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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

Trailer: Warm Gun (Emotional Robots)

March 13, 2011 3:54 PM | Michael Rose

Missed this one during GDC a couple of weeks ago, so let's put that right. Warm Gun is a futuristic multiplayer Wild West shooter coming to PC, iPhone and iPad in May, and it looks mighty fine.

I mean, it's hard not to watch this and think 'like Borderlands much?', but when it looks this good, who really cares. There are going to be six character classes to choose from, and five game modes including obvious choices like Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, coupled with more obscure offerings like Mad Cap and Great Escape. You can read all about the game over on the Warm Gun site.

Browser Game Pick: Katamari Hack (Alex Leone, David Nufer and David Truong)

March 13, 2011 2:14 PM | Michael Rose

It's Sunday, you're lounging about looking for something silly to fill your time, and then BAM, the Internet delivers. Katamari Hack is a bookmark-activated toy for your web browser, that takes the classic Katamari Damacy and rolls all over your favourite websites.

Simply drag the Katamari link into your bookmarks, visit any webpage you fancy, and hit the link. You're provided with a ball which can then be rolled around by dragging with your right mouse button. Initially you'll only be able to pick up smaller bits of text and images, but once you're humongous, anything is possible.

Great little time waster - grab the link from the Katamari Hack site.

Exploring Inner Space for Art and Music in Kometen

March 13, 2011 2:30 AM | jeriaska

Independently financed Swedish iPhone game Kometen takes place in a dreamlike extraterrestrial environment. You're put in control of a hungry comet whose exploration of the cosmos is fueled by candy colored pellets floating in the void. For artist and musician Niklas Åkerblad, the creative process was in part an exploration of inner space.

A collaboration with Erik Svedäng of IGF award winner Blueberry Garden, Kometen features background music that later became the basis for a full-length album. (Called "To Stop You Must Die," it's credited to the pseudonymous "El Huervo.") The album was published by label Swedish Columbia, also the distributor of the soundtrack to Svedang's Japan-only iPhone shooter 33Triobelisk.

In this interview, the artist and musician contributing to the making of Kometen discusses his approach to the ambient game title and how the Playstation era has provided sources of inspiration.

In creating both the art and music for Kometen, do you see these elements as explicitly relating to one another?

Niklas Åkerblad: They're meant to convey the same sort of feelings and kind of complete each other that way. Painting to me takes a lot of planning and requires time, while music offers more instant results. To get emotions out quickly when I don't fully know what it is I'm trying to express, making music can be a good way to go about it because it forms rather spontaneously.

Interview: Rohrer's Star-Filled Sky And The Journey To Meaning

March 13, 2011 2:00 AM | Tim W.

The mind of Jason Rohrer is forever voyaging. The distinctive designer of thought-provoking titles like Passage and Between, and of games like Sleep is Death that emphasize a constrained dialogue between the designer and the player, decided to do something new with "recursive, tactical shooter" Inside A Star-Filled Sky and go infinite.

Rohrer began thinking about the concept for his latest title when playing Disgaea, which implements an "item world" that allows players to go inside of objects to change their properties by eventually fighting a god inside. He also liked how Psychonauts allowed players to enter people's heads.

Could that idea go further? What if inside Disgaea's item world, there was something else you could go inside of and change? That's the basic concept of Inside A Star-Filled Sky -- endless nesting layers the player can fall through or climb out of.

"I just think that's such a fascinating idea," he tells us. "And when I think about the potential of that being something in operation in the universe... not that I actually believe that each of our atoms is a solar system or anything like that, but it makes my head swim. It's philosophically inspiring and rich."

"It also seemed very compatible with some of the other game design principles that I've become really enamored with over the past couple of years, procedural generation, and at the time I was conceiving that the idea of permadeath creates systems that generate interesting tactical situations for [the player]," he mulls enthusiastically.

PAX East: Get Your DYAD On (Booth I9)

March 11, 2011 6:00 PM | jeriaska

Back in August we received word that 24 Caret Games' rhythm shmup Retro/Grade would be on display at PAX Prime, with cool swag awarded to high scorers. The indie title has since gone on to receive an IndieCade Audience Award and a distribution deal with the Playstation Network.

