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IndieGames.com 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, Gamasutra.com 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

IndieGames.com Podcast #18: James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot of Indie Game: The Movie

April 6, 2011 4:29 PM | Michael Rose

indiegames.PNGJames Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot of Indie Game: The Movie finished filming last month, so we thought it was time to get them both on the podcast and ask many, many questions. The upcoming documentary is set to focus on the lives of indie game developers, going through the emotions of a big release and delving into what inspires them to create the games they want to create.

Our questions range from discussing the content of the movie to the hardware and software used to film it, for all those of you who want to know all the technical details. We also ask about the individual developers featured, and whether the duo plan to do it all over again, but around the world this time.

You know the drill by now - jump below the cut to listen to the podcast, or you can jump over here and listen instead. You like iTunes? Of course you don't, but it's available on there too (you know, in case you're mental). And finally, there is an RSS feed you can subscribe to, if you like being fed. Go listen!

Indie Game Links: Samurai and President Against Zombies

April 6, 2011 12:00 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)

Monaco: Character Designs
"Originally, Monaco had just four characters. Each character had the same abilities as everyone else, but each had a specialty, meaning they could interact with one class of object faster than everyone else."

GameSetWatch: Polytron Corporation's Phil Fish on Fez Design and the Misuse of 3D
"John Polson speaks with Phil Fish about design inspirations, the plight for more 3D games that explore the third dimension, Fez's premises, and the newest mechanic revealed in the latest trailer: the black holes."

Gamasutra: Moonshot Games on Fallen Frontier, Moving from AAA to Indie
"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."

GameSetWatch: Final Form On Jamestown's Origins, Mechanics
"In this interview, John Polson spoke with Final Form Games about their upcoming shoot 'em up Jamestown. The developers shared their backgrounds and influences briefly and explained the game's inner workings and their design decisions during an exclusive, live demo on the GDC floor."

Bytejacker: Machine Gun President Kills Zombies (video)
"Check out Tempura of the Dead, an Xbox Live Indie about a machine gun-toting president and a samurai destroying the zombie uprising. It's a retro-styled, tongue-in-cheek, zombie destroying platformer for XBLIG. It's $3 worth of amazing."

Team Meat: Super Meat Boy Ultra Edition is out
"The physical retail edition of Super Meat Boy (Ultra Edition) is now on sale on Amazon.com, and it also should be out in Walmart by the weekend. The Ultra Edition includes a 40-page booklet, mini-poster by Dave Rapoza, the Alien Hominid unlockable character, the digital soundtrack, and the Warp Zone art collection."

Indie Games Searchlight: VVVVVV (video)
"If you've never heard of VVVVVV or never played it, then you're in for a fantastic ride. Basically our hero Captain Viridian, that's you, and his crew are flying through the cosmos when they suddenly hit interference. Chaos sends them into a frenzy and the crew are all separated in a flash."

Basilisk Games: Projects Update
"We are working hard to finish Eschalon: Book III. You may also have heard rumors that we have been working on a sci-fi based RPG for quite some time, and that is true, though we are not prepared just yet to say that is what's coming next."

Trailer: Driftmoon (Instant Kingdom)

April 6, 2011 7:00 AM | Tim W.


There's a new trailer posted for the upcoming adventure-oriented RPG Driftmoon by Instant Kingdom, showcasing some of the new content, changes and updates that's been added since the posting of the teaser clip six months ago. Although Ville (developer of the highly-rated survival game Notrium) and Anne Mönkkönen has been working on the project for some time now, anyone can pre-order the game right away and gain instant access to the latest build to play with.

Boasting a plot-heavy storyline with less emphasis on grinding, the full game will also include a full set of editor tools that's used by the development team to make Driftmoon. No release date has been set, but pre-ordering now at $11.99 will make the wait easier and also net you a 20% discount off the price of the final build (which you'll get together with future updates for free when it comes out).

Trailer: Tobe's Hookshot Escape (Secret Base)

April 6, 2011 5:00 AM | Tim W.


In Tobe's Hookshot Escape (the follow-up to Secret Base's Xbox Live Indie Games release, Tobe's Vertical Adventure), our titular hero is stuck inside a cave that's about to collapse on top of him. Armed with a special tool called the hookshot, Tobe must climb platforms and move upwards as quickly as he can if he wants to avoid falling out of view and having his adventure end prematurely. There are plenty of power-up items to collect, twenty challenges to complete for special achievements, and a leaderboard will also be included so that you can compare your best scores with other players online.

Tobe's Hookshot Escape is near completion and will be released on Flash game portals soon. A Windows Phone 7 version is also in the works and would be coming out around the same time, although that port (it comes with an alternate character and new music) will cost a dollar to purchase.

Q&A: Jim Guthrie's Ballad of the Space Babies LP

April 5, 2011 9:15 PM | jeriaska

Half a year ago, musician Jim Guthrie shared the superbackstory to his music for Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP with 1UP.com's Chiptuned Blog.

As with his second album "Morning Noon Night," the Apple iOS game makes use of the MTV Music Generator software, an innovative audio design tool released for the original Sony Playstation.

Though calling on gaming platforms has been part of the composer's artistic process since 2002, this recent foray into iPad gaming with I/O cinema visionary Craig D. Adams and Critter Crunch-makers Capybara Games marks Guthrie's debut as an indie game creator.

