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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 September, 2010

IndieCade 2010 Finalists: BIT.TRIP RUNNER (Gaijin Games)

September 7, 2010 7:15 PM | Michael Rose

BIT.TRIP RUNNER is next up in our look at this year's IndieCade finalists. It's a platformer featuring Gaijin Games' lead character CommanderVideo, and the fourth in the series of BIT.TRIP games.

What do players do in BIT.TRIP RUNNER, I hear you ask? Well why don't you take a guess, smart-alec! Our dear Commander runs runs runs, and jumps every now and then too. In fact, the jumps are meant to be pulled off with the rhythm - indeed, this is a musical endeavor, with plenty of chiptune tracks to keep you smiling.

There are over 50 levels, with some huge boss battles to overcome too. OK, so it's another of those 'keep running right and jump at the right moment' games, but let's be fair - they're usually good fun, and this one is no exception. It was released in May for WiiWare, and costs 800 Wii Points ($8).

Trailer: Chenzo Cove (Vincent Mysliwiec)

September 7, 2010 4:29 PM | Michael Rose


Chenzo Cove is an upcoming 3D platformer similar to the Super Monkey Ball series. Players roll a pirate around in a ball, trying to reach the end of each level in the set time limit.

Apart from the Monkey Ball style gameplay, there are also some 2D plane sections mixed in between. Then there are a couple of extra modes - Treasure, which I'm assuming will be a sort of coin collection minigame, and Race which is shown towards the end of the above trailer. It's only single player, which is a shame since multiplayer racing would be ace.

Still, looks like it will be good fun. I personally love the Super Monkey Ball games (well, the original few anyway) so hopefully Chenzo Park will be just as entertaining. Check out the Chenzo Park site for more details.

Freeware Game Pick: My Divorce (Brett Douville)

September 7, 2010 10:40 AM | Michael Rose

divorce.PNG

My Divorce is a take on Rod Humble's art game The Marriage, but from a different angle - namely, the divorce angle. Presented with abstract circles and squares, you must figure out for yourself what it means and what to do.

You begin the game by swiping down the middle of the screen. The blue circles can be made to swap sides by drawing a circle with your mouse around them. If you want to check out what the heck it all means, feel free to scroll down to the bottom of the download page, where Brett provides the answers. He even explains how to modify the game to match your own divorce (you know, if you're into that kind of thing).

If you didn't like The Marriage, you ain't going to like this either. In fact, if you're prone to getting angry over art games, you probably shouldn't bother with this. I personally haven't married or divorced, so it all goes right over my head - but that being said, I still found it moderately interesting. Download from here.

[Source: Rock Paper Shotgun]

Freeware Game Pick: Sombreros (Dustin Gunn)

September 7, 2010 8:00 AM | Tim W.


Sombreros is an arcade shooter made for Arthur Lee's Action 52 remake challenge, where you play as a Mexican gunslinger who has to retrieve a couple of giant hats from the bad guys. Ammo is unlimited in the game, and you can also call upon your sombrero power to pause time and mark enemies for a round of quick fire shots. Doing this depletes your sombrero gauge, but you can replenish it by collecting hats from defeated outlaws.

You won't just be shooting at henchmen throughout the entire game. There are a number of occasions where you have to duel with one or more gunslingers, and some levels have doors that you have to break down before you can proceed. The obligatory boss fights are there as well, featuring gang leaders who can take more damage than the common criminal.

Note that the version of Sombreros highlighted here is unfinished, but we will keep you posted if the full game ever comes out. Until then, best to grab a copy of the game in case the project is abandoned (Dustin's last update was July 16th) and the download link expires forever. (Windows, 4.00MB)

rComplex: The Movie, a Film based on the Indie Game

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


Before Stream, Roger Hicks and his partner Brian Terwilliger had created a short prototype game called rComplex (which you can download from here), and Jhon Candy alerted us today about a movie that was inspired by the duo's project. The video is a collaborative effort between Roger and Zenithfilms, showing much of the events that transpired in the game albeit from a different perspective.

Our original article about rComplex can be found here.

