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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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PC, XBLIG Action Game 48 Chambers Updates With New Gameplay Modes

April 16, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Take Arms developer Discord Games has released the first update for 48 Chambers, a challenging overhead-view action title for the Xbox Live Indie Games service and for Windows (available via Desura, Indievania, and Discord's website).

Addressing player feedback, the newest version of 48 Chambers includes Casual and Hardcore modes -- the former gives players infinite lives to complete each level, while the latter only gives one life. The Windows edition also tracks Hardcore mode progress with online leaderboards, allowing you to see how you measure up against your fellow masochists.

The XBLIG version of 48 Chambers is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1). The PC version is on sale for $1.49 over the next 48 hours only. Discord's website also offers a $4.99 Supporter Edition, which includes a digital soundtrack, downloadable art assets, and beta access to its next developed title.

Metroid and Contra Had a Baby: Axiom Verge (Tom Happ)

April 15, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

Axiom Verge is all about classic metroidvania gaming, with around 8 hours of gameplay, over 60 items and power-ups hidden throughout the world, and over 20 upgradeable weapons promised. The run-and-gun feel I get from the trailer makes me think Contra, but that's just part of the developer's inspiration. He also cites to Blaster Master, Bionic Commando, Rygar, and Cave Story.

The large various creatures, pods (or are those chambers?), and background visuals align well with the game's sci-fi storyline. Happ made some nice disintegration effects for the defeated boss at the end of the trailer, too.

Axiom Verge's release is a bit far away, slated to hit XBLIG and PC in 2013. This won't quite pass the time, but check out this gallery of photos to get more acquainted.

[ Source: Armless Octopus ]

Drumming Sim A-Band Out Now For Xbox Live Indie Games

April 14, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

It's been a good long while since a major band simulation game last came out for consoles, and Rock Band's latest DLC (next week: Pink) hasn't exactly been inspiring. If your drumkit is collecting dust, you might want to give Flammable Games' recently released Xbox Live Indie Games drumming sim A-Band a try.

Boasting a 12-song tracklist from a collection of indie artists, A-Band is quite full-featured, offering multiple training modes, challenges, and a recording studio alongside a traditional Arcade mode. The game supports both Rock Band and Guitar Hero drumkits, and includes a Jam Session mode that allows you to freestyle without a backing music track.

A-Band is priced at 240 Microsoft points ($3).

XBLIG Pick: Quiet, Please! (Nostatic Software)

April 13, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Nostatic Software offers an original premise and some charming, big-pixeled artwork in its new Xbox Live Indie Games adventure title Quiet, Please!

In Quiet, Please, a young girl seeks silent relaxation after a busy schoolday. Unfortunately, everyone at home is being quite noisy -- mom's on the phone, the neighbor's mowing his lawn, and there's a trio of kittens upstairs who won't stop pouncing on each other.

Players must solve a series of item-based puzzles in order to stop various sources of noise pollution. An early puzzle: dad's watching TV, and every time you turn it off, he uses the remote to immediately turn it back on. The satellite dish on the roof seems ripe for sabotage, but first you have to figure out how to get up there, and then you need to find an item that will short out the dish.

I love the concept here -- I think I'll end up playing this one through to the end! Quiet, Please! is priced at 80 Microsoft points.

FEZ Released Today on XBLA

April 13, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

Polytron Corporation's IGF Grand Prize Winner FEZ released today on XBLA for 800 MS Points. The exploratory platformer has been the subject of discussions for years, even before it won the 2008 IGF award for Excellence in Visual Arts. Now, a playable product is finally in the public's hands to dissect.

I just downloaded FEZ, and I have several things to do before I get to play today (insert frowny face). I heartily look forward to joining the discussion in the afternoon here in the comments. Those who aren't sure about slapping down $10 in MS currency can try out the demo beforehand.

Mini-review: The Splatters (SpikySnail)

April 13, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

SpikySnail's Confetti Carnival The Splatters... splattered all over the XBLA service this week. If you didn't get a chance to play this festival favorite, which appeared in Prime's PAX10, IGF, and IGC, you now can, provided you own an Xbox 360.

