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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

Freeware Game Pick: ring (sumishiro)

January 10, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.


ring^-27 is a vertical-scrolling shooter that offers a wide selection of primary and secondary weapons, unlimited continues, multiple difficulty modes, unlockable extras, and three stages to play through with mid and end-level bosses.

The first pair of bombs (anchor and bomb) are available to you at the start, but players can unlock a third option called circle by completing the entire game at normal difficulty. Crystals extend the length of use for your secondary weapon (X key), and enemy shots that are in a collision course with your ship will glow in red to warn you of the danger.

ring^-27 can be downloaded from sumishiro's site.

2011 Independent Games Festival Announces Student Showcase Winners

January 10, 2011 5:03 AM | Simon Carless

The Independent Games Festival has announced the eight Student Showcase winners for the thirteenth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, celebrating the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year.

This year's showcase of top student talent include slapstick physical comedy adventure Octodad, from DePaul University's Team DGE2, University of Montreal student Richard E. Flanagan's boldly styled Myst-like adventure Fract, and Tiny and Big, an ambitious, comic-book styled 3D action platformer from Germany's School of Arts and Design Kassel.

In total, this year's Student Competition took in more than 280 game entries across all platforms -- PC, console and mobile -- from a wide diversity of the world's most prestigious universities and games programs, a 47% increase from entrants in the 2010 Festival, making the Student IGF one of the world's largest showcases of student talent.

All of the Student Showcase winners announced today will be playable on the Expo show floor at the historic 25th Game Developers Conference, to be held in San Francisco starting February 28th, 2011. Each team will receive a $500 prize for being selected into the Showcase, and will are finalists for an additional $2,500 prize for Best Student Game, revealed during the Independent Games Festival Awards on March 2nd.

In conjunction with this announcement, IGF organizers are also revealing that this year's Independent Games Festival Awards at GDC will be hosted by Anthony Carboni. Carboni is host and producer of Bytejacker, the acclaimed indie and downloadable game video show and website, and one of the most enthusiastic and devoted followers of the independent game scene.

The full list of Student Showcase winners for the 2011 Independent Games Festival, along with 'honorable mentions' to those top-quality games that didn't quite make it to finalist status, are as follows:

Feature: Top Freeware Arcade Games 2010

January 9, 2011 10:00 PM | Tim W.

[From now until mid-January, IndieGames.com: 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]

The seventh of our in-depth 2010 Best Of Features here on the IndieGames.com 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 arcade games released in 2010.

Collect crates! Steal sombreros! Punch forest animals in the face! Do your house chores! Welcome to another action-packed countdown of the best freeware arcade releases of the year - you won't find anything more frantic, frustrating, and fun than this collection of ten games we've rounded up especially for you.

Here are the top freeware downloadable arcade games of the year:

Indie Game Links: 2011's Best Indie Games

January 9, 2011 9:00 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)

NowGamer: 2011's Best Indie Games
"We run down the indie world's big hitters in 2011: Retro City Rampage, Journey, Rock of Ages, Spelunky, Bastion, Explodemon!, The Witness, Fez, Pixeljunk Lifelike and Black Mesa."

Lexaloffle: Voxel Music Man
"A few people asked about the music used in the Voxatron preview trailer, so here's a copy in mp3 format and the original .xm. Note that it was written with the trailer in mind, so it's quite short."

MTV Multiplayer: Desktop Dungeous Is One Of The Best Free Games I've Ever Played
"Desktop Dungeons is not a looker. In fact, at a glance, you could easily assume that the game came out in 1987. But despite its throwback graphics, it's one of the most devious, insanely clever games I've played in a while, and considering it's freeware, there's really no reason why you shouldn't play it too."

The Bottom Feeder: Three Reasons Creators Should Never Read Their Forums
"it is usually a bad idea for creators to visit online forums discussing them and their work. It doesn't lead to happy ends. Managing fans is real work, and picking out the realistic and worthwhile comments takes a ton of time and judgment."

Gamasutra: Anders Gustafsson Talks About The Dream Machine
"What first began as a somewhat standard interview later developed into a full-blown textual exchange about clay, animation, the difficulty of programming and how video game journalists love long, ranty replies to their questions."

Frictional Games: Four months after Amnesia's release
"According to Frictional Games' co-founder Thomas Grip, Amnesia's sales have exceeded 200,000 units across online and Russian retail sales, doubling the company's original sales estimates of 100,000 units."

Kotaku: Why Minecraft Is Popular
"Minecraft was the undisputed indie success story of 2010. It's got an iconic look, it's widely accessible, it allows gamers to create their own stories, and perhaps most engrossing of all, has an initial simplicity and ease of play that quickly gives way to a complexity as deep as the mines you'll soon find yourself digging."

