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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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PlayStation Network Indie Devs Divided on Software Pricing

June 28, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

playstation network.jpgPlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3 indie developers are divided when it comes to pricing strategies for their games that use cross-save or cross-play features. IndieGames speaks with one team who decided on giving access to Vita and PS3 versions for one price and two others who are undecided. The developers discuss whether a lack of precedence mixed with seemingly non-conducive, third-party publisher pricing strategies may be to blame.

The power of the PlayStation Vita, allowing consumers to continue their experience on the go, seemed a strong marketing tool, until people learned they would have to buy essentially the same game twice. This double barrier to entry seems an especially hard sell, when it doesn't exist with other online distributors. Steam doesn't require its users to purchase a game twice for Windows and Mac platforms, and the AppStore has introduced universal apps for iPad and iPhone users.

However, the Vita's launch line up of port titles didn't support either strategy, as third-party publishers re-released Vita titles but offered little financial incentive to those who owned their PS3 counterparts. Using DLC across both systems is not the same as using an entire game for one price.

The only "universal apps" are found in Sony's least marketed Network sector, where PlayStation Minis carry a one-time purchase. They then can be played on PSP, PS3, and PS Vita hardware.

IGN's Next Game Boss Grand Prize Winner Washington's Wig Debuts For XBLIG

June 27, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

The game that took home the grand prize in the first season of IGN's The Next Game Boss reality series is now available for purchase from the Xbox Live Indie Games service.

Washington's Wig, created by Fist Puncher developer Team2Bit, is an autoscrolling platformer in which the patriotic canine Dogsworth McFreedom attempts to return George Washington's lost wig during his famed crossing of the Delaware River. It's good stuff.

The game features a competitive two-player mode, and includes playable crossover characters from fellow indie standouts Escape Goat and A Virus Named TOM. It's got a great soundtrack, too.

Washington's Wig is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Game Masters' Indie Exhibit Opening at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image

June 27, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

game masters.pngGame Masters: The Exhibition opens June 28 at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, featuring over 125 playable games. While the first two parts of the exhibit showcase early 1980s arcade games and contemporary "game changers," the third part is entirely devoted to exploring indie creations.

The exhibit will include Jonathan Blow's Braid, Capy's Critter Crunch, Eric Chahi's Another World, Jakub Dvorský's Machinarium, Firemint's Flight Control, Halfbrick's Fruit Ninja, Introversion's Darwinia, Masaya Matsuura's PaRappa the Rapper, Markus Persson's Minecraft, Rovio's Angry Birds, Erik Svedäng's Blueberry Garden, thatgamecompany's flower, and The Behemoth's Alien Hominid HD.

Tickets are on sale now. The exhibition will run until October 2012.

Dreamcast Version Of NG:DEV.TEAM's Gunlord Now Shipping

June 26, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

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The Sega Dreamcast version of NG:DEV.TEAM's run-and-gun platformer Gunlord is now shipping, and is available for purchase from NG:DEV.DIRECT and Play-Asia.

Inspired by the Turrican series, Gunlord features nine levels filled with hundreds of enemies to destroy using an arsenal of powerful weaponry. The most recent trailer is a must-watch, if only for the inexplicable profanity.

The standard Dreamcast version of Gunlord is priced at $39.99, and multiple special editions are available via NG:DEV.DIRECT. The previously released Neo Geo versions of Gunlord are also still available, though as you might expect, they're tremendously expensive.

[via Joystiq]

Spelunky on XBLA Digitally Born on the Fourth of July

June 26, 2012 1:30 PM | John Polson

IGF 2012 Excellence in Design winner Spelunky hits XBLA on July 4 for 1200 MS Points/$15, according to MS's own Major Nelson. After over two years of development, Andy Hull and Derek Yu will give us something to do while the rest of America barbeques and goes to a foreign land called "outside."

Spelunky's XBLA version will contain huggable HD graphics and cooperative and competitive play, in addition to the randomly generated platforming intensity the series is known for.

While the developers have been entrenched in all things XBLA, hopefully they are still considering a PC port for all console-fearing folk, too. Until this hits, everyone can practice on the original Spelunky on Windows and Mac for free.

"BAD NEWS": Fez Update Releases and Corrupts

June 22, 2012 1:00 PM | John Polson

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Polytron released a patch today for Fez, which is said to fix many save corrupting files and game crashing/breaking bugs. However, the team has noted a major flaw in that installing the patch is leading to corrupted saves.

From Polytron's blog: "There is an issue that seems fairly widespread where the save file can be seen as corrupted by the game after installing the patch. We're floored that this wasn't found in testing. For the moment, deleting your system cache should resolve the issue, but if that fails, there is no known workaround. We'll keep you updated on the situation."

Good luck to Renaud Bédard and Phil Fish for a speedy fix and to all those who brave the patch.

Spiceworx's Porcine Bullet-Dodger Pig & Bullet Hits XBLIG

June 22, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Originally launched as a free browser game, Spiceworx's bullet-dodging action title Pig & Bullet saw an upgraded iOS release earlier this year. After undergoing further tweaks and improvements, Pig & Bullet is now available as an Xbox Live Indie Game.

Pig & Bullet challenges players to survive as long as possible in the midst of an endless rain of bullets. The XBLIG version carries over the improvements introduced in the iOS version (including its soundtrack, which is composed by Mars Matrix composer Yasushi Kaminishi), and features a variety of gameplay modes, some of which involve collecting bullets, rather than dodging them. Innovation!

Pig & Bullet is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Why a Key Trials Evolution Coder Went Independent

June 22, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

frogmind dev.jpgFrogmind Games is a new independent studio from a veteran games industry duo. Johannes Vuorinen and Juhana Myllys both previously worked at THQ's ill-fated Universomo studio, and most recently at Ubisoft-owned Trials Evolution developer RedLynx.

Vuorinen in particular was the mind behind the Trials Evolution level editor, which the level designers at the company used to create every single track in the game, not to mention it was the same level editor that is provided for players to create their own crazy tracks.

Alongside Vuorinen, artist Myllys will bring his past AAA experience over to Frogmind, as the pair look to create digital titles for as-of-yet unannounced platforms.

Vuorinen tells Gamasutra that being an indie developer was always his goal, but that he decided to first try out mixing with a larger team to see how it gelled with his style.

"In spring 2010 when I joined the Trials Evolution team, taking the role as the lead editor programmer felt like a really big responsibility," he explains.

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

June 22, 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 Telltale Games, ArenaNet, Havok, 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:

ArenaNet: Environment Artist:
"ArenaNet has established itself as a leading light in the online games industry with Guild Wars, one of the most successful massively multiplayer online game franchises of all time, with more than 6 million copies sold. We’re preparing to surpass our success with Guild Wars 2, which is in development right now."

Telltale Games: Core Technology - Senior Systems Engineer:
"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."

Trailer: Bleed (Bootdisk Revolution)

June 22, 2012 1:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Toronto-based one-man studio Bootdisk Revolution has released a gameplay trailer for its debut title Bleed, in advance of its upcoming release for Windows and the Xbox Live Indie Games service.

Bleed is a run-and-gun shooter in which air-dashing and slow-motion are key to the player's survival. There's not a single dull moment in the trailer -- it looks as though each level will be packed with swarms of enemies, and the boss encounters are similarly hectic.

Bootdisk Revolution notes that the game was originally entered in the Dream Build Play competition in 2011, but has since been heavily retooled. Can't wait to see the final product! Bleed will be released later this year.

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