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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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Freeware Game Pick: Perfect Distance (Rod Humble)

October 9, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


The Marriage creator Rod Humble has released the experimental art game Perfect Distance, which he describes as "a game about an artillery officer returning from a war and his thoughts about free will."

Perfect Distance is a short, linear experience presented in multiple parts. Like in The Marriage, abstract imagery is used to represent complex concepts, and player input leads to vague results that are up to personal interpretation.

Be aware that you may run into technical issues with this one; the game's crucial narration doesn't play on some machines, and a fix isn't likely, since Humble has lost the game's source code. He also warns of an "absurdly large download size [209 MB] for a game that lasts a few minutes," but that shouldn't stop you from playing this, especially if you enjoyed The Marriage.

Indie Tools: GMOSSE - The Game Maker Open-Source Shmup Engine

October 9, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

gmosse.pngIf you are using Game Maker to craft your shmup you should definitely have a look at GMOSSE - The Game Maker Open-Source Shmup Engine. Sounds pretty impressive, doesn't it? Well, it's pretty simple instead I'm afraid; not much more than an incredibly handy template that, as its creator puts it, provides Game Maker devs with some extra functionality, ideas, bits of code and, apparently, more.

Oh, and I'd expect some interesting updates if I were you.

iOS Hit Nihilumbra Coming to PC

October 9, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

Beautifun Games' iOS puzzle platformer hit Nihilumbra is coming to Windows and Mac. Our own Cassandra Khaw appreciated the iOS version's 10+ hours of gameplay. Additions to the PC versions include improved atmospheric and weather effects, new HD textures, an improved and fully remastered soundtrack with a new song, and minigames.

The developers also address going from touch to PC controls on their Greenlight post: "You will be able to paint using the mouse and move Born using the keyboard and we will add some shortcuts also. All tutorials and menus will be redesigned and adapted to PC version."

Those who want Nihilumbra on Steam can vote on its Greenlight page. After the jump is the not-so-gameplay-ish Steam trailer.

The Benefits of Making Your Players Suffer (and Maybe Throw Up)

October 8, 2012 8:00 PM | Staff

qwopsmall.jpgBennett Foddy, creator of QWOP, GIRP, and CLOP among others, likes to play with his players, and he suggests that more of us should be doing the same.

At the top of his talk at IndieCade on Friday, he asserted, "I'm going to try to convince you to put more suffering in your games."

Learn a lesson from the Olympics, he says - it's all about the suffering. It's all about the pathos of second place.

"Nobody cries when they come second in a video game," he notes. "Nobody lays down and cries. Why not?"

In track and field video games, "The way that you run is to either hammer a button really fast, or waggle a joystick really fast," he says. "There's no joy in that, the joy is in the panic - in your friends watching you injure yourself as you hit the button."

"It's not just that games are easier - though they are," he says. "To me it's that games these days are more comfortable. There's less discomfort. My worry is not that games are getting too easy, because easy games can be wonderful. My worry is that games are getting too comfortable."

Freeware Game Pick: Pledge Quest II (Akril15)

October 8, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

pledgequest_2.jpg Okay, this is delightful. Previously in June, our own Gnome wrote about the original Pledge Quest, a one-room, fan-made adventure game intended to help bring further attention to the Two Guys from Andromedea Kickstarter. Today, I'm happy to report that there's a sequel for the original title. Much like before, you're going to take command of the redhead Bea. However, instead of figuring out how best to finance a certain project, you're going to have to go back in time to stop a nefarious (and unexpected) villain from doing horrible, horrible things to TwoGuys' SpaceVenture project.

Seriously. If you like adventure games, just go download it already.

Atari Arcade Remake Black Widow Released for Free

October 8, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

black widow.pngOften compared to Robotron: 2084, Black Widow is a twin-stick arena shooter that released in 1982 as an Atari arcade game and is now a Sokurah (Søren Borgquist) remake. Most notably, the 2012 version has glowing vector graphics that players can toggle on or off.

While the game screen is less cluttered with enemies than in Robotron, the strategy to destroy those enemies is more involved. The player must lure some enemies into destroying them. The Black Widow also has a Bug Slayer who helps clear enemies. However, those enemies do not drop points. Check out the enemies and scoring section for a full debugging, er... debriefing.

Players can redefine the keys or use a gamepad, but they are preset to the ARROW keys to move the spider and WASD to fire in each direction. Those interested can download Black Widow for free for Windows and Mac.

Demo: Fairy Bloom Freesia (Nyu Media)

October 8, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Nyu Media has released a free demo version of its English localization for Edelweiss' side-scrolling doujin brawler Fairy Bloom Freesia, due to premiere this month.

Fairy Bloom Freesia spins a story in which the fairy guardian Freesia must protect an ancient forest by beating the living crap out of invading evil forces. Freesia has a variety of melee, ranged, and mid-air combo attacks at her disposal, and players will be able to unlock new abilities as the story progresses.

Fairy Bloom Freesia will be priced at $7.99 when it launches for Steam, Desura, GamersGate, and Impulse later this month. The original soundtrack -- available as a double album packaged with the OST for Edelweiss' Ether Vapor Remaster -- can be purchased here.

Freeware Game Pick: Get 'Em DX (RGCD & Psytronik)

October 8, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

One really has to give it to RGCD and company for making sure the Commodore 64 remains the indie-friendliest retro machine around and the only 8-bit micro that keeps regularly getting properly boxed cartridges filled with indie gaming bliss. Take Get 'Em DX for example: RGCD's and Psytronik's latest release and an amazing take on the Forget Me Not formula that comes complete with lovely visuals and music, co-op multiplayer, three difficulty levels, a wild assortment of enemies and -of course yet still somehow unexpectedly- some excellent procedurally generated levels.

The game will run on any Commodore 64 or 128 you might have (even the obscure C64GS console) and, should you wisely choose to buy its boxed version, the same that I've been enjoying for the past few days, it will also come on a proper cartridge in a box and be accompanied by a manual and some stickers. The rest of you should download the freeware version of the game that will happily run via emulation or, handily, straight on your PC.

IndieGoGo Project: Dead Cyborg (Endre Barath)

October 8, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

dead cyborg 2.pngDead Cyborg episode 1 was one of last year's most brilliant point-and-clickable surprises. Also, a freeware, visually stunning, sci-fi adventure game everyone loved (according to my wholly unscientific homemade poll, that is) and a game that really needs its equally freeware sequel. That is where we and the to-the-point Dead Cyborg IndieGoGo campaign come in dear reader. Endre Barath, you see, will need all the support he can get in order to finish and share his game...

Snapshot, Offspring Fling Developer Releasing Jottobots Soon

October 8, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

jottobots.pngKyle Pulver, whose recent credits include puzzle platformers Offspring Fling and Snapshot, is about to release a mini-Metroidvania game called Jottobots. Pulver says it is "classic to the core, [is] about discovering every nook and cranny in the world, and has lots of high score / speed running potential. There are a lot of explosions, as well."

Pulver tells me that it was originally created for the ARTxGAME collective in June 2009. He's finally gearing up to release a "home version" of it, since it's only been available in gallery settings so far. "I've been meaning to release it for a long time, but kept holding it off due to other projects getting in the way."

Jottobots was originally a collaboration with J. Otto Seibold [hence the "Jotto" in the title], and the home version adds music from Josh Whelchel. Pulver expects Jottobots to release sometime in October for "super cheap" on at least Windows (and Mac if he can manage to swing it with Game Maker).

After the jump is some really off-the-wall gameplay footage.

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