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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

GDC Europe 2011 Debuts New Summits, Call For Submissions

March 17, 2011 12:13 PM | Simon Carless

Organizers of GDC Europe 2011 have revealed a host of focused Summits for this year's show, also announcing the call for submissions for this August's conference in Cologne, Germany.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, GDC Europe 2011 will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends happening throughout the continent today.

Now it in its third iteration and taking place alongside the European-leading Gamescom trade fair, GDC Europe will continue to serve the European game industry by gathering the world's leading speakers in areas specific to current game development across platforms and development disciplines.

The call for submissions for lectures will include main conference tracks in Business & Marketing, Game Design, Production, Programming, and Visual Arts.

Organizers are looking for leading practitioners to propose lectures and panels with major practical takeaways for today's video game market.

In addition, GDC Europe 2011 plans to expand the breadth of its conference by offering four Summits to be held concurrently with the main conference.

Reflective of the growing development and activity within the continent, GDC Europe will introduce the Social Games Summit, Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, Independent Games Summit, and Community Management Summit to its roster this year.

Trailer: Continuity 2 (Ragtime Games)

March 17, 2011 10:52 AM | Michael Rose

The sequel to the IGF Student Showcase Winner Continuity is coming to iPhone and iPad next month. Which is confusing, because the video says 'Winter 2011' at the end, which makes it sound like it's coming at the end of the year, but I am assured it's coming next month.

So anyway, did you play the original? You should do so if not. The sequel looks to pretty much cover the same bases, but with a touch-screen. Bound to make a few bus journeys fly by! Head over to the official site for more videos and info.

PAX East 2011: Hands-On With Fallen Frontier

March 16, 2011 9:32 PM | Cassandra Khaw


At the risk of sounding horribly geeky, there was something rather epic about testing out Fallen Frontier alongside Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games. It was sometime during the 'Made in MA' event before PAX East last week. We were boxed in by the crowd. Dave had been busy playing. I was busy talking to the people who made the game. At one point, a controller was stuffed into my hand and I joined the fray

For the uninitiated, Fallen Frontier is Moonshot Games' debut title. set in a two-dimensional, dystopian future, the game revolves around a jaded lawman from Earth and his misadventures in the frontier worlds of Alpha Centauri. According to one of the developers, Fallen Frontier draws inspiration from old classics like Blade Runner, something that bodes remarkably well for fans of the ailing cyberpunk genre.

PAX East 2011: Hands-On With Orcs Must Die

March 16, 2011 8:46 PM | Cassandra Khaw


Orcs Must Die is a hilariously good-natured romp through a conglomeration of genres. There're some tower defense elements, a lot of action and a smattering of real-time strategy thrown in for good measure. The protoganist in Robot Entertainment's upcoming title is a bold but none-too-bright young War Mage. As the intrepid apprentice, our job is to ensure that the fortresses you've been tasked to defend remain free of orcish infestation. It doesn't look like it'd be an easy task, not with the seemingly endless stream of orcs; China would look like a ghost town next to the Mob.

While I was at PAX East 2011, I managed to wriggle in some play time with Robot Entertainment's upcoming Orcs Must Die. Comprised of ex-Ensemble Studio alumni, Orcs Must Die has a decidedly different flavor compared to their previous games. What surprised me was the fact that it was the few games in PAX East that had me laughing out loud during the convention.

PAX East 2011: Hands-On With Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

March 16, 2011 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw


Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is very good at making you feel small. In fact, it's terribly effective at making you feel downright insignificant. Granted, it makes sense. Unlike most games, you're not at war with a person or an organization; here, in this upcoming two-dimensional shooter, you'll be going toe-to-toe with an entire monstrosity-infested planet. A planet. I cannot express exactly how intimidating it is to see that your little, UFO-shaped vehicle is smaller than even the first enemy you encounter. Can you imagine the scale on which everything else is built? To make matters worse, your spacecraft feels more like a utility ship than a war-faring vessel of any variety.

During PAX East 2011, I didn't get to play too much of the upcoming indie shooter at the xBox Arcade Live Booth. I did, however, get a feel of the first three tools you'll come in contact with: a scanner that divulges information about your surroundings, a telescopic claw that serves rather well as your all-purpose appendage and a somewhat dinky little laser that didn't feel remotely adequate for the task at hand. It seems, however, that all of these accessories are fully upgradable along the course of the game so opinions might change in a future review.

Indie Game Links: Head Above the Clouds

March 16, 2011 3:30 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)

Another Castle: Brandon Boyer Interview
"Brandon Boyer (chairman of the IGF) sits down to talk with us about his long, off and on relationship with games, as well as how he got his job. He also shares his thoughts about the independent game scene, and as well as his hopes for the future of the IGF."

