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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

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of January 14

January 14, 2011 12:20 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 CCp, Relic, Backbone Entertainment, 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:

CCP - North America: Senior Animation Programmer:
"CCP is looking for a senior animation programmer to lead our development of a state of the art animation system and pipeline for an upcoming MMOG. We are looking for a leader with a blend of strong programming and animation skills needed to help guide this team."

NaturalMotion: Digital Marketing Analyst:
"NaturalMotion Games is a fast-growing publisher of high-end, accessible and socially connected games. Our first three iOS apps Backbreaker, Backbreaker 2 and Jenga have all become global chart and commercial successes, with Backbreaker alone reaching 3.4 million downloads (and counting). However, we’re only warming up. Our 2011 release slate will blow 2010 out of the water. If you are bright, driven and always willing to learn, we would like to hear from you"

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."

Relic Entertainment: Concept Artist:
"At Relic Entertainment we are developing an original game for PS3 and Xbox 360 and continue to build on our history of award winning games - games like Company of Heroes, Dawn of War, and Homeworld. Experience freedom of creativity and know your contribution is valued and recognized by the Relic team and also by gamers and industry experts around the globe. Life outside of Relic? You bet. We know, it's a novel idea, but one we not only embrace, we enforce. If you are going to live in Vancouver, you better have time away from work to take advantage of all this city has to offer. Vancouver is consistently ranked in the top most livable cities in the world. Where else can you get up and choose between beach volleyball, city nightlife, or boarding the glacier, all within 90 minutes? We've got mountains. We've got ocean. We've got a chill studio in the heart of downtown. And... We've got donuts every Friday. What more could you ask for?"

Foundation 9 - Backbone Entertainment: UI Scripter:
"Coming off the release of Rock Band 3 with Harmonix, Backbone Entertainment is in a great position to make gaming history. We have several unannounced titles currently in development and are looking for top talent to help us reach the next level. We’re 5 miles from San Francisco, and living in the Bay Area means the best of the coast, the mountains, Napa, and Silicon Valley are all a hop, skip, and jump away from our offices. If you’re talented, driven, and passionate about having fun and making fun for others, come join us!"

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.

Indie Game Pick: Clickr (Ntreev Soft)

January 14, 2011 11:29 AM | Michael Rose

I first played Clickr back when it was an IGF 2010 entrant, and loved the idea of mixing puzzle and battling elements to your standard matching blocks affair. Developed by a South Korean team, the game is refreshingly fast-paced, with big combos and clever use of the rotation system a key factor.

The main concept in a nutshell goes as follows: any coloured block can be removed from the grid at any time. Get a 2x2 square together, and clicking it will remove the square plus every other same coloured block connected to it, plus you'll get big points. However, the only way to get serious points is to clicking multiple 2x2 squares in quick succession, building up your combo. Hence, planning ahead and setting yourself up for the big combos is the key. The board can also be rotated either way, so you can look for ways to make all the best pieces fall into place.

There are a serious number of modes to try out (although the trial below the cut features just a simple example of how the game works - check out the trailer above) for an idea of what the trial is missing). Puzzle mode asks you to get a specific combo or score in a time limit, and becomes very difficult very quickly. Push mode sees you playing off against the AI, pushing blocks in the middle of the screen whenever you get combos running. IQ mode is particularly brilliant stuff - it's all about planning ahead to make sure every block is cleared, rather than rushing it.

Indie Game Links: Creepier Than Ever

January 14, 2011 10:00 AM | 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)

GameSetWatch: Zeit² Copies Itself To XBLA
"Brightside Games announced that Zeit² is finally available for the general public to download and play on Xbox Live Arcade. You can grab the game now for 800 Microsoft points or download a free demo."

Show Me the Games: Talking with Puppygames
"I had worries that the original Humble Indie Bundle was just a one-off, and that this time around no-one would be bothered to report on it and it'd be a flop, but as it is, Revenge of the Titans made a decent sum."

Mount Royal Game Society: FRACT Showcase
"Despite still being in beta, FRACT is already turning heads - so much so that it was recently selected to be part of this year's IGF Student Showcase. We asked Richard Flanagan to talk a bit about the game and its critical reception."

