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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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Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams Coming to XBLA, PSN Next Week

March 18, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Black Forest Games announced that its successfully Kickstarted side-scroller Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is on its way to Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network starting next week.

Twisted Dreams is a polarity-shifting platformer in which players control two sisters, each of which has her own unique abilities. The XBLA edition will be first to launch on March 20th, while the PlayStation Network version will appear "a few days later," publisher bitComposer notes.

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams will be priced at $14.99.

[via Joystiq]

The Behemoth Spotlights User-Created BattleBlock Theater Levels

March 16, 2013 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Beta testers have wasted no time in creating deviously clever BattleBlock Theater custom levels, as The Behemoth demonstrates in the above compilation video.

If you haven't seen much of BattleBlock Theater's gameplay so far, these levels will make your head spin -- in a good way! Judging from player comments, the teleporter-based levels are particularly brilliant/aggravating. Can't wait to try these out!

BattleBlock Theater is slated for release this year for Xbox Live Arcade.

Skullgirls Meets Stretch Goal for Big Band DLC Character

March 15, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Skullgirls creator Lab Zero Games has reached its second major funding goal in its ongoing Indiegogo campaign, ensuring that a second DLC character, Big Band, will be added to the game's playable roster.

Lab Zero met its initial goal of $150,000 last month, funding the creation of the DLC character Squigly, along with her associated story mode and background stage. The project current sits at over $381,000 in pledges, and it seems quite likely that the next funding milestone of $400,000 for Big Band's stage and story mode will also be met.

All funded characters will be released as free DLC (for a limited time) across all supported platforms upon completion. Backers who pledge $30 or more will receive a Steam code for Skullgirls' upcoming PC release.

$18K to be awarded in first ever game jam for cats

March 15, 2013 12:00 AM | Staff

tonygame.jpgThere's a game jam happening in Los Angeles the weekend before GDC which we're pretty sure is the first of its kind.

Friskies maker Purina is sponsoring what it is calling the "Games for Cats Hackathon," a weekend-long jam where aspiring developers will compete to create games (or apps) for cats to play with.

The grand prize-winning team will take home $15,000, with $3,000 and $2,000 awards for the runners-up.

Thinking of entering, but don't know where to start? Gamasutra's got you covered: check out 5 tips for making video games your cat wants to play.

Event registration is open here.

[Frank Cifaldi wrote this originally for sister site Gamasutra.]

Lone Survivor Announced for PS3 and PS Vita

March 14, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Jasper Byrne of Superflat Games announced that his indie survival horror game Lone Survivor is coming to the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita later this year.

Explodemon and Fluidity developer Curve Studios is in charge of the port, which will be feature cross-buy, cross-play, and trophy support when it launches as a downloadable PlayStation Network title in July.

"The PS version will feature (amongst other things) 19 new items, new dialogue with all NPCs, two extensive new side quests and a brand new 'Yellow' ending, featuring an exclusive piece of music," creator Byrne notes. "We are also investigating touch control for movement and inventory use. This version really will be enhanced in every way!"

We here at like Lone Survivor quite a bit -- Konstantinos named it as the best indie horror game of 2012, in fact. It's great to see it reach new platforms!

Multiplatform Pick: Runner 2 (Gaijin Games)

March 14, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

If this were a proper review of Runner 2, of the aptly named runner in the Bit.Trip series sporting the awesome Future Legend Of Rhythm Alien subtitle, I'd probably go on and compare Runner 2 to its illustrious predecessor, carefully weigh the importance of innovation versus mere refinement, try and judge the new drastically different visual style and maybe even make some sort of remark on the whole running-things genre.

Happily, this is not a review. It's a humble post simply reminding you that Runner 2 has been made available on every major platform from the Windows PC to the Wii U (but not the Atari Jaguar) and that I am having a fantastic time playing through my copy. I really wouldn't feel the need to write about it if I weren't. We have after all already covered the game's release.

