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About The IGF

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 February, 2011

Browser Game Pick: Cube Droid (DevilishGames)

February 6, 2011 5:00 AM | Tim W.


Cube Droid Saves the Galaxy is a block-pushing puzzle game that plays rather similarly to Sokoban, but with a few new surprise additions like laser towers, cannons and roaming enemy droids best categorized as 'unfriendly'. Being the one with the smart AI chip, Cube Droid is able to push blocks to prevent enemies from giving chase, or block the sight of any turrets that pose a danger.

There are a set of batteries to collect in each of the thirty-six included levels, and once you're done with gathering them all you'll have to find a way to reach the exit safely. A retry button and a complete walkthrough can also be found at the right side of the screen, in case you get stuck in some of the tougher puzzles in later stages.

Give Cube Droid a play at Armor Games.

NimbleBit's Entire App Store Catalogue is Free for a Limited Time

February 6, 2011 3:00 AM | Tim W.


Zero Gear developer NimbleBit is currently offering their entire line of App Store products as free downloads for an indeterminate time, numbering eleven games for all iOS devices (the exception here is Omium, which is an iPad-only App). Dizzypad and Sky Burger are both pretty fun to play on the bus or train, but they also have word puzzle offerings like Textropolis and Fishtropolis which are equally just as entertaining.

The list of free NimbleBit games are as follows: Dizzypad, Dizzypad HD (iPad only), Sky Burger, Scoops, Textropolis, Fishtropolis, Moon Drop, Mega Panda, Bluebird, Kyper, Hanoi Plus, Omium (iPad only) and Pocket Frogs.

Get them while they're still free.

Game Dev Story is Only $0.99 for a Limited Time

February 6, 2011 2:00 AM | Tim W.


Kairosoft's Game Dev Story is once again on sale at the App Store for only ninety-nine cents, marked down by 75% from it's original price of $3.99. If you own an iDevice and haven't had the pleasure of trying out the game yet, then here's your chance to get it on the cheap. Unconvinced? No worries, there's also a lite demo version that allows you to play for up to two in-game fiscal years.

For our review of Game Dev Story, go here.

Browser Game Pick: Zombie Bites (Rachid1984)

February 5, 2011 5:57 PM | Cassandra Khaw

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I feel somewhat uncertain about introducing yet another zombie game to an overtly saturated mix but there's just something about Zombie Bites that I find impossible to dislike. It's cute. In fact, it's a little too cute for comfort; anything that involves the living dead shouldn't look this adorable. Bias pertinent to my X-chromosomes aside, Rachid1984's platformer-esque survival game actually presents a rather interesting take on a tired old topic.

As a member of the ravenous undead, your objective here is rather simple: avoid starvation. This, of course, is accomplished by snacking on the multitude of human beings populating the game. In the beginning, this is pretty simple. However, true to custom, each person you devour will eventually be resurrected as a zombie. Obviously, this signals growing competition for sustenance, something that never bodes well for a growing, gray-skinned ghoul.

Zombie Bites isn't particularly deep; there are only three varieties of humans and no upgrades to be found. Zombie Bites is, however, fun. It might be bite-sized, mindless fun but it is fun, nonetheless. If you're looking to kill about ten minutes then this is probably the game for you. On my best playthrough, I finished with two hundred minions in my zombie army. What about you?

You can play the game now at Mochiland.

Browser Game Pick: Sushi Cat 2 (Joey Betz)

February 5, 2011 1:48 PM | Michael Rose

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I'm a sucker for Sushi Cat. It's probably the hypnotic jiggling of his belly, or perhaps the silly story between worlds. The original Sushi Cat was Peggle with cats and sushi, and Joey Betz, in a quest to release a sequel to every single game he's ever made (probably), has now released Sushi Cat 2.

Drop the cat, and he'll eat sushi on the way down. You don't have any control over where he goes, so instead you sit back and watch him fill up, squeezing through gaps and growing to humongous proportions. It's hilarious, fun and exactly what we need for a lazy weekend. There are plenty of cute costumes to unlock too, if you can grab all the golden sushi.

I don't even like sushi, but I do like this game. Sushi Cat 2 is over at Armor Games.

Road To The IGF: We Go BIT.TRIP.Running With Alex Neuse of Gaijin Games

February 5, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.

[As part of a series of "Road to the IGF" interviews with 2011 IGF finalists, Mike Rose speaks with Alex Neuse of Gaijin Games about the runaway success of IGF finalist BIT.TRIP.RUNNER.]

Gaijin Games was founded in 2007 by industry veteran Alex Neuse, and has since gone on to develop the popular BIT.TRIP rhythm game series for WiiWare.

BIT.TRIP.RUNNER is the fourth in the saga, and has been nominated for the Excellence In Visual Art award at this year's Independent Games Festival, thanks to its quirky retro stylings.

In this "Road to the IGF" interview, Alex Neuse talks us through his positions prior to founding Gaijin Games, discusses elements that were removed from RUNNER before release, and why the indie gaming scene is out of control.

What is your background in making games?

I started in QA at LucasArts back in 1997 and have bounced all over the industry since then. From LucasArts, I moved to Activision, and then to Santa Cruz Games before founding Gaijin Games with the hope of finding creative freedom.

I've held jobs in QA, Production, Business, Management, and Design. By far my favorite is in Design, and it is the discipline that I call my home.

How did you come up with the concept for BIT.TRIP.RUNNER?

