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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

IndieGames Podcast #14: DIY 90210

December 28, 2010 11:00 PM | jeriaska

In this action-packed installment of the podcast, we hear from three independent game designers based in Los Angeles, California. Matt Gilgenbach is the co-founder of 24 Caret Games, makers of the IndieCade Audience Award-winning rhythm title Retro/Grade, due out on PSN in 2011. Original music is by Skyler McGlothlin of the band Nautilus. Matt also introduces his puzzler A Mobius Proposal, concocted for the purpose of proposing to his then girlfriend, now wife.

Also joining us on the show is Mark Essen, aka Messhof, whose sprite-based indies are regulars on the Adult Swim website. He delves into his collaboration with composer GDFX and motion capture artist Andy Serkis on 2D jousting game Nidhogg, which is IGF-bound in the Nuovo award category. We also hear about the new levels in store for Flywrench and its sound design by musician Jordan Stone.

Last up, we talk with Joshua Nuernberger about his most ambitious point-and-click adventure game to date, Gemini Rue. The neo-noir story-centric title features full voice acting and a music score by Nathan Allen Pinard, coming to PCs with mystery and intrigue aplenty in 2011. As always, many thanks are due to Helsingborg, Sweden-based chiptune composer Magnus "SoulEye" PĂ„lsson for the podcast theme song. Hear the program on Buzzsprout, via iTunes, or go nuts and subscribe to the RSS feed. Show notes are after the break.

Freeware Game Pick: suteF (Ted Lauterbach)

December 28, 2010 8:00 PM | Tim W.


suteF tells the story of a nondescript blue character who is trying to escape from a nightmarish land called the Abyss, populated by some of the weirdest denizens you could ever find inside a game. The objective here is to guide our confused hero to the exit found in every room, although players would usually have to solve a tricky puzzle or two before they are allowed to reach the portal that takes them to the next area.

The game features five chapters to beat and an auto-save option that will record your current progress whenever you arrive at a new room. Get suteF from GameJolt. (Windows, 6.74MB)

Indie Game Links: A Distant Place

December 28, 2010 3:00 PM | 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.

Team Meat: Hello from America
"You just might be the guy who designs the cover box for the retail version of Super Meat Boy. That's right, this is a contest for Russian artists who want to show their worth (and win a big awesome monitor)."

Bytejacker: Distance
"Distance is a game by 18-year-old indie dev Austin Breed about a long-distance relationship. This is one of those Ludum Dare submissions that skews more towards being an interactive narrative than a traditional game, but that doesn't make it anything less than great."

Big Download: We chat with Iron Helmet's head about Blight of the Immortals
"Early in 2010 saw the launch of Neptune's Pride, a browser-based space-strategy game from the indie game developer Iron Helmet Games. The game got a lot of critical acclaim and later in 2010 the developer announced plans for a second browser title. Blight of the Immortals combines a fantasy setting with the currently popular zombie theme."

DIYGamer: Why Mainstream Video Game News Sites Makes Me Mad
"I found myself becoming more and more hostile towards the manner in which the mainstream news sites handle their content, and how lopsided it seems to be for mainstream news. I get it, there's a bunch of large video game companies constantly churning out news about the next greatest video game ever made in the history of time and space itself, but come on guys."

GameSetWatch: Molleindustria's Wikileaks Stories Project, Leaky World
"Italian indie Molleindustria, developer of thought-provoking games like Oiligarchy and Every Day The Same Dream, has released Leaky World, an interactive interpretation of Wikileaks spokesman and editor-in-chief Julian Assange's 'Conspiracy as Governance' essay."

GameSetWatch: Gunboy, a Colorful Mega Man-Style 2D Platformer
"Indie developer 'Tennis' has been working off and on for at least a year to build Gunboy, a sidescrolling platformer that features some great artwork and music."

Gryzor87: Pxtone Full Manual
"This manual is dedicated to all videogame lovers and musicians out there. It has ninety-six pages, eighteen songs, fifty-seven examples and ninety-two voices to choose from. There are detailed explanations for songwriting, tips & tricks and recommended stuff as well. Pixel (author of Pxtone) had written the foreword for this manual."

Quote Unquote: CosMind
"Justin Leingang quietly worked behind the scenes on a game that he was passionate about, revealing little to the public about his project before its release. After years, where others may have lost interest and quit, he continued on with an unusually positive and enthusiastic attitude. That game was Glum Buster, and it brought him to the attention of much of the indie community."

Freeware Game Pick: City of Doom (SharkArm Studios)

December 28, 2010 12:00 PM | Tim W.


City of Doom is a remake of an Action 52 game with the same name, where you play as a hero who must climb to the top of a tall building and find out the source of an insect invasion plaguing the city. Players start out with just a standard issue gun (holding down the C key fires it) and five lives, but you can earn an extra life for every survivor that you find and rescue.

Pressing the arrow keys while holding down X causes our protagonist to climb vertically or sideways, and you can even move to another side of the building if you cross either of its corners. There are also a couple of special weapons to collect (switch weapons using the enter key), although you'll have to find them first before you can add them to your inventory for later use.

City of Doom features three levels to play through. If you happen to quit the game at any time, you can only resume playing from the starting point of a stage that had been previously attempted. (Windows, 4.82MB)

suteF Release Tomorrow, Play Fetus Today

December 27, 2010 11:00 PM | Tim W.


