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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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XBLIG Pick: Space Crüesader (Unfinity Games)

November 30, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Over on the Xbox Live Indie Games service, developer Unfinity Games has released Space Crüesader, a twin-stick arena shoot-'em-up with a great amount of visual flair.

Space Crüesader challenges players to rescue wayward spacecraft in a series of asteroid fields while fending off enemy turrets and warships. Even though you have unlimited lives, rescues soon become surprisingly difficult; you can improve your ship's equipment, however, by collecting upgrade shards from the asteroids that you shoot.

I really like this one. The game's difficulty proves to be its strongest suit, and it's satisfying to rack up big points early on before being crushed by later levels. The sarcastic radio chatter is also very well done -- woe be unto you if you're unfortunate enough to rack up a negative score bonus at the end of a level. The game also includes online leaderboards, a couch co-op mode, and a collection of unlockable badges.

Space Crüesader is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

GDC donates IGDA Student Scholarship passes for GDC 2013

November 30, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

scholars.jpgGame Developers Conference organizers have once again donated 25 All-Access Conference passes for students to attend GDC 2013 via the IGDA scholarship program.

The International Game Developers Association Scholarships Program is accepting applications for its GDC 2013 scholarships until January 11, 2013. The program is open to all students and recent graduates in fields related to game development.

The IGDA scholarships for GDC 2013 will include full access to the conference, mentorship from members of industry, and chances to talk to senior figures and to visit some of the Bay Area's development studios while in California for the show.

The IGDA is a not-for-profit membership organization serving individuals who create video games, and is dedicated to improving developers' careers and lives through community, professional development, and advocacy. GDC has been donating passes for students since the IGDA Scholarship program began in 2001.

Get a job: Irrational and others hiring now on the Gamasutra jobs board

November 30, 2012 1:00 AM | Eric Caoili

In the latest postings over the last seven days, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles in every major discipline, including opportunities at Irrational Games, Red 5 Studios, and others.

Each position posted by employers will appear on the main Gamasutra job board, and appear in the site's daily and weekly newsletters, reaching our readers directly.

It will also be cross-posted for free across Gamasutra's network of submarket sites, which includes content sites focused on independent games and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

Sleepy Giant: Project Manager:
"Sleepy Giant is the leading games-as-a-service provider for game developers and publishers across all digital platforms. We partner with creative development teams and forward-thinking entertainment companies to fund, design, launch, operate, and grow leading franchises. If you’re a smart, talented individual looking for a fun, fast-paced, and stimulating work environment, where your contributions can (and will) make a difference, then Sleepy Giant is the place for you."

Blizzard Entertainment: Producer, Strategic Initiatives:
"Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft and the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard’s track record includes thirteen #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service,, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players."

XBLIG Pick: Aeternum (Brooks Bishop)

November 29, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Xbox Live Indie Games developer Brooks Bishop (WastedBrilliance) has released Aeternum, a horizontally-scrolling bullet hell shooter featuring "cat-wrangling squids, corgis in spaceships, and hipster witches," among other bizarre enemies.

Aeternum boasts four levels and four difficulty modes, the hardest of which is described as "so hard even the creator can't beat it!" Jesse Bishop's chiptuney soundtrack is also available on YouTube and Bandcamp. It's catchy stuff!

Aeternum is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Get a job: SCE Bend and others hiring now on the Gamasutra jobs board

November 23, 2012 3:00 AM | Eric Caoili

In the latest postings over the last seven days, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles in every major discipline, including opportunities at SCE Bend Studio, ChangYou, BioWare Montreal, and others.

Each position posted by employers will appear on the main Gamasutra job board, and appear in the site's daily and weekly newsletters, reaching our readers directly.

It will also be cross-posted for free across Gamasutra's network of submarket sites, which includes content sites focused on independent games and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include: US Inc.: Senior Market Analyst / Strategic Development Manager:
" Inc. is a U.S. subsidiary of Ltd, a leading developer and operator of online games in China. We began operations in 2003 as's MMORPG business unit, before our carve-out as a separate, stand-alone company in December 2007 and subsequent listing on the NASDAQ in April 2009.

In 2010, the revenue of was over $300 million. We now operate one of the most popular MMORPGs in China, and have enjoyed strong growth in user data and revenues for our games. In 2009, established subsidiaries in California, London and other cities of the world. We are seeking talented professionals in the gaming industry to join us and build a success in the global market."

BioWare Montreal: Online Programmer:
"The BioWare Label is a division of EA which crafts high quality multiplatform role-playing, MMO and strategy games, focused on emotionally engaging, rich stories with unforgettable characters and vast worlds to discover. Since 1995, BioWare has created some of the world's most critically acclaimed titles and franchises, including Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age. BioWare currently operates in eight locations across the world, including Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), Montreal (Quebec, Canada) and Austin (Texas)."

