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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: Gemini Wars (Camel101)

March 23, 2011 10:00 AM | Michael Rose

Gemini Wars is a gorgeous-looking RTS coming to PC and Mac later this year. The United Space Federation and the Alliance of Free Worlds have been in conflict for many years, and a stalemate has calmed everything down a little.

Then a third faction pops up and starts it all off again. Players take control of one of the factions, taking control of starships, space stations and even whole planets. You'll be building up your fleet, extract minerals to pay for it all and researching upgrades to push forwards. Apart from the single player campaign, a beefy multiplayer is also planned.

Looking mighty fine! Keep up-to-date on the latest at the Gemini Wars official site.

Trailer: Fray (Brain Candy)

March 23, 2011 12:07 AM | Cassandra Khaw

There are plenty of questions I would like to ask Brain Candy.

For one, what exactly would constitute as delectable treats for my grey matter? How does someone, in the literal sense of the word, feed their gray matter? More importantly, however, is Brain Candy looking to redefine standards in trailers because I'll eat my shoe if that trailer isn't borderline movie-worthy.

One of my biggest regrets in regards to the Game Developers Conference 2011 is the fact that I never had the opportunity to test-drive Fray, the upcoming multiplayer simultaneous turn-based strategy game. From what I've read so far, it looks like there's a lot going for the game. It probably won't be for everyone given the possible complexity behind its mechanics. Still, there are awesome-looking mechas, a dystopian future and a production team consisting of industry veterans. If anyone has a shot at making this work, it's most likely Brain Candy.

For more information about Fray, you can hit up their official site here.

GDC Vault Debuts 'Classic Postmortem' Videos, GDC 2011 Lectures

March 22, 2011 11:11 PM | Simon Carless

The GDC Vault service has debuted both free and subscriber-only video, audio and slides from this month's 25th Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, including free Doom, Populous and Out Of This/Another World postmortem videos.

Following the conclusion of the record 19,000-person game creation conference, the classic game postmortem series is now available in GDC 2011's 'free recordings' section, alongside free sponsored video lectures and slides.

Some of the many highlights of the hour-long set of 11 postmortem lectures by seminal game industry figures include Eric Chahi's standing-ovation talk on the making of Out Of This World/Another World, as well as John Romero and Tom Hall on the creation of id Software's Doom and Will Wright discussing the crafting of Raid On Bungeling Bay, whose editor inspired his work on SimCity.

With Ron Gilbert talking Maniac Mansion, Peter Molyneux examining the making of Populous, and Toru Iwatani on the creation of Pac-Man (pictured) - with English and Japanese audio versions - the postmortems are rounded out by other free videos on the making of Elite, Marble Madness, Bejeweled, Pitfall! and Prince Of Persia by their renowned creators.

Also now available is free video of Satoru Iwata's GDC 2011 keynote, named 'Video Games Turn 25: A Historical Perspective and Vision For The Future', as well as nearly 30 specially video-recorded sponsor videos from major companies like Google, PayPal, Intel, Nvidia, Digital River and more.

These free video talks, which include high-quality panels about monetization, rendering, 3D stereoscopy and other subjects, are all freely available after filling in a brief registration form. GDC organizers have also made available over 150 slides from GDC 2011 presenters, including many of the biggest talks.

Trailer: Yokai (2 Bad Company)

March 22, 2011 10:40 PM | Cassandra Khaw

I suppose it might just be my Asian side talking but there's something about the art in Yokai that I really, really like. Manned by Portugese indie developers 2 Bad Company, Yokai will apparently be an old-school platformer. No further information, sadly, has been released outside of this and the fact the game will have four chapters.

The gimmick being utilized here is not particularly new; the protoganist will be able to change his shape in order to accomodate various challenges. However, the game is still in pre-alpha so there's plenty of room for Yokai to surprise us. I personally hoping that the indie platformer will have more than a pretty veneer; it looks too charming to cast aside as medicore.

Those interested in keeping track of the game may want to bookmark their official blog here.

Browser Game Pick: Chess Without Turns (Mikolaj Kaminski)

March 22, 2011 6:55 PM | Tim W.

Chess Without Turns is a variation of the popular board game that does away with turns and conventional chess rules, leaving only an action-packed arcade simulation that usually favors the quickest player in a random match-up. You move your chess piece at the same time as your opponent, and every pawn that reaches the other end of the board will receive an automatic promotion. A winner is declared when their adversary's army is completely eliminated from the board.

There's no single-player option with a computer AI as your opponent, and it can be difficult getting another challenger to play online using the simplistic matchmaking system, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem anymore after having the game mentioned here.

Chess Without Turns can be played over at Kongregate.

Freeware Game Pick: Rebirth (Daniel-David Guertin)

March 22, 2011 2:00 PM | Michael Rose

I'm not really sure if I should subject you to this. If you thought you'd played some twisted indie games in your time, Rebirth is about be added to your list of twist.

Mr Guertin, who has worked previously on the likes of Aquaria and Art of Crime, describes the game as "an atmospheric, poem-like game based around the themes of sacrifice, faith and rebellion". I'm not sure if I would use those words personally, but it's definitely... something. I think the best words to describe it are probably "messed up".

I'm not going to go further than that, as it will spoil the experience. It's only a short game, lasting around five minutes, but very much worth downloading. Grab from Guertin's site.

Browser Game Pick: Picma Squared (Moonberry Studios)

March 21, 2011 10:08 PM | Michael Rose

Picma Squared is a set of grid-based puzzles that play out like a cross between Minesweeper and Picross. Numbers of each gird show how many colours squared are in that area, and your job is to fill the grid appropriately.

The small 3x3 and 5x5 grids are simple enough, even when extra colours are thrown in. Once you get to the 10x10, however, that's when it gets tough. Each completed puzzle will show a picture, and as with Picross, it's entertaining to watch a load of scribbled in blocks suddenly become an actual object.

