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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 January, 2011

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of January 21

January 21, 2011 8:35 PM | Tom Curtis

In a busy week for new job postings, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles across the world and in every major discipline, including opportunities at Activision, Arkane Studios, Turbine, Inc., 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:

- Activision: Director of Technology:
"Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of video games. Our company has created, licensed and acquired a group of highly recognizable brands that it markets to a growing variety of consumer demographics. We are seeking individuals who will participate and contribute to our growth, and who will enjoy our fun, dynamic and highly focused business environment."

- Arkane Studios: Visual Effects Artist:
"We currently have a AAA unannounced title in development (PS3, Xbox 360 and PC) and are looking for a talented visual effects (FX) artist to create in-game visual effects for the gameplay systems and the visual ambiance in Lyon, France and Austin, Texas."

- Day 1 Studios: Lead Level Designer:
"Day 1 Studios is a creative, independent developer on the cutting edge of emerging interactive entertainment and technology. Do you have a driving passion for creating world-class games? If so, we invite you to apply to join our next-gen revolution. Day 1 Studios believes that extraordinary individuals create extraordinary entertainment. To continue our success, we need the best and brightest designers, composers, artists and technologists to share our quest to create revolutionary games. Join us in our Chicago or Hunt Valley, MD locations."

- Tencent Boston: Content Designer:
"Tencent Boston is a premier game development studio led by industry veterans that are driving the creation of world class online games for a global audience. We are a division of Tencent Inc., one of the largest internet companies in China. If you're an inspired, driven individual who is ready to take game development to the next level then Tencent Boston is your new home."

- Turbine, Inc.: Project Manager, Localization:
"Turbine is growing our international capabilities. We are looking for a bright, enthusiastic, experienced Project Manager, Localization to help us better organize and deliver as we grow and expand our product lines, territories, global partnerships and the company as a whole."

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.

Demo: JetPilot GoNOW (Amon26)

January 21, 2011 3:33 PM | Michael Rose

jetpilot.jpg
Here's a bit of PEW PEW for your Friday. JetPilot GoNOW is a mash of TopGun, Afterburner, Tank Girl, and Sonic The Hedgehog that Amon26 is currently working on, and a demo has just been released, showing off the first level.

Enemy jets fly in front behind, and you need to take them out using rapid fire (Z) and explosive missiles (X). From what I could tell, you don't actually ever run out of missiles, so if you keep hammering X, you'll find that most things go down pretty quickly. The boss battle is also a little lacking, in that you can simply hover in front of it and hammer X until it's dead without much worry of dying.

BUT! The visual style and particularly the explosions, along with the awesome music and sounds, is reason alone to watch out for this one in the future. Hopefully later levels will see far more dodging around and some interesting enemy types.

Download the demo from the TIGSource forums.

Trailer: Snapshot (Retro Affect)

January 21, 2011 3:00 PM | Tim W.


Retro Affect had posted a new gameplay video for their upcoming puzzle platformer Snapshot, an IGF finalist in the Excellence in Design category way back in 2009. We don't get to see much here other than some new lighting effects and assets that the developers had put in, but it's better to receive regular updates than having no news at all throughout its entire development cycle (just to know they're still working on it!)

The clip also features new music from Wil Whitlark, and the soundtrack for this game certainly sounds better and better every time we listen to it. Stay tuned to Retro Affect's official site if you're looking for more Snapshot previews in the coming months.

iPhone Game Pick: iMamonoSweeper (Hojamaka Games)

January 21, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.

iMamonoSweeper is an iOS port of the well-received Minesweeper variation by Hojamaka Games, originally released as a Flash game that is still available to play for free on the author's website.

Similar to most RPGs and roguelikes, the objective here is to reveal the location of all monsters on the board and defeat them in battle with little or no combat damage (since players only have ten hit points to use for the entire puzzle). There is no deduction to your HP counter if you engage an enemy that is of the same or lower level than you, and your current level will increase automatically when you've gathered enough experience points from winning fights against low-level monsters like slimes and goblins.

The numbers on the board shows the sum of of every monster's level in the surrounding squares, and you can mark tiles if you're not ready for a difficult combat by placing your finger at any tile for roughly two seconds. There's even a zoom option that can be activated by using the pinch gesture on any part of the screen.

iMamonoSweeper is available from the App Store in two flavours: the lite version is fully-featured, but includes only the easy gameplay mode. The full version can be purchased from the App Store for only $0.99.

