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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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Accounting-Themed Beat-'Em-Up Let's Get Fiscal Premieres For XBLIG

December 19, 2011 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Baller Industries, creator of the Xbox Live Indie Games-defining adventure title Get Rich or Die Gaming, has released Let's Get Fiscal, a side-scrolling XBLIG brawler starring an agile, martial

Let's Get Fiscal's gameplay is heavily inspired by Sega's 16-bit Streets of Rage series -- it even goes so far as to mimic Yuzo Koshiro's iconic soundtracks from the era. The unusual theme makes for a unique experience; the comic book-style cutscenes and a cappella sound effects are also much appreciated.

Baller Industries is currently working on a direct sequel to Get Rich or Die Gaming, Rock Bottom, which the developer notes is currently 20 percent complete.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of December 16

December 16, 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 PopCap Games, Playdead Aps, Gree International, 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:

Playdead Aps: Gameplay Designer:
"Playdead is an independent game studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was founded by Arnt Jensen and Dino Patti in 2006. Limbo is Playdead's first production with Arnt Jensen as Game Director. Playdead is currently in production of a new IP."

Riot Games: Community Manager:
"With League of Legends, one of the most played and critically acclaimed PC games today, Riot Games is a leading innovator in its mission to be the most player-focused game company in the world. At Riot you will work among the most gifted and passionate people in the industry as we hire only the most talented and collaborative people in their discipline.

We believe the core reason for Riot's success is people and we are committed to helping employees grow their abilities and careers, as we all continually focus on improvement. We are serious professionals who don't take ourselves too seriously. Named a Top 30 Developer by Game Developer Magazine, Riot Games is aggressively expanding, growing the company five-fold over the past two years, and still continuing the search for top talent."

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2011

December 16, 2011 4:00 PM | Michael Rose

dredmorbig.jpgWe don't need to tell you that the gaming industry is currently experiencing an 'indie boom' -- the evidence has been piling up throughout 2011, with numerous developers at AAA studios leaving their jobs behind to work on exactly the kind of games they want to make.

You only have to look at the Independent Games Festival record number of entries to know indies mean business this year. This time around, nearly 570 games were entered into the competition, marking an increase of more than 45 percent compared to the previous year.

We say this every year, but we genuinely mean it -- having to choose just ten titles from the incredible batch of indie titles this year was not only next-to-impossible, but also excruciatingly heart-breaking, as we had to knock favorite after favorite off until there were only ten remaining.

But never fear, as a good number of those titles that we close, but just missed out on a top spot, have been compiled below the main list as honorable mentions.

Indie Game Links: Women Are from Venus (Patrol)

December 16, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson

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

Joystiq: Vlambeer and Adam Atomic's Venus Patrol-exclusive games revealed
"Capsule and Gun Godz are likely due by the end of the year -- when they are released, of course, it'll be only to those who supported the Venus Patrol Kickstarter campaign."

Destructoid: Action Adventure World: The Game will stomp your bawls
"AAW is a "Nintendo hard" platformer that incorporates elements from various games such as Mario, Sonic, Mega Man, Chip 'n Dale, and more. The game is split across multiple episodes, with each new installment introducing new mechanics and surprises."

DIY Gamer: Indie Game Bundles Need to Take a Break, And Why I Don't Want Them To
"There is also the adverse affect of the bundle where it trains gamers to feel 'cheated' or 'saddened' when they see a bundle appear that already has games they own... This, I can tell you right now, is not a sustainable model for any industry."

PS Vita Trailer: StarDrone Extreme (Beatshapers)

December 16, 2011 3:00 AM | John Polson

IndieCade 2011 finalist StarDrone gets an Extreme update in time for the PlayStation Vita launch in February for EU and US territories. Beatshapers is adding more extreme levels, new enemies and visual themes to the game's already acclaimed formula of arcade action, pinball, breakout, physics and collect-the-objects.

Beatshapers describes the core gameplay as controlling a drone that is constantly in motion, and the more stellar matter collected while in space, the faster it will travel "until you are moving at the speed of light." The speed seems to make it quite the challenge to follow sometimes, at least in the trailer.

Alexey Menshikov of Beatshapers confirmed that the game would use the front and rear touch panels, substituting touch controls for how one would use the Move motion controller. Menshikov explains that the gameplay is about making a point that acts as a beacon in order to force the drone to rotate around it. The developer says that using the rear panel is more interesting because one doesn't block the screen with fingers, but this style of play requires some getting used to it. Players can toggle between the two panels in the options menu.