Quote Unquote: Jonathan Whiting
"Jonathan Whiting was made redundant from a job in the mainstream videogaming industry. Because of this, he is contemplative of making that big leap of faith - the one to become a full time indie. His list of works thus far include (but are not limited to) Jed, Isles of Color and crushd."

metablog: Happy N Year
"This is the year of the new version of N. We're well on our way - we're already done updating and rewriting the core game, so here's the list of what's left."

Tale of Tales' Fatale is Free for Today

January 8, 2011 7:00 PM | Tim W.

fatale.jpg


If you're looking for something different to play this weekend, then we've got a bit of good news for you. Since it's Michaël and Auriea's eighth wedding anniversary today, they have decided to put up their commercial game Fatale as a free download for the next twelve hours or so.

You can read Mike's short review of the game here while you're waiting for the download to finish. Fatale is available for both PC and Mac.

Feature: Top Browser Arcade Games 2010

January 8, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.

[From now until mid-January, IndieGames.com: 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]

The sixth of our in-depth 2010 Best Of Features here on the IndieGames.com 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 Flash-based arcade games released in 2010.

Flash games - they're accessible by all, require no download (save for the Flash plug-in for your internet browser), and you don't need a beast of a machine to play 'em. Flip some burgers, surf the waves on your board, save a cat, retrieve a sword in a stone, or just run around smashing turtles to rack up combos in our very own list of the best browser-based arcade games from the past twelve months.

Here are the top freeware browser arcade games of the year:

Browser Game Pick: Society (Jr. Jellybeans)

January 7, 2011 5:09 PM | Michael Rose

society.PNG
Society is a strategy game that is also not so secretly an art game. The player takes a society and galivants across a randomly generated land, spreading the word and building followers.

There's a quick tutorial that will take around five minutes to explain the different aspects of the game, and then you're away. Pretty much everything you do will 'hurt' your society, so you need to spread quickly so that your cities can then provide 'health' later on. You'll also earn Culture points for everything you do, and these are the ones that matter - hence, it's all about spreading as far and as quickly as possible while watching that your society doesn't crumble.

See what you make of it over at Newgrounds.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of January 7

January 7, 2011 5:02 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 ArenaNet, Guerilla Games, Silicon Knights, 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:

ArenaNet: Tools/Engine programmer:
"ArenaNet, creator of Guild Wars, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Korea-based NCsoft Corporation. The studio was formed in the spring of 2000 and is currently developing Guild Wars 2, continuing to support Guild Wars with additional content such as the upcoming Bonus Mission Pack, holiday events, community contests, monthly championships, and soon-to-be-released merchandise. We are looking for engaging personalities to join our team, and help take Guild Wars to the next level! "

Guerrilla Games: Audio Director:
"Guerrilla is looking for an audio director with an ear for quality to drive our internal audio team. As the successful candidate, you will be responsible for the overall audio quality in all of our IPs. You will oversee our sound designers in the development, direction and realization of our audio ambitions, setting their goals and objectives while acting as a visionary, mentor and coach. You will identify our audio hardware and software needs, develop departmental and project budgets, and work with other disciplines to define technical requirements and specifications for the creation of advanced audio systems. You will also schedule audio resources across multiple projects, sourcing and managing audio providers both internal and external."

Feature: Top Freeware Adventure Games 2010

January 7, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.

[From now until mid-January, IndieGames.com: 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]

The fifth of our in-depth 2010 Best Of Features here on the IndieGames.com 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 adventure games released in 2010.

Help solve a murder case, find mythical artifacts in a desolate world, escape from a haunted mansion, and rescue a friend who is in need of your help. These are some of the things that you'll be doing in our countdown of the best interactive fiction works, visual novels, and point-and-click adventure games released during the last twelve months.

Here are the top freeware adventure games of the year:

Trailer: Kentucky Route Zero (Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy)

January 7, 2011 11:26 AM | Michael Rose


Jake Elliott is quickly becoming one of my favourite indie developers, and his new project has me wowed already, and it's not even due for release until later this year! Kentucky Route Zero is 'a magic realist adventure game', and the above trailer gave me the chills.

The story follows Conway, an antique furniture deliveryman, as he travels down a secret and mysterious highway in Kentucky, meeting some strange people along the way. Jake and artist Tamas are using Kickstarter to fund the project, and have supplied plenty of details about the game over on the Kickstarter funding page.

If you haven't been sold by the trailer, check out this quote from the game description: "In one section, Conway and his companions explore a Civil War era battleship that ran ashore in an underground river hundreds of years ago and is now populated entirely by cats." Oh my, I want this game.

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