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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 October 28

October 28, 2011 4:00 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 Nexon America, Electronic Arts Montreal, Crystal Dynamics, and more.

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:

Electronic Arts Montreal: Technical Director, Mobile:
"Founded in 2003, EA Montreal is one of the most dynamic studios in Quebec. Since its creation, it has undergone exceptional growth and currently has more than 200 employees. Located in the heart of Montréal, EA Montréal has benefited from constant investments and an integral renovation, thereby becoming the studio to be in if you want a career in the field of video games."

Crystal Dynamics: Senior Technical Artist:
"Crystal Dynamics is a wholly owned studio and a subsidiary of Square Enix. Crystal maintains the position as one of the group's worldwide studios that includes Eidos Montreal, IO Interactive, and SEJ (Square Enix Japan) Tokyo."

PBS Arts Talks Importance Of Indie Games

October 27, 2011 10:00 PM | Eric Caoili

PBS Arts' Off Book series, which looks to "showcase new and under-exposed art forms and reach arts communities online", has produced this really slick episode on the importance of video games as "a storytelling medium" and "a place for self-expression"

This video features interviews with several folks from NYC's gaming community, including GameLab head Eric Zimmerman, NYU visiting assistant arts professor Jesper Juul, Gamasutra editor-at-large Leigh Alexander, and Babycastles curator Syed Salahuddin.

The group talks about the evolution of video games, the emergence and popularity of indie titles in recent years, the use of choice in marquee games like Portal and BioShock, and even Cactus/Doomlaser's immensely weird Flash game Hot Throttle.

Oh, and it also features chiptune songs by Trash80, 4mat, and one of my favorite groups lately, The Shortsleeves. Click those links, listen to their music, and make your life a million times better!

Trailer: Zack Zero (Crocodile Entertainment)

October 27, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.


In Zack Zero you play as a protagonist named Zack, on a mission to rescue his love Marlene who had been kidnapped by an evil alien race on a distant planet somewhere. Our hero's suit grants him special powers like the ability to double jump in the air, burst into flames, fire projectiles from his hands, and smash into the ground to knock enemies off their feet temporarily.

Though Zack Zero features 3D graphics, the gameplay will strictly adhere to the 2D scrolling platformer approach with automatic zoom and changes to the point of view when the action calls for it. Crocodile Entertainment's debut commercial project is currently in the final stages of development, and has been scheduled for a release on the Playstation Network sometime early next year.

Best of GameSetWatch: From The Greatest QTE To Hatoful Boyfriend

October 26, 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 a visual novel about falling in love with pigeons, the greatest Quick Time Event Ever, and more.

GameSetWatch's highlights from the last week:

Hatoful Boyfriend Illustrates The Forbidden Love Between Man And Pigeon - A popular set-up you'll find in many Japanese visual novels is being the only guy at some all girls' academy. In addition to all the comedic possibilities that such a premise allows is the chance of romance, literally at every turn. Whether it be with classmate or teacher. So in many ways, Hatoful Boyfriend is no different from those games. Except for one key difference: replace girls with pigeons.

This Is It. This Is The Greatest QTE. - Finally, we can give the Quick Time Event (QTE) a dignified burial thanks to the concluding scene in Namco Bandai's recently released Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, captured in this video. No one is allowed to put a QTE in a game after today. It would be disrespectful to everyone.

Preview: They Bleed Pixels (Spooky Squid)

October 26, 2011 7:40 AM | Cassandra Khaw



They Bleed Pixels is an art game. I'm serious here. It's art. Bloody, savage art constructed out of faces and stolen scalps but art, nonetheless. Okay, that might be stretching things but it's hard to deny that Spooky Squid's upcoming XBLIG platformer is a thing of rare beauty.

They got so many things right with this one. The moody palette, the slick animations, the deliciously low-rez visuals, the fluid controls, the brutality, the pacing - they all work together magnificently. I especially approve of the way the game lets you pinion enemies to spiked ceilings, spiked walls, spiked floors and well, you get the picture. Nonetheless, that's not what impressed me most. No. It's the checkpoint system. They delivered that one perfectly.

2012 IGF Announces Record Main Competition Entrants

October 25, 2011 3:00 PM | Tim W.

The organizers of the 14th Annual Independent Games Festival -- the longest-running and largest festival relating to independent games worldwide -- are proud to announce another year of record entry numbers for IGF 2012's Main Competition.

In total, this year's Main Competition took in nearly 570 game entries from both leading indie developers and first-time entrants, a more than forty five percent jump over 2011's total entries. Entries for mobile hardware like the iPhone, iPad, DS, PSP and Android devices alone -- now fully integrated into the festival and eligible for their own unique Best Mobile Game award -- nearly doubled over the prior year, proving the platform's increasing importance for independent development.

Some of the titles entered in the IGF Main Competition this year include Ed Key and David Kanaga's Proteus, an adventure game that dynamically generates its ambient soundtrack as you explore, Waking Mars, the action-gardening game from former IGF Mobile winner Tiger Style, and Super T.I.M.E. Force, a time-twisting shooter from Critter Crunch, Clash of Heroes and Sword & Sworcery EP developer Capy.