Indie Game Links: Call in The Witness

September 6, 2010 9:00 PM | 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)

The Witness: We showed The Witness at PAX
"For all three days of PAX 2010, The Witness was publicly playable by anyone who came by the booth. However, it was unmarked and unattended, so it was easy to miss."

Kotaku: A Tantalizing Session With The Witness
"Unattended, unlabeled, unmarked... the new game from the small team led by Braid creator Jonathan Blow was stealthily present at the PAX this weekend."

DIYgamer: Erin Robinson and Her Puzzling Bots
"Erin’s attempting to shake things up for her next project. She’s learning how to program in Unity and currently working on a shmup."

DIYgamer: Here’s a Couple of Candid Retro City Rampage Videos
"We were able to record a couple videos on the show floor at PAX, showing off Retro City Rampage’s more unique areas."

Basilisk Games: Announcing The Secret of Fathamurk
"The Secret of Fathamurk is a new, add-on adventure for Eschalon: Book II which gives the game an additional 5-10 hours of gameplay. The free expansion will be included in the 1.05 update coming this October."

The Path development blog: The Path Japanese version
"The Path is now available for download in Japanese language, thanks to our partners at Zoo."

GameSetWatch: Fantastic Arcade Commercial Promotes Indie Titles
"The Alamo Drafthouse has posted a neat promotional clip for Fantastic Arcade, featuring some of the 29 principal indie titles that will appear at the event, like Justin Smith's Enviro-Bear 2000, Mark 'Messhof' Essen's Nidhogg, and Jonatan 'cactus' Söderström's Norrland."

Game in Mind: Jordan Magnuson discusses his ambitious GameTrekking project
"Jordan Magnuson joins me to talk about his GameTrekking endeavor, which would send him around the world for the purpose of making travel games."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: South Korea’s Indie Tax Trauma
"The Korean government have decided to set up a ratings agency for games, and consequently all games published in South Korea under any format must now pay for their own age rating. A nightmare for indies who are trying to make it on their own."

IndieCade 2010 Finalists: B.U.T.T.O.N.

September 6, 2010 11:50 AM | Michael Rose


I've talked briefly about B.U.T.T.O.N. (Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally OK Now) before, as it was one of the Gamma IV finalists. It's being developed by the Copenhagen Game Collective, with music by Nifflas. Now an IndieCade 2010 finalist, it has come a little way since what I played back in March.

A hectic, one-button multiplayer game coming to both PC and Xbox 360, B.U.T.T.O.N. makes up to four players back away from the TV, and then do very silly things before rushing back to the TV and trying to fulfil whatever the victory requirements are. This can be something along the lines of 'hold your button down for 5 seconds' to the more interesting 'don't press your button at all'.

I say more interesting, because you don't technically have to stick to your own controller. There aren't really any rules other than following what it says on screen, so you can technically grab the controller from other players and mess with their character. You can also physically try to stop other people getting to their controllers, although that's now getting into the realms of beating each other up, and I certainly shouldn't be condoning that sort of behaviour.

When I gave it a go, the only problem I found was that it didn't work well playing with strangers at all - as you'd guess, none of the people playing knew each other, so we were all rather polite, trying not to bang into each other or wanting to seem too competitive. I can imagine that playing with a group of friends (and possibly cracking open a few beers) would do the game wonders.

Preview: Legend of Iya (Andrew Bado)

September 6, 2010 11:00 AM | Tim W.


Here's the latest development video from Legend of Iya, a 2D exploration platformer that has been in production for several years now. Originally designed for the Game Boy Advance, the current iteration of the project is developed with the PC platform in mind although the author has yet to decide on whether to release the game for free or not.

Shown above is a mid-boss fight with the elephant monster GunGanesha - from only the first area of the game. There are plans to release a short demo for Legend of Iya once the opening area has been completed, but considering that all of the coding and art are done by just one person, it could still be years before anyone out there will have a chance to sample it.

IndieCade 2010 Finalists: A Slow Year

September 5, 2010 12:56 PM | Michael Rose

aslowyear%282%29.jpg

We continue our look at the IndieCade 2010 finalists with Ian Bogost's A Slow Year. If you're not a fan of 'art games', look away now - Ian refers to his creation as a collection of 'game poems', and implements the action of observation throughout the four minigames on display.

