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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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Indies Have to Stand out or Else, Says Arkedo's Guermonprez

July 3, 2012 3:00 PM | Staff

Lustre gama.jpeg"We are a small studio; we are making a very specific kind of game for a very specific kind of gamers. Let's call it the 'bright yellow' crowd," says Camille Guermonprez, co-founder of Paris based indie studio Arkedo.

The company is currently developing 2D action game Hell Yeah! for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and PC download.

He believes that standing out in the crowd is the key to indie success. The problem, he says, is that publishers can sometimes get in the way of the creative process.

"The problem we have when we have to meet a publisher when the game is not done, is they give their opinion. Some of them are good. But my issue is that, as many people as you put around the table giving their color, in the end you've got brown. I can't be small and brown; it's not possible," he says.

Cactus and Dennis Wedin Pair for Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games)

July 3, 2012 1:00 PM | John Polson

Jonatan Söderström (cactus) and graphic artist Dennis Wedin have teamed up to form Dennaton Games to release their gritty, top-down action game Hotline Miami. The two previously teamed up for Keyboard Drumset Fucking Werewolf.

The game is set in the "neon-soaked underground of 1980s Miami," with "over 20 multiscreen levels with 35 unique weapons and collect 25 game-altering masks in one of the darkest and most unusual independent games on the scene."

Hotline Miami is set to murder PCs and Macs soon, with console versions following courtesy of publisher Devolver Digital. I'm hoping the original soundtrack is as awesome as the trailer music. Oh, and go ahead and call the number at the end of the trailer. I think part of the mumbling says "Leave a message," so I did!

XBLIG Pick: Go Gimbal Go (Gimbal Lock Studios)

July 3, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Anyone remember Uniracers for the Super NES? Gimbal Lock Studios' recent Xbox Live Indie Games release Go Gimbal Go is sort of like a story-based, platforming-heavy Uniracers, and it's kind of awesome.

Go Gimbal Go stars a speedy little creature who must travel along winding pathways and reach each level's goal in the quickest time possible. Along the way, Gimbal can jump, stretch, and flip gravity in pursuit of shortcuts, though enemy characters throughout each course will slow his efforts.

It's a surprisingly complex game, and even after spending several minutes with it, I still haven't fully grasped the mechanics. It's certainly ambitious, though, and it promises a lengthy quest for just 240 Microsoft points ($3).

Don't be Fooled by Spelunky XBLA's Quiet Launch

July 2, 2012 2:00 PM | Staff

spelunky gama.jpgIt seems like every other week, another indie developer cites Derek Yu's indie hit Spelunky as a huge inspiration on their work.

The tomb-robbing semi-roguelike was first released in 2009 for Windows PC, and sees players journeying deeper and deeper into the ground, as enemies and traps threaten to permanently kill the hero.

2009 was also the year that Yu revealed Spelunky for Xbox Live Arcade was in the works. Now, two and half years later, the veteran indie developer is on the cusp of releasing this beefed up XBLA version to the public.

Despite the hype in the indie community, however, Yu is far from nervous about the public's expectations surrounding the long-awaited release. "Not too worried about that!" he tells us. "If anything, I think the game is a bit under-hyped compared to other indie XBLA titles. But maybe that's just as well -- the original game was released pretty quietly, too!"

With this new version, Yu aimed to expand in two main areas -- adding a multiplayer mode, and adding as many secrets in single player as possible. When it came to pandering to more casual Xbox players, however, Yu says this simply didn't happen.

Zeboyd Update: Rain-Slick 3 Hits XBLIG, Cthulhu Arrives On iOS And Android

July 1, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Fans of retro RPG specialist Zeboyd Games take note: following a brief delay, the studio's most recent release, Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3, is out now for the Xbox 360 as an Xbox Live Indie Games title.

But that's not all! Zeboyd's previous hit Cthulhu Saves the World is now available for iOS and Android in a new port developed by TinkerHouse Games. Good times!

The mobile version of Cthulhu Saves the World is priced at $1.99. Rain-Slick 3 is available for 400 Microsoft points ($5).