Music plays an integral role in helping to define the atmosphere of S:S&S EP's lushly pixelated outdoor environments. Sword & Sworcery LP - The Ballad of the Space Babies takes a different approach to the same soundscapes. We had the chance to hear from the composer on the subject of the album release associated with the independently developed game.

Your music for Superbrothers' "Dot Matrix Revolution" video previously made use of MTV Music Generator. How did this collaboration predating Sword and Sworcery come about?

Musician Jim Guthrie: Craig got in touch with me back in the day by sending me a postcard with this amazing art on it. Way back, I had a band to do my singer-songwriter stuff, and then I didn't have a band anymore, so I used this program to be my backing band. I was writing ambient and instrumental tracks, just letting my imagination go. I had this burn of like eight or nine instrumental songs that I sent Craig and he fell in love with it. He chose one of the songs to do this animation to.

We stayed in touch over the years. Then when this opportunity came up, he turned to me and said, "If I'm going to do the artwork for this game, then I really want for you to do the music." On the Sword & Sworcery soundtrack are three of the songs that I gave him on that CD burn a long time ago.

Indie 'JRPG' Week-Long Sale At GamersGate

April 5, 2011 12:30 PM | Michael Rose

jap_rpg_week_2.jpg
GamersGate have a big sale on Japanese-style indie RPGs this week, with between 50 and 60 percent off all available games. [UPDATE: Just to be specific, these are Japanese-inspired titles, although many such as the Aveyond series are actually Western-created indie titles.]

There are a good number of recognisible names in there, although the prices are cheap enough that it's worth simply delving in and grabbing a random one to fill an evening or seven.

Having said that, I haven't personally tried too many of them. Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is available, and very much worth playing if you haven't yet tried it. There's also the two Deadly Sin games available - the first one in particular is good fun. How about it, readers - which of these games are worth picking up?

Trailer: The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile (Ska Studios)

April 5, 2011 10:00 AM | Michael Rose


The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile launches on Xbox Live Arcade tomorrow, the sequel to Dead Samurai. It's all about hacking, slashing and other gory actions that produce vast quantities of blood.

I've been giving it a play the last couple of days, and it's all enjoyable stuff - and for 800 MS Points (roughly $10), it's most definitely worth checking out. Visit the Vampire Smile site for all the details.

Minitroid Tech Demo Released

April 5, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.


A tech demo for Metroid-inspired 2D platformer Minitroid is now available to download. Unlike many Nintendo fan games made by other enthusiasts, Tokinsom's effort features only the gameplay elements but none of the actual sprites from any game in the long-running series. Everything looks a lot more pixelated, but Samus's colour and actions are instantly recognizable, plus the missiles, bombs, and morphball move are there as they should be. One thing that's missing from the tech demo is a readily-accessible map which has been the mainstay of many Metroid games from the past years.

Ther'es not a lot of content to play through, but what's included should just be enough to get any Metroid fan wagging their tongue. Note that you may have to run the control configuration file first if none of the pre-assigned keys are working for you when you start the game. The F1, F2 and F3 keys can be used to switch between three window sizes as well.

The Minitroid tech demo is available to download from here, while the Construct development thread for the project is located here.

Q&A: In the Key of G87 - Hydorah Arranged Tracks

April 4, 2011 9:00 PM | jeriaska

Based in Andalusia, Spain, Gryzor87 is the musician responsible for the hour-long soundtrack to freeware shooter Hydorah.

Both Hydorah Original Soundtrack and the 14-track Hydorah Arranged Tracks albums are now available for free download through Bandcamp. Incidentally, some of my writing can be found in the albums' liner notes.

This week Locomalito's medical action thriller Viriax debuted, including Gryzor87's latest game score. The Viriax soundtrack (available for free download in mp3 format from the musician's site) was created entirely using Daisuke Amaya's Pxtone Collage music tools.

Not only has G87 mastered the use of the music program, the artist has also gone to great lengths to share his knowledge in a 96 page, fully-illustrated online manual. Pxtone FULL MANUAL includes an introduction by Cave Story's Pixel and is available in both Spanish and English.

We had the chance to catch up with the musician to hear his response to the informally organized Hydorah Arranged Tracks album. A veritable indie gathering, the compilation contains renditions of Hydorah music by the composers of independent games Knifetank, Cobalt, HT Gold, VVVVVV and You Have No Legs, not to mention game arrangers and chiptune artists including Eiko Ishiwata, DJ Master Kohta and Minusbaby.


Hydorah music video by Raquel Meyers (Spain) and Goto80 (Sweden)

Student Project Grav Showcased At NYU Game Center Open House

April 4, 2011 8:04 PM | Cassandra Khaw

About three quarters of a decade ago, back when I was still a young and impressionable college student, the study of game design was somewhat underwhelming. It used to consist mostly of hardcore enthusiasts, a few inter-class groups and haphazardous attempts to produce weather effects. To put it bluntly, game design used to be something that was best left to the professionals.

While I've met my share of students turned famous game developers during the last few conventions, I think I've always subconsciously saw them as professionals at the field. It was only during my recent visit to the New York University for the Game Center's Open House that I found myself realizing that students in the field these days are really capable of nifty things.

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