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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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Interview: Talking NES Homebrew With Battle Kid 2's Sivak

October 21, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

[In this interview, homebrew game developer Sivak talks with Gamasutra contributor Jason Johnson about creating homebrew NES game Battle Kid and its sequel, how he develops homemade games for the 26-year-old console, and why his platformers are so hard.]

When Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril released for the NES last year, it was hailed as one of the finest (though, admittedly, one of the very few) homebrew titles put out for the system.

It's also a very hard Metroidvania-style platformer, inspired not just by the look of the old Mega Man titles but also by their trial-and-error super difficulty, as it's filled with spikes and other hazards that instantly kill unpracticed players.

The brawn and the brains behind Battle Kid, Sivak, developer of Battle Kid, has a programmer's mentality. He delights in discussing the technicality of his work, he has a voracious appetite for collecting NES games, and he plays on the hardest difficulty when given the chance.

What more would you expect from the guy who took up making games for a console that hasn't been produced for 17 years, merely to crush us with a sadistic 8-bit throwback and its soon-to-be sequel, Battle Kid 2: Mountain of Torment?

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of October 21

October 20, 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 SCEA Santa Monica, Irrational Games, and InnoGames.

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:

Irrational Games: QA Engineer:
"Irrational Games is an award winning video game developer located in Quincy, MA and founded in 1997 by Ken Levine, Jonathan Chey and Robert Fermier. The team made its name with the much loved first person shooter System Shock 2. This was followed by two Freedom Force games, SWAT 4 and Tribes: Vengeance. In 2005 Irrational Games was acquired by Take-Two Interactive. The team was renamed 2K Boston in 2007, just in time to coincide with the release of the critically acclaimed BioShock, which went on to win over 50 awards including Best Game from BAFTA. In 2010 the team returned to its roots by reclaiming the Irrational Games moniker."

High Moon / Activision: Senior 3D Character Artist:
"High Moon Studios is a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard. Our studio was established in 2005 and is located in Carlsbad, CA, a seaside city in San Diego County. We are focused on making highly successful AAA titles for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. Our challenging work environment inspires creativity, innovation and teamwork."

Best of GameSetWatch: From Puzz Loop To Sega's Sonic Playground

October 19, 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 the bewildering winner of Nokia's $250,000 "Innovators" prize, Sega's new Sonic the Hedgehog playground in Oakland, and more.

GameSetWatch's highlights from the last week:

Sega Building Sonic the Hedgehog Playground In Oakland - Celebrating Sonic the Hedgehog's 20th anniversary (and the upcoming release of Sonic Generations), Sega of America announced that it's helping design and build a custom playground inspired by its blue mascot in East Oakland, California.

Nokia Gives $250,000 "Innovators" Prize To A Puzz Loop Clone (pictured) - The word "innovation" has officially lost all meaning, as Nokia has named the mobile puzzler Sparkle, which looks more than a little like Mitchell's oft-cloned puzzler Puzz Loop,the winner of its "Calling All Innovators" contest, awarding producer 10tons a cash prize of $250,000.

Trailer: English Country Tune (Increpare)

October 19, 2011 3:00 PM | Michael Rose

Increpare has a new game on the way, but this one is a little different to his usual stuff. It's puzzley, in a 'I think this game will make my head hurt' kind of way - so far, so Lavelle. But it's also got it's own trailer, website, announcement, and is coming to multiple platforms.

From the above trailer for English Country Tune, I can honestly say that I have no idea what is going on, but it will no doubt be a proper head-scratcher. You can visit the official website to see a smattering of screenshots, and then wait eagerly for it to land on PC, Mac and iPad.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken Released For PSN

October 19, 2011 12:00 PM | Michael Rose

Yikes, where did this come from? You may remember Rocketbirds: Revolution!, a Flashback-esque platformer for PC and Mac that launched back in 2009. We were aware that a PlayStation 3 version was in the works... and then just like that, it's released and ready for download.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken features new characters, missions, puzzles, cutscenes and other features. There's even stereoscopic 3D support for you people with more money than sense! For those who missed it the first time, you play a badass chicken - or 'Coq of War' - who must defeat an evil clan who has taken over the city of Albatropolis.

The original was cool as eff see ewe kay, and no doubt this will be too. Boot up your PS3 and check it out via the PlayStation Store.

Reminder: 24 Hours To 2012 IGF Main Competition Deadline

October 17, 2011 6:00 AM | Tim W.

Organizers are reminding that there are 24 hours until the Main Competition deadline for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, being held at the Game Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco next March 5-9.

The Independent Games Festival is the longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit, and showcase, and the deadline for the IGF 2012 Main Competition is Monday, October 17th at 11.59pm PT.

