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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 June, 2011

Indie Game Links: Super Giant Bat Puncher

June 6, 2011 11:00 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)

Desktop Dungeons: E3 for everyone
"After throwing out some magnificently expensive and incredibly impractical ideas, we decided to simply let you all play the same demo that we'll be showing at E3. It'll only be available for the 3 days of the Expo, so make sure you get to try it while it's up."

RGCD: Super Bat Puncher Demo
"Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you are sitting comfortably because this is a game that demands your attention. It may only be a demo of a work-in-progress project, but even so, Morphcat's Super Bat Puncher is still one of the best retro titles I've played for a long, long time."

The Bottom Feeder: Seven Tips For Giving Good Tech Support
"When you try to start a business selling indie games (or any software product, really), writing and releasing the game is only half the battle. You then have to market and support it."

GameSetWatch: Dino Run SE, Super Space Rubbish Mega Bundle For $5
"Pixeljam's excellent Dino Run SE and Super Space Rubbish games were already dirt cheap, but now you can grab both PC/Mac/Linux titles, plus both of their full soundtracks composed by Mark DeNardo and Datassette, for just $5."

Freeware Game Pick: General Conflict (JARRR)

June 6, 2011 10:00 AM | Michael Rose

Apart from having the greatest indie developer name + animated logo combo I have seen in a while, development team JARRR, a group of eight students at Utrecht School of the Arts, have also created a lovely, fast-paced multiplayer game that is an absolute blast if you can get three friends around your computer.

The basic idea behind General Conflict is that you throw bombs at the opposition and jump around the platforms until there aren't any platforms to jump on anymore. At the moment there are twelve levels in total and two different game modes, but the dev team want to build it up, depending on how much interest they receive.

The biggest issue for me is that there's no online multiplayer, and hence, not many people are actually going to have the opportunity to play it properly. However, I'm told that this is indeed one feature the team hopes to add in a later version - again, if the interest is there. So if this does pique your interest, make sure to let your voice be heard! You can check out more info about the game at the official site.

Browser Game Pick: Divis Mortis (Lynnea Dally)

June 5, 2011 7:27 PM | Cassandra Khaw

divismortis.jpg

I've been wanting to share this for some time now but I haven't been able to put a name to this lovely piece of Interactive Fiction. Sheer chance, however, led me into stumbling over this again sometime earlier this morning. I'm still not sure how but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Divis Mortis won 11th place at the 16th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2010) and features a fairly standard post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested scenario. You wake up, there are bodies everywhere, you're hungry and you have to get out. As you progress, you'll find yourself having to deal with the inevitable undead and natural functions like overwhelming, gut-wrenching hunger. Most of the solutions seem based on common sense, something that can occasionally feel lacking in adventure games.

Tight, punchy writing further adds to the appeal of Divis Mortis; it's the kind of narrative I wouldn't mind seeing in my horror fiction. With luck, we might see a full-fledged book sometime in the future.

Go here to play it online.

Frozen Synapse Contest Results

June 5, 2011 6:00 PM | Michael Rose

frozen_synapse.jpg

Did you enter our Frozen Synapse contest? Well then, perhaps you've won a free copy of the game! We asked you to come up with your best ideas for maps to play in the game, and the entries ranged from the crazy to the downright genius. Here are the ten winning entries - all ten will receive a free copy of the game. For everyone else, make sure you check out the game on Steam - it's brill.

The mansion from "The Shining" would suit me fine as a map, along with the outside labyrinth - Nate Edwards

A zeppelin. The mission would be to stop an evil scientist from firing a freezing ray to the sea, creating a world-scale cataclysm. You'd start on the cargo bay, since the team starts inside a big and fake ammo box, and from there you have to go to the other side of the zeppelin in a set time. That'd be the time which would take the freezing ray to charge. On your way you'll obviously have to take down the henchmen and mercenaries that work for the mad man on the labyrinth-like structure of the flying machine - Gorzan

A large and crowded Technoir night club in Tokyo, killing too many civilians causes you to lose the game. The civilians would be unpredictable, either they would panic and run or stay hidden close to a wall - Seiseki

More entries after the cut...

E3 2011 - Trailer: Papa & Yo (Minority)

June 5, 2011 3:50 PM | Cassandra Khaw



Substance abuse can be a terrible thing. It's even worse when it's present within a parent because really, there's nothing quite like losing that final bastion of support. After all, we've been indoctrinated to believe that parents are the ones you run to, the ones that will be there for you when the rest of the world has abandoned you. What can be worse then making that source of comfort the very origins of your despair? Musings aside, I was actually a little surprised to see a game like Papa & Yo showing up on the Playstation Blog. In the introductory article, Creative Director Vander Caballero explains how Papa & Yo serves as an euphemism for his childhood experiences.

He said, "Well, the tale told in Papa & Yo is about myself and my father, a good man but also an evil one. Like many, he used alcohol and drugs to cope with a challenging life, and I was caught in the middle of it. The emotional core of this game is ultimately a fable about my relationship with my father."

Fable is definitely a good word for it. Instead of a flawed parental figure, we have instead a 'best friend and protector' named Monster. It's a beast that cares deeply for the protagonist Quico but transforms into a ravenous abomination whenever it consumes poisonous frogs. The message isn't particularly subtle but it tugs heavily on my heart strings. Papa & Yo's main story revolves around Quico's attempt at curing his best friend, a thought that must have crossed Caballero's mind a million times as a child. I also can't help but wonder what other elements drew inspiration from his past and where the divide between fact and fiction exists.

The game will be making its debut at E3 this year so do expect a hands-on impression once I've muscled my way through the lines to take a look at it.