I'm supposing that not a lot of people played the original Fetus, which was made by Ted Lauterbach in just three days for GameJolt's Minimal competition. The sequel (called suteF) will be released tomorrow, so now's a pretty good time to spend about fifteen minutes playing through its predecessor first. Though it's not a requirement to finish the first game before starting on the second, there are a couple of easter eggs included for those who played Fetus or Ted's earlier effort, Descent.

suteF has been in development for nearly an entire year, and should provide at least two hours' worth of entertainment for anyone who loves solving puzzle challenges.

Freeware Game Pick: PlaMai (Anahara Masataka)

December 27, 2010 3:00 PM | Tim W.


PlaPlaMaiMai is a clever puzzle game in which you play as a bespectacled scientist trapped in a series of laboratory rooms, filled with batteries and electrical plates that need to be powered up for the exit door to open. Players can climb steps that are no more than one block high, and a battery can only be picked up (using the space key) if you're standing next to it.

The cells are also magnetically charged, meaning that two stacked batteries will either attract or repel each other depending on their polarities. You can even use this effect to travel upwards in some rooms, provided that the professor is holding a battery that is of an opposite polarity to the one beneath him.

The game includes twenty rooms to solve, although players are allowed to play them in any order that they prefer. Windows only. (Windows, 1.33MB)

2011 Independent Games Festival Announces Best Mobile Game Jury

December 27, 2010 1:35 PM | Simon Carless

Organizers of the 2011 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the jury panel that will determine the finalists and winner of its Best Mobile Game award, a category which seeks to highlight the innovation and quality of games for the new wave of mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad, PSP, DS, and Android.

Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Best Mobile Game Award -- previously celebrated in the IGF Mobile sister competition but now part of the IGF Main Competition itself -- include Capy's original puzzler Critter Crunch, Hassey Enterprises' abstract strategy game Galcon, and Tiger Style's insect-snaring adventure Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor.

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 Damien Di Fede, Amanda Williams, Thomas Bedenk and Scott Anderson) as they consider the merits of each of the five finalists and eventual award winner.

The jury consists of the following:

- Colin Anderson (co-founder of Denki, creators of Quarrel, Denki Blocks, Juggle.)
- Eddy Boxerman (founder of Hemisphere Games, creators of the IGF award winning Osmos.)
- Kevin Cancienne (game designer & developer at Area/Code, creators of Drop7.)
- Ramiro Corbetta (game designer at Powerhead Games, creators of the IGF award winning Glow Artisan.)
- Omar Cornut (programmer at Q-Games, co-designer and programmer on Mekensleep's Soul Bubbles.)
- Phil Hassey (creator of the IGF award winning Galcon)
- David Kalina (Former AI programmer behind Splinter Cell, Deus Ex: Invisible War & Thief: Deadly Shadows; owner & engineer of Tiger Style, behind IGF award winning Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor.)
- Olivier Lejade (founder of Mekensleep, creative director of Soul Bubbles.)
- Adam Saltsman (co-founder of Semi Secret Software, creators of Wurdle, Gravity Hook HD & Canabalt.)
- Nathan Vella (co-founder & president of Capy, creators of Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes and IGF award winners Critter Crunch & Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP.)

Trailer: Binb (Maxim Karpenko)

December 27, 2010 8:00 AM | Tim W.


Binb is an upcoming Bomberman-style game that focuses on adventuring and looting for treasure, featuring four playable worlds with randomly-generated dungeons, decent pixel art, collectible items, power-ups, and the occasional boss battle that'll give veteran console gamers a run for their money.

This Flixel creation is pretty much done and awaiting sponsorship, so expect to find it appearing on your usual Flash game portals sometime next month.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Built in Minecraft

December 26, 2010 6:35 PM | Michael Rose


Taking over 100 hours to faithfully recreate, this special world was created by a Minecraft fanatic called Roman DeNu. He has built the entire overworld from Nintendo classic The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past using only the blocks that Notch has given him.

Just imagine now that the world was full of Zelda NPCs and enemies, and you may well realise that we're only just on the verge of seeing what the end result of Minecraft will be able to achieve. I don't know about you, but I'm excited. (Source: Kotaku)

20 Free Indie Games You May Have Missed in 2010

December 26, 2010 5:18 PM | Michael Rose

agameyouprobablymissed.PNGThe year is drawing to a close, and our top 10 indie games of the year are now out in the open. Tim will be diving into his awesome top 10 lists for 2010 sometime soon, so before he gets started I thought I'd take a look through 2010 and find all the gems that you probably missed.

The following are games that are definitely worth playing, but for one reason or another didn't really get the attention they deserved the first time around. If you have played all of these, then give yourself a pat on the back - but for the other 99.9% of you, make sure you check these out.

Realm of the Mad God (Wild Shadow Studios)
Dungeons of Fayte (Brent Ellison)
Probability 0 (Droqen)
Destroy the Brain (Anglia Ruskin University Team)
Morplee (Tom Vencel)
Faultline (Nitrome)
Mash Man (SharkArm Studios)
Entanglement (Gopherwood Studios)
Dubloon (Banov)
Poto & Cabenga (Honeyslug)
Sumouse (Terry Cavanagh)
Where We Remain (Twofold Secret)
Time Pygmy (deepnight)
Chaos Invaders (Bit Battalion)
Roulette (Peter Lu)
Sp.A.I (//No Comment)
Sombreros (Dustin Gunn)
Space Funeral (thecatamites)
Snakes of Avalon (Alex van der Wijst and Igor Hardy)
Casus (Time and Liam Berry)

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