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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 December, 2010

Browser Game Pick: Blue Knight (Ali Maunder)

December 7, 2010 10:00 AM | Tim W.

Blue Knight is a Metroid-style exploration platformer in which you play as the titular protagonist tasked with preparing an alien-infested planet for human colonization. There's a gun that you'll need to retrieve first from somewhere near your starting location, but once you're armed you can begin blasting the aliens into pieces and collect the gems that they leave behind. Some areas won't be accessible until you have the right number of gems to unlock the doors that block your way.

It's a pretty short game that won't take you more than an hour to beat, although a sizable amount of that time will be spent on backtracking and traversing areas that you've already cleared previously. There's also a world map that you can access with the M key, a feature that might prove useful when you're trying to figure out if there's a room that you've not been to yet.

Indie Game Links: Sizzling Octopuses and Cursing Fetuses

December 7, 2010 9:00 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)

GameSpot: Making Super Meat Boy sizzle
"Team Meat discusses its philosophy of game design, sticking to its guns in the face of focus groups, and why the App Store sucks."

Gamasutra: Catching Up With Jonathan Blow
"Talking in a new Gamasutra feature about The Witness, his ambitious upcoming project, Blow also shares his thoughts on working indie and on game design in general."

Experimental Gameplay Project: December Drawing
"The theme for December is 'Drawing', and you have seven days out of the month to make a game that somehow incorporates the theme. Good luck!"

Experimental Gameplay Project: Night and Day Roundup
"The Night and Day theme resulted in twenty-two new games for the month of November, with popular choices involving zombies, werewolves, baguettes, and a time division multiplexed love affair."

GameSetWatch: 2010 Interactive Fiction Competition Winners Announced
"Organizers for Interactive Fiction Competition, the annual contest devoted to text-based adventure games, recently announced the winners of this year's event, ranking the top titles from 26 submissions."

Boston Game Jams: Dejobaan Games' talk at Boston Indies, July 2010
"I'm happy to present the video of July 2010′s Boston Indies meetup, where Dejobaan Games' Ichiro Lambe and Leo Jaitley talked about how the company's philosophy, strategies, and development methodologies have evolved between development of Aaaaa! and their new title, ooo! ooO! oOO! OOO!."

TIGSource: An Octodad Interview
"Having played the game myself, and having enjoyed it thoroughly. I sat down to talk with the team behind the project. If you've never played Octodad yourself, then check out the trailer below and then go grab a download for yourself."

Gamasutra: How One Man With An Idea And $1000 Made The Global iOS Hit Trainyard
"Few games embody the iOS indie-dev dream so perfectly as Matt Rix's Trainyard. Its perfect trajectory from unknown puzzle game to number 2 paid app around the globe represents the aspirations of countless prospector game developers as they set out into the iOS wilderness."

Trailer: They Need to be Fed (Jesse Venbrux)

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

Jesse Venbrux's winning entry for YoYo Games design-a-handheld competition was ported to the iDevices recently. In this reworked version of They Need to be Fed, you'll find that the interface has been redesigned a bit for iPhone and iPad displays, there are new achievements to unlock and an extra two worlds to play through.

One thing about this release is that there's no lite version to try out, but the competition build for Windows is still available to download from Jesse's site. I've also noticed that it runs rather slow on 3G devices (everything works, but the animation is nowhere near as speedy as what the trailer suggests), so iPhone 3G owners might want to take note of that if they're planning on getting the game. They Need to be Fed can be purchased from the App Store for only $0.99, and iPad owners can grab the better-looking HD version which costs $1.99.

2010 IGF China Announces Asian, Australasian Indie Winners

December 7, 2010 3:57 AM | Simon Carless

Organizers of the second annual Independent Games Festival China have announced winners for the Asian and Australasian indie games showcase in Shanghai, with South Korean developer Turtle Cream's 2D tile-flipping platformer Sugar Cube getting the Best Game prize, and a host of other notable winners.

Following the announcement of the finalists last month, the teams attended a special awards show at the Shanghai International Convention Center during GDC China last night, where the winners of each category were revealed.

Supported by Platinum Sponsor Crystal CG and Gold Sponsor NetEase, the winners of the 2010 Independent Games Festival China announced at the award ceremony include unique modular 'tower defense'-style title The White Laboratory, which won Best Student Game, and The Voxel Agents' addictive iPhone/iPad puzzle hit Train Conductor 2: USA, which took Best Mobile Game.

The winners of the 2010 IGF China awards are:

Trailer: Warsoup (Moon Studios)

December 6, 2010 5:16 PM | Michael Rose

Warsoup is an upcoming real-time strategy first-person shooter - an RTSFPS, if you will. I don't usually like posting up these types of explanation videos, but for Warsoup I can make an exception - it looks pretty amazing.

