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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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Genre-Defying Action-RPG EvilQuest Premieres For XBLIG

January 6, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Chaos Shift developer Chaosoft Games has released its second title for the Xbox Live Indie Games service: the retro-styled action-RPG EvilQuest.

EvilQuest offers a unique spin on the genre, in that players control "a villain bent on world domination, rather than the traditional role of a hero trying to save the world." The game begins with the main character escaping from a prison, with his eventual goal being to take down the world's elder gods and wield ultimate power.

I enjoyed what I've played of EvilQuest so far. The gameplay has a lot in common with SNK's 8-bit action-RPG Crystalis -- a surprising but solid source of inspiration, with enough improvements (automapping, healing mapped to a dedicated button) to make it a worthwhile take on the formula. I definitely plan on playing more of this one!

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

[via @werezompire]

Indie Game Links: Stormy Outpost Looter

January 5, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

supermeatboychoicepianocuts.pngToday's collection of independent game links includes news, interviews, and developer announcements from around the 'net. (image source)

Joystiq: Choice Piano Cuts, a Super Meat Boy piano tribute album
"The purchase also includes a PDF of the Kennedy's sheet music for the entire album, which in itself is well worth the price of admission for the musically inclined out there."

Experimental Game Dev Podcast Show
"David of Bad Pilcrow talks about the mobile release of Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix & Her Nightmare."

Stormy Studio: Think Outside The Box 4
"The 'Think Outside the Box' competition is a contest aimed specifically at developers using the GameSalad game creation tool."

DIY Gamer: Browser Game Pick - Outpost: Haven
"While Frozenbyte's Shadowgrounds series recaptured the essence of [the Alien Breed series] somewhat, Outpost: Haven manages to recapture the atmosphere almost perfectly, while adding some new tweaks to the formula."

RGCD: Future Looter (ZX Spectrum)
"After checking the screenshots it was apparent that the game was in fact more akin to a cut down Cybernoid clone, but with its well-balanced blend of dexterity-taxing fast action screens and enemy path-based puzzle elements I have to admit that I wasn't disappointed for long."

Rock, Paper Shotgun: Not For Squares: Cube World Is Pretty
"The gorgeous-looking cuboid game is primarily an RPG, and with that in mind developer Wollay has just added quests, which he proves in the video below."

Venture Beat: Print your Minecraft designs as 3D models using Mineways
"The open source Mineways program, by Eric Haines, allows you to pick a chunk of your Minecraft world and export it in a format suitable for sending directly to a 3D printer. You can also choose to edit the model using 3D modelling software, such as Blender, prior to printing."

Dust: An Elysian Tail Creator Confirms 2012 XBLA Release

January 4, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Dust: An Elysian Tail developer Dean Dodrill revealed at popular gaming forum NeoGAF that his stylish side-scrolling action-RPG Dust: An Elysian Tale is targeted for an Xbox Live Arcade release in 2012.

An Elysian Tail took the grand $40,000 prize in 2009's Dream.Build.Play competition, winning acclaim for its lush visual style and fluid animation. Little has been announced regarding the title over the last year, though updates at Dust's official site assure that development is "coming along great."

Dodrill hopes to have the game completed in the first half of 2012, and pledges to reveal further gameplay details in the months leading up to its release.

[via Joystiq]

Bastion Unplugged: A Five-Minute Treat For Your Ears

January 4, 2012 4:30 PM | John Polson

For a game that pushes over 500,000 units and nabs over 70 awards, at least some of that appreciation for Bastion rightfully goes to its soundtrack.

In the above jam session, audio director Darren Korb and vocalist Ashley Barrett perform "Build that Wall" and their mash-up "Setting Sail, Coming Home." Barrett's vocals for me were one of the most moving parts of Bastion.

That's not to say Bastion's story, gameplay, and art are unappreciated; I just really dig Barrett's soulful style. Korb's strumming and vocals aren't too shabby, either!

[Kotaku]

Cthulhu Saves The World Developer Outlines XBLIG Sales To Date

January 4, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

120103_cthulhu.jpg

Zeboyd Games designer Robert Boyd has released in-depth sales data for Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World, a pair of satirical RPGs that rank among the highest-rated titles for the Xbox Live Indie Games service.

