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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

Canabalt: 2 Player On the Winnitron

December 4, 2010 5:22 PM | Michael Rose

Oh please God yes. Canabalt: 2 Player is a thing that actually exists, and if you happen to be in the Winnipeg, Canada area tonight, you can play it on a refurbished arcade machine called the Winnitron 1000.

Unfortunately if you're not in Winnipeg, then the experience is just out of reach... for now at least. There's no word yet on when the 2 player version will be released on the internet, but let's hope for 'soon' shall we?

Oh, and while you're admiring the above video, why not go and play the original game. It's a bit good.

The Glitch Aesthetic of Goto80 & Raquel Meyers

December 3, 2010 9:30 PM | jeriaska

Independent games can be host to uncomfortable truths. One example is the irreverent adoption of the glitch aesthetic found in games by musician Goto80 (Anders Carlsson) and video artist Raquel Meyers, a mirror for the multifaceted malfunctions of our lives.

Goto80 partnered with Autoboy on the 2008 Commodore 64 game HT Gold. The re-appropriation of old school hockey game Hat Trick, programmed to go a bit haywire, was on display at the recent Chicago GLI.TC/H art installation. The Swedish musician, responsible for chip music albums like the well received Commodore Grooves, is himself critical of artistic pretensions. When invited to perform on Rampljuset, a Swedish television program, he wore a lettuce suit.

Raquel Meyers collaborated with multimedia artist Bram van der Poel on THE GREAT ADVENTURE OF WH-TVR. As the paradoxical title suggests, the goals offered to the player of "finding the disks and feeding the dogs" elude any kind of satisfying resolution. Raquel's debut DVD release from lightrhythm visuals, useless yet crucial, is being released this year. As with her Tokyo Blip Festival performance with Saitone of 8-Bit Thriller, the visuals rendered in the low-fi aesthetic of early home computers are filled with beautiful and grotesque imagery.

We caught up with the artists to hear about the intentional disturbances underlying their game-inspired media.

Have the two of you been working on audio-video projects together for some time?

Goto80: We did our first together in 2004. Since then, we’ve been doing live performances, music videos, art-oriented projects and games. Also, Raquel sings on some of the music as well. It’s a blend.

Do you feel that over time you’ve been able to broaden your abilities as artists by working together? If you had never met, would you be different today?

Raquel Meyers: For the visuals, that’s fifty percent music. For me it was really important meeting him because he inspired me to make all these graphics.

Indie Game Pick: RUSH (Two Tribes)

December 3, 2010 4:41 PM | Michael Rose

Like a cross between Mobigame's EDGE and The Machine, RUSH is a puzzle game about forcing rolling cubes to their correct destinations via a series of arrows, conveyor belts and stop signs.

RUSH's best quality is its simplicity. Within minutes I had the basics down and well comfortable with the concept, and the puzzles began to flow really well. You first place down all the arrows pieces, then hit go and watch the blocks weave around each other - it's a pretty awesome sight when you've got cubes of all different colours charging around. Apart from the wonderful amount of polish, the challenge also ramps up pretty quickly - there are 66 puzzles in total, and by number 25 I was already scratching my head.

The game is available via Steam with 10% off the full price at the moment, so head over there if you want to check out all the details.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of December 3

December 3, 2010 4:28 PM | Tom Curtis

In a plentiful week for new job postings, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles across the world and in every major discipline, including opportunities at Digital Extremes, Snowblind Studios, Telltale Games, 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:

Digital Extremes: Gameplay/AI Programmer:
"Located in the heart of South-Western Ontario, Digital Extremes is dedicated to making AAA quality, successful games, with the best and brightest talent available. Digital Extremes prides itself on providing a warm, inviting, creative work environment for its team and has been named as one of 'Canada's Top 100 Employers'. Competitive salaries, profit sharing, stock options, retirement matching, ample vacation and free daily homemade lunches are just a few of the many perks our employees enjoy."

