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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

Freeware Game Pick: Enemy of the Solid State (Bento Smile)

August 24, 2010 6:00 PM | Tim W.

Enemy of the Solid State is a visual novel which sees the player taking on the role of a scarf-wearing spy, waiting for his contact to arrive with a special package that he is supposed to collect. The game is a lot more lighthearted than Air Pressure and The Life of a Pacifist is Often Fraught with Conflict, featuring a cast of zany characters to interact with as you try to complete your assigned mission.

You can switch between fullscreen and windowed mode using the F key. This Ludum Dare 18 competition entry takes about fifteen minutes to play from start to finish. (Mac/Win/Linux, 6.09MB)

Win a Copy of Swarm Arena

August 24, 2010 4:28 PM | Michael Rose

[UPDATE: The competition is over, and congratulations have been dished out to the winners. If you didn't manage to grab a free code, you should still check the game out - it's fun and it glows all sorts of crazy colours]

Swarm Arena was released via Steam last week. It's an arena shooter which is less shooter, more tactical. Taking control of a glowing organism, you move around the arena, collecting swarms of neon thingies and then unleashing them on other organisms. It's a great deal of fun and definitely worth checking out.

Developer Dedication Games has blessed us with several Steam codes to download the game for free, so we thought we'd pass them on to you guys in the form of a Twitter competition. Follow on Twitter from 5pm GMT onwards and we'll start throwing them out for your first come, first served pleasure.

For more details on the game, check out the official Swarm Arena Steam page.

Trailer: Substream (Ben Bradley)

August 24, 2010 1:48 PM | Michael Rose

I've got to admit, my initial reaction to the above trailer was that the graphics could do with a bit more work. Then it really gets going, and my interest status changed to 'piqued'.

Substream is 'a music-synaesthesia 3D shooter', according to developer Ben Bradley. These are fancy words which basically mean that the graphics and the enemies move in time with the music - and it's shaping up to be something rather special. The floor bends and dances with the music, rainbows play notes like a piano, waves crash to the beat... and then it all gets very weird, with freaky crane-like arms and huge pillars in the sand. Psychedelic, maaaan!

As far as I'm aware, you won't be able to put your own music into the game - rather, each level will feature set music. Which is probably a good thing, given how poor the 'play your own music' style games have been of late. The game is planned for a 2011 release on PC, and you can check out more details over on the official site.

And Yet It Moves Released on WiiWare

August 24, 2010 12:00 PM | Michael Rose

Broken Rules' And Yet It Moves has been released on WiiWare, along with the above launch trailer. And it's a rather awesome trailer at that.

For those not in 'the loop', And Yet It Moves is a platformer in which you can rotate the world to turn walls into floor and vice-versa. The WiiWare edition is slightly different to the PC release, in that you can specify how much the world is rotated rather than turning it a set amount. Watch the video from a couple of weeks ago but a better idea.

The game is available to download from the WiiWare service for 1,000 Nintendo Points ($10).

Preview: Planck (Shadegrown Games)

August 24, 2010 9:30 AM | jeriaska

One factor that often distinguishes the production cycles of independent titles from those of triple-A game studios is the room for flexible deadlines. Though the “when it’s ready policy” may at times provoke impatience in those waiting on long promised titles, the flexibility to rethink their deadlines is among the greatest advantages that homebrew developers have in controlling the quality of their creations.

Game designer and critic Matthew Burns has conceived of Shadegrown Games as a company consciously focused on a slow and steady production schedule, a potentially problematic philosophy to maintain outside of the indie sphere. His team's debut title Planck is a music game that weds rhythm action with visual cues from top-down shooters, where the overall gameplay architecture aspires to be so novel that it’s difficult to describe.

When asked about Shadegrown, the founder likens its process to shadegrown coffee makers. There the idea is to “plant coffee in with other crops so that it isn’t just a field packed full with coffee plants. You harvest less coffee that way, and you make less money, but it’s better for the environment. It’s more of a complete ecosystem.” In the case of game design, the analog is taking the form of seven contributors creating assets part-time and gradually redesigning Planck from the ground up with each build.

