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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's Summits Add Super Meat Boy, Angry Birds, Minecraft Appearances

February 9, 2011 9:16 AM | Simon Carless

GDC 2011 organizers have debuted the final set of GDC Summit talks, including a Super Meat Boy postmortem, an appearance from Minecraft's Notch, and Rovio talking Angry Birds.

The GDC 2011 Summits, taking place on February 28th and March 1st at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, present a series of illuminating, focused sessions about the technology, design, business, marketing, and future of key game industry markets.

There are a total of seven notable standalone Summits, including Social & Online Games, AI, Indie, GDC Education, Serious Games, Localization and the GDC Smartphone Summit, joining multiple high-profile tutorials on the Monday and Tuesday of Game Developers Conference 2011.

As the final sessions get locked into place as part of the overall GDC 2011 schedule, the following major lectures are now confirmed:

- In an Indie Games Summit lecture catchily entitled 'Team Meat Presents: Super Meat Boy - A Team Meat Meatmortem', Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes will examine "sales numbers, contract details... and revel as myths [are debunked]."

The talk will "touch on everything from development of features, mistakes made during the final stages of development, the launch of a game that Microsoft didn't believe in, why Steam is amazing, and the inevitable success of the best indie game of 2010."

Indie Game Links: Action Shoot

February 8, 2011 3:00 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)

Animate Dead: Frictional Games Interview
"Frictional Games was behind 2010’s most scary game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. By some accounts, the most scary video game ever. We reached out for a few comments on their success and on being an indie developer."

Temple of the Roguelike: International Roguelike Database Updated
"The International Roguelike Database has been updated and now allows you to rate and comment on the roguelikes. There are currently 290 roguelikes on the list."

PlayStation Blog: Chatting About Journey With Thatgamecompany
"Journey is the upcoming PlayStation Network title from the people that brought you flOw and Flower. Here is our conversation with Robin Hunicke, Journey’s producer and Jenova Chen, co-founder of thatgamecompany."

GameSetWatch: Sword of Fargoal Legends Now Out For Mac
"Fargoal has released Sword of Fargoal Legends, its iOS remake of Jeff McCord's classic Commodore 64 game, on the Mac App Store. In this old-school adventure, players explore a randomly generated dungeon, fight 28 different monsters and avoid traps, all in the effort of trying to retrieve the Sword of Fargoal."

Andy Schatz: The Original Monaco was sort of an MMO
"I've pitched Monaco to publishers in different forms over the years. This is a version that includes social features, pitched to GarageGames for their yet-to-be-launched InstantAction portal."

Indie Games Channel: Richard E. Flanagan on FRACT
"Richard E. Flanagan has an extensive portfolio that includes video game design, animation, and even card games. Mr. Flanagan has taken the time to speak with us about the ongoing work-in-progress that is FRACT."

GamePro: 36 Best iPhone Games
"We've sifted through the thousands of games currently available in the iTunes App Store, and have settled on these thirty-six titles to enthusiastically recommend. Some are old, some are new, but all are worth both your time and money."

Quote Unquote: Beau Blyth
"Beau Blyth has slowly but surely made a name for himself with the memorable likes of Fish Face, Action Fist and Shoot First. He has grown comfortable with Game Maker, is uncomfortable that so many of his games have involved shooting so far and is positive about learning more about the craft of development."

Explodemon Launches This Week on PSN

February 7, 2011 3:57 PM | Michael Rose

Curve Studios' Explodemon finally releases this week, coming to PSN tomorrow (8th Feb) in the US and Wednesday in Europe. The above launch trailer has been released, showing off the game in action, along with the not seen before motion-comic cutscenes.

Inspired by "classic Japanese games from the golden era of the SNES", you'll be utilizing malfunctioning robot Explodemon's kabooming capabilities to blast around the place, solving puzzles and taking out enemies. Can you hold the Vortex forces back and restore peace to the land? Well, if you can complete all twelve levels, then quite possible, yeah.

The game will cost $9.99 / €9.99 / £7.99, depending on where you have decided to settle your abode. I should have impressions for you later in the week. For a few extra details, head over to the official site.

Win a Copy of Alpha Squad for Xbox 360

February 3, 2011 4:07 PM | Michael Rose

If you read our article on January's Best Xbox Live Indie Games yesterday, you'll have spotted the delightfully silly multiplayer shooter Alpha Squad. It's got guns, girls and muscles, because that's obviously what we all love.

How about winning a copy of the game, then? We'll be giving away a few copies of Alpha Squad via our Twitter and Facebook pages at 10pm GMT tonight, so make sure you're following IndieGames on both and you're waiting, ready to hammer those codes into your Xbox.

In the meantime, you could always try downloading the demo too!

January's Best Xbox Live Indie Games

February 2, 2011 4:48 PM | Michael Rose

With each month that goes by, the Xbox Live Indie Games selection gets better and better. I find myself even recommending friends to check out the games on there! Good times indeed, and January wasn't any different. Here are all the games you should check out with your Microsoft Points.

Radiangames Ballistic

Luke Schneider, the god of XBLIG dual-stick shooters, has come full circle with his seventh and final release on the service. After Ballistic (trailer above), he'll be switching over to PC releases due to the poor sales figures, but that doesn't mean he's going out without a bang. Ballistic returns back to the simple yet deep blasting action that JoyJoy provided, and it is more polished than your dad's bald head. Than your granny's bedroom dresser. Than a polishing factory. Lovely - go buy for a single dollar.