It's being marketed as a cross between Starcraft and Halo, and it's not hard to see why - I immediately thought of Halo the moment the gameplay began. Things that made me go 'wow': Seeing your team-mates view in the bottom corner of your screen; Upgrading moves depending on what will work best against your opponent; split-screen multiplayer for all platforms, including PC. Yes indeed.

There's no release date as of yet, but we can expect to see Warsoup released on PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

Freeware Game Pick: Steel Storm (Kot-in-Action Creative Artel)

December 6, 2010 4:03 PM | Michael Rose

Steel Storm is a top-down space shooter with both a single-player campaign and a full multiplayer deathmatch mode. Through a series of missions, you zip around shooting down enemy ships and turrets, and grabbing every collectible you can find.

It's pretty good fun, although there is no tutorial as of yet, so certain elements can be rather confusing. Episode one is free to download, and you can pre-order Episode 2 for $10 - it will apparently feature more weapons, more levels, more enemies... so more stuff basically. Unfortunately, while there are plenty of servers for multiplayer, there is no-one actually playing the game so I've no idea how that plays.

Still, worth grabbing for the single-player alone. Go give it a download. Podcast #11: Ichiro Lambe of Dejobaan Games

December 6, 2010 1:06 PM | Michael Rose

indiegames.PNGAnother week, another spectacular IndieGames podcast, if we do say so ourselves. The always-entertaining Ichiro Lambe is on this week, and boy did we go off on many, many tangents.

Among the wordy words uttered this week, Ichiro provides great insight into indie game marketing, mistakes that indies regularly make, and the types of cheeses that he likes. He also challenges both myself and Tim to come up with a game concept on the spot, and we then evolve the idea of a game in which you play as a tree. This podcast has been proven to provide 98% of listeners with uncontrollable laughter.

You know the drill by now - jump below the cut to listen to the podcast, or you can jump over here and listen instead. You like iTunes? Of course you don't, but it's available on there too (you know, in case you're mental). And finally, there is an RSS feed you can subscribe to, if you like being fed. Go listen!

Browser Game Pick: Love (Hairy Games)

December 5, 2010 6:17 PM | Michael Rose

Squares are clearly in this weekend, as browser game Love follows on from Platformerman. In Love, you move your square towards the other squares to make 'friends', but gaining actual friendship has a little more to it.

So when you're spinning, that indicates you're character is happy with its current friendship. Grip more friends at the same time, and you'll gain far more friendship at once. However, keep the same friendships for too long, and they'll being to get stale - at this point, you'll need to break the friendships off and move on. Let a friend get too close to you, and it will all get a bit too much - aka game over. There's a tutorial so you can understand a little better.

When you 'die', the game will give helpful tips about how to make and keep friendships. How pleasant! Play now! [Source]

Winter Uprising: Ubergridder (BadgerPunch Games)

December 5, 2010 5:51 PM | Michael Rose

A slight hiccup for the Indie Games Winter Uprising now - Ubergridder revolves around filling a bunch of space grids in while dodging aliens. It's a bit dull.

The idea is that whenever you run around a square, it will fill up with machinery, and filling the entire grid is the path to success. You're not alone however, as aliens roam the grid too, chasing your robot if you get too close. You can also drop Monster Chew to throw them off the scent. It's a simple enough concept, but in execution is not exactly entertaining. I was hoping it would perhaps be a little like Pacman, but the slow-paced action never gets frantic enough.

Even when an alien is following right behind you, it's a simple case of keep moving and keep changing direction - in fact, the difficulty only ramps up for real on the later levels, when you've got multiple aliens after you, and even then it's not too difficult to keep them at bay.

Still, it's a mere 80 MS Points ($1) and there's a demo available, so may well want to ignore everything I've spouted and try it anyway.

Freeware Game Pick: Platformerman (Sparpweed)

December 4, 2010 7:55 PM | Michael Rose

I've got to be honest, I didn't really get Platformerman at first. It's a platformer (would you believe) in which you bomb bad guys, save the good guys and reach the exit.

Except that it's actually not that at all. Platformerman is in fact a speed-running puzzle game, and each level is set out in such a way that you can usually keep running right, as long as you drop bombs in the correct places. Just check the above trailer for an idea of what I mean - there's tons of situations in which dropping multiple bombs in the same place is a very good idea indeed.

It probably won't be to everyone's taste, but there are bound to be a fair number of you who take pride in grabbing those gold scores. The game is in beta at the moment, so the Passport mode isn't available yet, and there is no tutorial to teach the ropes. Hence, here's a quick guide - the space bar drops bombs, and you want to bomb the red guys and save the yellow guys, then run through the rainbow finish.

Go give it a download anyway, and see what you make of it. (Cheers JW!)

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