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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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Q&A: Leonard J. Paul on Retro City Chiptunes and Vessel Audio

August 29, 2012 6:40 PM | jeriaska

leonardpaulgdc_478.jpgPresenting on sound design for Vessel at GDC 2012

Leonard J. Paul is the lead composer on Vblank Entertainment's Retro City Rampage chiptune score and has designed and implemented the dynamic audio found in Strange Loop Games' Vessel. He will be performing at a pre-PAX showcase in Seattle on August 30 and speaking at the Gamercamp festival in Toronto this November.

We caught up with the audio engineer and musician to hear about his contributions to independently developed titles.

When you are creating a pastiche of '80s sounds, evoking NES games like Paperboy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, how do you find an appropriate balance between emulating a classic game soundtrack while creating something unique to Retro City Rampage?

Leonard J. Paul: I grew up with the Commodore, not the NES. So when listening to Virt's FX3, I do not hear the references. It's like kids that were listening to rap music and adults going, "That's rare groove and funk. That's Parliament, Funkadelic and James Brown." I think for Matt (Norrin Radd), he will often study existing NES music and try to duplicate the sounds and notes as a reference. But for me, I go for the feel, which is how I avoid that issue of imitation.

We have also done the modern thing of having other indie games make appearances. I actually looked at the score for Super Meat Boy and did a chiptune cover, while for Bit.Trip Runner I duplicated the feel. I am really quite happy with that particular track, the "Bit Happy Song."

Video: Navigate Creator's Mind in Bad Trip

August 29, 2012 5:00 PM | John Polson

Hong Kong media artist Alan Kwan has created game art project Bad Trip, which is an immersive interactive system which enables people to navigate his mind. Since November 2011, Kwan has logged every moment of his life by a video camera mounted on his eyeglasses, producing a database of digitalized visual memories.

Using a custom virtual reality software, Kwan designed a "virtual mindscape" people could navigate with a controller. "The mindscape grows continually as fresh memories and dreams in," Kwan says on his Vimeo page. I hope I get to explore some game worlds such as Bad Trip made by Kwan soon.

[Thanks for the email, Alan Kwan!]

Kickstarter Project: Two Brothers (AckkStudios)

August 29, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

AckkStudios has just launched a modest $6,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund their action-adventure RPG Two Brothers for Windows, OSX, and Xbox 360. This RPG begins monochromatic and gradually changes as the brothers seek out new colors in their world and the afterlife.

Two Brothers seemed quite popular earlier this month. The team no doubt hopes that popularity will translate to financial support, so they may purchase the tools and licenses needed to bring Two Brothers to as many platforms as possible in January 2013.

Steam Best Of British Indie Bundle Offers Seven Games For $9.99

August 29, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


A collective of British indie developers has teamed up to deliver the Best of British Indie Bundle, a seven-game compilation available via Steam for $9.99.

Included in the pack are Introversion Software's strategy title DEFCON, Rudolf Kremers and Alex May's ambient RTS Eufloria, Mode 7's tactics game Frozen Synapse, Positech Games' science fiction-themed Gratuitous Space Battles, Puppygames' tower defense title Revenge of the Titans, and a pair of adventure games from Size Five Games: Time Gentlemen, Please! and Ben There, Dan That!

Bundle buyers also receive an additional copy of Frozen Synapse, to give away to a friend. Given that purchasing each game separately would normally cost you $79.94, this is quite a deal!

Trailer: Fuel Overdose (I-Friqiya)

August 29, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Developer I-Friqiya aims to bring tactical action elements to the racing genre in Fuel Overdose, an upcoming downloadable title for Windows and the PlayStation 3.

Fuel Overdose is an overhead-view racer in which vehicles are equipped with an arsenal of weaponry, in addition to grappling hooks that can be attached to rival racers. Success still largely hinges on the player's driving ability, however, and if the action elements don't appeal to you, Fuel Overdose will also include a series of weapon-free challenges and time attack modes.

A release date for Fuel Overdose has not been announced.

Demo & Release: The Trouble With Robots (Digital Chestnut)

August 29, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

trouble robots.pngI'm not exactly sure whether the hand-drawn graphics or the promise of a new card-game drew me in, but I do know that, at the end of the day, The Trouble With Robots cost me said day. Interestingly though it's much more than a merely addictive game, which, as Zynga has proven, is something that can be cheaply achieved. It's an actually great game.

Sporting some sharp writing The Trouble With Robots goes on to tell the often hilarious tale of the corporate, real-estate loving but not particularly nasty robot invasion of a quasi-feudal traditional fantasy setting. Centaurs, trolls, dwarfs, peasants and elves are pitted against all sorts of robots, including a huge 8-bit CPUed brute. Battles are fought à la Magic The Gathering only (uniquely and wisely) in real-time and with a smaller deck of cards. Most importantly, they work brilliantly.

Better though to find out for yourselves. The game has been released for Windows PCs and it even comes with a lovely demo.

Browser Game Pick: Oneway (azurenimbus)

August 29, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

I must admit that Oneway was the first Ludum Dare 24 game I tried, as I've frankly grown incredibly fond of the work of azurenimbus. Happily, I was not disappointed. This simple and elegant game about evolution is both tough and, as expected, innovative in its mechanics. And it most definitely will hone your pattern-recognition skills while taxing your patience. Oh, and yes, it is very enjoyable indeed and I will be keeping an eye on its post-jam updates.

Kickstarter Projects - Deozoa: Legends of Eden (Ignis Studios)

August 28, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Ignis Studios seeks funding via Kickstarter for Deozoa: Legends of Eden, a monster-catching RPG with turn-based strategic elements.

Unlike Pokemon and other monster-catching titles, Deozoa's monsters and its human characters are considered equals, and fight together in large group battles. The game includes over 100 monsters, and is planned for release for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Ouya.

Ignis has set its funding goal at $78,000, most of which will be dedicated to producing animation for the game's hundreds of characters. Backers who pledge $15 or more will receive copies of Deozoa for all supported platforms.

Trailer: LUFTRAUSERS (Vlambeer)

August 28, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

In case you missed mention of this the first time around, Vlambeer and Devolver Digital will be working together to release a souped-up version of LUFTRAUSER sometime later this year. An arcade-style 'aerial combat shooter', the upcoming title will let you pilot an experimental Luftrauser, engage in glorious aerial combat and customize your flying vehicle of death. It also has a proper trailer now. Enjoy!

Official website here.

mif2000 Announces The Franz Kafka Videogame

August 28, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

kafka_2.jpgDid you say you wanted more German literature with your indie games? No? Well, you're going to get some, anyway. Dennis "mif2000" Galanin is the creator of an adorable adventure game called Hamlet which enjoyed relatively positive press. This time around, he's back with a new title. Instead of focusing on the work of the dear old bard, he has moved on to more unusual pastures. Scheduled for eventual release on the PC, Mac and iOS, the Franz Kafka Videogame will be a 'classic adventure game based on twisted Franz Kafka novels' and will feature 'original logic puzzles'.

Curious? You can find out more here.
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