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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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Trailer: HotBot (Ink Vial Games)

October 11, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Ink Vial Games has released a teaser trailer for its upcoming arcade-style shooter HotBot, and is soliciting financial support for its development via Kickstarter.

Citing inspiration from classics like Star Fox and Space Harrier, HotBot is a forward-scrolling shoot-'em-up in which players must dodge obstacles and destroy enemies throughout a series of randomly generated levels. Ink Vial notes that the game is currently in development for Windows and Mac, with ports for Linux and mobile devices to follow soon after its release.

HotBot is expected to launch in April of next year. A DRM-free copy of the game can be preordered via Kickstarter for a $10 minimum pledge. A limited edition physical copy of the game packaged with a soundtrack, comic, and art book is also available for a pledge of $90 or more.

Freeware Game Pick: catering to birds (mooosh/PostPre/John Sandoval)

October 11, 2012 7:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

We haven't posted one of these in a while, have we? catering to birds is a 'not game' centered about a man so obsessed with birds, he attempts to become one. I'm not really sure where all this is going here but the overall package is attractive enough to waste, at the very least, a few minutes on.

Edit: If you're wondering why there's so very little to do in catering to birds right now, it's because it's still very much an unfinished. According to one of the devs, the full version of catering to birds will be released later this November as part of a 'pay-what-you-want' joint release entitled 'cutthroat EP.'

You can download the current build here.

First Look At 2D Adventure Platformer EDGAR

October 11, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

edgar_3.gif Honestly, what's there not to like about an adventure platformer starring Edgar Allan Poe himself? When released, EDGAR will have you stepping into the role of the titular character even as he races through an alternate Victorian London in a mad quest to stop Jack the Ripper. Interestingly, it looks like this version of Poe is going to be a bit of an inventor as well. According to the announcement post, there's going to be both randomized loot and stuff you can handcraft. Oh, and it will have online two player co-op as well.

Fancy keeping track of this one? Bookmark the page right here.

Freeware Game Pick: Jamie's Revenge 2 (Acoders)

October 11, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

In "stunning, crisp 240p" Jamie's Revenge 2, the sequel to 2008's Jamie's Revenge, follows 16-bit platforming tropes to a tee with a healthy blend of Mario and Sonic mechanics and a lack of frustrating twitch-tests.

The game offers two playable characters with skill sets that make each of the 23 stages across 7 worlds a different challenge to complete. Whereas Jamie has a spin attack that acts as a double jump, Pebz has a wide-arching jump kick and can access new paths by breaking rocks.

Beta Release - Gears of Glory: Apex Ace (Domipheus Labs)

October 11, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Domipheus Labs has released a beta version of its overhead-view Windows racer Gears of Glory: Apex Ace at its official website. A free demo is also available.

Developer Colin Riley notes that Gears of Glory: Apex Ace "aims to bridge pick up and play with a more technical top-down racer." Gameplay focuses on time trials and racing against ghosts in its asynchronous multiplayer mode, which allows you to race any opponent ranked on a track's leaderboard. Future updates will introduce new modes and an in-game track editor.

Gears of Glory: Apex Ace can be purchased during its beta period for £2.00. Download codes can also be purchased in packs of two (£3.60) or four (£6.00), if you want to play with friends.

Retro City Rampage Review

October 11, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

retro city rampage.pngAfter having a coffee at Sixbucks Coffee, enjoying a short stroll around the Secret Park of Primate Peninsula and telling a decidedly pixelated person that "Ken sent me", I ended up in Retro City's arcade. A lovely place I had robbed only a few days ago, and one that offered some excellent games indeed. Apparently the owner was too afraid of me to interfere with my enjoyment of brilliant indie inspired arcade games, that went as far as including a Virtual Boy 3D take on Meat Boy. Maybe my new tattoo by Toadstool scared him. Well, it was either that or the rocket launcher.

And all that dear readers after merely spending a couple of hours in Retro City Rampage; the 8-bit-styled nostalgia-fest that parodies the original Grand Theft Auto and tries to cram as many 80s and 90s references into one game as humanly possible and, well, succeeds.

