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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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PSN/Mini Game Pick: Where is my Heart?

November 25, 2011 5:52 PM | John Polson

Puzzle platformer and 2009 IGF Student Showcase Finalist Where is My Heart? from Die Gute Fabrik has released in EU and US territories for PlayStation Network (and as a Mini) this month. The game revolves around a family of three monsters who must find their tree home, with every stage's goal being to retrieve hearts to open up the exit. As the video shows, the developer has split the traditional 2D space into pieces and jumbled them randomly.

Where is My Heart? is appealing to look at and refreshing to play for any lover of platforming. The game is $6.99 and free for PlayStation Plus users. Now, that's a perk!

Those who want to hear more about the gameplay and my humble suggestions after beating the game, continue reading.

Indie Black Friday Deals (Updates All Weekend)

November 24, 2011 5:17 PM | John Polson

Black Friday is the day after tomorrow, when a lot of humans are really at their prime, waiting in line for hours or days to grab some crazy sales and deploying an any-means-necessary approach to get little Billy his toy train (like the above video). Stores have extended sales to the following Monday, dubbed Cyber Monday, and some have made Black Friday a week-long affair. Fortunately, the downloadable market allows gamers who don't need a tangible copy a safer and quicker way to purchase games this holiday massacre season.

Starting off in terms of volume, Steam's epic Autumn Sale has kicked off. Deep daily discounts are active right now, and 280 indie items are on sale through November 27.

PSN users also have a handful of titles on sale, including Limbo and Might & Magic Clash of Heroes. Those in the giving mood can buy direct from Paradox Interactive, with most of their library at 60% off or more. Their titles are also on Steam, Gamersgate and Amazon. Team Meat has blogged about its long-overdue Super Meat Boy sale on XBLA, now only 400 MS points.

While not Black Friday specific, Humble Bundle currently has Introversion's lineup for whatever people want to pay, and Indie Royale is offering pre-orders to help people avoid a similar Black Friday-esque event happening online when the Really Big Bundle drops.

I'd like to make this a community effort, so if you know of any other deals online, share the love and leave them in the comments below!

Best of GameSetWatch: From Ghana's Devil May Cry To Custom Skylanders

November 23, 2011 11:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Over at our alt video game blog GameSetWatch, we shared a number of fun stories during the past week, including Ghana's Devil May Cry film, custom articulated Skylanders figures, and Skyrim without textures.

GameSetWatch's highlights from the last week:

Ghanaian Devil May Cry Film Takes Capcom's Series In A Bold New Direction - No matter how the next Devil May Cry turns out, it's probably not going to be as awe-inspiring as what you see here. This trailer for the Ghanaian film "Obonsam Besu" shows off several potential gameplay mechanics that will not be featured in any video game ever. Which...is kind of a shame, actually.

Yes! Jin Saotome Making Articulated, Poseable Skylanders - Jin Saotome is already familiar around these parts for producing wicked video game action figures out of G.I. Joe and McFarlane Toys parts, but now he is changing the world by customizing the latest toy craze: Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure figures.

ibb and obb, duet devs: Things that "Can't be Copied" Part 2

November 21, 2011 11:00 PM | John Polson

duet ibb obb 2.jpg

Developers Richard Boeser of PSN-bound ibb and obb (pictured left) and Matthew VanDevander of Duet continue their conversation about their seemingly similar 2D cooperative platformers, both entered into the 2012 IGF main competition.

In the first part of this group interview, the developers shared their reactions surrounding when they found each other's games and how they feel their games are different from each other. In this second part, the developers explore their own inspirations and ask each other about finding time, funding, and satisfying the player versus the designer.

What was captured in this half felt wonderfully raw, in that allowing the developers to ask each other questions turned into a natural flowing dialogue. For those who missed the first part of the interview, I have embedded footage of the games after the jump.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of November 18

November 18, 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 Microsoft, Sucker Punch Productions, and Digital Extremes.

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:

Microsoft: Design Director:
"Microsoft Studios group is looking for a dynamic and experienced designer who has passion to create the world's greatest family focused gaming experiences. The Sr. Designer position focuses on partnering and supporting creative visionaries, solving creative issues, helping establish and emphasize core design pillars, and evangelizing published products from a game design perspective. Sr. Designers push innovation and partner with world class developers to launch new high quality titles worthy of 1st Party development."

Robotic Arm Software: Software Engineer:
"Robotic Arm Software brings a variety of tool development services to game companies. We focus on the asset pipeline, helping game companies create, build and manage their data. We are experts in areas of game development and tools technologies, including C++, C#, .NET, WPF, XML, VB, Maya, 3DS MAX, Photoshop, Perforce, Alienbrian, and much more."

Best of GameSetWatch: From Peter Molydeux To The Simpsons

November 16, 2011 11:00 PM | Eric Caoili

[Every week GameSetWatch editor-in-chief Eric Caoili rounds up the latest news/media for obscure and offbeat games from IndieGames.com's sister site and alternative video game blog.]

Over at our alt video game blog GameSetWatch, we shared a number of fun stories during the past week, including Peter Molydeux's survival horror/bowling concept, the Simpsons' visit to E4, and lots of Skyrim goofiness.

