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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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Release: Mark of the Ninja (Klei)

September 7, 2012 4:01 PM | Cassandra Khaw

If you somehow missed mention of Mark of the Ninja, Klei Entertainment released their absolutely stellar-looking 2D stealth-platformer-ninja game today on XBLA and is priced at 1200 MS. As you might have guessed already, you'll be playing a ninja in this one, a ninja burdened within a strange, perception-enhancing tattoo and a clan that is on the verge of extinction. While potentially dangerous to you, it's also going to be something that will be highly useful in the game's darker corners. Needless to say, there's going to be a lot of ambushes, assassinations and acrobatic feats in this one.

Official page here.

Kickstarter Projects: Pro Pinball Revived & Remastered (Silverball Studios)

September 7, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Silverball Studios has launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of funding a remastered collection of its classic Pro Pinball titles, along with an all-new table created by famed pinball designer Pat Lawlor (The Addams Family, Twilight Zone).

Silverball Studios released its Pro Pinball games (including fan favorites like Timeshock! and Big Race USA) across several platforms in the 1990s, and their games set a high standard for pinball physics simulation. A recently released demonstration video shows that the tables will receive a significant visual upgrade bolstered by some impressive lighting tech.

Pro Pinball: Revived & Remastered has earned over $25,000 toward its funding goal of $400,000 as of this writing. Following the campaign's conclusion, releases are planned for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Xbox Live Arcade, with other platforms to follow. Silverball Studios has also set up a Steam Greenlight page to drum up support for the release.

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

September 7, 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 Sony Computer Entertainment America, Playdead, 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:

Playdead Aps: Technical Artist:
"Playdead, maker of Limbo, is an independent game studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Founded by Arnt Jensen and Dino Patti in 2006, Playdead is currently in production on new IP with Arnt Jensen as Game Director."

Blizzard Entertainment: Reliability Engineer:
"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."

Eufloria Adventures Bringing Procedural Fun to PlayStation Mobile

September 7, 2012 1:00 AM | Staff

rudolf kremers gama.jpgI feel like I've been talking about Eufloria forever. The game started life as Dyson, a procedurally-generated real-time strategy game created for an online competition, and gradually evolved into a commercial title which consumed the lives of Rudolf Kremers and Alex May for the next three or so years.

Kremers isn't ready to let go of Eufloria's universe just yet. Having recently finished off the PSN version of Eufloria, he's now collaborating with the Tuna team on a brand new spin-off title in the series.

Eufloria Adventures, the game's working title, is set within the original universe, but it has very different gameplay mechanics. You control a single seedling ship this time around, sent out to study and collect ancient artifacts with which you can enhance your ship's abilities.

As you explore deeper into the world, survival becomes far more taxing, and constant upgrades to your ship are necessary for defeating enemy colonies and discovering your exact role in the underlying story.

PSN Indie Bundle Offers Five Games For $6.99

September 6, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan


This week's PlayStation Store update brings the launch of the Beatshapers Indie Minis bundle, a package that collects five award-winning indie titles from the publisher's catalog.

Included in the bundle are Tribute Games' Arkanoid-like Wizorb, Adam Saltsman's autoscrolling platformer Canabalt, Pangea Software's puzzler Enigmo, Phil Hassey's strategy game Galcon Labs, and Nurium Games' physics-driven block-busting title BreakQuest.

All included games are playable on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PS Vita. The bundle is priced at $6.99.

Why Indie Fund is Backing an XBLA Flop

September 6, 2012 1:00 AM | Staff

splattersbig.jpgIndie Fund, a group of independent developers that offers "angel"-style funding to other indie game makers, has decided to back The Splatters, an unusual puzzle game that failed to find an audience when it launched on XBLA in April.

Developer Spiky Snail is now revising the game and bringing it to Windows, Mac, and Linux, and Indie Fund believes that these new, updated versions could help the studio find real financial success.

Indie Fund's decision to back The Splatters is a bit usual for the group, as it has previously backed games like Dear Esther and Q.U.B.E. before their initial debuts. As Indie Fund says on its official blog, backing a port of a game that didn't make money isn't typically a smart investment.

