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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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Haunt the House: Terrortown Arrives for PlayStation Mobile

January 10, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

This week's PlayStation Mobile update brings the release of Haunt the House: Terrortown, a unique haunting sim for the PlayStation Vita and supported Android platforms from SFB Games.

Similar in premise to EA's little-known Sega Genesis title Haunting Starring Polterguy, Haunt the House puts players in the role of a vengeful spirit who must possess environmental objects and use them to scare away nearby humans.

"When we heard about PlayStation Mobile and thought about PS Vita as a platform, there was only one game we had in mind," SFB founder Tom Vian notes. "The colourful graphics and simple controls of Haunt the House work perfectly in this context -- it's a really natural fit. The original Haunt the House was a browser game we made for Halloween back in 2010, and since then we've come a long way as designers."

Haunt the House is priced at $3.49.

10 Indie Games Scene Shakers in 2012

January 10, 2013 4:00 PM | Staff

Thumbnail image for super hexagon long gama.jpgThe "scene" that envelops indie games has grown exponentially, as players are finding more freeware, browser, and commercial games than ever before. Accompanying the marketing, releasing, and making of such games naturally were bold steps and missteps.

Thanks to the mostly transparent nature of indie development, there is much more to learn than what used to stay behind heavily ironclad doors.

This feature takes a look at some of the most meaningful events in 2012 and reflects on their impact on indie games and developers, including bundles, Steam and IGF changes, Pirate Kart, and piracy.

Speedrun Marathon Spotlights Indies, Hosts Super Meat Boy Dev Commentary

January 9, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Speed Demos Archive's annual charity speedrunning marathon Awesome Games Done Quick is currently underway, and has thus far showcased a number of impossibly fast playthroughs for both classic games and modern indie hits.

Check out this year's live speedrun (starting at 11:43:00) of Frictional Games' Amnesia: The Dark Descent, for instance, which saw the whole game cleared in just over an hour. More recently, a run of the doujin bullet hell platformer MegaMari clocked in at around 38 minutes.

One of the marathon's highlights is the super-lengthy, super-impressive 106% run of Super Meat Boy starting at 8:09:20 in this archived video. During the run, creators Tommy Refenes and Edmund McMillen joined the session via Skype, and offered up some interesting tidbits regarding the game's development, along with the occasional outburst of disbelief at the speedrun itself.

If you're interested in seeing more indie games dismantled by expert players, a speedrun of Braid is scheduled to begin at around 1 PM Central Standard Time on January 10th, followed by a 100% run of Terry Cavanagh's VVVVV later that evening. Speed Demos Archive is soliciting donations for the Prevent Cancer Foundation for the duration of the event, and many donation incentive prizes are up for grabs during specific runs. Stay away from that set of VVVVVV perlers, though -- they're mine.

Indie-Focused 'The Greenlight' YouTube Series Covers XBLIG Standout Bleed

January 9, 2013 3:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Popular gaming-oriented YouTube channel OMFGcata has launched "The Greenlight," a new series promoting indie titles seeking approval at Steam Greenlight.

The debut episode, seen above, is dedicated to Bootdisk Revolution's twin-stick platformer Bleed, which I named as my favorite Xbox Live Indie Game of 2012. The dual-commentator format offers a unique perspective on the game, and hopefully, it'll lead to more people discovering one of the best XBLIG releases to date.

Bleed is up for vote at Steam Greenlight here.

[via Joystiq]

Bashi Blocks Maker Bringing Life of Pixel to PlayStation Mobile This Week

January 8, 2013 4:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Bashi Blocks creator Super Icon will launch its side-scrolling retro homage Life of Pixel for PlayStation Mobile platforms via the PlayStation Store this week.

The game stars a rogue green pixel who has grown bored of its life, and sets out on an adventure to see what the world looks like on other platforms. Life of Pixel includes a variety of levels inspired by classic game consoles, including the Atari 2600, ZX81, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, BBC Model B, Nintendo's Gameboy, and the Nintendo Entertainment System (shown above).

Life of Pixel will premiere as a cross-platform PS Vita and Android title this Wednesday.

[via PSN Stores]

3DS Game Review - Fluidity: Spin Cycle (Curve)

January 8, 2013 3:00 AM | John Polson

Curve has shown its platformer breadth and expertise once again, having previously mixed physics and blasts in Explodemon and stealth and speed in Stealth Bastard. The dev's latest, Fluidity: Spin Cycle (or Hydroventure: Spin Cycle in the EU), is so slick with its water-based physics and puzzle platforming that it easily becomes one of the best games on the 3DS, retail or digital.