Road To The IGF: We're Very Uncomfortable With The Copenhagen Game Collective

January 30, 2011 3:00 AM | Tim W.

[Douglas Wilson of the Copenhagen Game Collective wants to make games that make players uncomfortable, and talking IGF Nuovo nominee B.U.T.T.O.N. to Gamasutra, he details the surprising, poignant philosophy behind abusive games.]

It began with a sex game in a dark room. No, seriously -- but the Copenhagen Game Collective isn't that kind of group, not really. Dark Room Sex Game was a very simple project: Two players take turns flicking two Wii remotes, and the game... makes low, excited vocalizations in a deep male voice.

If they can coordinate their movements, the voice escalates. The goal quickly dawns on players. It's kind of uncomfortable, and that's what its creators, Douglas Wilson, Daiana Lau and some of their friends, were shooting for.

Showing the game at exhibitions like IndieCade throughout 2008, Wilson hung out with like-minded designers, like Ruckblende creator Nils Deneken, and realized something.

He had to move back to Copenhagen, where he could find a rapidly expanding base of friends and colleagues with similar aesthetic sensibilities -- for bizarre game works that are often mean, frequently silly, and always fun and thought-provoking.

At Nordic Game Jam in 2009, Deneken and Wilson showed their "silly multiplayer flash game" (as Wilson describes it), 5 Minute MMORPG. And by the middle of the year, they had such a crew gathered that they decided to unite under the banner of the Copenhagen Game Collective. Together, they could aim bigger, they thought.

Wilson stresses that the collective is not a "company", but a "constellation" -- like a record label for video games. Deneken and a colleague have their own company, Die Gute Fabrik, and while others among the collective work at a studio they call Copenhagen Game Productions (for now; the name seems set to change to avoid confusion with the Collective), some of the projects they do are for showcases and festivals, never intended to be commercial at all.

Trino Now on Steam

January 29, 2011 8:00 PM | jeriaska

Trino is now available for the first time on Steam. The game, which combines shooter gameplay with puzzle elements, tasks players with escaping voracious swarms of nano-robots by building powerful triangle traps across 48 challenging levels. The title was featured as part of the 2009 PAX 10 showcase of independent games, appearing on the Xbox Live Indie Games service.

Originally developed by six graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center using XNA and C#, Trino found its way to PCs care of LoadComplete. The social games studio based in Bundang, South Korea provided additional development to release the game for Steam. A Penny Arcade Expo interview with Team Trino/ LoadComplete producer and sound designer Soo Jeong Bae can be found on Gamasutra.

Trailer: Toy Cars (Eclipse Games)

January 25, 2011 1:23 PM | Michael Rose

Toy Cars is a Micro Machines homage coming to Xbox Live Indie Games and possibly PC soon. When I say possibly, I mean that Eclipse Games are considering bringing the game to PC, but don't sound too convinced. We must change this.

What I like about Toy Cars is that it's not trying to pretend to be anything else other than a Micro Machines fan-game. Environments range from the the kitchen tabletop to the pool table, and pretty much everything you see if ripped straight from the classic game series. But really... is this such a bad thing? Micro Machines was amazing fun, and I for one would like more of that please.

The game features a season mode, quick race mode, plenty of cars to buy and splitscreen multiplayer (although no online, only local - this must be fixed!).

Trailer: Snapshot (Retro Affect)

January 21, 2011 3:00 PM | Tim W.

Retro Affect had posted a new gameplay video for their upcoming puzzle platformer Snapshot, an IGF finalist in the Excellence in Design category way back in 2009. We don't get to see much here other than some new lighting effects and assets that the developers had put in, but it's better to receive regular updates than having no news at all throughout its entire development cycle (just to know they're still working on it!)

The clip also features new music from Wil Whitlark, and the soundtrack for this game certainly sounds better and better every time we listen to it. Stay tuned to Retro Affect's official site if you're looking for more Snapshot previews in the coming months.

XBL Indie Game Pick: Aban Hawkins & the 1000 Spikes (8bits fanatics)

January 18, 2011 3:26 PM | Michael Rose

When I first watch the trailer for Aban Hawkins & the 1000 Spikes, my initial thought was 'oh jeez, that game is going to destroy me'. Aban Hawkins is on a mission to dodge the traps and find the priceless idols - which is far more difficult than it sounds, as traps will pop out of the ground without warning and kill you in an instant.

And yet, now that I've actually played the game, it actually isn't too frustrating after all. Sure, you'll die a stupid number of times - you have 1000 lives to begin with - but levels aren't too lengthy, so even when you're sent back to the start, you know you'll be able to get back to that section of the level within a good 30 seconds.

I love the retro visual style too, providing enough charm that when I get killed by yet another bastarding set of spikes popping out of the ground unexpectedly, I pull my angry face for a moment before giving the game a little wink and saying 'I can't stay mad at you, baby'. Or something like that.

For 80 MS Points ($1) and a huge number of levels to play through, me thinks this is a bargain you should grab. Make sure to at least pick up the demo on your ol' Xbox Three Sixty.

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