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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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Fez Soundtrack Out Now, Filled With Secrets

April 20, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan

fezcover.jpg

The soundtrack for Polytron Corp's Xbox Live Arcade puzzle-platformer Fez is now available for purchase and streaming via composer Disasterpeace's website.

The 26-track album, downloadable as a set of FLAC files or high-bitrate MP3s, is priced at $7, and can be sampled in full prior to purchase. It's also noteworthy for reasons that could be considered spoilers -- read on at your own risk, though to be honest, this is stuff that you're very unlikely to discover on your own.

Dream.Build.Play Winners TIC: Part 1, Alien Jelly Drop In Price On XBLIG

April 20, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Xbox Live Indie Games standouts Alien Jelly and TIC: Part 1 have received permanent price drops, and are now available for 80 Microsoft points ($1) each, after premiering for 240 Microsoft points last year.

Both titles were honored in Microsoft's 2011 Dream.Build.Play competition -- Alien Jelly earned an Honorable Mention in the Production Quality category, while RedCandy Games' TIC took home second prize overall. Both are also among XBLIG's best offerings, and are worth checking out if you haven't played them yet.

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

April 20, 2012 1:30 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 Insomniac Games, Cryptic Studios, Trion Worlds, 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:

Insomniac Games: Senior Environment Artist:
"Insomniac Games is an independent videogame developer with award-winning hits for the PS, PS2 and PS3. We created the first three Spyro the Dragon games, and the Ratchet and Clank franchise. We are also the team behind Resistance: Fall of Man, Resistance 2, and most recently - Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, and Resistance 3! We also have Overstrike on the horizon! If that's not enough, we've also have been named one of the Best Small Companies to work for, and have two fantastic studios - one in Burbank, CA and one in Durham, North Carolina. Come check us out!"

Schell Games: UI/Interface Designer:
"Schell Games is a highly talented group of artists, programmers, and game designers led by game industry veteran Jesse Schell. We like creating games that are simple, innovative, and fun. Presently, we focus on creating a wide variety of innovative gaming experiences ranging from theme park installations, web based MMO's, and next generation consoles."

PlayStation Suite SDK Open Beta Now Available to the Public

April 20, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

playstation suite.jpgSony has launched the open beta of its PlayStation Suite SDK tools, offering developers the necessary utilities to create PlayStation-branded content for Android devices and the PS Vita.

The company outlined its PlayStation Suite initiative last year, marking the first time that PlayStation content will be made available on an open operating system, and suggesting that Sony is acknowledging that it has to address a growing threat to its handheld gaming business posed by smartphones.

The PS Suite SDK is free to download through Sony's Developer Program, and allows developers access to tools and software libraries for PS Suite, along with the tools to conduct performance verification of their content on the PS Vita and PlayStation-certified Android devices.

The open beta version includes a 2D graphics engine and 2D physical engine, with content samples to demonstrate these features. The full program, due to be released later this year, will allow developers to sell content through the PlayStation Store on a commercial basis, and will cost $99 annually.

Jack Buser, senior director of PlayStation Digital Platforms, told Gamasutra that the company has noted the underwhelming performance of Microsoft's own similar platform, Xbox Live Indie Games, explaining, "We've seen what has happened on competing platforms and are dedicated to delivering a better experience through PlayStation."

[This article was written by Mike Rose and appeared originally on Gamasutra.]

Flying Hamster Dev Reveals SunFlowers For PS Vita

April 19, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Flying Hamster creator The Game Atelier revealed its PlayStation Vita follow-up project SunFlowers, a cheery action game that uses every element of the platform's hardware functionality.

In SunFlowers, players nourish growing flora by shining sunlight down through passing clouds. Multiple cloud chains will cause the flowers to grow more quickly, though poor timing and enemy clouds can burn the plant life to a crisp. There's also an interesting collection element to the gameplay, along with an alternate "Tropical World" mode.

A release date has not been announced, though The Game Atelier assures that the game will arrive as a downloadable PlayStation Network title "soon."

The Splatters Developer Breaks Out of the Tech-driven Israeli Game Scene

April 19, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

niv fisher gama.jpgThe Splatters, formerly known as Confetti Carnival when it was nominated for an Independent Games Festival Award, was released for Xbox Live Arcade last week.

