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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

Freeware Game Pick: Fate of Mankind (Leonardo Millan)

December 26, 2010 12:00 PM | Tim W.

Fate of Mankind is another Metroid-style platformer that was created by Leonardo Millan for the Ludum Dare 19 competition (which ended last week), featuring the usual maze exploration theme and upgrades that you will have to seek out and collect to unlock new abilities. There are plenty of checkpoint locations scattered all over the map, but you're still expected to beat the game in one sitting because progress isn't saved when you close the window.

Though Fate of Mankind comes highly recommended by many, I still find the level design to be rather drab because of the amount of backtracking that needs to be done if you're aiming to collect every single item in the maze. The game is still pretty good though, for an effort that was made in less than thirty-two hours. Windows only. (source: Bytejacker)

More Game Maker Mac OS X Ports

December 26, 2010 8:00 AM | Tim W.

Good news for Mac users: more of cactus' Game Maker releases have been ported for the Mac OS X, meaning that Mac owners (those who don't use emulators or dual boot) now have the chance to play Clean Asia, Mondo Medicals, Fractal Fighter and Illegal Communication for the first time in their lives.

Also do check out our coverage about Mac versions of Psychosomnium, auntie pixelante's games portfolio, and Super Crate Box for more festive cheers this holiday season. Have fun!

Interview: Chris Hecker (SpyParty)

December 26, 2010 2:00 AM | Tim W.

Here's Chris Hecker talking to 4Player Podcast about his upcoming espionage game SpyParty, which is also one of our games to watch out for in 2011. To put it simply, SpyParty is an espionage game that has two players taking on opposite roles: one plays as the spy who is required to complete mission objectives at a crowded party without drawing suspicion, while the other is a sniper tasked with assassinating the secret agent before time runs out.

There's still a lot of work to be done for SpyParty (currently all character models are placeholder graphics), and Chris had implied that it would take at least a year of full-time development before the game is finished, so it looks like we'll just have to make do with previews like this for a while.

Browser Game Pick: Insidia (Woblyware)

December 25, 2010 5:00 PM | Tim W.

Insidia is a Metroid-style exploration platformer that's about a space traveller who is forced to crash land on an alien planet, a story that most of us have undoubtedly heard many times before. As you can guess from the plot, our hero has to recover a couple of items to repair his ship so that he may leave the planet that he's stranded on.

Though the game plays well enough, some players might find the level design a little drab and uninspiring. You can also try to find the ten hidden switches in Insidia, but the only reward you'd get out of it is an alternate cutscene for an ending.

Insidia can be played over at Kongregate and Newgrounds.

Indie Game Links: A Christmas Update

December 25, 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. (image source)

Inside Mac Games: Basilisk Games
"We interviewed Thomas Riegsecker, owner of Basilisk Games, about the importance of his close ties to fans, Eschalon's story, DRM, and what he is planning for Basilisk's next project."

Inside Mac Games: Spiderweb Software
"Jeff Vogel kindly agreed to an interview about the status of Mac gaming, development of Avadon: The Black Fortress, and whether or not he still finds time to play games. Read on to find out."

Big Download: We chat with SuperGiant Games' creative director about Bastion
"Just what is Bastion all about? And what's the deal with the trailer showing the game's levels forming and also disassembling? To get some answers we got Greg Kasavin, SuperGiant Games' creative director to fill us in."

GameSetWatch: Hamlet Dev Announces Big Little Plagiary 3: Made in China
"Russian indie Denis 'Mif2000' Galanin, developer of PC adventure game Hamlet Or Last Game Without MMORPG Elements, Shaders, and Product Placement (coming to Mac and iOS soon), has unveiled another quirkily named project: BLP3, or Big Little Plagiary 3: Made in China."

Ars Technica: Ars looks at indie game pricing
"Indie games are more popular than ever. They compete with mainstream titles that have bigger budgets and more resources for critical acclaim and gamers' spare time. But there's still one place where indie games have it rough: pricing. Ars spoke with several prominent indie developers to learn whether or not the low prices for indie games is having a negative effect on how they're perceived."

GameSetWatch: Mountain Maniac Xmas
"Pixeljam has released a Christmas-themed follow-up to its super addictive Flash game Mountain Maniac. The same crazy, hammer-wielding guy is terrorizing towns by slamming huge boulders down a mountain pachinko-style, except now he's rampaging against Santa Claus and his minions."

Infinite Lives: Loop Raccord
"In Loop Raccord, the player is tasked with finding just the right spot in an animated gif, splicing it there, and then reversing the footage so that it creates an infinite loop. Its no-frills presentation is jarringly ugly. It isn't even fun. And I couldn't stop playing it."

Infinite Lives: A House in California
"A House in California, recently named a nominee for the IGF's coveted Nuovo Award, is all stark white flixels against a black backdrop, in the style of some early 1980s graphic adventure game. Like other good games that toy with their chosen genres, this game demands that the player learn its secret language."

Edge Magazine: Jonathan Blow & Chris Hecker Interview
"Jonathan Blow is now working on a 3D adventure game named The Witness. Chris Hecker's SpyParty sets out to explore hardcore gaming skills within an espionage context that revolves around people-watching. Where do these two titans of indie development see the sector going? We sit down with both of them to find out."