Browser Game Pick: Bitejacker (Secret Base)

January 20, 2011 8:19 PM | Michael Rose

bitejacker.PNG
The zombie outbreak game based on indie internet show Bytejacker has been released. Bitejacker sees you blasting your way through the hordes as members of the Bytejacker team, with a number of familiar indie faces popping up on occasion.

I could say loads of words about the game, but I already did before, so I'd just be repeating myself - and that's the first sign of madness, don't you know. Plus, the game is out now, so we don't really need words anymore. We need ACTIONS. Zombie-slaughtering actions.

Go and slaughter some zombies and keep Anthony's face beautiful over at Mochi Games.

Indie Game Links: Kickstarting and Relaunching

January 20, 2011 8:16 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)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Zach Barth Interview
"SpaceChem isn't simply the best indie game 2011′s seen so far, it's one of the best puzzle games ever made. The game is predominantly the work of one Zack Barth of Zachtronics Industries. We infiltrated his hermetically sealed underground laboratory for a chat."

Gamasutra: Indie Game Challenge Reveals 12 Finalists
"The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences revealed the 12 finalists of its Indie Game Challenge, the competition it sponsors along with retailer GameStop and The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University, announcing six nominees each in professional and non-professional categories."

Zeboyd Games: Cthulhu Saves the World Free OST release
"We've gotten a lot of requests for it so here it is - the complete twenty-two song soundtrack for Cthulhu Saves the World, free of charge, complete with pretentious song titles."

Gamasutra: The Zeboyd Games Approach to JRPG Design
"There are many articles on the Internet about JRPG design and what's wrong with the genre, but very few of these articles are written by people who actually make this kind of game. I have created two JRPG-style games for the XBox 360, Cthulhu Saves the World and Breath of Death VII: The Beginning. Let me share some of the thought processes that I go through when designing our games."

Indie Superstar: Kickstart-ed Andrew Plotkin on Interactive Fiction for iPhone
"Andrew Plotkin and interactive fiction are pretty much synonymous these days. Late last year, he made headlines with CNN for raising over $30,000 using Kickstarter. We poked around with some questions to try to figure out what makes Andrew tick."

Gamasutra: GarageGames Relaunches Torque Engine With New Owners, New Focus
"GarageGames announced that it has reformed as a new company under new ownership, buying all assets for the Torque Engine from InstantAction. The company will be dropping the price for its products to $99 for a limited time as it relaunches."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Anders Gustafsson On The Dream Machine
"Wanting to know a lot more about how The Dream Machine came about, and the thinking behind its design and narrative, we sent questions to one half of the development team, Anders Gustafsson. His engagingly detailed answers explore ideas of dream induction, the homogenisation of gaming, the role of voyeurism, and why non-interactivity isn't passivity."

DIYgamer: Top 10 Indie iOS Games of 2010
"Granted, some of you will want to see our blood spilled because we forgot to mention something, or maybe you don't consider a certain game or developer indie in any sense of the word, but we just want you to be playing these games because they're really awesome."

Indie DB: Best UDK Game
"Back in early December 2010, Epic Games the creators of the UDK engine teamed up with the staff of IndieDB in an attempt to recognize the top UDK games of 2010. First, we called on the public that voted in last year's Indie of the Year awards to narrow down the list to just 10 releases. Then, it was up to the judges from Epic Games and IndieDB to pick the ultimate winner."

Browser Game Pick: Warning Foregone (Jakub Wasilewski)

January 20, 2011 1:11 PM | Michael Rose

Warning Foregone is a retro remake of the classic shooter Warning Forever. As you fight against numerous bosses, future enemies will adapt to your playing style, becoming more difficult to kill.

So say you like staying below and shooting upwards - the game will throw in a wide beast with plenty of guns aiming in your direction. Edge around the sides often, and instead you'll get a more narrow boss. Of course, two can play at that game, and as long as you keep switching your gameplay style, you should be able to keep them all at bay.

There are seven weapons to unlock and 32 achievements to collect, so get cracking! Play over at Retromundi.