This weekend another colorful, fast-paced title will be available to test drive at Penny Arcade's Boston festival. Pekko Koskinen and Shawn McGrath's DYAD was announced as an entry for the 2011 Independent Games Festival, together with a brief but tantalizing teaser trailer. Visiting booth I9 at PAX East will offer visitors the chance to be among the first in the world to experience the abstract racer as it was meant to be played: in a rear-projected, surround sound, high-tech game-contraption.

Encounter The Machine in Indie Alley. If you're moved by the experience, bug game composer 6955, who recently participated in our Fami-Mode video series, for some complimentary buttons and postcards.

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

March 11, 2011 5:40 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 Turtle Rock Studios, CCP, Relic Entertainment, 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:

- Sony Computer Entertainment - Santa Monica: Senior Animator:
"Be a part of the most exciting and innovating computer entertainment in North America. Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets, and distributes software for the PS one console, the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems and the PlayStation Portable."

- ngmoco:): Technical Project Manager:
"ngmoco:) was founded in July 2008 to build top quality games for mobile. In 2010 we became part of DeNA, the leading social games publisher in Japan. Now, together, DeNA and ngmoco develop games and smartphone gaming platforms to unite the globe. We are seeking talented individuals who will participate and contribute to our growth, and who will enjoy our fun, dynamic and focused business environment."

- Infinity Ward: Game Designer - World Builder:
"Join our ranks! Infinity Ward, Inc. is an award winning developer of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. We are fiercely dedicated to creating the best games on the market, and strive not only to exceed the standard in game development, but define it. An incredibly talented team, an exciting work environment, and competitive compensation await those who are interested in creating cutting edge games."

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Nordic Game Indie Night Submissions Due March 21

March 11, 2011 5:00 PM | jeriaska

Submission deadlines for the 2nd annual Nordic Game Indie Night showcase have been pushed back from Tuesday, March 15 to Monday, March 21. The Indie Night event will be taking place at the Nordic Game Conference in Malmö, Sweden, organized in collaboration with the Copenhagen Game Collective, on the evening of May 10.

The intended purpose of the showcase, as described by the organizers, is to call attention to talented indie developers from the Nordic region. Last year's show featured titles by IGF Nuovo award recipient Cactus and the Norway-based D-Pad Studio. Registration for the Nordic Game Conference can be submitted online through the conference website.

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Trailer: Fez (Polytron)

March 11, 2011 2:15 PM | Michael Rose

Get this - head over to PAX East this weekend, and you can play Fez. Yes, that's right - there's a playable demo at the expo. I know, exciting!

Just head to booth 1118, grab the Xbox 360 controller, and take it for a spin. To celebrate this most landmark of events, the above trailer has also been released and shows off even more of the worlds you'll be bombing around later this year.

Freeware Game Pick: Candles (Mangy Gamez)

March 11, 2011 10:30 AM | Michael Rose

Clearly inspired by titles from Frictional Games, Candles is a creepy scarefest that uses darkness and spooky sounds to keep you constantly on edge. Nasty imp creatures have taken over your house, and you need to move careful around, lighting candles to scare them all away.

Everything feels pretty solid, especially for a game made over the course of 10 weeks, although it isn't perfect - fall off the stone bridge near the start, for example, and you'll find yourself stuck and needing a restart. It's also a little annoying that, if you touch an imp and die, there's nothing left to do besides hit Escape and start over again.

Still, very atmospheric and a nice take on the Amnesia style of play. Download Candles from Lasse Westmark Nielsen's blog.

Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games Talks About Art, Blackwell, Isometric Dreams And More

March 11, 2011 5:26 AM | Cassandra Khaw


"My long-term goal is to develop an isometric, RPG game." Dave enthused almost immediately upon being asked about his future plans. Given his background in the industry, I was completely taken by surprise. Dave Gilbert, for those who aren't aware of the name, is the CEO of Wadjet Eye Games, a company responsible for modern adventure games like the Blackwell Trilogy, Gemini Rue as well as The Shivah, Dave's very first foray into the world of game design.

"I used to teach English in Korea more than a decade ago. After I came back home, I found myself living with my parents because my apartment was still being rented out. Obviously, when you're living with your parents, there'd be questions about what you do all day, why haven't you gotten a proper job - you know, stuff like that. The Shivah was, originally, my way of puting off the inevitable. I'd take my lapop out to a cafe every day, sit down and write the Shivah."

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