10 Indie Games To Watch Out For In 2011

December 23, 2010 6:02 PM | Michael Rose

spypartysmall.jpgHave you heard the news? Apparently there's a new year coming soon, and it's going to look a bit like the one we have now, except slightly upgraded by one measure.

These developers, huh - releasing things that aren't fully complete, and then expecting us to pay for the latest version even though it's barely different to the one we already have!

Anyway, there are quite a few indie games coming out for this new update, so I've had a crack at choosing just ten of them. These are the indie games I'm the most excited about, and you should be too.

Note that if any of the games on my 'Coming in 2010' list were pushed back to 2011, I've not featured them again here - that includes Fez, Vessel, Gemini Rue, Tuning and Saturated Dreamers. Which is kinda embarrassing, when you consider that was half of my list.

Note that while I've chosen just ten, I'm also very much aware that there are plenty of other great indie games launching in 2011. Feel free to berate me in the comments for not having the same list as you - it's how the internet works, don't you know!

Freeware Game Pick: 40 Stories (Chico State Game Studios)

December 23, 2010 1:40 PM | Michael Rose

40 Stories sees you taking control of Anita as she attempts to leave her work building. Unfortunately she's on the 40th floor, and can only move down floors one by one. There are also lots of obstacles in her way, which is unsurprising, given this is a game.

There are many strange goings on, from cloning yourself so you can press multiple buttons and open a door, to keeping the lights on lest a nasty thing in the dark gets you. There are times for each floor too that appear to be global, showing a par and best time for other people in the world.

You can grab a copy of 40 Stories from IndieDB. Check out the trailer to see it in action.

Indie Game Links: Last-Minute Christmas Shopping

December 23, 2010 12:00 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. (image source)

ACE Team: The five art periods in Rock of Ages
"We wish we could have made a level for each and every important period, but that was just too difficult, so we needed to narrow down the list to five periods we really wanted to use."

Kongregate: Enter in the Unity Game Contest
"Kongregate is happy to announce the support for Unity games, and to celebrate we’re teaming up with Unity for a game development contest. The 25 highest-rated entries will automatically become finalists, and winners will be judged based on creativity, innovation, use of Unity, and how fun they are to play. Last day for game submission is February 15, 2011."

Indie Superstar: Hop on the Digital Eel Highway with Data Jammers: FastForward
"Digital Eel is working hard on Data Jammers: FastForward, a fast-paced title that tips its hat to Tron with its futuristic minimalism and waves its hand to Sonic the Hedgehog with its frantic coin collecting."

Gamasutra: Retro City Rampage To Hit Xbox Live Before WiiWare
"Retro City Rampage developer Brian Provinciano reports that a newly-announced Xbox Live version of his game should hit the download service next summer, months before a Fall release for the WiiWare version."

Northwest Cable News: Name your own price for computer games
"The games in the bundle span a variety of genres, from puzzle games to side-scrolling adventures, and you can download all five for as little as a penny."

Indie Superstar: Bitejacker, a Series of Vignettes
"Rather than paragraphs of prose about the actual game, I present the Secret Base’s Bitejacker to you in a series of vignettes. Hopefully you can piece together the way to succeed faster than me."

radiangames: Spreading the Wealth
"Starting in January, I’ll be working on Super Crossfire for PC and other platforms. I’ll be using either Unity or UDK to create Super Crossfire. After the PC version, I’ll convert it to iPhone/iPad and possibly other platforms."

Wadjet Eye Games: Holiday Sale
"The Blackwell Bundle (containing The Blackwell Legacy, Blackwell Unbound, and The Blackwell Convergence) is now on sale for $9.99. That's a 60% discount off the normal price. This sale lasts until January 1st."

Cipher Prime: Holiday Sale
"We’ve lowered the price of both Auditorium and Fractal to just $4.99, or you can get them bundled together for a mere $7.99. Sale ends December 31st."

Check Out the First Ever IGF Finalists In Action

December 22, 2010 10:32 PM | Michael Rose

Now this is very cool indeed - official Game Developers Conference historian Jason Scott today put a video into the GDC Vault, showing the first ever finalists of the Independent Games Festival.

Held back in 1999, the First Annual Independent Games Festival had just fifteen finalists, most of which are shown in the video over at the GDC Vault. What's really interesting is where some of the developers are now - entrant Keith Nemitz now goes by the name of Mousechief, and developed Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble!, while Vicarious Visions may well sound familiar.

These were the best independent games of 1999. Unfortunately barely any of the links on the original finalists page work anymore, but it's still a very interesting look into what indie games were like just over ten years ago. Read more from Scott over on sister site GameSetWatch.

Bought the Humble Indie Bundle #2? Now You've Got #1 Too

December 22, 2010 11:27 AM | Michael Rose

Oh wow. It's just been announced that if you have bought the Humble Indie Bundle #2, then the original bundle has now been added to your games list, bumping it up to 11 top-notch games. Oh wow.

Yes, along with the five games you already had, you've now also got World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru HD, Penumbra and Samorost 2. Just visit your bundle link and you'll find them all waiting for you. There's even a Steam code so you can add the original bundle to Steam.

Obviously, if you missed out on the first bundle when it was around last time, this is the most excellent news. Note, however, the following tweet from the Humble Bundle guys:

"New customers can get the Humble Bundle #1 bonus by helping us push up the average"

Indeed, from now on only customers who pay more than the average price will get the extra games too. The bundle is still available for another 3 days.

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