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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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Survey: Why Go Indie?

September 7, 2011 12:00 PM | Michael Rose

daniel fedor.jpgA new game developer focused survey by Daniel Fedor, a former BioWare producer and now full-time indie, has been looking into the reasons why devs decided to go indie, as well as why devs would choose not to go indie. The results were posted on sister site Gamasutra, and prove rather interesting.

Of reasons to become an indie dev over working for a AAA company, 73 percent of those surveyed cited "creative freedom", while 58 percent said it was down to "sharing one's ideas with the world". 49 percent said being an indie dev was good for the "improved working hours." 47 percent also said it was due to "the chance to earn more than a salary and/or benefits", although it is questionable exactly what this means - indeed, a couple of commenters on Gama have left notes to this effect.

Now onto the cons of going indie. 54 percent of participants cited "inability to go without pay long enough to ship a game", while "lack of business acumen" was noted by 37 percent of those surveyed. Other reasons cited included "family depends on income", "liking coworkers" and "liking current project."

This is just a basic break-down of what the survey found - it's worth checking it out in full if you're interested. It's also worth noting that 121 people took part in total, and 56 percent of those were devs who are considering becoming indie, while only 27 percent were actually indie. Read the full survey at Gamasutra. You can also see the results directly here.

XBL Indie Game Pick: Speedrunner HD (Double Dutch Games)

September 6, 2011 12:00 PM | Michael Rose

I've finally been getting around to playing the Xbox Live Indie Games that were released as part of the Indie Games Summer Uprising promotion, and a stand-out release for me is Speedrunner HD. The name says it all - it's a speed-runner that sees you getting from A to B in the fastest time possible.

The single-player campaign is fine, if a little short, and revolves around you dashing towards bombs and defusing them. However, it's the multiplayer where this game really shines. Up to four players rush around a looping track, with the old Micro Machines mechanic that if one person gets further ahead than all the others, they win the point.

Along the way, players can hit switches and grab power-ups to make the path more difficult for the other players. Each player has three lives, and when you run out of all of them, you're out of there. If the action goes on for too long and no-one is dying, Sudden Death occurs, and a box around the screen starts to get smaller and smaller... it's incredibly tense stuff, and simply amazing to play.

Currently one of my favourite Xbox Live Indie Games - I was playing with friends for hours last night. Hopefully it'll get a port to PC with online multiplayer, because that would sell by the bucketload. If you're looking for a good local multiplayer game, make sure you grab this one.

Sense of Wonder Night 2011 Presenters Announced

September 5, 2011 12:00 PM | Michael Rose

sown_2011.jpgOrganisers of the Sense of Wonder Night 2011 event have announced the ten titles that will be presented on the show floor at the Tokyo Game Show later this month.

Now in its fourth year running, SOWN is an annual event that aims to discover new and unconventional game concepts that "catch people by surprise and give them a Sense of Wonder -- a sense that something will change in their world -- right at the instant of seeing or hearing the concept."

The developers of the chosen games will be asked to demonstrated their games on the show floor, with Japanese-English and English-Japanese translations available.

The selected presenters for the event are as follows:

Eufloria (PSN) - Rudolf Kremers, Alex May and Brian Grainger
I'm Gonna Be God of the Forest - Isao
Inside a Star-filled Sky - Jason Rohrer
KuraKuraMaze - Yoshimi Kurihara
Leedmees - Orihara Nagayo
Q.U.B.E. - Daniel Da Rocha
Reflow - Frederik Maucksch and Matthias Wolff
Solstice - Jordan Hemenway
Spruzel - Sprouts Colin Northway
Taplib - Yanagihara Takayuki

SOWN's presentations are based on the Game Developers Conference's Experimental Gameplay Workshop format, allowing each developer to take the stage, demonstrate and explain the project, and answer questions for around ten minutes.

The SOWN presentations will take place on September 16 from 17:30-20:00 in Room 201, Makuhari Messe of the International Conference Hall. The Tokyo Game Show itself will occur September 15-18, as the annual expo aims to become "The World's Largest Event." Podcast #22: Team Meat, Take Two

September 5, 2011 9:00 AM | Michael Rose

indiegames.PNGAnother IndieGames podcast, another chance to have your ears filled with indie goodness. This week marks the first time we've had a developer on for a second visit, as Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes of Team Meat are back to discuss the aftermath of Super Meat Boy.

Edmund also talks about The Binding of Isaac, his upcoming roguelike, and the duo look to what the future holds for the both of them. As you'd expect, there's a fair amount of strong language, so if you're suspectable to becoming offended by the spoken word, you should probably listen to it on mute instead.

You know the drill by now - jump below the cut to listen to the podcast, or you can jump over here and listen instead. You like iTunes? Of course you don't, but it's available on there too (you know, in case you're mental). And finally, there is an RSS feed you can subscribe to, if you like being fed. Go listen!

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

September 2, 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 Big Fish Games, Ready At Dawn Studios, Row Sham Bow, 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 on independent games and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

Ready At Dawn Studios: Animator:
"Ready At Dawn is a game development studio with a single mission: making fun games a lot of people want to play. We know it sounds trite and basic, but reality sometimes is much simpler than we pretend it to be. Be part of the Ready At Dawn team as we staff up to work on an exciting new IP for the home console."

