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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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Act Soon: Shoot Many Robots Dressed as Half-Life's Gordon Freeman

April 5, 2012 11:30 PM | John Polson

Thumbnail image for Valve_SMR_resized.jpgDemiurge Studios has worked quickly to release Shoot Many Robots, its run-and-gunner with RPG elements, on Windows for Steam. Valve must have had a blast playing the game, because they allowed an in-game Gordon Freeman outfit for the main character, Walter. When wearing the outfit, Portal turrets will appear in-game, too.

Players will also receive "The Scrap Pack," which includes The Chopper Bot backpack for the Medic or Pyro in Team Fortress 2. The importance of accessorizing can never be overstated.

I've been playing a local two-player campaign on XBLA for a few sessions. At times it feels slightly repetitive, with only a handful of bosses re-used through the Normal campaign. However, I enjoyed the pseudo-looting (you still have to pay for the weapons after you find them) and leveling-up aspects mixed with Metal Slug/Contra gameplay.

Demiurge's Shoot Many Robots can be pre-purchased now for $9.99. The game goes live mid-afternoon Friday, so act soon if you want the pre-order goodies. Also, if you are at PAX East, be sure to check out Demiurge on the expo floor. New to Shoot Many Robots? I posted a trailer after the break.

Neo Geo Pocket Color Pick: NGCollector (Sebastian Mihai)

April 5, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


It's been a long time since I've last played a game for the Neo Geo Pocket Color, but I'm really wishing that I still had one in my possession right now, along with a flash cart. Homebrew developer Sebastian Mihai has released a free NGPC ROM image for NGCollector, a game that simulates the travels and travails of a Neo Geo home cartridge collector.

Gameplay is confined to five screens. Most action takes place at a flea market, where players can expect to pay the average collector's price for games. You can also meet up with a fellow Neo Geo collector, who suggests trades that range from ridiculously good (You're giving me Stakes Winner in exchange for Robo Army? Sure!) to laughable. (You want me to trade Mark of the Wolves for your copy of Thrash Rally? Get out.)

Zeboyd Games Releasing Part 3 of Penny Arcade RPG This Summer

April 5, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

Penny Arcade 3.pngPenny Arcade's Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 3 will finally release this Summer after nearly a four-year hiatus, thanks to Cthulhu developer Zeboyd Games. Gone are the HD graphics from the first two episodes; Zeboyd's charming pixels have taken over. Gone also is the character data; it can't be imported from previous episodes.

Rain-Slick is still a menu-driven RPG, and Episode 3's gameplay is comparable to Grandia in that it boasts a pseudo-real-time combat system, Joystiq reports. "The combat uses a time bar that dictates when characters can perform an action. Also like Grandia, using special attacks at the right moment can delay an opponent, sending them back on the time bar and giving players an advantage."

Robert Boyd of Zeboyd Games told IndieGames that although the project carries the Penny Arcade brand, it's still an indie project. "Although it's definitely an unusual case, I would still call this project an indie game. Although Penny Arcade is helping us out in many ways, they're not actually funding the development of the game." The whole team working on the project has only 5 members: two from Zeboyd, two from Penny Arcade and Alex Mauer on music. Jeff Kalles from Penny Arcade, producer of the title, says, "I've produced for Nintendo. Believe me, this is indie."

Journey Producer Hunicke Sees New Online Frontier at Tiny Speck

April 5, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

Robin Gama.jpgRobin Hunicke's recently-announced move from Thatgamecompany to Tiny Speck comes at an interesting time for the Glitch developer, which just pushed its game back into Beta after just two months on the market.

As founder Stewart Butterfield explains, the slower, steadier model of web service design to which the Flickr co-founder had been previously accustomed didn't translate well to the world of online games. "We thought we'd be able to iterate our way to the promised land, and that wasn't the case," he tells us. "I think I didn't have enough experience in game design, and I think I was naive with respect to how much we'd be able to change it once we've launched."

Glitch, a web-based online play space with all the whimsy one can expect from the involvement of Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi, was whisked back into the oven in November, with a lot of candid humility from the developer, which promised unhappy players that had already paid money would get that money back (only 3 percent of players took Tiny Speck up on the offer, Butterfield tells us).

How did Journey executive producer Hunicke get involved with the studio? It started with a casual trip to visit her friend Takahashi just after the birth of his new baby, and stopping by the studio, she found herself captivated by what she saw as its energy and potential.

