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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 February, 2011

Browser Game Pick: Dromad (Connor Ullmann)

February 11, 2011 9:46 AM | Michael Rose

Dromad is a survival shooter that mixes up the action with some interesting design and balancing ideas. You are a warrior trapped in a dangerous tomb, and must keep the enemy back for as long as possible.

As blobs, knights and goblins come dashing in from the edges of the level, you need to use the horizontal shooting to sweep up and down and take them out. The restriction on not being able to fire up and down feels harsh at first, but soon reveals itself to be a rather enjoyable concept as you dodge around to get into a better position. Gradually throughout play, new enemies will appear and up the ante, but you'll also receive upgrades to your gun that will tip the balance back in your favour.

I managed 524 in the end - pretty proud of that! Give Dromad a play at Newgrounds.

Freeware Game Pick: Death on Stage (Duncan Frowde)

February 11, 2011 9:00 AM | Tim W.

Death on Stage is a 2D adventure game made in under four weeks for the monthly AGS competition, which also happens to be Duncan's first completed game to be released to the public. The story is about a young magician named Stanley Biscuit, who discovers on stage that his performance isn't drawing enough applause from the audience. The theatre manager is quick to point this out to him, but he is also willing to give Stanley a second chance to impress if he dresses up and improves his act a little.

The game is surprisingly well-made for a first effort, and by the end of the adventure you'll be wanting to keep an eye on the developer's future projects if Death on Stage is any indication of what might come from him next.

Duncan's MAGS effort can be downloaded from this page.

Freeware Game Pick: Reverse Order (chunkoffset)

February 11, 2011 5:00 AM | Tim W.

Reverse Order is an intriguing puzzle variation of the classic board game Reversi, where players are supposed to arrange a set of black and white pieces alternately in an attempt to match the pattern laid out on the board to the left side of the screen. Normally this wouldn't pose too much of a challenge, but the usual rules of Reversi still applies here and pieces will get turned over whenever a capture condition is met.

You can play the levels in any order, and solved puzzles will have a Japanese character in blue instead of a red one to indicate that you've not completed a particular challenge. There's even a level editor included if you want to have a go at creating your own puzzles.

To download Reverse Order, click here.

Indie Game Links: Three-Dimensional Scoregasm

February 11, 2011 2:00 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.

GamesRadar: Cave Story remake for 3DS
"Cave Story, the 2D indie darling that started life as a free PC game in 2004, is headed to the 3DS. Cave Story 3D will be a full-fledged remake of the original, with new content, character designs and fully 3D visuals."

Gamasutra: Charlie Knight On Scoregasm
"Gamasutra's Simon Parkin caught up with Charlie Knight, who left his job as a gardener in 2006 to make games for a living, just as his fourth and most ambitious title, shoot 'em up Scoregasm nears completion."

Indie Games Channel: Christoffer Hedborg on Toys and Future Plans
"Toys is a browser-based title that has players using their sense of perspective to solve color and shape-based puzzles. Christoffer Hedborg was kind enough to talk to us about Toys, seven-day development cycles, and his future plans."

Gamasutra: Apple Pulls Counterfeit Lugaru From Mac App Store
"A week after Wolfire Games complained about a Mac App Store game using its Lugaru assets without permission, Apple has finally pulled the game from its marketplace. The studio is offering to give anyone who purchased the game an authentic version of Lugaru HD and a bonus Steam key for free."

Alistair Doulin's Blog: Working From Home As An Indie
"Many of my game developer friends have started working full-time from home in the past few months, partly because of all the game studios shutting down in our city recently. This entry is a list of tips I use to be as productive as I can while striking a good work-life balance."

Bit Blot: Looking for Testers for Aquaria iPad
"Aquaria for iPad has hit Alpha two, thanks to the work of the very talented Andrew Church. We're going to be looking for play testers very soon."

Cipher Prime: The Road Ahead
"We've signed a deal with indiePub, who helped us get Auditorium on PS3, to get Fractal ported to the iPad, PC and Mac platforms. Our goal is to release at least three cross-platform games in 2011."

Freeware Game Pick: Genesis (Nik Games)

February 10, 2011 10:25 PM | Michael Rose

Genesis is a clever little sandbox game made for NAL's GameJolt Invention Competition. You keep watch over a micro-world, providing food and entertainment for the little people.

The twist is that every item in the world must first be drawn. You're given a 16x16 or 32x32 black and white block to sketch your items into, whether they be food, scenery, obstacles or animals, and you're able to fill the world with whatever you feel. Your people will react towards the stuff you create, gaining happiness or dying sad and hungry. They'll even get excited when its their birthday.

There are various issues - drawing can sometimes be problematic, and the item limit is very low indeed, halting any dreams of making a bustling utopia for your people. Still, it's good fun to have a quick play around with. Download from GameJolt.