The first thing to note is that this is a game built for the Atari 2600, and while the game will eventually be released for PC and Mac using an Atari emulator, there will also be a limited edition cartidge and poetry set, bound together in a book. If that isn't old school enough for you, A Slow Year is just 4K in size, as all Atari cartidges were 4K. Each of the four games available are 1K.

The above screenshot shows the four games in order of how you play them - each is set during a season. Your objectives are always more to do with watching and require minimal input. Autumn begins, and your job is to observe a leaf falling from the tree, and choose where you believe it will land on the floor, with the gusty wind as your guide. Then it's off to sit indoors as Winter approaches, and stare outside as the sun comes up. You've got a cup of coffee, and the idea is to drink it before it goes cold - but not too quickly.

Spring comes around, and with it thunderstorms. As rain falls, lightning will flash in the sky, and you need to tap the action button whenever you think the thunder will sound. Finally, Summer arrives and you're watching the sea. A branch is bobbing along, and you need to estimate how far it will travel, then close your eyes for three seconds, open them and see if you were right.

This is A Slow Year. As if you hadn't guessed, it's a slow game - but this is intentional, of course. The game will be available sometime towards the end of the year, although there is no set date right now. Head over to Ian's site for more details.

Indie Game Links: At a Crossroads

September 5, 2010 11:00 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)

Locomalito: L' Abbaye des Morts
"Making the last things to a minor Spectrum ZX style game called L' Abbaye des Morts (The Abbey of the Dead) that we did during the holidays. Info soon."

Teamliquid.net: Korea to block Valve's Steam
"A homebrew game making team was developing an RPG game when they received a cease-or-desist e-mail from the Department of Videogame Rating Board of Korea, unless they sent in their game for rating (as well as asking for a hefty amount of fee). The team eventually closed all their websites and ceased game development as it was too much burden on their pocket."

TIGSource: South Korean Game Rating Board Cracks Down on Indies
"Apparently the South Korean Game Rating Board (GRB) has forced a Korean RPG Maker website to remove all of its games, due to the owner's inability to pay for the ratings which are mandatory for ALL games. This includes freeware games that are distributed online, as was the case here."

Indie Superstar: Indies Create in Japan! Q-Games Talks SOWN and Industry
"Recognizing our own experimental design, Q-Games' Dylan Cuthbert graced us with his virtual presence and talked candidly about games, the industry, and the experimental game conference Sense of Wonder Night."

Indie Superstar: All the IndieCade 2010 Finalist Videos in One Place
"IndieCade. We tried to win this competition with our own TAPtapTAPtapTAPtapTAP: Paralyzed by Bad Fugu Nigiri, but we were outdone. They've selected the 2010 finalists. Here are all of them that have any videos up. They're good. Some are awesome."

Steam: Pre-Purchase Now - Amnesia: The Dark Descent
"Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a game about immersion, discovery and living through a nightmare. An experience that will chill you to the core. Pre-purchase Amnesia: The Dark Descent now on Steam and save 20%."

Telltale Games: The Great Adventure Bundle 2010 Is Here
"Games in the $19.95 bundle include The Whispered World, Jack Keane, King's Quest Collection, and Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode 1. It also includes Telltale's Puzzle Agent and Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space - which will unlock as more people purchase the bundle. Note it's for PC only. Sale ends on 10th of Sept, 2010."

GamerBytes: Slam Bolt Scrappers is Weird, Trailer
"Take Tetris, throw in cooperative play and a bit of Wario Woods and you'll have something a bit similar to Slam Bolt Scrappers, a new puzzle game from Fire Hose Games. Certainly interesting."

Jon Whetzel: How to Moonlight as a Microsoft XBox Live Indie Game Developer (video)
"How do you put your creative vision in the hands of avid gamers across the world? It's a dream come true for Jon Whetzel, who would only give up indie video game design for being an astronaut or a race car driver. Learn the tools of the trade from a veteran."

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