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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 December, 2010

Ulrich Jones: Rogue Survivor (Part 1)

December 11, 2010 1:29 AM | Michael Rose

RogueSurvivorIG.jpg
[Rogue Survivor is a lovely undead survival roguelike, currently in the alpha stages but growing in size day by day. I've been wanting to write some kind of game story series, and since everyone else seems to be doing Minecraft these days, I thought I'd take a shot at something a little different. So begins the story of Ulrich Jones: Rogue Survivor.

Note that you can click on any of the images to see bigger versions - in later parts, I may cut the surrounding interface out and display just the play area, but for now I wanted to show what's going on around the action.]

As an image begins to come into focus before me, I realise that I've just woken up from a slumber that I don't remember taking. I'm slumped on a hard iron bench in what I quickly identify as the city train station. How in the hell did I end up here?

My head is banging, but I manage to piece together some basic details. My name is Ulrich Jones, and I'm a carpenter originally from Brooklyn. I moved to Pittsburgh a few years back to be with my childhood sweetheart Laura. We probably would have had a long and happy life, if that 'miracle drug' hadn't buggered everything up.

As I stare around the room, I realise that I'm not alone. There's a cop staring out of a nearby window into the darkness of the night, and as I step towards him, he continues to look at nothing in particular. He explains that his name is Philip Rogers, but he has no interest in answering any of my questions.

XBL Indie Game Pick: Score Rush (Xona Games)

December 10, 2010 3:42 PM | Michael Rose

Xona Games has been busy, releasing two Xbox Live Indie Game shmups in a week. The first was of course Decimation X3, and now Score Rush has landed, the 'spiritual prequel' to upcoming XBLA title Duality ZF.

Score Rush is a 1-4 player co-op twin-stick shooter, with plenty of bullets and flashy colours. It doesn't do anything particularly new or clever, but there's no denying that it's an absolute blast, especially if you can get 3 friends round to play. As you pick up glowing orbs from dead enemies, you'll earn assistant shooters that will follow closely behind you and shoot wherever you aim. At one point, myself and three other players had around 50 streams of bullets raining down on the enemy. Put it this way - in a single-player game, I apparently fired over 250,000 bullets in around 10 minutes.

Yes indeed, it's mental stuff, and just 80 MS Points ($1). Go grab a copy, or download the demo.

Trailer: Journey (thatgamecompany)

December 10, 2010 2:26 PM | Michael Rose


From the developers behind Flower, here comes Journey. First announced back in June, the above trailer was released today, showing off some of the gorgeous visuals. There's no release date as of yet, but the game is coming to PS3 sometime next year.

Related: E3 Video: Jenova Chen's Journey

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of December 10

December 10, 2010 2:00 PM | Kyle Orland

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 Rockstar North, Gazillion Entertainment, Tencent Boston, and 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:

38 Studios: Vice President of Marketing:
"Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer, the Vice President of Marketing will be expected to build and direct the team responsible for all marketing activities, including internal and external communication, public relations, market research, and branding and positioning for the company and for all 38 Studios products, including an original fantasy IP. You will work closely with the Executive team and with the Development teams at multiple studios."

Gazillion Entertainment: GFX Artist:
"Gazillion Entertainment, Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and operator of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games for wide audiences. With team members from Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Microsoft Game Studios, Pixar Animation Studios and many other leading companies, Gazillion has assembled talent from across the landscape of MMOs, console videogames, animated feature films and technology to address the mission of building breakthrough MMOs capable of resonating with wide audiences."

Browser Game Pick: Tiny Hawk (Pekka Kujansuu)

December 10, 2010 1:28 PM | Michael Rose

tinyhawk.PNG
You may well remember Tiny Hawk as being a rather good Ludum Dare entry back in 2008. Pekuja has now released a brand new version, with updated graphics and tons more levels.

Holding left or right while riding along the floor will help Tiny Hawk pick up speed, then you can jump to grind on rails and wall-jump up to higher areas. The idea is to grab all of the gems in the level quickly to get the gold medal. The level design is pretty nice, and you'll need to work our perfect paths through certain levels to grab the gold.

Skate or die! Or something. Eh whatever, go play.

Dejobaan Games' Kick It! Now Available For Pre-order

December 10, 2010 8:15 AM | Michael Rose


The next game from Dejobaan Games is here! From the mental minds that brought us Aaaaa! A Reckless Disregard For Gravity, we now have Kick It!, or to give its full title, 1... 2... 3... KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby).

It's a sort-of sequel to Aaaaa, except this time you're falling through sky cities rendered via your music collection. As you import tracks in, shapes and formations are created depending on the music. Right now it's fairly simple, as the game is still in alpha, but the guys are hoping to make it seriously clever - so for example, if your song mentions dragons, the final game will hopefully throw dragons at you.

You can now pre-order the game for $9.95 and gain access to the alpha straight away, allowing you to get a feel for what the final game will be like, and throw some ideas their way for random encounters you'd like to have other than dragons. Ichiro Lambe talked in-depth about the game in our latest podcast, so if you want to know things, we have things for you. We're good at things.

Head over to the Dejobaan Games site for pre-orders.

