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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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Legendary 1979 TRS-80 Game Developer Returns To Rebuild in Unity

August 20, 2012 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

leo trs 80.pngLeo Christopherson must have been a great math teacher, we'll probably never really know, but we will always be certain of the fact that he was an excellent TRS-80 programmer and game designer that wowed computer gamers back in the late 70s and early-to-mid 80s. He was also very close to the archetype of what we'd today describe as an indie developer, what with him being a one man team with unique and quirky ideas, who still fondly remembers "the successes I had with graphics and sound on the old TRS-80 as being some of the best moments of my life. I would hope programmers today can experience that too, but I'm not sure how things go in the large teams of experts these days where each person is involved with one small aspect of the final result".

Leo came up with such classic games as Dancing Demon, Android NIM and Voyage of Valkyrie that are still remembered, loved and played to this day. "You know, it's really humbling that I still get emails from folks that were just kids back when I was programming on the TRS-80's" he told Jim McGinley who interviewed him and provided the quotes for this article. "They all say how much they enjoyed the programs, and I'm really pleased at how many mention that their careers in the computer field were inspired by my little programs".

Dinosaurs with Lasers? Sure, As Long As It Makes Sense

August 20, 2012 2:00 AM | Staff

supercrate gama.jpgStoryline and fiction are perhaps not elements you'd associate with the flurry of titles from indie studio Vlambeer. Yet developer duo Jan Willem Nijman and Rami Ismail take the underlying fiction in their games very seriously, whether the players actually notice it or not.

During a GDC Europe talk titled "Sensible Nonsense," Nijman and Ismail discussed how building up a backstory and fictional world for your games is incredibly important to them, as these decisions then give structure to certain settings and gameplay elements injected into each title.

Take Super Crate Box for example -- anyone who has played the arcade-style title would be hard-pushed to explain the story behind the experience. At first glance it appears that the game is simply throwing a variety of random levels your way with very little actual plot involved.

However, there is indeed an entire fiction holding it all together, which revolves around a construction worker who is forced to defend the world from aliens by blasting into space via a rocket, and killing the alien invasion dead at its source -- the Moon. This story can be subtly seen in places, from the rocket ship in the background of the first level, to the final world that is set in a temple on the Moon.

Slenderman's Shadow Offers More Maps for Slender-like Scares

August 19, 2012 9:00 PM | John Polson

Marc Steene and Wray Burgess pay tribute to Mark J. Hadley's Slender sensation with Slenderman's Shadow to mix up players' scary experiences. It's mostly the same game - avoid Slender and collect 8 pages - with tweaked AI, new sounds, and new environments.

The Sanatorium map is available now for Windows, with a hospice location and three more classified locations coming this fall. The trailer suggests a very interesting element, even if the devs removed it temporarily: what would happen if one fought back? How would The Slender Man retaliate? Unfortunately, the game presently doesn't answer either of these questions.

The Slender Man photos showed the being in broad day light, so I would love to see someone tackle daytime terror/horror. I'd also like to see other characters pop up in some maps, as The Slender Man photos suggest he spooks crowds, too. Maybe Steene and Burgess are up for the challenge.

Browser Game Pick: Farm Fortress (Pontus Lundvall & David Hagstrom)

August 19, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

We're a little late to the party with this one but if you haven't heard of Farm Fortress just yet, now's the time to check it out. Described as a 'persistent online farming and fortress building game with seamless PvP/co-opt multiplayer' component, the game is set in the distant future where the illegal cultivation of certain 'medicinal' plants is, well, illegal. However, it's highly lucrative. As you might have guessed, you're going to have protect it. What's interesting about the whole deal is the fact that things do not stop when you log off - you're going to have to ensure your fortress is capable of defending itself when you're not there.

Curious? Check it out here.

Browser Game Pick: Argument Champion (bigblueboo)

August 19, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

argument champion.pngFrom the creative First Person Tutor developer comes Argument Champion, a fast-paced, "rhetorical combat" game made for the A Game By Its Cover 2012 competition. Debaters pick a word (their argument) which they defend, and gain popularity with, by making the shortest connection possible using the audience's associated words. Players can also use negative "X" words to build the shortest connection to weaken their opponent's argument.

