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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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GDC 2011: Derek Yu, Andy Hull Discuss Spelunky XBLA Move, Multiplayer

March 1, 2011 9:00 PM | Tim W.

Spelunky began as a freeware roguelike platformer for the PC, but has evolved into a larger-scale XBLA title due out this year. "When I think about how that happened, how I started with this tiny little game, and it became something much larger, I'm still pretty amazed," said Derek Yu, the game's creator.

Before making Spelunky, he had wrapped up a large project. "I really wanted to work on something a lot lighter," said Yu, "something small and kind of fluffy. It's kind of ironic because Spelunky's now turned into kind of a monster."

To get there, he made a lot of small games in between the bigger ones. "When I think about it, all those small games I made turned into something bigger," he said. "They gradually got bigger, and that got me the confidence to do something better."

Yu considers the freeware version of Spelunky to be a prototype for the XBLA version. He likens prototyping to drawing. "The key is really to zone in on what I'm enjoying at the time, and things I'm interested in," he said, adding that tools like gamemaker and unity "are the equivalent of a sketchbook for me, because they help me get my ideas out as quickly as possible."

La-Mulana WiiWare Live Stream Starts Soon

February 28, 2011 5:00 AM | Tim W.

Soon as in now! For the next one hour or so, the Nigoro team will be demonstrating their game live on their UStream channel. This is part one of the two live broadcasts that they will be doing this week, with the other being done especially for their Japanese audience on NicoNicoLive at 5 PST tomorrow.

The last live stream back in September was recorded and uploaded online, although the video quality is poor and it doesn't contain many of the changes that have been made to La-Mulana WiiWare for the past six months or so (placeholder graphics were still being used back then). You can watch the broadcast here. [UPDATE: Recording of live stream posted above.]

Trailer: Shoot Many Robots (Demiurge Studios)

February 17, 2011 1:07 PM | Michael Rose

Shoot Many Robots is the first downloadable game from Demiurge Studios, and it's all about shooting robots, upgrading your equipment and learning nothing.

The game is described as a 'Robot Murder Simulator' for up to four-player cooperative blasting. Robots attack, you blast them down, and repeat. Along the way, there are nuts and bolts to collect that can be used to upgrade your character, and huge bosses to destroy. There's no word yet on whether this will be a PC, console or both release.

Coming later this year! Visit the Shoot Many Robots site for more details.

XBL Indie Game Pick: Rotor (Pocket Starship)

February 16, 2011 1:40 PM | Michael Rose

Rotor is described as Crazy Taxi with a helicopter, and a Mirror's Edge aesthetic. It's nearly a fitting description, except that I don't remember Crazy Taxi being this hard. Gaaaaaaaaaah.

With a set amount of time on the clock, you're left to zip around the skies above a cityscape, finding missions and grabbing points. Why do helicopter controls have to be so damn difficult? I spent the first several plays crashing into things and generally not finishing a single mission, but eventually you get the hang of it and BAM, Rotor turns out to be pretty decent fun.

There are multiple play types, and the option to set the colours of the city to anything you want. Whatever colours you choose, it looks ruddy ace. The game is just $1 (80 MS Points) from the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Trailer: PewPewPewPewPewPewPewPewPew (Incredible Ape)

February 14, 2011 1:34 PM | Michael Rose

I believe the name of this game was concocted to break as many webpages as possible with its length, although I am speculating. Developed for the Global Game Jam 2011, PPPPPPPPP is now headed to Xbox Live Indie Games with extra content and a soundtrack from spamtron.

So what is it then? It's a two player co-op 'em up set in space, and you'll need two Xbox microphones, be it Xbox headsets or perhaps Rock Band microphones. One player controls the jet-pack by making jetpacky noises, while the other player makes 'pew pew' noises into the other microphone to shoot lazers and destroy obstacles.

Reminds me a lot of 4Fourths, albeit with your mouth instead of button tapping. Whatever happened to 4Fourths anyway? Mikengreg need to deliver that sweet goodness to us.

Anyway! PPPPPPPPP is "coming soon", and you can check out a few extra details at the official site.

Indie Game Links: Doomed to Limbo

February 12, 2011 10:00 AM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

Gamasutra: 2011 Indie Game Challenge Winners
"Playdead's Limbo won Best Professional Game and Team Hermes' Inertia won Best Non-Professional Game at this year's Indie Game Challenge, each receiving over $115,000 from sponsors Gamestop, the AIAS and The Guildhall at SMU and EEDAR."