Breath of Death VII, which is available for 80 Microsoft points ($1), saw a high percentage of trial users upgrading to the paid edition. The title sold 4,923 units in its first month, and a record high of 8,376 the following month. It maintained steady sales before declining late last year, and managed to keep a conversion rate above 80 percent for many months.

Cthulhu Saves the World, released for 240 Microsoft points ($3), had a lower trial conversion rate on average, selling 7,359 units in its best month. Cthulhu Saves the World sold 24,920 copies since its launch in December of 2010, while Breath of Death has sold 56,286 units to date.

Boyd notes that the Cthulhu Saves the World & Breath of Death VII Double Pack for Steam, priced at $2.99, sold more than 100,000 units between its launch last July and the end of 2011. Nearly 30,000 additional copies of both games were sold as part of Indie Royale's Really Big Bundle.

Boyd is currently polling his Twitter followers to gauge interest in a proposed Windows Phone port for Cthulhu Saves the World. Sales charts for both games, as compiled by Zeboyd's Bill Stiernberg, can be found after the break below.

Indie Game Links: To the Moon, Alice

January 4, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

to the moon.pngToday's collection of independent game links includes news, interviews, and developer announcements from around the 'net. (image source)

INTERVIEW - In Conversation With Kan Gao (Freebird Games, To The Moon)
"The base concept originally came when my grandfather fell ill, and I wondered that when my time came one day, if there would be anything I'd regret. Along the way, it was shaped by numerous other events as well as films like Eternal Sunshine."

Mommy's Best Games: Convince the ESA to Drop SOPA Support
"The proposed bill will likely stifle innovation and self-expression on the internet, and grant corporations plenty of power to abuse, given the broad manner in which the bill is written."

The Free Indie Bundle: Pay absolutely nothing for these awesome games and help yourself
"Getting these games won't change the world, but you'll sure have a good time."

Nintendo Enthusiast: Best Indie Games Awards 2011
"I would consider Treasure Adventure Game possibly the best game of the year EVEN if we were including non-indie retail games such as Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Skyrim. Yes, it's that good."

Humble Mumble: Open source projects spawned from Humble Indie Bundle 4
"Ryan Gordon has open sourced three libraries that he created while porting Shank to Mac and Linux! MojoShader (Effects support), TheoraPlay, and MojoDDS."

Indie Games Channel: Indie Gala bundle extends time, adds Vizati
"The Indie Gala bundle has gotten a time extension, as well as a new game added to the line-up. You now have until January 6 to grab the name-your-price bundle, and the indie game Vizati is packed in as well."

Joystiq: Super Meat Boy surpasses 1 million sales
"The little infuriating platformer that could, Super Meat Boy, has surpassed a million sales. The announcement was made late yesterday by Team Meat on Twitter."

3DS Swapnote App Becomes a Dungeons and Dragons Game

January 2, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

Using the free 3DS chat app Swapnote and its graph paper notes, game design student Ben Gray has created a pen-and-paper style Dungeons and Dragons experience.

Swapnote itself was released free last month and took what the asynchronous communication app Pictochat offered and added the ability to share sound clips, 3D drawings, and 3D photos. Ben Gray took these abilities and fleshed out an entire dungeon, where each room is a separate note with different audio or visual cues to further immerse the player in the game.

Swapnote RPG, like any traditional D&D game, requires an honor system of self-stat tracking, as the Swapnote app itself can't track the players' changing stats. Ben Gray has shared his graph paper template and, at around the 7:47 mark, has called out for Flash, website, and forum building help to make Swapnote RPG into a community effort.


[Tiny Cartridge]

Bastion Sales Top 500,000 Units

January 2, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

111231_bastion.jpgSupergiant Games' hit PC and Xbox Live Arcade action-RPG Bastion has sold more than 500,000 copies to date, according to a recent blog post at the developer's website.

Bastion originally launched for XBLA back in July; a Steam version followed in August. Supergiant notes that recent limited-time price drops for both editions helped spur sales past the half-million mark.