GameSalad, Inc.: Game Engine Developer (Performance, C++):
"GameSalad is a new kind of game company that blends powerful, accessible, and rapid game creation technologies with independent publishing. GameSalad's flagship product is a game creation system for creative professionals. GameSalad enables non-programmers to create sophisticated 2D casual games for Apple's mobile iOS platforms, such as the iPhone and iPad. GameSalad is looking for energetic and dedicated individuals who would be excited to join a stable and quickly growing startup in Austin, TX."

Snowblind Studios: Sr. World Artist:
"WB Games Inc. seeks a senior world artist to be responsible for creating exceptional 3D game assets. This person will work closely with the lead world artist and art director to ensure aesthetics quality and continuity is kept at the highest-bar throughout the product. This person will be well versed in the game engine and art tools and will help more junior artists ramp up their skills. A senior artist is also expected to have strong communications skills and be able to convey and assist in maintaining vision throughout their team."

Telltale Games: Producer:
"Telltale is an award-winning independent developer/publisher pioneering landmark episodic content. Founded in 2004 by LucasArts veterans with decades of experience, Telltale is now an industry leader, establishing the model for episodic downloadable games and releasing more than 35 episodic games to date. Telltale's titles have won numerous awards including numerous "Adventure Game of the Year" accolades from publications such as IGN, PC Gamer, GameSpy, and Adventure Gamers, and have been recognized by mainstream outlets including USA Today, CNN, The New York Times and Variety. Telltale is continuing to expand its lineup recently announcing new episodic game series based on Back to the Future and Jurassic Park."

Carbine: Level Designer:
"At Carbine Studios, it is our goal is to build high-quality, cutting-edge, and conceptually innovative massively multiplayer games. We are realizing that goal as we work on the development of our unannounced title. We have assembled an exceptional team of industry professionals, and we encourage and reward our employees for their creativity, ingenuity, and hard work. But it's not all work and no play here at Carbine. Our team enjoys a myriad of social activities together, from gaming groups of all sorts and bad movie nights, to group mountain biking and company parties and events. We know how to have a good time."

To browse hundreds of similar jobs, and for more information on searching, responding to, or posting game industry-relevant jobs to the top source for jobs in the business, please visit Gamasutra's job board now.

Freeware Game Pick: Battle Dex (Bandera Games)

December 3, 2010 4:06 PM | Michael Rose

Battle Dex is an online turn-based strategy game that features some card-play as a way of turning the battlefield in your favour. Before each battle you can choose a deck of cards with special abilities, and deploy them during battle.

As you win battles, you'll receive more cards and be able to build better decks. The actual battling in hex-based, with units vying to take control of specific points on the map and crush the opponents. I was actually surprised at how well it's all done - it's not a simply case of 'units move, units attack, next turn', but rather units will fire multiple times each turn and it really does feel more like a battlefield than your usual strategy game.

You'll need to be connected to the internet the whole time you play, as the game keeps track of your stats, cards and rank on the Battle Dex site. There are also online tournaments held all the time, so if you like yourself some strategy gaming, make sure you check this one out.

Mark Leung: Revenge of the Bitch Released

December 3, 2010 2:09 PM | Michael Rose

Oh lordy. Crude and very mental RPG Mark Leung: Revenge of the Bitch has been released, and you can buy it now from the official Mark Leung site.

With crazy religious wars brewing and an evil ex-girlfriend making his life hell, Mark bands together with some other do-gooders and sets out to save Canada. Along the way, there are real-life cutscenes and lots of turn-based parody action.

A two-hour demo is available to download if you'd like to check it out - head over to the site and click the crying kitty. The full game will set you back $13, which really isn't bad at all for a full-blown RPG.

Related: Mark Leung: Revenge of the Bitch Trailer

Winter Uprising: Hypership Out of Control (Fun Infused Games)

December 2, 2010 11:11 PM | Michael Rose

The third release as part of the Xbox Live Indie Games Winter Uprising is in fact a meaty update rather than a brand new release, but I must admit I didn't play the original anyway, and I'm going to guess the majority of our readers didn't either. Hypership Out of Control is a vertically-scrolling shmup with a catch - your ship is constantly accelerating, making dodging the obstacles rather difficult.

