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

February 24, 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 Electronic Arts, SCEA Santa Monica, Playdom, 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:

Gas Powered Games: Level Designer:
"Creator of Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander, and Demigod, Gas Powered Games is an award-winning independent game developer, located in the Pacific Northwest. GPG is looking for the most talented artists, engineers, and designers to join our team."

Playdom: Server Programmer:
"Playdom produces a diverse portfolio of casual games for the rapidly growing platform of social networks, including Facebook and MySpace. With over 47 million monthly users and #1 rated games, Playdom is one of the fastest-growing social game developers, offering high quality community entertainment experiences."

Retro City Rampage Soundtrack Out Now

February 23, 2012 1:00 PM | Lewie Procter

musicofrcr1Tnologo.png If you like your music filled with intense pounding beepy sounds, and perhaps you've got a bit of nostalgia for late 80s/early 90s game soundtracks, then you might be interested to know that Brian Provinciano's upcoming Retro City Rampage has got an era appropriate score, and it's available to buy now.

In an display of serious dedication to the retro aesthetic, the soundtrack is available not just as a download, but on a big plastic disc. Something called a "Vinyl Record". The Vinyl version includes a download for the digital version, a poster, a CD case, and some pretty damn rad artwork.

The Vinyl release is limited to 500 copies, so get in quick if you've got your heart set on it.

Get a taster of what the game's music will sound like via this 10 minute demo.

Interview: Silver Dollar uses XBLIG for its mad experiments

February 23, 2012 5:00 AM | John Polson

one finger death punch GAMA.jpgIf you've dabbled in Xbox Live Indie Games, then you'll no doubt have crossed paths with Silver Dollar Games. This is a development team that doesn't take itself very seriously, and has released games with titles such as Try Not To Fart and Shoot or Date.

"We really enjoy making our games, even though we know some people explode with rage at the sight of some of them," explains Silver Dollar's Jon Flook to Gamasutra.

"We don't have a reputation for making games like Homeless, Sins of the Flesh and Fatal Seduction [all XBLIG releases from Silver Dollar] as those games remain unnoticed. These forgotten games represent our thoughts and ideas."

He continues, "We've heard people say things like 'I think Silver Dollar Games must lend their account out to their friends who just put crap on there... People can't seem to believe that someone could make a game like Blow and then follow it up with a joke like You Will Buy This Terrible Game."

"To be frank, we feel we're relatively unknown anyway. We enjoy making silly games and the reputation that goes along with that is OK with us, as long as people are having fun or getting a laugh from our games."

Some may question why Silver Dollar continues to target the XBLIG platform, given the poor sales and support associated with it. Flook suggests that XBLIG is a great place for throwing ideas out there and seeing what sticks.

PS Vita Launches, Indie Titles Earn Great (But Few) Reviews

February 23, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

vita indiegames.jpg The PlayStation Vita launches today in both wifi and 3G models in the US and EU territories. Digital titles Super Stardust Delta, Escape Plan, and Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!! have hit the US PlayStation Network, and Frobisher Says is a free preorder incentive to those in Europe.

Independent studio Housemarque brings Super Stardust Delta, a spherical arena shooter that uses the dual analog sticks to handle the core mechanics. It also makes use of Vita's touchscreen to create black holes and fire missiles and tilt mechanics to view what's on the other side of the planet. The action looks pretty frantic and fun below:

Fun Bits Interactive (whose producers worked on Fat Princess) made touch-intensive puzzle platformer Escape Plan for the Vita. Players swipe, squeeze, poke, slap, and tilt to manipulate the characters and interact with the environments. Escape Plan also has pretty slick gray-scale visuals:

Vince Webb Invites Devs to Step into His Indie Loop Garden

February 22, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

pixel rock.jpgIndie Loop Garden is a sort of match-making site for developers to add custom sound in their indie games. The site was created by Vince Webb and has a pretty strong lineup of audio talent behind it, with such soundtracks as Fez (Rich Vreeland), Hydorah (G87), Soulcaster(Ian Stocker) and Aiko Island (Sean Beeson).

The website seeks to offer a service to developers who prefer to invest in high quality custom sound for their projects. "Our site is aimed at connecting them with these composers of different musical styles to save them the trouble of trawling through forums as well as equipping them with some useful resources along the way," says Webb. "We strongly believe that original tailored sound is integral in creating a special gameplay experience."

I spoke with Rich Vreeland (Disasterpeace) briefly about the new site. He says that he can't yet speak about any experiences with jobs from the website, given the site is only a few days old. While I recognized some of the audio developers on the list, I wondered if any more would or could join. Vreeland replied, "I don't believe we're looking for more members at this point. We're all focusing on certain styles of music so as to not over-compete with each other. If we had more members that would make things more difficult to manage."

The site appeared a little bare-bones, so I asked what he thought could help improve its current state. "Word of mouth, feedback from composers and developers, regular content, a professional layout, these are some things that could help improve the site over time."

Vreeland also clarified what Indie Loop Garden offers that other audio dev forums or portals do not. "Indie Loop Garden is a direct connection to some pretty good composers who are expecting to be contacted. Forums and portals are great too, but Vince is trying to appeal to folks who might be prone to buying 'ready made' music, or folks who might be looking for a go-to place."