The arcade title sees players flicking colored balls of paint around tight arenas, with the aim to pull off as many stunts as possible before showering bombs in gloop. It's a game that lends itself to both casual and more hardcore players, with an easy-to-understand premise that hides a score-based, stunt show interior.

With a PC release not due until the Xbox exclusivity has run its course, Israel-based development team SpikySnail Games is concentrating solely on getting the word out to Xbox 360 gamers, which can be difficult given its earthly positioning.

"Getting noticed is a bit harder [than in other countries] as there are no big local media or developers to attract attention," SpikySnail co-founder Niv Fisher told Gamasutra of game development in Israel.

"Also the geographical distance makes us pass on some events that we would definitely attend if it were just a couple of hours away," he continued.

The Israeli video game industry has been steadily growing over the last few years, although Fisher believes that it is still very much in its infancy, as development teams continue to focus on the advancement of technology rather than software.

WiiPop Is The Dance Video Game Poppers Have Been Waiting For

April 18, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw



Words really can't express how absolutely ecstatic I am to see this. As a popper (I've been training in this dance style for the last four years or so), I've always felt as though the market was somewhat lacking in regards to games that cater to this particular discipline. While there's nothing wrong with stuff like DDR and Para-Para, no game thus far has been capable of accurately measuring one's ability to pop or boogaloo.

The WiiPop prototype appears to have been built from an unlikely combination of the Kinect Camera and body-mounted Nintendo WiiMotes. Designed to measure the 'fundamental qualities of a freestyle dancer', the WiiPop aims to 'push the level of physical detection and algorithmically categorization.'. According to the website, it appears as though this non-profit project will be open source.

For those interested in learning how the WiiPop actually works, there's a lot more information on the website here. Now, excuse me while I go accost fellow dancers to tell them about this new discovery.

Sound Shapes Gameplay: Deadmau5 and PixelJam Mash-up

April 17, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

Gameplay of the Jonathan Mak (Everyday Shooter) spearheaded PS Vita project, Sound Shapes, reveals the efforts of a collaboration with Deadmau5 and PixelJam. Sound Shapes may look like a retro 2D side scroller, but every action in the game actually creates a unique sound track.

Not only does Deadmau5 lend his sounds in a fixed set of levels, those audio samples will be available in the game's editor, too. Dino Run and Corporate Climber developer PixelJam lends its charming pixel art to the demoed level, too.

Queasy Games is wrapping up development on Sound Shapes for the PS Vita, with a demo set to drop later this year. More designers and artists who are contributing to Sound Shapes will be revealed up to the game's release.

[ Source: US PlayStation blog ]

Opinion: Fish, Blow Make 'Auteur' a More Interesting Word

April 17, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

blow gama.jpgThe Atlantic's recent, widely-circulated profile on Braid and The Witness creator Jonathan Blow caused a bit of a stir in gamer circles, as is to be expected when major publications turn their "outsider" eye toward our space.

While many on social media generally agreed it was a compelling profile of "flinty"-eyed Blow and his oblique, unsettling persona, they didn't care for the Atlantic writer's universal dismissal of games as "juvenile, silly and intellectually lazy."

Obviously games wouldn't have the economic weight they do today if a majority of their fans agreed with that assessment. We can probably forgive that the article lacks the context of the commercial industry's necessarily risk-averse, mass-market nature and how designers like Blow must double down on independence, on personal message, must eschew the visible system, in order to act as innovators in this environment of products that outsiders find dumb.

We can forgive it because mainstream publications and their audiences have just recently begun to understand what "we" have known for years: that it's possible for games to be personal expression, media capable of experiences unique to games alone. This is a big huge revelation for them, so we might even be able to forgive that "Citizen Kane" thing. Oh man.

Xbox Indie Aban Hawkins & The 1000 Spikes Coming To 3DS, Wii U

April 16, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Nicalis, publisher of the WiiWare version of Cave Story and Cave Story+, announced that it will release a remake of 8bits fanatics' "hardest extremest craziest platform adventure" Aban Hawkins & The 1000 Spikes for the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo's upcoming Wii U console.

Known for its brutal difficulty and multitude of surprise deaths, Aban Hawkins & The 1000 Spikes will feature enhanced graphics, remixed music, and a local multiplayer mode when it arrives for Nintendo's platforms with the new title 1,001 Spikes.

1,001 Spikes will premiere as a downloadable 3DSWare title later this year. The Wii U version is set for release upon the console's launch date, which has yet to be announced.

[via VG 24/7]

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