Johann Sebastian Joust Turns Motion Control into Slapstick Comedy

November 22, 2012 7:00 PM | Staff

The fun part of making motion-controlled video games isn't making your players feel like virtual heroes -- it's about getting other people to laugh at the players' expense.

In a GDC China talk, Die Gute Fabrik lead game designer and researcher Douglas Wilson explained the history of Game Developers Choice Innovation Award winner Johann Sebastian Joust, suggesting motion control is "the slapstick comedy of games."

Skullgirls Team Reforms as Lab Zero Games

November 21, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan


If you're a fan of the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network 2D fighter Skullgirls, you may have wondered when its long-promised first update would arrive. Following up on the release of a patch this week, its creators offered an explanation for the delay: the team was laid off from Reverge in June, and has since reassembled as the "forward-thinking, retro-minded" independent game development studio Lab Zero Games.

Lab Zero Games will resume Skullgirls development, though DLC progress and the creation of a PC port has been disrupted as a result of the layoffs.

"We are sad to report that these unfortunate circumstances have delayed the resumption of work on the PC version, and indefinitely delayed the first DLC character," Lab Zero notes. "Don't take this as a sign that we've given up - we haven't, and are doing everything in our power and then some to resume work on these as soon as possible."

The team adds: "Not being able to tell anyone about these rather significant developments has almost been as bad as being largely unemployed and unable to continue our work on Skullgirls.

"We have always strived to be as open and transparent as our business and legal obligations will allow, but we feared news of these events would discourage our fans more than our conspicuous silence would. Being able to finally fill everyone in on everything is a huge relief, and we hope you understand our reasons for keeping quiet until now."

PlayStation Mobile opens the floodgates for all game developers

November 20, 2012 9:00 PM | Staff

ps mobile long.jpgPlayStation Mobile launched on Vita and PlayStation-certified Android devices last month, with a select number of indie devs given the opportunity to lead the opening ceremony.

Today Sony has opened the floodgates, announcing an update to the SDK and a new online developer portal that provides access to the tools for any person or studio wanting to get involved and build/release games for the platform.

For those who missed the launch last month, PS Mobile allows indie developers to sell their games via the PlayStation Store with relative ease. Once a studio or individual has registered and paid $99 per year for a publisher license, they can then release as many games as they want, as long as they keep to the relatively lax service guidelines.

Early signs were good, with the platform positioned well in the online store, and the studios involved feeling encouraged by what Sony had in place. Sarah Thomson, manager of PS Mobile content for Sony, tells Gamasutra that what is currently in place is just the "first phase" of what the company wants to achieve with the platform.

World of Goo, Henry Hatsworth Designers Release Little Inferno for PC and Wii U

November 20, 2012 1:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Three-person studio Tomorrow Corporation has released Little Inferno, a curious little firebug of a game for Windows and Nintendo's recently launched Wii U console.

Little Inferno sits players in front of the Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace and tells them to burn all of their worldly possessions. Logs, toys, and credit cards are all fair game for incineration. Using the coins you earn from burning objects, you can then purchase more lavish items like nuclear devices and tiny galaxies...which can also be burned.

The fire-based mechanics recall Sony's Trash Panic, though the objectives are more freeform; it's up to the player to discover 99 hidden item combos, which reward acts of creative cremation. It's not all just mindless arson, either -- the game has an overarching narrative that explores why the world is so obsessed with burning things.

Tomorrow Corporation's staff includes 2D Boy co-founder, designer, and artist Kyle Gabler, which helps to explain the World of Goo aesthetic similarity. Also working for Tomorrow Corporation are veteran developer Allan Blomquist and Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure creator and director Kyle Gray.

Little Inferno is priced at $14.99, and is available via Nintendo's eShop, Steam, and Tomorrow Corporation's website. Buyers who purchase the DRM-free Windows version from Tomorrow Corporation directly will also receive Mac and Linux ports, once they're available.

Augmented Reality RPG Spirit Hunters Inc Coming to 3DS eShop This Week

November 19, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Australia-based Nintendo DS and Wii developer Nnooo is gearing up to launch Spirit Hunters Inc: Light and Spirit Hunters Inc: Shadow, a pair of downloadable titles for Nintendo DSi and 3DS systems that use the platforms' cameras during gameplay.

In the Spirit Hunters games, players choose an attack element and use the DSi/3DS camera to scan for spirit hiding places in real-world objects and locations. It's not easy; some spirits are attracted to certain colors, while others will only come out at specific times during the day.

Once you've uncovered a spirit, you must battle it from a first-person perspective using a variety of touch screen-based attacks and abilities. Capture the spirit and you're rewarded with experience points -- gain enough levels and you'll unlock new abilities and encounter more powerful creatures. It's an addicting formula!

In a very Pokemon-like twist, there are certain spirits that can only be caught in each version of the game, and there are 96 spirit types in all. The Spirit Hunters games are priced at $7.99 each, and will be released on November 22nd.

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