P.S: Since I'll be on the show floor making my rounds, feel free to e-mail me to let me know about YOUR game if you're going to be there or if there's any game in particular that you'd like to see previewed!

Official website can be found here.

Trailer: Athmos (Rising Rock Games)

June 4, 2011 11:38 PM | Cassandra Khaw



Billed as a 'casual space RTS', Athmos's design feels reminiscent of Eufloria, a source of inspiration that the developers have been quick to admit to. Nonetheless, I don't think Athmos should be discounted outright because of this. Originating from a project that began in a game development course, the Belgium-based team has been working on this for approximately 8 months now.

Athmos is, at heart, a game about space exploration and gold. Here, the objective is simple: explore planets, construct building, build massive armies and engage in epic battles. Taking place on a semi-2D plane, I'm intrigued by the game largely because of the concept art that they've been releasing of late. Aggressive races fueled by propaganda and suicidally devoted to a dictatorial leader? Count me in!

It's too early to say how well this game will perform but we shall see. Those interested in doing the same may want to check out their website here.

Infested Planet: Beta and Pre-Orders Begin June 21st

June 4, 2011 9:14 PM | Cassandra Khaw

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Procedurally generated games are amongst my favorite things in the world. After all, if nothing else, it definitely offers you more bang for your buck. Fortunately, that appears to be just one of the many charms possessed by Rocket Bear Games' Infested Planet.

In a nutshell, Infested Planet is a top-down RTS that will have six marines going toe-to-toe with a ridiculously large contigent of adaptive, mutating aliens. It's a vibrant game, filled with bright colors and strangely reminiscent of Japanese bullet hells. I wasn't really sure as to whether I approved of the game or not up till the point I had the opportunity to read this transcript of a random game the developer had played.

Starship Troopers, anyone? That's what I thought. It's hard to go wrong with something reminiscent of the maelstrom of action that personified that cult favorite.

Sometime last year, fellow editor Mike Rose did an interview with Alex Vostrov, the one-man machine responsible for Rocket Bear Games. It looks like Infested Planet is an expansion of the ideas behind Attack of the Paper Zombies, something that can be difficult to accertain from a glance. That said, judging from both the development blog and the interview, it seems that Infested Planet has definitely come a long way since its conception and the developer doesn't seem inclined on stopping yet. We'll find out more on June 21st when the game finally hits beta and opens for pre-order.

Until then, I strongly suggest taking a break from the E3 maelstrom and taking a peek at the development blog. We'll keep you posted when we find out more!

Trailer: A Tale by Alex (Digital Dreams Light)

June 4, 2011 7:00 AM | Tim W.


A Tale by Alex is a 2D platformer which took Digital Dreams Light two months to create using Flixel. You play as a child named Alex who loves to imagine that he's in a fantasy world while running around in his house. The bottom section of the screen shows the living room, while the middle and upper window represents the fantasy and crossover world in his imagination. A cat becomes a lion in the other world, the rug turns into a lava pit, his grandpa is a wizard, and so on and so forth.

Players will have to traverse all three screens at the same time. The game will still go on if Alex succumbs to his injuries in one of the worlds, but you'd score more points if all three aspects of Alex are still alive and moving forward at the same time.

A Tale by Alex will be available to play soon after a Flash game sponsorship deal is secured. More info and screenshots of the game can be found over at Digital Dreams Light's site.

New Desktop Dungeons Pre-orders and Site Now Live

June 4, 2011 5:00 AM | Tim W.


Yeah, I have been a little late with posting about this! A Unity-based version of the IGF 2011 Excellence in Design category winner is now available for pre-ordering, coinciding with the launch of a new website and the release of an updated build of the freeware game. If you've been seriously addicted to Desktop Dungeons over the last year or so, then pre-ordering is the best way to get privileged access to the closed beta which is due to start very soon.

New graphics, an updated dungeon generation code, reworked glyphs and gods, kingdoms(!) and inventories, plus much, much more awaits in the full version of Desktop Dungeons. Pre-ordering now at $10 will save you $5 off the launch price, or you can get the special edition at $20 which comes with a special building for your kingdom, more quests, plus a unique character class.

Look for the full version of Desktop Dungeons to arrive on PC, Mac, iPhone and Android sometime in the coming months. The freeware version will still be available to download for free indefinitely, should you have some reason for not wanting to play an upgraded build of the best (or at least, one of the best) puzzle-based roguelike system designed in years.

Indie Game Links: A Long Way From Home

June 4, 2011 3:00 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)

BBC Radio 4: Virtually Famous
"Ellie Gibson joins the participants and organisers of a 48 hour 'Games Jam'. She speaks to the participants to find out why they spend their spare weekends in windowless rooms, tapping away at keyboards and surviving on plenty of caffeine and just a few hours sleep."

Polycode: The first ever release of Polycode is now live
"Polycode is a free, open-source, cross-platform framework for creative code. You can use it as a C++ API or as a standalone scripting language to get easy and simple access to accelerated 2D and 3D graphics, hardware shaders, sound and network programming, physics engines and more."

Kongregate: $25,000 in prizes for your mobile flash games
"This summer, we'll be giving away an extra $25,000 in prizes to developers who publish mobile games on Kongregate. Be sure to upload your mobile game to Kongregate by July 27, 2011 to enter."

GameSetWatch: 2D Flash Game Maker StencylWorks Released
"StencylWorks, a new toolset for creating 2D Flash games on your Mac or PC is now out and available for free. The 'game studio in a box' features a drag-and-drop gameplay designer (based on MIT Scratch) that doesn't require coding, though you can also access a 'code mode' interface to write behaviors via its ActionScript 3 API."

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