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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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Nifflas, Erik Svedäng, and More Add Five Unreleased Games to SPORTSFRIENDS

December 9, 2012 10:00 PM | John Polson

In a bold, 11th hour move, the developers behind the local multiplayer Kickstarter project SPORTSFRIENDS have added five unreleased games from indies such as Nifflas and Erik Svedäng. Now for a $60 pledge, supporters will get a total of 12 games.

This tier now includes a keyboard version of IGF-nominated iPad game Shot Shot Shoot, by Blueberry Garden creator Erik Svedäng, a PC version of IndieCade-nominated motion control game Recurse, a new Kompendium-styled game by Vertex Dispenser and Zaga-33 creator Michael Brough, a new prototype by Knytt and NightSky creator Nifflas, and a new game prototype by Dom2D. This tier already includes three unreleased games by Bennett Foddy, Noah Sasso, and Ramiro Corbetta, including a new gamepad version of QWOP.

XBLIG Pick: 2D Voxel Madness (Fun Infused Games)

December 8, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Xbox Live Indie Games developer Fun Infused Games (Hypership Out of Control) has released the Volchaos follow-up 2D Voxel Madness, a side-scrolling platformer that incorporates Minecraft-like world-building elements.

In 2D Voxel Madness, players explore a large game world in search of hidden diamonds, digging a path through rough terrain and fending off enemies along the way. You also have the option of building your own platforms and other structures using a variety of different blocks. New block types can be purchased using the gems you collect during your adventure.

The objective is straightforward and certainly less sophisticated than something like Terraria, but there's a certain charm in the way the game's protagonist can quickly carve a path through a series of floating islands. The Castlevania II reference in the day-to-night transition is also much appreciated.

2D Voxel Madness is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Free Legal Services Pick: New Media Rights

December 7, 2012 2:30 PM | John Polson

legal assistance.pngLegal services that usually cost indies $300 to $500 an hour New Media Rights has done for free since 2007. Currently, this non-profit organization is seeking funds to keep services free and to pay for the ongoing web series Legal Assistance for Game Developers, reports Joystiq.

Along with explaining the company's history and services, Assistant Director Shaun Spalding offered his two biggest tips to indie developers: 1) Don't name your game the same name or something confusingly similar to another game (especially if you're trying to copy that game. 2.) Figure out who owns what ahead of time and make sure that everyone you're working with understands the goals of the project.

Thank XBLA for the Indie Console Rise, Says The Behemoth

December 5, 2012 2:00 PM | Staff

castlecrashers xbla.jpg"I think without a doubt the indie console community would not exist as it does today if Xbox Live Arcade had been dropped after the original Xbox iteration." John Baez, co-founder of Castle Crashers studio The Behemoth believes that the current indie presence on consoles is all thanks to the rise of XBLA.

Baez reasons that neither Sony or Nintendo has managed to match Microsoft's support for indie developers, and that many studios have managed to find success on console as a direct result of the Xbox 360's downloadable content push over the last decade.

"No other console hardware manufacturer has had the success of downloadable games that XBLA has had," he noted, "and many smaller developers have shared in that success."

Of course, it's no wonder that Baez is in full support of XBLA, given that The Behemoth's Castle Crashers has sold more than 2 million copies via the Xbox 360's digital service.

[Mike Rose wrote this article originally for sister site Gamasutra.]

IGF 2013 debuts initial Nuovo, Narrative Award jurors

December 5, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

igf-student icon.jpgOrganizers of the 2013 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the first 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 make up its Nuovo award, as well as its first ever Excellence in Narrative Award.

While the juries are still being assembled in advance of the kick-off of our next phase of the finalist selection process, organizers have announced the following confirmed jurists.

The Excellence in Narrative Award

The following jurists are among those chosen to lead the IGF's debut Excellence in Narrative award, which is intended to recognize innovation, quality, and impressiveness of storytelling in a game, including, but not limited to, scenario, plot construction, story, and dialogue.

