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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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NES Homebrew Release - Nomolos: Storming the Catsle (Gradual Games)

May 16, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Nintendo Entertainment System homebrew development studio Gradual Games has released its side-scrolling platformer Nomolos: Storming the Catsle via a production run of NES cartridges at RetroZone.

From its soundtrack to the background graphics, Nomolos exudes a strong Castlevania vibe -- it's a lot of fun to play, too! It's briskly paced, and there's a decent amount of variety in the level design and the boss encounters. It's definitely one of the best homebrew games I've played for the NES.

Nomolos is priced at $32 (plus shipping), while a boxed edition costs $41. A two-level demo is available at Gradual Games' website.

Kickstarter Update: Dreamcast Shooter Redux Hits Funding Goal

May 16, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

While many recent Kickstarter projects struggle to drum up support, NG:DEV.TEAM's René Hellwig successfully raised $25,000 for his horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up Redux in just over a week, becoming what one backer describes as "the first physical console release to succeed on Kickstarter."

A majority of backers opted for the $65 pledge tier, which offers a Sega Dreamcast-compatible two-disc set featuring Redux and DUX 1.5. While copies of the game itself are still available, the project's highest reward tier -- a $1,000 package that includes a custom-made arcade stick and other bonuses -- has completely sold out since the project's launch.

Pledges from the project will fund the development of an updated version of Redux for Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, and the PlayStation Network. The Dreamcast edition is expected to ship to backers in December.

Serious Sam's Latest Indie Outing Grew Into More Than Marketing

May 16, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

ssdd img.jpgFor the launch of the PC version of Serious Sam 3: Before First Encounter in 2011, publisher Devolver Digital took an unusual approach. The company hired three indies to create three smaller games that would release before the full Serious Sam game, to essentially build hype for the series. One of those games is Serious Sam Double D, from Weapon of Choice and Shoot 1up creator Nathan Fouts, and his team at Mommy's Best Games.

SSDD was released for Steam in late 2011, but now Devolver has commissioned an Xbox Live Arcade version from Fouts and company, called Serious Sam Double D: XXL (as though the game needed a longer acronym), ahead of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 launches of Serious Sam 3: BFE.

The updated version of Fouts' game will feature additional levels, two-player co-op, and additional weapons for the game's "gunstacker" mechanic, which allows players to stack up their guns and use them all simultaneously. We spoke with Fouts to find out why the company took the "reverse path" from PC to console.

Radiangames Celebrates Second Anniversary With Catalog Sale

May 15, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan


It's been two years since Radiangames released its debut title JoyJoy for the Xbox Live Indie Games service, and the developer celebrates the occasion this week with a catalog-wide sale.

Notably, the sale reduces the price of all Radiangames-published XBLIG titles to 80 Microsoft points ($1) each -- the first price drop these games have seen since Radiangames chose to price them at $5 each more than ten months ago.

All of Radiangames iOS apps are 99 cents this week, except for Super Crossfire, which is available for free. The developers Windows and Mac games are $1.99 each, and all soundtracks are also reduced in price.

The sale lasts through May 22nd. I'm thinking about picking up a couple of the XBLIG releases -- anyone have any recommendations?

XBLIG Pick: SEAL Team 12 (Social Loner Studios)

May 14, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Following up on its previous titles Bird Assassin and Storm, Social Loner Studios has released SEAL Team 12 for the Xbox Live Indie Games service. A Windows version is also available via Desura.

SEAL Team 12 is an overhead-view run-and-gun shooter that brings to mind arcade classics like Commando and Total Carnage. It's a great tribute, and I had a lot of fun with the demo version -- it doesn't take itself very seriously, and the between-level dialogue sequences are actually pretty entertaining. If you were disappointed by Capcom's own Commando series sequel a few years back, make sure to check this one out.

SEAL Team 12 is priced at 240 Microsoft points ($3).

A Storybook, Not a Novel: How The Unfinished Swan Took Shape

May 12, 2012 7:00 PM | John Polson

garden22.jpg"The world is often more in control than we are," says Ian Dallas, creative director of The Unfinished Swan -- a former IGF Student Showcase winner and now due to be published by Sony for PlayStation Network this year.