The game, originally a proper, full-blown NES homebrew project that evolved in one of the most anticipated indie games on modern game machines, you see, really goes overboard with its references. Every building, every character, every line of dialogue, every quest, every mini-game, every melody and every other tiny detail reference or spoof something. From Batman, Indiana Jones and Back To The Future to Mario, Pitfall and Monkey Island, everything you care to remember from the geek culture of the 80s and early 90s has made it into RCR, turning it into a glorified spot-the-mention GTA-clone.

Kickstarter Projects: Sword of Fargoal 2 (Fargoal)

October 11, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

With the recent rebirth of rogue-likes and Kickstarter's thing for reviving classic franchises, Jeff McCord, the creator of C64 gem Sword of Fargoal, and the aptly named Fargoal team have decided to try and fund Sword of Fargoal 2 the popular way. Sadly, things haven't gone too well so far and though the money-pledging period is close to its end, the goal has yet to be achieved. A crying shame if you ask me and if you take into account that the original Fargoal was a brilliant rogue-like that will apparently be wisely updated and enriched.

Besides, a modest backing of $8 will get you the complete game on iOS and $15 the PC/Mac/Linux version, whereas a hefty $1000 will earn you the mouth-watering "retro" version of the game, complete with a working Commodore 64 computer and a copy of the original.

Who Needs Kickstarter? Prison Architect Devs Want Total Control

October 11, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

prison architect long.jpgAt a time when Kickstarter is the way for developers to bypass publishers and pull in investments directly from fans, one indie studio has decided to cut out the middleman -- to great effect.

UK-based Introversion, best known for Uplink, Defcon, and Darwinia, recently launched a crowd-funding effort on its own website. It looks incredibly similar to Kickstarter, with the obvious bonus that there's no other company taking a chunk of the intake.

It appears that the more direct Kickstarter/Minecraft approach is working wonders for Prison Architect too -- as is notable from the sales figures image below, the game has made over $270,000 in two weeks, with nearly 8,000 sales total.

"Kickstarter is for getting projects off the ground, and we were already two years into Prison Architect's development so it just didn't sit well for us," explains Introversion co-founder Mark Morris.

"By doing it ourselves, we don't have to time limit the alpha, and we hope that we'll get more and more gamers interested as we progress and start releasing the updates."

One Week to Go for 2013 IGF's Main Competition Entries

October 11, 2012 1:00 AM | Staff

IGF2013.jpgOrganizers are reminding that submissions for the 2013 Independent Games Festival Main Competition, which reveals winners at GDC 2013 in San Francisco next March, will close in just 7 days.

The longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase continues to accept entries to the 15th annual Festival, with deadlines in the Main and Student Showcase categories in one week (October 17th) and three weeks (October 31st) respectively, with finalists to be announced on January 2013.

Following over 850 entries to IGF 2012, the Festival has expanded each existing category to six finalists, all of which will be available in playable form at a larger, expanded IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor, and will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes.

These include the $5,000 Nuovo Award, honoring 'abstract, shortform, and unconventional' games, as well as the Excellence in Art, Audio, Design, Technology, Student Game and Audience Award prizes, each worth $3,000, and the crowning $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

Notable former Independent Games Festival winners over the previous 15 years include Spelunky, Fez, Minecraft, Limbo, World of Goo, Braid, Castle Crashers, Everyday Shooter and many more of the game industry's breakthrough independent titles.

Third-Person "80's Badass Simulator" Major Hertz: Fast, Fun, and Free

October 10, 2012 11:00 PM | John Polson

The newest batch of game industry projects from Vancouver Film School students are out now, and the first title I quickly gravitated to was Major Hertz, a third person 80's badass simulator for Windows. This fun slice of a game has zero-gravity, guns, grunts, and gripping arcade-style gameplay. As seen in the trailer, the explosions are plenty, but what gives the game its kick is what happens when the player boosts off ramps, allowing a bullet-time like mode to destroy dozens of enemies or a few key explosive barrels.

Sure, Major Hertz is only a handful of levels long and feels like it's missing a huge final boss, but it overall makes for a visually and mechanically thrilling experience. I can only hope someone finds these students' resumes in the game install (smart idea!) and give them money to expand their project. Congrats, James Daniell, Alex Schmidt, Josh Reader, Michael Shannon, and Ed Hicks.

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