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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 November, 2010

Indie Game Links: Heavy Metal

November 4, 2010 12:26 PM | Tim W.

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

GameSetWatch: Sword & Sworcery Screenshots
"Indie developer Capybara posted several beautiful iPad-size screenshots for Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, its collaboration iOS project with pixel artist/animator Craig 'Superbrothers' Adams and singer-songwriter Jim Guthrie."

The Game Prodigy: Choosing the Perfect Style for You
"Most indie developers sadly don’t put much thought into their game artwork. The current trend, running along with the Experimental Gameplay Sessions and other conferences, is to focus squarely on mechanics. Artwork is an afterthought, often just chosen randomly or by deciding what is the easiest to pull off."

GamesRadar: Super Meat Boy's retro reference guide
"Even though Meat Boy pays enough reverence to the past just by being classically great, the icing on top of the delicious, red velvet, SMB cake is all the respect the game pays to titles of the past more directly. Whether it’s a cleverly animated cutscene, level layout, or the onscreen HUD, Super Meat Boy recognizes its legacy."

Gamasutra: Redemption Divines The Fate Of The World
"Using real world data, indie developer Red Redemption hopes to combine science and fantasy in its climate change-based strategy game Fate of the World. Gamasutra spoke with Red Redemption chairman Gobion Rowlands to discuss the game's unusual concept, how it balances realism with gameplay, and the studio's atypical approach to independent development."

Develop: Join Julian in his Wait, Pre-Purchase available
"Dinner Date, Stout Games’ debut drama, is now available for pre-purchase. The pre-purchase allows you to purchase the game for $9.95 - saving $2.50 off the release price and allowing you to download the game as soon as it is available, November 17th, 5.15pm GMT."

Destructoid: Nimbus review
"A while back, I put the call out for people to put Nimbus on their radar. It's the kind of independent game that nearly everyone who ends up playing it loves, but too few players are attracted to it in the first place."

Podcasting in Los Angeles: What Should Be Asked?

November 4, 2010 7:00 AM | jeriaska

The Podcast will be recording in Los Angeles this month. Three independent developers have offered to answer your questions concerning their previous releases, future plans, or game making in general. Feel free to comment on this post to have your question posed on an upcoming installment of the program:

Matt Gilgenbach is the co-founder of 24 Caret Games, based in Sherman Oaks, California. His rhythm title Retro/Grade, played entirely in reverse, is headed to the Playstation Network in 2011 and famously makes use of either the SIXAXIS controller or guitar peripheral. Set to original music by Skyler McGlothlin of the band Nautilus, the title received the Audience Award at the recent IndieCade festival in Culver City. The same game designer is responsible for the unique marriage proposal game A Mobius Proposal, which is an entry in this year's IGF. See our PAX interview for more.

Joshua Nuernberger submitted his adventure game Gemini Rue to the previous Independent Games Festival. The dual storyline taking place in the Gemini solar system alternately has you playing as amnesiac inmate Delta-Six and hunted gunslinger Azriel. Using a traditional point-and-click interface, you must discover a way to wriggle free of the Boryokudan organization's oppressive control. The science fiction neo-noir thriller, featuring an atmospheric soundtrack by Nathan Allen Pinard, has secured a distributor and will see a release on PCs in 2011. See our E3 interview for more.

Mark Essen (Messhoff online) has submitted two entries for the 2011 Independent Games Festival. Flywrench is an action puzzler set in space, in which your ship can perform various maneuvers in order to flap its way past obstacles and through color-coded barriers. 30 levels currently exist, but the designer is interested in eventually constructing closer to one hundred. Original music is by Jordan Stone. Nidhogg is a 2D two-player jousting tournament with platforming elements. Your sword can be raised and lowered, chucked across the screen or used to disarm your opponent. Music is by GDFX.

Indie Game Pick: The Machine (Bumpkin Brothers)

November 3, 2010 10:55 PM | Michael Rose

The Machine is a fun little puzzle game in which you build conveyor belts to move coloured blocks around a level and into a dumpster. You've given only a set number of pieces, so it's essential that you place each one down in the correct position.

Once the concept is understood fully, new elements are added to the mix such as different coloured blocks, machines that split blocks in two, and cannons for firing blocks over gaps in the floor. The best method for completing each level is usually to fill in all the spaces that are obviously, then experiment with your remaining pieces to connect it all together.

There's a demo available, although it's rather brief and only barely shows the concept off. You can grab the full game from Impulse for $8/£5.

2010 Independent Games Festival China Announces Finalists

November 3, 2010 5:59 PM | Simon Carless

Organizers of the second annual Independent Games Festival China have revealed finalists for both the Main and Student competitions, including over 10 stand-out indie games from across Asia.

High-quality submissions for the second iteration of the event -- a newly formed sister competition to the main yearly Independent Games Festival in San Francisco -- were received from multiple Chinese provinces, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Iran, India and beyond.

Finalists were chosen by a panel of distinguished local judges, including representatives from Shanda Games, Tencent, IGDA Shanghai, TipCat Interactive and more.

IGF China finalists are invited to Shanghai for the Game Developers Conference China event from December 5th to 7th, where they will be showing their games at a special Pavilion on the Expo Floor, open to all GDC China attendees.

In addition, finalists are eligible to win up to RMB61,000 ($9,100) in cash prizes, as well as specially created awards and All Access Passes to GDC San Francisco 2011 worth thousands of dollars.