Ask IndieGames: What makes a good free-to-play game?

June 30, 2012 1:00 PM | John Polson

free pic.jpg

Ask IndieGames is a monthly feature that takes a range of topics relating to indie gaming and development and poses them as a question to the editorial staff.

This month's topic is free-to-play (F2P) games. Love them or loathe them, F2P games are gradually taking the video game industry by storm, in the web browser, on mobile devices and now even on home consoles. What elements should indie developers look to include or avoid when building a F2P game? What can indie developers do differently?

World of Goo, Henry Hatsworth Devs Relight Their Fire, Announce Little Inferno

June 29, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

littleinferno.jpg

World of Goo's Kyle Gabler, Goo Wii programmer Allan Blomquist, and Henry Hatsworth's Kyle Gray of Tomorrow Corporation have announced their upcoming multiplatform title, Little Inferno, due this winter.

As for the radio silence, Gabler blogs that they wanted to "avoid being another lost adorable indie game that never materializes." However, they will reveal the "first bits of real info on Little Inferno in a few days."

The developers are currently asking, "What would you most like to set on fire?" Sounds like a good Friday topic to me!

[via Joystiq]

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

June 29, 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 Visual Conceps, Naked Sky Entertainment, MLB Advanced Media, 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:

Naked Sky Entertainment: Visual Effects Artist:
"Naked Sky Entertainment is an award-winning game development studio based in Los Angeles. We foster a creative environment, shunning steep hierarchy and never-ending bureaucracy, where everyone's opinions are heard. Our mission is to create meaningful, inspirational, socially responsible, and thought-provoking fun. We are a licensed developer for Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, Apple iOS, and other next-gen platforms."

Pocket Gems: Senior Game Artist:
"Pocket Gems develops free-to-play mobile games that are ridiculously fun. We were founded in 2009 by Daniel Terry and Harlan Crystal, engineers and gaming industry outsiders, who wanted to bring the excitement of social gaming to the mobile platform. Our 14 titles to-date have been smash hits, each landing at the top of the charts and entertaining millions of customers across the globe."

5 Ways to be a Successful Indie Developer

June 28, 2012 10:00 PM | Staff

penny arcade 3 gama.jpgFortune has favored indie studio Zeboyd Games over the last couple of years. While the studio started out creating text-based adventures for Xbox Live Indie Games, it soon found small-time fame with Breath of Death VII: The Beginning, a retro parody RPG that took multiple digs at RPGs of old.

This success continued into quasi-sequel Cthulhu Saves the World, another big hit on XBLIG, before the two titles were finally brought to PC via Steam and received the full recognition they deserved.

This week Zeboyd Games released what is its first crack at a big-name franchise. Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness -- Episode Three takes the original, polygonal RPG franchise and gives it a complete 2D Zeboyd-style make-over.

On the back of this rapid success, Zeboyd founder Robert Boyd plans to release the fourth and final Penny Arcade Adventures game in 2013. After that he'll either continue to work with Penny Arcade on new IPs, or crack on with the studio's own titles. Either way, Zeboyd plans to take a break from turn-based RPGs after Episode 4, and try something different -- perhaps a 2D Legend of Zelda-esque action game, hints Boyd.

Analogue (Steam) On Sale Today Only; VVVVVV (3DS) Gets Weekend Discount

June 28, 2012 5:00 PM | Danny Cowan

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Sweet deal alert! Christine Love's Digital: A Love Story follow-up Analogue: A Hate Story is Steam's current daily deal, and is now available for $5.99. The promotion lasts through tomorrow, after which it will return to its regular price of $9.99.

Analogue's soundtrack is also on sale ($2.99, down from $4.99), and a bundle that collects the game and its soundtrack is currently priced at $7.79.

In other money-saving indie news, if you haven't yet picked up a copy of the Nicalis-published Nintendo 3DS version of Terry Cavanagh's gravity-flipping platformer VVVVVV, it will be on sale over the weekend. Starting tomorrow and ending July 1st, the eShop version of VVVVVV will be available for $4.99, a discount from its regular price of $7.99.

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