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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 April, 2011

Trailer: Miracle Adventures in 2113 (Noah Sasso)

April 11, 2011 5:06 PM | Michael Rose

Not much info floating around about this one, other than it's "a spiritual sequel to a mysterious Famicom game", Miracle Ropit's Adventure in 2100. That wonderfully haunting music is from American composer Terry Riley. Noah's site simply says that he is finishing his first game, with no release date or platforms specified. Guess we'll just have to wait then!

XBL Indie Game Pick: PewPewPew... (Incredible Ape)

April 11, 2011 2:30 PM | Michael Rose

PewPewPewPewPewPewPewPewPew has been released on Xbox Live Indie Games. It's a two-player side-scrolling space shooter in which both players control certain aspects of the game via microphones.

One players moves the spaceman up and down by blowing into their microphone, essentially creating a jetpack-like noise. The other shouts 'pew pew' into their microphone to make the spaceman fire his laser. As you progress, the enemies become more difficult to kill, and the laughs inevitably get you killed.

A single player can also play alone, but remember - you'll need two Xbox microphones or headsets. Available now from the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace for 240 MS Points ($3).

Demo: Public Transport Simulator (Daniel Viktorin)

April 11, 2011 10:00 AM | Michael Rose

I must admit, I very nearly didn't try Public Transport Simulator. I took one look at the screenshots for the game, and thought 'this ain't my scene'. However, I'm glad I clicked through and gave it a go as, while it does look and feel rather amateurish, there's a certain charm that really gives it an edge.

You're a tram driver, adjusting the speed on your tram by hitting Q, W, E, R and T. You can open and close the doors on your tram via D. That's all the controls you need to know - the rest is all about stopping at stations, slowing down for speed signs, keeping an eye on the clock, and taking in the insane backdrops. Daniel has pieced together photo collages that scroll past as your tram steams ahead. It looks a bit silly, yet so charming at the same time.

The bottom of the screen shows all the different tram lines you can run, and the only way to progress is to do a good job, earn lots of money and buy better trams. I'm not suggesting you buy a copy - I'd honestly say $10 is a little too much for such amateurish release - but it's definitely worth grabbing a copy of the demo to see what you think. Apparently the Czech version has been downloaded over 100,000 times, so there's clearly something about it that is putting a smile on people's faces!

Indie Game Links: Evaluate, Reflect, Create

April 11, 2011 7:00 AM | 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)

Gamasutra: Interview with Steve Swink
"Indie Fund Shadow Physics developer Steve Swink discusses creative inspiration, the realities of developing games in a fiscally-driven world, and how Braid and Portal profoundly influenced his conception and understanding of development."

Temple of The Roguelike: 7DRL Shrine 2011 7DRL Challenge Evaluation
"A team of evaluators was assembled to give all the forty-six completed 7DRLs roguelikes this year a once-over. We graded the roguelikes under six categories using a simple three point scale, and we ensured every roguelike was graded by at least two reviewers. After a long week of playing, we present our results."

Gamasutra: Minecraft Full Version Will Release on November 11
"Markus Persson, developer of popular indie title Minecraft, has revealed that the full version of the game will be released on November 11 this year."

GameSetWatch: New Trailer for Chinese Indie RPG Rainblood2
"Chinese developer Qiwei Liang is preparing to release a sequel to his Wuxia-inspired game Rainblood: Town of Death. Titled Rainblood2: City of Flame, he expects the English version to release three months after its Chinese debut."

Bytejacker: Free Indie Rapid Fire live with crashfaster (video)
"This week we're bringing you the results of the Free Indie Countdown and three new, free indie games live. As if that wasn't the greatest thing ever, we've got live chiptunes in the studio by crashfaster."

distractionware: A preview of my No Quarter Game
"At some point, I’ll make a more revealing trailer for my new game. For now, I just wanted to share this brief glimpse. Music is by Stian Stark, and the audio is from an interview with Alan Moore."

Bonus Round: Indie Game Revolution, part 2 (video)
"Jonathan Blow, Chris Hecker and Markus Persson talked to us about what it really means to be an independent video game developer in today's world, whether certain genres lend themselves better to the indie-game scene, and what ways does the mainstream game industry support indie designers."

Joystiq: Bastion preview
"Bastion's seemingly anachronistic approach forms most of its charm, with the isometric viewpoint, simple combat, colorful enemies and youthful protagonist all unearthing memories of The Legend of Oasis and Swagman."

Interview: Moonshot Games On Fallen Frontier, Moving From AAA To Indie

April 11, 2011 5:00 AM | Tim W.

[After moving from Bungie into indie development, Moonshot Games' managing director Michel Bastien talks about the concept of Fallen Frontier, the formation of the indie studio, and the team members' new lives as indies.]

Moonshot Games' Fallen Frontier is a bit like a window to an alternate universe where the world rejected all that was 3D, and instead gave us all the gameplay innovations of the last ten years in a 2D, side scrolling perspective.