The Excellence in Narrative jury will include the following:

Big Sky Infinity to Launch as PS3/Vita Cross Buy Title Next Week

December 5, 2012 1:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Boss Baddie and VooFoo Studios announced that their PlayStation Network twin-stick shooter Big Sky Infinity will be released next week in North America and Europe as a Cross Buy title for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita.

According to the terms of VooFoo's #YOPO (You Only Pay Once) model, players who purchase the PlayStation 3 version of Big Sky Infinity will receive the Vita version for free, and vice versa. Each version also boasts exclusive features; the PS3 port includes stereoscopic 3D support and a local co-op mode for up to 4 players, while the Vita edition features its own asynchronous "Horse" mode and optional touch screen controls.

Big Sky Infinity will premiere in North America on December 11th for $9.99, and will be available in Europe on December 12th for £7.99/€9.99. PlayStation Plus members in Europe will be able to download the game free of charge upon its release.

Mark of the Ninja's five stealth design rules

December 4, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

mark of the ninja long.jpgFor Klei Entertainment's Nels Anderson, making a great stealth action video game meant throwing out a lot of a lot of the genre's existing tropes.

Anderson was lead designer on Mark of the Ninja, a stealth game that brought an unconventional twist to the genre through its 2D side-scrolling vantage point.

While the game casts aside certain stealth elements laid out by games such as Splinter Cell, Thief and Tenchu, it does still rely heavily on cornerstones of stealth game design.

"With Mark of the Ninja," Anderson explained, "we wanted to make sure that that the fundamental experience of being a ninja was brought across and everything else supported that."

After breaking the genre down into its fundamentals, Anderson established Mark of the Ninja's five stealth guidelines he called the "Heresies of the ninja." These "heresies" broke the rules laid out by stealth design's predecessors.

Unmechanical Takes Top Prize in Brazilian International Game Festival

December 3, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

bigfestival.pngThe Brazilian International Game Festival (BIG) has announced Unmechanical, Papo & Yo, and more as its winners. Unlike the IGF, BIG accepts completed games for all but one category. If the game has been released commercially, it must have occurred within two years prior to the date of the festival.

The winners were announced at the Museum of Image and Sound in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 30.

Best Game ($30,000) - Unmechanical
Best Art ($2,000) - Wonderputt
Best Sound ($2,000) - Unmechanical
Best Narrative ($2,000) - Papo & Yo
Best Gameplay ($2,000) -Tiny and Big
Breakthrough Award ($2,000) - Out There Somewhere
Best Online Game ($5,000) - Jelly Escape
Audience Award - Papo & Yo

The dev island and best demo winners follow.

Intellivision's early celebration with Christmas Carol vs. The Ghost of Christmas Presents

December 3, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Brand new Intellivision games have been pretty rare those past 20 or so years, but the holiday season of 2012 is bound to be different, as the venerable console has just had Christmas Carol vs. The Ghost Of Christmas Presents released for its elegantly ageing self. The game seems to be a cute looking platformer starring Carol (heh), some maze-like caverns and an intriguing menagerie of baddies. Oh, and it does come with 8 whole levels and, uhm, seems pretty fun too.

Intellivision gamers can grab the beautifully and quite traditionally boxed cartridge of the game from Left Turn Only Productions for $60.

Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Coming to PC, Console; Dev Polls New Visuals

December 1, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

bindingisaac16.jpgEdmund McMillen has shared this week a bevy of details on a Binding of Isaac remake for PC and consoles, subtitled Rebirth. Producing and developing the remake is Nicalis, who has handled console ports and remakes of Cave Story and VVVVVV.

Rebirth will be a totally remade game based on the Flash version of Isaac plus its Wrath of the Lamb expansion. On top of all that content, Rebirth will feature another "Wrath-sized expansion" with a "new final chapter, ending, 2 new playable characters and tons more items, rooms, enemies, bosses and the like." Rebirth will also feature local 2-player co-op but no online play.

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