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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: Cat Astro Phi (PhotonStorm)

December 8, 2010 3:45 PM | Michael Rose

Cat Astro Phi (geddit?) is a space exploration shooter in the style of an old Game Boy title. The protagonist keeps losing his cat Jonesy on alien planets, and must constantly grab keycards, pick up energy cells and rescue the feline.

I must admit, it took a little while to grow on me, as the controls don't feel so solid and not having a weapon is a bit of a pain. Give it a chance, however, and you'll find that it's actually very lovely indeed. You'll die frequently, but fortunately there are plenty of respawn points about.

You'll find your local Photon STORMBOY playing the game over at Newgrounds. (Cheers Scattle!)

Freeware Game Pick: Rogue Survivor (Roguedjack)

December 8, 2010 3:15 PM | Michael Rose

Rogue Survivor is a survival roguelike sandbox game with plenty of depth to explore. You are put in the role of an average person in the middle of a zombie outbreak, and must stay alive for as long as possible.

Each day you survive, you'll level up and become stronger - but tougher enemies will also appear. Apart from finding weapons and barricading yourself into a safe area, you'll need to make sure you have a good supply of food and perhaps some friends to help out. Before you play, you'll need to read about how to play the game by pressing H in-game, as there's quite a lot to it. Apart from playing a survivor, you can also play as a zombie and see how many humans you can eat.

The game is in the very early stages of development, yet there is still tons to see and do. There's a pretty nice guide to surviving your first week on the Rogue Survivor wiki, and there are forums where regulars frequently talk about their latest games. Note that you need to use the Num direction keys to play. Go give it a download. (Thanks Mark!)

Psychosomnium, Mighty Jill Off for the Mac OS X

December 8, 2010 3:00 PM | Tim W.

Mac users seem to be getting a lot of good news lately. A Mac OS X port of cactus' Psychosomnium is now available from his site, and it could be the start of a flood of Mac ports for the rest of his games as well.

You can find more Game Maker stuff ported to the Mac in recent weeks over at auntie pixelante (just scroll down a couple of posts), where working Mac OS X builds of indie favorites like Mighty Jill Off, Calamity Annie and Invader are now available to download for free.

Winter Uprising: Asteroids Do Concern Me (Evil Robot Logic)

December 8, 2010 12:19 PM | Michael Rose

Asteroids Do Concern Me is the latest Indie Games Winter Uprising release, and it's like that old one-button helicopter game that surely everyone in the entire world has now played. There are asteroids to dodge, and holding the button down makes your ship fly up, while releasing the button will allow you to descend.

There are several different modes which attempt to give the old formula a bit of life - Retro mode replaces all the graphics with green, pixelated objects, while Notepad mode sees you flying along some lined paper. The multiplayer features aren't too shabby, as players take it in turns to beat each others' best scores.

At the end of the day, however, it really is an old concept that wasn't particular entertaining in the first place. I played every mode multiple times and got a few games of multiplayer going, but within half an hour I'd seen everything and don't really feel like going back to it. Online scoreboards are planned for the next update (coming in a couple of weeks time) but even then I don't think I'll be all that bothered.

So what it boils down to is this - if you like the helicopter game, you'll like this. If you don't then, well, Asteroids Do Concern Me won't be your thing. There's a demo available either way, so you can give it a punt.

Freeware Game Pick: Rocky Memphis (Stuart Collier, Smila)

December 8, 2010 11:00 AM | Tim W.

Rocky Memphis and the Temple of Ophuxoff (the C64-style platformer that we've previewed back in August) was released over the weekend, and you can download it now for free from the game's official site. This collaborative project between Stuart Collier and Trevor Storey features over 600 rooms to explore, as players embark on a quest to collect all 4000 pieces of treasure in the temple and make it out in one piece. You can save your progress in any room, and players can choose to submit their scores to an online leaderboard even without completing the game (surely more than few of you can beat it in less than 2 hours).

Just One More Game is hosting an interview with both of the developers who worked on the project, so head on over there if you want to read about their inspirations for Rocky Memphis or get a progress update on the rest of the remakes they are currently working on.

Experimental Gameplay Workshop Returns For GDC 2011, Calls For Submissions

December 8, 2010 1:57 AM | Simon Carless

Organizers for the Experimental Gameplay Workshop have issued a call for submissions from "innovation-minded game developers" to be featured at its GDC 2011 incarnation.

The Experimental Gameplay Workshop is dedicated to exhibiting "a selection of surprising and intriguing experiments" with gameplay crafted by developers from all over the world. Its featured projects seek to "inspire and ignite the imagination of all game makers."

Though the event was absent last year and was substituted with "The Nuovo Sessions", the Experimental Gameplay Workshop has been a staple of the Game Developers Conference since 2002. The showcase will return to GDC at its February 28th - March 4th 2011 convention in San Francisco.

Previous games featured at the Workshop before their rise to fame include Keita Takahashi's Katamari Damacy, Thatgamecompany's Flower, Jonathan Blow's Braid, 2D Boy's World of Goo, Valve's Portal, and The Odd Gentlemen's The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom.

