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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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The nD: Indie Handheld Game System

June 10, 2011 12:43 PM | Michael Rose

Mark this one down as an 'umm what?'. Robert Pelloni, the man behind the Duke Nukem Forever of indie games, Bob's Game, revealed earlier this year that he was making an indie gaming handheld system. Of course, most people decided it was all a big joke, and a publicity stunt for his game. The above trailer has now been released, and suddenly I don't know what to think anymore.

The proposed nD console will cost $19.99, and come with a copy of Bob's Game pre-loaded onto it. Apparently it will be come with an online app store that can be accessed on your computer, and the handheld will then plug into your computer via USB, and be able to download games straight onto it. It's also going to be open to any indies who wish to develop for it.

My initial reaction was that it's still clearly a hoax, but then I started to delve deeper into it, reading through the forums, the various posts Robert has made, and looking around the site he's built for it. It nearly seems real, then you read lines like "the nD plugs into a PC as a controller (with a screen, *cough cough*) to interact with our massively multiplayer tournament world."

What do we reckon then - is this going to be an actual product, or is it just yet another stunt to get people focusing on his tired old game?

E3 2011: BIT.TRIP Complete (Gaijin Games)

June 10, 2011 1:00 AM | jeriaska

Alex Neuse giving a demo of BIT.TRIP Saga at E3

This year at E3, Gaijin Games has been preparing the retail release of their entire six-title library of BIT.TRIP rhythm games for two separate Nintendo consoles.

BIT.TRIP Saga for the Nintendo 3DS will include WiiWare titles BIT.TRIP Beat, Core, Void, Runner, Fate and Flux. The graphics have been adapted for the console's 3D screen, which the independent developer says will give players an edge by individuating foreground gameplay from background imagery.

Revealed today, another more elaborate compilation will be making its way to the Nintendo Wii, packaged as a disc available in stores. BIT.TRIP Complete will come with a number of added extras paying tribute to fans who have supported the game series since its arrival through digital distribution on the Wii.

We had the chance to catch up with game designer Alex Neuse to hear about progress on the 3D portable title, as well as first details on the home console compilation.

BIT.TRIP Saga for Nintendo 3DS is planned to include all the previously released games in the series. How have the play mechanics and presentation been modified for the portable console?

Alex Neuse, Gaijin Games: For Beat and Flux you use the stylus on the touch screen, which feels super-perfect. You can also use the circle pad if you want, though I prefer the stylus. In Fate you steer with the circle pad and aim / shoot with the stylus. The overall presentation has also been enhanced. In most of the games, though Runner is a little different, the gameplay plane is nearer to you, separated from the background.

E3 2011: Hands-On Impressions of Papo & Yo (Minority)

June 9, 2011 7:04 PM | Cassandra Khaw


My interview with Vanders Caballero, the man behind Papo & Yo, was the first interview that had ever driven me close to tears. It began far too awkwardly. I had difficulties putting my questions to words, afraid that I would somehow offend the wild-haired maestro responsible for what many consider as Sony's next Playstation Network darling. A veteran of the gaming industry, Caballero had been previously involved with Electronic Arts and, to paraphrase the man, has been somehow involved in almost every one of their major franchises. Driven by a need to relate his story, Vanders Caballero left his job of eight years and moved on to create Minority in order to tell the story of Papo & Yo.

Preview: Splatters (SpikySnail Games)

June 9, 2011 3:00 PM | Michael Rose


Remember Confetti Carnival? If you've watched the videos and read the previews, you'll know that it's one to watch out for, with its physics-based paint-splattery. But now, you need to erase that name from your memory, and replace it with a different one. SpikySnail Games has changed the name to the more straight-forward Splatters.

It definitely describes the game well, but it seems highly risky to change it at this point, given how much attention the game has received under the Confetti Carnival name. Sagi Koren, one of the SpikySnail co-founders, told us that Confetti Carnival was only ever meant to be a placeholder, until they'd decided on the final name.

It's not just a new name, however - the game is also equipped with enhanced visuals and sounds from what you've seen in the past, as well as an overhauled tutorial system, that is set to teach players the ropes in a more entertaining manner, rather than simply throwing each idea at you one by one and hoping they all stick.

E3 2011: PixelJunk SideScroller (Q-Games)

June 9, 2011 1:20 AM | jeriaska


This year at E3, Q-Games offered a closed-door demonstration of their forthcoming music generator PixelJunk lifelike as well as a build of PixelJunk SideScroller, playable at the Sony booth on the show floor. The game carries over a number of the art and sound design aspects of PixelJunk Shooter 1 & 2, this time centering gameplay on sidescrolling, on-rails shooting.

