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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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Kickstarter: Fist Puncher (Team2Bit)

March 30, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

Team2Bit describes XBLIG and PC project Fist Puncher, currently on Kickstarter, as a cross between Double Dragon and Castle Crashers. I played a few stages of it at GDC with the brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee Jake and Matt Lewandowski and can confirm that's pretty true. We three socialized while beating 20-30 characters on the screen at once, and it felt like the old (good Konami) arcade games were hungry for mere quarters, but with RPG elements sprinkled on top.

The team has 30 days left to reach its $10,000 goal, and they are almost 20% there, as of this writing. But, wait? This team need even more after winning IGN's The Next Game Boss competition? The prizes -- two Unity Pro licenses, two Adobe Premiere licenses, and an Origin gaming PC -- actually don't help much here.

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

March 30, 2012 1:00 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 Eidos Montreal, NetherRealm Studios, Irrational Games, 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:

Eidos Montreal: R&D Programmer:
"Eidos Montréal is the creation and unfolding of an exceptional enterprise. Our objective is to rapidly assert ourselves as a studio where the most talented developers and testers from all over the world will want to work. We have a lot going for us: first class international projects, leading edge technologies, solid relationships within our teams, and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere."

Mob Science: Senior PHP Engineer (Backend):
"Join us as we build our next generation of high quality flash social games. Mob Science is looking for talented a engineer with a strong computer science background and experience in social networking games. You will be working as an integral part on a team of developers driving products from planning and inception to launch."

Changes at Thatgamecompany: Santiago Departs, New Game Underway

March 29, 2012 11:00 PM | John Polson

kellee santiago gama.jpg

Just off a wave of critical acclaim for Thatgamecompany's newest PlayStation Network title, Journey, big changes are afoot at the studio: As the studio begins work on a new game, co-founder and president Kellee Santiago departs.

Gamasutra sources say that other key staff departures may be forthcoming as well. Santiago declined to confirm or to speak to her colleagues' plans, but suggested future announcements are 'likely.' As for her own departure, it's entirely amicable, Santiago tells us, explaining that it's simply time to seek new challenges.

Santiago co-founded the studio six years ago with creative director Jenova Chen, but the two first teamed up even prior to Thatgamecompany. While they were University of Southern California students, Chen and Santiago worked together on an experimental game called Cloud, and launched the company based on a mutual vision to create new forms of expression through video games.

Thatgamecompany, which has enjoyed much support from Sony, has released PSN titles FlOw, Flower and Journey, and the most recent game is viewed by many critics and fans as the attainment of the style and vision for which the studio aimed through the first two.

"After doing these three games, I think it was a really great opportunity for all of us to look at what we've learned and what I've taken from that experience, and go forth and take it into new arenas," Santiago tells Gamasutra.

Journey Smashes PSN Sales Records

March 29, 2012 8:00 PM | Lewie Procter

journeyi2b.png Thatgamecompany's Journey, a beautiful game about going all the way from a to b, has broken the sales records for games on Sony's Playstation Store. Congratulations are in order. Here's the quote direct from the Playstation blog:

"Journey has officially broken PlayStation Network and PlayStation Store sales records, surpassing all games ever released on the PlayStation Network to become the fastest-selling game ever released on PlayStation Store, in both the SCEA and SCEE regions"

If you enjoyed the games wonderful score (which you can get a little sample of here), they have also dropped news that there's going to be a full release of the soundtrack via iTunes, PSN & a limited CD release on April 11.

Maybe I'll bump in to you next time I play it.

Trailer: The Splatters (SpikySnail)

March 29, 2012 6:00 PM | Lewie Procter

The Splatters, originally titled Confetti Carnival, is close to release, so here's a trailer showing off it's gooey brand of physics puzzle fun.

It's a sticky icky game about flinging splatter into walls, sticking them to each other, and triggering explosions and getting lots of points. It's got bright, colourful graphics, and the fluid animations are pretty sweet.

The Splatters is due out on April 11th for 800 MS points via XBLA, and will be hitting the PC at some point in the future. More info over at the developers website.

