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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

Aurora Released, Free For Today Only

January 17, 2011 6:27 PM | Michael Rose

Aurora is an ambient, simplified real-time strategy that mixes the visual style of Osmos with gameplay similar to Eufloria. The game was released today, and developer E McNeill is trying a strategic "high-volume, zero-profit" business direction, by giving the game away for free for the first 24 hours.

It's definitely worth downloading too, with simple yet lovely ideas on offer. Provided with an army of glowing stars, you drag them with your mouse to surrounding planets to capture the world as your own. Unfortunately, there are other coloured stars who would also like a piece of the action, and plenty of fighting ensues. The use of sound is particularly pleasant - the music will fade in and out depending on how close you are to the action, and plinky plonk noises will emanate whenever a heated war is going on.

After today, the game will be available for $5.00, so if you feel like the experience was worth paying for, make sure to grab another copy later in the week! Download Aurora for free now.

Minecraft Mod Watch: Mo' Creatures

January 17, 2011 4:37 PM | Michael Rose

I've been waiting impatiently to post up this Minecraft mod, as it hasn't worked with the latest update until today. Mo' Creatures adds a plethora of new animals and creatures to your Minecraft world, with a mixture of those that will attack you, some you can ride, and even animals that will fight amongst themselves.

Creatures included in the mod include the above Werewolves (that are humans during the day!), birds (to which you can feed seeds), foxes, lions, bears, ogres, ducks, bunnies, and many more. There are also a wide range of different horses you can find, which must first be tamed, and then can be ridden. Even flying ones!

Lovely, amazing, excellent, insert more complimentary words here. You can download the mod from the Minecraft forums, where there are also instructions on how to get the mod working, and plenty more details. Jump below the cut for even more videos of the mod in action. Podcast #15: Rodain Joubert and Desktop Dungeons

January 17, 2011 1:13 PM | Michael Rose

indiegames.PNGThe podcast is back after a Winter break... but only for a one-off. As explained at the beginning of the recording, we were planning on starting again this month, but have hit a huge wall of work with little time to record, let alone edit the 'cast together. Hence, your favourite podcast will be back again at the start of February. Promise!

Fresh from his IGF-related celebrations, Rodain Joubert - developer of Desktop Dungeons, of course - is here to talk to us about his prized roguelike, what his future plans for the game are, and what else we can expect from the developer and his team. We also briefly discuss the IGF finalists, and your questions from Twitter are fired in Rodain's direction.

You know the drill by now - jump below the cut to listen to the podcast, or you can jump over here and listen instead. You like iTunes? Of course you don't, but it's available on there too (you know, in case you're mental). And finally, there is an RSS feed you can subscribe to, if you like being fed. Go listen!

GDC 2011's Indie Games Summit Adds Talks From Monaco, Retro City Rampage Creators

January 17, 2011 12:32 PM | Simon Carless

This year's Independent Games Summit, which will run from February 28 to March 1 alongside the 2011 Game Developers Conference at San Francisco's Moscone Center has just added a number of new lectures, including from IGF Grand Prize winner Andy Schatz (Monaco), Eliss/Faraway designer Steph Thirion and industry veteran Luke Schneider (Radiangames series).

Monaco's Schatz will be presenting a lecture called 'How to Win the IGF in 15 Weeks or Less', explaining how the acclaimed co-op heist game was "entered into the IGF after 6 weeks of work by only one person. It became a finalist in the Grand Prize and Excellence in Design after 11 weeks of work. And it won both after 15 weeks."

Along the way, one-man team Schatz "will show how design-by-brownian-motion can not only lead to a better finished product, but a faster schedule as well", as "Monaco's fanciest tech tricks and failed experiments will be revealed."

Elsewhere, Radiangames' Schneider will join Vblank Entertainment's Brian Provinciano, Copenhagen Game Productions' Dajana Dimovska, and Nonchalance's Jeff Hull in a talk titled "The Next Steps of Indie: Four Perspectives", which gives attendees "a glimpse into their unexpected paths in the past, and what we can expect from [them in] the future".

The four sequential 15 minute lectures will cover Radiangames' one-game-per-month strategy on Xbox Live Indie Games, Vblank's development of a compelling NES/GTA homage with Retro City Rampage, Copenhagen Game Collective's approach on "making the monitor the mediator" with IGF finalist B.U.T.T.O.N., and Nonchalance's Jejune Institute ARG, "the best real-world game you've never played, happening right underneath our noses".

Thomas Vian's Elevator Pitch for sfxr and as3sfxr

January 17, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.

Here is Tom Vian presenting his Flash port of Dr. Petter's sound creation tool sfxr to a crowd at a Flash conference in Brighton last September. During his three-minute speech he manages to introduce the usefulness of sfxr for game developers, explained why he decided to port it, and described a couple of the more interesting options and settings that developers can play around with to get the effects they needed.

as3sfxr is available to use online from this page, while the original sfxr by Tomas Pettersson can be found here.

Browser Game Pick: Goblin War Machine (Big Block Games)

January 16, 2011 11:00 PM | Tim W.

In Goblin War Machine you are in control of a giant instrument of destruction, out to wreck havoc on every village and establishment that it passes through on the route to conquering the entire kingdom.