All in all, StarDrone's trip hasn't been too bad from when Orb Games entered it in IGF back in 2008.

Indie Game Links: 100% Bundle Free

December 15, 2011 5:00 PM | John Polson

VVVVVV chevy.jpgToday's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and the usual round-up of interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

Rock Paper Shotgun: Indie Fund Talk Q.U.B.E. and Dear Esther
"[Esther]'s not one of those games where you get better by playing the game over and over, but instead have an experience more like reading a book, where you don't know how it's going to end, and the thrill is in finding out."

DIY Gamer: Freeware Game Pick - Epic Inventor, An RTS/Terraria-like
"Epic Inventor becomes less like a Terraria clone and more like a platforming RTS. You see the developers were not only inspired by Terraria, they were also hugely inspired by Age of Empires."

PlayStation Blog: Celebrating PSN's Top-Selling Indie Games of 2011
(This looks at the best selling SCEA-Published, Pub Funded, and Self-Published Indies on PSN for 2011.)

IGF 2012 Reveals Design, Technical Excellence, Nuovo Jury Panels

December 14, 2011 11:30 PM | John Polson

Organizers of the 2012 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the first discipline-specific jury panels that will determine the finalists and winner of its various awards.

The jury announcements for this year are beginning with the industry professionals, independent game notables and former IGF award winners that make up its Design award, Technical Excellence award, and Nuovo award juries.

The Excellence in Design Award

The Excellence in Design award is a category which seeks to highlight the innovation and quality of the underlying blueprint of each entered game -- component parts like its mechanic design, level design, and difficulty balancing.

Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Excellence in Design Award have included 2D Boy's cartoon construction puzzler World of Goo, KranX's music construction puzzler Musaic Box, Pocketwatch Games' abstracted multiplayer heist game Monaco and QCF's rogue-like puzzler Desktop Dungeons.

The jury consists of the following:

XBLIG Soulcaster Games On Sale As Part Of Pricing Experiment

December 14, 2011 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Escape Goat developer MagicalTimeBean has dropped the price of its retro-styled XBLIG dungeon adventures Soulcaster and Soulcaster II to 80 Microsoft points ($1) each, as part of an ongoing experiment.

MagicalTimeBean's Ian Stocker explains his decision in a recent editorial at IndieGamerChick. Comparing Escape Goat's low initial sales to fellow recent release DLC Quest, Stocker likens XBLIG pricing to arcade tokens, and theorizes that customers often pass on higher-priced games in favor of (often lower-quality) titles that are priced at $1.

Stocker notes that sales for Soulcaster remained unchanged even after repeated mentions on Penny Arcade's front page, and suggests that XBLIG is "its own world," with "its own set of rules for pricing psychology." Stocker hopes to spur sales with the price drop, rather than continuing to be "the three-quarter arcade machine in a room full of one-quarter machines."

[via @werezompire]

Joe Danger Special Edition Releases on XBLA

December 14, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson

Hello Games enhances it former PSN exclusive title and brings the Special Edition of Joe Danger to Xbox gamers today. In single or co-op modes, players attempt to string the ultimate tricked-out combo in a race across the finish line, while avoiding injury on some enjoyably punishing multi-lane tracks. Parts of these require exploration to find special items and the best path to collect coins and more, adding to the game's replayability.

In addition to the original pals and 100 levels in Joe Danger, the XBLA Special Edition gets 30 laboratory levels and some new unlockable friends. After those levels are all perfected, players can drop into the sandbox to build their own events to share.

Joe Danger Special Edition is available now for 1200 MS points. This title should prove ample practice until Joe Danger: The Movie releases next year.

For those not yet sold on Hello Games' awesome personality, after the break is a less informative but highly entertaining Joe Danger avatar video, set to the hauntingly "insidious" vocals of Tiny Tim.

Bit of Alright - A Follow-up To World of Love

December 14, 2011 9:00 AM | Michael Rose

bit of alright.jpg
Remember World of Love, the indie gaming conference that took place not once, but twice in London, UK? There's a sort of semi-sequel happening soon, but with less yap and more do. Bit of Alright is set to be a mixture of talks, hands-on, game demonstrations and all other sorts of things that a bunch of indie developers can get up to in large rooms.

Due to take place on February 3rd, once again in London, it's being run by David Hayward, who helps put together pretty much every indie event that ever happened in the lower regions of the UK. Tickets for the event are currently on sale for £20, so if you're around on that date, you might want to reserve yourself a seat. Check out the official site for more details.

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