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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: Pathos (Bit Battalion)

February 20, 2011 2:58 PM | Michael Rose

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Pathos is a short and dark interactive story from the developers of gnop and Chaos Invaders. The game follows a boy who ignores his mother, and continue to play on his computer after hours.

Created in 48 hours for Ludum Dare 19 but only just now released, it appears that you're leading the boy to safety at first, yet it soon becomes apparent that you're not supposed to be his saviour. The stop-start nature of the dialogue can be rather annoying, and I'll not entirely sure I understand the moral, but perhaps you will get more out of it than I did.

Play over at the Bit Battalion site.

Browser Game Pick: SHOC Trooper (Ruben Garza)

February 19, 2011 11:05 PM | Michael Rose

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SHOC Trooper is an isometric exploration shooter that feels rather amateurish, yet enjoyable enough. You are the SHOC Trooper, and you are set on various missions to kill aliens and clones and other sci-fi thingies.

The controls feel a little wrong, and it can be difficult to walk in the direction you actually want to go, but otherwise it's solid entertainment. The graphics look rather retro, and the game doesn't pretend to be anything more than a mindless blaster, with silly voice-overs and simple puzzles. Worth checking out, especially since it took developer Ruben around a year to create.

Play over on the SHOC Trooper site.

Trailer: Forget-Me-Not (Nyarlu Labs)

February 19, 2011 11:41 AM | Michael Rose


Forget-Me-Not is like Pacman, if Pacman had randomly generated mazes and enemies blowing the crap out of everything.

Currently in development for iPhone and iPad from the dev who brought us Magnetic Shaving Derby, the game is inspired by C64 title Crossroads, and can be played either by one or two players. If you fire bullets off the side of the screen, they will loop round infinitely until something finally gets in the way - and yes, you can hit and kill yourself.

Looking very lovely indeed. No word yet on when it's due for release, but you can read over on the Nyarlu Labs blog for more info.

Browser Game Pick: Rebuild (Sarah Northway)

February 18, 2011 1:01 PM | Cassandra Khaw

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In essence, Rebuild is a city-building simulation game, the kind that requires to balance resources and expand your territory. However, unlike its cousins-in-genre, Rebuild doesn't come with a fertile plot of land to work with. Instead, what you have here is a city devastated by your standard zombie infection. As the leader of a battered group of survivors, you're going to have to scavenge for food and recruit new people, balance guard duty with excursions into the unknown, deal with rival gangs, stray dogs and the omnipresent of zombie attacks. While zombie games are a dime a dozen these days, Rebuild stands out as one of the few that requires you to work on the administrative duties behind survival.

Turn-based in nature, Rebuild allows you to set the pace of the action, something that become neccessary once food falls in short supply. As I've mentioned previously, there's a lot to do in Rebuild and your limits are pretty much dictated by the number of available survivors at your command. There often seems to be a surplus of survivors, however, but first-hand experimentation has demonstrated that you should never send a teacher to do a soldier's job. Difficulty-wise, the game seems geared for all skill levels; professional gamers might start at Hard immediately to provide an adequate amount of challenge.

You can play Rebuild on Armor Games now.

iPhone Game Pick: Dirt (Broken Kings)

February 18, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.


Dirt is a procedurally-generated exploration game in which you play as a skeletal cat trapped inside a network of caves with only a pickaxe in hand to dig at the walls and floors. Players can move in any of the four directions available to them, and if they want to dig upwards all they have to do is turn their iDevice upside down to change the gravity inside the room.

While trying to discover the reason you are stuck underground, you'll come across a variety of coloured gems to collect in random cave openings and narrow passages. The pause screen contains a summary of the various gems you have picked up, and it also displays the number of gems required to uncover the next part of the story.

It takes about an hour to play through the entire game, although you can continue wandering around the infinite cavern even after the credits have rolled. Dirt is available to purchase from the App Store for only $0.99.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of February 18

February 18, 2011 11:56 AM | 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 Blizzard, Red 5 Studios, Junction Point, 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:

- Blizzard Entertainment: Senior Software Engineer, Tools Next-Gen MMO:
"Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft and the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard's track record includes thirteen #1-selling games and multiple game of the year awards. The company's online-gaming service, Battle.net, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players."

- Red 5 Studios: Front End Web Developer:
"The first time you used a website, you knew that you couldn't wait to build your own. Your passion for emerging technologies, design trends and usability advancements has driven you to create a multitude of awesome web sites that push the limits of what a browser is capable of. You dive into the issues of cross-browser compatibility while utilizing the latest cutting-edge client side scripting tools."