Now, there's no sort of point I'm trying to make here. No general suggestions or anything. I just have to publicly admit that I can't get myself to stop playing this sadistic little game. It's tough, it requires no real thought, it's almost exactly what I thought a Bit.Trip Runner sequel would be (well, besides the graphics really; that was a surprise), it can be monstrously unfair, it doesn't really innovate, and yet I find it terrific. And beautiful. And a source of unlimited Schadenfreude. And a huge improvement over its already great predecessor too.

Oh, and Gaijin, those checkpoints were a mandatory improvement, as, of course, was the addition of the utterly brilliant dance button!

Anyway. Confession over.

A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda finally coming to XBLA with EX edition, sequel planned

March 14, 2013 3:00 AM | John Polson

ARES EX.pngDream.Build.Play 2010 first prize winner A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda will get an EX edition for its XBLA debut this summer. Aksys Games has stepped in to publish the game, which will be improved and expanded from the Steam version. The base game is a futuristic, side-scrolling action platformer - think of it as a Mega Man X and Contra hybrid.

Editor Mike Rose was fond of the original PC release in 2010. Extend's Nenin Ananbanchachai told me he is not sure if the PC version will get the EX update. However, "the sequel of A.R.E.S. will be another game, not the EX," he shared.

Features of the new build are after the jump:

New Sound Shapes DLC Now Available

March 13, 2013 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

A new batch of DLC for Queasy Games' acclaimed PS3 and PS Vita rhythm-platformer Sound Shapes is now available for download from the PlayStation Store.

The Car Mini-Album & Creator Pack DLC introduces a series of new campaign levels in which players speed through twisting, racetrack-like levels in two brand-new vehicles. The pack also adds race-appropriate components like loops and jumps to Sound Shapes' level editor, along with a new set of trophies for players to earn.

The DLC release accompanies this week's launch of a Sound Shapes patch, which adds offline play for user-created levels and the "Community Milkcrate," which collects some of the best user-generated creations to date in six new albums.

Trailer: Charlie Murder (Ska Studios)

March 13, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

The adorable husband-and-wife team at Ska Studios has released a new trailer for its upcoming Xbox Live Arcade online multiplayer "brawl-PG" Charlie Murder, revealing a number of new details regarding its gameplay and character customization system.

As explained in the video above, you'll be able to tweak your characters by equipping new clothing and using dyes to give your outfits subtle shading. The game itself looks like a lot of fun, too, essentially offering a punk-rock, post-apocalyptic take on the Castle Crashers formula. Can't wait to play this one!

If you want an advance listen of Charlie Murder's soundtrack, Joystiq is offering up a free downloadable song composed by Ska Studios. Listen carefully to the trailer above and you might catch a snippet from Ska's breakout XBLIG hit I Made a Game with Zombies In It, too!

Road to the IGF: Drinkbox Studio's Guacamelee!

March 12, 2013 6:20 PM | Staff

guacamelee small.jpgAs part of our Road to the IGF series, Gamasutra is speaking to each of the finalists in the 2013 Independent Games Festival to find out the story behind the games.

Today we speak to DrinkBox studios, the team behind action platformer Guacamelee!, which is nominated for the Excellence in Visual Art award this year.

What is your team's game development background, if any?

Graham Smith, Producer: DrinkBox has been around for almost 5 years now and has slowly grown up to 14 people working on multiple projects. Guacamelee! is our third internal game as a studio. The previous two games were Tales from Space: About a Blob on PS3 (PSN), and Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack on PS Vita and Steam. We have also contributed to a number of other games being developed by other studios. Putting team members on to external projects has helped us to self-fund our own internal projects.

What game development tools are you using?

GS: We primarily use our own internally developed editor and engine for our games. The editor gives the ability to rig characters and audio, create levels, and test the levels on the fly. In addition to this, we use Adobe Flash for Animations, 3DS Max and Photoshop to create visuals for the game environments, FMOD for Audio, and Box2D for Physics.

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