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About The IGF 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, 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 March, 2011

Browser Game Pick: BeGone (NPlay)

March 15, 2011 5:30 PM | Michael Rose

BeGone is a team-based multiplayer war shooter that plays straight from your web browser. It plays a little like Counter Strike, in that two teams face off against each other, and you must wait for the next round when you die.

So it's not going to blow any mainstream FPSs out of the water, and there's only one map available at the moment, but it's still worth checking out, if just to see how smoothly it all runs. I jumped into servers with 5 on 5 action, and actually had a pretty decent time - in fact, so much so that I'll probably try to get a few friends on it later.

As a sign of things to come for Unity, BeGone is enjoyable enough. Go give it a round or two.

Indie Game Links: Saving the World from Aliens

March 15, 2011 3:00 PM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, the usual round-up of interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

Joystiq: Fez preview
"Fez is what happens when you mix fancy, high-end modern consoles with 16-bit-era graphics, and put two guys with very serious detail obsession in control. In short, Fez is very, very impressive."

distractionware: It’s Still Untitled
"I still haven’t settled on a good title for my new game. I’ve had to scale down my ambition a bit to come up with a version of this idea that I’ll actually have time to make, but I think the game actually works better for being more compact, particularly for an exhibition setting."

Destructoid: Dyad is Gyruss for aliens
"Tucked away in the back of PAX East was a little game called Dyad. It's incredibly fun; deep yet simple, meditative yet heart thumping, just like many of my favorite games of this generation."

TIGSource: Versus Competition Voting
"The TIGSource Versus Competition has ended and voting has begun. There were 81 games submitted to the competition. Follow the link, try the games, and cast your votes for your favorites. Voting will last two weeks."

GameSetWatch: Cthulhu Saves The World Receiving New Edition
"The upcoming SHECEADDPAFH - PEGYCE (WA!) edition of Cthulhu Saves The World will feature rebalanced abilities/monsters, an insanity difficulty mode, a bonus dungeon, director's commentary, and more button options. The game's upcoming PC port will release this spring and include all these enhancements."

Ryan Andonian's Blog: GDC 2011 Postmortem by a Game Design student
"I'm an undergraduate at University of California, Santa Cruz studying Game Design. GDC '10 and '11 are the only two game conferences I've been to. This year, I went for the 3-day Expo Pass. It was fantastic, and I strongly suggest anyone who's on the fence to save up for at least an Expo Pass."

Fire Hose Games: The wait is over, Slam Bolt Scrappers is out on PSN today
"Slam Bolt Scrappers is finally out today on the PlayStation Network. Go check out the free demo on PSN and see what we’re all about. We know you’re going to love it."

In-Depth: Where Are They Going Now? XBLIG Developers At A Crossroads

March 15, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.

[In this group interview, Gamasutra correspondent John Polson peeks at the plans of six of the most critically acclaimed developers for the Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) service. While not all of the developers are committing to the platform in the near future, each offers valuable suggestions as to how the service can grow. They share their views on the strengths and weaknesses of the service, which has lead them to the projects and platforms they are working on today.]

Xbox Live Indie Games, once called Xbox Live Community Games, has existed for over two years and currently hosts over 1,600 games in the US market alone. The following companies not only have some of the top user-rated games, but they have managed to garner positive press by both indie and mainstream websites.

Despite these accolades, most have failed to see their financial books in the black. Camille Guermonprez of Arkedo Studios earlier revealed XBLIG sales figures and says mostly positive things about the service, with a suggestion for sorting the storefront.

Luke Schneider of Radian Games asserts that leaderboards, offline play, and Kinect support should be addressed. Robert Boyd of Zeboyd Games feels XBLIG is a distinguishing factor for Microsoft; in addition to echoing Luke's suggestions, he thinks XBLIG support should read more countries, especially Australia.

Matthew Doucette, from international award winning studio Xona Games, offers mathematically sound suggestions for Gamerpoints and more. Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games (MBG) concurs that something must be done about Achievements and Gamerpoints but offers his own take on the solution.

Deejay of Binary Tweed quickly saw a need to branch out his skills beyond XBLIG after Clover failed to succeed financially; he feels the narrowness of the storefront is the biggest issue.

Despite fighting setbacks and a once negative view of working on a specialty idea service, these developers present enough positive experiences and suggestions to help XBLIG thrive as a viable, respectable platform.

Lemmy & Binky Reveal Zombie Survival RPG

March 15, 2011 10:49 AM | Michael Rose

It may well be the case that you haven't given Rogue Survivor any of your time due to the sprawling control scheme, or perhaps the visuals, or maybe the interface... in any case, a new zombie survival RPG is coming, and it looks ready to be a little more friendly on the eyes, while tearing out your brains at the same time.

Unnamed as of yet, a flurry of details have been posted up on Lemmy's blog. The game will be playable in your browser, and pack oodles of depth into your survival experience. Real-time day to night lighting, a crafting system for making use of random junk found about the place, AI survivors who can help you, or even hide a zombie bite from you... Oh yes, and you can be bitten and infected yourself, left to count down the days before you turn.

A feeling of progression is also heavily embedded. Your character can earn perks and skills, such as how to fix up injuries and build barricades. The world around you will also change over time, as the zombie outbreak gets worse around the world - power stations will fail, leading to blackouts and power outages, and eventually the army will start sweeping the city, destroying anything that moves.

There are plenty of lovely screenshots just below the cut to feast your eyes on, and many more details over on Lemmy's blog.

