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About The IGF

IndieGames.com 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, Gamasutra.com 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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IGF 2013 Adds 'Excellence in Narrative' Category

November 19, 2012 6:00 PM | Staff

IGF2013polysquare.jpg[Independent Games Festival chairman Brandon Boyer is interrupting this year's Festival for a brief but important announcement.]

Hello everybody, and welcome to a special IGF 2013 mid-stream announcement that, after much careful consideration and discussion, we decided was a necessity:

We're adding a new category to this year's festival, Excellence in Narrative.

This may not come as too much of a shock, because it's something that judges, entrants, and the general public have been asking for for quite some time now. Our initial decision to not add the category was not one we took lightly.

It was the subject of many rounds of internal discussion on both the necessity and logistics of adding a category devoted to recognizing narrative innovation, especially as we were making strides to remove categories and pare the festival down to a few core essentials.

Video: What I Mean When I Say 'Game'

November 17, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

boyergdce.jpgCourtesy of the GDC Vault is another free video from its extensive archive of recorded GDC sessions.

This time, we go back to the Independent Games Summit at GDC Europe 2011, where IGF chairman (and former Gamasutra editor) Brandon Boyer makes a case that independent game creators are the ones who will evolve the format of what we call "video games" into something we never could have seen coming.

The current videogame landscape is almost unrecognizable compared to just a decade ago, while at the same time surprisingly similar to that of the artform's earliest days. In this session one part educational and three parts inspirational, writer and Independent Games Festival chairman Brandon Boyer charts the course that has brought us to where we are today, and makes the case for independent creators leading the form into the future. [Video autoplays after the jump]

PlayStation Mobile Release: Panic! (Thumbs Up, Green Hill)

November 16, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Developers Thumbs Up and Green Hill, together with publishing partner Ripstone, have released Panic!, a top-down action-puzzler for Sony's PlayStation Mobile service in Europe.

In Panic!, you must protect fleeing citizens from an alien ooze that's slowly taking over their city. Players must use the surrounding environment to guide the ooze away from survivors, destroying houses and throwing objects in order to create blockades. The game offers a 30-level campaign, along with an endless survival mode.

Panic! is priced at £1.59/€1.99.

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

November 16, 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 Battlecry Studios, BioWare Austin, TimeGate 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:

Battlecry Studios: Monetization Designer:
"ZeniMax Media has formed Battlecry Studios in Austin, Texas to develop premier, engaging gameplay experiences for a connected world."

The Playforge: Senior Game Artist:
"Our name, The Playforge, reflects our goal to be recognized as the industry leading gamesmiths that forge games of superior craftsmanship. Our ethic has been to make only the most creative, irresistible and compelling mobile games that people can play anywhere with their friends."

Nicalis to Publish Daisuke Amaya's Guxt for Nintendo 3DS

November 15, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Nicalis revealed that it is working on a Nintendo 3DS port of Guxt, a vertically scrolling shooter developed by Cave Story creator Daisuke Amaya (aka Pixel).

Few details have been divulged, though Nicalis' Tyrone Rodriguez notes that the game will include a vertical display option, allowing players to play the game in its original aspect ratio with the 3DS on its side.

Nicalis is also developing an eShop version of Amaya's Ikachan, though a release date has not been announced.

[via Tiny Cartridge]

Molyneux to indies: Don't be afraid to experiment

November 15, 2012 1:00 AM | Staff

molyneux MIGS.jpgIn a MIGS keynote that had to be delivered via Skype, 22Cans' Peter Molyneux made no apologies about Curiosity, stating that while it was maybe a "mistake" to launch the project when they did, game developers "owe it to the billion consumers out there with phones to be brave with our experiments."

Forever the optimist, Molyneux opened by saying there has "never been a more exciting time" to be a designer in the games industry.

"We are now at a point where there are a billion people with gaming devices in their hands," he claimed. "There are millions of people playing a game at this very second. It should be the golden age of invention."

