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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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Top 10 Xbox Live Arcade Games of 2012

December 21, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan


Between Xbox Live Arcade and the Xbox Live Indie Games service, Xbox 360 owners have no shortage of great indie games to choose from. While XBLIG represents an untamed frontier largely suited for experimentation, Xbox Live Arcade is a haven for polished, focused efforts from some of the industry's most talented creators.

This year saw the release of many great indie-produced efforts for Xbox Live Arcade. These are our favorites.

XBLIG Pick: Heavy Recoil (Wide Pixel Games)

December 21, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

heavy recoil xbox.pngIf you want something properly hardcore, obviously retro in its design and instantly playable for your Xbox 360, I do suppose you should give Heavy Recoil a thorough try. It's a horizontally scrolling action platformer without continues, though one that allows for two player local co-op and features oldschool graphics and sounds, and an intriguing assortment of special weapons and abilities.

Heavy Recoil is priced at 80 Microsoft points; a free trial version is also available.

Gunman Clive Hits 3DS eShop in Europe

December 20, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Helium Boy developer Bertil Hörberg has released a Nintendo 3DS version of his stylish, wild western-themed run-and-gun shooter Gunman Clive, available now in Europe from the 3DS eShop.

Originally released for Android, iOS, and Windows, Gunman Clive purports to be "a generic old school side scroller," but proves to be much more, offering multiple levels in which players gun down bad guys and dodge dangerous traps. The game features a striking sketch-shaded art style (now viewable in 3D, and running at 60 frames per second for the first time), and the 3DS version adds two new playable characters.

Gunman Clive will arrive in the eShop in North America on January 3rd.

10 OUYA games announced via giveaway, including Starbound and Legend of Dungeon

December 19, 2012 7:00 PM | John Polson

OUYA.jpgOver the past 10 days on Twitter, OUYA's team has announced one developer and game per day to win a free kit for the upcoming Kickstarter-funded console.

The Android-based, indie-friendly $99 console is slated to start shipping its first units in early 2013. OUYA claims to have some of big indie and AAA names supporting the console already - Notch, Brian Fargo, Adam Saltsman, Jordan Mechner, and Robert Bowling. By means of this giveaway, OUYA has just announced ten more supporters.

The rules of the giveaway were that developers simply had to craft a clever tweet to @playOUYA about one game they want to make. Winners shall receive an $800, hand-crafted developer kit. Winning games include Chucklefish's Starbound and Robot LovesKitty's Legend of Dungeon.

The full look at the games is after the jump.

Unique Showcase Space for Smaller Devs at GDC 2013 via GDC Play

December 19, 2012 5:00 PM | John Polson

gdc play (1).jpgOrganizers of the 2013 Game Developers Conference have announced the return of its emerging and independent developer showcase GDC Play, with early, discounted exhibit space now available.

This will be the second GDC Play showcase, after a successful 2012 debut, and will take place Tuesday, March 26 - Thursday, March 28 at San Francisco's Moscone Center during the 2013 Game Developers Conference.

In a new, expanded onsite location this year, GDC Play 2013 will be in the South Hall's Gateway Ballroom, in a prominent position directly opposite the main GDC Expo floor - providing enhanced opportunities to target the more than 20,000 attendees at the show.

GDC Play itself was inspired by the success of the Independent Games Festival Pavilion at GDC and allows exhibitors to display their games to key distributors, publishers, press and investors visiting the conference. (All passholders, including Expo Pass attendees, can visit GDC Play.)

The showcase remains a simple, lower-cost opportunity to exhibit titles to prospective business partners, investors and the press. When signing up for GDC Play, game creators will be given a standalone kiosk with a monitor, keyboard, and speakers. An internet connection can be provided at an additional charge.

Knytt Underground Out Now for PlayStation 3, PS Vita

December 19, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

This week brings the awaited PlayStation Network release of Nifflas' Knytt Underground, an exploration-based puzzle-platformer for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita.

A new entry in Nifflas' long-running Knytt series, Knytt Underground includes multiple sidequests, and boasts more than 1,800 rooms for players to explore.

