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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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GDC 2012: The Takeaway

April 2, 2012 1:45 PM | jeriaska

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Scott Anderson, presenting at GDC 2012

Last month, we caught up with attendees of the 2012 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco to hear what they have gained from the experience. Scott Anderson, Marc ten Bosch, Rami Ismail, Doseone, Dajana Dimovska and Lau Korsgaard join us to share their thoughts on the GDC takeaway.

Scott Anderson
Lead programmer, Shadow Physics

When I first started going to GDC, it was a networking thing. Since I've been going for so many years, worked in different places in the industry and met so many people, it's interesting to see all these people that I haven't seen in years and catch up with them. Now the main focus for me is as a social event. I can discuss with people what's new in games and where they should be headed.

In your talk on Shadow Physics, did you feel the need to balance politics with frankness?

I didn't want to be overly political, because it's already such a consumer-focused industry, with so many PR people blocking you from saying things. I was in the unique situation of being able to say how I really felt. The reason I didn't take that opportunity to burn bridges and throw people under the bus was that I feel that's not constructive. It was important to me to look critically: at myself, my team members, and the project. The feedback that I got on my talk was that people liked it, but felt it was very harsh, very real. That's what I was going for.

Review: Closure (Eyebrow Interactive)

April 1, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson


Eyebrow Interactive's Closure -- Independent Games Festival, Indie Game Challenge, and Indiecade winner -- has its most important challenge to overcome: winning your hard-earned dollar. After spending a frustratingly fun weekend with the physics- and light-based puzzle platformer, the trio of developers definitely makes a compelling case for your cash.

Tyler Glaiel has taken his 2009 browser game, in which light is required to move in seemingly empty space, and expanded the experience into a full-fledged, downloadable title. Controls are tight and explained in-game, and new mechanics are introduced throughout at a gripping pace.

The premise of using light to open up the game space may sound like a mere gimmick, but Eyebrow doesn't stop there. The team innovates with refracting light, permanently illuminating light-capturing sources, creating light-based pathways, charging and opening doors with light-based locks, and more. There are other physics-based objects that add to Closure's puzzles, including rolling barrels, moving light sources in water, and even a frickin' laser beam.

Geex Games Releases Puzzler Hop And Pop For XBLIG

April 1, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

The Fall of Gods developer Geex Games has released Hop and Pop, an XBLIG puzzler with unique competitive gameplay mechanics.

Boasting the tagline "some fun for smart people," (what) Hop and Pop puts two players in a single playfield that slowly fills with colored tiles. Players score points by pushing or blasting like-colored tiles and creating chains. The game offers two distinct gameplay modes, along with a selection of unlockable in-game awards.

Hop and Pop is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

PAX East Trailer: Charlie Murder (Ska Studios)

March 31, 2012 11:45 PM | John Polson

One of many indies to make a PAX East appearance next weekend, Ska Studios will bring XBLA-destined Charlie Murder with its four-player, simultaneous action. Not attending PAX East with 3 friends? No worries! The game currently supports drop-in, so either you or another expo attendee can play at your leisure.

Four players is a step up from Ska Studios' last title, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, which only featured a 2-player mode. Charlie Murder seems to have enough action going on to keep even four players busy, too. In addition to loads of gory brawls, the trailer teases high speed vehicle sequences, beast riding, music jamming sequences, tattoo parlors (character customization, perhaps?), and even more gore, for good measure.

Upon inspection of the YouTube link, Ska Studios describes Charlie Murder as an "RPG brawler hybrid inspired in equal parts by coin-op beat 'em ups and dungeon crawlers." Charlie Murder's official website lacks information right now, but Ska Studios has uploaded 20 high-quality photos for inspection. Unfortunately, the developer has not announced a release date.

Austin Wintory Shares Alternate flOw and Journey Tunes

March 31, 2012 1:45 PM | jeriaska

journey-soundtrack_tn.jpgSince the release of Thatgamecompany's Journey for PlayStation 3, composer Austin Wintory has been interacting with those experiencing the game by conducting a musical email newsletter through Fanbridge.