"For me, and this is purely for me, a lot of experiences that are currently on smartphones are a bit rubbish. They remind me of games that were around in the early 80s and 90s and they're not really using technology in a surprising or interesting ways. So when we founded 22cans we founded it with this one single thought. If you are an indie developer I think this is how you should think: that you have a destiny."

22cans' destiny? In Molyneux's words, "one great experience."

Homebrew Drawing App 'Colors!' Released for PS Vita

November 14, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

121114_colors.jpg

The latest PlayStation Store update brings the PS Vita release of Collecting Smiles' Colors!, a painting application that was originally developed as a homebrew title for the Nintendo DS.

Since its initial homebrew launch, Colors! has been released for iOS, and is also available as an official Nintendo 3DS title via the 3DS eShop. A gallery of user-created works is available at colorslive.com. The app itself quite versatile, as you might be able to tell from the gallery's featured artists.

The PS Vita version of Colors! is priced at $6.99.

Wii U gets a sexier form of J.S. Joust in Spin the Bottle

November 14, 2012 1:30 PM | John Polson

KnapNok Games and Redgrim's Spin the Bottle, due Spring 2013, looks to be many firsts for the Wii U: a game you play while the TV is turned off, using only the Wii U Game Pad and Wii Remotes with gameplay that makes the players look at each other. Players sit in a circle around the Wii U Game Pad and spin a virtual bottle to pair up two players for a micro challenge.

These micro challenges involve the Wii Remotes and "tight coordination, daring trust, body contact or extreme flexibility," as per the game's description. This kind of physical intimacy comes as no surprise, since KnapNok Games helped work on Dark Room Sex Game (a no-graphics erotic rhythm game) and B.U.T.T.O.N. (a roughhouse game about pushing buttons and cheating).

Toki Tori 2 Launching for Wii U on December 20th

November 13, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Two Tribes' puzzle-platformer sequel Toki Tori 2 will make its debut on December 20th as part of the Nintendo Wii U eShop's pre-Christmas update.

"Since we're a relatively small indie studio, a lot is riding on the success of Toki Tori 2 for us," Two Tribes notes. "We have spent well over a year with everyone at Two Tribes on this single project, which means Toki Tori 2 will be the only source of income for a while to come.

"When Nintendo announced their plans for the Wii U, we decided early on that the game needed to be on that platform, but it wasn't until we noticed that our completion date and the Wii U launch date aligned that we made the call."

The series has a history of premiering on Nintendo platforms, as the original Toki Tori debuted as a Game Boy Color exclusive in 2001, and was remade and released as part of Nintendo's WiiWare launch lineup in 2008. Toki Tori 2 will be released for Windows and Mac via Steam next year.

Beautiful folk play and emergent interaction in Journey

November 12, 2012 1:00 AM | Staff

journey gama.jpgAward-winning experimental designer Chris Bell has been working with the design challenge of creating friendships between strangers, in his recent work on Way and Journey.

Looking back at those games helped him map his own design interests in the goal of looking ahead toward his next project: "When I look at both of those games now, it's particularly revealing to see how the player communities have changed over time," he says.

At Journey's launch, most players wanted to reach the mountain. Having achieved that, they're no longer fascinated by the ultimate goal and look elsewhere in the game -- its symbols and lore, for example -- for meaning and engagement. They perfect the art of flying with other players, and create their own challenges as they discover the nuances of the game's movement constraints.

The interest that outlasts all of these in both Way and Journey is the act of interacting with other players, the variable of another human -- "this person who guarantees the recurring mystery of who is this stranger this time, how will this stranger play, and how will the two of us express ourselves together?"

By linking two free-choosing individuals with individual motivations in a suggestive "playground" environment, new forms of performative play emerge naturally, says Bell. Players have intentionally or otherwise developed their own improvisational folk games within Journey's world -- without the developer ever needing to explicitly outline the potential for those games within the world.

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