Big Fish Games: Senior Server Programmer:
"At Big Fish Games, we offer thousands of easily accessible games that allow our customers to relax, have fun, and feel good. The Big Fish platform now includes Mac, PC, online, mobile, social, and console games, developed both in house and in partnership with more than 700 game developers around the world. Our team is located throughout the world, including our headquarters in Seattle, and our offices in Vancouver, Canada and in Cork, Ireland."

Trailer: AirMech (Carbon Games)

September 2, 2011 7:48 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Have you ever sat down in a restaurant and stared longingly at your dinner companion's plate? Have you ever just watched as they slowly bite down on pieces of what may possibly be the best steak yet? It's so close yet so far; you can almost taste it.

That's exactly what I felt when I caught sight of footage of AirMech. Showcased for the first time in PAX 2011, AirMech is shaping up to be a rather impressive top down shooter/RTS hybrid thingie. No release date has been announced as of yet - they're only into alpha, after all. But if you're a fan of mechas? Go bookmark the page. Now.

Indie Game Pick: Rock of Ages (Ace Team)

September 1, 2011 11:00 AM | Michael Rose

The next game from Ace Team is now available to Xbox 360 owners, and will be up on Steam next Wednesday. It's called Rock of Ages, and it's highly probable that the team took the name and then built the game around it - because you are literally a rock rolling through the ages.

Here's the jist of it: you have a huge rock with a smiley face on it, and the enemy has a castle with a solid, wooden door. You roll the rock around winding paths with nasty drops on either side, smashing through the enemy's defences before crashing into the door at the end. However, the enemy is also doing the same to you, and hence, between each roll, you need to also put up your own defences, be it small towers to slow their rock down, or war elephants to push it off the edge, or... well, there are tons of things you can do really.

The more defences they have to smash through, the weaker their rock will be, and by the time it reaches your door, it will do minimal damage. It's seriously good fun, especially splitscreen when playing head-to-head against a friend. For the single player, there's a huge campaign to play through, with hilarious cutscenes that show you battling through various key points in the history of the human race (and mythology).

Well worth grabbing, especially for the 800 MS Points price tag. You can download now from the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Best of GameSetWatch: From Puzzle Bobble Online To Transformers Pinball

August 31, 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 recently resdesigned alt video game blog GameSetWatch, we shared a number of fun stories during the past week, including an online Puzzle Bobble released in Korea with social gaming elements, an expensive looking Trasformers pinball trailer, and more.

GameSetWatch's highlights from the last week:

Puzzle Bobble Online Goes Live in Korea - Created in cooperation with Korean online gaming service provider Neowiz, Puzzle Bobble Online mixes Puzzle Bobble's color-matching gameplay with a variety of social gaming elements. Players can join guilds and participate in score challenges, among other features.

The Digital Game Museum Makes An Appearance At PAX - Dedicated to the preservation of gaming's past, The Digital Game Museum brought its neat travelling showcase to PAX Prime this year, offering interested gamers a look into the history of the adventure genre, with plenty of early artifacts on display.

Eurogamer Expo 2011 Indie Games Arcade Line-up Announced

August 31, 2011 6:00 PM | Michael Rose


The line-up for this year's Indie Game Arcade at the Eurogamer Expo in London has been announced, and there's a great mix of big names and less well-known talent in there.

The Expo will be taking place from 22-25 September at Earl's Court in London, with the Indie Games Arcade getting its own section as always. The Arcade always seems to attract more and more attention each year, so it's well worth checking out if you can make it!

The line-up is as follows:

At a Distance - Terry Cavanagh
Blocks That Matter - Swing Swing Submarine
Fotonica - Santa Ragione
Molecat Twist - iwait4 Developers
Pineapple Smash Crew - Red Produkt
Really Big Sky - Boss Baddie
Rimelands: Hammer of Thor - Dicework Games
Smuggle Truck - Owlchemy Labs
Stellar Impact - Tindalos Interactive
These Robotic Hearts of Mine - Alan Hazeldean
Waves - Squid In A Box
Xenonauts - Chris England

Limbo Developer Playdead Buys Itself Back From Investors

August 31, 2011 3:00 PM | Michael Rose

limbo.jpgThanks to the financial success of its first game, Limbo, developer Playdead Studios has bought itself back from its investors -- a move that grants the studio greater financial and creative independence.

The announcement came from investment bank GP Bullhound, which advised the sale. Playdead is now solely owned by its founders and management.

The founders of Playdead said that they were able to buy back the company due to the strong performance and success of Xbox Live Arcade and PC platformer Limbo.

Limbo was initially funded solely by founders Arnt Jensen and Dino Patti, with help from the Danish government. Investors were later brought in to help expand on the original concept. Gamasutra has contacted Playdead for comment on the buyback.

Playdead revealed earlier this week that it will be developing its next title using the Unity platform, noting that the decision was in aid of cutting down on the amount of work needed.

[This post was originally found on sister site Gamasutra.]

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