You can also create your own puzzles, although you'll need to create an account to do so. You also need to pay monies if you want access to every puzzle, although most people will be able to get enough enjoyment out of the free puzzles.

Play Picma Squared over on the Kaetheryan Chronicles site.

Indie Game Links: FFF Funding (Friends, Family, and Fools)

March 21, 2011 10:00 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. Title quote suggested by Dan Silvers. (image source)

Teknogames: Pixothello
"Pixothello is a pixelling program used to make tilesets quickly. It also has animation features to easily test spritesheets for flashpunk games."

Frictional Games: Birth of a Monster
"The following article outline the process of creating a creature model from scratch for our first person horror game Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It will go through the basic thinking that went into the design of the enemy, how the concept images where made, how the mesh was built and finally how it was put into the game."

Andy Moore: SteamBirds: Survival, By the Numbers
"SteamBirds has now made approximately $45,000 USD including various sitelocks and licenses, and to this day is still generating more business. I'm fairly confident that the original SB is going to make money for a long time." 8 Most Intriguing Game Trailers From PAX East
"Dozens of indie developers gave crowds a chance to try their games at the Penny Arcade Expo last weekend. When we weren't gawking at cosplayers or hosting well-attended panels, Chris Kohler and I bounced around the show floor testing games both big and small. Here are eight of our favorite games from PAX East 2011."

GameSetWatch: Dino Run SE Releasing In The Coming Weeks
"Indie developer Pixeljam Games announced that Dino Run SE, an expansion of that addictive Flash game in which you're a sprinting dinosaur trying to outrun an approaching wall of doom, will launch in the next week or two."

Joystiq: See what's being crafted for Minecraft documentary donors
"2 Player Productions' Minecraft: The Story of Mojang has raised $160,269 through Kickstarter so far. You still have through March 26 to throw additional funds into 2PP's war chest to help get the film made -- and 2PP has some pretty convincing reasons for you to do so."

GameSetWatch: State of Play Games Interview, First lume Gameplay Trailer
"Katherine and Luke of State of Play Games are very excited about their next major project, the puzzle adventure game lume, which they will release soon on PC and Mac. They offered an exclusive sneak peak at the in-game play, where the paper created models come to life and the puzzles seem to fit the context of the story."

Tomopop: Creeper wind-up toy among Minecraft documentary fundraiser's gifts
"2 Player Productions spent the past month raising funds for their new documentary called Minecraft: The Story of Mojang. The good news is that you can still donate and help give them a bigger budget, as well as pick up the gifts, for the next four days."

Through Song, Game Composers Express Hope for Japan's Swift Recovery

March 21, 2011 6:00 AM | jeriaska

Laura Shigihara's cover of "Ue o Muite Aruko"

Since the Fukushima earthquake, game developers in Japan have sought to express their sympathy for those struggling through the severe effects of the natural disaster. Shows of solidarity have taken the form of fundraisers and donations, as well as creative expressions of hope. Grasshopper Manufacture's Akira Yamaoka and Mistwalker's Hironobu Sakaguchi have both uploaded songs dedicated to those persevering through the recent hardships.

Composers of independently financed game titles have been spearheading their own efforts to show support for victims of the earthquake and tsunamis. Last Thursday, Baiyon, who is contributing design to Q-Games' PixelJunk Lifelike music visualizer, held a benefit at Club Metro in Kyoto. Performing a DJ set not unlike those witnessed by attendees of the two most recent Game Developers Conference events, the musician sold copies of a mix CD called "Sembrado," with proceeds going to disaster relief.

Two days earlier, Melolune designer Laura Shigihara posted a cover of Kyu Sakamoto's "Ue o Muite Aruko" to YouTube, expressing concern for her relatives in Japan. Translated literally as "I look up as I walk," Sakamoto's lyrics describe the speaker as keeping his chin up and whistling to keep the tears from falling. The Japanese-language song, originally recorded in 1961, topped the charts in the United States when it was released two years later. The game composer writes in the video's summary, "I've always thought this was a beautiful song... it's about keeping a smile on your face and hope in your heart even though times are really tough."

Just today, participants of the MAGFest game and music festival announced that they will be holding a fundraiser through Ustream, inviting the participation of composers of Alpha Squad and Retro City Rampage. Stemage and Virt, among other artists, have offered to cover music from any game in return for donations. Their services will be auctioned off on Sunday, March 27, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross. Other fundraiser compilations include LiFETONES / PRAY for JP (proceeds for Civic Force), featuring music by independent game composer I Am Robot and Proud, as well as Chip In: Japan! (proceeds for First Giving Service), featuring chipmusic by Crashfaster, the composer of Knifetank.

Kickstarter Projects: Children of Liberty Has Stealth And Paul Revere

March 21, 2011 5:28 AM | Cassandra Khaw


According to Lantana Games, Children of Liberty is a stealth-based, historical platformer centered around the misadventures of four young kids. Based in Boston during the tail-end of the Colonial Era, the game will apparently have you working to free the families of these young upstarts.

I know it sounds a little strange but what makes the whole thing sound so awesome to me is the fact that this Boston-centric indie title is being designed by, well, people from Boston. Too often you see people attempting to inject a dose of the exotic into their creations by drawing inspiration from foreign territories. It's nice to see the alternative every now and then.

While GameSetWatch has mentioned the game before, I'm going to wave it here a second time to gather it another round of support. As of this moment, Lantana Games is less than $2000 from their target figure over at Kickstarter and there are 50 days to go. If you think the game sounds awesome, why not drop a brief pledge in that direction?

Those interested in the upcoming project can check out Children of Liberty's Kickstarter page here.

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