Doom, the Roguelike: DoomRL released
"DoomRL has been released. The new version fixes all known bugs, adds a lot of flavor, and expands the game with not yet seen content. Grab it while it’s hot in the downloads section - both Windows and Linux 32-bit versions are available."

GameSetWatch: Indie Game Documentary On Track For September 2011 release
"BlinkWorks Media has posted an update on its progress for Indie Game: The Movie, its documentary about independent game developers and their projects, and the production company says the film is on track for a September (ish) 2011 release."

GameSetWatch: HL2 Mod Dear Esther Receiving Standalone Commercial Release
"Indie developer Thechineseroom announced that its remake of Dear Esther, which began its life as a story-driven mod for Half Life 2, will see a standalone commercial release on Valve's PC downloadable game store Steam this summer."

Indie Games Channel: Independent Games Festival Student Showcase Round-Up
"Indie Games Channel is proud to have provided coverage for this year’s Independent Games Festival Student Showcase winners. Those list of winners, along with associated links to IGC coverage, is as follows."

Bytejacker: Let’s help get Minecraft’s Creeper onto Sweden’s subway cards
"If enough people visit the Stockholm Transport website and vote on a design submitted by Mojang business developer Daniel Kaplan, Sweden’s subway system could end up with a new, Minecraft-themed design on their cards."

Gamasutra: Full-Fledged Cave Story Remake Announced For 3DS
"Popular indie adventure title Cave Story will get a fully-fledged remake for the 3DS, publisher NIS America revealed at an event attended by Gamasutra, where creator Daisuke 'Pixel' Amaya was on hand for the big announcement."

YoYo Games: Karoshi
"One of the most popular games on PC now comes exclusively to iPhone, iPad and out soon on Android. If you have played Karoshi before you know it’s not as easy as it sounds."

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of February 11

February 11, 2011 12:17 PM | Tom Curtis

In a busy week for new job postings, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles across the world and in every major discipline, including opportunities at Rockstar North, Airtight Games, Vigil, 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 its network of submarket sites, which includes content sites focused on online worlds, cellphone games, 'serious games', independent games and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

- Rockstar North: Character Animators:
"Rockstar North, a member of the Rockstar family since 1999, is one of the world's leading video game developers, is a community of creatives from a variety of backgrounds. We are based out of modern, spacious, purpose-built studios in the heart of Edinburgh. We develop original game titles and are proud to be the developer of the phenomenally successful Grand Theft Auto series."

- Airtight Games: Designer/Scripter:
"Airtight Games is a group of game industry veterans formed from the core of the team that produced the award winning, critically acclaimed Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge and the original intellectual property developed with Capcom, Dark Void. We are working on another AAA title based on original intellectual property with a top-tier publisher, and are recruiting top notch talent for key positions."

Indie Game Links: Three-Dimensional Scoregasm

February 11, 2011 2:00 AM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and interviews with developers from around the 'net.

GamesRadar: Cave Story remake for 3DS
"Cave Story, the 2D indie darling that started life as a free PC game in 2004, is headed to the 3DS. Cave Story 3D will be a full-fledged remake of the original, with new content, character designs and fully 3D visuals."

Gamasutra: Charlie Knight On Scoregasm
"Gamasutra's Simon Parkin caught up with Charlie Knight, who left his job as a gardener in 2006 to make games for a living, just as his fourth and most ambitious title, shoot 'em up Scoregasm nears completion."

Indie Games Channel: Christoffer Hedborg on Toys and Future Plans
"Toys is a browser-based title that has players using their sense of perspective to solve color and shape-based puzzles. Christoffer Hedborg was kind enough to talk to us about Toys, seven-day development cycles, and his future plans."

Gamasutra: Apple Pulls Counterfeit Lugaru From Mac App Store
"A week after Wolfire Games complained about a Mac App Store game using its Lugaru assets without permission, Apple has finally pulled the game from its marketplace. The studio is offering to give anyone who purchased the game an authentic version of Lugaru HD and a bonus Steam key for free."

Alistair Doulin's Blog: Working From Home As An Indie
"Many of my game developer friends have started working full-time from home in the past few months, partly because of all the game studios shutting down in our city recently. This entry is a list of tips I use to be as productive as I can while striking a good work-life balance."