"When I designed Knytt Underground, I wanted to come up with a minimal number of mechanics that would allow lots of complex moves and interesting puzzles," creator Nicklas Nygren explains.

"By combining a very accurate platform character with a fast-paced bouncing ball and letting the player morph between the two forms at any time, the game got its very simple, yet deep controls. Each form also have some temporary powers like a grappling hook or the ability to fly a small distance. Chaining these different abilities in a single move feels super sweet."

Knytt Underground is priced at $14.99. Buyers will receive both the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita editions upon purchase.

Trailer: Pester (Flump Studios)

December 19, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Following up on its DoDonPachi-inspired bullet hell shooter Super Killer Hornet, Flump Studios teases its next Xbox Live Indie Games release Pester in the newly launched trailer above.

"For Pester I've tried to take my favorite elements of the newer CAVE style bullet hell games and my favorite elements from the more classic old schools shooters," developer Paul Marrable notes. "The screen still fills with bullets and your ship has a hit point but every play is different as we used random bullet patterns and sprite position. The randomization has been delicately handled as to ensure the game is never unfair."

Pester will feature more than ten different gameplay modes, including a "Duo" mode in which a single player controls two ships simultaneously using the Xbox 360 controller's analog sticks. The game is set to debut in early 2013.

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2012 (+2!)

December 18, 2012 6:00 PM | Staff

spelunky gama.jpgA Top 10 Indie Games of 2012 list just couldn't fit all of our must-play titles of the year. Instead, we're shoehorning the industry standard by adding two more, because we can and more importantly, because we must.

If 2011 represented an "indie boom" for the scene, 2012 was an indie-vasion on all fronts. Free, paid, and free-to-play indie games revitalized aging Sony and Microsoft consoles, were often the highlight software of new gadgets such as the Wii U and PlayStation Vita, and even overwhelmed Steam to the point of Valve restructuring its entire submission process.

Free and paid indie games continue to spawn from a variety of game jams and competitions. These games take up residence in more online stores, browser-based mega sites such as Kongregate and Newgrounds, mobile devices led by Android and Apple, and every other platform that has now warmed up to "indie." Social gaming, however, remains occupied by mostly indie tumbleweed.

We needed to increase the residence of our own top 10 indie games of 2012 list to 12 because these developers deserve the recognition, and our readers deserve a chance to learn about the diversity and opportunity that presently exists. We are here to celebrate games that challenge our skills as much as they challenge our beliefs and expectations.

These are our top games of 2012.

Meet the IGF's art and audio jurors for 2013

December 18, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

igf-student.jpgOrganizers of the 2013 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the latest additions to its discipline-specific jury panels that will determine the finalists and winner of its various awards.

The jury announcements for this year are beginning with some of the industry professionals, independent game notables and former IGF award winners that will make up its Excellence in Visual Art and Excellence in Audio Awards.

The latest jury rundown following prior announcements of its Nuovo and debut Narrative Award jurists, as well as this year's Design and Technical Excellence juries.

The Excellence in Visual Art Award

The Visual Art award is a category which seeks to highlight the innovation and quality in visuals for indie games.

Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Visual Art award have been entrants which featured impressive displays of the craft of games, including The Behemoth's vibrant cartoon-ish beat-em-up Castle Crashers, Polytron's 2D/3D "trixel"-based puzzle platformer Fez, Amanita Design's hand-painted adventure game Machinarium, Playdead's equal parts soft and stark monochromatic puzzler Limbo, and thechineseroom's ambient first-person exploration game Dear Esther.

Top 10 Xbox Live Indie Games of 2012

December 15, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

01bleed-2.jpg[IndieGames begins its extended year in review across all platforms, starting with its top 10 XBLIG titles of 2012.] This year was perhaps the best year the Xbox Live Indie Games service has ever seen. It was packed so full of surprises, in fact, that I had to make major revisions to this list just a few days before it was set to be published.

To date, no other console platform can compete with the Xbox Live Indie Games service in terms of providing a steady stream of weird and wonderful creations from a pool of talented indie developers. Here are my picks for the top 10 XBLIG titles released this year.

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