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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 May, 2011

Demo: Concurrence (Alexander Klingenbeck)

May 12, 2011 2:00 AM | Tim W.


Concurrence is a Flashback-style 2D platformer created by mode7 for submission to the Monthly AGS competition (a friendly game development jam that involves making adventure games using AGS in under four weeks). You're an astronaut who is stranded on an alien planet with no memory of what has happened, and the only way to get answers to all of the questions in his head is to move forward and explore his surroundings further.

Since Concurrence is largely a tribute to classics like Prince of Persia and (especially) Another World, younger players may find the controls a bit stiff and perhaps unresponsive at times. Our advice is to peruse the manual first for instructions on how to play - you'll find it in the form of a fully-illustrated PDF file inside the .rar package download. Also note that the MAGS build is just a demo, so there are quite a few bugs to be found in later areas. Alex is currently developing a full game based on this competition version, although don't expect it to be out any sooner than late 2011.

If your interest is piqued, then you can download the Concurrence demo from this page.

Browser Game Pick: Test Subject Green (Nitrome)

May 11, 2011 6:31 PM | Cassandra Khaw

testsubjectgreen.png

Nitrome is definitely on a roll these days. While some might argue that their career in the game-making industry has had its ups and downs, few can contest the fact that their last few games were pretty brilliant and that Test Subject Green appears no different. It's also the sequel to Test Subject Blue, a puzzle-platformer that makes rather intelligent usage of portals and lasers and various other things.

While both titles are thoroughly awesome, I'll have to admit I suck too much at platforming to be able to provide a proper overview of the whole thing. However, that said, from what little I've managed to see of the game, Test Subject Green is definitely a worthwhile play. There's a slightly darker element here compared to its predecessor and the action slightly more fast-paced too which, for me, is a bit of a bonus. Like Test Subject Blue, however, the platforming requirements can be rather punishing at times and will require pinpoint accuracy on occasion.

Those interested in testing their mettle against Nitrome's latest game can check it out here.

Opinion: The Gods Of Goo

May 11, 2011 3:32 PM | Michael Rose

worldofgoo.jpg[In this opinion piece originally posted on sister site Gamasutra, contributor Richard Clark offers a personal meditation on the implications of deity in 2D Boy's World of Goo.]

We all have authority figures. Some of us have as few as possible. Bosses, teachers, parents and elected officials are enough for us. But some people - people like me - choose to have even more. Most prominently, some of us choose to believe in an unknown force, commonly known as God, which guides us both directly and indirectly through life.

It's a belief that keeps me living purposefully, that makes sense of the world, and that gives me hope for the future. But sometimes I wonder if this belief places me squarely in the midst of a cruel game, wherein I am merely a pawn, used for the sadistic purposes of a cruel God.

The Accidental, Thoughtless God

We start World of Goo with a strong sense of power. We have complete control over the goo balls that live in the world. They grunt and squeak thankfully as we connect and divide them, building structure after structure. They are excited to see what's next, through that pipe that hangs overhead at the end of each level. They are at the whim of whoever comes along to control them. They trust in us.

We seek to progress as a civilization. According to the omnipresent Sign Painter, it is the best and only choice for the goo balls. When society is improved and made more efficient, only good can result, right? He encourages us to keep making progress. As is typical of the videogame format, we unlock stages and worlds one after another. The signs in the levels are full of helpful hints and tips. We begin to view the Sign Painter as the infallible source. We go to him first, and simply ask, "What now?"

Browser Game Pick: Reimagine :The Game: (Nutcasenightmare)

May 11, 2011 11:04 AM | Michael Rose

reimagine.jpg

Reimagine :The Game: is the latest in :The Game: series (of which you may well have played the original). It takes as many memes as possible and goes to town with them, with such mash-ups as Lady Gaga crossed with Super Meat Boy, and Portal 2 crossed with the iPad.

Gameplay-wise it's pretty rough around the edges - as with all of the series, really - but it's fun to see what games, films and memes it tries to incorporate. Go into it for the silly settings and overall ridiculousness, and you may well get a kick out of it.

Reimagine can be played over at Newgrounds (Cheers Marco!)

Indie Game Links: That 'Whaaa' Moment

May 11, 2011 9:00 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.

Dev.Mag: How are puzzle games designed
"Ted Lauterbach is the creator of suteF, an eerie and challenging platform puzzle game. We asked how how he goes about designing puzzles as part of our investigation into puzzle design."

Quote Unquote: Interview with Shane Stevens
"Shane Stevens (better known as Progzmax to some) is well known within the Adventure Game Studio community for his adventure games (Mind's Eye and Limey Lizard: Waste Wizard! to recommend two) and his supporting roles on a number of commercial projects."

GameSetWatch: 1-Bit Ninja Has That 'Whaaa' 3D Moment
"Kode80's (HoloToy) upcoming retro-style iOS platformer 1-Bit Ninja allows you to drag the screen around to adjust the perspective, and find hidden passages that you'd miss from the 2D perspective."

GameSetWatch: NYC Winnitron, New Indie Games To Debut At No Quarter
"This Thursday, the NYU Game Center will bring back the No Quarter Exhibition of Games for its second year. For 2011, No Quarter will feature commissioned games from VVVVVV creator Terry Cavanagh, Ramiro Corbett (worked on IGF Mobile award winner Glow Artisan while at Powerhead), and game designer Charley Miller."