Bit Blot: Looking for Testers for Aquaria iPad
"Aquaria for iPad has hit Alpha two, thanks to the work of the very talented Andrew Church. We're going to be looking for play testers very soon."

Cipher Prime: The Road Ahead
"We've signed a deal with indiePub, who helped us get Auditorium on PS3, to get Fractal ported to the iPad, PC and Mac platforms. Our goal is to release at least three cross-platform games in 2011."

Road To The IGF: The Quick-Burst Roguelike Fun Of Desktop Dungeons

February 10, 2011 11:00 AM | Tim W.

[As part of a series of "Road to the IGF" interviews with 2011 IGF finalists, Gamasutra speaks with Danny Day of QCF Design about quick-burst roguelike and Seumas McNally Grand Prize nominee Desktop Dungeons.]

Roguelikes are famous -- or infamous, depending on who you ask -- for their somewhat impenetrable design and epic, life-engulfing quests that can take months to complete. But there's no reason they have to be that way, as IGF entry Desktop Dungeons proves quite adeptly.

Born from the South African trio of developers at the pithily named Quarter Circle Forward + Design (QCF), Desktop Dungeons condenses the procedurally generated, perma-death infused questing roguelikes are known for into a streamlined package, so that each quest takes an average of only 10 minutes to complete.

The game is up for two 2011 IGF Awards, including the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. We talked to QCF's Danny Day Rodain Joubert about the game's inspiration, creation and future plans for monetization.

What background do you have making games?

Danny Day: There aren't really industry veterans here in South Africa (apart from one or two notable Canadian imports) so we were all on the hobbyist side until a few years ago.

I did some really eclectic game design freelancing after accidentally starting a development community and ended up briefly working at the only console development studio in the country. When they closed, I started QCF as a place to make the sorts of game ideas that you keep wanting to make, but never get around to.

Indie Game Links: It's a Cheetah, Man

February 9, 2011 10:00 AM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

2D Boy: World of Goo’s iPad Launch
"World of Goo developer 2D Boy has revealed first-month sales of 125,000 copies of the iPad version of the puzzle title, which is selling much faster than similar versions on WiiWare and Steam."

The Witness: How many puzzles are in The Witness
"There are 222 puzzles in the game. Many more puzzles are going to be added; by the time the game is done, there will be over 400. In comparison, Braid has about 76 puzzles in it. That said, the puzzles in The Witness are often intended to be bite-sized and quick, so it’s not really a direct comparison."

Indie Games Channel: noVer on GLiD and Dreaming of Making Games For a Living
"GLiD has gotten a good amount of attention and exposure over the past year, thanks in large part to its lush environments and the main robot’s spider-like abilities. We reached out to noVer’s two masterminds, Marco and Matt, and we discussed GLiD, the future of noVer, and when players will be able to try the game out."

Indie Games Channel: Black Pants Game Studio on Tiny & Big
"Tiny & Big’s tale is an ongoing saga, as the developers are tirelessly working to complete the series’ upcoming episodes. Even with a busy schedule that includes this month’s Independent Games Festival, the crew at Black Pants were kind enough to talk to us about the series."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Haunted Temple Talk Skulls Of The Shogun
"Skulls Of The Shogun is a game about skull-eating Samurai in the after-life. We thought it might be a good idea to talk to Haunted Temple’s Borut Pfeifer about the game, and you can read the chat we had, here."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Arcen Talk A Valley Without Wind, Part 1
"Arcen Games, famed for AI War, financial troubles, and causing a shortage of iron, have announced their new game: A Valley Without Wind. It’s quite the concept: survival in a procedurally generated world, exploration, magic, and perma-death."

GameSetWatch: IGF Student Showcase Winner Rooms Now On iPad
"Hudson has published Rooms for iPad, packing with it support for Game Center, eighty stages to play, two extra modes after clearing the main game, and trophies for clearing various bonus challenges."

Game Developer: February Issue Showcases Minecraft, Shank Postmortems
"The exclusive cover story to this issue, which will be available in all GDC 2011 conference attendees' welcome bags, focuses on Mojang's development of the smash hit Minecraft. The game is an indie dream: self-funded, largely the result of one person's vision, and an immediate, runaway success."

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