Submission rules are open-ended, though organizers invite developers to enter playable prototypes that feature novel multiplayer interactions, innovative user interfaces, emergent gameplay, and generative elements. Titles that create "unexpected play experiences or [promote] unique feelings within players through mechanics" are also encouraged.

Selected games will be presented at a two-hour GDC 2011 session that is expected to draw heavy attendance. Interested developers must submit their games for consideration by February 1, 2011, and can find more information about the event and submission guidelines at the Experimental Gameplay Workshop site.

"Our goal is to showcase and encourage the process of gameplay experimentation: helping developers find new audiences without competing with conventional games, and exposing the industry to new ideas that it can nurture to fulfillment," say the Experimental Gameplay Workshop's organizers.

2011 Independent Games Festival Announces Technical Excellence Jury

December 8, 2010 1:00 AM | Tim W.

2010techexc.jpgOrganizers of the 2011 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the jury panel that will determine the finalists and winner of its Technical Excellence award, a category which seeks to highlight the innovation and quality in game engines and code.

Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Technical Excellence award have gone to entrants which featured impressive displays of the craft of games.

These have included Dylan Fitterer's sonic-landscape racing/puzzle category finalist Audiosurf and that year's winner from 2D Boy, World of Goo, Data Realms' 2009 2D platforming-action winner, Cortex Command, and the 2010 award winning Limbo, for its finely rendered and physically reactive monochromatic world.

This year, the jury will receive recommendations from the wider body of over 150 IGF Main Competition judges (itself including notable former IGF winners, finalists and indie game notables including Jarrad 'Farbs' Woods, Alex May, Robin Lacey, Ichiro Lambe, and Erin Robinson) as they consider the merits of each of the five finalists and eventual award winner.

The jury consists of the following:

- Renaud Bedard (Polytron engineer behind IGF award-winning Fez.)
- Raigan Burns (Co-creator of Metanet's IGF award-winning N.)
- Ron Carmel (Co-creator of 2D Boy's IGF award-winning World of Goo.)
- Chris Delay (Lead designer, artist and programmer at Introversion, creator of Uplink, DEFCON & the IGF award-winning Darwinia.)
- Ryan Doyle (Former programmer on Criterion's Burnout series and Geometry Wars: Galaxies; co-founder and Technical Director of Joe Danger creator Hello Games.)
- Alec Holowka (Founder of Infinite Ammo, and co-creator of IGF award-winning Aquaria.)
- David Kalina (Former AI programmer behind Splinter Cell, Deus Ex: Invisible War & Thief: Deadly Shadows; owner & engineer of Tiger Style, behind IGF Mobile award-winner Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor.)
- Anna Kipnis (AI and game play programmer for Double Fine, behind games like Psychonauts Brutal Legend.)
- Andy Nealen (Assistant professor of computer science at Rutgers University & core team member of Hemisphere Games, creators of the IGF award-winning Osmos.)
- Tommy Refenes (Team Meat engineer behind 2010 IGF Finalist Super Meat Boy.)
- Ivan Safrin (Visual artist and programmer behind games like Owl Country & Bit World.)
- Dan Tabar (Founder of Data Realms, creator of 2009 Technical Excellence award-winning Cortex Command.)

Browser Game Pick: One Chance (Awkward Silence Games)

December 7, 2010 5:38 PM | Michael Rose

Yikes, this is fantastic. One Chance follows the story of scientist John Pilgrim who, along with his team, manages to find a cure for cancer. However, it quickly becomes apparent that the 'cure' kills all human cells, and everyone on Earth begins to die.

You're given seven days to find a cure and save the human race, but here's the twist - you've only got one chance. If the seven days pass by and you don't find the cure, then John will die, the human race is become extinct, and reloading the game will simply show an image of John's death.

There are multiple endings, but obviously you'll only be able to find one of them. Go play the game, then let us know which ending you got! (Cheers to Marcus Richert for the tip!)

Trailer: Prominence (Digital Media Workshop)

December 7, 2010 5:11 PM | Michael Rose

Prominence is an upcoming first person adventure game set on a remote planet, that features plenty of exploration and puzzles, with multiple endings to find.

The story is another of those 'protagonist wakes up in strange location, has no idea where they are or how they got there' deals, and it's all very sci-fi. There's a pretty lovely level of polish, which isn't too surprising given that the game has been in development for around four years. It's set to be released for PC sometime next year.

Check out the official Prominence site for all the details.

Trailer: Bitejacker (Secret Base)

December 7, 2010 4:37 PM | Michael Rose

Bitejacker is now 100% complete, and Secret Base is looking for a Flash sponsor. While we wait, here's a lovely trailer. Don't forget to check out our exclusive preview of the game too.

The game is set to feature plenty of indie character cameos, and a post on Bytejacker yesterday showed the whole line-up, albeit in silhouette form. The picture is below the cut - how many can you guess?

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