Fluidity: Spin Cycle retains most of what made the WiiWare original wonderful, with fluid, believable movement and curious exploration while taking the forms of water, ice, and cloud. These three phases of matter introduce a wide variety of puzzle and platforming techniques.

Phil Fish, Felicia Day to Help Judge OUYA-Supporter Only Competition

January 7, 2013 6:00 PM | John Polson

CREATE OUYA.jpgFEZ creator Phil Fish and Canabalt creator Adam Saltsman will join Xbox co-creator and OUYA advisor Ed Fries, actress Felicia Day and other indies and members of the press in judging a "game jam" with OUYA developer kits and cash as prizes. The 10-day, online competition is called CREATE and is the product of publication Kill Screen and OUYA.

To participate, developers have to show that they pre-ordered an OUYA or backed OUYA's Kickstarter. KillScreen states that "this is to prevent spam entries, without us having to charge an entry fee."

35 finalists across six categories will receive OUYA dev consoles along with over $45,000 in cash prizes. Winners can earn an additional bonus if they complete and launch their game on OUYA.

2013 Independent Games Festival announces Main Competition finalists

January 7, 2013 12:01 PM | Staff

igffinal 2013.jpgThe Independent Games Festival (IGF) juries are announcing the Main Competition finalists for its historic 15th annual awards - nominating nearly 30 outstanding independent game titles to come out of the worldwide community in the past year.

This year's finalists for the most prestigious independent video game awards and showcase were each picked by a discipline-specific set of expert juries, following playthroughs and recommendations of the 580+ IGF entries from over 200 top independent game experts.

Some of the multiple-nominated games for this year's extremely diverse Festival include Cardboard Computer's 'magical realist adventure game' Kentucky Route Zero, Subset Games' spaceship sim 'Roguelike-like' FTL, and Richard Hofmeier's stark, dense street vendor simulator Cart Life.

The first-ever Excellence in Narrative Award is also showcasing unique titles such as Blendo Games' quirky 'first-person short story' Thirty Flights Of Loving, Auntie Pixelante's autobiographical game about a trans woman undergoing HRT, Dys4ia, and The Fullbright Company's abandoned house mystery Gone Home.

The Nuovo Award, once again honoring 'abstract... and unconventional game development' of all kinds, also saw many standout games competing for its $5,000 prize, including Sleeping Beast's irreverent local co-op sci-fi smartphone game Spaceteam, Michael Brough's 'one move a day for 100 days' VESPER.5,and Mousechief's multi-generational family history title 7 Grand Steps.

The full list of finalists for the 2013 Independent Games Festival, with jury-picked "honorable mentions" to those top-quality games that didn't quite make it to finalist status, is as follows:

Renegade Kid Confirms Mutant Mudds 2

January 7, 2013 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan


In a series of recent tweets, Renegade Kid's Jools Watsham confirmed that a sequel to its Nintendo 3DS and PC platformer Mutant Mudds is in development.

Originally released as a downloadable eShop title last year, Mutant Mudds premiered for Windows soon after via Desura, and later went on to star in Indie Royale's Harvest Bundle. A release date for the sequel has not been announced, but Watsham is currently polling Twitter users as to whether it should premiere as a standalone downloadable title or as a retail compilation of both games in the series.

Watsham also notes that Renegade Kid's current project, the Nintendo 3DS racer ATV Wild Ride 3D, is aiming for a March release, and will be priced at $9.99.

[via Joystiq]

Blocks That Matter OST free remix by Souleye, Disasterpeace and 7 more artists

January 6, 2013 3:00 PM | John Polson

reworks that matter.jpgDisasterpeace (Fez, KRUNCH), Souleye (VVVVVV) and seven other talented artists have been digitally wrangled for a remix tribute to Morusque's Blocks That Matter original soundtrack. Entitled Reworks that matter, the album is available now for free.

Other artists that contributed include Z.E.P (Voxatron, Chocolate Castle), Romain Gauthier (Squids, Squids Wild West, EDGE, Magnetis), Sylvain Hellio (Hell Yeah!, Nervous Brickdown, Big Bang Mini), Yann & Guilhem Cleophas (Age of Enigma), DjMokram (Dynamite Headdy Secret Bonus Point), Clément Duquesne (Serpentes, Caravan), and game and anime remixer Square Tune Magician.

The puzzle platformer Blocks That Matter won the Dream.Build.Play competition in 2011 and went on to become a hit PC and XBLIG game that year. Developer Swing Swing Submarine announced in October 2012 a sequel, Tetrobot and Co., will release early this year.

[source: Swing Swing Submarine]

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