SpyParty Accepting Sign-Ups For Early Access Beta

May 11, 2011 1:28 AM | Cassandra Khaw

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NPCs have it easy, don't they? All they have to do is mill around, interact with other code-powered individuals, execute miscellaneous actions and generally do very little while players push through the game. Chris Hecker begs to differ.

Well, to be specific, Chris Hecker's SpyParty wants to know precisely how good you are at pretending you're an NPC or, if you're in the position of the sniper, how accurate you are at picking out the real player from the crowd. For those somehow still unfamiliar with the game, this really is the essence of SpyParty. There are two players. One will play as the sniper while the other will play as the spy. The sniper's task is questionably easy: find the real person and shoot him. The spy has a slightly more complex task: pretend you're an NPC while you execute espionage-like chores.

I can tell you from experience this can be a daunting task. You have to be smooth with your motions, careful with your actions and most of all, be as predictable as possible. It isn't easy. Especially not when there's the sniper's telltale red dot floating across your vision.

However, I'm not here today to tell you about SpyParty. Instead, I'm here to inform you that early-access beta has started. It will cost $15 to be a part of the beta (Editor's note: This also serves as your preorder, I'll add - thanks for the reminder to reword this properly, guys) but you will, with others, help shape a truly unique game. Chris Hecker says, 'SpyPart is a long way from the finish line' but this is your chance to get into the action or, well, just play it before it launches sometime in the indeterminate future.

Interested? Head down here. (DIYGamer caught it first, I think. So props to them. Thanks guys!)

Freeware Game Pick: Technobabylon - Part III (Technocrat)

May 10, 2011 8:49 PM | Cassandra Khaw

technobabylon_3.png

For those unfamiliar with the series, TechnoBabylon features a dystopian, highly dysfunctional future filled with Internet-addicts, conspiracies, terrorists, embryos being held hostage and a variety of things common to the genre. Mixed in with all that was splendid writing and surprisingly logical puzzles - the two ingredients necessary to any successful adventure game.

Done with the AGS engine, I have nothing but good vibes for the game, enough that I'm introducing it before I've even played it - you're welcome to lynch me if it somehow falls short compared to Technocrat's previous work. There will no doubt be spoilers to the first two games but if you're going to engage in this little adventure without investigating the first two titles then it's going to be inevitable, anyway.

But, enough talking! Here's TechnoBabylon - Part III.

iPhone Game Pick: Rogo (Creative Heuristics)

May 10, 2011 4:00 PM | Michael Rose

rogo.jpg
Rogo is a clever puzzle game for iPhone that uses the idea of the Nearest Neighbour algorithm to create a plentitude of head-scratching challenges. For each grid, you need to make a loop that uses a set number of squares, while also passing through the greatest number total.

Sounds simple, but it's really not. It's easy to think that the larger numbers on the grid are clearly going to be part of your loop, but then when you look elsewhere, you realise that adding all the smaller numbers up can sometimes equal more. If you manage to find the greatest total available on a level, you'll receive a gold medal.

There are plenty of puzzles included with the $1.99 asking price, although three packs of additional grids are available for $0.99 each. I was content with the included puzzles though. Grab Rogo from the App Store, or grab the free Rogo Lite which includes 36 puzzles.

Guess The Carpet Colour, Win a Copy of Garshasp

May 10, 2011 2:00 PM | Michael Rose

garshasp.jpg

[It's all over folks. My carpet is red - so congrats to randomly picked winners anton, Portalin' Stalin, Brian, Robert Buckley and Rory!]

Garshasp: The Monster Slayer was released on Steam this week. Look, here's me talking about it. It's a beast of a game, set in a Persian mythology world with more than a hint of God of War crawling through its veins.

But enough about that - you want to win a copy, right? As per usual, I have an utterly remarkable and not at all stupid contest for you to enter, with the chance of winning one of five Steam keys for the game. You may be aware that Garshasp is a mythological hero - the strongest man in Persia, according to the game. I once bought a Persian carpet. Can you tell where this is going? Yes, all you need to do is guess what colour my Persian rug is. It's either blue, red or cream. Do so in the comments below!

Here's the usual spiel, before you go darting off: Only one entry per person, please - anyone entering multiple times will have their knees sawn off, and also be disqualified. We'll pick five winners at random from the winning answer tomorrow at 4pm GMT. Get to it!

Freeware Game Pick: King of the Streets (Field Magic)

May 10, 2011 9:00 AM | Tim W.


King of the Streets is a versus fighting game heavily inspired by the early Mortal Kombat games, featuring original characters and backgrounds modelled using Maya and animated with 3ds Max. There are eight fighters that you can choose to play with in either the Story or Versus mode, and each of them has a variety of normal and special moves that can be executed using a combination of four attack buttons. In addition to the standard punches and kicks, you can also block against your opponent's attacks or throw them with a special grapple button.

A moves list is included in a text file that comes with the game, and you can also access it at any time while playing just by pressing the F1 key. Hard-hitting combos will cause 'whoopsie' moments, and players are allowed a small window of opportunity at the end of each match to execute a special 'fatality' move as well.

It won't replace your favourite fighting game anytime soon, but King of the Streets is still a largely impressive effort for an amateur Game Maker project made during the development team's spare time. Mirrors for this freeware download are available from here, and we suggest getting the full version that comes with the music files - it'll save you the hassle of downloading them separately and figuring out what goes where later.

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