FEZ Comes to XBLA on Friday the 13th

March 29, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

As updated on Polytron Corporation's website, the IGF 2012 Seumas McNally Grand Prize winner FEZ is coming to Xbox Live Arcade on April 13, 2012 and will retail for 800 MS points ($10). Typically Wednesdays serve as the official release day for XBLA titles, but somehow the Fish got a magical Friday release.

The company says on Twitter that FEZ will be an international release. The Twitter account also states that FEZ is localized in "French, Italian, German, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Iberian Portuguese."

Trailer: Lumberjack (Bytown)

March 28, 2012 8:00 PM | Lewie Procter

The arcades may be dead, but with 16-bit throwbacks like Lumberjack cropping up on places like xbox live indie games, it's easy enough to get a fix of sidescrolling beat 'em up fun.

Lumberjack by Bytown tells the tale of one man and his axe seeking revenge on a forest and it's inhabitants.It support coop play for up to four players, give you a range of weapons and upgrades, and features a hell of a lot of blood.

It's available right now for 80 MS Points, and there's a free demo. Why not give it a try.

[Hat tip to Retro Remakes for spotting this one]

Indie Game: The Mega64 Movie

March 28, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

No one is safe from Mega64, not even Indie Game: The Movie's directors and their superstar subjects. Mega64's hilarious take on Indie Game: The Movie originally premiered at the Indie Games Festival at GDC 2012. If you haven't seen the documentary yet, this spoof doesn't contain any content that the previous IG:TM trailers haven't showed.

Is Mega64's spoof any less awesome, weeks after its debut? Not for me. What's more, this epic parody only further elevates Indie Game: The Movie, which is currently on a North American screening tour.

[ Source: Indie Game The Movie ]

Get Rich Or Die Gaming Sequel Rock Bottom Hits XBLIG

March 26, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Baller Industries left an unexpectedly strong impression on the Xbox Live Indie Games marketplace with the release of the comedic adventure game Get Rich or Die Gaming in 2010. Bolstered by its risque box art and unusual premise (quick recap: kicked out of his house for playing too much DotA, protagonist Wilson Cooper sells drugs to support his habit), the game quickly became a top seller.

Baller Industries followed up on its debut with the release of the brawler spin-off Let's Get Fiscal earlier this year. This week at last brings the release of a direct sequel, Rock Bottom. which chronicles Cooper's escape from prison and his awkward attempts to reintegrate with society.

Rock Bottom's gameplay has been streamlined in a traditional point-and-click interface, and the art has seen a marked improvement over Get Rich or Die Gaming. The characters even animate when they talk! Well, some of them do, anyway. There's also much more voiced dialogue, and the game features a dozen or so speaking roles across its hour-long quest.

I was a fan of Get Rich or Die Gaming -- the humor isn't for everyone, but the story was so ridiculous that it ended up winning me over in the end. Rock Bottom is a worthy follow-up, even if it does falter slightly in its latter half with uneven dialogue and the unfortunate addition of a crafting component. I enjoyed it quite a bit otherwise!

Rock Bottom is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1). A third chapter in the series will be released in May.

Nicalis: Japanese Gaming Doesn't Suck, Indies need to "realize their potential"

March 26, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

tyrone_rodriguez.jpgNicalis' Tyrone Rodriguez has a keen eye for publishing indie titles and the creative talent to make his own. His company developed and self-published NightSky in addition to localizing and enhancing Cave Story for PC and almost every console in 2011. Nicalis ended the year strong, releasing Terry Cavanagh's highly-acclaimed VVVVVV on the 3DS eShop.

While 2012 has not yet seen many major reveals for Nicalis aside from bringing Ikachan to DSiWare, there has been no lack of indie craze with other developers. In particular, after an Indie Game: The Movie screening at GDC, Western-focused developers such as Jonathan Blow and Phil Fish expressed their distaste with most modern Japanese games. I decided to speak with Rodriguez recently to see if Japanese games have been giving him the same bad taste, what he thought about the current indie scene, and what's in store for Nicalis in 2012.

I begun our talk asking about any Japanese indie titles he finds interesting, to which Rodriguez didn't have any particular enlightening points. He suggested popular doujin series such as Touhou, which he personally wishes "would just go away." With the task of pointing out great indie titles from Japan (aside from Pixel's) a little difficult, I expanded the question to modern, mainstream Japanese games that were not crap. "What's modern?" he asked.

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