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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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Johann Sebastian Joust homage, Ludwig Von Beatdown, Now Playable

October 17, 2012 1:00 PM | John Polson

ludwig von.pngPippin Barr has released a browser-based Johann Sebastian Joust tribute, Ludwig Von Beatdown, which is especially enjoyable since Joust has sadly yet to find an easy way into everyone's homes. The rules are the same: jostle your opponent's controller while protecting your own lo-fi PlayStation Move controller, all played out on a keyboard.

Ludwig Von Beatdown allows 0, 1, or 2 players to play. Many conference and game exhibit attendees will know the joy of zero-playing Johann Sebastian Joust, that is - being a spectator. Pippin Barr's Ludwig Von Beatdown is also rather fun to watch, especially if you like 8-bit pastels.

[source :@pippinbarr]

Release - Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes (Daedalic Entertainment)

October 17, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

The Whispered World creator Daedalic Entertainment has launched Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes, a Windows and Mac point-and-click adventure title starring a young girl and her toy rabbit.

A follow-up to the iOS and PC adventure game Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, Harvey's New Eyes takes place within a convent school ruled by the strict Mother Superior. Throughout the adventure, schoolgirl Lili searches for her lost friend Edna while unraveling the secret behind the Censor-Gnomes, who have been painting over anything that Lili might find upsetting.

Edna & Harvey is regularly priced at $19.99, but is available for $14.99 during its launch week at Steam. A free demo is also available.

Trailer: Element4l (I-Illusions)

October 17, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

I-Illusions teases its upcoming puzzle-platformer Element4l in the trailer above, showing off the game's current state after a year's worth of development.

Its developers claim that Element4l "takes a different, experimental approach to classic platform games and challenges you to rearrange your reflexes." Players must complete a series of physics-driven puzzles while contending with fluctuating controls and rapidly shifting environments.

Release platforms for Element4l are yet to be determined, and a release date has not been announced.

Trailer: Humans Must Answer (SumomGames)

October 17, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

We have hardly enough full-blown, traditional horizontal shoot-'em-ups these days, but worry not gentle reader for SumomGames, an indie ensemble made up of ex-STALKER team members, are about to release Humans Must Answer. Yes, it does indeed look like a proper shmup in the most classic of manners and does come complete with some fantastic graphics and lots and lots of explosions. The game will apparently feature astro-chickens and thus an appropriately silly plot, interesting weapon-combining mechanics, bosses, secrets, in-game shops, some lovely parallax scrolling and everything a shmup's feature list could hope to include.

Humans Must Answer will be released sometime during 2013 for Windows PCs and those of you that would like to see it appear on Steam should check its Greenlight page out.

Browser Game Pick: Behind Closed Doors 5 (Zenobi)

October 17, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

bcd5.pngZenobi has been a truly independent text adventure developer and publisher that has miraculously survived for over 20 years now, as any ZX Spectrum -and, indeed, Atari ST- adventurer will most probably tell you. Though it hasn't published a game in over 10 years, it is still offering its dozens of classic games on a DVD packed with interactive fiction, graphic adventures, one action game, scans of reviews and every emulator you could ask for. Quite a departure from tapes and disks apparently, and, what's more, its brave founder and creator of brilliantly surreal fantasy adventures, the Balrog, is still at the company's helm, and, incredibly, back to designing games too!

Yes, it's very much true! There's a new Zenobi text adventure available and it has been coded by the Balrog himself: Behind Closed Doors 5. The game was created with Twine and is thus a point-and-click, choose-your-own-adventure type of affair, that brilliantly continues the proud tradition of the Behind Closed Doors series that began back in 1988. It is thus an elaborate, humorous, fantasy, toilet-centered affair and a tribute to Zenobi Software. Oh, and there are some actual puzzles in there too.

In Kairo, Minimalism Gets Pretty Complicated

October 17, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

kairo long.jpgTaking a minimalist approach to graphical design can sometimes prove to be a real issue when it comes to bringing in potential players, as Richard Perrin, developer behind upcoming exploration title Kairo, has discovered.

The game, named after the Japanese word for "circuit" (a thematic element in the game), focuses on exploration and puzzle-solving in a 3D world -- a world that mainly consists of simple textures and abstract sights.

The issue is that attempting to portray the atmosphere in such a seemingly simple adventure game can be tricky, especially in screenshot and video form.

But then on top of very abstract puzzles that provide absolutely no text explanation regarding how to solve them, Kairo's methods for toeing the line between minimalist aesthetics and satisfying puzzle-solving have been tricky to nail down.

Twin-Stick Shooter The Man in the Cape Debuts for Windows, Ubuntu

October 16, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Developer Anthony Nichols has released The Man in the Cape, a twin-stick shooter for Windows and Ubuntu Linux that boasts a quirky premise and an eclectic soundtrack.

As a superhero, The Man in the Cape loves to perch atop buildings and observe his surroundings. Unfortunately, one particular building owner has grown sick of his antics and has constructed a massive dungeon to punish roof-perching trespassers. You'll have to fight through over 55 rooms to escape, and if the main quest isn't difficult enough for you, the game also includes a Hardcore Mode that features redesigned room layouts.

The current beta version of The Man in the Cape is priced at $2.99, and is available as a DRM-free download.

Browser Game Pick: Save Merlin The Pig! (Leigh Alexander)

October 16, 2012 8:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

savemerlinthepig.jpg Yes. Before anyone asks, we are, in fact, talking about that very same Leigh Alexander, the one traditionally associated with games journalism. Save Merlin The Pig! is a snappy experiment in interactive fiction that isn't too afraid to periodically break the fourth wall. Set within modern-day Brooklyn, the game will have you wandering into an expensive restaurant and confronting things like how your pork roast may once have had a Twitter account dedicated to it.

You can play the game here.

Video - The Dream Machine: A Video Game Made of Clay

October 16, 2012 2:00 PM | Staff

[Note: To access chapter selection, click the fullscreen button or check out the video on the GDC Vault website]

Most game artists are used to working with pixels and polygons, but what do you do when you're an artist just getting into development? If you're like Anders Gustafsson and Erik Zaring, you make your game out of clay.

Earlier this year, this pair of animators-turned-developers released The Dream Machine, an unusual point and click adventure game based almost entirely on stop-motion animation. It was the team's first attempt at a game of their own, and at this year's GDC Europe, they looked back on the project to explain how their artistic backgrounds helped bring the title to life.

Freeware Game Pick: Wake Up Call (MZ1)

October 16, 2012 1:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Over at Desura, indie developer MZ1 has released Wake Up Call, a short (15- to 20-minute-long), surreal story that takes place within a comatose man's mind.

Wake Up Call consists of several brief gameplay snippets that represent the main character's attempts to retain control of his own inner logic and spatial reasoning. As gameplay progresses, the man will eventually recover his lost memories. I like the concept here -- the word association scene is particularly interesting.

Wake Up Call is available as a free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

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