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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 August, 2010

Browser Game Pick: Graviton (Sam Gynn)

August 23, 2010 7:00 AM | Tim W.

Graviton is an avoidance game that Sam Gynn created for the 18th Ludum Dare competition. You move your cursor with the mouse, and points are scored by getting the enemies that chase after you to collide with each other.

A multiplier bonus is awarded for getting circles of the same colour to collide, although you won't be concentrating too much on it when the screen is filled with enemies of all sizes and colours. There's also no way to turn off the annoying music at the moment, and though the developer had spent an entire day playtesting Graviton, the game still has a tendency to crash both my IE and Firefox browser windows when the score goes past 2000 points.

Browser Game Pick: Metagun (Markus Persson)

August 23, 2010 12:31 AM | Michael Rose


Created for the Ludum Dare 18 contest, Metagun is a platform shooter with an interesting concept. The theme of the competition was 'Enemies As Weapons', hence in this game your bazooka fires small men who then start trying to kill you.

There's a method to the madness - the gunfire from these little men can be used to push and destroy blocks, and also kill other baddies. The idea is to fire the men into a useful place, then stand between them and the obstacle you want shooting. Dodge the incoming bullet fire and it will hit your target. Hey presto and all that.

It's clever, but it gets seriously difficult later on, with bullets flying all over the place. Here's a nice touch though - when you get hit, you lose your fedora, which then starts floating back down to earth. Get hit too many times when hatless and you're dead - however, grab the hat as it's falling and you'll gain your armour back.

I didn't manage to make it to the end, mainly because I'm terrible at games. I'm sure you will all do better. Go play!

Challenge from Kiyoshi Beaten, Playthrough

August 22, 2010 8:00 PM | Tim W.

I've known about this Challenge from Kiyoshi playthrough on Nico video for a couple of months now, but it was only as recently as last week that the rest of the videos were uploaded online. 8bit fanatics' 2D platformer is one of the hardest games ever made, and the developer even acknowledges this fact by offering players 999 lives to start the game with.

You can use the links below to watch the Nico Douga videos without registering for an account. There's also a bit of swearing in Japanese going on (he says kuso quite frequently in the final clip), so you might want to lower the volume of your speakers or put on your headphones before viewing. The floating comments text can be disabled by clicking on the text bubble option on the bottom right side of your browser window.

part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8

The last three videos (parts 6 to 8) showcase the hardest sections in Challenge from Kiyoshi, so you could start from there if you just want to watch the best parts of the game. Challenge from Kiyoshi can be downloaded from here (click on the red link underneath the big download button for the English version). Our original article about the game is here.

Trailer: Astroman (StarQuail Games)

August 22, 2010 7:44 PM | Michael Rose

Astroman is a shooty dodgey jetpacky platformer coming soon for Xbox Live Indie Games. It caught my eye as it looks far more polished than the majority of XBLIG titles that I see.

The gameplay and general style remind me a little of a game that I have on the tip of my tongue but can't remember at this precise moment, so I'm going to say instead that the level design seems quite Nintendo-like and definitely my kind of game. The only thing I'd suggest is a name change - Astroman is pretty generic, and will easily get lost in a sea of crappy XBLIG titles.

It's also a bit strange that there doesn't appear to be any mention of the game anywhere on the internets at all! (Besides this video, obviously). Apparently we can expect to see it released soon though.

Browser Game Pick: One Button Arthur (Tom Vencel)

August 20, 2010 7:48 PM | Michael Rose


Hey you! Remember One Button Bob? Of course you do, it was great fun. Mr Ninja Doodle has released a sort-of sequel called One Button Arthur, in which you help our heroic hero do heroic deeds, all with a single button.

Arthur needs to stop, slash, dodge, run, change direction, go through doors, leap like a frog, and a few other things which I've forgotten about since playing it five minutes ago. There's plenty of silliness to be had, although it gets midly frustrating towards the end when you have to make precision jumps onto tiny plots of land. Our old friend Bob even makes a guest appearance at one point.

I did it in 479 clicks. Try to beat me! Go on! Oh yeah, the link - here you go.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of August 20

August 20, 2010 7:30 PM | Leigh Alexander

In a busy week for new job postings, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles across the world and in every major discipline, including opportunities at Freeverse, SCEA Santa Monica, and many 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:

Harmonix Music Systems: QA Director
"Renowned for the hit Rock Band series and the critically-acclaimed titles Frequency, Amplitude, and Phase, Harmonix has pioneered music & rhythm gaming, finding new ways for musicians and novices alike to experience the thrills of music making. Everyone is encouraged to contribute to the design and creative development of our games.

