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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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Dream Build Play Semi-Finalist Orbitron: Revolution Launches For Xbox 360

December 5, 2011 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Firebase Industries has teamed up with noted game soundtrack composer Audio Antics to release Orbitron: Revolution, a side-scrolling shoot-'em-up for the Xbox Live Indie Games platform.

Similar in premise to the arcade classic Defender, each level in Orbitron takes place in a single looping sector. In Countdown Mode, players must fight off increasingly difficult waves of enemies, as in Defender. The game also includes a defense-oriented Guardian Mode, along with the survival-based Extra Mode.

Orbitron: Revolution earned a semi-finalist spot in this year's Dream Build Play competition alongside other XBLIG standouts like Oozi: Earth Adventure and ENGO. Orbitron is priced at 240 Microsoft points ($3).

Beatbuddy Details and Gameplay Video Surface (Threaks)

December 3, 2011 12:00 PM | John Polson

Threaks' music action adventure Beatbuddy has more funk for us to enjoy, as heard in the above trailer. Threaks' Wolf Lang says that each level in Beatbuddy is based on the arrangement of a song and will be heard exactly the way one plays the level, meaning one's interaction with the stage affects the aural outcome. In a mix of interactive music mechanics, both with puzzle and action elements, players will bring back multi-tracks and restore the featured song.

Lang said the team is developing on Unity for different platforms right now, two of which are desktop and mobile. The team is not ready to commit just yet, saying that a PS3 or Xbox version is also not out the question.

Lang talked a little bit about the mechanics featured in the video. If Beatbuddy gets hurt, the sound/energy fades away. This is why everything gets blurry and gray, and the sound gets duller with each hit. If Beatbuddy dies, then the whole sound fades away.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of December 2

December 2, 2011 10:00 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 Crytek, Avalanche Studios, Capcom, 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 alternative gaming news, independent games, and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

Crytek: Art Director:
"Crytek is always looking for the best talent in the industry. If you are passionate about great games and want to work with a highly talented and creative team on cutting edge technology and tools, then look no further. For the recently unveiled Ryse, we're looking to fill various positions in our Crytek Frankfurt studio, a very experienced and passionate group of people; working together to create a brand-new IP."

KIXEYE: Senior Games Engineer:
"Founded in 2007, KIXEYE is an online gaming company that plays to win. Responsible for popular titles like Backyard Monsters, Battle Pirates and War Commander, KIXEYE is the first developer to deliver proper game play experiences on social networks. The company is based in San Francisco and backed by Trinity Ventures, JAFCO and Lightspeed Venture Partners."

Ishisoft's Johnny Platform Saves Christmas Now for Free

December 2, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson

PC gamers have another holiday treat, courtesy of Ishisoft. Two years ago, Mike Rose was telling gamers to go play this festive game on XBLIG for $3, and now Johnny Platform Saves Christmas is available on PC for free!

The price from two years ago is now down as low as it can get on XBLIG: a paltry 80 MS points. However, this free gift to Windows users may give Ishisoft the bump of exposure it needs.

According to Ishisoft's website, the PC version requires XNA 3.1 and .NET 2.0 runtimes to be installed. But fear not, more detailed information is included in the ReadMe.txt file with the download.

With Mike's approval and only a small amount of bandwidth used, go ahead and download this 8MB of Christmas cheer today. Those wanting even more free holiday goodness, check out Hyper Princess Pitch, as well. Note to devs, keep the free holiday cheer coming!

Elfsquad7: An XBLIG Christmas Present From Galactic Civilizations Creator Stardock

December 2, 2011 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Stardock (best known for its PC strategy titles, including Sins of a Solar Empire and Galactic Civilizations) has released its debut effort for consoles: Elfsquad7, a cooperative multiplayer action game for the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Indie Games service.

In Elfsquad7, players square off against Kevin, a toy-building robot that went rogue and made a mess of Santa's workshop. Up to four players can team up to catch falling toys -- first by "wrapping" (shooting) them as they fall, and then collecting a set number of wrapped presents within each level's time limit. Armies of evil "un-toys" will make the task more difficult, though players can purchase power-up items between levels to even the odds.

The core gameplay is somewhat similar to Mitchell's Pang/Buster Bros. series, and the multiplayer element adds a decent amount of chaos to the proceedings. Elfsquad7 is available for 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Indie Game: The Movie To Premiere At 2012 Sundance Film Festival

December 1, 2011 5:00 PM | John Polson

Indie Game The Movie Goes-to-Sundance2.jpg

Film creators Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky announced that their upcoming documentary on game development, Indie Game: The Movie, will premiere during the World Documentary Competition at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival early next year.

The film follows renowned indie game developers Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes (Super Meat Boy), Phil Fish (Fez), and Jonathan Blow (Braid), and offers a personal and in-depth look at how these games came to be.

