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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 July, 2010

Indie Fund Now Taking Submissions

July 7, 2010 10:54 AM | Michael Rose


The Indie Fund, originally announced at GDC '10 and run by various well-known indie developers, has now opened its doors and is accepting submissions.

Any developer can apply, although there are a list of requirements that must be complied with. In a nutshell, they're looking for fresh ideas that aren't simply clones of tired genres, a playable prototype and, unsurprisingly, a game which is going to make money.

If you believe you have a project which matches the criteria, you'll need to put together a video of in-game footage and then fire of an email to them. All details can be found here. Good luck to anyone who applies!

Freeware Game Pick: The Ultra Mission (cactus)

July 7, 2010 3:00 AM | Tim W.

The Ultra Mission is an arcade shooter game in which you play as a soldier who has to rescue civilians from a group of armed kidnappers. The enemies will not hesitate to open fire at any threat, and have placed sentries and automated turrets to prevent you from achieving your mission objective.

You move the hero by using the WASD keys. The left mouse button fires your gun, while the right button launches a missile at the direction of your target reticle. Missiles can break through walls, but be careful not to hurt civilians or you'll have to restart a mission all over again.

There are eight levels to play in total. Ultramission can be downloaded by clicking here. (Windows, 1.40MB)

Freeware Game Pick: Shoot First (Beau Blyth)

July 7, 2010 2:00 AM | Tim W.

Shoot First is an action game with roguelike elements, featuring procedurally generated levels, an automap system, two-player co-op mode, an online high score table, and even AI-controlled companions to help you out during heated gunfights with denizens of the dungeon. Your character can only carry one weapon at a time, and three other equipment that you acquire during your adventure. Weapons are upgraded automatically after a prolonged period of use, but the bonuses don't carry over when you switch to another gun.

Like any roguelike, your objective here is to descend the staircase that leads to the next level. Sometimes the staircase is blocked by a locked door, so you must first find the yellow key hidden somewhere in the dungeon before proceeding to the exit.

Red potions can be quaffed to restore a tiny bit of health, and rescuing damsels in distress also have the same effect on your hero. There's no button to drop an item in your inventory, but you can swap them out when the inventory slots are full by picking up an object on the ground. (Windows, 3.23MB)

Limbo Out This July 21st

July 7, 2010 1:00 AM | Tim W.

The release dates for this year's XBLA Summer of Arcade line-up has been revealed - Playdead's award-winning Limbo will be available to purchase starting July 21st, 2010. It will be priced at 1200 Microsoft Points ($15) at launch.

We've embedded IGN's preview of Limbo above, which provides more information about the game while showing a handful of locations that we've not seen in any other videos before.

Indie Game Pick: Arvoesine (Alastair John Jack)

July 6, 2010 7:02 PM | Michael Rose

Arvoesine is a tough NES-style platformer in which you play a Roman soldier, throwing spears and swiping your sword at the enemy.

The protagonist can throw spears in an arc at oncoming enemies, and make them eat his blade if they get too close. For baddies which fire projectiles, his trusty shield comes into play. Don't be fooled by how easy it looks in the above video - that's just Tim being stupidly good at games. It's actually pretty difficult, as games arguably were in the age of the NES.

The enemies are pretty abstract - I swear that blue running baddie is a Squirtle - although the boss battles fit the scene, with mythological gods raining lightning bolts down on the player. It's got a soundtrack produced by Mr. Ben "Pgil" Pettengill, too. The demo features the short level you see in the video above, while the full five levels will set you back $5. Download demo or buy here.

Browser Game Pick: Looming (Gregory Weir)

July 6, 2010 2:25 PM | Michael Rose


Looming is the latest offering from Gregory Weir, playing out as a monochrome exploration adventure. Players stalk the plains on Looming, seeking out collectibles and uncovering secrets and stories.

There are a variety of objects to find scattered amongst the paths and rubble, each part of a collection. Find a full set and you'll be granted access to further story and dialogue. There are nine different endings to find, depending on how you go about your business, and all items collected are saved for your next play. The best way to experience the game is to simply roam and see what you find.

It's not going to be for everyone, but I'm sure many will find great satisfaction in unravelling the stories. Play it at Newgrounds.

Trailer Overload

July 6, 2010 11:29 AM | Michael Rose

Lots of lovely trailers to watch - let's begin with The Oil Blue. We previewed it last month, and it's rather ace. The game is now available for purchase, has bagged itself some great reviews, and has a demo for those keen on checking it out before putting money down. You should definitely give it a try.

Browser Game Pick: Action Turnip (Raitendo)

July 5, 2010 6:17 PM | Michael Rose


Awlrite my luveers, this 'ere is Action Turnep, an' it's all about a turnep that runs really fast, it is!