While the mechanics are nothing like First Person Tutor, the pacing is at times just as frantic. Players have about 20 seconds to click and expand various word trees to find the shortest connection. The difficulty of First Person Tutor isn't present, either; even if connections are weaker, winning seems inevitable.

The developer sought to further investigate language-based games after the success of First Person tutor. The inspiration is a mix of 16-bit Japanese turn-based wrestling/fighting games, turning the Sumo and wrestling into RPG mechanics, and Phoenix Wright's logic-based gameplay, especially the courtroom scenes. The goal was to create a debate/reasoning game that made rhetoric fun. Argument Champion seems largely to have achieved this, even without sound.

Those curious can check out the cover from Argument Champion after the jump.

McMillen's Basement Collection To Feature New Content, Extras

August 19, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan


Edmund McMillen's upcoming eight-game Basement Collection will feature a bevy of added content and bonus extras, the developer revealed this week.

The collection's new version of Time Fcuk will be greatly expanded, and will include a 33-level second chapter that features its own storyline and ending. The controls for Triachnid and Meat Boy have been updated, and Aether will include an additional soundtrack by Super Meat Boy composer Danny Baranowsky. All included games will also feature unlockable achievements.

Better still, the Basement Collection offers 10 minutes of exclusive interview footage recorded by the team behind Indie Game: The Movie, during which McMillen discusses many of the compilation's featured games. Also included are playable tech demos, audio commentary tracks, concept sketches, and seven "honestly substantial" unlockable extras. That's quite a bit of content! McMillen expects to reveal a launch date for the $4 collection next week.

Trailer: Two Brothers (AckkStudios)

August 18, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Forget princesses; this is a search for color. AckkStudios' Two Brothers is a 'Action/Adventure/Role-playing/Nostalgia' that was inspired by the many demakes found on the Internet. As we've mentioned before, Two Brothers is centered around Roy and Bivare Guarder's quest to bring color into their gray-scale world. They still don't have an official website but those interested in checking out their Facebook page can go here. If you want to keep tabs on their development, there's a handy-dandy devlog here.

Trailer: Cognition Episode 1 (Phoenix Online)

August 18, 2012 3:00 PM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, the indie episodic adventure enjoying the support of the mighty Jane Jensen, will launch its very first episode this fall. The ominously titled Episode 1: Hangman has thus already gotten its trailer and things seem very promising indeed, especially if you are into dark detective thrillers with a supernatural touch and, apparently, great graphics. Keep yourselves informed by following this link.

Freeware Game Pick: Swedish Summer (Akai_R)

August 18, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

sweden summer.jpgIt's a cruel, cruel summer, at least from the perspective of the teacher you must project from being stoned during midsummer celebrations in Swedish Summer. Why such negativity during the festivities? According to the developer, some "can't sing the national anthem out of fear of being called Nazis."

Akai_R's Funtition 2012 entry contains two other mini-games to lighten the tension. The second game has you dancing around the midsummer pole, and the third involves a drunken ride home.

The Windows-only Swedish Summer takes but a few minutes of your time, and maybe afterwards you'll feel you understand Swedish culture a little bit more... or maybe not.

World Of Goo Completed In 31 Minutes By "Cyborgs"

August 18, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

2D Boy is apparently quite impressed with this recently released tool-assisted World of Goo speedrun, which manages to complete the game in 31 minutes -- a feat that the developer believes could only be the work of cyborgs.

The bulk of the run is actually comprised of score tallying and between-level interstitials. Most levels are completed in a matter of seconds. Don't blink!

Tool-assisted speedrun videos like this are made possible through emulation; in this case, the WiiWare version of World of Goo was used. TAS authors are able to slow down gameplay and use savestates in order to achieve completion times that aren't possible through normal play. I much prefer 2D Boy's theory that the video was created by indie game-loving cyborgs, though.

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