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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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Best of GameSetWatch: From Cave To Kemco

November 9, 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'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 the Cave Shooting Artworks Book, the resurfacing of Japanese developer Kemco, an SD Snatcher retranslation, and more.

GameSetWatch's highlights from the last week:

Kemco Is Alive, And It's Making RPGs For The iPhone - "Ever wonder what became of Japanese publisher Kemco? The company was fairly prolific during the 8 and 16-bit eras, publishing standout titles like Shadowgate, Rescue: The Embassy Mission, and the Crazy Castle series."

Cave Shooting Artworks Book Now Available - "Fans of Japanese shoot'em up artwork, particularly those of Cave, Softbank Creative has put out a new 160-page, full-color art book featuring illustrations from the manic shooter publisher's recent titles in Japan this week."

Trailer: Cell - Emergence (New Life Interactive, LLC)

November 6, 2011 5:33 PM | Cassandra Khaw

This one hurts my brain ever-so-slightly. A deeply simulated gameworld comprising of nearly 1,000, 00 cells? Fully dynamic voxels that react to the player, to each other, and to voxel-based sprites?

It looks like Cell: Emergence will have you diving into the human body as you struggle to save a sick little girl. Along the way, you're going to have evolve your 'surgical aim, construction skills, strategic thinking' and survive as a medical nanobot. I can't help but be reminded of an interactive version of Isaac Asimov's 1966 Fantastic Voyage.

An IGF 2012 entrant, Cell: Emergence has an early demo of sorts up here. It doesn't really showcase the game itself but it shows the underlying technology. No concrete release date has been announced yet but it looks like they're shooting to have this released on Xbox LIVE Indie Games and Windows.

Official website here.

Where Is My Heart? On PSN Soon

November 5, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

Well over a year has passed since we talked about 2009 IGF Student Showcase winner Where Is My Heart? coming to PS Minis, but it looks like Denmark-based indie developer Die Gute Fabrik is finally bringing it out for PSPs and PS3s this month.

Where Is My Heart? is an adorable-looking puzzle-platformer that follows a family of monsters who've lost their home in the woods and set off on an adventure that takes them through mushroom caves, crystal pools, and other charming pixelart scenes.

It's loosely based on a personal experience from when Die Gute Fabrik's Bernie Schulenburg went on a Sunday hike with his parents:

"They got lost in a forest and confronted with this problem they came to face each other's negative personality traits. Bernie's father showed his anxiety and this made him switch to 'bossy mode'. Bernie's mom responded to this as she always did: She turned to lamenting about her life and existence as she had been doing for the 25 past years of her partnership.

Bernie on his side fell into his well known patterns of regret, remorse and disconnectedness. Here there were three hurt children-at-heart, not understanding nor able to break out of their predicament. This game is Bernie's clumsy attempt to come to an understanding with himself and his parents as a family."

The game will release in Europe on November 16 (it's already available if you're a PS Plus subscriber) and in North America on November 22 (November 8 on PS Plus).

[Originally posted on sister site GameSetWatch.]

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of November 4

November 4, 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 Infinity Ward, Gree, Tripwire Interactive, 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:

Infinity Ward / Activision: Senior Environment Artist:
"Infinity Ward, Inc. is an award winning developer located in Los Angeles, California.Since its inception, the studio has consistently produced blockbuster hits and critically-acclaimed titles including Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and most recently Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3."

Tripwire Interactive LLC: Senior Programmer:
"Tripwire Interactive is looking for highly talented and dedicated individuals to join the Tripwire Interactive family. Developer of the critically acclaimed Red Orchestra series and the hit game Killing Floor, Tripwire has a history of developing some of the most popular multiplayer games in the world. Poised to surpass this success for their next project Tripwire Interactive is one of the rising new stars of the games industry."

Trailer: Joe Danger Special Edition (Hello Games)

November 4, 2011 3:27 PM | John Polson

Hello Games' Joe Danger is no longer PSN exclusive, sort of. To make this game more than a mere hand-me-down, and to avoid an XBLA rejection, Joe Danger tacks on the Special Edition. The game intends to live up to its new name by offering "almost double the gameplay again, including new environments, new levels, and new characters," states the team's blog.

Mike Rose shared that the original Joe Danger was one of his favorite PSN titles, and I have to agree. Joe Danger has the thrill of Excitebike or a fast-paced stunt racer, but with even more trimmings that most crave from a modern trick game, including combos, coin lines, high scores, level editor, and personality.

As for when Windows (let alone Mac or Linux) users can have a go at the series, Sean Murray didn't seem sure during an interview with Mike on Gamasutra: "[T]hat's something I don't know actually, whether people genuinely want that. Like, I would hope that people would be interested in that, and it's something that I'd like to do." However, a month later at PAX Prime 2011, Joe Danger: The Movie was shown on both PC and Xbox 360, according to Kotaku. This, along with the Special Edition, seems indicative of a multi-platform future for the series.

Joe Danger Special Edition hits XBLA this holiday season.

Amanita Shelves Machinarium's Nearly Complete Wii Port

November 4, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

Amanita Design has cancelled plans to port Machinarium, its Independent Games Festival award-winning point-and-click adventure game, to Wii due to the hardware's limitations, according to a recent interview with Eurogamer.

