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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

Trailer: Ballin' Outta Control (Impromptu Games)

February 13, 2011 12:21 PM | Michael Rose

Ballin' Outta Control is a UDK mod coming to PC and iPhone, spotted by Mr LewieP over at RPS. It's one of those ball-rolling, puzzle-solving malarkeys, and it's looking mighty gorgeous.

Impromptu Games is a team of five guys including Joe “Lacabra” Wintergreen-Arthur, who you may know as the Australian who created a Left 4 Dead mod and then asked Gabe Newell of Valve to fly out to see it (which he did). The team are hoping to have a demo out in around three months time, so not too long to wait.

For all the details regarding Ballin' Outta Control, visit the Impromptu Games site.

iPhone Game Pick: Teocalli (Bigfoot Studios)

February 13, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.


Teocalli is a casual puzzle game designed by Reiner Knizia (creator of many well-known board games) to be played in short sessions of ten to fifteen minutes. You're an architect tasked with constructing temples in a limited number of turns, and you do this by rolling a set of special dice and placing them on each row until an entire temple is built. Your dice can only be placed at temple rows with the same symbol, and only completed rows are preserved for the next round onwards.

Players are allowed to reroll their unused dice as many times as they like, but they will lose all of their progress for that turn if they can't place at least one die on a selected temple after a roll. You'll be rewarded with more turns to use whenever the construction of a temple is successfully completed, and a new die slot is also unlocked for every third temple built for the gods.

Luck plays a significant part in Teocalli, but that doesn't mean you won't be getting a little bit of divine help here and there. If you build a temple in the correct order (by laying floors from bottom to top), you'll receive up to two wild cards to use as well. When a dice roll is not in your favor, a wild card can be employed to complete the construction of a floor with just one or two tiles missing.

A dollar for one of Reiner Knizia's games is quite the bargain, although the lack of a progress save feature is rather perplexing (you'll have to start over after exiting the game, taking a call or switching apps). There's also no lite version to try out, so you may want to hold off on a purchase and hope that a demo would appear while the price still stays at $0.99 in the App Store.

Flywrench and You Found the Grappling Hook Now Available for Mac

February 13, 2011 5:00 AM | Tim W.


Two of Mark Essen's pre-Nidhogg releases, Flywrench and You Found the Grappling Hook, are now available to download for the Mac. In Flywrench players have to navigate their ship through a series of increasingly difficult obstacle courses, flapping and rolling through coloured lines in an attempt to reach the finish line with as little frustration as possible.

You Found the Grappling Hook is about a treasure hunter who is seeking for gold in an underground cavern, armed with a pick and a grappling hook that can be used to traverse across gaping chasms or scale precipitous walls. Both Mac conversions were done by Leon Arnett, who you may remember as the person responsible for the recent Mac ports of cactus' earlier works.

The download links for Mac versions of Flywrench and You Found the Grappling Hook can be found at messhof's site.

Freeware Game Pick: Fire with a Riot (Zack Banack)

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


Fire with a Riot is an interesting take on the old arena shooter gameplay with a strategic twist, made by Zack Banack as his submission to the Invention contest held by Game Jolt. You play as a pyromaniac who has an insatiable desire to set everything on fire, scoring points along the way and earning enough credits to construct better weapons back at his garage.

Your flamethrower has limited ammunition to spare for each area, and you'll have to restart the level if you run out of fuel before all objects on screen are burnt to a crisp. The only exception here are the people who are actively trying to douse you in H2O, but they too will spontaneously combust by the time everything had been turned into ashes.

Don't forget to hit your garage and build more weapons to use from time to time. Fire with a Riot comes with twenty-five levels to beat, but you'll probably breeze through all of them in just one sitting.

The direct download link for the game can be found here.

From Gardener To Game-Maker: Charlie Knight On Reaching Scoregasm

February 12, 2011 8:00 PM | Tim W.

[Our own 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.]

In 2006, UK independent game developer Charlie Knight gave up his job as a professional gardener to fulfill a childhood dream of making video games. Five years on and his fourth and most ambitious title, Scoregasm, is nearing completion.

In contrast to Knight's previous three games -- all shoot 'em ups that were written and completed in a matter of weeks -- work has been progressing on Scoregasm for close to two years.

In a new indie-centric interview, Simon Parkin caught up with the developer to find out what life has been like working on an indie game alone for such a stretch of time, and what Knight's aspirations are for the future.

Simon Parkin: How did you get started as an independent developer?

Charlie Knight: It started as a hobby. I'd bought a computer and didn't really know what to do with it, so I thought I'd try to fulfill my childhood ambition of making a computer game. It's kind of spiraled out of control since then...

SP: How did the idea for your first game, Bullet Candy come about? What was the reception like?

CK: I'd seen some website that was running a competition for the best clone of Jeff Minter's Llamatron, which I'd really enjoyed on my Atari ST, and thought I'd have a go at making something in that style, but with added fireworks.

The reception was pretty good actually. Lot's of positive reviews on the web and in print and nice feedback from various people. This was quite a while ago though, I don't suppose I'd fare as well these days with that game. I think timing played a pretty important part in the game's success.

Indie Game Links: Doomed to Limbo

February 12, 2011 10:00 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: 2011 Indie Game Challenge Winners
"Playdead's Limbo won Best Professional Game and Team Hermes' Inertia won Best Non-Professional Game at this year's Indie Game Challenge, each receiving over $115,000 from sponsors Gamestop, the AIAS and The Guildhall at SMU and EEDAR."