GamerBytes: Mommy's Best Games On Explosionade And Shoot 1UP
"Mommy's Best Games developed both Shoot 1UP and Explosionade this year, and both have done quite well on the marketplace. Nathan Fouts speaks to us on their development, also giving us an update on Grapple Buggy, which he is trying to find a publisher for at the moment."

Indie Games Channel: Stout Games' Jeroen D. Stout on Dinner Date
"I reached out to Stout Games' founder and auteur, Jeroen D. Stout, to ask him about Dinner Date's design and development. He also shared some of the challenges inherent in bringing aspects of the narrative richness of other established media to gamers seeking more intellectually and emotionally engaging experiences."

GameSetWatch: Aban Hawkins & The 1000 Spikes Trailer
"Aban Hawkins & The 1000 Spikes is the newest Xbox Live Indies title from 8bits Fanatics (Tempura of the Dead), and it's advertised as the 'hardest, extremest, craziest platform adventure'. Japanese developer wosa expects to release Aban Hawkins & The 1000 Spikes in both English and Japanese some time this month for just 80 MS Points."

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Totally Tiny Arcade
"We're giving indies the chance to create their own leverage and sell the fans on their studios and products. This week we talk with Joe Lesko of Flea Circus Games about his new scaled-down arcade game collection, Totally Tiny Arcade."

DIYgamer: HyperDuck Interview on Sound Tips for Indie Devs
"HyperDuck SoundWorks' Chris Geehan and Dan Byrne-McCullough have contributed some prolific tunes to XNA Dream.Build.Play 2009 grand prize winner Dust: An Elysian Tail and 2010 first prize winner A.R.E.S. Their awesome tracks are also heard on the trailers for Secret Base's Bitejacker, starring 2011 IGF host Anthony Carboni."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: A Chat With Fract Creator, Mr Flanagan
"Fract is a peculiarly beautiful mix of Tron, Myst, and musical puzzles, and has an atmosphere that is entirely its own. We decided to have a chat with its creator, Richard E Flanagan, and find out what makes him tick."

Browser Game Pick: Zombie Home Run (Christian Ibarra)

January 14, 2011 9:00 AM | Tim W.

Zombie Home Run is a flixel-based arcade game in which you play as a baseball player who finds himself in a stadium swarming with hungry flesh-eating zombies. The only way to escape is to fight your way out, using your giant bat to knock away zombies that try to walk past you. The undead that get smacked around can bounce and knock over other enemies as well, which in turn causes coins to appear at the spot that the collision happened. Hover the cursor over these coins to collect them and add to your final score for online leaderboard submissions.

You'll lose health each time a zombie makes it past our hero, so be sure to smash them with the bat the moment they are in your range. Lose too much health and the game ends, but survive past the time limit and you'll be transported to the next stage where more undead awaits. The story mode features seven levels to play through, and you can swap the keys for batting directions in the options screen. (source)

Feist Will Release This Year, Still Looks Stunning

January 13, 2011 7:00 PM | Michael Rose

We've been waiting for dark and very gorgeous physics platformer Feist for quite some time now - in fact, it was an IGF finalist and Student Showcase winner in 2008! Finally, some good news has appeared - the Feist blog has burst back into life, and we're told that "2011 will be the year of FEIST".

The Feist team have begun properly updating the blog again, and to prove that progress is moving swiftly along, a batch of beautiful screenshots have been released. Jump below the cut to see the lot - remember, you can click them for slightly larger shots.

Apparently the game is currently being shown off in exhibition form, so hopefully we won't have too much longer to wait. Check out the most recent trailer to see the game in action. (Cheers to Sigurd for the tip!)

Trailer: Dungeons of Dredmor (Gaslamp Games)

January 13, 2011 5:00 PM | Michael Rose

Dungeons of Dredmor is an upcoming roguelike with plenty of silly features, animations and dialogue to keep the player entertained. Lord Dredmor is gathering his dark power, and you must enter the dungeons and stop him.