"We're happy to have this many people playing and to be in a position to make more games on our own terms," said Bastion writer/creative director Greg Kasavin.

"When we set out to make Bastion, a sales number like that seemed astronomical to us, so it feels great to have hit that mark. It goes to show that a lot of folks out there like what we're doing and want us to keep going, which is great, because we intend to stick together as a team and do just that."

Kasavin also lists the many awards Bastion has received this year, including an appearance among TIME's Top 10 Games of 2011, a win in IGN's "Best XBLA Game" category, and a spot in our own Top 10 Indie Games of the Year.

[via Joystiq]

Indie Game Links: Will the Real XBLIG List Please Stand Up?

January 1, 2012 4:00 PM | John Polson

solar 2.jpgToday's collection of independent game links includes top indie game lists, news, and developer announcements from around the 'net. (image source)

XBLIGR.com: The Real Top 20 Best XBOX Live Indie Games of 2011
"After weeding through much drivel and sub-par exploits, here is XBLIGR's meritocrous (yes we just made that word up) list of the best games in the XBOX indie marketplace."

indieDB: IOTY Players Choice - Indie of the Year
"61,772 votes and 3,444,800 visitors over 20 days. We shovelled the punched ballot cards into the local IndieDB super computer, ran our algorithms and watched the computer churn the raw data into our top 10 list."

Die Gute Fabrik: Doug's Favorite Games of 2011
[An eclectic top 10 of indie titles experienced at Copenhagen, Princeton, Montreal, San Francisco, and beyond.]

DIY Gamer: Best Indie Games of 2011: Editors' Top Picks
"Each game that gets a single mention by one of us is given an "Honorable Mention" for the year. As games get chosen by more editor's they move up the tier. The game that has the most picks is awarded 'Indie Game of the Year.'"

Indie Game Magazine: 15 Indie Games That Will Surprise You in 2012
"We're not talking about Journey, Fez, The Witness, Monaco, Scrolls or even Botanicula here. We are looking for games that you don't know much about but should be keeping an eye out for, ones that are being developed by people you have probably never even heard of before, or maybe just forgot about."

Nintendo Life: Interviews: Goodbye Galaxy Games - Flipper 2: Flush the Goldfish
"Gameplay-wise it's a lot like One Button Bob or Wario Ware. Flush starts at the left side of the screen and needs to get to the right side. In between are traps and enemies and it's up to the player to guide Flush through them."

Gamasutra: Mojang Doesn't Know How Minecraft: Pocket Edition Will Turn Out
"Kaplan has outlined some of the plans they have for Pocket Edition. Chief among these is the addition of a survival mode, in addition to a new file system, touch-device customised item crafting, and animals and enemies."

Joystiq: McMillen: Publisher in talks with Nintendo for Binding of Isaac on 3DS
"The Binding of Isaac, co-creator Edmund McMillen revealed that 'A publisher i know is currently asking Nintendo if they would be OK with Isaac on the 3DS.'"

Lifeless Planet: Happy 2012...The Year of Lifeless Planet!
"We were contacted by several publishers during the Kickstarter campaign and we recently flew to London to meet with one of them (Alaska to England was quite a trip)."

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of December 30

December 30, 2011 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 Havok, Sledgehammer Games, Frogster, 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:

Airtight Games Senior Animator:
"Airtight Games is a group of industry veterans formed around the core of the team that produced the award winning, 90 ranked game Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge. We recently released a new intellectual property AAA title with Capcom called Dark Void. We are now working on several new AAA titles for a variety of markets. This is a chance to get on board a unique project with a quality focused, development and publishing team."

Sledgehammer Games / Activision: Senior Rendering Engineer:
"Sledgehammer Games, co-developers of Call of Duty MW3, is hiring! Sledgehammer Games was founded with a singular goal: Achieve Excellence. We have a state of the art facility, an industry leading development team, and a studio culture built to promote and support world class game developers. We are actively recruiting top talent for our Call of Duty development team. If you are passionate and driven to do your best work, and have a desire to work on the most successful FPS franchise in the history of video games, please apply online."

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