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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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Rewarding Kickstarter Donors with Copies of Your Game Is Vital

September 3, 2012 10:00 PM | John Polson

kickstarter gama.jpgIf you're running a Kickstarter campaign to fund your game, one of the best ways to drive away potential donors is to not offer a physical or downloadable copy of your game as a reward.

In a recent survey about the crowdfunding platform conducted by sister site Gamasutra, 62 percent of more than 1,400 respondents said it's essential for developers to offer copies of their games with their Kickstarter rewards. 23 percent also said it's a very important factor they consider when evaluating whether to fund a project.

Just as in retail and digital markets, the pledge price you set for your game copies is critical -- a third of survey respondents said they've declined to fund a project because the game was not available at a low enough reward tier (over a quarter have passed on projects with no game rewards at all).

The poll also found that 55 percent of respondents believe the reward tier for game copies should cost less than the eventual retail sale price of the title, while 36 percent said they would be satisfied if it had around the same price as the retail release.

In general, participants ranked downloadable copies as the most important perk of a Kickstarter campaign, followed by "behind the scenes" and documentary rewards, downloadable soundtracks, and then physical copies of the game. Big spenders, or those who tend to pledge $50 or more, though, consider physical copies the second most important reward.

The results from Gamasutra's Kickstarter Survey, which shares more valuable data on what convinces people to fund or not fund video game campaigns, is available now.

New Gameplay Trailer For A Walk In The Dark

September 3, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

A story-driven platformer that will probably remind a lot of people of LIMBO, A Walk in the Dark is the story of a cat in unusual circumstances. Set within a 'dark fantasy world' populated by clockwork haunted houses and a panoply of evil-looking critters, A Walk in the Dark will have you navigating a whole bunch of dangers and dealing with occasional bouts of gravity inversion, all in the name of rescuing your beloved owner.

Curious? If so, here's the official website for your perusal.

Browser Game Pick: Knightmare Tower (Juicy Beast)

September 3, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

knightmaretower.jpg Juicy Beast's launcher games are kind of scary. They have a way of eating up hours and leaving you confused as to where your day went. Knightmare Tower is no different. The story of a knight who has been charged with the task of rescuing ten princesses (all of whom look very suspiciously different from one another), Knightmare Tower will have you rocketing through the seemingly endless heights of a monster-infested tower. Needless to say, there are a whole bunch of upgrades to purchase and achievements to fulfill.

Play the game here.

Stealth Gameplay: DataJack (Epic Banana)

September 3, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

Updates are a little light this Labor Day holiday, but I spotted this rather neat, isometric cyberpunk stealth game DataJack in TIGSource that's been in development for four years with Epic Banana. The mission-based game will have players take contracts (such as sabotage, espionage, and assassination) in exchange for credits, which pay for gun mods and the rise of SkyNET cybernetic implants.

The developer says a big focus of DataJack is all the objects one can hack, done hands-on or over a network terminal. The data picked up can later be traded for credits. The game's assets seem mostly done now, but only 12 of about 24 missions are complete.

Freeware Game Pick: Plan M (Murray Lewis & David Blake)

September 3, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

plan m.pngPlan M, the adventure gaming Ludum Dare entry by the same team that brought us subAtomic, is by far the funniest thing I have played in quite some time. And the only game brave enough to deal with the Monkeypocalypse; a horribly silly kind of apocalypse in which everyone devolves into monkeys, thus satisfying the competition's theme requirements. Even more impressive (sharp writing and hilarious animation aside) is the game's actual length, which I would characterize as, well, full. Plan M will indeed provide you with more than a few hours of quality entertainment and enough Monkey Island-esque puzzles to keep you off the streets for a long afternoon.

Now, if you want to enjoy the game in all its shiny glory complete with its excellent soundtrack you should download the Enhanced Edition. If, on the other hand, you are going to judge it, better be fair and grab the Original Jam Version. Both editions only run on Windows PCs.

Ask IndieGames: Are indie developers censoring themselves?

September 2, 2012 10:00 AM | Staff


Rare cases such as molleindustria, Anna Anthropy or Jonas Kyratzes aside, indie games, despite being generally free
of any creative control, seem to restrain themselves and avoid tackling social or political issues, in stark contrast to indie films or music.

Does that have to do with developers being afraid to speak their mind or with the fact that they simply only care to make escapist games? Why aren't indie games more connected to everyday issues? Could they actually matter as a form of popular expression? Should they? How could they?

Our monthly series of having the IndieGames editorial team tackle important, relevant issues continues.

Indie Royale Profile: MiniFlake

September 2, 2012 7:00 AM | Staff

[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each game in The Getaway Bundle, now available at IndieGames' co-created site: Indie Royale.]

If you've been pining for the next instalment of the Indie Royale Alpha Collection, MiniFlake is here to fill that unfinished hole in your heart. The quirky alpha release is very clearly far from being finished, and doesn't offer up much as of yet beyond a whole bunch of tech demo elements, but this is one to watch. Essentially, MiniFlake is like taking a roguelike, porting it to the Game Boy, waiting fifteen years and then playing it on an emulator. It's an odd experience, but the core framework is there for a truly interesting game.

Indie Game Pick: They Bleed Pixels (Spooky Squid)

September 1, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

After two years of development and a ton of adoring posts from the media, They Bleed Pixels is finally something more than a distant wish. In case you somehow missed mention of the game, They Bleed Pixels is a 'fiendishly difficult platformer inspired by H.P Lovecraft and classic horror'. Featuring 'extra-tight controls', a gothic lolita with claws for arms, a soundtrack from DJ Finish Him and even a Ponycorn-inspired guest level, Spooky Squid's latest title is likely to keep you busy for a while.

Those interested in picking up the game may be happy to know that it's currently enjoying a 20% discount. Game can be found here.

Browser Game Pick: Fall of the Ark

September 1, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

FALLOFTHEARK.JPGRoger Hicks assembled a tiny army to help with his Ludum Dare 24 entry, the Radiant Silvergun-inspired Fall of the Ark. While a competent and quick shmup, it's the little details that make this one memorable.

Like Treasure implemented voice acting in its famous shmup, Hicks uses some to tell the tale of Ark and taunt the player during the final battle. Radiant Silvergun also influenced the scrolling/scaling effects. This was a refreshing departure from the typical horizontal or vertical shooter.

Fall of the Ark is a very short ride of a game, and the bomb seemed rather useless. However, real shmup fans don't need bombs, unless it plays into the scoring mechanics. A bit of trivia: To The Moon programmer Lannie "Merlandese" Neely III lent his voice to the game.

'Welcome to the Opera' of Horror Called Montas

September 1, 2012 8:00 AM | John Polson

Australian studio Organic Humans has shared with IndieGames gameplay for its single player, Oculus Rift-compatible, survival horror adventure Montas. Wearing the 3D head set will intensify the experience, since Montas will focus heavily on immersion, atmosphere, story and interactivity.

At its core, Montas draws reference for its mechanics from old school adventure games, but it is also inspired by titles such as Half Life 2, Penumbra, and Amnesia. Players can expect to use mechanics such as exploration, navigation, environment interaction, puzzle solving, platforming and using items with other items.

While there is no combat in Montas, developer Garth Robertson tells us that players will find themselves in a lot of hairy situations that may require them to run, hide or use the environment to escape danger. Thankfully, there also will be no quick time events to replace combat. Robertson describes, "During an encounter that's going badly, you will be given multiple chances to escape or foil your attacker before the killing blow is made, and will be different for each attacker. Some attackers for example will just lose interest or get distracted if you don't provoke them."

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