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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/PC Pick: Defenders Of The Last Colony (Knitted Pixels)

September 13, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Sergio Santos of Knitted Pixels writes in with word that his twin-stick tower defense game Defenders of the Last Colony has been released for the Xbox Live Indie Games service. A Windows version is also available via Desura.

Defenders of the Last Colony presents an action-oriented take on the tower defense genre. Enemy swarms must be destroyed using a twin-stick setup, and between waves, players can construct barriers to defend the colony. The game boasts cooperative play for up to four players, and includes multiple playable classes and gameplay modes.

The Xbox 360 version of Defenders of the Last Colony is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1). The Windows edition is available at a discounted rate of $1.39 over the next three weeks.

Love, Hate, and Xbox Live Indie Games

September 13, 2012 8:30 AM | Staff

uprisinglarge gama.jpgFor all the bad press that the Xbox Live Indie Games platform has received over the years, it's easy to forget that, for some developers, XBLIG is a dream come true -- a way for them to publish their games to a proper home console in a relatively easy manner.

And while it's also easy to dismiss Xbox Live Indie Games as a breeding ground for Minecraft clones and silly Avatar games -- as I myself have done numerous times before -- there are, in fact, many wonderful gems to be found on the store if you know where to look.

The Xbox Live Indie Games Uprising is an initiative run by indie developers to help promote the very best XBLIG titles. Microsoft has long since stopped promoting the platform in any way, shape or form, and so this group of devs has taken it upon itself to lead the charge.

The first two Uprisings were relatively successful - the second one was even featured on the Xbox Dashboard by Microsoft. With this upcoming third Uprising, which begins today and features nine promising titles over the course of two weeks, XBLIG may well be the place to be this September for Xbox gamers.

XBLIG Pick: Face-Plant Adventures (oddworm games)

September 11, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Oddworm Games announced that its Dream Build Play 2012 finalist title Face-Plant Adventures is now available for the Xbox Live Indie Games service.

Inspired by platformers like Super Meat Boy, Face-Plant Adventures is a colorful side-scroller starring...well, a plant with a face on it. The game promises a lengthy 11-level quest, and features unlockable awardments, medals, and online leaderboards.

Face-Plant Adventures is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Terraria PSN and XBLA Port Coming in 2013

September 11, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

terraria PSN XBLA.jpgAndrew Spinks announced via Twitter and Facebook that his 2D RPG crafting adventure Terraria shall come to PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in 2013. Publisher 505 Games and developer Engine Software are in charge of the port.

Spinks has said in a press release, "It's always been my dream to have as many people as possible know and enjoy Terraria as much as I have and this is another big step in that direction. It's been awesome working with 505 Games and I can't wait for everyone to see the additional features that they've been able to bring to this new edition of the game."

Spinks not being directly involved seems to coincide with his announcement in February to step away from development of the original PC title. While he alluded to "moving forward with another, even better project," as of this writing, Spinks has not told IndieGames what that project is or if there are future plans for Terraria on PC to receive any additional features.

XBLIG Pick: Brimstone (Punchbag Entertainment)

September 11, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Steve Lillis at Punchbag Entertainment has released Brimstone, a multiplayer hack-and-slash action-RPG for the Xbox Live Indie Games service.

If you're a fan of the arcade classic Gauntlet, this one should be right up your alley. Brimstone expands on the Gauntlet formula with procedurally generated dungeons, enemy encounters, and loot drops, and promises an open-ended approach to character development. Gauntlet's multiplayer aspect has also been preserved -- Brimstone supports cooperative play for up to 8 players over Xbox Live.

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

Hermitgames' qrth-phyl Now Available on Windows and XBLIG

September 10, 2012 2:30 PM | John Polson

A most interesting evolution of Snake gameplay, hermitgames' qrth-phyl has released DRM-free for Windows for $3 and on XBLIG for 80 MS points. Players alternate between snaking along the outside or inside of cubes and the sides of flatter spaces. While players must avoid running into themselves, the stages have all sorts of death traps such as laser fields and protruding walls, too.

The 3D inverted controls felt rather odd at first, almost creating a "flying" sensation when the snake is inside the tight cube spaces. But like most odd sensations programmed well, this didn't take long to adjust to and feel almost as natural as snaking on a 2D plane.

Those new to hermitgames may want his three-game bundle that includes qrth-phyl and two other games for only $2 more. Players can also net Fren-ze and Leave Home for a total of $5, shaving off $4 if purchased separately.

