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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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Prototype, Fantastic Realities of Papo & Yo

May 10, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

Creator Vander Caballero shared the following dev diary on the PlayStation blog, providing an insight into the imagination and prototype behind the upcoming PSN title, Papo & Yo. "Game mechanics are the tools that make us feel emotion," states Caballero, and Papo's mechanics fascinate in the ways that players can transform and interact with their environment.

Those new to Papo & Yo can read editor Cassandra's touching preview and interview from last year's E3, in which Caballero shares how the game was inspired by his childhood in South America and his relationship with his father. A more polished version of Papo & Yo is scheduled for next month's E3. Fingers crossed this one releases soon.

Jason Rohrer Surveys Nintendo DS Interest with Kickstarter

May 10, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

Prolific developer Jason Rohrer is using Kickstarter to gauge interest in his two-player strategy Nintendo DS game- Jason Rohrer with Music by Tom Bailey: Diamond Trust of London. While crowdfunding projects with in-development games are common these days, Rohrer's is a bit different.

All PS3 PixelJunk Games On Sale This Week

May 8, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Q-Games has dropped the price of every PixelJunk game available in the PlayStation Store, in celebration of the studio's 10-year anniversary.

PixelJunk Eden, PixelJunk Monsters, PixelJunk Racers 2nd Lap, and the original PixelJunk Shooter are priced at $1 each for this week only. The PixelJunk 3-in-1 Pack (which includes Monsters, Eden, and Racers 2nd Lap) is also on sale for $2 -- a great deal, if you don't yet have any of its included games.

The more recent titles PixelJunk Shooter 2 and PixelJunk Sidescroller are $5 this week. PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe for the PSP is also $5, and though the game isn't currently playable on PlayStation Vita systems, a compatibility update will add PS Vita support on May 15th.

All of the PixelJunk games are pretty good, but if you're looking for recommendations, Eden and Shooter are my favorites. At just $1 each this week, they're basically must-haves. Go play them!

Manipulative Game Monetization Shows Gamers No Respect, Says Super Meat Boy Dev

May 8, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

edmundgama.jpgA large number of mobile and social gaming companies treat their customers with a complete lack of respect, with business tactics that are "a slap in the face to actual game design," says Super Meat Boy developer Edmund McMillen.

As part of a blog post discussing the upcoming mobile version of Super Meat Boy, co-creator McMillen discussed what he believes to be wrong with a large portion of mobile games at the moment, and how he plans to show respect to mobile players with his upcoming release.

"There is a whole shit load of wrong out there these days, from abusive and manipulative money making tactics, to flat out stealing," he says on the Super Meat Boy blog.

"To us the core of what is wrong with the mobile platform is the lack of respect for players; It really seems like a large number of these companies out there view their audience as dumb cattle who they round up, milk and then send them on their way feeling empty or at times violated."

GDC Vault Adds New Free Lectures, Including Indie Soapbox from GDC 2012

May 6, 2012 7:00 PM | John Polson

gdcvault.jpgGDC Vault just added the Indie Soapbox (rant) session from GDC 2012 for free along with other quality lectures.

The soapbox session features developers like Polytron's Phil Fish (Fez), Team Colorblind's Ben Ruiz, and Lazy 8's Rob Jagnow (Cogs). Gamasutra's Leigh Alexander gave a great play-by-play write up right after the lecture, but seeing these indies in action is almost as entertaining as playing their games.

GDC Vault continues to add free and paid lectures from its past conventions, too. Those who purchased an All-Access GDC 2012 pass have a year to sift through all the videos on Vault. However, there are dozens of free lectures for everyone dating back to 1996, including a fireside chat with Notch, Jonathan Blow on indie prototyping, and Darren Korb on creating the audio for Bastion.

If you've been regularly following the additions of GDC Vault, you can hear about just the newest lectures added here. Individual subscriptions and group subscriptions (students or dev studios) to the Vault can be purchased, too (details here).

Irrational's Steve Gaynor and Friends Go Indie in Portland

May 5, 2012 6:00 PM | John Polson

stevegaynorgama.jpgA trio of former 2K Marin colleagues are starting a new, Portland-based independent studio where they hope to focus on what they loved most about their old work -- the story-driven game experience.