GameSetWatch's highlights from the last week:

Peter Molydeux Reinvents Gaming, Again, With "Cascore" Proof Of Concept - Twitter prankster @petermolydeux (purveyor of gaming satire; inspiration for high-concept Flash games) has finally bridged the gap between casual and core gamers. The solution? A survival horror bowling game, of course.

The Simpsons Check Out Latest Games At E4 - In the program's opening minutes, Homer takes Bart and Lisa on a special Saturday trip to the Expensive Electronic Entertainment Expo, where they're amazed by all the latest titles and hardware from Protovision, Chalmskin Interactive, Electronic Crafts, and Funtendo.

GDC China: Bastion's Rao: 'If You Own Your IP, Do Something With It'

November 15, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

When the Supergiant Games team started out to make Bastion, the two founders had quit their jobs, had a bit of money, and an idea to make a game.

"We had a lot of worries in that first year," said Amir Rao, studio director of Supergiant and a former Electronic Arts LA staffer, at his talk during the Independent Games Summit at GDC China in Shanghai. "You look at that game and you wonder 'what kind of game is that going to be?'"

To keep lean, the team constrained the game to team skills. "If we didn't have someone that could do fancy particle effects, we just didn't do it," he said. "We're not a democracy. If there's an art issue, the art director solves it."

The only time they fight is when somebody doesn't own the part of the game, like UI. The team targeted everything it did toward events, such as GDC and PAX, while living off savings. "We paid ourselves basically nothing, in order to keep it going," he added.

Within the first year they kept most of the money. "You need to wait to spend the money until you actually pull the trigger," he said.

Though the team had tried to show the game to people at GDC 2010, it didn't really make a great impression at that time. They kept working on it until it was ready for prime time.

Supergiant Games decided to debut the game at the PAX 10, showing it to fans before publishers. "If they were excited about it, then we'd have something to show publishers," he reasoned. After the game was nominated for two IGF awards during GDC 2011 and won some accolades, Warner Bros. got interested, and wound up publishing it.

First Gun:Lord Trailer Shows Off New Turrican-style Game For NeoGeo, DreamCast

November 14, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

It's been nearly half a year since we first glimpsed Gun-Lord, the latest from German indie NG:Dev Team (Fast Striker, Last Hope), but with the game coming out in just two months for NeoGeo MVS arcade setups -- releases for AES systems and Dreamcasts slated for 2012 -- we finally have a look of the game in motion.

It's described as a "Eurostyle Platformer", which means it takes a lot of inspiration from the Turrican series, from the morph ball function to many of the weapons you can pick up (seven types). Even the way your character holds his gun while simultaneously running and firing looks straight from Turrican.

Not that that's a problem! There are plenty of people who want to play a new 2D run 'n gun, and this one offers 9 stages, 16-bit hand-drawn grpahics, more than 45 enemy types, online rankings via code, huge bosses (check out that weird green cyborgish thing around the 7:30 mark in the trailer), and 60 FPS gameplay.

You can preorder Gun-Lord now in various bundles for your system of choice here.

[Originally posted on sister site GameSetWatch.]

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of November 11

November 11, 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 343 Industries, Ubisoft, Tencent America, 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:

Microsoft Game Studios - 343 Industries: Design Director:
"343 Industries is forging the future of Halo, expanding and building upon one of the most important and successful franchises in gaming history. Halo is a rich and exciting universe that encompasses AAA video games, New York Times best-selling novels, world-class animation and much, much more. Just you wait. 343 is set to revolutionize gaming and entertainment by putting the industry's fiercest talent in one room and diving for cover. Come be part of the awesome."

SuperBot Entertainment, inc.: Senior Game Designer:
"SuperBot Entertainment, Inc. is a fresh, new independent game studio located in way cool Culver City, California. We are an exclusive developer of Sony Computer Entertainment America and are currently in production of a yet-to-be announced PS3 title. SuperBot's exceptional - yet humble - crew is comprised of long-time industry veterans and creative powerhouses who have worked on some of the most groundbreaking and successful titles that the games industry has ever seen."

High Frequency Q&A: Rethinking Remixes on PixelJunk SideScroller

November 10, 2011 11:00 PM | jeriaska

UK hip-hop duo Alex Paterson and Dom Beken of High Frequency Bandwidth received a BAFTA award nomination for their music for PixelJunk Shooter. Their latest game score, for Q-Games' PixelJunk SideScroller, has been entered in the coming Independent Games Festival competition, taking place during the 2012 Game Developers Conference. We caught up with HFB to hear their thoughts on sound design for the PSN exclusive for PlayStation 3.

Sidescroller Music Advert by Dom Beken

When PixelJunk SideScroller was first announced, Q-Games described the soundtrack as remixes of music from your PixelJunk Shooter scores. How did this concept for the soundtrack first emerge?

Dom Beken: I'm trying to suppress the desire to scream in agony at the mention the word "remix." Dylan Cuthbert from Q-Games came to us and said that they loved the music from Shooter and wanted to do a new game that was an extension of the bonus area from Shooter 2, with remixes of tracks from Shooter 1 & 2. I think his idea was that this would be an easy process for us, taking the tracks we did before and just sticking a new beat on them, right? That happens not to be the way we, or any artist I think, prefers to work.

HFB137bw_tn.jpg
Alex Paterson and Dom Beken of High Frequency Bandwidth

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