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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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IGN's The Next Game Boss 2.2: I Can't Quit You

February 8, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

Go ahead and indulge in another 15 minutes of indie reality TV fun, where devs are competing to be in the next Indie Open House at IGN. No one has to know.

After pitching a game concept in the first episode of The Next Game Boss 2, the teams here have three hours to prototype a playable core mechanic of a video game. This prototype has to be based on their pitch from the first challenge.

The two minutes of TV spent on the prototyping phase achieved a decent balance of drama and actual development, but I could easily have seen 15 more minutes of the development process (hint to IGN to release extra, unedited footage).

While only two minutes were spent on prototyping, almost 4 minutes were given to the team's presentations, which is probably what the general audience goes to IGN to see: games. I agree with the judge's choice for immunity. It was exciting to see (semi-spoiler) a core mechanic and a team with such versatility, going from the bottom to the top so quickly.

Out Now: Shank 2 (XBLA/PSN/PC)

February 8, 2012 1:00 PM | Lewie Procter

It's time to get your Shank on. Again. Klei Entertainment have spent the last 18 months busy working away on a follow up to their beautiful but brutal sidescrolling kill 'em up, and have now unleashed it on the world. Shank's back, and he's still clearly got some anger issues.

This sequel comes with an all new coop-survival mode that supports local and online play, a "brand new redesigned weapon system", and lots of baddies waiting to be cut, stabbed, shot, punched, chainsawed and even shanked.

Grab Shank 2 via XBLA, PSN, Steam or Origin, or at least give the demo a try. I wonder how come the Steam price is higher than the Origin price (in GBP and Euros anyway).

A Voxel Action: 2.5D Platforming For Xbox Live Indie Games

February 8, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

This week, Japanese developer NeoBlogKossy launched A Voxel Action, its debut title for the Xbox Live Indie Games platform.

A Voxel Action is fairly straightforward, as far as gameplay goes. As is tradition in platformers, players can expect to hop chasms, stomp enemies, and collect new powers that allow them to progress through increasingly complex levels.

The presentation is remarkable, however -- everything in the game is represented as a collection of cubes (ala 3D Dot Game Heroes), and multiple camera angles can be toggled during gameplay, making some segments easier to navigate. I especially like the block-breaking glitter effect, and the boxy little trail of smoke that follows your character when he runs.

A Voxel Action is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Sanctum 2 Announced for PC/XBLA/PSN

February 7, 2012 1:00 PM | Lewie Procter

sanctum2.png Coffee Stain Studios have just told the folks over at Joystiq about their upcoming sequel to Sanctum, their impressive FPS/Tower Defence hybrid that has already sold over 300,000 on Steam alone. Second time around, they're going to be targeting Xbox Live Arcade and PSN in addition to PC.

Ted Lange, executive producer at Reverb Publishing who are partnering with Coffee Stain for this sequel, said this to Joystiq:

"Sanctum has been a huge success on Steam for Coffee Stain Studios, and bringing the next version to console players as well as the PC market is a great next step to share this unique experience. We all have logged quite a few hours with Sanctum and can definitively say that what Coffee Stain has in store for Sanctum 2 will blow the minds of Sanctum fans and new gamers alike."

It's due out sometime in 2013, so it's not out for some time yet, but it's definitely on our radar. If you're quick, the original game is on sale over at Steam for another few hours. More on Sanctum 2 as we have it.

Trailer: One Finger Death Punch (XBLIG, Silver Dollar Games)

February 7, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Silver Dollar Games has released a teaser trailer for its next Xbox Live Indie Games release, the kung-fu brawler One Finger Death Punch.

The game distills brawler mechanics into a quick series of button presses -- no directional input is required. The developer describes it as "gaming's first rail-fighter."

While development is not yet complete, the over-the-top presentation makes it seem engrossing enough, and it looks like there are multiple difficulty levels, if jamming on the A button alone isn't enough of a challenge for you. No release date has been announced.

IGF 2012 Audience Award Opens Voting

February 6, 2012 7:00 PM | John Polson

IGF2012.jpg[In this note to indie game fans, Independent Games Festival Chairman Brandon Boyer announces public voting to pick this year's IGF Audience Award from among all of the Main Competition finalist games for this year.]