Doom, the Roguelike: DoomRL 0.9.9.2 released
"DoomRL 0.9.9.2 has been released. The new version fixes all known bugs, adds a lot of flavor, and expands the game with not yet seen content. Grab it while it’s hot in the downloads section - both Windows and Linux 32-bit versions are available."

GameSetWatch: Indie Game Documentary On Track For September 2011 release
"BlinkWorks Media has posted an update on its progress for Indie Game: The Movie, its documentary about independent game developers and their projects, and the production company says the film is on track for a September (ish) 2011 release."

GameSetWatch: HL2 Mod Dear Esther Receiving Standalone Commercial Release
"Indie developer Thechineseroom announced that its remake of Dear Esther, which began its life as a story-driven mod for Half Life 2, will see a standalone commercial release on Valve's PC downloadable game store Steam this summer."

Indie Games Channel: Independent Games Festival Student Showcase Round-Up
"Indie Games Channel is proud to have provided coverage for this year’s Independent Games Festival Student Showcase winners. Those list of winners, along with associated links to IGC coverage, is as follows."

Bytejacker: Let’s help get Minecraft’s Creeper onto Sweden’s subway cards
"If enough people visit the Stockholm Transport website and vote on a design submitted by Mojang business developer Daniel Kaplan, Sweden’s subway system could end up with a new, Minecraft-themed design on their cards."

Gamasutra: Full-Fledged Cave Story Remake Announced For 3DS
"Popular indie adventure title Cave Story will get a fully-fledged remake for the 3DS, publisher NIS America revealed at an event attended by Gamasutra, where creator Daisuke 'Pixel' Amaya was on hand for the big announcement."

YoYo Games: Karoshi
"One of the most popular games on PC now comes exclusively to iPhone, iPad and out soon on Android. If you have played Karoshi before you know it’s not as easy as it sounds."

Browser Game Pick: King's Guard (Irysoft)

February 11, 2011 1:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

kingsguard.jpg

King's Guard is, basically, Bejeweled with defensive and RPG elements. You're in charge of ensuring that three stereotypical heroes do not fall to the onslaught of an invading army of monstrosities. However, given the nature of the gameplay, you won't be actively controlling the protoganists. Instead, you'll be swapping tiles in the city to generate corresponding matches so as to be able to heal each hero. There are also chests to collect, power-ups to use, reinforcements to call in and equipment to fuss over. In short, it's a pretty hefty game for something that works on the principle of 'match three items of the same color, please'.

While it might have something to do with a latent anal retentive streak, I did have one issue with the game. As with any Bejeweled-like game, I found myself completely enraptured with the tiles as opposed to the rest of the action. It gets way, way too easy to lose track of what you're doing as you arrange the colors. Then again, it could just be me.

Those interested in the game can look it up over at here.

Freeware Game Pick: Yourglass (Scio)

February 11, 2011 12:53 PM | Michael Rose

yourglass.png

Yourglass is a two-player game of giving inspired by one Mr Joy Bhattacherjee. An hourglass spins in the middle of the screen, and each player attempts to pour all of the grain into their opponent's half.

Tapping left and right will make the hourglass spin, but if you tap down (or S for player two) and then tap a direction, you'll nudge it with far more force. As the time-keeper rotates, the grain will falls into either blue or the red player's side, spelling disaster for that person. All the while, some very gentlemanly banter is passed back and forth.

Great concept and lovingly polished - grab a friend and try this one out. Details on how to download Yourglass can be found ono the TIGSource forums.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of February 11

February 11, 2011 12:17 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 Rockstar North, Airtight Games, Vigil, 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:

- Rockstar North: Character Animators:
"Rockstar North, a member of the Rockstar family since 1999, is one of the world's leading video game developers, is a community of creatives from a variety of backgrounds. We are based out of modern, spacious, purpose-built studios in the heart of Edinburgh. We develop original game titles and are proud to be the developer of the phenomenally successful Grand Theft Auto series."

- Airtight Games: Designer/Scripter:
"Airtight Games is a group of game industry veterans formed from the core of the team that produced the award winning, critically acclaimed Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge and the original intellectual property developed with Capcom, Dark Void. We are working on another AAA title based on original intellectual property with a top-tier publisher, and are recruiting top notch talent for key positions."

Kickstarter Projects: Machination: A Game Of Evil Genius

February 11, 2011 10:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw

machination.jpg

The Fraternal Alliance of Unethical Steam Technologists, otherwise known as FAUST, will be the organization you'll be working for should Machination: A Game of Evil Genius achieve its goal of $8, 840 at Kickstarter. Developed by Signal Flare Games, this budding iOS game will have you playing the role of an evil scientist tasked with the creation of many, many robots of various shapes and sizes. In order to accomplish this, you'll have to pick up parts from moving conveyor belts in each level and assemble them in an appropriate manner; failure to do so will, inevitably, result in expensive repairs.

Signal Flare Games apparently already has a fully functional prototype, something that bodes well for the speed of completion once they've reached their target funding. Speaking of funding, it looks like the money will largely go into producing a greater level of polish for the game, employment of a professional audio expert, licensing, multiplayer support and a variety of other things.So far, $3, 177 has been collected and 53 backers have put their name to the project. I'm somewhat piqued by the graphical presentation; there's nowhere near enough steampunk in the world as far as I'm concerned. However, I'm not sure about how in-depth the game might grow to be. I'd like to see the chaos my robot children engineer, damnit!

Either way, if you're interested in pledging your support or even to investigate the concept further, you can visit Machination: A Game of Evil Genius's official Kickstarter page here.

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