IndieGoGo: Game Jam The Documentary

February 21, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson


Game Jam The Documentary is the latest slice-of-indie film looking to gauge audience interest. The IndieGoGo slogan is "4 Teams 4 Games 48 Hours. An in depth look into game jams and the experience of creating a game under extreme pressure."

Troy Morrissey and Ryan Cox have less than 10 days to reach their $4,500 goal. The fundraiser is for the film team to travel to GDC to speak to jammers from around the world. Interviews with the following are planned if they can afford their trip: Matt Hammill-creator of Gesundheit!, Miguel Sternberg-Spooky Squid Games, Chris Hecker-Indie Game Jam, Gorm Lai-Global Game Jam, Ian Schreiber-Global Game Jam, Martin Jonasson-No More Sweden, and Mike Kasprzak-Ludum Dare/Sykhronics Entertainment.

I found a local session of the latest Global Game Jam I attended to be quite exciting. I hope this project has captured and can present those moments of "extreme pressure" to make for a truly compelling piece. Game Jam The Documentary asks for your financial support today.

Report: Indie games get prominent shortcut on U.S. 360 dashboard

February 18, 2012 10:48 PM | John Polson

360dash.jpgWith this week's new Xbox 360 dashboard update, Microsoft has reorganized its marketplace layout, giving indie games a dedicated shortcut within the existing Games tab.

This move could ease the woes of many Xbox Live Indie Game developers, who have often lamented the obscure placement of the Indie Games section on the Xbox 360 dashboard.

The independent publication Indie Game Magazine reports that Indie Games are now featured right alongside the Arcade and On Demand shortcuts, whereas previously the Indie section was buried within a sub-menu in a section titled Game Type.

Interestingly, Microsoft's official announcement of the recent update does not mention any changes to the marketplace, noting only that the patch is intended to increase performance and fix minor bugs.

So far, the U.S. is the only reported region to receive the new marketplace layout. Microsoft did not immediately respond when contacted by Gamasutra for more information.

Previously, Microsoft has declined to comment directly on the placement of the Indie Games section, but has instead encouraged indie developers to maintain consistent marketing campaigns for their titles, or organize promotions like the Indie Games Summer Uprising.

[This article was written by Tom Curtis and originally appeared on Gamasutra. Image credit: Indie Game Magazine]

PAX East Boston (Mobile) Indie Showcase Lineup Announced

February 18, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

pax east boston indie showcase.jpgPenny Arcade's massive consumer expo, PAX East, recently announced the six indie games they will showcase. Expo planners decided to showcase smart phone games exclusively this year because "not many [indie game competitions] seem to focus specifically on the mobile platforms."

These are the six indie games:

*Bean's Quest by Kumobius (iOS)
*Girls Like Robots by Popcannibal (Android)
*Lawnmower Challenge by Lunar Enigma (iOS)
*Not Without You by Bad Pilcrow (Windows Mobile)
*SpellTower by stfj (iOS)
*Super Crate Box by Vlambeer (iOS)

PAX East is one of the largest consumer gaming events, reaching almost 70,000 attendees last year. This week the event organizers sealed the deal with the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority to keep the event in Boston through 2023.

PAX East 2012 runs April 6-8 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. While three-day tickets are sold out, single-day tickets are still available for purchase.

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

February 17, 2012 5:00 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 Ready At Dawn Studios, Bungie, Humanature Studios, 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:

Bungie LLC: Game Programming:
"Now located in Bellevue, WA, Bungie was founded in 1991 with two simple goals: develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, compelling stories and deep gameplay, and sell enough copies to achieve our real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years, we have produced games such as the Marathon Trilogy and the first two Myth games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world.

Bungie's Halo franchise is an international award-winning action franchise that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon, selling more than 25 million units worldwide, spawning best-selling novels and award winning soundtracks. Players have logged nearly 2 billion hours of multiplayer action over Xbox LIVE, created millions of pieces of user created content, and established a ravenous fan community."

HumaNature Studios: Lead Designer:
"HumaNature Studios is a small studio in Albany Ca. that is run by 30-year game industry veteran Greg Johnson. (ToeJam & Earl, Starflight, and lots of other games). We are a small studio of experienced, self-directed friends on a mission to create games that bring more joy and humanity into the world....hence the name of our studio.

We're embarking on a new first party title for a major Japanese publisher. The game is sweet and charming and very quirky. It targets a cross-gender audience and a broad age-range in the U.S., Japan, Korea, and Europe. It also happens to push the boundaries of interactive emotional A.I. and visual story-telling."

Documentary Trailer: Us and the Game Industry

February 17, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

A new indie documentary challenger has appeared! Whereas Indie Game: The Movie takes viewers on a roller coaster ride of indie game development, Us and the Game Industry aims to explore specifically those indie developers who are "reinventing the medium of game design and challenging the established norms with their finely crafted work."

As further described on the Vimeo page, "Us and the Game Industry is a film about the new thinkers at the new frontier of experimental computer game development." Those new thinkers chosen for the trailer are thatgamecompany (Flower, Journey), Spry Fox (Realm of the Mad God, Steambirds: Survival), and Jason Rohrer (Sleep is Death, Inside a Star-filled Sky). "This film will explore how their motivation, design process, focus and execution are creating unique and new possibilities of connecting people and providing the possibility for uncharted experiences outside the normal realm of commercial games."

As of this writing, the Us and the Game Industry official site is under construction. When more information becomes available, if you all are interested, I'll definitely share it!

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