This lesson is one that fairytales teach children, he says, and so his game explores the unsettling spaces in children's picture books. Led by a soothing narrator and chasing a swan -- "our rabbit surrogate" in this Alice in Wonderland-inspired adventure -- the player enters a world completely washed in white.

"Initially it was just a mechanic," says Dallas. "It didn't really feel like a game."

The game, developed by small independent Santa Monica-based Giant Sparrow, is set from the first-person perspective. The world appears to be a blank slate until players start to toss and splatter balls of paint on the environment. When splattered paint hits objects -- a staircase, a frog, a bench, a hallway -- those objects are revealed to the player to evoke a strong sense of exploration and discovery.

3DSPlaza Creator Reveals Nintendo 3DS Browser-Powered Platformer, MMORPG

May 11, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Robdeprop, creator of the Nintendo 3DS fan site 3DSPlaza, is developing a pair of browser-based games for Nintendo's portable console: the MMORPG Project Triniate and an unnamed side-scrolling platformer.

Notably, both games can be played using the 3DS's d-pad and buttons -- a remarkable achievement, considering the platform's limited browser capabilities. Robdeprop notes that the 3DS browser does not support Java, Flash, or other game plugins, making development difficult. I was impressed with what I played of the platformer demo; it runs a little slow on Nintendo's hardware, but it's quite playable.

The one-level Sidescroller Demo can be played for free, while beta access to Project Triniate requires a donation of $1.

[via Destructoid]

Ask Indie Devs: FPS Games and Innovation

May 11, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

MIDI_Maze.jpgIn the first of a two-part piece, IndieGames shares the opinions of 7 first-person shooter (FPS) developers, who discuss where the genre should innovate.

The origins of FPS games have been traced to the 1970s, with titles such as Maze War and Spasim. However, modern FPS titles are often compared to the id Software titles of the 90s, such as Catacomb 3-D, Doom, and Wolfenstein 3D, or more recent titles. These titles were often made with teams of sizes similar to "indie" teams today; you could count them with your fingers.

The genre has since spread out mechanically (even being mixed with other genres) and financially (over $50 million budgets). Yet, maybe the genre just needs more attention from teams similarly sized to those who brought it to life.

Coincidentally, the first ever 7DFPS (seven-day first-person shooter) challenge seems to have aligned with this cause, taking place from June 9-June 15. Inspired by the 7-Day Roguelike Challenge (7DRL), organizer Jan Willem Nijman of Vlambeer hopes "the pressure and timeframe will make people come up with new, original ideas. 7DFPS could do more for creativity in shooters than the past 7 years combined."

This collection of seven independent developers speaks on innovation from many FPS perspectives -- those who have squeezed characters into narrow dungeon mazes, set them loose in wide open arenas, and placed them in tower-defense and RTS settings, too.

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

May 11, 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 Avalanche Studios, Treyarch, 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:

Avalanche Studios: World Designer:
"Avalanche Studios is a leading independent, privately held studio with offices in Stockholm and New York. The studio is the original creators of the award-winning Just Cause series of games and is currently developing three AAA projects based on very well-known licenses and original IPs together with three of the world's largest and most influential publishers. We recently released our first XBLA/PSN original IP title, Renegade Ops."

CCP - North America: VP/Senior Director of Corporate Communication:
"Each of our four studios have unique environments, while working with cutting edge technology and freedom to innovate across the globe. Awesome benefits include things free meals, childcare support, health/recreation supplements and company trips to exotic locations like Morocco and a team spirit that is so unique you just have to visit us to believe it!"

Kickstarter Projects - Redux: Dark Matters (René Hellwig)

May 10, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

NG:DEV.TEAM's René Hellwig has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund upgraded Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, and PlayStation Network ports for his R-Type-inspired Sega Dreamcast shoot-'em-up Redux: Dark Matters.

The campaign's main draw is a Kickstarter-exclusive Limited Edition preorder for the Sega Dreamcast version of Redux. Backers who pledge $65 or more will receive a two-disc set featuring Redux: Dark Matters and its predecessor DUX 1.5, both of which are playable on Dreamcast consoles. Only 1,000 copies of the set will ever be produced, and none will be sold after the Kickstarter campaign concludes.

As of this writing, the project has earned $8,000 toward its goal of $25,000, with 28 days left until the funding deadline. Pledge rewards range from downloadable soundtracks ($25) to custom-made arcade sticks ($1,000).

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