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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

Letter From The Chairman: Welcome Back For IGF 2012

June 30, 2011 3:08 PM | Michael Rose

boyer.jpg[Following the announcement of the 2012 Independent Games Festival competition, IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer goes in-depth on the changes made for this year's Festival, examining the ethos for the competition and the shifts in policy and rules for this year's 14th annual IGF experience.]

Well, we made it unscathed through that lucky-13th, and here we are again, back where we started, with the opening of the 14th year of the Independent Games Festival. Last year's festival was a landmark one on a number of levels.

It was the first that folded the IGF Mobile into the main competition, the first where one of the entrants (and the eventual Grand Prize winner) surprised everyone (the developers included!) by selling several hundred thousand copies of their game before judging had even begun, our first with a new two-tier judge and jury system, and, obviously, my first year as chairman.

I learned a lot about the festival and how it operates and how it could better be improved over the past year.

2012 Independent Games Festival Opens Submissions

June 30, 2011 2:53 PM | Michael Rose

IGF2012.jpgOrganizers have officially opened submissions for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, being held at the Game Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco next March 5-9.

The Independent Games Festival is the longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit, and showcase, and is now accepting entries to its 14th annual edition, with deadlines in the Main and Student Showcase categories by October 17 and October 31 respectively, and finalists to be announced in January 2012.

All games selected as finalists will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor from March 7-9, 2012, and will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes, a significant increase from last year.

This includes the high-profile $5,000 Nuovo Award, honoring abstract, short-form, and unconventional video game development, and previously won by designers including Jason Rohrer (Between) and Messhof (Nidhogg).

In addition, awards for Excellence in Visual Art, Audio, and Design, Technical Excellence, Best Mobile Game, the Best Student Game, and the Audience Award each now receive a $3,000 prize, and the signature Seumas McNally Grand Prize for the independent game of the year (won by Mojang's Minecraft in 2011) has been increased by 50 percent to a record $30,000.

Neptune Gasoline Announced

June 30, 2011 2:23 PM | Michael Rose

neptune gasoline.jpg
The next game from The Oil Blue developer Vertigo Games has been unveiled and, although details are still thin on the ground, I'm willing to bet that it's one to watch out for.

You are an outside consultant for Neptune Gasoline, a fuel and convenience company that has a string of shops on Neptune. Unfortunately, a huge expressway has been built around the planet, meaning that not as many customers fly past the company doors. That's why you've been called in - to help Neptune Gasoline get back on its feet and bring back the punters.

The game is a sim management style ordeal, as you build new shops and gas pumps, improve customer relations, run promotions and general try to increase the company profits. Right now there are but a few simply pieces of concept art to take a gander at, and not much in the way of game details, but we shall of course keep you informed about any upcoming details. Check out the official blog post on the Vertigo Games site for all the details.

iPhone Game Pick: Pocket Academy (Kairosoft)

June 30, 2011 11:00 AM | Michael Rose

pocketacademy.jpg

Is there anything more exciting than a new Kairosoft game release? Probably, but it's definitely got to be up there with the best things in life. Pocket Academy is the first Kairosoft English release not to feature the word 'Story' on the end, which is interesting, as it's also the first English release from the developer which feels rather different from its other games.

You are the principal at a school, and you must build facilities, hire teachers and attract students, while competing with all the other schools in the area. While the interface feels familiar and there are plenty of stats to level up as per usual - it's pretty similar to Hot Springs Story - there's a very distinct and different feel to this one. It's a little more confusing to start with, as it doesn't feel like there is as much direction. It also feels a little slower, with weeks passing where you simply stare at the screen and watch things happen.

That doesn't make it any less addictive - Kairosoft has, as always, nailed that 'just one more hour' feel, so prepare to lose many more hours to it. Pocket Academy is available from the App Store for £2.39 / $3.99.

Oh, and while you're at it, the original Game Dev Story (still the best one) has had its price slashed for a short time - grab it now for £1.19 / $1.99.

Trailer: Dead Block (Candygun Games/Digital Reality)

June 30, 2011 7:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw



The notion that rock & roll is the Devil has been around for a very, very long time. However, this may be the first time that anyone has blamed zombies on it. Yes. Dead Block went there. An upcoming 3rd person Action/Tower Defense game, Dead Block is set in the 1950's and looks intent on capitalizing on the campy humor often associated with the era.

Featuring three diverse survivors, the game will have players boarding up windows, assembling traps, collecting items and even rocking out on guitars to blow up shambling ghouls. I'm not really certain how it'd all pan out but we will find out soon enough. Personally, I think this might work out pretty well but then again, I could be biased towards the opportunity for co-opt play and the fact it has some of the most ridiculous traps I've seen yet. Due for release on both XBLA and PSN, Dead Block will be priced at 800 MS and $9.99 respectively.

For more information, you can visit the official website here.