But the group believes The Splatters is different. Indie Fund says Spiky Snail has learned from its mistakes on XBLA, and is showing enough promise with its updated ports that Indie Fund has decided to try something new.

XBLIG Pick: March To The Moon (Califer Games)

September 5, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Califer Games makes its Xbox Live Indie Games debut this week with the launch of its shoot-'em-up / RPG hybrid March to the Moon. A Windows version is also available.

Rather than being assigned a weapons loadout as in other shooters, March to the Moon allows you to choose from among 12 different skillsets, each of which includes nine abilities. Players earn experience by killing enemies; skills and stats can then be upgraded with each level gained. Also included are a variety of customizable outfits, which are unlocked via in-game achievements.

The Xbox Live Indie Games version of March to the Moon is available for 80 Microsoft points ($1). The Windows edition is priced at $2.99.

Silver Dollar Games Wins Top Prize In Dream.Build.Play 2012

September 4, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Microsoft has revealed the winning titles in 2012's Dream.Build.Play indie game development competition, naming Silver Dollar Games as the winner of this year's grand prize of $40,000.

Silver Dollar earned top honors for its as-of-yet unreleased brawler One Finger Death Punch, which offers "cinema kung-fu at its finest, with a unique 1:1 response system creating player feedback with every hit." Silver Dollar previously tied for first place in 2007's competition with its robot badminton sim Blazing Birds.

The contest's first runner-up prize of $20,000 went to CantStrafeRight for its side-scrolling zombie shooter Dead Pixels. Team Devil's multiplayer combat title Ninja Crash took home the competition's second runner-up prize, while Adventures of Shuggy creator Smudged Cat Games was named third runner-up for its puzzle-platformer Gateways.

This year's Windows Phone winners include Kenneth Bugeja's Smirkers, Daniel Truong's Pixel Blocked!, Denis Grachev's Alter Ego, and COLTRAN Studios' Cradle To The Grave.

Rewarding Kickstarter Donors with Copies of Your Game Is Vital

September 3, 2012 10:00 PM | John Polson

kickstarter gama.jpgIf you're running a Kickstarter campaign to fund your game, one of the best ways to drive away potential donors is to not offer a physical or downloadable copy of your game as a reward.

In a recent survey about the crowdfunding platform conducted by sister site Gamasutra, 62 percent of more than 1,400 respondents said it's essential for developers to offer copies of their games with their Kickstarter rewards. 23 percent also said it's a very important factor they consider when evaluating whether to fund a project.

Just as in retail and digital markets, the pledge price you set for your game copies is critical -- a third of survey respondents said they've declined to fund a project because the game was not available at a low enough reward tier (over a quarter have passed on projects with no game rewards at all).

The poll also found that 55 percent of respondents believe the reward tier for game copies should cost less than the eventual retail sale price of the title, while 36 percent said they would be satisfied if it had around the same price as the retail release.

In general, participants ranked downloadable copies as the most important perk of a Kickstarter campaign, followed by "behind the scenes" and documentary rewards, downloadable soundtracks, and then physical copies of the game. Big spenders, or those who tend to pledge $50 or more, though, consider physical copies the second most important reward.

The results from Gamasutra's Kickstarter Survey, which shares more valuable data on what convinces people to fund or not fund video game campaigns, is available now.

Ask IndieGames: Are indie developers censoring themselves?

September 2, 2012 10:00 AM | Staff


Rare cases such as molleindustria, Anna Anthropy or Jonas Kyratzes aside, indie games, despite being generally free
of any creative control, seem to restrain themselves and avoid tackling social or political issues, in stark contrast to indie films or music.

Does that have to do with developers being afraid to speak their mind or with the fact that they simply only care to make escapist games? Why aren't indie games more connected to everyday issues? Could they actually matter as a form of popular expression? Should they? How could they?

Our monthly series of having the IndieGames editorial team tackle important, relevant issues continues.

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