PPPPPPowerup! Album Reimagines SoulEye's VVVVVV Music

March 14, 2011 11:30 PM | jeriaska

Just over a year ago, Magnus "SoulEye" Pålsson wrote the music for Terry Cavanagh's platforming puzzle game VVVVVV, which appeared on the soundtrack album PPPPPP.

Three music tracks from the game, "Positive Force," "Potential for Anything" and "Pressure Cooker," are currently being authored by Fairwood Studios for release on the Rock Band Network in coming months.

This past weekend, SoulEye self-published a VVVVVV arrange album, entitled PPPPPPowerup! The music tracks can be purchased from the artist's official website either on CD or digitally. Samples of the source material are currently streaming on the artist's SoundCloud and Bandcamp pages.

We caught up with the musician to hear his thoughts on the making of the arranged music album, whose participants include composers of independent games Danny Baranowsky (Super Meat Boy), Mattias Häggström Gerdt (Cobalt), Gryzor87 (Hydorah), Chris Geehan (Bitejacker) and Josh Whelchel (GunGirl 2).

The discussion, which includes embedded sound samples from original and arranged albums, offers a perspective on how independently funded musicians are currently collaborating to create and reinterpret music found in games.

Trailer: Blocks That Matter (Swing Swing Submarine)

March 14, 2011 10:00 PM | Michael Rose

Even more video goodness for today - Blocks That Matter is an upcoming title for Xbox Live Indie Games, PC, Mac and Linux that appears to be some sort of platforming puzzler with Tetris elements.

Certain blocks can be collected and then placed down elsewhere, but only in the shapes of Tetris blocks. Complete a line, and it will then disappear, allowing you to progress. The Xbox version is scheduled for a April release, while the PC, Mac and Linux versions are penned for May. The Swing Swing Submarine blog has all the details.

BattleBlock Theater Opening Video

March 14, 2011 8:15 PM | Michael Rose

The Behemoth's BattleBlock Theater is due for release on Xbox 360 sometime later this year. This single opening cutscene has sold the game to me already. I loves it.

Although having said that, why does Hattie's head change to a pyramid shape at the end? This is very troubling to me indeed. Visit the BattleBlock Theater site for more footage and info.

Trailer: Snapshot (Retro Affect)

March 14, 2011 8:00 PM | Tim W.

A new trailer for the upcoming puzzle platformer Snapshot was posted up on Retro Affect's site today, revealing more of the camera gimmick and how it is used to overcome a variety of challenges found inside the game. This former IGF finalist in the Excellence in Design category has been in development for over two years now, and it looks like the development team is getting really close to the light at the end of the tunnel after months and months of drawing, coding and composing.

Snapshot should be out for the Windows platform sometime in the summer of 2011.

Results of the SpaceChem Contest

March 14, 2011 3:18 PM | Michael Rose

Last week, we asked you to come up with an indie gaming chemical element. We promised copies of puzzler SpaceChem to the five best submissions. Today, we spent far too long reading through your answers.

Some entertained us, some confused us, some were far too clever for their own good. Here are our five favourites, each of which win a copy of SpaceChem.

Cavestorium: all other indie elements are ripoffs of this element in some way.
Aquarium: an element formed only under water. When enough particles are accumulated it can make a resonant vibration, often comparable to singing.
VVVVVViridium: an element that becomes lighter than air if you switch the polarity of the electrical current that is applied to it.
Humblebundlonium: a transmetal that, when combined with other metals, makes them shinier and stronger. Allows these metals to expand their capabilities far beyond that which can be explained by the law of physics.
Amnesium: Darkness in its physical form.

Congrats to winners googoogjoov, Loki, Lukas, dosuserx and The_Count!

Indie Game Links: GLiD, bfod, QWOP

March 14, 2011 3:00 PM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, the usual round-up of interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

Indie Fund: Funding Terms Now Public
"As a followup to our panel at the Independent Games Summit where we discussed our desire for more transparency in the funding process, we are now making our making our funding agreement public."

Gamasutra: Lilt Line Reveals Disappointing iOS, WiiWare Sales Numbers To Date
"Gordon Midwood, developer of rhythm game Lilt Line and founder of one-man game company Different Cloth, has revealed disappointing sales figures for both the iOS version and the WiiWare version of his game."

Joystiq: Interview with Cave Story's salaryman designer, Daisuke 'Pixel' Amaya
"We found out that despite the popularity of Cave Story, Daisuke 'Pixel' Amaya still has a day job. 'I still work full time as a salaryman,' Amaya told Joystiq. But now he's ready to devote himself to making games. After refining the original Cave Story to a high polish, he told us that he was thinking of a sequel."

GameSetWatch: GLiD, Tiny And Big Win At Propeller Awards
"NoVer's ambient exploration game GLiD took home the grand prize and a $50,000 check from IndiePub's Independent Propeller Awards ceremony held at the ScreenBurn Arcade portion of SXSW Interactive."

Matt Makes Blog: Give Up Robot 2 soundtrack
"Just arrived back from GDC. It was amazing - got to meet up with countless awesome indie devs, play the Winnitron, witness the IGF and jam out a game. Here's the Give Up Robot 2 soundtrack, and I'll talk about the new game in a bit."

Quote Unquote: Locomalito
"Although players found Locomalito's games to be tough, the response he received was something akin to a standing ovation. 8bit Killer and Hydorah have made Locomalito a developer to watch out for and players wait for the release of his games with baited breath."."

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