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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 January, 2011

Trailer: Battle Armor Division (Crian Soft)

January 26, 2011 2:53 PM | Michael Rose

When your game has the acronym BAD, you'd better make sure it's quite the opposite, else you're setting up for a fall. Fortunately, Battle Armor Division does not look bad at all, and definitely belongs in the 'want to play now' category.

Battle through a futuristic mecha war set in the 26° century, with a variety of missions situated in space and on land. There's so much I like in the above trailer - flying into battle with a huge army of armoured soldiers, then taking it down to the beaches for a D-Day style assault, and topping it off with some claustrophobia-inducing base-blasting.

The official site states a Winter 2010 release, so technically speaking the game may well still be released in time. Either way, expect it sometime soon. Head over to the BAD site for more details.

Indie Fund Selects First Three Funding Recipients, To Be Revealed At GDC

January 26, 2011 2:40 PM | Simon Carless

Independent game funding collective Indie Fund has chosen its first three funding recipients, which it will reveal at an Independent Games Summit panel during the upcoming Game Developers Conference 2011.

A post at the Indie Fund blog reveals that half of the group's current funds have been committed to these three development teams, and that two of the funded teams plan to release their titles this year.

Big-name independent developers including Braid creator Jonathan Blow, 2D Boy co-founders Ron Carmel and Kyle Gabler and thatgamecompany's Kellee Santiago unveiled Indie Fund last March in order to "encourage the next generation of game developers."

The principals behind the fund will act as angel investors to indie projects they find deserving, funding their development out of their own pockets in the hopes of making their money back once the projects are released and drawing revenue.

The group began taking applications for funding last July, and is still looking for new fundees through its web site.

More details about specific funding mechanisms, and the development teams that have been selected, will be revealed at the GDC panel on March 1st in San Francisco.

[Originally posted on Gamasutra by Kyle Orland.]

Q&A: The Tempo of NightSky

January 25, 2011 11:00 PM | jeriaska

Musician Chris Schlarb, based in Long Beach, California, became involved with the independent gaming scene through his record label Asthmatic Kitty. Swedish designer Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren had been sent a copy of the musician's experimental album Twilight and Ghost Stories, leading to a collaboration that quickly ballooned in scope.

Though Nifflas typically writes his own music using synthetic instruments, "Night Game" was intended to feature recordings of live musical instruments. Centering on a glowing, rolling ball that the player guides past obstacles in nocturnal, outdoor settings, the concept became the basis for a multi-year project. Following its nomination at the Independent Games Festival Awards, the game was renamed NightSky and was recently published by Nicalis, Inc. for the PC.

In this interview, the musician takes a look back at the making of the puzzle game with an emphasis on the design decisions underlying the score. The soundtrack album, which received an honorable mention in this year's IGF Excellence in Audio category, can be streamed in full on Bandcamp. It appears together with the composer's both highly personal and collaborative original albums Psychic Temple and Twilight and Ghost Stories.

Excerpt from Videogame Music in Context NightSky segment

Trailer: Koya Rift (SunnyKatt)

January 25, 2011 5:56 PM | Michael Rose

Even more trailerage to feast your eyes on! Koya Rift is a procedurally-generated blaster coming this May that wants you to focus on the now, rather than the later. The game will constantly give you short-term goals to complete, rather than having a set 'end' point.

Each level's layout is different, and you're even given random weapons too, so you'll need to adapt to each situation on the fly. Developer Zach Kehs calls it "Unique Circular Design", in that the game is constantly changing based on the difficulty adjustments, the fast-paced action and procedural generation. Who doesn't love buzzwords, hey!

But seriously, it's looking pretty fun, like a blasting version of Spelunky. There are many, MANY words about the game over on the official site, so feel free to plough your way through those if you're interested.

Indie Game Links: Space Miner

January 25, 2011 5:00 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)

Andy Schatz: Why I'm not selling preorders
"Just like the pricing in the App Store, Minecraft has shaped gamer expectations negatively. Not every game can (or should) be released in a pre-alpha state."

Cipher Prime: It's time for a new Game, Pulse
"The name of our new little baby is Pulse. She is a wonderful mix of music and rhythm game for the iPad. Rather than go on and on about her, though, we figured we would just show you her baby pictures and let you listen to her first words."

The Witness: Adventures in Fisheye Lenses
"During the past couple of weeks, we have been doing some experiments for The Witness that involve pre-rendering a scene with a fisheye lens and then using that render during gameplay. If I were to say exactly what this is for, it would be a massive spoiler, so I'll just say it's for a kind of environment-mapped rendering."

Locomalito: Be part of the Viriax infection
"Viriax is a medical terror arcade game, with changing levels especially designed for short and intense plays. Retro visuals and music, simple controls and procedural generated levels can turn this little game into something addictive."