A similar style of stage could be unlocked at the end of Shooter 2 by gathering all hidden treasures and gaining a 100% completion rating. The first thing you notice about this latest PixelJunk title is that in place of the brightly animated color scheme of Shooter 2 there is now a more abstract aesthetic dominating. Transparency plays a big part in the new look, bringing to mind the neon outlined figures of Tron or the skeletal polygons of Rez.

Another noticeable addition is the robotic co-pilot that comments on many of your actions. A female voice with shades of vocoder will chime in whenever you switch weapons, or are overheating, or have reached a check-point. The Japanese intonations of "Machine Gun!" and "Laser!" are a reminder of Q-Games' headquarters being based in Kyoto, Japan. The android tinge to the voice samples also furthers the vibe of retro-futurism communicated by the high tech weaponry and old school game mechanics.

E3 2011 - Trailer: Awesomenauts (Ronimo games)

June 7, 2011 4:24 PM | Cassandra Khaw

I guess Ronimo Games wasn't joking when they said that the upcoming Awesomenauts was inspired by cartoons from the 80's; that theme song is surprisingly infectious. To recap for those who have just gotten here, Awesomenauts is a 2D side-scrolling MOBA that resembles a cross between Metal Slug and DotA, an unusual albeit potential-filled combination. We've managed to snag an appointment with Ronimo Games so expect a hands-on impression to show up on the site sometime tomorrow.

Final Trailer: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (Fuelcell Games/Michel Gagne)

June 7, 2011 2:06 PM | Cassandra Khaw

It's about 6am in the morning on day one of E3. Coffee is brewing, phones are charging, developers are making final preparations and people are, well, we're all still working on waking up.

In honor of the fact that the long anticipated Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet will be a part of the next Xbox Live Summer of Arcade, I thought it'd be appropriate to kickstart a day with a look at the final trailer for the game. Uploaded sometime last night, the trailer's a rather tantalizing reminder that what I saw at PAX barely scratched the surface of what the game has to offer. I'm not going to say anything asides from that because everything that can be said about the game has been said already. The only thing that's left, really, is to wait for final release and perhaps, when not in polite company, to squeal a little over the trailer.

Screenshots and Michael Gagne's website can be found here.

Kinect-Enabled Minecraft Coming to Xbox 360

June 7, 2011 9:00 AM | Tim W.

In a brief mention at its E3 press conference on Monday, Microsoft announced that Mojang's indie smash-hit Minecraft will be arriving on the Xbox 360 sometime later this year.

Originally developed for PC by indie Swedish studio Mojang, Minecraft for the Xbox 360 will be Kinect-enabled, the company said, allowing gesture and voice controls for the game, which is meant to encourage creativity and world building.

It was also revealed that the PC and Xbox 360 versions of Minecraft will be cross-compatible, presumably for world sharing and cooperative multiplayer. No further details were announced, and it was not clear if the Kinect peripheral will be a required or optional part of the console Minecraft experience.

While the game has not been confirmed for Xbox rival PlayStation 3, affiliated joint venture Sony Ericsson will officially announce that Minecraft will be coming to the Xperia Play smartphone.

Minecraft will be available on the Xbox 360 this winter, Microsoft said. [UPDATE: Trailer added.]

XBLA Summer of Arcade Includes Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

June 6, 2011 11:41 PM | Michael Rose


Details regarding the next Xbox Live Summer of Arcade have dropped, and it's looking like it may well be the best one ever. Apart from having the non-indie (but gorgeous looking) god game From Dust, there's also the long-awaited Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, the cool as eff-ewe-see-kay Bastion, the strategy sequel Toy Soldiers: Cold War and the intriguing Fruit Ninja Kinect.

The promotion is set to kick off on July 20th, with each game released one after the other, week by week. Both Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and Bastion are going to be the two to watch out for the most - you should read our hands-on with Bastion, and then you might as well read our hands-on with ITSP too. Who needs sun in the summer when you have lovely XBLA games, eh?

XBLA Hit Limbo Coming to PC?

June 6, 2011 12:00 PM | Michael Rose


Ever since Limbo was released via Xbox Live Arcade last year, many PC gamers have been wondering when they'll get their fix of death by spider, rolling rock, huge drop, extremely unfair but ultimately hilarious crushing thing, etc. It appears the answer may be sometime soon, as a trailer for the game has popped up on Steam.

Spotted by a user at the Neogaf forums, if you click this link, you'll find that your Steam client will begin downloading a video for the game. Of course, this is far from an official announcement, but it does give a great amount of hope that the game is coming to PC sometime soon. We'll keep our eyes peeled and let you know when we hear anything else. (Thanks Will!)

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