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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: Hold Off Brown (Ted Lauterbach)

July 10, 2010 2:00 AM | Tim W.


Hold Off Brownish-Yellow is a remake of an old game by Matt Thorson called Hold Off Red, where you have to destroy enemies before they reach the heart that lies at the center of the screen. You can only shoot in eight different directions, and there's a fair bit of waiting for enemies to wander into your aim before you can fire at them.

Once you've acquired a certain score, the upgrade menu will appear for you to improve your weapon or buy an extra health slot for the heart. You can only choose one of the three available upgrades every time, so you'll have to plan ahead if you want to survive past the first couple of waves while having a weapon that is powerful enough to fend off the bigger enemies. (Windows, 2.17MB)

Indie Game Links: Is It Art

July 10, 2010 1:00 AM | Tim W.

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

Boing Boing Arcade: Games Inspired by Music
"We've compiled a shortlist of finalists into a Boing Boing Arcade: try them all, then vote for who should take home the top prizes. The poll remains open until July 14 and we'll announce the winners on July 15."

Bytejacker: Interview with Scott Stoddard, creator of Robot Unicorn Attack
"We discuss the inspiration he took from games like Canabalt and Brutal Legend, some of the insane stuff Robot Unicorn fans have made, and the fact that Erasure has actually played the game. No, seriously."

The Escapist: Indie Dev Contest Entrants Can Keep Their IPs, says Activision
"Activision has clarified the terms of its indie game development contest, saying that entrants will keep ownership of their IP unless they decide to enter into a completely separate deal to have the company publish their game."

Big Download: We chat with ACE Team's co-founder about Rock of Ages
"ACE Team's co-founder Andres Bordeu to give us more info about Rock of Ages, including what the game was previously called."

Level 42: What did the Rastafarian cat say to the Glowing toucan
"I had the chance to interview Brendon Chung, a videogame developer and the founder of Blendo Games. We talked about his future endeavours, his games Flotilla and Gravity Bone, the nature of game development and the origins of Blendo Games."

G4tv.com: Game Development Toolset Stencyl Making The Big Leap Towards Flash
"The web-based Stencyl is one of many companies who attempts to make game development easier for the amateur developer, and the company recently told us about a slew of improvements coming to Stencyl, including support for Flash."

The Games Collective: The Fourth TGC Pageant, 10 Years
"There's no theme for this one, just the deadline. Entrants have ten years to come up with a game for the pageant."

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of July 9

July 10, 2010 12:17 AM | Simon Carless

In a plentiful week for new job postings, sister site Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles across the world and in every major discipline, including opportunities at Respawn Entertainment, BioWare Austin 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:

BioWare Austin: World Designer
"BioWare, a member of the incredible family of EA studios, has created some of the world's best-selling titles including the award-winning Baldur's Gate, the Neverwinter Nights series, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Original BioWare-created IPs include the critically acclaimed Mass Effect, the epic fantasy RPG Dragon Age, Jade Empire, and Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. BioWare Austin is hard at work on the massively multiplayer online game, Star Wars: The Old Republic. BioWare Austin is seeking candidates for a Temporary World Designer position."

Digital Extremes: AI Programmer
"With over 100 of the industry's most talented artists, designers and programmers, Digital Extremes works hard to make its employees the best they can be by providing a positive, purpose-filled work atmosphere that in turn, drives creativity and innovation into our games. While honoring our commitment to providing a work environment in which to collaborate and create superior video games, we constantly push the limits through artistic style, sleek code design, and technical efficiency."

Darwinia and Multiwinia Source Code Released

July 9, 2010 9:19 PM | Michael Rose

darwinia.jpg

Introversion Software has released the source code for two of its biggest hits, Darwinia and the multiplayer edition Multiwinia.

Both are available to buy from the Introversion online store, and cost $45/£30 for the two. Chris Delay of Introversion gave details in a forum post:

"The code is distributed via an online subversion repository, where you can not only access the vanilla sources, but also create your own branches to share with other developers. Purchase of this product also grants you access to the Darwinia and Multiwinia development forum and wiki, where you can discuss mods with other developers.

For those specifically interested in modding Multiwinia, we are running an entirely separate Metaserver for multiplayer testing. Each copy of the Source Code includes five authentication keys, meaning you can code changes to Multiwinia and test with 4 players and still have a key spare. "

Introversion has said that it will eventually release the source code for all its games - the source code for Uplink was already released a few years back.

Gryzor87's Retro-Inspired Sound: Hydorah Music Q&A (Locomalito)

July 9, 2010 9:00 AM | jeriaska

Freeware game Hydorah is the brainchild of Locomalito of Andalucia, Spain. For the soundtrack, whose cover art is by illustrator Marek Bayej, musician Gryzor87 drew on the established audio styles of retro sidescrolling shooters, while also infusing his own rock and classical-inspired tastes.

Free with every download of the game from the Locomalito website comes the entire hour-long, 50-track soundtrack album in mp3 format. In this interview with the composer we hear about the lengthy collaborative process that made the pipe dream of this ambitious homebrew shmup a reality.

What can you tell us about your personal experiences playing games in the arcades and how this has informed your composition style?

Gryzor87, musician: When I was 12 or 13 there were arcade centers in my town, and I spent a lot of time and coins playing and watching other players. I enjoyed this very much, because those videogames were absolutely gorgeous with their graphics and electronic music. I was also amazed at the incredible skills that some people had. There was a spirit of competition and these games were intense in all senses. The arcade music had a drastic influence on me. I remember when I got home I tried to play those melodies on the piano, enjoying the music again and again...

