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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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GDC Europe's Indie Games Summit Adds Fotonica, Eufloria HD Design Discussions

July 10, 2012 8:00 PM | John Polson

eufloria HD.jpgIn the latest update to the GDC Europe Independent Games Summit, organizers have added three new talks, including discussions on game design from Fotonica developer Santa Ragione and level design from Eufloria HD developer Omni System, with postmortems on the 100-player Renga and the 250 square-meter LED screen displayed Rocket Bullet Storm.

The Independent Games Summit takes place Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany during the gamescom event, and is accessible via a special reduced-price Indie Games Summit Pass, as well as by all other regular pass types.

The full details on these new sessions are as follows:

- In 'Games Happen: Design Lessons from MirrorMoon and Fotonica', Santa Ragione's Pietro Righi Riva will provide insight into creating his team's experimental games, sharing the design concepts and philosophies he discovered making titles that focused on the player's freedom to enact and interpret them.

- Rudolf Kremers of Omni Systems will explore how to do more with less in creating game worlds much like Eufloria HD's own, implementing techniques such as procedural content generation and modular design. Kremers will also discuss how to employ user generated content in his 'Adventures in Negative Space' lecture.

World of Goo, Henry Hatsworth Devs Begin Little Inferno Beta Sign-up; Wii U News

July 10, 2012 6:00 PM | John Polson

Tomorrow Corporation, which combines the talent of World of Goo's Kyle Gabler and Allan Blomquist and Henry Hatsworth's Kyle Gray, tweeted about the above trailer for puzzling adventure Little Inferno. Coupling the trailer is an early access beta signup/pre-order prorgram, following the footsteps of Chris Hecker's Spy Party early access model.

For an adventure that takes place almost entirely in front of a fireplace, I am still burning with intrigue (drums!). Tomorrow Corp stated the Windows beta versions will be first, since that is the platform they are developing on, with Mac and Linux to follow. Preordering will grant immediate access to a small preview of the soundtrack and access to the final game and all updates upon the winter 2012 release.

No word on the Wii U release, but it's rather unprecedented that PC pre-orders will lead to console redemption codes. Join the digital revolution, Nintendo?

Dyad Priced, Headed to PSN July 17

July 10, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

Shawn McGrath's Dyad is coming to the PlayStation Network on July 17 for $14.99 with a 20% discount for PlayStation Plus members. David Kanaga (composer for Proteus) lends his talents for Dyad's soundtrack.

Dyad looks somewhat like a tube racer, but it's more about blazing, shooting, hooking, and matching colors... some of the time. Players will also need to graze near enemies and build up the ability to lance streams of enemies for maximum scoring.

Dyad's touting 79 levels so far: 27 campaign stages, 26 tactical freakout Trophy levels, and 26 remix levels. Once McGrath's Twitter account reaches 1337 followers, codes will drop to those who are following him or have retweeted this message.

Oregon Trail Parody Super Amazing Wagon Adventure Out Now For XBLIG

July 9, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Sparsevector has launched Super Amazing Wagon Adventure, an Xbox Live Indie Games spoof of the edutainment classic The Oregon Trail.

Though the premise and some graphical elements can be traced back to The Oregon Trail, Super Amazing Wagon Adventure's gameplay is decidedly action-oriented. Each playthrough consists of a series of randomly-chosen shoot-'em-up scenes that quite often end with piles of animal carcasses and/or dead party members.

Branching decision paths ensure that you'll still see new scenes even after several playthroughs, and the game offers a variety of survival-based gameplay modes and tons of unlockable wagons -- each with their own attributes and special abilities -- to add replay incentive.

Super Amazing Wagon Adventure is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1). Sparsevector notes that a Windows version is coming soon.

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

July 6, 2012 3:00 PM | 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 Threaks, Telltale Games, Turtle Rock Studios, Tencent Boston, 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:

Threaks GmbH: Game-Programmer / Unity3D-Developer:
"THREAKS is a six-man independent developer based in Hamburg, Germany that specializes in the creation of non-linear music games. The company's first project, Beatbuddy , was first conceptualized in 2009 and followed a university start-up project to create a videogame that would allow users to interact with digital music in an entirely new and entertaining way. Only in pre-alpha, Beatbuddy has already garnered significant critical acclaim within the indie game space and has been the recipient of numerous awards."