In addition, a number of returning developers previously honored at the Independent Games Festival have entered new games including Prison Architect, a previously unannounced game from 2006 Seumas McNally Grand Prize winners Introversion, Jesus Vs Dinosaurs, an arcade game co-developed by Crayon Physics creator Petri Purho and two new games from the team behind 2007 Grand Prize winner Aquaria: Infinite Ammo's Alone and Spelunky, a revamped version of Mossmouth's cult favorite rogue-like platformer.

Other notable entries this year include ____ (Four Letter Word) from VVVVVV developer Terry Cavanagh, Storyteller, an experimental visual-narrative game from former Nuovo finalist Daniel Benmergui, and mobile debuts from a number of beloved indie regulars: Vlambeer's Ridiculous Fishing, Rockfish, from Cave Story creator Daisuke 'Pixel' Amaya, and English Country Tune from Stephen 'Increpare' Lavelle.

In-depth information and entrant-provided screenshots and videos are now available on IGF.com for careful perusal of all titles from entrants both established and those making their first appearance at the festival.

Rock of Ages Cinematics Compilation

October 24, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.


Have you played ACE Team's Rock of Ages yet? It's available to download from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and Steam for around USD 10. The game not only offers a very unique take on the tower defense genre, it also provides plenty of laughs delivered through the oddball and humorous cutscenes shown between each level in the single-player story mode. The developers are not afraid of making fun of everything and everyone, as evident from the collection of cinematics we've embedded after the break.

Note that watching these cutscenes will spoil your enjoyment of the game if you've not beaten it yet. For those who'd like to try out Rock of Ages first before purchasing it, a demo can also be found in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace (no trial version is available for Windows users at the moment).

Trailer: Origins of Malu (Burning Dog Media)

October 23, 2011 3:43 PM | Cassandra Khaw



At the risk of sounding like the surly curmudgeon, I'm going to have to say that I have my doubts in regards to Origins of Malu. An upcoming indie MMO, Origins of Malu is an ambitious project with big promises. According to their website, it looks like the developers are aiming to turn Origins of Malu into a bit of a sandbox experience. They're looking to implement unscripted boss fights, an AI capable of learning from its interactions with both players and GMs, and - yeah.

Don't get me wrong, though. I would really like this to work. The idea of an intelligent AI capable of adapting to its environment makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Nonetheless, there's probably a reason as to why we haven't seen this done before. It's a lot of work and it's something that could go brutally wrong.

Still, I'm going to keep my fingers crossed. Who knows what the future might hold? You can check out the official website here.

Music: PixelJunk / Sound Shapes Designers Vibe for Charity

October 22, 2011 7:30 PM | jeriaska

vibeagainst_190.jpgThe art and sound director of Q-Games' independently financed PlayStation Network title PixelJunk Eden has released two new EPs this weekend. Volumes one and two of Vibes Against Vibes have been published through Baiyon's private netlabel Descanso.

All proceeds from sales of the digital releases, available through iTunes and Beatport, will go to relief efforts in Japan through Montbell's Outdoor GIENTAI initiative.

Vibes Against Vibes seeks to send out good vibrations of expression and altruism, a bulwark against the damage sustained by bad vibrations following this year's Tohoku earthquake and tsunamis. Nor is Baiyon the only game creator lending his efforts. Hip Tanaka.ex, who previously contributed the epic 8-bit retrospective "Hvc-1384" to charity compilation Play For Japan: The Album, teams up with the Kyoto-based DJ on Volume 1's "White Breath Dub."

Also participating is the musician behind the I Am Robot and Proud album series, Shaw-Han Liem. Currently designing the audio tools for Everyday Shooter creator Jonathan Mak's upcoming PlayStation Vita title Sound Shapes, I Am Robot and Proud collaborates with Baiyon on Volume 2's "Madder Red."

Baiyon is currently at work on PixelJunk 4am, Q-Games' DJ simulation software for use with the PlayStation Move peripheral. If you like what you hear on Vibes Against Vibes, Descanso is also responsible for four "In the Collaborations" EPs, available through iTunes.

shawhan-baiyontn.jpg
Shaw-Han Liem and Baiyon during this year's Tokyo Game Show

Trailer: Sequence (Iridium Studios)

October 21, 2011 8:46 PM | Cassandra Khaw



Have you been looking for an excuse to drag out your old legwarmers and DDR pads? If so, Sequence might be the game for you. A snazzy mix of the RPG and rhythm genres, Iridium Studios' inaugural production looks like it might be more fun than a barrel of monkeys - if you enjoy rhythm-based games, that is.

Available on both XBLIG and Steam, Sequence packs a surprising amount of bang for your buck. Fully voice-acted, it features a ten hour story mode, a fairly good soundtrack and, if the trailers are anything to go by, a deliciously dry sense of humor. Sadly, the PC version is rather deficient in the demo department.

You can check out the website here.
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