Video: Runner 2 (Gaijin Games)

April 4, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Gaijin Games has released new gameplay footage from its upcoming Bit.Trip Runner sequel Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien in advance of the game's appearance at PAX East this weekend.

Despite Gaijin Games co-founder Mike Roush's warning that the PAX build may have bugs and other issues, the footage seen here looks great! It's a big step up from the original game in terms of visuals, and the audio syncs up to the gameplay quite nicely.

Runner 2 is set to be released for Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network later this year.

IndieGames Podcast #25: GDC 2012

April 4, 2012 8:00 PM | jeriaska

This installment of the IndieGames Podcast takes place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco during the 2012 Game Developers Conference.

We hear from a Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit presenter, two recipients of Independent Games Festival awards and an IGF judge.

The iOS titles of game designer Zach Gage include Bit Pilot and SpellTower. His GDC presentation took at a look at the challenge of designing controls for new gaming platforms, specifically relating his own experiences working with touchscreen devices.

Derek Yu and Eirik "Phlogiston" Surkhe received the excellence in design award at GDC this year, and discuss their experience running online communities TIGSource and PAUSE.

Finally on the program, Matthew Burns relates his intentions in founding indie studio Shadegrown Games and running a monthly column for Game Developer Magazine, both of which have informed his contributions as a judge for the 2012 IGF awards' excellence in audio category.

Music for this program is from Waking Mars, which can be heard in full on the Tigerstyle Bandcamp page. The show is available to stream and download through Buzzsprout and SoundCloud. Show notes are located after the break.

Indie Fund Backs Another Award-winning Game with Antichamber

April 3, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

Independent game investment group Indie Fund has revealed that it's backing first-person puzzler Antichamber, financially helping Alexander "Demruth" Bruce finish developing the award-winning title.

Indie Fund has so far supported the development of seven independent projects, many of them recipients of prominent awards. Antichamber previously won the Technical Excellence category at the Independent Games Festival, grabbed a top spot for the mod category at the Make Something Unreal Contest, and many other accolades.

Other award-winning titles Indie Fund has backed include Facepalm Games' The Swapper, Pocketwatch Games' Monaco, Toxic Games' Q.U.B.E., and Thechineseroom's Dear Esther -- the latter two have already released and recouped their Indie Fund investments not long after their debuts.

Red Invasion: Milkstone Does Tower Defense On XBLIG

April 3, 2012 1:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Infinity Danger and Little Racers: Street developer Milkstone Studios tackles the tower defense genre with its latest Xbox Live Indie Games release, Red Invasion.

Boasting some rather nice visuals, Red Invasion equips players with 8 tower types across 30 missions. One interesting feature: if being able to pan and zoom the 3D camera proves overwhelming for you, the game includes a "retro camera mode," which locks the view to an isometric perspective.

Red Invasion is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Indie Developers Earned Much More in 2011

April 2, 2012 8:00 PM | John Polson

U.S. independent game developers working by themselves or in teams earned a lot more money last year, according to Game Developer's 2011 Game Industry Salary Survey.

While salaries remained virtually flat for the mainstream U.S. game industry last year, individual indie developers more than doubled their average earning from $11,379 in 2010 to $23,549 in 2011.

Members of independent developer teams also made significantly more in 2011, bringing in an average of $38,239, compared to $26,780 in the previous year. Independent contractors averaged $56,282 in 2011 (up $800 from 2010).

Those numbers might not look great to a senior developer accustomed to triple-A salaries, but if you're tired of working on sequels or just looking to break in the industry, there are more avenues available for you than ever before.

PAX East Trailer: Orcs Must Die! 2 (Robot Entertainment)

April 2, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

Robot Entertainment, formed in 2009 by a number of veterans from Age of Empires developer Ensemble Studios, has announced a sequel to its popular strategy game Orcs Must Die!

Orcs Must Die! 2 follows on from the story of the original, and will feature much of the same gameplay as the first release, with a new campaign and new content. Orcs Must Die! was one of Gamasutra's top games of 2011.

The sequel is due to be released for Windows PC this summer via Steam and other digital distribution platforms. Robot Entertainment will have a playable version of Orcs Must Die! 2 at booth 1172 during PAX East, which runs from April 6th to 8th in Boston, Massachusetts.

[Newsbrief from Mike Rose on sister site Gamasutra, trailer from Robot Entertainment.]

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