The goal in The Splatters is to cover all like-colored bombs by impacting jarringly against surfaces, causing your goo to spill. You rack up tons of points by chaining together one of nine stunts (which are sometimes necessary to traverse the winding stages or land on the hard to reach bombs). The neatest trick to me is when you "flip" (as in the trailer), which involves reversing the direction of a Splatter while keeping its momentum and anything it touches.

The controls suggest a PC version and even a tablet version wouldn't be too difficult a port. In addition to aiming with the analogue stick, The Splatters only has two button commands: to launch a Splatter and to flip. The game masks its complexity in its simplistic controls, though. There's a lot of fast-paced and fluid, physics-based trickery going on.

The closest sensation I can compare it to is Peggle, but that's a bit of a disservice to SpikySnail. Peggle's point-wielding objects are static, whereas The Splatters' bombs dynamic. I feel The Splatters is more skill-based, too. The timed pressure to chain your stunts adds the intensity.

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

April 13, 2012 2:00 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 Spark Unlimited, Turtle Rock 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:

Spark Unlimited, Inc.: Senior Graphics Engineer:
"Spark Unlimited, Inc. is a 100 percent employee-owned, independent developer based in Sherman Oaks, California, which is located in the southern area of the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Founded in August 2002, Spark develops high-quality, high-impact, multi-platform games. Spark's first game, Call of Duty: Finest Hour, was released to critical acclaim and exceptional market success. Spark went on to develop Turning Point and Legendary. Spark is currently developing its next project - a third-person action adventure."

iWin, Inc.: Art Director:
"iWin, Inc. is a multi-platform developer, publisher, and distributor of mass-market social and casual games. iWin develops and publishes social games like Family Feud, Deal or No Deal and 1 versus 100, which has consistently been some of the most popular branded content on Facebook. is one of the leading casual game portals, reaching millions of visitors each month from around the world. iWin also develop and publish games for PC download, retail and mobile platforms."

PAX East 2012: Indie Devs Weigh in on Imitating Versus Innovating

April 12, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

Chris Park, Jamie Cheng, Raul Rubio, Miguel Sternberg, Dean Dodrill, and Shawn McGrath: six PAX-exhibiting indie developers were asked how and what they thought their newest game imitated or innovated. Admittedly inspired by Hempuli's candidness, I wondered where other developers felt their newest games sat on the sliding scale.

The results were refreshingly varied. One was proud to share the game was a "lover letter" of sorts to older games. While a few games shared standard, AAA game sources from which they imitate or innovate, one cited other forms of media such as books and movies. Two developers even cited other indie games as sources of inspiration.

Interestingly, one developer had to overcome people's perception that its newest game is _not_ imitating its previous indie titles or other Ninja-themed games. Another developer, on the other hand, proudly admitted to somewhat imitating itself.

The inquisition begins with that proud developer, Chris Park of Arcen Games, who spoke about his team's upcoming procedurally generated 2D action/adventure: A Valley Without Wind. Arcen is very focused only on Wind and expansions to AI War right now, and these are all his team plans to work on for the next few years.

Journey Soundtrack Released

April 11, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan


The soundtrack to Thatgamecompany's PS3 adventure game Journey is now available for purchase via iTunes and the PlayStation Network.

Composed by Austin Wintory, the OST collects 18 tracks, and is priced at $4.99. Audiophiles will want the 320 kbps PlayStation Network version, though the iTunes 256 kbps MP3/AAC edition remains a fine alternative.

Thatgamecompany notes that the soundtrack was the 29th-most purchased album on iTunes yesterday -- an impressive feat for a downloadable PlayStation 3-exclusive game. Give it a listen!

FEZ Soundtrack by Disasterpeace up for Pre-order

April 11, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

fez OST.jpgFEZ releases on XBLA on Friday the 13th, and its album is now up for pre-order for $4.99 via Bandcamp, with 3 free songs and 3 early access songs with purchase.

"Adventure" is the most whimsical and carefree of the 6 samples for me. I suppose it is because of this happy feeling that I like this song the most so far. I also enjoy "Forgotten", whose spaced, long notes evoke a different, somber feeling.

With such great ambient music teased from Disasterpeace, I can't wait to hear the other 20 tracks when they become available on April 20. As of this writing, Disasterpeace's FEZ soundtrack sits at #1 in Bandcamp's "Top sellers of late." It won't be much longer to see if the FEZ game will earn similar accolades.

[ Source: Joystiq ]

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