Browser Game Pick: Catalan (Stephen Lavelle)

January 20, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.


Catalan is a browser-based puzzle game with a simple gimmick: in every stage you are given a number of threaded circles to remove, but you can only take them out three at a time. No more, no less. You do this by clicking on a circle with three outgoing threads, and if only one circle remain on screen it will disappear automatically without any further interaction needed.

It starts out easy with just two or three steps to achieve a solution, and players can undo any or all of their previous moves with just the click of a button. The puzzles do get progressively harder though, and after a while you could be solely resorting to trial and error when trying to untangle some of the larger shapes in the game.

Catalan is playable at increpare's site.

Freeware Game Pick: Raccord Sniper (Nicolai Troshinsky)

January 20, 2011 2:00 AM | Tim W.


Raccord Sniper is a new freeware experimental game from the developer of UFO on TAPE and Loop Raccord, an IGF Nuovo Award finalist this year. You play as a sniper from the Raccord Police, assigned with the mission of eliminating pieces of furniture that appear suspicious in other people's apartments.

Your scope can only view through one window at any moment, and when you switch views between two rooms a piece of furniture will turn into something else the next time you look. This is when you need to figure out which furniture doesn't belong and destroy it, before looking at the other room and finding that another shelf, chair, fixture or toy had changed when you weren't paying attention to them.

The game doesn't really do anything innovative here, but the use of stock photos from IKEA catalogues for background objects and resources is admittedly rather clever if not original. Get Raccord Sniper from GameJolt. (Windows, 26.7MB)

Indie Game Links: The World Saves Cthulhu

January 19, 2011 11:00 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)

Rocketbirds: Revolution!: Post-mortem
"We couldn't really call this a post-mortem, because we're still working on Rocketbirds - we're developing Rocketbirds: Reloaded! in-house for Playstation Network and PC where we'll iterate and innovate on what we've learnt from our experiences and feedback we've received from Rocketbirds: Revolution!."

GameSetWatch: Lea Schönfelder Talks Ulitsa Dimitrova
"German game designer Lea Schonfelder, creator of IGF 'honorary mention' title for 2011 Ute, discusses last year's IGF Student Showcase nominee and stark homeless-themed game Ulitsa Dimitrova."

DIYgamer: Indie Games Winter Uprising, In Conclusion
"Robert Boyd answered a few questions for us post-Indie Game Winter Uprising as a sort of conclusion piece in how well he thought it did, what the event did overall for the developers and channel and whether or not there will ever be another one."

DIYgamer: Cthulhu Saves the World Has Highest Revenue Amongst Winter Uprising
"Robert Boyd has released some details about his hit RPG Cthulhu Saves the World and how it has fared amongst the other games in the event. In its first two weeks after being released Cthulhu has gone on to sell more than 6,300 copies on XBLIG."

GameSetWatch: Cthulhu Saves The World Developer Raising Money For PC Port
"The three-man studio wants to raise $3,000 so it can port Cthulhu Saves The World to PC. It notes that after porting the game, it should be able to do the same for its first game, Breath of Death VII: The Beginning, and future titles."

Digital Eel: soundtrack collection VooDoo Interface now downloadable for free
"VooDoo Interface, the official compilation of award-winning Digital Eel game music, is available online for free or donation. The album features soundtrack music from Brainpipe, Dr. Blob's Organism, Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, Big Box of Blox and a special guest game."

Lazygamer: QCF Design Talks About Desktop Dungeons and the IGF Awards
"Now nominated for two IGF Awards, QCF Design and Desktop Dungeons proudly sits nominated for categories previously won by heavy hitters like Braid and Limbo. We caught up with the trio of insane local developers to talk about goats, groupies, sausage rolls, and... a bit about Desktop Dungeons as well."

GamerBytes: Radiangames On Joy Joy, Crossfire, Inferno And More
"Releasing a game per month since June, Luke Schneider had shown a lot of developers how to bring together gameplay, graphics and sound into one coherent series. We spoke to Luke about his dealings with XNA, and what he plans to work on in the future."

Dev.Mag: 11 Tips for making a fun platformer
"Although this article focuses on platformers, the philosophy behind each idea can be applied to any type of game, whether 2D or 3D. This list does not only include tips for the product (a fun game), but also for the development process."

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