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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: Voxatron (Lexaloffle)

January 4, 2011 7:30 PM | Michael Rose

Voxatron is an arena shooter made out of voxels. It's coming later this year for PC, Mac and perhaps other platforms. There's a built-in sound and music synthesizer. You can pick up wall pieces, allowing you to construct barriers and hide from scary monsters.

Also, Voxel Music Man is ready. Oh yes he is. More details over on the Lexaloffle site.

Death Worm iOS is Free for a Limited Time

January 4, 2011 7:00 PM | Tim W.

Death Worm for iOS is a remake of JTR's original Game Maker creation that was released several years ago. PlayCreek's version features updated graphics, new gameplay modes, power-ups, and a ton of improvements to make it a title that should belong in everyone's iDevice library.

Of course, it seems that a few disbelievers weren't too convinced with the lite version and the trailer, so we've got a bit of good news for them today. Death Worm iOS is a free App Store download for a limited time, so grab it before the price goes back up to 99 cents (which is still a steal).

5 Xbox Live Indie Games You Must Download

January 4, 2011 6:12 PM | Michael Rose

Now that Xbox Live Indie Games has managed to (mostly) ditch the crappy massage, avatar and kiddy titles that have held the service back for so long, some really great titles have finally started to pop up and blow us away. Over Christmas in particular, several fantastic games were released on the service - but what with all the festivities, not to mention the fact that most gamers still think the XBLIG service is a cesspool of plop, there's a high chance that they all completely passed you by.

Never fear, dear readers - it is I, Lord Mike of Xboxingdom, here to bring the best of the latest releases to your attention. The five games on my list just below the cut include two of the Winter Uprising releases (wasn't that meant to have finished by now?), a mental GAMMA IV finalist, a great Metroidvania blaster and a hilarious mix of zombies and JW's The Frenzy Defense.

Take a dive with me now, and remember - you can pick up the whole list of five for just $13!

iPhone Game Pick: Gravonaut (Nexus Game Studio)

January 4, 2011 1:58 PM | Michael Rose

Gravonaut is a simple yet tricky retro-styled iPhone offering from Nexus Game Studio. The game aims to test your reflexes, providing only two buttons that must be pressed when required to guide an astronaut through a series of challenging obstacles.

The ship is going down, and the astronaut needs to escape. He can either walk along the floor, or along the ceiling, and will constantly keep running until he reaches the exit. On later levels, you'll need to walk on the walls instead, adding an extra level of difficulty. The fact that the three available options at the start of the game are 'Hard', 'Harder' and 'Hardest' should give you an idea of what to expect.

It's cheap (at just 99c) and plenty of good, masochist fun. If you've got an iGummy, make sure you check it out.

Indie Game Links: Creepy Sunsets

January 4, 2011 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)

Gamasutra: Top 5 iOS Games of 2010
"Rounding up the year's top iPhone and iPad titles, sister site FingerGaming's editor Danny Cowan highlights the year's best games -- spanning fiendish puzzlers through game company simulations and beyond."

Big Download: Best Indie Games of 2010
"2010 was a stellar year for indie gaming. We didn't think that 2009 could be beat, but this year really brought out all the stops. From classical platformers like Super Meat Boy to disturbing adventure games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, there was an absolute flood of excellent indie games this year. Here's our favorite picks from 2010 to roll in the new year."

SpyParty: How I Celebrated the IGF Nomination
"You may have heard SpyParty was nominated for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the 2011 Independent Games Festival. This is really exciting, even though I probably have no chance of winning. Since SpyParty is an IGF nominee, that means GDC 2011 will be the next public playtest."

Demruth: Other IGF Success Stories
"Last year, the Nuovo award was the only one to announce honourable mentions, but looking at the list of them again now, six games were honourable mentions for the category, and four of them came back as finalists this year. For anyone who got honourable mentions this time, you now know how close you are for next time."

8 Bit Horse: Retro City Rampage (video)
"In this ongoing series of developer interviews, we spend some time with Brian Provinciano of vBlank to talk about his first project Retro City Rampage."

FingerGaming: Challenging Flash Game QWOP Now Available for iOS Platforms
"Flash game enthusiasts may be familiar with QWOP, a unique Olympic sports sim that challenges players to run as far as possible using a set of unintuitive controls to guide an extremely uncoordinated runner. Over the holidays, an expanded version - QWOP for iOS ($1.99) - was released in the App Store."

Indie Games Searchlight: Octodad Presentation at Indie City Games (video)
"This is a presentation for the game Octodad, created by a team of students at DuPaul University in Chicago, Il. You play as a father trying to do chores around the house when he is in fact an octopus. In the presentation, the team discusses their process and the design of the game."

GameSetWatch: Castlevania Clone Releases, Koumajou Densetsu II
"Doujin developer Frontier Aja has released Koumajou Densetsu II: Stranger's Requiem, the 'Touhouvania' sequel to its Castlevania clone series, at Tokyo's Comiket fair. There's a free Japanese demo available, and apparently an English/French translation for the full game."

GameSetWatch: Jason Rohrer Anthology Now Out For DSiWare
"The three games included in this collection are Passage, Gravitation, and Between. You can buy Alt-Play: Jason Rohrer Anthology on DSiWare starting today for just 200 Nintendo Points ($2)."

Browser Game Pick: Monsterz - Chainz of Friendz (Jean Privat)

January 4, 2011 11:00 AM | Tim W.