Freeware Game Pick: Starfare (Freemotion Studios)

December 9, 2010 4:06 PM | Michael Rose


Starfare was released this week, a space RTS with lots of pew-pewing and resource gathering. After Earth runs out of resources and everyone goes a little crazy on each other, the nations take to space and start grabbing everything they can up there instead.

The main idea is to send out probes and build mines on nearby asteroids while keeping the other hostile nations back with big astrocannons and cruisers. The above video only shows examples of the battling, but there's a lot more to the campaign mode than that. The game itself is a little rough around the edges, with a severe lack of variation in the sound effects department - prepare to here the same guy saying the same line over and over - and some of the text is a little shabby. Overall, however, it's pretty decent stuff.

A future update is planned that will add team-based competitive multiplayer for up to 64 players, which sounds mighty tasty indeed. If you like your RTS gaming, why not give Starfare a try. (Cheers LiquidFog!)

Winter Uprising: Decimation X3 (Xona Games)

December 9, 2010 1:52 PM | Michael Rose


Well, it would appear that the Indie Games Winter Uprising is going on a little longer than first anticipated, as the sixth Uprising game is released after the 'week long' promotion. Decimation X3 is a sequel to the original Decimation X on XBLIG (Decimation X2 is a Windows Phone game), and builds on what made number one such great multiplayer fun.

It's simple really - Xona Games took Space Invaders, and made it stupidly overpowered. Up to four players begin with rubbish lasers against weak enemies, but within a few minutes you've picked up lots of power-ups and oh wow it's a bit mental. Bullets everywhere, power-ups scattered all over the place, level after level after level, big boss battles, the works.

My only problem is that, well... it's not exactly that different from the original Decimation X. It's pretty much the very same game in fact, besides better visuals and a couple of extra ideas here and there. Even the music is the very same (again, remade). Hence, if you grabbed the original, had a short blast of fun with it and then never played it again, there isn't much point in picking number 3 up.

If you haven't check the Decimation X series out before, however, then X3 is worth checking out. Make sure you at least grab the demo.

Trailer: Soul Brother (Jasper Byrne)

December 9, 2010 6:00 AM | Tim W.


Jasper Byrne (developer of Soundless Mountain) is currently applying the finishing touches to Soul Brother, a 2D platformer that focuses on the concept of possessing other characters to overcome challenges and solve puzzles. The gimmick here is that you inherit the ability of the creature that your soul transfers into, which could be anything from being able to execute double jumps, push heavy objects, fly, and even smash through breakable floor tiles to reveal hidden areas.

Though the idea of possessing other individuals in games isn't exactly new (see Oddworld), we'll know if Jasper's done any justice to it when Soul Brother is released sometime in early 2011.

Indie Game Links: Marketing Stats and Infographics

December 9, 2010 5:00 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)

Gamasutra: Game Jams Aplenty
"Game jams are a great way to strengthen your coding chops. Most don't actually have any prizes or entry fees: the prize is your completed game, and the new skills you will learn."

GamerBytes: The 7 Deadly Sins of PR for Indie Developers
"A week ago Luis Levy posted a fantastic blog over at our Gamasutra sister site regarding the PR and marketing for iPhone titles. We felt that all of his points also correlated with many other divisions -- XBLA, XBLIG, Minis and WiiWare releases, so we've been given permission to repost it."

GamerBytes: Curse of the Crescent Isle
"If there's one thing that's done well on Xbox Live Indie Games, it's toying with our memories of the original NES console. Curse of the Crescent Isle does exactly that with numerous recollections of Ducktales and Super Mario Bros. 2 scattered throughout the levels."

Play This Thing: As I Lay Dying
"In the first few minutes of As I Lay Dying, one of the characters falls from a cliff to his death. Your character decides that she can't just leave the corpse there to be eaten by ravens. Your job is therefore to traverse ten platformer levels, carrying a corpse."

Infinite Ammo Podcast: Derek Yu
"We start off by talking about Derek’s Spelunky, what it’s like trying to run TIGSource. We talk a bit about how we first met, pretty randomly, to work on I’m O.K. We reflect on some Aquaria memories and lessons we learned, good times and bad times."

Jesse Venbrux: Developing Game Maker games for Apple devices
"Half a year ago I designed They Need To Be Fed for the 5th YoYo Games competition. Recently it has been remade for iOS platforms, in co-operation with YoYo Games. This blog post is a short write up with which I hope to give other developers some tips on development."

Quote Unquote: The Last and Final Word with Jayenkai
"The Last and Final Word is a series of interviews with indie videogame developers. Jayenkai runs AGameAWeek where he attempts (and mostly succeeds) in developing one game per week."

TK-Nation: Interview with thatgamecompany's Jenova Chen
"Contrary to popular expectations, not all incarnations of Jenova are evil. In fact, our guest for this interview is Jenova Chen, the Creative Director of thatgamecompany, one of the few game development agencies out there hellbent on proving that there is life outside of kill death ratios."

Wolfire Games Blog: Activate the Humble Indie Bundle on Steam
"We've been diligently talking to Valve about this, and as of today, we are happy to announce that your Humble Indie Bundle can be activated on Steam. if you are sad that you missed the bundle, there's something weird happening over here."

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