Telltale Games: UI Artist:
"Telltale Games is an award-winning independent developer and publisher founded by games industry veterans. Since our beginning in 2004, Telltale has pioneered the creation and delivery of episodic gaming content. Telltale's titles have won numerous awards and accolades from publications such as IGN, Official Xbox Magazine, PlayStation – The Official Magazine, PC Gamer, GameSpy and more, and our work has met with critical acclaim from mainstream outlets including USA Today, CNN, The New York Times and Variety."

XBLIG Pick: RotoSchutzen (Owen Deery)

July 5, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Today's big news in the world of Xbox Live Indie Games: the launch of RotoSchutzen, a new title from Bytown Lumberjack developer Owen Deery.

Deery describes RotoSchutzen as a "cartoony helicopter artillery" title in the vein of games like Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and PixelJunk Shooter. Players explore a series of underground caverns using a modestly-armed flying contraption, destroying enemies and solving environmental puzzles to open up new areas.

Deery also notes: "The non-tile based level design allows for freeform evasion and attacks as well as the ability to move forwards or backwards in the level at any point without loading." Neat! Having finished Shadow Planet recently, I'm looking forward to playing more of this one.

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

How do you Work Remotely with no Producer?

July 5, 2012 2:00 AM | Staff

zack zero gama.jpgIn a new Gamasutra postmortem, Zack Zero developers Carlos Abril and Alberto Moreno write that they cycled through a lot of tools for keeping a remote team working together until hitting just the right one.

"Not having offices has always been a problem while developing the game, although it did make us improve our pipeline, looking constantly for better ways to manage communication and task organization," the pair write.

"The biggest communication and organization challenge was amongst the art team. During the main production year, the team had two concept artists, one animator and two 3D artists, while some assets were outsourced."

Unfortunately, the game's small team didn't have a producer, which meant that nobody was organizing information and making sure it flowed smoothly.

Monthly meetings set tasks and direction, but they weren't enough on a day-to-day basis.

Games Like Spelunky That Do Not Require An Xbox 360

July 4, 2012 11:00 AM | John Polson

spelunky minis.jpg

With the blessing of Spelunky developer Derek Yu, we've prepared a list of games like Spelunky for people to play, in celebration of its XBLA release.

Of course, those who have an Xbox 360 should purchase and play Spelunky. Those who have friends with an Xbox 360 should be communing to enjoy its local multiplayer. However, these prescriptions help anyone without an Xbox 360 nearby. So, here's a list of 10 Spelunky-like titles, and even some semi-Spelunkies, to consider:

A Developer Love Letter to Spelunky

July 4, 2012 10:00 AM | John Polson

"There is no game that I wish I had built myself more than Spelunky," shares Canabalt developer Adam Saltsman. While some websites have recently reviewed Spelunky in advance of Mossmouth's XBLA release today, several notable indie developers have been playing and admiring Spelunky for much longer. It seemed more appropriate, personal even, to share their extended experiences with everyone.

Developer Colin Northway played Spelunky throughout its XBLA creation. He had such a serious addiction that he strained his wrists, had to sleep with wrist-guards, and couldn't work for a week. "It was like staring into an eclipse," he explains. The way the game forces constant improvisation over memorization has inspired him as a designer, too.

Spelunky also stirs Adam Saltsman as a developer in that "it is just completely exactly all of the things I love about challenging video games all in one place." While he finds the HD graphics perfect, he says "they sort of only exist as part of a conduit from the guts of Spelunky to the part of your brain that is playing Spelunky."

Indies Challenge Themselves to Find Innovation in the Tired Old FPS Genre

July 4, 2012 1:00 AM | Staff

7dfps gama.jpg"FPSes are a horribly oversaturated genre, indies can easily do amazing new stuff. Who's up for it?" tweeted Jan Willem Nijman, co-founder of indie studio Vlambeer, back in April. What started out as a random thought quickly snowballed into one of the most interesting indie development jams of recent times.

The 7 Day First Person Shooter Challenge (7DFPS) ran early in June, and aimed to create weird and wonderful first-person shooter concepts in the space of just a week, a genre that independent developers tend to avoid.

"It seemed like indies were avoiding shooters because they view those as the pinnacle of all that is wrong with triple-A," Nijman tells us. "I figured it was time to change that."

After fumbling around with how to get the jam organized, Nijman recruited the help of McPixel developer Sos Sosowski and dev and musician Sven Bergstrom. 7DFPS went on to see hundreds of entries, with the likes of Wolfire and Cryptic Sea taking part.

The issue with the FPS space, says Nijman, is that gamers have no idea of the potential innovation that can occur, and instead choose to throw money at publishers who churn out the same dreary titles over and over again.

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