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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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Which indies are working on PS4 games, and why?

February 25, 2013 2:59 AM | Staff

rocketbirds 2 long.jpgIt's fair to say that this week's big PlayStation 4 reveal was more aimed at drumming up interest in potential developers for the system, rather than pulling in the players. The latter can come later -- Sony needs devs on its side first.

What wasn't very well publicized during the two-hour presentation was the role that indie developers will play in the PS4's launch. Some tidbits about indies being able to self-publish was thrown in at one point, but nothing hugely concrete was mentioned.

Following the show, however, a press release went out detailing the PS4 hardware and, perhaps more excitingly, a staggering list of all the third-party developers and publishers who are apparently on-board.

XBLIG Pick: Rad Raygun (TRU FUN Entertainment)

February 24, 2013 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Over on the Xbox Live Indie Games service, developer TRU FUN Entertainment has released Rad Raygun, a Game Boy-styled tribute to the 1980s and Capcom's Mega Man series.

Promising "ultra sharp 144p resolution graphics and 4 unique shades of monochrome off-green," Rad Raygun features five side-scrolling levels in which you'll wage war with the Soviets and bring peace (?) to the warring nation of Irafghanistan. You'll collect multiple power-ups and upgrades along the way, and many levels feature platforming sections that challenge you to link double-jumps, slides, and back-dashes in quick succession.

In all, it's a relatively short adventure, but it's worth experiencing, especially if you're fond of the Game Boy's aesthetic. Also worth noting: the Fantomenk-composed soundtrack is great.

Rad Raygun is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Retro City Rampage Hits WiiWare Next Week, Prototype ROM Coming to PC

February 23, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


VBlank Entertainment will launch the WiiWare version of its open-world classic gaming homage Retro City Rampage next week alongside a new and intriguing free update for PC players.

Both the WiiWare and updated PC versions of Retro City Rampage will include "ROM City Rampage," a prototype version of the game developed with the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System's hardware in mind. Presumably, the prototype edition will feature content from what was previously known as Grand Theftendo, prior to its adaptation into a fully-fledged multiplatform release.

The Steam version of Retro City Rampage will be half-price through the end of the month. The WiiWare edition will be priced at 1,000 Nintendo Points ($10) when it launches on February 28th.

Spelunky XBLA DLC Adds New Characters, Multiplayer Arenas

February 22, 2013 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Mossmouth adds a batch of new characters and multiplayer arenas to its Xbox Live Arcade roguelike platformer Spelunky with this week's release of two new DLC bundles.

The Explorers DLC adds the Eskimo, the Robot, the Viking, the Round Girl, the Round Boy, the Cyclops, the Ninja, and the Golden Monk to the game's playable roster in all modes. The Arenas DLC, meanwhile, adds an astounding 24 new stages to the game's multiplayer Death Match mode, ensuring hours of screaming matches and ruined friendships thanks to new elements like sacrificial altars and beehives.

Spelunky's DLC packages are priced at 160 Microsoft points ($2) each.

Happy Birthday, PlayStation Vita! Four-game giveaway to one lucky winner

February 22, 2013 3:50 PM | John Polson

PlayStation_Vita.png[Edit; contest is over.] We have gathered four great indie games (and four extra codes of one great indie game) to celebrate the PlayStation Vita's first birthday. First edition bundle aside, PlayStation Vita released to North America on February 22, 2012.

The Vita has had a challenging first year, but more and more indies are putting their games on the console, with some extra special announcements just around the corner. The $99 PlayStation Mobile SDK makes it rather easy for an indie to self-publish on the device, too!

Hotline Miami, A Virus Named Tom, Frozen Synapse: Tactics, and Lone Survivor are just some of the games headed to the device. While they're all great PC titles, the Vita will provide tactile controls and its sexy OLED screen to help these games shine on the go. I certainly wouldn't want to play Hotline Miami with virtual controls!

XBLIG Pick: Ascent of Kings (Nostatic Software)

February 22, 2013 3:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Quiet, Please! developer Nostatic Software has launched Ascent of Kings, a Metroidvania-styled platformer for the Xbox Live Indie Games service.