The idea is to run, jump and double jump your way across quickly moving platforms, whilst shooting down pesky enemies that get in your way. It's simple yet extremely good fun, and has a couple of lovely ideas - for example, shoot a few enemies down in quick succession, and you'll find yourself running along the word 'COMBO'. There's also a Canabalt style mode as well for those who want to make the turnip run and rocket boost a lot.

Good fun all round! Play Action Turnip at Kongregate. (Thanks to all the people who recommended it!)

Depth Music Q&A: 4mat's Decades

July 5, 2010 6:00 PM | jeriaska

Independent game creator Matt Simmonds teased his upcoming PC shooter Depth back in December, which makes creative use of inexpensive red/cyan lens 3D glasses. Music for the title will draw on the Sussex, UK-based designer's twenty-plus years' experience in the game industry, featuring arrangements of previously released chiptunes. For an introduction to the artist's influential chip music style, listeners can visit 4mat's 8bitcollective and Facebook profiles.

This week marks the publication of the prolific artist's first 4mat album, titled Decades, whose cover art features a screenshot from the forthcoming independent game title. The album can be streamed for free on the weblog "I Hear the Sound of Waves," or found on iTunes, Amazon Mp3 and other online retailers . In this interview the musician relates how varied experiences as a sound designer, ranging from mainstream titles to indie games and the demoscene, are currently contributing to the shape of Depth.

3D is a current obsession of the game industry, but how would you describe your own approach with Depth?

Matt Simmonds (4mat): It's a vertical shoot-em-up that works with 3D glasses. On the Virtual Boy there was a game by Hudson Soft called Vertical Force where you could go into and out of the screen. It's a bit like that.

What was the impetus behind exploring this style of visual design? Depth appears to have been in development since before mainstream gaming started converging on stereoscopic 3D.

I've always been interested in 3D stuff, and as kind of a fluke, I got it working. It seemed that no one else really was using it at the minute in indie games, so I thought I might give it a go. It's kind of a nice coincidence that since then, with Avatar, 3D has taken off.

Your background is in music, but Depth is a solo project. How did you go about creating visual content for the game?

It's all been trial and error. Some of it comes from making demos, but I don't draw. I let the computer draw everything. The vast majority of things in it, such as sprites, are generated by the PC.

For the 4mat music featured in Depth as well as your newly released album Decades, do you see the style of the sound design as intrinsically related to gaming platforms?

The arpeggio sounds can be, as the music I wrote for the Amiga was very much demoscene oriented. Decades is the first music disc I've done. It's been 21 years and I'm using the same trackers.

Looking at the Amiga music style that was popular back then, it was more a reflection of popular music than anything else, though you heard chip music in the "cracktros," or the trainer menus. There was early rave stuff and Jean Michel Jarre synth. For me, I'm coming at it from more of a demoscene angle than gaming, though in terms of games when there's an overlap it's coming from Konami's NES music.

Indie Game Links: Nothing Out of the Ordinary

July 5, 2010 3:00 PM | Tim W.

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

NightSky: Official Site
"Explore the NightSky website for information and media on the 2009 Independent Games Festival Finalist, coming soon to WiiWare."

Puppyblog: Mars Invaded
"We are pleased to announce the release of Revenge of the Titans 1.3, which now includes the Mars levels, and a list of tweaks and features as long as your arm."

GameSetWatch: Jamestown, an Old School Shmup With Fantastic Pixel Art
"Final Form Games, a three-man indie studio working out of Philadelphia, announced its first title: Jamestown (pictured), an 'old-school, handcrafted shoot-em-up' boasting four-player cooperative play and impressive 2D pixel art environments."

Gaming Daily: Wolfire Interview
"If the Humble Indie Bundle showed anything, it’s that if you make games with awesome user experiences, people will be willing to support you even if you try to give them away for a penny."

Vertigo Games: Oil Blue Soundtrack
"Jonathan Geer has set up a Bandcamp page for the Oil Blue soundtrack. It’s a pay what you want system, so if you like it you can pick it up for $5, 10 or even free."

Resolution Magazine: Freedom Bridge
"Freedom Bridge is amazing. As in, one of the best video games I’ve played all year. Jordan Magnusson’s little game packs some punch, and it’s not hard to see why." Developer Interview: Retro/Grade
"Last July the IGF-nominated Retro/Grade was announced to be coming to PSN on the Official PlayStation Blog. I had the chance to interview Matt Gilgenbach (co-founder of 24 Caret Games) about Retro/Grade recently, and we also have some new screens and details to share with you."

Gamasutra: Interview with Alexander Ocias, Developer of Loved
"In this interview, Ocias talks to Gamasutra on the creative process behind Loved, his view of the current state of interactive storytelling, and why players are ready for less force-fed exposition from developers."

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