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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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Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of December 23

December 23, 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 Nintendo of America, 2K Marin, Sony Online Entertainment.

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 alternative gaming news, independent games, and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

Funzio: Concept Artist:
"Funzio's CEO, Ken Chiu, has been a founding member or early employee of Playdom, Zynga, and Storm8. Having a winning a formula for making addictive games, Ken wanted to create a company which would be a Free-to-Play powerhouse on multi platforms and in 2010, he founded Funzio with other web and mobile veterans, Rick Thompson, Anil Dharni, Ram Gudavalli and Andy Keidel.

In August 2011, Funzio's flagship game, Crime City, a mobster role-playing app, shot to the top of the Apple Store in both downloads and gross receipts in just 5-days of launch, after already winning millions of users on Facebook, with almost perfect consumer satisfaction scores."

Nintendo of America Inc.: Game Designer (NST):
"As the worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo GameCube systems. Since 1983, Nintendo has sold nearly 2.2 billion video games and more than 387 million hardware units globally, and has created industry icons like Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokemon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere."

Dream.Build.Play Honoree Alien Jelly Launches For Xbox Live Indie Games

December 23, 2011 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

After earning an honorable mention in the Production Quality category of this year's Dream.Build.Play competition, Collective Mass's comedic action-puzzler Alien Jelly has launched for the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Indie Games service.

Similar in practice to level-based puzzlers like ilomilo and The Adventures of Lolo, Alien Jelly puts players in control of multiple gelatinous cubes that must push blocks, surmount obstacles, and occasionally use one another as stepping stones to progress through the game. Alien Jelly also includes a level editor, and features a cooperative gameplay mode for up to four players.

The game has a distinct style and some impressive visuals -- it definitely earns its honors for production quality. The gameplay itself is also quite fun! Alien Jelly is available from the Xbox Live Marketplace for 240 Microsoft points ($3).

IndieGames Podcast #23: Sleigh Ride

December 23, 2011 7:00 PM | jeriaska

Today on the IndieGames Podcast, we are joined by composers of music for independently developed game titles.

Having worked on flOw for PS3, Austin Wintory is currently developing compositions for ThatGameCompany's Journey, due out on the PlayStation Network in 2012. The musician is also collaborating with designer Andy Schatz on Monaco, which won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the Independent Games Festival in 2010.

Following the release of his albums Twilight & Ghost Stories and Psychic Temple, Chris Schlarb published the soundtrack album to NightSky early this year on Bandcamp. The puzzle game by Nifflas for the PC is being ported to the Nintendo 3DS by Nicalis. The musician has also collaborated with Erik Loyer on the interactive iOS application Strange Rain.

Finally, Shadi Muklashy and Ali Bavarian of Paper Sound are at work on Adhesive Games' future mech combat simulator Hawken, whose gritty trailers take place in a dystopian future setting.

The program is available to stream and download through Buzzsprout and SoundCloud, with individual segments viewable on Vimeo. Saitone's "Sleigh Ride" from Holy 8Bit Night + is available for purchase through HearJapan. Show notes are listed after the break.

Indie Game Links: Monaco Is Mine, Yours, His and Hers

December 23, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson

monaco 12-23.jpgToday's collection of independent game links includes more indie game news, interviews, and developer announcements from around the 'net.(image source)

DIY Gamer: Take Me To Your Adequately Sized Landing Pad: Eight Days In Convoke
"[I]f a monochromatic tribute to the arcade roots of starship parking maneuvers is your kind of deal, then give it a go."

Alternative Magazine Online: INTERVIEW - In Conversation With Katie Hallahan and Cesar Bittar (Phoenix Online Studios)
"Other games we've taken inspiration from include Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy, both in atmosphere and gameplay - we're working on an interface that mixes up the classic icon interface of adventure games with some of the innovations seen in these games."

DIY Gamer: Dear Esther Launching 14th of February
"Though there's few real details available for the complete Dear Esther release, we know that it will be released on Steam on the 14th of February 2012. Furthermore, it will be $9.99."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Not Ruble Trouble? Rubble Trouble Moscow
"I do like destroying things. Buildings, hope, people's lives. So I'm immediately drawn to Nitrome's Rubble Trouble Moscow."

Choice of Games: Two Games in One Day! Announcing "The Race"
"Every step of the way, the choices you make will affect your performance, as well as the other teams around you! Select your partner, compete against other teams, uncover corruption and discover hidden secrets! "The Race" is a choice-driven text adventure with multiple endings."

Choice of Games: Two Games in One Day! Announcing "Dead Already?"
"Life is not fair, neither is this game. Another short murder mystery for you to solve following the ChoiceScript multiple-choice text-based format. The murderer is randomly selected at the beginning of each game for a greater challenge."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Monaco is Multiplayer
"[The video] shows the online multiplayer in action: you are going to be able to play peer-to-peer co-op with teams of burglars doing their business across the exquisitely-crafted lo-fi levels."