It's time to have your say for the best Independent Games Festival game of 2012! We've just opened public voting for this year's Audience Award, with all members of the public and the indie game community eligible to vote.

As we've done in prior years, we're allowing voting for any game chosen as a finalist in the festival, as opposed to just those with public PC demos. This is because many of the titles have been playable at other indie game events - or have Beta and other OS versions that many indie game fans may have checked out.

To be part of this year's vote, simply visit the IGF Audience Award page and download any of the games or demos that are currently publicly available (each has been marked whether there's a version for you to purchase or otherwise download). When you've made up your mind, return to vote for your favorite.

After voting and inputting your email address, you'll need to verify your vote by clicking on a link sent to that email. Voting will be open from now until Sunday, February 19th at midnight PST -- go check it out now and start making your way through the games!

Trailer: Little Racers: Street (Milkstone Studios)

February 6, 2012 5:00 PM | Lewie Procter

As a follow up to their 2009 XBLIG racing game, Little Racers, Milkstone Studios have just released Little Racers: Street. Unsurprisingly, this one takes place on streets, and it looks like it's quite fun.

The camera viewpoint is vaguely reminiscent of the Micro Machines games. The cars actually look like they are normal sized to me, just with the camera zoomed out really far. Perhaps it's taking place in a model city...

It's available now for 80 MS points, with a free demo. More in game footage over here. If you prefer your racing games to be 16 bit-esque, you can get the original Little Racers here.

DrinkBox Studios Details PS Vita Platformer Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack

February 6, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

DrinkBox Studios has revealed new details regarding its upcoming PlayStation Vita-exclusive puzzle-platformer Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack.

Like its PlayStation 3 predecessor title Tales From Space: About a Blob, Mutant Blobs Attack's side-scrolling gameplay focuses on character growth via Katamari Damacy-like object accumulation. The sequel uses the Vita's hardware to create a more puzzle-like experience, however -- players can use the Vita's touch screen to move environmental objects, and can tap the rear touch panel to apply boost during flight sequences.

DrinkBox describes additional powerups and tilt-based bonus levels in its PlayStation Blog post, and delivers what I choose to interpret as a sick burn to Michael Jackson: The Experience in the process. Mutant Blobs Attack is scheduled for a first-quarter release as a PlayStation Network digital download in North America and Europe.

Retro Dungeon Crawler LCD Dungeon System Debuts For XBLIG

February 5, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

How hardcore are you when it comes to first-person dungeon crawlers? Do the modern conveniences of Etrian Odyssey disgust you? Do you feel that the genre took a turn for the worse when the Wizardry series introduced "graphics" and "color?" Would you feel the need to correct me if Wizardry wasn't actually the first game to introduce these things?

If so, you may want to have a look at We Love Hamsters Software's LCD Dungeon System, a retro dungeon crawling experience for Xbox Live Indie Games. All of the genre's core elements are here -- hit points, monsters, treasure, and so on -- only they're simplified to the point that the game could easily be replicated on a watch or calculator.

There's still a surprising amount of depth here, however. The game includes seven floors in all, and the teleportation traps on the later levels are bound to extend the game's length by a significant degree. I'm especially fond of the automap feature -- it's hand-drawn on graph paper!

LCD Dungeon System is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Get a job: Visceral Games, 2K Marin, and others hiring now on the Gamasutra jobs board

February 3, 2012 5:00 PM | 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 Visceral Games, 2K Marin, Sony Computer Entertainment America, 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:

Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC: Senior Online Programmer:
"Be a part of the most exciting and innovating computer entertainment in North America. Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets, and distributes software for the PS one console, the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems and the PlayStation Portable (PSP)."

2K Marin: FX Artist - XCOM:
"2K Games develops and publishes top-line PC, console, and handheld entertainment software with a strong concentration in three distinct categories: sports, high profile licenses and specialty product. Some of the hit titles in 2K's lineup include the critically-praised Bioshock, Sid Meier's Civilization IV, and The Darkness.

At 2K Games our goal is simple: Make games that are the best in the genre and have fun doing it. 2K Games is proudly developing a series of critically acclaimed games. Owned by Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), 2K Games is a successful, stable company that produces high-quality titles every year."

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