In Ascent of Kings, the ruler of your realm has recently died, and the first villager to complete a challenging vertical climb will become the next king. You start off as a weakling, naturally, but as you progress through the story, you'll learn how to double-jump, climb vines, and fire a slingshot, among other abilities. The quest won't take you long to finish (my playthrough clocked in at around 20 minutes), but Nostatic's signature lo-fi style and a good-natured storyline make it worth the trek.

Ascent of Kings is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Atari 2600 Homebrew Release: M.M.S.B.C. II (Ricky Hunter, Chad Schoettle)

February 21, 2013 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Homebrew developers Ricky Hunter and Chad Schoettle have released MONSTER MANAGEMENT SECURITY BUREAU OF CINCINNATI 2 (or M.M.S.B.C. II), an Atari 2600 game built to promote a comic featured at the upcoming Louisville Arcade Expo. An alternate download link is here.

M.M.S.B.C. II is a cooperative side-scrolling shooter that features multiple difficulty levels, enemy types, and boss encounters. 2600 enthusiasts can marvel at the game's technical achievements, which include parallax scrolling (!) and the assigning of unique colors for all on-screen objects.

If you don't have a flash cartridge, it's recommended that you play the game using the Atari 2600 emulator Stella.

[via TIGSource]

Road to the IGF: Tomorrow Corporation's Little Inferno

February 21, 2013 12:12 PM | Staff

little inferno small.jpegLittle Inferno has been a polarizing game, with many loving its send-up of social and mobile time-wasting and rampant consumerism, and others missing the point entirely -- most notably the National Fire Protection Association, which felt that the game, a launch title for the Nintendo Wii U, might give kids the wrong idea about fire safety, since it's all about burning your toys.

Gamasutra speaks here to Kyle Gabler, Allan Blomquist, and Kyle Gray -- who together form Tomorrow Corporation (and separately, are, respectively, two of the developers of World of Goo and, the last, Henry Hatsworth) -- about the multiply IGF nominated game.

What is your background in making games?

Kyle Gray: The three of us (two Kyles and an Allan) met at grad school at Carnegie Mellon University almost 10 years ago, and collaborated on a few projects together, including the Experimental Gameplay Project, which is still running monthly game design competitions. Back in those days, starting a game company right out of school was virtually unheard of. This was back when "indie" was grungy musicians, "steam" was hot water vapor, and "digital distribution" was emailing cat photos.

So instead, we all got jobs at Electronic Arts. But after a while, we got restless and wanted to make our own mark on the industry. Kyle left to form 2D BOY and create World of Goo with the talented Ron Carmel and eventually Allan, while I pitched Hatsworth internally at EA. After both games finished, the three of us got back in touch and started Tomorrow Corporation.

We spent a few months talking and meeting over what we should make. Having just released a platformer and a physics-puzzler, the only thing we knew for sure was we wanted to make something totally different. Little Inferno was the perfect fit -- something no other company would be dumb enough to make!

Jonathan Blow's The Witness coming to PlayStation 4, first trailer revealed

February 20, 2013 7:54 PM | John Polson

Thumbnail image for The Witness 440 puzzles.pngBraid developer Jonathan Blow will bring The Witness to the PlayStation 4, he announced at Sony's press event today. Specifically, PlayStation 4 will be the only console The Witness will appear on during the game's "release window," Blow said.

Blow also revealed the game's first trailer at the PlayStation 4 event. The trailer is under heavy stress, but it is embedded after the jump.

XBLA Release: Serious Sam Double D XXL (Mommy's Best Games)

February 20, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

An expanded version of Mommy's Best Games' over-the-top gun-stacking shooter Serious Sam Double D is now available for the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade.

Previously released for Windows in 2011, Serious Sam Double D hits Xbox Live Arcade with a gaggle of new weapons and levels, along with a two-player co-op mode featuring the colorful character seen in the video above. As you might imagine, the new mode can get rather chaotic, as two fully-equipped players can easily fill the screen with rockets, lasers, and -- yes -- bees.

Serious Sam Double D XXL is priced at 800 Microsoft points ($10).

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