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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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Karoshi developer Jesse Venbrux releasing They Need to Be Fed 2 this Wednesday

April 15, 2013 6:08 PM | John Polson

Jesse Venbrux, under his company Bit Ate Bit, will be releasing a sequel to anti-gravity platformer They Need to Be Fed rather soon. The 360-degree platforming sequel will hit Android and iOS devices this Wednesday, and it promises 7 worlds, 100+ levels, and a new soundtrack from teammate Jake Almond.

Freeware Pick: Burn Pixel Wood, stuck in a wooden tower with orcs and a flamethrower

April 15, 2013 1:45 PM | Paul Hack

bpw.jpgI love it when a platformer shows me something new. The central gameplay mechanic in Burn Pixel Wood is described right in the title. Armed with a flamethrower, it is your task to burn every wooden block in the tower. This simple premise sets up a delicious sidescrolling puzzler. The level is large, and there are a lot of blocks to burn. The tower is patrolled by stupid but deadly orc guards, and you must also avoid burning through a floor and plummeting to your death.

Sandbox adventure platformer Starbound pre-orders already passed $500,000

April 15, 2013 12:41 PM | John Polson

starbound photos.pngChucklefish's story within a procedurally generated sandbox game Starbound has already passed $500,000 in pre-order sales, with almost 22,000 backers and and the Novakid race creation stretch goal secured. Starbound's beta launches later this year and will go to those who pay at least $15 during this pre-order. The game will be available for Windows, Mac, and Linux and will have Steam keys for all purchasers when applicable.

LOOM and Boggle lovechild Spellirium now for pre-order with alpha access

April 13, 2013 12:49 PM | John Polson

Spellirium, the point-and-click adventure and world puzzle hybrid by Untold Entertainment, is available for pre-order now in exchange for Windows or Mac alpha access. The adult from Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure, Ryan Hensen Creighton, describes Spellirium as "if LOOM and Boggle had a baby," and the video above depicts that pretty clearly, showing how players must find words to solve puzzles and defeat monsters.

Freeware Pick: KTX-1, cyberpunk espionage adventure aboard a sabotaged train

April 13, 2013 6:25 AM | Paul Hack

ktx.jpgKTX-1 is a short cyberpunk espionage adventure game by the developer known as DoorKnobHandle, or DKH. The game won last month's MAGS (Monthly Adventure Game Studio) Competition, and with good reason. Only about 90 hours of work over the course of one month went into the game's development, but it's as polished as many commercial adventure games. The KTX-1 of the title is a high-speed train on which terrorists have planted a bomb. As the agent of a shady government, it's your job to find and defuse the bomb while avoiding detection yourself.

Freeware Pick: eat the musical galaxy in Space Whale

April 12, 2013 5:26 PM | John Polson

Needing a way to unwind for the weekend? Abertay University student team Mercurial Games has released a free Windows game called Space Whale, which is a bit like an outer-space Katamari Damacy. Players use the mouse to pull the space whale into and out of various planets' orbits, all the while eating smaller galactic matter to grow in size. Those consumables also create musical notes to add to the serenity.

Cloudberry Kingdom to conquer multiple platforms this spring

April 12, 2013 12:15 PM | Anthony Swinnich

Pwnee Studios is hoping to fill as many swear jars as possible with platformer Cloudberry Kingdom and its potentially insane level design. A publishing agreement with Ubisoft will help them accomplish this goal, as the game is now slated for release across multiple platforms this spring.

PC Demo + Kickstarter: Chasm - 2D platforming and random dungeon crawling

April 12, 2013 10:58 AM | John Polson

[Update: The game now has a Windows, Mac, and Linux demo]

Discord Games' Chasm Kickstarter wants to appeal to players who loved Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Diablo by mashing up 2D platforming and procedurally generated dungeon crawling with action-RPG elements. It promises a "fantasy world full of exciting treasure, deadly enemies, and abundant secrets," and the current multiplatform demo offers a slice of that world of sexy pixels.

Browser Pick: Magnetized - an abstract adventure or just a new puzzle game classic?

April 12, 2013 5:53 AM | Paul Hack

magn.jpgThe best abstract puzzle games start by introducing you to an original, easily graspable game mechanic and then gradually iterate upon it until you feel like things couldn't get more complicated. Think Sokoban, Tetris, and your favorite match-3 game. That's the kind of classic feel that Magnetized achieves. Developed over the course of 5 months by Taiwanese developer Rocky Hong, Magnetized demonstrates a high level of polish in both its simple but slick presentation and its easy-to-learn-but-hard-to-master gameplay.

What about love? Inside a game jam revolution

April 12, 2013 2:55 AM | Staff

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 1.20.31 PM.png[Leigh Alexander wrote this article originally for sister site Gamasutra]

The portrayal of romance in games has been an open discussion in traditional game design circles, and players and creators alike have longed to see how we can explore the deep and nuanced tonalities of love in interactive entertainment.

Yet while lifelike demos of faces that can really gaze at you provoke buzz and ardor, achieving the expressive, genuine sentiment of courtship, heartbreak, and sex within a medium that likes goal-oriented systems has been an elusive objective.

Trust pure, wild experimentation to emerge from the fringe. Beginning over the past weekend, following up on an idea she credits to friend Eren Russo, writer, visual artist and game maker Madam Luna spearheaded the Pulse-Pounding Heart-Stopping Dating Sim Game Jam, which encouraged game makers and hobbyists from all over the realm of the internet to use whatever tools they could get their hands on to make games about romance.

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