Your vehicle is outfitted with just a simple front cannon at the start of the game, but as you rack up human kills you can trade in skulls for new individual upgrades and vehicular improvements. It is vital that you score as many points as you can for each level, because later challenges can be slightly tricky to beat if you don't have the right war machine configuration for traversing some of the more challenging landscapes that you'll encounter during the adventure.

Goblin War Machine can be played at Big Block Games' official site.

Indie Game Links: How Much Do Indie Developers Make

January 16, 2011 7:00 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)

Quote Unquote: Droqen
"Droqen is a talented developer, responsible for the frustratingly excellent Probability 0 and Fishbane. Creating games until the end of time would make him very happy. To him, a game will never be a product."

Indie Superstar: Read With Your Ears
"While part of the charm of Kick It is exploring the confounding algorithmic effects it has on your own musical library, Dejobaan has heard the cries for more lyrically luscious, original tunes and more beat-based gameplay."

QCF Design: We hate that we'll be judged against League of Epic Heroes now
"When cloning's involved it's never really something anyone can 'win'. There's a lot of stuff that we've been wanting to talk about, having spent a lot of time thinking about cloning recently, so here goes."

Gamasutra: IGN Provides Office Space To First Five Indie 'Open House' Winners
"IGN subsidiary GameSpy Technology announced the first five independent development houses that have been selected to participate in the company's Indie Open House program. Cryptic Sea, Team Ethereal, Evanatiks, Runt, Inc. and Interabang Entertainment will all receive six months free use of IGN's office space."

David Galindo's Blog: How much do indie PC devs make, anyways?
"About six months ago, I released my first major indie PC game, The Oil Blue, which went on to get some good positive feedback. A month afterwards I shared my sales experiences on Gamasutra, and today I'd like to follow up on that post with a final look at my six months in selling The Oil Blue on my own and with other distributors."

Opposable Thumbs: why Voxatron is an exciting indie shooter
"A voxel is a volumetric pixel, sort of a defined point, but with volume. They're not something you see in gaming much anymore. Joseph White of Lexaloffle games decided it was just about time to bring voxels to the world of arena-style shooters."

Team Meat: Super Meat Boy Physical Soundtrack is out
"The much-awaited Super Meat Boy special edition soundtrack has arrived. With original album art by Edmund McMillen, this iron-rich compilation includes every juicy cut from the award-winning Super Meat Boy soundtrack."

Following Freeware: December 2010 new releases
"This month you can venture out into the dark or try to free yourself from the darkness that can lurk in your memories. All of these and more await you in this month's roundup of freeware releases."

TK-Nation: Impressions of The Dream Machine
"I started playing The Dream Machine about a day ago. I've only just put it down; all I can say about Cockroach's point-and-click adventure is that its bite could probably make minced titanium burgers. In short, blows my mind."

Browser Game Pick: Prior (Nicholas Yonge)

January 16, 2011 3:00 PM | Tim W.

Prior is a 2D platformer built using Flash for the 19th Ludum Dare friendly development competition, where you play as a rectangular-shaped block trying to escape from an abandoned research facility. Much like other Metroid-style games, players will have the chance to discover new abilities by reading notes or using the strange artifacts and equipment found inside the laboratory.

There are three endings to find in Prior. Note that the game doesn't autosave your progress, and closing the browser window means you'll have to start all over again the next time you play.

Indie Game Pick: Defy Gravity (Fish Factory Games)

January 15, 2011 5:22 PM | Michael Rose

Defy Gravity is a space platformer that messes around with gravity wells. The heroine can fire portals that either suck her in or push her away, and these techniques must be used to leap over danger and navigate a mysterious alien monument.

Let's get this out of the way first - the controls are a bit awful. Each click fires the two different portals, which is fine - but aiming the mouse feels odd, as you aim in only the area around the main character, rather than anywhere on the screen. The longer you hold the mouse button down, the further the portal will fly. Why Fish Factory didn't simply allow you to aim anywhere on the screen and click to place a portal at that location is rather strange. You can plug an Xbox controller in and use that for a greater sense of control, but for mouse + keyboards users, it will probably feel cumbersome.

Once you get over the awkwardness of it all, however, there are some genuinely lovely ideas to be found. Certain items in the levels are also affected by your gravity gun, allowing you to push baddies away from you or pull a platform into position with you on it. A gravity shield can also be equipped, so you can move around without being affected.

The full game is available to purchase for $4.99 / £3.25, but it's worth grabbing the demo first so you can see whether you'll be able to stand the controls or not.

Truckers Delight Free on iPhone For Next Few Days

January 14, 2011 10:12 PM | Michael Rose

The excellent Truckers Delight from Mobigame is free to download for your iPhone/iPod touch/iPad/iWotsit from now until Sunday evening. The game is based on a music video that you can find embedded just below the cut (note: It's rather NSFW, as is the game!).

It's a delightful and sometimes grotesque arcade racer in which you play a trucker who is chasing a desireable lady in a flashy sports car. You never actually catch up with her, but the idea is to keep driving and passing checkpoints until you eventually run out of time. Big points are earned by smashing into her car, and collecting powerups that allow you to tear through cars on the road and grow a long tongue, perfect for... tasty side-missions.

Definitely worth grabbing if you've got the right equipment, if you know what I mean. Download from the App Store while you can.

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