Oozi Series Creator Releases I, Zombie For Xbox Live Indie Games

December 22, 2011 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

The plague-like proliferation of zombie-themed Xbox Live Indie Games is unfortunate indeed, but a few standout titles almost make the trend worthwhile. Example: Oozi creator AwesomeGamesStudio's I, Zombie, a clever action-puzzler that takes the well-worn premise in an unexpected direction.

I, Zombie puts you in control of a lone zombie that must infect all humans within each single-screen level. Most humans will attempt to run away, while the soldier characters will fight back. Once you add one or more zombies to your army of the undead, you can command them to follow you around and even attack nearby humans.

While the game starts out with simple objectives, it soon becomes a puzzler that demands planning and reflexes, as the developer's solution videos demonstrate. I, Zombie is available for 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Indie Game Links: Dare to Dream

December 22, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson

nyannyanstack2.jpgToday's collection of independent game links includes more Ludum Dare links, indie game news, and reviews from around the 'net. (image source)

Starfruit Games: play 'Nyan Nyan Stack'
"Over the weekend I worked on a game for Ludumdare 22 on the theme of 'Alone'. The original upload had some critical bugs, but I've fixed that now and made it available on Mac and browser too."

Bryce Neal's Ludum Dare Entry: Take care of the trees
"It's sort of like a short and sweet nugget of a story-driven moody rogue-like [with two endings]. I think it comes off pretty polished for a 48 hour game. [It's rouge-like] because of the visual presentation: no animation, tile-based, flat front-on porfolio shots of characters, using lexiconic artwork rather than realistic artwork."

Chevy Ray: Ludum Dare 22 - FlashPunk Roundup!
"Here's a roundup of some of the FlashPunk games made in only 48 hours over last weekend. If you've never taken part in Ludum Dare before, and are interested in developing games, all the source code for these games is available to you!"

Gnome's Lair: A Bagfull of Wrong for Free!
"Just follow this link to the Bagfull of Wrong and grab some of the best arena shooters ever accompanied by a fantastically weird take on Pac-Man (only with pretty colours)."

Freidrich Hanisch's Ludum Dare Entry: Soliloquy
"In this game you are split. You are one person, alone in a lifeless world - but you have two souls, which have to work together."

TIG Tunes: Big Giant Christmas EP Review
"Yesterday (Dec 20th 2011) Big Giant Circles (aka Jimmy Hinson) release an EP called the Big Giant Christmas EP. It's all about Xmas tunes that have been converted into chip-tune/fakebit tossed into modern synths with the usual classic instruments for your listening pleasure."

ToastSoft: XOP Ultra Bundle
"The XOP Ultra Bundle is a collection of two awesome shoot-em-ups, XOP Ultra and XOP Black Ultra...As a bonus, you'll also get the soundtracks to both games, as well as two digital artbooks with selections of the original hand-drawn art used in the games, and never before seen art and enemy designs!"

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Dungeon Defenders Delves DLC (For Free)
"[DLC] includes four new skins for the Apprentice, Monk, Squire and Huntress, new 'holiday-themed weapons' and a 'mission where you must deliver Christmas presents to random locations and defend them, ending in an epic boss fight with the evil Mega Snowman!'"

Game Type Satirizes Issues with Xbox 360 Dashboard Update

December 22, 2011 3:00 AM | John Polson

Yes, Mommy's Best Games' Game Type is a real game on sale now for XBLIG for 80 MS points. From developer Nathan Fouts, it is an art-satire-protest game plus a high score shmup game.

Upon booting the game, players first have to find the Game Type menu, as it's been cruelly buried by the evil MediaBall, a game console with ambitions of delivering all forms of entertainment and advertisements. There's even a faux-functioning TV show, "streamable" music, and tons of ads. All of this inspiration comes from the Xbox 360's latest update, which has been said to adversely affect the XBLIG usability and visibility.

Once players find Game Type, players can help Hoodie Girl fight MediaBall by shooting all the ads that come to life and turn them back into cash, collecting the money for points. Fouts says the shooting part of the game has "an honestly unique mechanic in which the mega-beam slows down enemy bullets. This makes it fun to run reckless around the screen, but is practically required for high scores."

He also describes the game's looping system, which sounds similar to Konami's Gradius' looping. Game Type's gameplay speed increases 20% each run-through, and more bullets and enemies appear. Fouts shares, "By the 3rd loop, things can get pretty dicey."

Fouts pokes fun further in his pseudo press release. "With the incongruous stock photo of a woman in a hoodie doing a jump-kick, and the forgettable 'Game Type' title, it's good to know Microsoft was advertising our poorly-named game, and not trying to label the console's entire digital game storefront. Otherwise, it'd be a horrible match that would simply make no sense and generally lead fewer gamers to find the store and browse on their own terms."

For those who want to read the full blog post by Mommy's Nathan Fouts, check it out on Gamasutra.

