, TipCat Interactive); Monte Singman (Main Coordinator, IGDA Shanghai Chapter); Xubo Yang (Director of Digital Art Lab and Assistant Professor; Shanghai Jiaotong University's School of Software), and jury chairman Simon Carless, IGF Chairman Emeritus and Global Brand Director of Game Developer magazine and Gamasutra.

Last year's event saw more than 200 entries for the Main Competition and the Student Competition, including entries from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Pakistan, Australia, South Korea, India and more. Winners from last year include titles like acclaimed Best Game winner Captain Forever (Farbs – Australia), Donovo (Magic Day Studio – China) for Excellence in Art Direction, HurricaneX2 (You Yun Tech – China) for Technical Excellence and Armor Valley (Protege Production – Singapore) for Excellence in Audio.

Key dates for IGF China include:

* July 7th, 2010 – Submissions are Open
* September 15th, 2010, - Submission Deadline
* October 25th, 2010 – Finalist Announced
* December 5th-7th, 2010 – Game Developers Conference China 2010
* December 5th, 2010 – Independent Games Summit at GDC China
* December 5th, 2010 – IGF China Awards Ceremony (Winners Announced!)
* December 5th-6th, 2010 – IGF China Pavilion at GDC China


"We're proud to have IGF China as an integral part of the 2010 GDC China event," said IGF Chairman Emeritus Simon Carless. "IGF China 2010 further broadens the scope of games, not just in geography, but in new and exciting game play ideas as well."

"The world of gaming, and independent games in particular, has benefitted immeasurably from the influence of a diverse set of voices and perspectives," he continued. "IGF China provides the perfect showcase for an emerging group of developers."

GDC China returns to the Shanghai International Convention Center in Shanghai, China for three days, December 5-7, 2010. For more details and information on IGF China please visit the event's official website.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of July 30

July 30, 2010 11:22 AM | Simon Carless

In a plentiful week for new job postings, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles across the world and in every major discipline, including opportunities at Blizzard, Eat Sleep Play 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:

Crytek: Lead Designer
"Crytek is always looking for the best talent in the industry. If you are passionate about great games and want to work with a highly talented and creative team on cutting edge technology and tools, then look no further."

Eat Sleep Play: Game Programmer
"Eat Sleep Play, Inc. is a game development studio with immediate openings. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, ESP is currently under contract with a major publisher to develop game product for the Playstation 3 game console. The ESP team has an experienced track record of creating hit Playstation titles such as Twisted Metal 1, 2, Black & Head-On, Jetmoto, Warhawk, Critical Depth, Downhill Domination, War of The Monsters, Calling All Cars and most recently Twisted Metal:Head-On for PS2."

Browser Game Pick: Nyalamander (Ijiwaru Neko Cat)

July 30, 2010 6:00 AM | Tim W.


Nyalamander is a mouse-controlled 2D scrolling shooter in the style of Salamander and the Gradius series, featuring six levels to beat and a handful of power-up items for the player to collect. Upgrades are in effect the second you pick them up, and when your ship is destroyed you can still save the options if you gather them before they disappear into space.

The level orientation switches from horizontal to vertical after each boss fight, and you have the option to continue playing from any stage you've beaten previously at the main menu screen. The autofire feature can be activated by scrolling up with the mouse wheel, and to turn it off you just need to scroll down using the same wheel.

Note that the game does not store a record of your unlocked levels between browsing sessions, and you'll have to start playing from stage one again if you close or switch browser windows. (source)

Freeplay Awards Finalists Announced

July 30, 2010 1:00 AM | Tim W.

Organizers of the Freeplay Independent Games Festival have announced the finalists for the Freeplay Awards, a new competition for indie game developers to participate with their game projects, prototypes and even concept arts. The finalists in all eight categories are as follows:

Best Australian Game
Up Down Ready (Sword Lady & The Viking), Jolly Rover (Brawsome), Colourbind (Finn Morgan)

Best International Game
Bo (Mahdi Bahrami, Iran), TryFail (Anders Højsted, Denmark), Last Hope (Yellow Jam, Brazil)

Best Design in a Game
Up Down Ready (Sword Lady & The Viking), Hazard: The Journey of Life (Alexander Bruce), Train Conductor (The Voxel Agents)

Best On-Paper Design
Epic Adventure (Tobye Ryan), iCrazy Man (Timothy Ryan), Galaqua (Katie Murphy)

Best Art in a Game
Captain Forever series (Farbs), Hazard: The Journey of Life (Alexander Bruce), Doodle Find (KlickTock)

Best Concept Art
Exodus (Fiasco Studios), City Ruins (Evan Raynor), Speed Demon (Catbus Interactive)

Best Technical Innovation
Captain Forever series (Farbs), Colourbind (Finn Morgan), Up Down Ready (Sword Lady & The Viking)

Best Game Writing
Captain Forever series (Farbs), Hazard: The Journey of Life (Alexander Bruce), Transumer (PVI Collective)

Best Audio
Train Conductor (The Voxel Agents), Gamebook Adventures 1: An Assassin in Orlandes (Tin Man Games), Jolly Rover (Brawsome)

Winners of the Freeplay Awards will be announced on the final day of the Freeplay Independent Games Festival (15th of August 2010). More information about Freeplay 2010, program schedules, and ticketing information can all be found at Freeplay's official site.

Freeware Game Pick: Jihyo Attack (Ikiki)

July 29, 2010 3:00 AM | Tim W.


Jihyo Attack (Written Resignation Attack) is an abandoned 2D platformer created by the developer of Teppoman 2, where you play as a rather angry employee who just wants to quit his job. Armed with a large hammer in his hands, our salaryman will have a chance to smash everything up at the workplace before handing in his letter of resignation to the boss.

There are only five floors to climb, and you can beat the entire game in just a couple of minutes. Jihyo Attack is available to download from the game graveyard section of Ikiki's site, which will presumably be updated with more of his short projects and incomplete works in the coming weeks. (Windows, 0.49MB)

Indie Game Links: Something Fishy's Going On

July 29, 2010 2:00 AM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and the usual interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

Teknogames: Shoot First Version 1.2
"Spawning problems, hidden exits and the highscore board should all be fixed now. Those who have enjoyed Shoot First can donate to receive a version of the game with extra content. This extra content includes a fancy new level and two new weapons."

Games On Net: A quick chat with Frictional
"In this games.on.net exclusive interview, we asked Frictional Games co-founder Thomas Grip about the lack of weaponry in Amnesia: The Dark Descent, plot influences - and of course, the physics angle."

The Bottom Feeder: Sometimes It's OK To Steal My Games
"This blog post is about the bright side of software piracy. It's about the times when not only is it OK to steal my games, but, in fact, I get something out of it."

Gamasutra: Critical Reception of Playdead's Limbo
"This week's edition of Critical Reception examines online reaction to Playdead's downloadable Xbox Live Arcade platformer Limbo, which reviews describe as 'dark, disturbing, yet eerily beautiful.' Limbo currently earns a score of 90 out of 100 at Metacritic.com."

Joystiq: The Behemoth's Battleblock Theater preview
"Behemoth co-founder Tom Fulp said Battleblock Theater originated in Alien Hominid's PDA games, where four players could face off against each other on one screen. That mode became a player favorite, and they kept talking about how they could expand on it, and that grew into Battleblock."

Suisoft Limited: Gravity Core Postmortem
"Gravity Core already existed as a multiplayer gameplay prototype. After much soul searching and weighing the pros and cons, I decided to form a company and develop my prototype game into something to sell."

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