We wanted to make a 2D side-scrolling platformer to represent CommanderVideo tackling the challenges of the real world and not taking no for an answer, but of course the BIT.TRIP series is a rhythm music series, so we had to figure out how to turn a platformer into a music game.

Once we knew the theme and the gameplay style, we dealt with the constraints of our genre and found gold.

Q&A: CUCKOO for Chipsounds

February 5, 2011 3:30 AM | jeriaska

Today we hear from Andreas Paleologos, an animator and musician based in Oslo, Norway. Since 2009, his catchy music and vibrant sound effects have appeared in iOS platform games by Scandanavian developer Shark Sandwich, formerly Bambalam.

Beginning with his video "Chipsounds Live," the musician began demoing the Plogue Chipsounds plugin tools. The software allows for the creation authentic sounding chip music on personal computers, emulating retro home consoles. The old school game vibe, complemented by more contemporary elements like vocals, has become an important part of the artist's musical persona, CUCKOO.

We caught up with the musician to hear how his background in the Amiga demoscene, writing pop vocal albums and game arrangements contributed to his development of concise scores for iPhone and iPad games. Twelve of his music tracks are currently streaming in full on the CUCKOO Bandcamp page.

How would you describe your use of the Plogue Chipsounds plugin for your game soundtracks?

Andreas Paleologos: Every time I start a new soundtrack, I use different kinds of synthesizers, but Chipsounds is one instrument that is on the list. They released this software toward the end of my album Ringalingding. I realized the more game-ish synthesized sounds there were on there, the happier I got. There was a joy I found in these real simple waveforms that I associate with games. When I realized that, hey, this makes me really happy, it became very natural for me to go in that direction.

Browser Game Pick: I Am An Insane Rogue AI (Nerdook)

February 4, 2011 8:16 PM | Cassandra Khaw

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Developed by the wildly creative Nerdook, I Am An Insane Rogue AI is precisely what it advertises itself to be. As the titular meglomaniac, your task is simple: infiltrate yourself. Of course, you can always choose precisely how you hack into the mainframe. On one hand, you could choose to give Skynet an inspired run for its money by unleashing psychopathic security-bots onto unsuspecting humans and filling entire floors with poisonous gases. On the other hand, you could take the path of greater resistance and exercise restraint and caution in an attempt to both scare and herd the pesky bipeds away.

Depending on your playstyle, I Am An Insane Rogue AI can feel either a little like a stealth game or a case of strategic action; I personally did my best to electrocute, poison, maim and otherwise violently dispose of every human I could find. What is interesting, however, is the fact that the route of the pacifist is actually more rewarding of the two options; you'll earn a greater amount of cash this way, something that makes you wonder about the motivations of the AI in the storyline.

There are a lot of perks to unlock, achievements to fulfill and things to consider in the game. For example, actions are limited by the amount of cycles you have available. Obviously, achieving your goal with the least amount of cycles is ideal; doing so will reward you with even more cash than normal. The only possible quibble I have about the game is the fact that I would have enjoyed a more thorough storyline or, at least, a little bit more viscera.

Want to try your hand at being Skynet's cartoony cousin? Play the game now at Kongregate.

GDC 2011 Reveals Full Game Career Seminar Lineup

February 4, 2011 7:56 PM | Simon Carless

GDC 2011 organizers have revealed the complete Game Career Seminar lineup, spanning Schell Games' Jesse Schell, Epic's Cliff Bleszinski and notable Xbox Live Indie Games creators at the one-day student event this March.

This special one-day program -- taking place on Friday, March 4 during Game Developers Conference 2011 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco -- offers a series of talks and presentations to help students and prospective developers make their way into the industry.

Attendees, who are eligible for special reduced-price passes if they are students, will get the opportunity to view lectures, network with industry professionals, meet with HR representatives from a number of leading game companies and gain insight from industry experts.

A number of talks are featured on the Seminar's homepage and the Game Career Seminar section of GDC's Schedule Builder. Highlights include the following:

- In 'From Student to Start Up: Case Studies,' Schell Games' Jesse Schell provides an in-depth look at student projects that successfully made a name for themselves in the industry.

From Portal to Fl0w, Schell will provide examples of how to best make the transition from school to professional development, as well as note some examples of how the process can go awry.

- In the a panel on Xbox Live Indie Games, industry professionals and independent develops will discuss pricing, visibility, and other methods to help ensure success on the console-based indie platform. With Game Developer magazine's Brandon Sheffield moderating, panelists include representatives from Mommy's Best Games (Weapon Of Choice), MagicalTimeBean (Soulcaster), Ska Studios (I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1), and Zeboyd Games (Breath Of Death VII).

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of February 4

February 4, 2011 7:37 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 Bethesda Softworks, LOLapps, Insomniac Games, 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:

- Bethesda Softworks: PR Manager:
"The PR manger will create and drive programs which generate positive editorial coverage for the group's business activities, initiatives and policies through multiple communication vehicles including: media relations, conferences and events. The PR manger's responsibilities will include development of press releases, web site content, interviews, story pitch and placement, media relations, community management, press tours, and game conventions."

- LOLapps: Lead Game Designer:
"LOLapps, a high profile social game company who is pushing the boundaries of web based social games is looking for a top lead game designer with proven game experience shipping multiple hit titles. We are looking for some who is excited about iterating quickly and deploying our games to millions of users within a short span of time."

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