Monsterz - Chainz of Friendz is a puzzle game that takes just a minute or two to learn, featuring simple cartoony graphics that were 'borrowed' from a match-three game with a similar name. The objective here is to place monsters on the board to link up all other monsters of a similar colour. Each monster can only have one friend lying next to it, and a monster will become unhappy when they are connected to two or more friends at the same time.

Monsters cannot be placed on squares occupied by metal blocks, so you'll have to find a way around them to link up the monsters successfully. The first few levels start out easy, but like all good puzzle games there are some pretty difficult challenges that await in the later stages.

Play it at Casual Gameplay.

2011 Independent Games Festival Reveals Main Competition Finalists

January 3, 2011 2:45 PM | Simon Carless

The Independent Games Festival has announced the Main Competition finalists for the thirteenth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, celebrating the brightest and most influential creations to come out of the independent video game development community in the past year.

This year's finalists for the most prestigious indie game awards are led by multiple nominations for standout titles including Frictional Games' psychological horror game Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Mojang's acclaimed 3D worldbuilding sandbox title Minecraft, which received three nominations each.

Other multiple-nominated titles include QCF Design's short playtime 'dungeon crawl' adventure Desktop Dungeons, Messhof's two-player retro fencing game Nidhogg, which received 3 nominations including a Nuovo Award nod, and Supergiant Games' lush isometric adventure title Bastion.

In addition, with the Best Mobile Game award integrated into the IGF Main Competition, there was stiff competition across all categories from games on platforms including iPhone, Android, iPad and beyond, with Best Mobile Game finalists including Ratloop's unique 'line of sight' puzzler Helsing's Fire and former IGF Grand Prize winner Erik Svedang's 'minimalistic dueling game' for iPad, Shot Shot Shoot, as well as Mikengreg's popular App Store title Solipskier.

Freeware Game Pick: Kinetics (Kurt Waldowski and Mike Padilla)

January 3, 2011 1:58 PM | Michael Rose

Kinetics is a physics-based path-finder in which you place down trampolines and gravity-switchers to guide a ball to a portal. Score awarded is based on how many items you use, how many tries it takes you and how quickly you complete the level.

The game doesn't exactly do anything revolutionary, but the level of polish and general feel to the game make it worth a shot. The initial levels are perhaps a little too simple, but after a short while you'll get into the more interesting mazes and have plenty of fun watching the ball catapulting around.

Give it a download from GameJolt.

Indie Game Links: The Kingdom of Sweden

January 3, 2011 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) Captain Foraxian
"Tired of waiting for the Jameson project, I decided to make another game. I present to you: Captain Foraxian."

Experimental Gameplay: Drawing Roundup
"It's the end of the year, so it must be time for the drawing roundup. This month we had eleven entries with a nice assortment of tracing games, physics drawing games, and even a bullet-shooting art game."

Experimental Gameplay: January is Inanimate
"The holidays are always a hectic, stressful, horrible time. In honor of an easier lifestyle, this month's theme is 'inanimate'. You have seven days to make a game that somehow incorporates the theme. Any platformers will be shot on sight."

QCF Design: FienDASH Game Prototype and Beginner's Guide
"FienDASH is a creative exercise in which I take the absolutely awesome Norse mythology and fuse it with some inspiration from the Deadly Rooms of Death game series, then throw in stuff like special abilities, axes and lots of badly-drawn blood."

Carpe Fulgur: 100,000 Copies Sold, and What That Means
"Recettear has sold over 100,000 copies This is a fairly monumental number, and there aren't many games in general that can claim to have broken that kind of sales figure. We do need to talk about what exactly this means for Carpe Fulgur going into the future, however, as in some ways that may be a deceptive number."

Unity Technologies Blog: Kongregate Unity Game Contest
"Kongregate is now finally open for Unity games. To celebrate, we've teamed up to bring you a development contest with prizes totaling $25,000. You are free to create any type of game, so be creative and have fun with it. Submit a Unity game to Kongregate by Feb. 15, 2011."

Rocketbirds Blog: Asia Game Show
"Here are some snaps from our trip to the Asia Game Show in Hong Kong (24th - 27th Dec). The show saw over 400k visitors, and Sony helped us get our 3D demo video on their 280 inch 3D LED screen. And yes, Rocketbirds: Reloaded! will support 3D stereo technology."

Game Informer: Super Meat Boy Afterwords
"We spoke with creators Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes at length about the origins of Meat Boy, battling PETA, designing Braid characters, and why they'll never make another punishing platformer again."

Dark Castle Software: Screwball is now freeware
"Five worlds, 77 mind-boggling puzzles, secret bonus puzzles, and over seven hours of play time. Screwball is now freeware, and the source code is also now available for download. Get them both here."

The Guardian: Interview with Chris Hecker (video)
"Independent game developer Chris Hecker talks to Keith Stuart about games that need deep player skill, going beyond shooting monsters, and his new game SpyParty."

Feature: Top Freeware Shoot 'em Ups 2010

January 2, 2011 10:00 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]

The second 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 ten of the best freeware shoot 'em ups released in 2010.

There's no denying that Locomalito's long-awaited horizontal shooter Hydorah overshadowed the release of all other shoot 'em ups, but luckily enough we're here to brief everyone about some of the more notable games to feature space pilots going up against impossible odds.

Here are the top freeware shoot 'em ups of the year:

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