Originally announced in September 2010, the WiiWare port was meant to be handled by XGen Studios (Defend Your Castles). An iPad 2 edition of the PC title released two months ago, and a PSN version will ship next February or March.

The Czech developer's head Jakub Dvorský explained the WiiWare version's cancellation to GameSetWatch: "The port is practically finished, but after some discussions, we decided not to release it because it's just not good."

He added, "The resolution is crap, and we had to squeeze the whole game (which is around 360 MB in [the] original version) into [the] 40 MB WiiWare limit. The music sounds terrible, the background pictures are heavily compressed, and we had to throw out ... some animations."

Dvorský, though, said his team will consider releasing future titles, like Samorost 3, to as many platforms as possible, including the Wii's successor: "Nintendo Wii U looks promising because it will be a powerful machine and that's what we want."

He also expressed excitement about Machinarium's upcoming PSN release and said it will be the "ultimate version" of the visually distinct game, with Trophies, the ability to zoom to certain places, a magnetic cursor, Move support, and more.

[Originally posted on sister site GameSetWatch.]

Music: Songs We Heard in ilomilo

November 3, 2011 1:00 AM | jeriaska

songs-heard-ilomilotn.jpgDesigners of Southend Interactive's puzzle game ilomilo shared a tribute album through Bandcamp in late October, composed of songs inspired by the game soundtrack.

Artists featured on the Bandcamp release include such indie game makers as Cobalt composer Mattias Häggström Gerdt, SoulEye of VVVVVV and Bumpy Road's Simon Flesser. I also helped out by pitching in some suggestions for the free album's liner notes.

"Songs we heard in ilomilo" joins composer Daniel Olsén's 33-track digital soundtrack album, available for purchase through CD Baby. We caught up with the musician for an informal interview during the making of the compilation for a look back at the music of ilomilo.

When we spoke previously, you mentioned that the instrumental performances heard in the game were meant to have an unrefined quality, as if they were being played by children. Was this something you sought to achieve by leaving in mistakes that cropped up during recording sessions?

Daniel Olsén: How it came about was I was eager to hear what my music would sound like with live instruments. When I came home after buying the first instruments I immediately played one of the melodies on a recorder without practicing and just threw it in there. That sounded really weird, but because I was so eager I went ahead and recorded another instrument. When I heard this combination of poorly played instruments it sounded really special. I felt like I was on to something.

Soulcaster Dev Helps A Goat Escape To XBLIG

November 3, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

When we last heard from MagicalTimeBean, it had released well-received 8-bit adventure/tower defense title Soulcaster II for Xbox Live Indie Games. The developer's returned nearly a year later with another project for the download platform, but this time it's a completely original game.

Released yesterday for 240 MS Points, Escape Goat is a puzzle-platformer starring a purple billy imprisoned for the crime of witchcraft. It's up to you to guide him through the dungeon, jumping over pits, avoiding traps, and enlisting the help of a mouse that will aid you in escaping the prison.

MagicalTimeBean notes that Escape Goat is built "with a unique physics engine that allows pixel-perfect world manipulation and destruction". The game will feature over 50 rooms of challenges, as well as a built-in level editor that will allow you to create your own dangerous areas.

[Originally posted on sister site GameSetWatch.]

Best of GameSetWatch: From NMA's GTAV Trailer To Tokyo Blip Fest Highlights

November 2, 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 Gamasutra'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 Next Media Animation's 'Grand Theft Auto 5' trailer, highlights from Tokyo Blip Fest, the cancelled New Ghostbusters II NES game, and more.

GameSetWatch's highlights from the last week:

Next Media Animation Premieres "Grand Theft Auto 5" Trailer - Taiwanese news outlet Next Media Animation has gotten another exclusive scoop that promises to shock the gaming world. This time, NMA offers an early look at Rockstar's open-world crime drama Grand Theft Auto V, which apparently represents a bold new direction for the series.

Anamanaguchi, USK, And More Laying It Down At Tokyo Blip Fest - Want to see what you missed at Tokyo Blip Fest last weekend? You need to watch this joint performance between American chiptune superstar band Anamanaguchi (from the Scott Pilgrim vs The World video game soundtrack) and Fukuoka legend USK tearing the roof off Koenji High.

Sega Partners With Indie Arkedo For Project Hell Yeah!

October 29, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

French indie game developer Arkedo has announced Sega will be publishing its next title, tentatively titled Project Hell Yeah!

Few details are known about the newly announced project, which Arkedo has reportedly been working on for nine months, though the company did say the title will have "tons of different monsters in it."

"See, Sega? We spent the last five years telling you repeatedly that someday, somehow, you would publish one of our games," Arkedo studio chief Camille Guermonprez said in a statement. "This day has come. Hell Yeah! Now let's go back to work and finish the damn thing."

Arkedo was founded in 2006 and subsequently released two retail Nintendo DS titles: block-breaker Nervous Brickdown through Secret Stash Games in 2007 and pyrotechnic shoot-'em'-up Big Bang Mini through Southpeak Interactive in 2009.

More recently, the company's downloadable "Arkedo! Series" -- including puzzle title Swap! and platformers Pixel! and Jump! -- have seen thousands of sales on Xbox Live Indie Games, with ports for PSN and iOS as well.

[Originally posted on sister site Gamasutra.]
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