Lastly, qrth-phyl's XBLIG release marks the beginning of the latest Indie Uprising campaign. Fans can enjoy it and eight other games over the course of the next two weeks.

XBLIG Pick - Oozi: Earth Adventure Episode 4 (Awesome Games Studio)

September 10, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

The final chapter in Awesome Games Studio's XBLIG platformer series Oozi: Earth Adventure is now available for download from the Xbox Live Marketplace. The final episode promises to end the story on a high note with a large variety of unlockable abilities, along with a time-limited arcade mode.

Better still, the entire saga has now been collected in a newly released PC port available for purchase from Awesome Games Studio's website. If you haven't yet had the chance to check out the series, a free demo is also available.

Oozi: Earth Adventure Episode 4 is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1). The PC edition is available for $9.99, and is up for vote at Steam Greenlight.

Indies Collaborate on Tools to Make Talking to the Press Easier

September 9, 2012 8:00 PM | Staff

luft gama.jpgIf you want easily-distracted players to stay with your game, to give it a chance and discover all the work you've labored over, you make it as approachable and as easy to pick up as possible, right?

That's the same attitude indie developers should take when it comes to attracting the attention of the press, to ensure people are helping others find out about your game. That's where the press kit comes in.

"It's a general problem in the indie scene, where so many beautiful and lovely games go unnoticed simply because the developer doesn't know how to present their game to the press," says Rami Ismail, an indie developer himself at Dutch studio Vlambeer (Super Crate Box).

It's not a magic bullet that solves all your marketing problems, but the press kit can sometimes be the critical item that decides whether those journalists who are inundated with dozens of pitches a day cover your project.

'Evolving Every Day' - Sony's Approach to Working with Indies

September 8, 2012 8:00 PM | Staff

AdamBoyesProfile_Tw gama.pngSony has earned a reputation for funding daring indie games -- especially lately. Dyad and Papo & Yo, in particular, have picked up plaudits in recent weeks. Of course, this is not an accident, says Sony's Adam Boyes.

Boyes is the vice president of publisher and developer relations for SCEA. Installed in his job for around four months, he's heading up the company's push to find indies -- and fund them -- via its Pub Fund initiative.

While that's not the only part of his job, which also includes overseeing relationships with the U.S. triple-A publishing industry and external developers of all sizes around the globe, Boyes considers indies an important part of the Sony landscape.

"We're always looking for things that people wouldn't be able to do normally. Like, really art-house stuff," says Boyes. "We really want to feature them, and have an artful platform for people to put content out on."

As a gamer, he says, "I'm fine with paying $10, $15, $20 for something and realizing the creator has put their heart and soul into something." That, essentially, is what Boyes looks for.

"If it's awesome, that's sort of the first qualifier," he says. "If it's something that really sets itself apart from what else is out there," that "always stacks higher."

Sense of Wonder Night 2012 Highlights Experimental Indie Games

September 8, 2012 12:00 AM | Staff

sown_logo2012.jpgOrganizers for the Sense of Wonder Night competition have selected ten experimental indie titles that will be showcased at Tokyo Game Show later this month.

Modeled after the Game Developers Conference's Experimental Gameplay Workshop, SOWN seeks to feature games with unconventional ideas and designs, and to give developers an opportunity to present their projects to a game industry audience.

The ten games that will be featured at SOWN 2012 are the following (in alphabetical order):

  • Backworlds by Anders Ekermo & Juha Kangas (Sweden)
  • BaraBariBall by Noah Sasso (U.S.)
  • Breaks by Takayuki Yanagihara (Japan)
  • Chumam by Sho Ishida (Japan)
  • Douse by DigiPen Team Terrabyte (U.S.)
  • Grandmaster by Artur Mine and Dmitry Verbitsky (Ukraine)
  • Memory of a Broken Dimension by Ezra Hanson-White (U.S.)
  • Taiso by Zacozaco (Japan)
  • Tengami by Jennifer Schneidereit (UK)
  • The Light Shooter by Kyosuke Yasumoto (Japan)

SOWN 2012's judges picked the games from a pool of 75 applications submitted by developers all over the world. All of the developers will present their titles at a Tokyo Game Show event (which will be livestreamed online) on September 21.

[Eric Caoili wrote this article, which originally appeared on Gamasutra.]

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