Pajot and Swirsky began producing the film independently 18 months ago, traveling around North America to talk to the industry's most influential indie developers. Since then, the film has built up a strong following from both fans and the press alike.

"We are exceptionally thrilled, humbled and, actually, kind of numbed by this honor. It's surreal to think that Indie Game: The Movie has been invited to the same festival that introduced the world to the likes of Super Size Me, Born Into Brothels, Man on Wire, The Cove and Waiting for Superman... that's a heavy club to think about joining," Pajot and Swirsky said in a statement.

The pair added that the film's first post-Sundance showing will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba on February 3. More details are available at the film's official website. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival itself will take place January 19-29 in Park City, Utah.

[This article was originally posted on Gamastura.]

FLX Devs: Experimenting in and Defining Games

December 1, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson

The pairing of accomplished game designer Sander van der Vegte and game novice Han Hoogerbrugge of Submarine Channel was an experiment to see what would happen if a game designer and an artist worked together to further the idea of a video game. The team created four-player Kinect title FLX, where all players are bound together in reality, and they must sway from side to side to avoid obstacles and lean forwards or backwards to move.

FLX now is a 4-player only game that requires Kinect and a PC. When asked if any of those players could be substituted for AI, the team said they are looking into ways to change this in future updates.

Submarine Channel initiated this production, having convinced the Stedelijk Museum and Vegte to participate in the Split Second project. Hoogerbrugge has never designed a game. While Vegte has, this process and pairing were new for him. Showing FLX off at an art museum was also rather new for them both.

In the discussion that follows, these two creators discuss the reactions of showing the game at the art museum, the reasons behind joining the project, the inspiration behind FLX, experimenting in games, and even exploring the definition of a "game."

Game Connection Europe Selected Projects 2012 Shortlist

November 30, 2011 3:00 AM | John Polson

game connection.jpgThe shortlist for Game Connection Europe's Selected Projects 2012 has been revealed. The fifteen titles represent an international collection of talent, and the winners, including the grand prize of "Best Project 2012," will be decided at the event on December 6. The decision will follow presentations of each game to the panel of publishers, investors and industry experts.

The Game Connection jury selected as "Best Project 2012" will receive hardware and development support from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, including PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita development kits. Two runners up will be invited by Sony to their London offices for a training day (technical support, QA and PlayStation Network business).

The shortlist follows after the break:

IndieVisibility Awards Coming to London

November 29, 2011 9:00 AM | John Polson

IndieAwards20111-thumb-478x201-3650.jpg

The first ever IndieVisibility End of Year Awards will be given on December 10 at the Camel & Artichoke in Waterloo, starting at 6PM. Attendance is free, but spaces are limited and require advance registration.

The fine people of Rock, Paper, Shotgun and our own Mike Rose, along with some top developers, have crafted interesting awards such as "Best Minecraft" and "Best Placeholder Art" to be given at the event. If free booze is your idea of winning, then just by attending, you will have won!

There are so many awesome London indies, such as Curve Studios (recent Stealth Bastard fame), Omni Systems (Eufloria), Hello Games (Joe Danger), Hand Circus (Rolando) and, of course, Size Five (BAFTA award winner for Privates). I envision the event to be like a Hollywood affair; while not guaranteed, you are bound to grope run into one of these teams.

For more information and updates to the event, follow @danthat on Twitter. As spaces are limited, email Dan at Size Five Games for a free ticket only if you intend to come to the event.

Bastion Q&A: Creating a Narrator's Voice

November 26, 2011 6:15 PM | jeriaska

Actor Logan Cunningham voices Rucks, the narrator of Supergiant Games' Bastion. Creating the character in collaboration with sound director Darren Korb and studio director Amir Rao added new dimensions to a long-standing friendship. The three first met on their neighborhood soccer field and in high school, growing up in San Jose.

The Supergiant sound team is in the running for three VGA awards, with votes currently being accepted on the Spike website. In this interview we hear about the creation of the voice of Rucks from the actor and sound director.


Logan Cunningham at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles

What was it that led you to pursue a career in acting?

Logan Cunningham: When I was in high school I had done some acting with Darren, but I didn't train as an actor while in college. I studied basically everything else. When it came time to graduate Fordham University at Lincoln Center as a journalism and communications student, also studying a lot of English, film and visual arts, I realized that everything I had been studying was leading me back to acting and the theater.

Acting was very difficult, and I liked that. In my life, acting and writing are the two things that I've done that have been the hardest and the most fun. I've been out of college for five years, and have spent a lot of time thinking about being an actor. While I don't go on a ton of auditions, I do whatever comes my way. That was, ironically, how Bastion happened.

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