We are looking for people with a passion for music and musical performance to add to our world-class art team. We are an equal opportunity employer and offer a competitive benefits package, an active workspace, and a chance to work with some of the most inspiring individuals in the gaming world.

Freeverse: Software Engineer
"Freeverse is a wholly owned studio in the ngmoco family. We strive to develop and publish seamless software, with a particular concentration on the Mac and iPhone platforms. Our developed and published titles have been honored with six Apple Design Awards. Headquartered in New York City, Freeverse is at the forefront of creating compelling, cutting-edge games."

Preview: Damzel (MindFlock)

August 20, 2010 9:35 AM | Michael Rose

I don't usually post about games that are this early on in development, but the concept behind Damzel has really got my attention. Players take on the role of a bodyguard in a procedurally generated city, and are given the task of assessing their surroundings and protecting their VIP.

Described as a cross between Syndicate, ICO and Rainbow Six, the game aims to create a living world around you, filled with NPCs which are controlled by an AI director. Each VIP has different social backgrounds and views on how situations should be handled, so when a threat is detected, you must decide how much force to use in keeping the VIP safe. Players also command the rest of the protecting squad, and must tactically place their team to maximise coverage.

All the details can be found on the MindFlock site. Right now there's simply the above screenshot and the concept in full, but hopefully we'll see something playable sometime in the near future.

Browser Game Pick: Liferaft: Zero (Mikengreg)

August 19, 2010 10:51 PM | Michael Rose


Absolutely adore this one, up until the point where I got horribly stuck. Liferaft: Zero is set in a testing facility, where little girl clones are made to run, jump and swing their way around dangerous chambers.

It's all got an incredibly vibe to it, and there are lots of little details here and there that make it all the more entertaining - the scientists watching you from behind glass, sipping on cups of tea every now and again; The dialogue changing depending on how many girls you've managed to kill; The blood-stained spikes which get more and more soiled as you fail that swing for the umpteenth time... it's lovely stuff.

I managed to get hopelessly stuck on Trial 21, which tells you to hold up to achieve enough speed to reach the bell, but I couldn't for the life of me work out how that particular mechanic works. Still, I'm sure you lot will manage to work it out in an instant, and I'm just being incredibly stoopid.

It's here! Go play.

Castle Crashers Coming to PSN on August 31st

August 19, 2010 7:22 PM | Michael Rose


The Behemoth's Castle Crashers is finally getting a Playstation Network release, just over two years after it first launched on Xbox Live. The side-scrolling, multiplayer hack-'em-up will land in the PSN store on August 31st.

The Playstation version will be almost identical to the original release, with an additional new exclusive mode called Volleyball, which is exactly what you think it is. I for one am pretty excited to see the PSN version finally here - I've never owned the game previously, since I refuse to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription. No word on the price yet, but given the 1200 MS points ($15) tag on the Xbox version, it's probably safe to assume the Playstation price will be the same.

Check out the latest Behemoth blog entry for all the details.

Freeware Game Pick: The Journey Down - Over the Edge (Theodor Waern)

August 19, 2010 11:00 AM | Tim W.

The Journey Down, Chapter 1: Over the Edge is a point-and-click adventure game that tells the story of Bwana and his friend Kito, two individuals who run a gas station but were forced to find other means of making money when the power company threatens to cut their electrical supply off. Fortunately at about the same time a young woman arrives at your doorstep looking for a book, and she willing to reward you handsomely should you be able to help her out with an errand.

Anyone familiar with classic LucasArts games should feel right at home with the controls here. Left clicking on any interactive object examines or operates it, inventory items are located at the bottom of the screen, and moving your cursor towards the top of the window displays the options menu.

You can press the period ('.') key to skip parts of a dialogue quickly, or use the escape key to end an in-game cutscene immediately. Note that there is only one save slot to use, and you might need to fiddle with the setup.exe file a bit to get the game looking as gorgeous as the screenshots posted at the official site.

The first of the four chapters also ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, with the story to continue in the second part (Into the Mist) due out sometime in the summer of 2011. (Windows, 122MB)

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