What do we have here, then? We're talking randomly generated dungeons, monsters with ridiculous names, hand-drawn characters, gold, tons of weapons, gods to worship, and many, many cheeses to eat.

The game is scheduled for an April release. Read plenty more about it on the Gaslamp Games blog.

Freeware Game Pick: Awesome Bob (Zed Zombie)

January 13, 2011 2:00 PM | Michael Rose

Awesome Bob! - Episode One: Bob Begins is an endurance platformer that takes inspiration from I Wanna be the Guy. Bob is a small blob figure who sets off an a dangerous journey to win over his sweetheart.

There are two modes available - Normal mode is actually possible, whereas Endurance just isn't. OK, so it is, but only for mental people. I managed to get halfway through level two of Endurance mode before calling it a day. The visual style is also reminiscent of IWBTG, with crude MS Paint drawings and simple text. The dialogue is pretty funny in places, and Normal mode will keep you going for a good while.

Download from Zed's site.

Minecraft Sells One Million Copies

January 13, 2011 12:04 PM | Michael Rose

The Minecraft juggernaut continues to chug along, passing the incredible landmark of one million sales. When you consider that the Alpha build was released only six months ago, and the game has just hit the beta stages, it really is no small feat.

Developer Notch aka Markus Persson has also provided players with an insight into how development is going. I especially like this part of the blog post:

"Basically, any developer working on the game (two people at the moment) can just come up with something they'd want to add on a day-to-day basis, as long as the rest of the team thinks it's a decent idea. If it ends up being fun, it gets added."

This is the kind of approach that can thrive in indie game development, and is one of the many reasons why I personally love indie games. Make sure you read the blog post, as it also includes cake. No lie.

Feature: Top Freeware Platformers 2010

January 13, 2011 1:00 AM | Tim W.

[From now until mid-January, The Weblog will be counting down the best independent and freeware games of 2010, with descriptions, screenshots, and links of the best games in each major category. Previously: Top 10 Experimental Games, Top 10 Shoot 'em Ups, Top 10 Role-Playing Games, Top 10 Freeware Puzzlers, Top 10 Freeware Adventure Games, Top 10 Browser Arcade Games, Top 10 Freeware Arcade Games, Top 10 Browser Platformers]

The last of our in-depth 2010 Best Of Features here on the blog (after the overall Top 10 we did for Gamasutra and the 10 Indie Games for '11 article), we're proud to present twenty of the best freeware platformers released in 2010.

We've got tons of 2D platformers for you in this installment of the best indie games of the year. Among our picks you can find a new game from Knytt Stories creator Nifflas, a premium iPhone release that's actually free to play on Windows, Mac and Linux, a Spectrum ZX-style game by the developer of Hydorah and 8-Bit Killer, and the usual Metroid-inspired platformers that'll keep players glued to their screens for some time.

Here are the top freeware downloadable platformers of the year:

Preview: Retro City Rampage (Vblank Entertainment)

January 12, 2011 4:37 PM | Michael Rose


Ask me which indie game I'm most looking forward to in 2011. Go on, ask me! Oh, well since you're asking, it would most definitely have to be Vblank Entertainment's Retro City Rampage, coming to Xbox Live Arcade and WiiWare later this year. There are two main reasons for my RCR anticipation - the glorious gameplay, and the multitude of references that I can't wait to pick my way through.

Actually, multitude is quite the understatement. If you thought Super Meat Boy had more tributes to classic gaming titles than humanly possible, just wait until Retro City Rampage blows your mind. Not content to simply parody video games, Brian Provinciano's brainchild also throws film and music references into the mix too, with something to smile at every few seconds.

That's really not an exaggeration. Within the first five minutes of play, I had spotted references to the following: The Simpsons, Batman, Duck Hunt, Ducktales, Bomberman, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario, Bill and Ted, the NES, Monkey Island, Back to the Future, Frogger, Sonic the Hedgehog, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the A-Team, Tenacious D, Duke Nukem and, quite obviously, Grand Theft Auto. I should repeat: that was simply in the first five minutes of play, and I'm pretty sure I missed a fair number too.

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