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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 to host special Indie Game: The Movie screening, panel

January 30, 2012 9:28 PM | John Polson

igtm.jpgToday, organizers of the 2012 Game Developers Conference announced that the award-winning Indie Game: The Movie will receive its own special screening at this year's San Francisco show.

In fact, not only will attendees get to check out the film -- which took home a Best Editing award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival -- they will also get the chance to sit in on a special panel with the film's featured subjects and creators following the screening.

When the event begins, attendees will be able to watch the full film, which details the chronicles of indie developers and IGF nominees/winners Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes (Super Meat Boy), Phil Fish (Fez), and Jonathan Blow (Braid), exploring their dramatic journeys as they created and released their games to the world.

The subsequent panel, moderated by former IGF host, Revision 3's Anthony Carboni, will feature all four of the film's featured developers, as well as directors Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky, all of whom will offer new insight and personal stories from throughout the film's creation.

The event will take place Monday, March 5th at 6PM PT, and is free to all GDC pass holders on a first come, first served basis.

To register for a pass, please check out the show's official website -- early registration ends Thursday, February 2, and attendees can order soon to save up to 35 percent on full price passes.

For even more information on Game Developers Conference 2012, be sure to keep an eye on the official GDC news blog, which continues to showcase the show's newest announcements and additions.

To make sure you don't miss any of these announcements, please subscribe to updates from the GDC news page via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC 2012 will take place March 5 through March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and is owned and operated by Gamasutra parent company UBM TechWeb.

[This post originally appeared on Gamasutra.]

Classic RTS Dark Reign Redux Launches For XBLIG, PC Version In Development

January 30, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

darkereign.jpg

Magnetar Games has released Dark Reign Redux, an upgraded Xbox Live Indie Games version of Auran's 1997 PC real-time strategy game Dark Reign: The Future of War.

A sprite-based RTS in the vein of Westwood's Command & Conquer series, Dark Reign features a story in which "humans have fled a toxic, dying Earth to live in newly established colonies spread out across the known galaxy." A PC release is also in the works.

The XBLIG version of Dark Reign Redux is priced at 400 Microsoft points ($5). A free browser-based trial version of Dark Reign Redux is available to play at Magnetar's website, though neither a price nor a release date has been announced for the upcoming PC edition.

Get a job: Rockstar, LucasArts, others hiring now on the Gamasutra jobs board

January 27, 2012 11:00 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 Rockstar, LucasArts, Blizzard Entertainment, 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:

Magic Pixel Games Generalist Programmer: Tools Focus:
"Magic Pixel Games was founded in 2010 by the core members that developed the award-winning Steven Spielberg's Boom Blox. Much of our team has worked together for almost a decade, and we've now struck out on our own to continue our tradition of creating extraordinary games. Our first product was launched in 2011: Carnival Island, developed with Sony Santa Monica Studio.

We're now building a team as we ramp up for our second project, which again, strives to break new ground - but is significantly different from our first in all ways - tone, target audience and style...we're excited!"

Blizzard Entertainment: Professions Designer:
"Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft and the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard's track record includes thirteen #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's online-gaming service, Battle.net, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players."

3DSWare Review: Mutant Mudds (Renegade Kid)

January 27, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson


Renegade Kid's 2D action platformer Mutant Mudds, the company's first self-published title, is the next eShop hit. Kudos to Nicalis for helping out with the QA, as the game felt tight overall from beginning to end.

Players assume the role of Max, armed with a heavy-duty water cannon, a water-powered jet pack, and the intention to clean up the invading Mutant Mudd army. With his standard equipment, Max can blast most of his opposition, collect most of the 100 golden diamonds scattered in each of the 20 stages, and traverse over most hazards.

However, each level has some challenges and secret areas that require Max to power up. Thank goodness for Grannie's attic! The grubby Grannie is willing to part with some power-ups in exchange for golden diamonds. These power-ups add mechanics such as a huge vertical boost (the most thrilling for me), an extended hover, and a power-shot, which shoots faster and further and opens up gates to secret levels.

Players will have to determine which power-up is needed to reach the 20 hidden stages (which almost double the game's length). I won't totally spoil the NES-talgia that these hidden areas evoke, but let's just say the V- and G-Land have very appropriate color palettes. The five worlds that each contain 4 regular stages embody typical platform themes: a gentle introductory forest, slippery ice, fiery lava, fluffy clouds, and outer space.

Devolver Digital to attract indie talent with a moving bus

January 27, 2012 8:00 AM | John Polson

kaplan.jpgSerious Sam 3: BFE publisher Devolver Digital has announced a new program to attract indie game talent -- and this program involves a moving bus.

At the 2012 Game Developers Conference this March, Devolver Digital will launch the "Pitch Fork Parker" project, in which the company will drive a bus around the Moscone center in San Francisco, giving independent developers a chance to hop on board to pitch their game to the publisher's CFO (and the program's namesake), Fork Parker.

Selected indie developers will earn funding and a publishing deal from Devolver Digital. Ultimately, the publisher hopes to use these partnerships to develop a series of games based on an unannounced new IP, using a model similar to its recent Serious Sam Indie Series.

For this recent series, Devolver Digital partnered with Serious Sam: BFE developer CroTeam to fund a series of indie games based on the Serious Sam franchise. Indie developers featured in the series included Mommy's Best Games, Vlambeer, and Be-Rad Entertainment.