The title plays very much like a first-person shooter, while its presentation mimics titles like Metroid or Castlevania. It is a bit like Halo in 2D, which is fitting, considering a number of the team previously worked on Bungie's flagship shooter franchise.

The team behind the game includes Michel Bastien, lead producer on Halo 3 and producer on Halo 2 and Halo for PC, Damian Isla, AI and gameplay engineering lead on Halo 2 and 3, and Rob Stokes, writer and designer on Halo 2 and 3.

Their team is rounded out by artist Mike McCain, who provides the noir-like visuals for Fallen Frontier's rainy sci-fi landscape. Co-op, physics, AI, and story are the four pillars of the game, says Michel Bastien. Fallen Frontier was playable at PAX East as part of the strong showing of indies, a number of whom used to work at big-budget studios.

Here, managing director Michel Bastien talks about the concept of Fallen Frontier, the formation of Moonshot Games, and the team members' new lives as indies.

First, tell me about the grappling hook.

The grappling hook is a feature that we put in from a design standpoint to open up vertical movement. Because we're trying to create this tactical approach to combat, we realized really early on that you had to be able to move vertically as seamlessly as you can move horizontally. We then made it so you could use it on enemies and on your co-op buddy as well and people really had a good time with that.

Browser Game Pick: Jhink-Toy (Dmitry Grouzdev)

April 10, 2011 10:00 AM | Michael Rose

Still trying to wrap my head around this one! Jhink-Toy asks you to slide coloured circles up and down on a grid, lining similar colours up for points.

A line will be removed if it only has the same colour balls in it, and the more lines you remove at the same time - plus the more balls there are in each line - the more points you'll receive. I've managed to work out a couple of tactics that seem to work, but some of the later levels are mind-boggling.

Give it a play at Dmitry's site.

Trailer: Enter The Story (Chris Tolworthy)

April 10, 2011 8:04 AM | Cassandra Khaw

So, while I was at GDC 2011, I had it driven home that video games are nowhere near as literary as they could be. With so much emphasis on enormous busts and gore, there's precious little sophistication to be seen anymore - I can't imagine what life would be like without the indie scene.

However, even amidst the bohemian and the original, there are still people who attempt to surpass their peers. 'Enter the Story' is an enormously ambitious venture, a 20-year project that will apparently take players through five classic books: Les Miserables, the Divine Comedy, Hesiod's Theogony, A Tale of Two Cities and The Count of Mote Cristo. As an added bonus, it looks like there's going to be an underlining plot that connects the five titles.

The art style is pretty interesting as is what little is known of the plot from the textual descriptions. I hesitate to call it a masterpiece given that I've seen nothing of the game yet. However, once my monster of a download completes itself, I'm going to give the first chapter a whirl and come back with my impressions. Till then, those interested in seeing literature given an interactive twist might want to check out the main website here. As is often the case, the first chapter in the series is free for download.

Trailer: DETOUR (Sandswept Studios)

April 9, 2011 5:21 PM | Michael Rose

DETOUR is a single- and multi-player strategy game about scooting trucks around a city. Your task is to deliver more construction supplies than your opponents by thinking fast and disrupting their work.

The above video is the first look at the game - you're best skipping to the 1:10 mark to see the game in action. For those who like to play alone, there are 27 single player levels to blast your way through. Although the video shows Xbox buttons, the game is actually coming to Steam in the next few months. You can check out more info on the DETOUR Steam page.

Trailer: Dance Pad (GamePipe)

April 9, 2011 7:48 AM | Cassandra Khaw

Today, both teachers and students from the dance school that I attend will be battling for questionably lucrative prizes in an upcoming competition. Unfortunately, being the absent-minded workaholic that I am, I won't be going. It's at times like this that I wish things like GamePipe's Dance Pad were real and that dance competitions would have a sub-category for long-distance finge-driven dexterity as well.

Wistful thinking aside, Dance Pad is an iPad rhythm-dance-game-thing that will eventually be released in the summer. Designed by USG GamePipe students, Dance Pad will have people doing the Running Man, the Moonwalk and all manner of iconic dance moves on their beloved iPad. At least, that's the idealized concept. Reality will probably have most of us flailing helplessly at colored lights upon the screen as the select few perform the Electric Boogaloo.

Those interested in learning more first-hand can check out the official website here.

Anomaly: Warzone Earth Now Available on Steam

April 8, 2011 7:36 PM | Michael Rose

Anomaly: Warzone Earth just went live on Steam for PC and Mac. It's a reverse tower defence (or tower offense, as 11 Bit Studios calls it) in which you control a commander as he attempts to guide a convoy past numerous deadly alien towers.

I've given it a playthrough, and really enjoyed myself with it. There's a ton of polish, and the concept itself works solidly, if a little too simplistic at times. Directing your convoy via the overmap is particularly entertaining and impressive.

The price is brilliant too, with a 10% discount for the first week - although since when did $9.99 equal £8.99? Either way, definitely worth grabbing a copy, especially if you're a big fan of tower defence games.

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