Jonas Kyratzes: The Making of The Book of Living Magic, Part One
"The Book of Living Magic is an independent point and click adventure game by Jonas and Verena Kyratzes, with music by Helen Trevillion. We aim to finish in the next few days. These videos document the creation of the game."

Gamasutra: Snobbery Aside, Or How I Learned to Love the Indie
"In this Gamasutra column, Connor Cleary shares the experiences that led him to love the indie gaming scene, and encourages others to join him in supporting the indie innovators."

Gamasutra: Jason Rohrer's Chain World Meets Controversy
"Jason Rohrer won the 2011 Game Design Challenge at GDC with Chain World, a concept that involved passing along a USB stick containing a Minecraft mod. After having built the mod, he passed it onto an audience member to kick the chain off. Since then, that audience member has decided to use Chain World to support a charity, and that decision's stirring controversy in the developer community."

reddit: I made the game QWOP, ask me anything
"I don't consider QWOP all that hard. I can get halfway to the finish line, which is a hell of a lot further than I can get in Defender, or Pacman, or Pitfall, or just about any other score-based game. Ask me anything, but I make no guarantees about answering everything."

Bytejacker: Swimming Under Clouds Preview (video)
"An interview with Yacine Salmi, founder of Piece of Pie studios, about their upcoming PC/Console game, Swimming Under Clouds. The game has a very heavy Yoshi's Island vibe, but with some serious physics modeling. Since Yacine used to be a developer over at Havok, that makes a lot of sense."

Bytejacker: Danny Baranowsky Interview (audio)
"We talked to Danny Baranowsky (composer of the soundtracks for games like Super Meat Boy, Canabalt, Gravity Hook, and Steambirds) about his influences, his creative process, and how his career has developed over the last couple years."

Preview: KRUNCH (LeGrudge & Rugged)

March 16, 2011 3:00 PM | Michael Rose

When you play a lot of indie games, you get used to things trying to kill you all over the place. This recent obsession with the revitalization of old school difficulty curves that start off hard and stretch to hair-wrenching proportions is, in my book, a beautiful thing. Indeed, some of my favourite games of the last couple of years have also been the ones that made me swear and scream the most.

KRUNCH tricked me. The first dozen or so levels were seemingly not too hard to handle and, although I died a few times, I was left thinking 'pfft, this ain't all that'. Then the walls started moving faster, the number of enemies increased, and those deadly saws got in my way one too many times - yet I still careered on, refusing to let such simple obstacles beat me.

Yep, it's another nasty one. Pressing Z allows your character to boost, which is essential on later levels where time is short and space is tight. However, boosting rapidly reduces your health, and you need to be alive when you reach the exit. Oh, but your health is always decreasing as well. You know, just to screw you over that little bit more.

KRUNCH is currently up for sponsorship and is due for release very soon in a web browser near you.

Atom Zombie Smasher Now on Steam

March 16, 2011 11:00 AM | Michael Rose

Blendo Games' Atom Zombie Smasher is now available to download from Steam in both PC and Mac form. This is most wonderful news, as is the new lower price of $8.99.

Not only that, but there's 10% off too for the first week. For those scratching their heads and saying 'Atom Zombie What?', think zombie survival meets Gratuitous Space Battles and you're roughly in the right area. Read our review for all the details on why you should definitely pick this one up, then zip over to Steam and hit 'Add to Cart'.

Trailer: Chaos Stream (Stargoat Games)

March 16, 2011 10:00 AM | Tim W.

Stuart Miles of Stargoat Games came up with a pretty nifty idea of designing a vertical-scrolling shooter using only ASCII graphics, and the results of his experiment can be seen in the above clip. Like most modern-day shmups, Chaos Stream will feature a bonus score multiplier that increases when the player is doing well, the usual array of adrenaline-pumping boss fights, and a constant barrage of bullets to dodge and avoid.

Chaos Stream's development thread can be found here. Stuart had also indicated that he might be releasing a demo once a 'proper' level is done, but he's not willing to commit any dates for it at the moment.

Browser Game Pick: Nina, Have Faith (Droqen)

March 16, 2011 9:30 AM | Michael Rose

Nina, Have Faith uses switching between light and dark worlds to completely creep the hell out of whoever is playing. The main character can jump higher in the light world, and destroy things in the dark world, leading to a series of short puzzles.

The characters in the game talk in a strange language that is near impossible to understand, although Mr. Paste42 manages quite well in the above Let's Play video (which is obviously full of spoilers by the way, so don't watch too much if you're planning on playing the game!).

Pretty interesting stuff, especially for a game created in a week. Go play at Newgrounds.

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