Browser Game Pick: Collapse It (Smirdis)

February 10, 2011 11:34 AM | Cassandra Khaw


Collapse It cannot, in any way, be remotely politically correct; it's a physics game about demolition and squashing as many innocent civilians as possible. In spite of the possible sensitivity of the subject, Collapse It is actually fun in a somewhat disturbing some of way, something that might have a lot to do with Smirdis's gift for morbid humor, something he exhibited previously in his Gibbets collection.

As I've mentioned earlier, Smirdis's new title revolves around using a variety of explosive devices to extinguish the unwitting bystanders in each level. Like in all good physics games, there's only a finite amount of bombs at your disposal; you'll have to use your wits in order to determine how best to commit genocide. Collapse It features a fair degree of cartoon blood but the death animations mostly border on the ludicurous rather than the shocking. Once or twice, you might see a sliver of granite slice through a person's head but really, it's mostly fun and pixelated death.

To play the game, you can head on over here to poke at it at Armor Games.

Browser Game Pick: The End of Us (Chelsea Howe and Michael Molinari)

February 10, 2011 11:23 AM | Michael Rose


The End of Us is a short art game about two comets darting together through space. You control the purple comet, while the orange comet dances playfully around you.

I'm not going to venture into too much detail as anything I say will spoil the experience, but it's pretty amazing how attached you can feel to a couple of lumps of rock after just five minutes of play. As the title of the game suggests, your relationship soon comes to an end.

Interesting stuff, and created in 48 hours for the Global Game Jam 2011. Download from the End of Us site.

Road To The IGF: The Quick-Burst Roguelike Fun Of Desktop Dungeons

February 10, 2011 11:00 AM | Tim W.

[As part of a series of "Road to the IGF" interviews with 2011 IGF finalists, Gamasutra speaks with Danny Day of QCF Design about quick-burst roguelike and Seumas McNally Grand Prize nominee Desktop Dungeons.]

Roguelikes are famous -- or infamous, depending on who you ask -- for their somewhat impenetrable design and epic, life-engulfing quests that can take months to complete. But there's no reason they have to be that way, as IGF entry Desktop Dungeons proves quite adeptly.

Born from the South African trio of developers at the pithily named Quarter Circle Forward + Design (QCF), Desktop Dungeons condenses the procedurally generated, perma-death infused questing roguelikes are known for into a streamlined package, so that each quest takes an average of only 10 minutes to complete.

The game is up for two 2011 IGF Awards, including the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. We talked to QCF's Danny Day Rodain Joubert about the game's inspiration, creation and future plans for monetization.

What background do you have making games?

Danny Day: There aren't really industry veterans here in South Africa (apart from one or two notable Canadian imports) so we were all on the hobbyist side until a few years ago.

I did some really eclectic game design freelancing after accidentally starting a development community and ended up briefly working at the only console development studio in the country. When they closed, I started QCF as a place to make the sorts of game ideas that you keep wanting to make, but never get around to.

Browser Game Pick: American Dream (The Dream Team)

February 10, 2011 3:00 AM | Tim W.

American Dream is a stock trading simulator game made by Stephen Lavelle, Terry Cavanagh, Tom Morgan-Jones and Jasper Byrne during a three-day game development jam meet in Cambridge, UK. You play as an up-and-coming stock trader who deals with share commodities named after celebrities, trying to make his first million and keeping a good company of friends along the way.

Your weekly routine is divided into two parts. Players are given the chance to purchase new furnitures for their home during the first segment of any given week, and then it's off to the stock market to begin your trade and make a profit by buying low and selling high. Once you've acquired the entire seasonal catalogue of fixtures and fittings, you'll automatically move up the social ladder and will gain new acquaintances with insider tips to share with their fellow colleague.

Thanks to its simplicity, American Dream is a pretty accessible game which takes little effort to learn and play, although it could have done without the tasteless and rather inappropriate pictures that were slipped in to drive home the point during cutscene sequences.

Live the American Dream at increpare's site.

Browser Game Pick: Adam and Eve (Gamystar)

February 9, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.

Adam and Eve is the new casual adventure game from Gamystar (Easy Joe, Fallen from the Moon), following the successful formula of having a self-contained puzzle to solve in every room before the player is allowed to proceed to the next area. The first few screens won't take longer than a couple of seconds to figure out, but rest assured it won't stay that way for long as you get closer to the pearly gates of paradise.

Controls have been simplified down to just using the left mouse button for all interactions, and every time you've cleared the path forward of all obstacles you can click on Adam to move him on. There are substantially more content in this game compared to Gamystar's previous works, although it still doesn't take more than fifteen minutes to play through from beginning to end.

Adam and Eve can be found at Kongregate and Newgrounds.

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