Team Meat: Russian Cover Box Winner
"Congrats to MaadArtist for winning first prize in the contest. His winning image will become the cover of the printed version of Super Meat Boy in Russia."

Big Download: IGF 2011 Finalists - Visual Excellence
"While technical aspects and game design are all well and good, there does need to be a bit of enjoyment to be had with the eyes. That's why there's the visual excellence category, and this year happens to be the most varied we've ever seen in the IGF. Each of these five games is expressive like none other in this competition."

Gamasutra: Dare To Be Digital Contest Open For Entries
"University of Abertay Dundee's 2011 Dare to be Digital video game development competition is now open for entries. The Scotland-based competition is targeted towards undergrad and post-grad game designers, programmers, digital artists and audio engineers who want to gain recognition and possibly break into the game development industry."

Indie Games Channel: Jonas Richner on e7's Development
"Jonas Richner was gracious enough to speak with us about all things e7. A student of Bern, Switzerland's Gymnasium Köniz Lerbermatt, Richner shared some of the challenges in developing the game, giving the game a proper feel, and his plans for the future."

Trailer: Toy Cars (Eclipse Games)

January 25, 2011 1:23 PM | Michael Rose

Toy Cars is a Micro Machines homage coming to Xbox Live Indie Games and possibly PC soon. When I say possibly, I mean that Eclipse Games are considering bringing the game to PC, but don't sound too convinced. We must change this.

What I like about Toy Cars is that it's not trying to pretend to be anything else other than a Micro Machines fan-game. Environments range from the the kitchen tabletop to the pool table, and pretty much everything you see if ripped straight from the classic game series. But really... is this such a bad thing? Micro Machines was amazing fun, and I for one would like more of that please.

The game features a season mode, quick race mode, plenty of cars to buy and splitscreen multiplayer (although no online, only local - this must be fixed!).

Trailer: Cardinal Quest (TameTick)

January 25, 2011 11:28 AM | Michael Rose

Cardinal Quest is an upcoming roguelike set for a Spring 2011 release. Stating "Gauntlet, Red-Box D&D and Golden Axe" as inspirations, all the elements of a great dungeon-crawler are there, from the randomly-generated levels to the variety of weapons and enemies on show.

The game is currently up for funding on the recently launched 8-Bit Funding site. Interestingly, the game was originally coded in HTML5, but has since been moved to Flash as TameTick says that they found that "performance is not up to par" yet for HTML.

Check out the 8-Bit Funding page for all the details.

Freeware Game Pick: Katuo Bomb (Ikiki)

January 25, 2011 1:00 AM | Tim W.

Katuo Bomb is a freeware arcade game from Ikiki in which you play as a diver out at sea looking for underwater robots to destroy. You do this by grabbing hold of a fish and guiding them towards a robot, causing both of them to collide and explode into tiny bits of fish meat and metal plates.

Players can use the left shift key to grab on to any fish, release the button to let go of them, or press the left control key to swim at a slower pace. More robot types are introduced as time passes, eventually leading to a boss fight before the cycle repeats with harder enemies to contend with.

You can download Katuo Bomb from Ikiki's repository of released games here. (first link, ver 1.03, dated 11/01/23 and 11/01/24)

8-Bit Funding: A New Pledge Site For Indies

January 24, 2011 4:37 PM | Michael Rose

With the likes of Kickstarter and IndieGoGo proving a mighty successful way to fund your latest project, it was only a matter of time before an indie gaming centric funding site came along. 8-Bit Funding was launched today, and is hoping to provide the best place for indie developers to give their ideas a monetary boost.

The site has launched with seven indie titles already gunning for your cash, and anyone interested in trying the setup out can simply sign up for an account right now and start their own project page.

I talked to organiser Geoff Gibson about how the site came about, and what he hopes to accomplish:

What is 8-Bit Funding, and how can developers get involved?

8-Bit Funding is a new game development-centric crowdfunding website. It's an easy way for developers who might need a little extra funding to appeal to a community as a whole instead of trying to selling shares or profits in their games to large publishers or venture capitalists.

Freeware Game Pick: DASH-DA-DASH DX (Renard Queenston)

January 24, 2011 3:28 PM | Michael Rose

If you're currently in the middle of some work or anything else important, do not download Renard's DASH-DA-DASH DX just yet - leave it until later. See, this thing is far too addictive for its own good, and we don't want you to get fired or anything.

You control the hero ship by clicking anywhere in the playing area, making it dash towards your waypoint. The basic idea is to survive, while collecting gems along the way. Thing is, you probably won't survive very long, as there's a giant monster at the top of the screen who is constantly spurting out bullets.

With an incredible level of polish and that agonizing 'just one more go' feel - not to mention online scoreboards that I know some of you will want to dominate - DASH-DA-DASH DX is your friend. Go give it a download. (Cheers to Pixel Prospector for the tip!)

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