Finalists will be announced in January 2012, and will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor from March 7-9, 2012. The titles will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes, a significant increase from last year.

This includes the high-profile $5,000 Nuovo Award, honoring abstract, short-form, and unconventional video game development, as well as a $30,000 Grand Prize and a host of other notable awards.

Submissions to the competition are still open to all independent game developers, with almost 260 games entered already, and many entrants waiting until the last minute to polish versions of their game for more than 150 IGF judges. A full list of entrants will be released on the IGF website in the days following the submission deadline.

Important dates for IGF 2012 - organized by the UBM TechWeb Game Network, as is this website - are as follows:

- June 30, 2011 - Submissions are Open
- October 17, 2011 - Submission Deadline, Main Competition
- October 31, 2011 - Submission Deadline, Student Competition
- January 5, 2012 - Finalists Announced, Main Competition
- January 12, 2012 - Finalists Announced, Student Competition
- March 5 - March 9, 2012 - Game Developers Conference 2012
- March 5 - March 6, 2012 - Indie Games Summit @ GDC 2012
- March 7 - March 9, 2012 - IGF Pavilion @ GDC 2012

Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The Independent Games Festival Awards are held immediately before the wider Game Developers Choice Awards.

Music: Alpha Squad's Stemage Covers Grandia II for Charity

October 16, 2011 10:00 PM | jeriaska

grandia-fretstn.jpgGrant Henry (Stemage) composed his first soundtrack for an indie game early this year, joining developer Dragon Divide on the making of their top-down shooter Alpha Squad for Xbox Live Indie Games.

The musician is perhaps best known as the founder of Metroid Metal, a game cover band that has performed at the Penny Arcade Expo on both coasts.

As we reported earlier this year, in a MAGFest-sponsored benefit following the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan, Stemage offered to auction off a remix of passages from any game soundtrack. Jason Roop of the PAX Community DVD was the highest bidder, selecting Noriyuki Iwadare's music from Grandia II as the source material, donating his bid to Tohoku earthquake relief.

The resulting Frets of Valmar EP can now be downloaded for free, with all donations sent through Bandcamp going to the Red Cross in Japan. Regular PAX attendees might be interested to hear that the album features Danimal, Chris and Mike from Armcannon and Yes, Mayhem's Chunkstyle, in addition to the composer of Alpha Squad.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of October 14

October 14, 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 Capcom, Bethesda, Riot Games, 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:

Capcom Game Studio Vancouver, Inc: Producers & Designers:
"Capcom Game Studio Vancouver is a multi-project and multi-platform developer located in Vancouver, Canada. Capcom Game Studio Vancouver is the newest member of the Capcom family and was added to the company's portfolio in October 2010. Capcom Game Studio Vancouver is recognized for its development of Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, Dead Rising 2, and Dead Rising 2: Case West."

Kabam: Level Designer:
"Kabam is an interactive entertainment company that creates free-to-play games for social networks. But our games are different from the "mass market/casual games" that have dominated news to-date. Our games are designed to appeal to the growing number of serious gamers and game enthusiasts who are also engaged in social networks."

Trailer: Unstoppable (JForce)

October 14, 2011 9:00 AM | Michael Rose

Unstoppable is an upcoming top-down battler that is infused with parody and silliness. You are Jermaine Uberheimer, and you're looking to "find what he values most in life" - aka kill loads of zombies and baddies and things. The game is coming to Xbox 360, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Phone in 2012.

The big sellers for this particular game are the hefty number of weapons (40 in total), the length single-player quest and the online co-op + deathmatch. There's a Kickstarter that just started if you want to support the development. As for the above trailer, you'll probably want to apply the Wadsworth Constant - it starts off a bit slow.

Best of GameSetWatch: From Halloween Costumes To PS2 Netflix

October 12, 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.]

Gamasutra's alt video game blog GameSetWatch, rounds up this week's offbeat news, including Pac-Man Halloween costume ideas, Netflix instant streaming on a PS2, a text adventure based on Afghanistan's Maywand District killings, and more.

GameSetWatch's highlights from the last week:

Halloween Costume Ideas: Pac-Man Edition (pictured) - You don't have to be an Angry Bird for Halloween. Please, don't do that to yourself or your family members. Amazon has plenty of video game-inspired Halloween costumes for sale at its Halloween Shop, including a variety of licensed Pac-Man outfits that are much more dignified in comparison.

Maybe Make Some Change: Realities Of War As A Text Adventure - Maybe Make Some Change is a browser-based text adventure based on the Maywand District killings in Afghanistan, in which a group of U.S. army soldiers allegedly formed a "kill team" last year that murdered unarmed Afghans and arranged the scenes to look like insurgent attacks.

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