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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

Pixel Pushers Q&A: Artist Jude Buffum

November 17, 2010 2:00 AM | jeriaska

Jude Buffum and Adam Robezzoli, photo by Meat Bun

The visual art of Jude Buffum renders popular culture in the sprite aesthetic of 8-bit videogames. He has projected through an NES-tinted lens subjects as varied as The Big Lebowski, Keyboard Cat and the 2008 presidential elections. With several new pieces on display at the Pixel Pushers exhibition in Culver City, curated by Giant Robot and Attract Mode, we caught up with the artist to hear his thoughts on the independent game scene.

What did you decide to create for this show on the subject of game-inspired design?

Jude Buffum: I did a series of pieces based on old butcher diagrams, something I've had a morbid fascination with for a long time. But instead of doing an exploded diagram of the various cuts from a cow or pig, they show how to slice up various videogame characters. The idea is that after Mario defeats Koopa he slices him up and fries a steak... served with a side of mushrooms, of course. My girlfriend is a vegetarian, so I've been adding more vegan meals to my recipe book lately, and I have been doing some research into the industry at her prodding, and I guess this kind of came out of that.

Do you prefer for there to be a comical or satirical element to your art? Does it add another dimension to the interpretation?

I do, because I think that art can either be incredibly emotional, or it can be very humorous. I tend to be more interested in the latter. I heard Wayne White once say that the art world needs to be less uptight, to lighten up and have a good laugh. So that's sort of what I like to do with my work. I like to think that my style evokes a sense of nostalgia for people of a certain age, those that grew up around the same time as me.

Browser Game Pick: Gil (Alex Miller)

November 16, 2010 4:47 PM | Michael Rose

Gil is a simple platformer that explores a variety of different mechanics, from breaking bridges to jetpacks to levers to portals.

There are also a number of levels that involve creating clones of yourself to activate levers at faraway parts of the screen. There's nothing substantially unique to be found, and the main character's movement can sometimes feel a little awkward, but it's definitely good fun to play and there are plenty of levels to work your way through.

Go give it a play at Pixel Games.

Trailer Tuesday: Immortal Souls, Mirror and Burning Thirst

November 16, 2010 4:15 PM | Michael Rose

I got ya trailers, come get 'em! First we have Immortal Souls, a comic book RPG that combines elements from Final Fantasy, Puzzle Quest and Bejewelled. Looks veeery polished indeed, and RPG fans should definitely take note.

There's a demo available to download for both PC and Mac, and the full game is out on December 1st - you can preorder now for $9.99, saving roughly 33%.

More trailers below the cut! Podcast #8: Andy Schatz and Monaco

November 16, 2010 11:49 AM | Michael Rose

indiegames.PNGFirst off, I must again apologise for the lack of podcast last week - if you read the 'Missing Podcast' post, you'll know that it wasn't us being lazy, and heads were bashed against brick walls. With that out of the way, here is the latest recording, in which we talk to the most wonderful Mr. Andy Schatz, or 'the guy who made Monaco' as he is known around these parts.

We talked to the IGF award winner about his multiplayer heist game Monaco and what we can expect to see in the final version of the game, and Andy reads out several lines of script from the game's cutscenes. He also admits that he has a stolen whale in his bath, tells us plenty of stories about the history of the actual city-state of Monaco, and confronts Tim over the whole 'the guy who made Monaco' comment.

The usual listening options apply: You can jump just below the cut and listen to the podcast there (and also find links to everything we discussed), or you can head over here and download to it your personal computer. Are you an Apple fanboy? You make me sick, but you can still grab a copy from iTunes if that's your kind of thing (you sicko). Oh yeah, there's an RSS feed you can subscribe to as well. Enjoy!

Indie Game Links: Thinking About Your Audience

November 16, 2010 11:00 AM | 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)

CNNMoney: How I raised $24,000 on Kickstarter
"On November 1, I posted a crazy plan on Kickstarter. Fourteen hours later, I had achieved my month's goal. By the end of the first day, fans had contributed nearly $12,000. As I write this, it's twice that."

Cliffski's Blog: why most indie game websites suck at getting sales
"I've had an indie games site since 1997, and obsess over it's performance. Here's some things I think newcomers to indie game selling should take note of."

Indie Superstar: Half a Million Seconds With Digital Eel
"Digital Eel made one of our favorite games ever: Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. It's a 15-minute romp through the entire bloody galaxy. And can we mention that Strange Adventures was an IGF finalist too?"

Jesse Venbrux: Performer
"Performer is a game I developed during the summer of 2009 but never really finished. Here it is, finally. You control a ship and try to fly through gates in order to make the music progress."

distractionware: Self Destruct 2
"The main thing I wanted to work on was to make a more ambitious shooter. Since I'm sorta thinking of it as a spiritual successor to Self Destruct, I've been calling it Self Destruct 2."

PlayStation Blog: Playtest thatgamecompany's Journey Next Week in Los Angeles
"Since popping our heads out of the sand to announce Journey at E3 this year, we have been deep in the throes of development. But now I'm peeking up again to see if any of you might be interested in giving us feedback on the game here in L.A."

TK-Nation: Monday Link Dump
"We've got a bunch of games to keep you company this Monday as you sift through hangovers and stare blearily at the gray world of work. Without further ado, here are our picks for this week."