The Main Competition finalists for the 2010 Independent Games Festival China are:

Sugar Cube (Turtle Cream, South Korea)
Hazard: The Journey Of Life (Alexander Bruce, Australia)
Train Conductor 2 (The Voxel Agents, Australia)
Cut & Paste (Turtle Cream, South Korea)
Skillz: The DJ Game (Playpen Studios, Hong Kong)
ButaVX: Justice Fighter (Nekomura Games, Singapore)
Crossout (Coconut Island Studio, China)

The Student Competition finalists for this year's IGF China event are as follows:

Indie Game Pick: BIT.TRIP BEAT (Gaijin Games)

November 3, 2010 4:40 PM | Michael Rose

One of WiiWare's best titles has finally come to PC. Indeed, BIT.TRIP BEAT was released via Steam yesterday, and has 10% off the asking price up until November 9th. Should you partake in a little Bit Tripping? Why yes you should.

Here's the scoop for those not aware - BEAT is the first in the BIT.TRIP series, and plays out like a rhythm version of Pong, only far more insane. Over a few different levels, blocks fly at your paddle from the right-hand side of the screen, and your job is to simply hit them back. Every block that hits your paddle will make a noise like a bleep or a bloop, and always approaches you in time with the music. Note that the music is really awesome. Like, seriously awesome.

That's the general idea, although once you get fully going it is really difficult stuff. Hit enough blocks in a row and you'll enter Ultra mode, with spangely colourful exploding effects all over the screen - however, miss too many blocks and the level will reduce down to a retro Pong game, with a black background and white dots. It's a really lovely idea, although I found myself distracted every single time a transition happened.

It'll take you a while to beat the available levels as they are pretty damn hardcore, and there are leaderboards and achievements too. The amount of content available, however, is quite thin on the ground, with only a few different levels to play through - plus, the levels are a good ten minutes in length each, so if you're no good at keep complete focus while gaming, this may not be for you. There's no demo available at the moment which is a shame, but if you like the sound of it, make sure to head over to the Steam store.

Trailer: Snapshot (Retro Affect)

November 3, 2010 4:07 PM | Michael Rose

It's been roughly a year and a half since we last saw footage of Snapshot, and since then the game has come a rather long way. With a complete graphical overhaul, the action now looks so much nicer, and some of the new ideas are great too.

The above trailer was just released today, and starts by showing the original visuals, before bursting into the new set. I particularly like the idea towards the end of the video, where the main character takes a photo of himself, allowing him to create a buddy to help him push a heavy crate.

Still no word on a release date, but the game is once again entered into the IGF, so we'll see what happens there.

Trailer: Sexy Adventures (Grimmstone) [NSFW]

November 3, 2010 12:16 AM | Michael Rose

This is... well, it's umm... something a little different, and very NSFW. Sexy Adventures is a game of Tetris that involves putting certain pieces next to others, so that men and women will make with the coitus.

Just watch the above video. Have a moment to take it all in. Each Tetris block has a woman or a man in it, and the idea is to line the blocks up so that the women's bits are next to the men's bits, or the women's bits are next to the men's faces, or... well, you get the idea. It doesn't even have to be one-on-one. If you think this is funny, you should check out the devlog, in which Chad - one of the developers - talks about how they decided to use five-tile tetrominoes rather than four, as the body parts were all out of place.

The game is available to buy right now. You probably want to check it out. You know... for research purposes. It's also entered into the IGF! What do we think - does it have a chance of winning anything? Nuovo Award maybe?

Freeware Game Pick: A House in California (Jake Elliott)

November 2, 2010 6:46 PM | Michael Rose


A House in California is a short story-driven adventure, with mainly monochrome visuals. In each scene, you must use the available actions to push the story onwards.

Each character in the game is based on one of Jake's family members, and each little story revolve around family memories. Moving between scenes usually involved making the character remember thing from their pasts.

Download the game from Cardboard Computer.

Preview: Bitejacker (Raymond Teo and Anthony Carboni)

November 2, 2010 5:43 PM | Michael Rose

If you listened to this week's IndieGames podcast, you'll have heard us talking about an IGF entry called Bitejacker - a zombie survival shooter based on the indie gaming show Bytejacker. There were barely any details available, and we wanted answers!

Then this trailer popped up yesterday and I decided enough was enough! It was time to get in touch with Anthony Carboni, host of Bytejacker, and threaten him until he told us everything we needed to know... although it quickly became apparent that the whole threatening bit wasn't entirely necessary. In fact, he was more than happy to talk about the game. Funny that!

"Bitejacker was totally conceived by Ray Teo" Anthony told us. "You're probably familiar with his other stuff, like Tobe's Vertical Adventure. I just opened my inbox one day to some amazingly beautiful screenshots and said 'yes.'"

Trailer: Marvin's Mittens (Breakfall)

November 2, 2010 3:29 PM | Michael Rose

Marvin's Mittens is one of this year's IGF entries, and involves lots of running, jumping and exploring. A mitten thief has stolen Marvin's Mittens, so he goes on a journey to get them back.

Marvin also has some magical powers which allow him to float around a little and ride his toboggan really fast. According to the Breakfall blog, the game will be simple enough that anyone will be able to play, but there will also be plenty of hidden secrets and areas to explore for more hardcore gamers.

You can read into the game more at the Breakfall site. (Cheers James!)

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