Designer, speaker and blogger Steve Gaynor recently revealed he'd left Irrational Games to found The Fullbright Company with friends Johnnemann Nordhagen, a programmer, and Karla Zimonja, a "jack of all trades" who collaborated with Gaynor on "story stuff" as they worked together at 2K Marin on the acclaimed Minerva's Den DLC for BioShock 2.

"We were all kind of a team on the story and look of that project," Gaynor tells Gamasutra.

Although it was "super exciting" to have worked at Irrational and to have contributed to a project like BioShock Infinite, Gaynor says part of the decision to make a move now comes down to simple homesickness.

As longtime West-Coasters, he and his wife just weren't taking to life in Boston as well as they'd hoped. And given that Gaynor and his two colleagues wanted to recapture the small-team feel they'd had with Minerva's Den, it seemed like there was an opportunity there.

Gaynor's beloved Portland isn't exactly a hotbed for variegated game development: "Nobody's doing the kind of stuff in games that I want to be doing in Portland, and we were going to have to start up our own thing."

Nigoro interview: "Overseas Sales are Essential" for Developer's Future

May 4, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

naramura.jpgIn the following interview, Nigoro's Takumi Naramura, La-Mulana's director, sheds details on the WiiWare cancellation and candidly discusses the deveoper's dependence on overseas sales of its forthcoming PC port. He also urges Japanese indies to open up the export market, stating that there are several unnoticed masterpieces that need to be introduced overseas so that the Japanese indie game scene flourishes.

Last week, strong community reactions followed Nigoro's blog announcement and Nicalis' subsequent cancellation of La-Mulana for WiiWare in North America and Europe.

When speaking with IndieGames, Naramura shared he was "very surprised at this situation," and in a few days the team would post something new to La-Mulana's official website. Despite the ongoing Golden Week holiday in Japan, though, Naramura wanted to share as many details as possible now.

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

May 4, 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 Bethesda Softworks, Ready At Dawn Studios, 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:

Bethesda Softworks: Future Generation Console Programmer:
"Bethesda Softworks, one of the premier creators of entertainment software, has been producing quality games since it was first founded in 1986. As part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family, Bethesda has access to some of the most talented artists, designers, and programmers in the industry. Bethesda Game Studios is the award-winning studio that won 2006 Game of the Year awards for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and 2008 Game of the Year awards for Fallout 3."

Ready At Dawn Studios: Texture Artist:
"Ready At Dawn is a game development studio founded in 2003 best known for the critically acclaimed and best selling PSP games, Daxter, God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War: Ghost of Sparta. Be part of the Ready At Dawn team as we staff up to work on an exciting new IP for a Next-Generation home console."

Mini Game Pick: Floating Cloud God Saves The Pilgrims (Dakko Dakko)

May 4, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

Developer Dakko Dakko has crafted a positively radiant horizontal shooter called Floating Cloud God Saves The Pilgrims as a PlayStation Mini. The title gives the premise away: players control a floating cloud god who protects pilgrims while escorting them to the end of the level. While destorying enemies on the journey, they devoutly reward the god with sweet lovin' that must be collected to convert to power-ups. Their hearts (not in a sacrificial way) make shots faster, stronger, and further-reaching.

Underneath Floating Cloud's colorful charm lies a rather strategic shmup. Along with dodging enemy fire and swooping in to collect hearts, bullets must be used conservatively. The more shot, the more the bullet power degrades. Adding to the strategy, some enemies require shots while others require the use of bombs. In the most desperate of situations, the god can take a bullet to the chin or collide with an enemy to avoid a pilgrim dying, but he loses his power-up completely.

Frobisher Says! Out Now In Europe, Free For PS Vita Owners

May 3, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Indie developer Honeyslug's microgame compilation Frobisher Says! is now available as a free download from the PlayStation Network for PlayStation Vita owners in Europe.

Similar in concept to Nintendo's WarioWare series, Frobisher Says! is a surreal party game in which players must obey ridiculous commands issued by Frobisher, who Honeyslug only describes as a "strange little man." These challenges often involve creative use of the PS Vita's hardware functionality -- the "smile at some ladies (but not at the badgers!)" prompt, for instance, uses the Vita's camera to read the player's facial expression.

Frobisher Says! includes over 50 free games. A DLC pack featuring 15 additional minigames is available for €1.99/£1.59.

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