Limbo Coming to PSN

June 29, 2011 2:07 PM | Michael Rose

Limbo.jpg

We're still waiting to see Xbox Live Arcade hit Limbo appear on PC after it was exposed a few weeks ago, but now PlayStation 3 users can look forward to it as well. As spotted by sister site GameSetWatch, a rating on the Korean Rating Board confirms that the game is indeed headed PSN-ward.

We've banged on about Limbo far too many times here at IndieGames, but with good reason - it was definitely one of the best indie games of last year. Of course, whenever we post about console games, we always get the influx of 'I wish this was on PC/my console' comments, so now that the game is finally going to be available for all, happy (dark, gloomy, evil) days are ahead.

iPhone Game Pick: Hard Lines (Spilt Milk Studios)

June 29, 2011 11:00 AM | Michael Rose

I've wanted to give Hard Lines a go for a few weeks now, but the agony of owning a simple first generation iPod touch with inadequate firmware was denying me the chance. Fortunately, the lovely people at Spilt Milk Studios heard my cries of pain from afar, and released an update that was compatible with my age-old device. Not that I can be bribed into writing about your game, but it's nice to see a developer going beyond the call of duty like that.

Imagine if, after all that, the game had turned out to be rubbish! Thank the heavens above, then, that Hard Lines is pretty much essential iPhone-ware. Over six separate game modes, you're thrown into a Snake/Tron lightcycles world of glowing neon lights and coloured lines who sporadically shout cute catchphrases about life and death.

Each game mode is different enough from the others that it offers a completely different experience. You've got your classic Snake, as well as the Tron-like survival mode. Then there's Time Attack for scoring as much as possible in a short space of time, the mental and tense Gauntlet, and a mode that focuses on killing other players called Pinata.

What's really noticeable about the game is the level of polish, as each different game mode smoothly rolls between the main menus and the next play. You've also got OpenFeint scoreboards, which I will no doubt be tried to climb over the course of the next few weeks (aka months). $1.99/£1.19 will bag you the game from the App Store.

Indie Game Links: Jon Will Blow Your Mind

June 29, 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. (image source)

The Witness: A few new graphical effects
"Lately we started thinking about making the game look better, finally. Ignacio has been working on some graphical effects to this end, so here are a few things he's been working on."

DIYgamer: 6 Games Like Minecraft for Your Enjoyment
"So you're starting to get a little bored with the same ol' same ol' that Minecraft delivers. Perhaps you're looking for something a little more, a little different, or maybe just something that gives a console-level experience. If you are one of these people, then you'll enjoy this little list we've put together of Minecraft-like games."

DIYgamer: Dejobaan Games Announces DLC Coming for Aaaaa!
"Dejobaan Games had just submitted the art assets for a 5-level DLC pack for Aaaaa! on Steam. It's called AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- Brutal Concussion, and it's 5 levels of the most intense, horrifying, brutal stuff you've ever seen. You may hate them for it."

Indie Games Channel: Zeboyd Games Steam bundle coming July 13
"Zeboyd Games has just announced that enhanced versions of Cthulhu Saves the World and Breath of Death VII are being bundled together for a ridiculously low price of $3 on Steam. The PC version of Breath of Death will include a new easy mode, new customization options, and save-anywhere functionality."

Browser Game Pick: Mosquito & Cow (petum)

June 29, 2011 1:01 AM | Cassandra Khaw

mosquito&cow.jpg

There's something oddly sinister (albeit hilarious) about Mosquito & Cow. In this point-and-click puzzle/adventure, you play as the titular blood-sucker. Your goals in life, obviously enough, are pretty simple. In fact, you only have one objective: drink blood. Of course, being a small insect in a big world, this is easier said than done. The placid-looking bovines that populate Mosquito & Cow are somewhat sensitive to your presence and deeply disinclined towards sharing their blood. Personally, I don't blame them. However, mosquitos still have to eat or, well, drink, as the case may be. As a result, you'll find yourself doing everything from waiting for your victim to fall asleep to orchestrating reasonably elaborate traps.

I found myself snickering at Mosquito & Cow a fair bit. With its surreal-looking artwork and slightly peculiar music, Mosquito & Cow might not be for everyone but if you enjoy a pinch of dark humor in your adventure, you'll definitely want to wile away twenty minutes here.

Mosquito & Cow can be played here.

Celestial Mechanica Released for PC and Mac

June 28, 2011 7:13 PM | Cassandra Khaw



An absolutely enchanting little platformer, Celestial Mechanica is the result of a collaborative effort between Roger Hicks and Paul Veer, two hard-hitting names in the world of indie video games. Recently released for the PC and the Mac, Celestial Mechanica is a heavily Metroidvania-flavored title set in what has to be one of the loveliest post-apocalyptic futures yet.

Priced at $5.00, Celestial Mechanica isn't so much a bargain as it is a steal. You can get it here at their official website.
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