Indie Game Links: Going Behind and Over the Edge

February 18, 2011 11:00 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. (image source)

Gamasutra: Behind The Scenes Of Minecraft
"Markus Persson reveals how he and his team have altered Minecraft to suit the needs of its users, and how, with a bit of luck, Mojang worked through some daunting challenges to make the game what it is today."

Flavorwire: 10 Artists Who Use Video Games as Their Medium
"Video games are increasingly as much an artist’s medium as an adolescent pastime, and an increasing number of indie games are helmed by just one or two masterminds. Here's our round-up of ten artists who use video games as their weapon of choice."

GameSetWatch: January, Disasterpeace's Algorithmic Music Generation Experiment
"Rich Vreeland, best known for his chiptune releases and game soundtrack work (Fez, Cat Astro Phi) released under the moniker Disasterpeace, has put out an intriguing experiment in algorithmic music generation called January."

G4tv.com: Why Limbo and Inertia Took Home The Top Prizes At DICE 2011
"The Indie Game Challenge has come to a triumphant conclusion with two games taking home most of the big prizes. Here are the winners of this year’s Indie Game Challenge, and why they brought home the bacon."

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: The Journey Down: Over the Edge
"We're giving indies the chance to sell you, the fans, on their studios and products. This week we talk with creator Theodor Waern about his adventure game The Journey Down: Over the Edge."

Indie Games Channel: SpyParty Preview
"SpyParty is a long way from release, but the game’s concept is rock solid and the early builds have received rave reviews from various journalists that sampled them at last year’s Game Developer Conference. SpyParty is coming soon to PC."

Quote Unquote: Arvi Teikari Interview
"Hempuli has managed to carve out a little niche for himself by releasing a slew of experimental games like Floating Islands Game, Bulletsss, Once in Space and Jump, Copy, Paste. Just like so many other developers, however, he struggles to maintain the initial, enthusiastic spark of his ideas and sticking to one project."

Secret Base: Tobe's Announcements
"The PC port Tobe's Vertical Adventure is about done, and we are looking to release the game in 2 months time, around April, 2011. We've also taken the time to develop a spin off series, namely Tobe's Hookshot Escape and Tobe's Great Escape."

GamerBytes: BIT.TRIP FLUX
"We've seen BIT.TRIP go through Beat, Core, Void, Runner and Fate, but now CommanderVideo returns one last time in his final WiiWare game. Flux is set to hit WiiWare of February 28th in America."

Dwarf Fortress-Inspired Survivors of Ragnarok Alpha Build

February 17, 2011 8:06 PM | Cassandra Khaw

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I'll admit that I'm probably not as hardcore as I would like to be when it comes to my gaming. For example, I still can't complete a full session of IVAN, something I will have to confess has less to do with its learning curve and more to do with the fact that it, metaphorically speaking, has a face only a mother could love. Dwarf Fortress has also been kind of like that for me; one of those games I'd like to play but can't quite wrap my taste for aesthetics around.

Thankfully, it looks like French Rice Games has a solution for people like me. Survivors of Ragnarok is, essentially, a side-scrolling city-building simulation inspired by the titular Dwarf Fortress. Just like in Dwarf Fortress, players will be able to take charge of a contingent of dwarves and work to ensure their continued health. According to their blog, the developers are trying hard to instill the essence of Dwarf Fortress into a more accessible, vibrant-looking game.So far, they seem to be doing a pretty spiffy job. Unconvinced? Why not give their alpha build a quick spin to see whether they're capable of delivering on their promises?

You can download their alpha build from IndieDB here.

Trailer: Shoot Many Robots (Demiurge Studios)

February 17, 2011 1:07 PM | Michael Rose


Shoot Many Robots is the first downloadable game from Demiurge Studios, and it's all about shooting robots, upgrading your equipment and learning nothing.

The game is described as a 'Robot Murder Simulator' for up to four-player cooperative blasting. Robots attack, you blast them down, and repeat. Along the way, there are nuts and bolts to collect that can be used to upgrade your character, and huge bosses to destroy. There's no word yet on whether this will be a PC, console or both release.

Coming later this year! Visit the Shoot Many Robots site for more details.

Browser Game Pick: The Great Gatsby (Great Gatsby Team)

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


The Great Gatsby is a free-to-play Flash game adaptation of a literary classic with the same name, featuring NES-style graphics and a surprisingly catchy chiptune soundtrack to complement this four-level 2D platformer. The developers have gone to great lengths in trying to make it look like an authentic NES cart release, up to and including making manual scans and a Japanese cover illustration to complete the package.

The game itself doesn't disappoint either. Playing as Nick Carraway, you can throw your hat at enemies, collect coins for points, or grab power-up items for extra health and temporary invincibility. Each stage takes about a minute or two to beat, and if you reach the end of the game without losing a single life you'll be treated to a slightly extended ending for a reward.

The Great Gatsby is available to play here.

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