Browser Game Pick: Collateral (Jonathan Whiting)

August 23, 2010 4:00 PM | Michael Rose

Collateral follows a soldier who is given the task of infiltrating an enemy base to find proof that the bad guys have nuclear weapons. Created for Ludum Dare 18, the twist is that you can't die - instead, getting hit by enemy fire will launch you higher, which is especially useful for later in the game.

The baddies will fire back at you when you're in range, but if you manage to dodge out of the way, any stray bullets will bounce off walls and bounce back, potentially killing them. The game tells you to 'kill them all' at the start, but it's actually more interesting to see if you can complete the game without a single fatality.

Go and play before you watch the above video, as it shows a complete walkthrough.

Browser Game Pick: Fib (Sophie Houlden)

August 23, 2010 12:00 PM | Tim W.

Fib is Sophie Houlden's Unity-based puzzle game created for the Ludum Dare 18 competition, where players get to control a character who can subtly influence the actions of his peers by complementing or insulting them. A character will follow you around if you offer a word of praise or two, but they will turn against the player when insults are traded. By telling another person that their friend had been saying awful things about them behind their backs, a targeted individual could even get a beating without ever knowing the cause of the aggression.

Due to the time restrictions of the competition, this prototype build features only a handful of levels to play, ending just as players are getting used to the idea of spreading lies and half-truths.

GDC Online Reveals Host Of iPhone, iPad Summit Lectures

August 23, 2010 10:58 AM | Simon Carless

Organizers of this October's GDC Online (formerly GDC Austin) have announced key speakers for its iPhone and iPad Gaming Summits, including Words With Friends/We Rule's David Bettner, Pocket Legends' Cinco Barnes and more.

The two new Summits, focusing on Apple's portable gaming devices, take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 5th-6th in Austin, Texas alongside the larger GDC Online event, to provide a lexicon of key facts and advice for all those working in the iPhone and iPad game areas.

From key business learnings through top technical takeaways, some of the developers who are even now surging to major success on the iPhone, iPad and other mobile platforms are shaping this inaugural GDC Summit on the subject.

Some of the newly announced highlights of this year's iPhone and iPad Gaming Summit talks, chosen by a distinguished Summit advisory board including Gamevil's Kyu C. Lee, Canabalt's Adam Saltsman, GeoDefense's David Whatley and Backflip's Julian Farrior, include the following:

- The lecture 'Turn Based: The Power and Potential of Asynchronous Gaming in Mobile' sees Newtoy co-founder David Bettner, one of the minds behind smash iPhone hits Words With Friends and We Rule, explaining why "turn based gaming, previously confined to the living room, has been liberated. At its core, it's gaming meets text-messaging and it allows you to play with your friends anytime, anywhere, in a way never before possible."

- Successful indie Arash Keshmirian of Limbic Software (Tower Madness) is presenting 'App Store Survival - Launching and Sustaining a Successful Franchise', outlining "strategies for developing a game that not only thrives at launch but holds players attention and can become an enduring franchise." Attendees will learn how to analyze and hone initial concepts (including revenue models) for the best chance of success, managing a launch and an ongoing marketing calendar, and a host of other notable tips.

Browser Game Pick: dance dance dance (Brandon Williamson)

August 23, 2010 9:00 AM | Tim W.

Nyarla's dance dance dance is a Ludum Dare 18 competition entry that puts players in the shoes of a ballroom dancer, scoring points by knocking over other couples or waiters with your own dance partner. By pressing the space key you will twirl your companion away from you, spinning and crashing into anyone that stands in his way until he comes to a stop.

You may have to watch out for other dancers who will try to knock you off your feet as well, and then there are the waiters who will send shards of glass in four different directions everytime one of them falls on the dance floor.

Browser Game Pick: Undermine (Alexander Martin)

August 23, 2010 8:00 AM | Tim W.

In Droqen's Undermine you control a blue character who has to defend against an alien invasion and send the giant invader back to space. Our hero can run, jump, slide and knock enemies into the air, but you can only hurt the boss if you master the launch move properly. Some enemies need to be stomped on before the launch attack is effective on them, and even they recover quickly after being stunned by a knock on the head.

This Ludum Dare 18 competition entry features only one level to play.

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