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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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PC Release: Dawning is a short atmospheric adventure with a touch of the surreal

April 11, 2013 9:34 PM | Nick Reineke

I've stumbled upon a quirky adventure/platformer with a great art style and a tinge of horror that goes by the name Dawning. Created by developer Entropixel, the goal is simple enough: rebuild a bridge so you can escape whatever dreamworld you've found yourself trapped within. You'll traverse a variety of areas searching for tools, but something rather ominous will be traveling along with you and just might catch you off guard.

Dawning is available on Desura for Windows, Mac and Linux for $2.99.

The 8 keys to indie success, according to CastleMiner Z developer DigitalDNA Games

April 11, 2013 7:01 PM | Staff

portrait DNA.jpg

[Thomas Steinke wrote this on sister site Gamasutra's free community blogs]

My name is Thomas Steinke, if you are not aware of me; I am the owner of DigitalDNA Games, arguably the most successful Xbox Indie Developer, and the creator of the all time best selling Xbox Indie Game CastleMiner Z. In this article I wanted to spend some time and give advice to people that have aspirations of being full time Indie game developers like me.

What some people might not be aware of is that I am an ex-pro game developer. Of the really successful Indie game developers this seems to be a reoccurring trend. Most people would say it’s because you already KNOW how to make games. Yes, that is definitely an advantage, but there are a lot of indie games with very simple technology that have been very successful. It definitely doesn’t take a pro triple-A game developer to make the next Angry Birds. It isn’t about learning some alien technology that only the high priests of gaming have; especially now a days with all the great middleware out there. However, there are some really simple ideas that the pros have been exposed too which may help you a lot and that are pretty easy to summarize in an article.

A long time ago, someone approached me speaking about an upcoming project. They made a comment like “since this is a game you probably wouldn’t play, you probably would not be able to make it..”.  I was surprised as a pro developer as I was; I was often in positions where I was making games that were not for me. It was interesting to me because it drove to the point what it means to be “professional” versus a hobbyist.

If you think about professional musicians or dancers they do this all the time. You may have heard stories about studio musicians who play back up on a rock album then an hour later play back up on a country album. This is the essence of what being a “pro” artist is all about. When you have to make a living by doing your art, especially if you are very talented, you learn to be flexible; it is main difference of being a “pro” from someone that is playing with their hobby. So if you want to be pro-Indie you have to start thinking like a pro, this brings us to our first item.

Isometric strategy stealth PC game Black Annex is a love-letter to Bullfrog's Syndicate

April 11, 2013 4:55 PM | John Polson

Lance McDonald loves his 1990s PC games, and it shows in his upcoming strategy stealth game, Black Annex. Corporate espionage and sabotage is the name of the game here, told from an isometric perspective. Players have to manage money while transporting and training agents for specific tasks. Based on the training, they will silently steal, hack, destroy, kidnap and kill.... or be killed.

Experimental Narrative: 18 Cadence

April 11, 2013 1:48 PM | Andrew Plotkin

18 Cadence screenshot18 Cadence is a new interactive text piece by Aaron Reed. He's the author of Blue Lacuna, a monumental parser-IF game from 2008... (Huh. That was five years ago now. Crazy) ...and a whole host of other experimental story-games, as you'll see on his web site.

18 Cadence is the story of a house, and everybody who lived there in the twentieth century. Which is to say, it is the story of the twentieth century, written small and in intimate details.

Browser Pick: Tax Evaders - Google, Microsoft, Facebook, BP are no longer safe

April 11, 2013 11:44 AM | John Polson

tax evaders.pngTax Evaders is a fun arcade shooter with a message about corporate tax evasion. Players control a mob of citizens who shoot down evading corporate tax UFOs in order to ground them and have them pay their share of revenues. This allows the city's school, park, train station, and more to be revitalized.

PC Trailer: Strike Vector's dogfighting looks Unreal

April 11, 2013 11:40 AM | Anthony Swinnich

People have never needed an excuse to blast each other to pieces in a video game. They just need a quality outlet to let loose. The small team of industry veterans behind Strike Vector is hoping they can provide folks with that opportunity.

Kickstarter Projects: Risk of Rain (hopoo)

April 11, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

So, what is a rogue-like platformer then? Why, something not wholly dissimilar to Spelunky I believe. Also a platformer with procedurally generated levels if we feel like going for a more inclusive description. Just like Risk of Rain apparently; the truly intriguing platformer that's attempting to get itself funded via Kickstarter and a game that will also feature a time=difficulty mechanic (the longer you play, the harder things get), a rich selection of enemies, weapons, items and bosses, stylish graphics and the always brilliant music of Chris Christodoulou.

You can already give the demo (direct download) a try and, of course, secure your copy for as low as $10 or pay a bit more and grab all sorts of rewards.

PC Release - lumberjack action strategy Sang-Froid: Tales of the Werewolves

April 10, 2013 9:06 PM | John Polson

Artifice Studio's Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves released on Steam for Windows for $14.99 this week, showing that lumberjacks can have the brains and the brawn to overcome their lycanthropic adversaries and even the Devil, himself. Sang-Froid boasts action, strategy, tower defense, and even a little RPG-esque leveling-up gameplay. It also packs an epic folktale set in 19th century Canada and is co-written with best-selling author Bryan Perro (Amos Daragon, Wariwulf).

A more extended gameplay video is available after the jump:

Freeware Pick: Dustin Gunn's rabbit-alien invasion action platformer Mayhem Triple

April 10, 2013 6:13 PM | John Polson

Sombreros developer Dustin Gunn describes his latest Windows freeware title, Mayhem Triple, as a "cinematic set-piece platformer with a farcical story about time paradoxes." If putting bullet holes in a bunch of bunny-aliens to stop the apocalypse sounds like your thing, along with a little parkour, look no further. The same goes for those wanting to earn a "balls of steel" achievement for blowing up enemies with testicle bombs and other absurdities.

As a final note, Dustin wrote in to say he's been working on the game for about 10 years. If you've enjoyed Sombreros or Mayhem Triple, be sure to donate via Paypal, instead of simply throwing money at the screen.

Nitronic Rush sequel Distance shows neon-lit, split-screen survival driving

April 10, 2013 4:35 PM | John Polson

Work on the spiritual successor to freeware, survival driving game Nitronic Rush is going just well, as seen in Refract Studios' above pre-alpha gameplay video of Distance. The team had a successful Kickstarter last year, raising $160,000 to complete the game by August 2013 for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

As shown in the video, the game seems it will deliver on its local split-screen mode, in addition to LAN and online multiplayer. Those who missed the Kickstarter pledge can still get backer updates and early Alpha/Beta access by backing the project on PayPal.

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