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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

Video: Fami-Mode Talks (Smallest & Consumers)

February 24, 2011 11:00 PM | jeriaska

Fami-Mode is a yearly celebration of the culture surrounding the 8-bit NES. Taking place in Kichijouji, Tokyo in early January, live chiptune music and Famicom tournaments run all night long in a riff on the traditional Hatsumōde festival. The event is organized by Satoshi Sakigami, the owner of game culture shop METEOR.

Continuing our coverage of the game-inspired all-night party, today we hear from musicians Smallest and Consumers. Smallest is a rapper whose Japanese-language lyrics blend hip-hop and chiptune styles... a genre inevitably termed "chip-hop." The musician has collaborated with the Consumers music group on several game-inspired projects and the two regularly perform together at Fami-Mode.

A frequent participant of the Fami-Mode event series, Consumers took the innovative step of including independently developed Windows games with their albums P.S.G. and D.O.T.S.. (The software came included on the same compact discs as the albums.) The live acts featuring music by Ishii and visuals by BAB often incorporate improvisatory elements controlled by gamepads, further emphasizing the gaming theme of their music.

Freeware Game Pick: Sh*t Bit (Kerim Safa)

February 24, 2011 10:00 PM | Michael Rose

Take an immature premise, mix in clever experimental gameplay, and the result is Shit Bit. You've got a short time before the toilet will be flushed, and in that time you need to create a barrier of poo to keep yourself alive. Seriously.

Everytime you make your little dot jump, it leaves a pixel of brown in place. You don't know which edge of the screen the water is going to come from, so you need to make a decent barrier for yourself in all directions. Then the water flows, and if it touches you, it's all over. Simple, and a bit brilliant. There's an online scoreboard, so you can compete with smearers from all over the world.

Go download this one from Gamejolt.

Browser Game Pick: Safe Landing (Animals Play Games)

February 24, 2011 5:36 PM | Michael Rose

Safe Landing is a short space-faring game about landing a rocket on a planet. You have a limited amount of fuel for the ship, and must use it to push the ship towards the white marked spot on the planet's surface.

Just to make it that little bit more tricky, the planet's have a gravitational pull which you need to account for, and later levels have moons spinning around them. It gets pretty difficult early on, and you'll need an incredibly steady hand. The plants that grow on the planets and moons reminded me a lot of Eufloria's procedurally generated flowers.

Safe Landing is available to play over at Animals Play Games.

Libyan Hamburger Recipe: Raitendo's Contribution to the Libyan Revolution

February 24, 2011 5:29 PM | Michael Rose

Marcus Richert puts his usual wacky edge to the goings on in Libya, with Libyan Hamburger Recipe. I love the fact that the tags for the game are 'Puzzle' and 'Cooking'.

Gemini Rue Launches Today, Demo Available Now

February 24, 2011 10:00 AM | Tim W.

Joshua Nuernberger's IGF 2010 Student Showcase winning entry Gemini Rue (formerly Boryokudan Rue) will be released later today, but you can start playing the demo now, hosted exclusively by FileFront. This 2D adventure game set sometime in the future tells the story of two men -- an ex-assassin named Azriel and a prisoner in a research facility known as Delta-Six. Only Azriel is playable in the trial version, although you'll still get a couple of glimpses into Delta-Six's captivity during the intro sequence and just right before the demo ends.

The downloadable version of Gemini Rue is priced at $14.99, and you can purchase the limited edition CD (ships worldwide) that comes with the MP3 soundtrack and digital download link for $24.99. Check back with us soon for our full review of the game.

Video: Fami-Mode Talks (Kplecraft)

February 23, 2011 11:00 PM | jeriaska

Toward the end of January we heard from METEOR owner Satoshi Sakagami on the making of his annual Fami-Mode NES festival, taking place in Kichijouji, Tokyo.

Music performers for the all-night 8bit-themed parties have included 6955, whose game Dyad was an entry in this year's Independent Games Festival. Omodaka has joined more recently, combining chiptunes with ceremonial Japanese visual elements. Over the next three days we'll be hearing from other participants of the gaming culture event.

Kuske of Kplecraft has been making chiptune hybrid music with percussionist Eddie since their album Hamlin debuted in 2006. Kplecraft tracks have appeared on the Kuon Records, Monotonik and 8bitpeoples labels, and can be heard on the album Chiptuned Rockman, as well as in the Xbox 360 shooter Otomedius Gorgeous.