Silver Dollar Games Premieres Homeless For Xbox Live Indie Games

December 21, 2011 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Silver Dollar Games has certainly earned a name for itself on the Xbox Live Indie Games service, attracting top sales for oft-criticized titles like Try Not To Fart and earning a mention on Conan O'Brien's late night talk show for its XBLIG dating sim Don't B Nervous Talking 2 Girls.

The company's latest effort, Homeless, once again pairs a unique concept with simple, focused gameplay mechanics. Players control a homeless man who must beg passerby for change while battling a strict time limit and a dwindling stamina meter.

Silver Dollar has a knack for picking themes that make it an easy target for criticism (see also: the cat discouragement sim No Luca No and the intentionally annoying Why Did I Buy This?), but Homeless seems to have its heart in the right place, at least -- the mood is appropriately somber, and gameplay is accompanied by a monologue detailing the hardships faced by the homeless.

Homeless is available for 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Indie Game Links: No More Asking Nicely

December 21, 2011 3:30 PM | John Polson

humble-introversion-bundle3.jpgToday's collection of independent game links includes more indie game news, interviews, and reviews from around the 'net. (image source)

Humble Bundle Blog: $1 Min. Price For Getting Steam Keys
"[W]e've noticed that a number of un-humble users are buying lots of Humble Indie Bundle 4's for one penny, and then using their Steam codes to 'legitimize' automated Steam accounts in order to increase their odds of winning prizes in Valve's current raffle promotion."

Siliconera: Sound Shapes Is Shuhei Yoshida's Vita Game Of Choice
"Yoshida says that, personally, he's most excited about seeing smaller developers working on the device, pointing out Sound Shapes as his Vita game of choice."

thatgamecompany blog: Kellee Santiago Interviewed on "State of Play"
"'State of Play' is a new videogames interview show that brings you real, in-depth, and personal interviews with the gaming industry's most interesting people. And they kicked off their series with a 3-part interview with co-Founder Kellee Santiago!"

Jay Is Games: Anaksha: Dark Angel
"Anaksha: Dark Angel is a sniping simulation adventure game by Arif Majothi, and its got atmosphere as thick as blood."

Indie Games Channel: Trine 2 Review
"While Trine 2 may falter with its enemy encounters, it certainly merits checking out. Intelligent puzzle designs offer plenty of rewarding play and its breathtaking visuals make it a trophy game for anyone that owns a high-spec PC."

True PC Gaming: New Kids On The Block: Epic Inventor Interview
"Epic Inventor was inspired by Terraria and that's something I've always been very up front about."

GamesIndustry.biz: IndieCity halfway to 100 game target
"Blitz Game Studios owned site IndieCity.com is halfway to its latest Developer Challenge target, asking developers to submit 100 games to the site's store. If the target is reached by December 31 then the revenue structure offered to developers submitting titles will change, rising to 90 per cent for games with integrated achievements, or 80 per cent without."

Indie Game Links: One Nation, IndieVisible

December 19, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson

platformines_proto_screen03.jpgToday's collection of independent game links includes more indie game news, interviews, and developer announcements from around the 'net. (image source)

99 Coins - Episode 3 - #indieVisibility Awards
"We interviewed as many of the winners as we could, and asked them about their games and their awards (the prestigious golden teabag!)."

Indie Game Magazine: 'Platformines' is going to warp your mind
"[Magiko Gaming's] Platformines is a pretty open, platforming adventure type of game that will entice any indie game lover in with its Minecraft-like mining and crafting from a Terraria perspective."

Joystiq: Indie Game: The Movie showing at SXSW, creators hosting panel
"[T]he film will have a showing at the SXSW ScreenBurn Arcade (March 9 - 11) and SXSW Film (March 9 - 17) next year (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Austin, Texas."

Quote Unquote: The Last and Final Word: Alillm (Alistair Maunder)
"First impressions might give you a clue that [he] has been quite strongly influenced by the likes of cactus, Terry Cavanagh and Loren Schmidt. His games include the likes of 41st Reality, Hash and MercX."

11 Bit Studios: Anomaly Warzone Earth Coming to XBLA Spring 2012
"Anomaly is easily accessible and, so-to-speak, user-friendly strategy on console. In fact, it was natively designed to play with the gamepad. The other part of the news, is that it'll bring SIX brand new Tactical Trials levels exclusive to Xbox 360."

Hempuli's Blog: Masjin has a level editor now!
The ominously numbered archive brings a level editor to his free game Masjin.

Pixel Prospector: Alter Ego
"Alter Ego is a clever retro styled single screen puzzle platformer with an interesting swapping mechanic. You control a blueish little guy and his phantom alter ego (that moves in a mirrored fashion) at the same time."

The Indie DB: Q.U.B.E. is released
"Q.U.B.E. (Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion) is a first-person puzzle game that challenges players to navigate each level by manipulating coloured cubes that surround them."

Joystiq: The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Battle Group
"Battle Group is a tactical/action modern Navy game for iOS, Android, PC and Mac. Players command multiple warships drawn from the navies of the world and lead them into seaborne combat viewed from a top-down perspective."

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