"Devolver has done quite well in it's first two years with the Serious Sam franchise -- including the Serious Sam Indie Series -- and we're ready to spread our wings a bit and work with more of this generation of super-indies," said Devolver Digital co-founder Mike Wilson. "It's a great time to be small!"

Devolver Digital's upcoming "Pitch Fork Parker" project will take place March 5 through March 9 at GDC 2012, an event owned and operated by Gamasutra parent company UBM TechWeb.

[This article originally appeared on Gamasutra and was written by Tom Curtis.]

Megaupload Shutdown Dramatized In Xbox Live Indie Game MegaUP

January 26, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Less than a week has passed since the U.S. Justice Department shut down popular file sharing service Megaupload, yet the drama surrounding the arrest of the site's executive staff is already the subject of a game released for the Xbox Live Indie Games service.

MegaUP: Upload if you can! is a simplistic autoscrolling platformer in which players outrun a SWAT team and jump over SOPA barricades in a bid to upload as much data as possible to the Internet.

If nothing else, the turnaround time for this game's development and release is nothing short of remarkable. Hearing a shaky synthesized voice trip over the misspellings and grammar flubs in the trailer above is also pretty amusing. Here's hoping the "games based on world events" genre catches on -- Next Media Animation could do the cutscenes!

MegaUP is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Monaco Editor and New Level Design from Producer Andy Nguyen

January 26, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

My other favorite Monaco developer named "Andy," producer and level designer Andy Nguyen, introduces the accessible editor used to create a campaign level unveiled in the above video. I'd tell you not to read further if you want to keep your maiden voyage with Monaco untainted, but we know Monaco makes for good reading and watching!

The designer's canvas is quickly populated with shapes and colors (without a lot of scary code) as he explains his process. Nguyen uses real-world Jimmy'z Bar in Monaco as a reference. He likens level design brainstorming to playing Family Feud, where he yells out all the concepts he immediately associates with a night club and runs with those.

With strikingly familiar icons constructed, players should begin to feel immersed in the game world. When Nguyen can't figure out what next to add, he makes sure to refer back to the real-world material. Even though he's not looking to make an exact replica of Jimmy'z, he wants to avoid horribly misplaced elements that remove the player from the feeling of immersion.

Shares Nguyen, "The editor is a big part of the design process behind Monaco. To prove the accessibility of the editor, I don't have any level design experience, so anyone can make a level if they wanted to. We want a thriving map making community, and we have a few ideas on how to keep it flourishing over time."

I'm impressed with Nguyen's editing skills; I particularly like how he turned the roof pool into... well, you'll see in the video. The ambient lighting and overall attention to detail with the levels make every video of Monaco a treat for me, even if I haven't experienced the co-op heist gameplay, yet. Needless to say, I'll be trying to meet with at least one Andy at GDC to give Monaco a spin somewhere, somehow.

IGF Student Student Showcase Winner Puddle Premieres For XBLA

January 26, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

After picking up a win at the 2010 Independent Games Festival Student Showcase, the ENJMIN student-developed physics puzzler Puddle has been released as an Xbox Live Arcade digital download.

In Puddle, players tilt the playfield to guide a puddle of fluid through various themed environments, including a garden, a foundry, and the human body. Each level features a number of obstacles that must be overcome using friction, gravity, and the unique physical properties of the fluid.

Puddle is available for 800 Microsoft points ($10). The PlayStation Network edition is set to launch on January 31st, with a PS Vita version to follow later this year.

Bit of Alright Line Up Revealed

January 26, 2012 8:00 AM | John Polson

bit of alright.jpgNow sponsored by Sheridans, IndieCity, and Introversion, the new London-based game design conference Bit of Alright has announced its full line up.

Covering more than just video games, the day will include elements of board, card and live games too, with presenters including Proteus developer and IGF nominee Ed Key, IndieVisibility Awards mastermind Dan Marshall, and games writer Simon Parkin.

"I really like the idea that people can present whatever and however they like at Bit of Alright," said speaker Ricky Haggett. "As one of the organizers of London Indies, I know these people are an extraordinarily interesting crowd and will come up with some amazing things."

A Bit of Alright will be taking place in and around the Grand Hall of Battersea Arts Centre, SW11 5TN, on February 3 from 10:00-17:00. Tickets are available for purchase online for £35.00. The full line up for the event is found after the jump.

The man behind Minecraft's mobile and Xbox Live Arcade versions

January 26, 2012 6:00 AM | John Polson

kaplan.jpgDaniel Kaplan was recruited by Mojang to work on business development. An indie developer who had gotten suckered into being a CEO of his previous company "because none of the other guys were interested," he learned how to do business and PR before moving to Mojang.

Now, he's in charge of development of the mobile (iOS and Android) and Xbox Live Arcade versions of Minecraft, which stand distinct from the continuously-updated PC version. Kaplan recently revealed that the Android edition has sold 700,000 copies.

"It's mostly project management, but I also do some of the design work," says Kaplan, who collaborates with programmer Aron Nieminen on the mobile versions.

"We co-designed the mobile platform, so we try to nail out what will fit best for the mobile platform and we do the design work together."

Things are different with the Xbox version, which is being developed by 4J Studios in Dundee, Scotland. Kaplan interfaces with the developer as well as Microsoft. "Everything goes through me, and I say yes or no, or 'We should do this instead.' So it's a lot about being available to the different developers," he says.

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