Puppyblog: Another day, another server
"Big things are afoot, and it is probable our new server is going to get a hammering in about two weeks' time, because that's when the final beta release (for Revenge of the Titans) comes out, which might well be the last chance to get the game at its l33t price of $13.37! Shortly after that comes... the real release." Screen shot & short game info
"KnyttWaDF is a hybrid somewhere between Knytt and Within a Deep Forest, and contains game mechanics from both, and have a story that's also connected to those games. It's in very, very early development, and will hopefully be finished sometime in 2012 though it's way too early to set an actual release date."

GDC China 2011 Completes Indie Games Summit Line-Up

November 16, 2010 9:27 AM | Simon Carless

GDC China organizers have debuted a near-complete schedule for the December 5th-7th Shanghai event, including an Independent Games Summit with a number of notable indies.

Now in its third year, Game Developers Conference China offers "valuable and timely insight into the world of game development in China for an audience of both local and international developers", according to its organizers.

Overall, the December 5th-7th event provides a forum for local and international developers to explore business opportunities, expand their reach to a unique market, and discover the on-going trends emerging in this region.

With only a few lectures left to reveal for the event, organizers are summing up the agenda as follows:

- The Global Game Development/Outsourcing track has added a talk by Concept Art House's James Zhang, discussing "case studies and analysis of successful IP integration and cross platform development", joining major talks by notables from Activision, Intel, BioWare, Volition, and Slant Six.

- In addition, the Online Game Development track has just added 'Bringing Disney's Marvel Super Hero Squad to Online Gamers' from The Amazing Society's Jason Robar, augmenting a host of valuable Asian speakers from companies including NetEase, Joyport, Kingsoft and XPEC, plus CCP on EVE Online, Riot Games on League Of Legends and Bigpoint on European online game success.

- The Indie Games Summit at GDC China includes a newly announced lecture from Joe Danger creator Hello Games' Grant Duncan on successful development and marketing tactics -- as well as lectures from Andy Schatz (Monaco), Erin Robinson (Puzzle Bots), an Osmos postmortem, and Chinese indie lectures from Coconut Island Studio and

Pixel Pushers Q&A: Zach Gage (Halcyon)

November 16, 2010 7:00 AM | jeriaska

Zach Gage at Pixel Pushers in Culver City

A year ago, we were joined for an interview by an independent game creator whose thoughtful interactive art piece was branded a security threat by Semantic. Lose/Lose asserted real-life consequences upon the harmless mayhem of a vertical shooter. With each enemy ship destroyed, a file on the player's hard drive was wiped out as collateral damage.

This past weekend the New York-based game designer joined Giant Robot and Attract Mode for the opening reception of Pixel Pushers: An Exploration of 8-Bit Digital Media in Culver City. We had the chance to hear about Halcyon alongside where an iPad running the puzzle title was on display.

Halcyon, your IGF entry, is the latest in a series of portable games, this time for the iPad. What led you to seek out developing for the platform?

Zach Gage: As with making sound toys for the iPhone, the iPad invites very strange interactions that have not been explored very fully. I know it sounds like I’m tooting Apple’s horn, but a multi-touch device that's so powerful and so exact is very exciting. Coming up with a puzzle game for that platform, I’m entering a territory that is just beginning to be explored.

A central aspect of Halcyon is its interactive music properties. Did it require working closely with a musicians on the sound design?

Generally I work with a bunch of different musicians. For this I collaborated with Kurt Bieg. He also knows how to program, so that was very liberating because for Halcyon in particular the music is so generative. After I had designed a basic system, he was then able to compose all this music in this crazy xml format and extrapolate on the system.

Trailer: Cubesome (Miguel Ángel Pérez Martinez and Fernando Ramallo)

November 15, 2010 10:09 PM | Michael Rose

Cubesome is a disorientating platform that looks like a cross between Boxgame and Exit. You take control of a thief called Dominic Dosdé, who travels between dimensions stealing gems wherever he goes.

The cube in the centre of the level acts as a sort of gravity pull, so you fall around the cube if you go over the edge. The music is provided by the wonderful Mattias Häggström Gerdt aka Anosou. The guys are currently looking for sponsorship, so hopefully it'll be available to play sometime soon.

IndieDB Indie Game of the Year 2010: Vote For Your Favourite

November 15, 2010 7:40 PM | Michael Rose

Voting started today for the first IndieDB Indie Game of the Year awards, and anyone can now vote for all their favourite indie games of the year without the need to sign up to the site.

IndieDB is a new indie community site run by the guys at ModDB that appeared over the summer, and this is its first awards bonanza. Over the next 14 days, you can visit the site, search for all the best indie games that were released this year and click the big 'Vote for this indie' button to show your support. You can vote for as many as you like, and after the 14 days, a top 50 list will be made - at that point you'll then be able to vote for your favourite three.

Make sure you put your votes down and win your favourite games the awards they deserve! Head over to the IndieDB games page now.

Freeware Game Pick: Activate the Three Artefacts and then Leave (increpare)

November 15, 2010 1:02 PM | Michael Rose

Activate the Three Artefacts and then Leave is a freaky voyage into the unknown. After moving the mouse around, you'll spot a sphere in the distance, and can move toward it using the WASD keys.

There you'll find a gap in the wall that will allow you to move inside. What looked like a relatively small structure turns out to be HUUUGE. There are three artefacts to be found inside this sprawling yet claustrophobic environment of white cubes, but make sure you've got your speakers turned up, as it's the sound that really gives the game an eerie feel.

I'm still trying to find all three of the artefacts, although the chances of me escaping from this place afterwards are pretty slim! The game can be played on both PC and Mac. Download from increpare's site.

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