The perspectives of the organizers of a long-running Famicom event series might interest indie developers intent on throwing their own parties celebrating the culture of the independent gaming scene.

Online Multiplayer RPG NEStalgia Launches

February 23, 2011 3:49 PM | Michael Rose

Imagine if all those other wandering characters in your favourite NES-era RPG were actual players, and you could roam about together completing quests and kicking dragon tail? Daydream no longer, my friends - NEStalgia has launched.

After a length beta period, the game is now available to download for free. Players can join the game, create a hero, and party up with friends and strangers alike. Battling is turn-based, and every area found on your voyage, from the small towns to the dark caves, is extremely reminiscent of old school 8-bit RPGs.

You can join up with other people any time you want, or go it alone. Customization is a huge part of the whole affair too, as players can dress their characters up in whatever clothing and armour they choose, and opt for whichever character class suits their playing style. You can even create your own guild, complete with your own customizable guild cape.

Very awesome indeed. To play, you'll need to download and register with the BYOND game system, enabling you to save your game and stats. Definitely worth checking this one out - head over to the NEStalgia site now.

Freeware Game Pick: Blood of the Chameleon (Thomas Lipschultz)

February 23, 2011 3:13 PM | Michael Rose

Blood of the Chameleon is a text-based adventure game that was first developed in 1999. According to developer Thomas Lipschultz, he was not able to compile the game and get it to run on standard Windows computers, and has only just now adapted the game to work.

You are tasked with killing the evil Chameleon, but first you must destroy four tears scattered around the land. It's all done in classic BBS door game style, with navigation via your number keypad, stats all over the place and turn-based fighting. It's worth visiting the Blood of the Chameleon site to read up on the history of the game - it's pretty fascinating.

The game can be downloaded for free from the BotC Tripod site. Tripod! Old school or what.

SpikeDislike is Free for Today Only

February 23, 2011 10:00 AM | Tim W.

It's James 'Jayenkai' Gamble's birthday today, and to celebrate this occasion he's giving away his iOS game SpikeDislike as a free gift for the next twenty-four hours or so. SpikeDislike is one of those unassuming App Store releases that won't wow you with its graphics, but give it a try and you'll find that the game is surprisingly addictive and difficult to put down.

The iOS version features eight interchangeable themes (one from Retro Remakes curator Rob Fearon), three difficulty settings, and a random path generator that'll provide a fresh new challenge every time you play. Originally priced at $0.99, you can grab it now for free from the App Store.

Road To The IGF: Supergiant Games' Dynamically Narrated Bastion

February 23, 2011 8:00 AM | Tim W.

[As part of a series of "Road to the IGF" interviews with 2011 IGF finalists, Kris Graft speaks with Amir Rao and his teammates at Supergiant Games about Bastion, an imaginative, isometric action RPG.]

Action-packed role-playing games set in apocalyptic wastelands are a dime a dozen, but Bastion has a few twists to set it apart from the pack. For one, a unique narration system actually reacts to the player's actions within the game, drawing the player deeper into the experience.

For another, the game's lush, isometric world forms and deforms dynamically around you as you move, creating a unique visual style that has to be seen in motion to be appreciated.

Now, after 17 months of development work, the team of former EA employees at Supergiant Games is almost ready to release their title this summer. Gamasutra caught up with designer Amir Rao and his team to talk about what inspired them to start an independent studio and what they're trying to accomplish with their game.

What background do you have making games?

I started by making pen and paper games – I was a huge D&D fan and still am. When I was twelve, I wrote a letter to Gary Gygax about the rules modifications I make in my D&D campaigns and when he responded in an encouraging manner he pretty much sealed my fate to game design. After I graduated with my lit major (to enhance my Dungeon Mastering of course), I went straight into the game industry.

I was a designer at EALA on the Command & Conquer games for three years. Most of my time was spent putting together single-player levels for the campaign mode, fiddling around in the WorldBuilder tool we used there trying to make dramatic fights with little men.

I really loved my team there but watching what people like The Behemoth, 2D Boy, Twisted Pixel, Jon Blow and others were able to do with small, independent teams really inspired us to strike out on our own. I quit the company with Gavin Simon and we moved into a house together in the Bay Area in September 2009 to form Supergiant Games and start working on Bastion.

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