Your ship starts at a crawl, and slowly builds up to maximum speed. At the end of each wave, your maximum speed increases, so by the time you get to around wave 10, it's all got a bit hectic. There are pickups to grab that will increase your chances of survival, and up to four players can take the ride together in separate ships.

It's pretty exciting stuff, but all the extra modes are what makes Hypership Out of Control definitely worth buying. Apart from your normal mode, you've got the Unlimited Speed mode where this is no max speed i.e. it's insanely hard, then you've got a coin collecting mode, and every mode can also be played in reverse. Online scoreboards and a $1 price tag (80 MS Points) seal the deal.

Three releases, and all three have been worth your money! If this keeps up, you'll be needing to grab more MS Points! Grab Hypership Out of Control from the Xbox Marketplace now.

GDC 2011 Debuts Initial, Wide-Ranging Summit Line-Up

December 2, 2010 11:01 PM | Simon Carless

Organizers of the 2011 Game Developers Conference have announced initial line-ups for major Summits at the 25th edition of the industry’s leading digital entertainment event next February.

Held alongside the GDC tutorials on Monday, February 28th and Tuesday, March 1st in San Francisco, a large range of key one- and two-day Summits will kick off GDC week with innovative and informative programs led by industry experts -- including notables from Zynga, Area/Code, Google, Klei Entertainment, MIT, and more.

As the overall session list for GDC 2011 continues to grow, organizers are highlighting the top initial talks for the seven Summits, including the expanded Social & Online Games Summit, the new Smartphone Summit, and the long-running Independent Games Summit -- all open to GDC 2011 pass-holders with a Summits & Tutorials or All Access Pass.

Newly announced GDC 2011 summit sessions of particular note include ones from the following Summits:

- The always popular Independent Games Summit includes newly announced lectures such as 'The Journey to Creating Shank,' in which Klei Entertainment CEO Jamie Cheng (formerly of Relic Entertainment) will share in detail his path of trials and tribulations in making the original, self-funded PSN/XBLA game.

Also newly revealed in the IGS 2011 talk schedule are 'Living with Drop7: A Long Tail Postmortem', revealing "how Area/Code teamed with minimalist game designer Andy Nealen of Osmos to bring Drop7's sequel to life", as well as Wolfire's John Graham on the Humble Indie Bundle, discussing the promotion that raised $1.3 million for indie developers and charity in just 11 days.

Excruciating Guitar Voyage Pay-What-You-Want Until Sunday

December 2, 2010 7:49 PM | Michael Rose

You guys were loving the last pay-what-you-want sale from YAWMA, so it's only right that we let you know about the next offer. From now up until Sunday, you can pick up Excruciating Guitar Voyage for anything you want, including $0.00, or £0.00 if you prefer.

Excruciating Guitar Voyage is a very silly platforming adventure game, with curfews and underground guitar bands and giant rodents. It's not the most incredible game ever, and you're not exactly getting the greatest saving ever (it's usually $3), but if you can look past the rough edges, there's enough here to keep the average gamer entertained for a short while.

To get the game, go here, then click on PWYW on the right. You can login via Facebook, then simply choose your amount and hit go.

Trailer: The Spire (Raw Games)

December 2, 2010 2:29 PM | Michael Rose

The Spire is a first-person adventure puzzler set in the year 2029, in the harsh conditions of an Antarctic facility. It also looks stupidly polished, and exactly the kind of game I want to play right this second.

The above teaser trailer doesn't show too much gameplay footage, but what it does show is enough to excite. The story follows David Samuel Maher who wakes up in a classified research facility with no memory of how he got there. Attached to his arm is the 'Tool', which grants him manipulation powers over his surroundings.

There's no release date set as of yet, but we will of course keep you updated as details emerge. Read the official site for more details.

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