How long has it been since you first met game designer Locomalito, and have you found that as a design team you are capable of complementing each others' strengths?

We met four years ago and we both share continuous feedback. As we live in the same city, we meet frequently and spend a lot of hours talking about our projects, so we can polish the results until the both of us completely agree. Locomalito offers me advice about music and vice versa, and in the end I think it works. To answer your question, I would say that we are complementing each others' skills very well.

Browser Game Pick: Morplee (Tom Vencel)

July 8, 2010 8:00 PM | Tim W.


Morplee is a collection of twenty-five minigames that you have to complete in under one minute, stacked in such a way that you can play up to three games displayed on screen in any order. The invaders that appear out of the sky must also be shot down quickly, because you will start to lose valuable health if they are allowed to land on planet Earth.

It will take a couple of tries to beat the game, since some of the challenges require a bit of trial and error to figure out.

Freeware Game Pick: Storm Over the Desert (Pishtaco)

July 8, 2010 3:04 PM | Michael Rose

sotd.jpg

Storm Over the Desert is an arcade remake created for the Action 52 Owns project. Players take control of a tank fleet against the evil Satan Hosain, blasting their way through enemy tanks and soldiers.

The four tanks can be moved in and out of formation, allowing you to pass around awkwardly placed rocks and mines. Every time one of your tanks is destroyed, you can buy a new one for $2000 - of course, you'll have to kill the enemy to earn cash. The best tactic seems to be rushing through as quickly as possible, and replacing tanks as soon as they explode.

Short but sweet. Download from here.

Browser Game Pick: Freq Fire (Griffle)

July 8, 2010 1:36 AM | Michael Rose

freqfire.JPGA video game has just entirely baffled me. Before you read on, go and play Griffle's Freq Fire. It's a musical shmup. Just go and play.

Done? Now you may understand my confusion, or you may be dying to dive into the comments section and berate me for my ignorance. Either way, this is how it goes - the player types a band into the box and then hits go. A fairly simple shooter follows, but with the music of your choice playing over it. This then gradually fades into another song by the same band, then into a song from another band, but usually of the same genre.

Ten tracks are played in total, spiralling through similar genres of music until reaching the original band again. My initial confusion sprung from wondering where exactly the music was being pulled from - my first thought was Spotify, but then I noticed the Amazon page for each track is linked at the end - indeed, the game must be grabbing Amazon's preview snippets for each track.

Then I wondered what exactly the game is for. I mean, it's an average shmup to say the least, but the idea of a sort of music discovery experience through gaming is intriguing - I can listen to snippets of bands I may like while blasting away, then look into them at the end of the game if I so wish.

I still feel like I'm missing something, though, and there's little detail on Griffle's site to suggest exactly what the purpose of the game is. Can anyone provide enlightenment?

Indie Game Pick: Delve Deeper (Lunar Giant Studios)

July 7, 2010 5:50 PM | Michael Rose

Delve Deeper is a great single and multiplayer strategy game featuring dwarfs, mines and evil creatures. Over a number of turns, your task is to dig deep into the mountain, setting your team of dwarfs to work digging precious minerals and collecting ancient relics.

Each turn starts with the player placing a mine piece, connecting their caverns to deeper openings. Then your group of five dwarfs must be given tasks, be it mining gems for your cause, grabbing treasure or fighting nasties from the deep. After every player has had their turn, the monsters then have their go, honing in on the nearest player and trying to knock them unconscious.

There are lots of different tactics and strategies involved - for example, rather than placing a cavern piece to expand your territory, you can place it in another player's area, connecting their guys to a horde of baddies. You can even connect your place to another player's, enter their mines and battle other dwarfs for territory. The winner is the player who has collected the most gems and treasures by the end of the game.

Up to four players can battle on a single computer, hotseat style, or a single player can battle AI-controlled opponents. It's seriously good fun and quite unique - I certainly haven't seen anything like it before. Definitely worth checking out, especially for the $5 price tag. Download it here, or grab the demo.

GDC Vault Adds Indie Gamemaker Rant, New Site Features

July 7, 2010 4:03 PM | Simon Carless

Continuing the Game Developers Conference 2010 free video lecture series, organizers have debuted the 'Indie Gamemaker Rant' from the 2010 Independent Games Summit, also adding multiple new site navigation features.

The new lecture, highly rated by GDC attendees, is part of a free update published at the GDC Vault website, and features video technology that allows users to simultaneously view a presenter's slides alongside video and audio of their presentation.

The well-received 'Indie Gamemaker Rant' is now available for free video streaming, and was described by its creators at the time as: "A series of exquisite [five-minute] rants by notable indie game creators. Experience different points of view on indieness, art, beauty, and the future presented by an all star cast of international friends."

As a detailed Destructoid write-up on the hour-long set of microlectures described, presenters on a host of fascinating topics included Adam Saltsman (Canabalt, pictured), Jonatan Soderstrom (aka Cactus), Anna Anthropy (aka Auntie Pixelante), Jarrad Woods (Captain Forever), Offworld editor [and now IGF Chairman] Brandon Boyer, Randy Smith (Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor), Nathan Vella (Critter Crunch), Craig D. Adams (Superbrothers), Tommy Refenes (Super Meat Boy), Robin Hunicke (thatgamecompany), Ryan O'Donnell (Co-Op/Area 5 Media) and Babsi Lippe (Papermint).

Of additional significance to those interested in independent and alternative views on games is the already available free video of the 'Artgame Sessions' GDC 2010 lecture -- including several smaller talks on Far Cry 2, Braid, Mark Essen's games (Flywrench), and Terry Cavanagh and Stephen Lavelle's Judith.

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