The musician has linked to a bundle of music files in the introduction to the free service, making a dozen game-related pieces available for download. The music in mp3 format includes "Threshold" acoustic mix from Journey, the Journey theme done entirely with flOw sounds, and numerous alternate arrangements and interpretations of music from flOw.

Liner notes for each piece have been included by the composer in the Fanbridge newsletter. For those looking to savor the instrumental flavor of Journey on the go, or reawaken some memories of flOw, the Fanbridge page has much to offer, and arrives in anticipation of the Journey official soundtrack album, due out April 10 on iTunes and PlayStation Network.

On the horizon for Austin Wintory is scoring Andy Schatz's IGF award recipient Monaco. The composer discusses his approach to all three of the independently developed titles mentioned in this article in our interview for the IndieGames podcast, recorded just prior to this year's Game Developers Conference.

Source: Austin Wintory Fanbridge page

Dust: An Elysian Tail To Be Showcased At Microsoft's XBLA Booth At PAX East

March 31, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Dean Dodrill revealed that his Dream.Build.Play-winning platformer Dust: An Elysian Tail will be featured at Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade booth at PAX East.

An Elysian Tail will be showcased alongside other high-profile upcoming releases like Trials Evolution, Deadlight, and Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition. All featured titles will be playable on the show floor.

Microsoft occupies Booth #524 at the expo, which will be held next weekend in Boston.

Upcoming Sega Dreamcast Shooter Sturmwind Gets Major Update, New Levels

March 30, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Redspotgames has released a new batch of screenshots for its in-development Sega Dreamcast shoot-'em-up Sturmwind, revealing a redesigned interface and new levels that are presented in a top-down perspective.

The screenshots showcase a new HUD in which the weapon selection bar is moved to the upper-right corner of the screen. The energy bar featured in previous versions has also been removed, in response to player feedback.

Interestingly, Sega itself recently showed off a demo version of the game in a retro-focused episode of the Destructoid Live Show, which you can see above. It's definitely cool to see Sega promoting indie Dreamcast developers! A release date for Sturmwind has not been announced.

2D DotA-Inspired Awesomenauts Has Release Dates!

March 30, 2012 6:08 PM | Cassandra Khaw



While this may not be a particularly exciting piece of news for those who are not thoroughly obsessed with DotA (Defense of the Ancients), those who do enjoy the game should probably do a bit of rejoicing right this minute. Awesomenauts is, in a word, awesome. A 2D sidescrolling DotA-inspired masterpiece from the makers of Swords & Soldiers, The PSN version of Awesomenauts will be out in North America on May 1st. The rest of the world will be able to access the game the following day.

I had the opportunity to check out the game sometime last year and I was completely smitten. It isn't just the art style. It's everything. I particularly adored the clever way they handled death in the game and how they implemented neutral camps here.

Curious? Check out the website here.

Trailer: Worms Revolution (Team 17)

March 30, 2012 7:30 AM | Lewie Procter



Did you want another Worms game? Well you're getting one. Team 17 are working on a brand new version of Worms. It's a side on/turn based entry in the series, with 3D graphics, nice looking flowing water and lots of explosions. Here's what they have to say about Worms Revolution:

"The game has been developed from the ground up and features a completely new game-engine. Exciting new features and challenges have been introduced whilst old favourites such as the Super Sheep and Holy Hand Grenade remain to thrill fans worldwide."

Looks fine to me, but it's been a long time since I've been too excited about another worms game.

It's heading to PC and consoles in Q3 of this year. More on Worms Revolution as we have it.

Thatgamecompany's Executive Producer also Leaves, Joins Tiny Speck

March 30, 2012 7:00 AM | John Polson

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Robin Hunicke, executive producer at Journey developer thatgamecompany, is the latest to leave the studio, as she joins Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi at Tiny Speck.

Hunicke's resignation follows several other recent departures from Thatgamecompany right after it released critically acclaimed and commercially successful PlayStation Network game Journey -- this morning, co-founder and president Kellee Santiago revealed that she was leaving the Los Angeles-based company.

Two other veterans from the team, producer/designer Chris Bell and "feel engineer" John Nesky, also recently left the developer to form The Willderness. Thatgamecompany's creative director and co-founder Jenova Chen remains at the studio, which is already working on a new project.

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