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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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Blocks That Matter (XBLIG) Now Priced At $1

May 24, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

The Xbox Live Indie Games version of Swing Swing Submarine's Dream.Build.Play grand prize winner Blocks That Matter has dropped in price to 80 Microsoft points ($1) to celebrate the first anniversary of the game's release.

Inspired by Minecraft, Blocks That Matter is a puzzle-platformer in which players must build, use, and destroy different types of blocks in order to defeat enemies and progress through dozens of included levels. A Steam version is also available.

Blocks That Matter will return to its full price of 240 Microsoft points at the end of the month.

[via CAG]

Kickstarter Update: Jason Rohrer's Diamond Trust Of London Successfully Funded

May 22, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

The recently renamed Nintendo DS strategy title Jason Rohrer with Music by Tom Bailey: Diamond Trust of London has reached its Kickstarter funding goal of $78,715, and copies of the game are scheduled to ship to backers in September.

The project earned the remainder of its funding earlier today, after being featured on Kickstarter's front page as a staff pick. The game's Limited Edition has proven especially popular during the course of the campaign; as of this writing, very few copies are still available via pledge tiers starting at $400.

Diamond Trust of London's regular edition is still available for a pledge of $35 or more. The funding campaign will conclude May 26th.

bbbbb: Beep Brrp Bing Bang Bosh Launches For XBLIG

May 21, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Sam Gross, Stephen Lingham and Paul Andrew McGee have released bbbbb: Beep Brrp Bing Bang Bosh, the group's first title for the Xbox Live Indie Games service.

A finalist in Experimental Gameplay's 5 Buttons Competition, bbbbb describes itself as "the ungodly child of running games, rhythm games and gravity flipping." Players control up to five vertically scrolling lanes simultaneously, helping creatures in each lane avoid incoming spikes along to the beat of a chiptune soundtrack.

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

Tokyo Game Show's Sense of Wonder Night Taking Applications

May 21, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

ttl_senseside01.jpgThe fifth annual Sense of Wonder Night will take place during the Tokyo Game Show September 20-23, celebrating 10 games from around the world that truly offer a sense of wonder.

As described on the site, "games of any genre, platform, language, degree of completion, already released or non-released" are eligible, and any game that offers a "never-seen-before gaming experience" or that "challenges the common sense of ordinary games" (among other qualifications) is sought.

Tokyo Game Show officials anticipate roughly 200,000 attendees this year. Recently, Sense of Wonder Night presenters have also been given floor space to connect with those attendees. Previous presenters include the XBLA Kinect title Leedmees, the upcoming PSN title The Unfinished Swan, and the upcoming Antichamber.

Applications to present are due July 8, 2012. To get a sense of last year's talks, check out the recordings here. More information about the Sense of Wonder Night applications can be found at the Tokyo Game Show website (in the upper right sits an English language option).

What Jenova Chen Doesn't Like About Video Games

May 20, 2012 12:00 AM | John Polson

chen gama.jpgIn a new Gamasutra interview, Thatgamecompany co-founder and Journey creative director Jenova Chen shares the major weakness he sees in the industry's approach to its audience.

His biggest complaint about games? "They are not good enough for adults," says Chen.

"For adults to enjoy something, they need to have intellectual stimulation, something that's related to real life. Playing poker teaches you how to deceive people, and that's relevant to real life. A headshot with a sniper rifle is not relevant to real life."

The issue, he believes, is one of depth. "Games have to be relevant intellectually," he says. "Can games make you and another human experience an emotion that's deep enough to touch adults?"

He approached this goal with Journey's collaborative multiplayer, and he says that he will continue to pursue it: "Making emotional games and making them intellectually relevant; making games where people can connect and come together," he says, is what he plans to continue to do.

In the new feature, he discusses the future of his studio, his other creative drives, and whether he'd ever consider building a game with a big team -- and it's live now on Gamasutra.

Ask IndieGames: How Do I Get You Guys To Pay Attention To My Press Release?

May 18, 2012 4:15 PM | Cassandra Khaw

bad_press.jpgAsk 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.

While sister site Gamasutra has already touched upon the subtleties of creating a 'kill-it-with-fire!' sort of press release (and, in part, what comprises an enticing press release), we've decided to take a look at the topic yet again in the interest of providing indie developers further insight on what makes a press release 'pop' (and how to avoid having it lost amidst the tidal wave of similar press releases).

FPS Games and Imitation: What Should Return and What Must Go

May 18, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

nescontra3d.pngIn this second of a two-part series, IndieGames explores with several developers what first-person shooter (FPS) mechanics should make a comeback and which are overdone and need to suffer a metaphorical head-shot.

Joining the discussion again are Alan Wilson of Tripwire Interactive (Killing Floor, Red Orchestra), Kedhrin Gonzalez of Illfonic (Nexuiz), Alex Austin of Cryptic Sea (A New Zero), Michiel Beenen of Interwave (Nuclear Dawn), Oscar Jilsén of Coffee Stain Studios (Sanctum), and Mladen Bošnjak of Misfit Village (SickBrick).

Here, developers recall some fantastic older games such as Rainbow Six: Vegas, Redneck Rampage, Duke Nukem, Quake 3, System Shock, and Terra Nova as refreshing sources for future FPS titles.

Developers also rehash mechanics that desperately need to be retired, as found in titles such as Call of Duty and its Modern Warfare entries, Battlefield 3, and Halo.

XBLIG Pick: Pendulous (Do Better Games)

May 18, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

After launching for Windows Phone platforms earlier this year, Do Better Games' momentum-based puzzler Pendulous is now available for the Xbox 360 as an Xbox Live Indie Games title.

Boasting a unique clockwork theme, Pendulous challenges players to swing from anchors and roll across shifting pipes throughout 14 included worlds. It reminds me a bit of CarneyVale Showtime, which is still one of my favorite XBLIG releases. The physics have a satisfying weight to them, and it looks like it could become quite challenging in later levels.

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

PS Mini Game Review: Velocity (Futurlab)

May 18, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

Velocity is a vertical (top-down) shmup Mini that surprisingly doesn't rely on bullet patterns or a lot of other genre staples to provide intense moments worthy of its $4.99 price tag (or free for PlayStation Plus users this month). Instead, players must use a limited amount of lives and telepods to make it to the end of 50 twitch-challenging, strategizing levels.

There's plenty to shoot, even if there aren't many enemy variations. While the normal stage walls don't damage your ship (gasp!), the vertical scrolling will. To avoid death, players must use teleports and telepods. While you can infinitely teleport, as long as you move your cursor to an open area, you often have limited telepods you can drop. These are extremely useful when the stage forks and you need to return to explore another area.

You will often find survivors on every path. Color-coded security locks are equally scattered and must be shot sequentially and sometimes bombed from one of four directions to deactivate their deadly fields. Fortunately, each stage has a large map that shows any encountered security locks and telepod locations. You can also see any isolated areas that may contain a hidden collectible.

Get a job: SCE Santa Monica and others hiring now on the Gamasutra jobs board

May 18, 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 SCE Santa Monica Studios, Monolith Productions, 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: Game Designer:
"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.

While we are creating Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet continues to support Guild Wars with additional content such as holiday events, community contests, monthly championships, and merchandise. Our player community remains loyal to the core Guild Wars products, but is as excited about the upcoming Guild Wars 2 as we are."

Sony Computer Entertainment America - Santa Monica: Senior Environment Artist:
"Be a part of the most exciting and innovating computer entertainment in North America. Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) markets the PlayStation® family of products and develops, publishes, markets, and distributes software for the PS one  console, the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems and the PlayStation Portable (PSP)."

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