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IndieGames.com 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, Gamasutra.com 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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Jamming and Experimenting for Kids with Project Overboard

August 18, 2012 2:00 AM | Staff

ryanc gama.jpgGame jams usually bring together small impromptu teams for a light and frenzied development experience in a short period of time. But what would happen if you tried to jam with a 38-person team?

In Toronto, this experiment has been a success, resulting in an adventure game called Head of the Gorgon that's already begun to benefit kids.

Toronto's annual TOJam was founded in the spirit of developers encouraging one another to actually finish ideas to completion, and in May it welcomed some 400 developers to its seventh year. Last year, the jam was the birthplace of Untold Entertainment president Ryan Henson Creighton's collaboration with his five-year old daughter Cassie to create the viral sensation Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure.

For this year, Creighton, an energetic personality who seems always to be seeking his next big idea, was struck by a thought he had when he once saw an eight-person team -- a bit unwieldy-sized team for a game jam -- assemble and encounter some difficulty in working together.

"They had four programmers and four artists, and the programmers were late risers and the artists were early risers, so their communication was bad," he says. "I thought to myself, all those guys really needed was a project manager, to make sure that when the artists left, there was an asset list coming for the programmers. And if you have that person, then you'll really need a producer to oversee the whole thing."

"As I sat there, I thought, what if eight people isn't too many?" Creighton reflects. "What if it's entirely not enough?"

Trailer: Windforge (Snowed In Studios)

August 17, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Snowed In Studios has released a new gameplay trailer for its side-scrolling "building block RPG" Windforge, showcasing six of the 50 weapons featured in the game.

You may remember Windforge for its innovations in the field of aerial whalecrafting. The new footage focuses on action, and reveals that the final version will feature a grappling hook, along with a minigun that has the power to tear through enemy structures. Looks fun!

Windforge will be released for Windows later this year.

IGF China Seeking Indie Game Submissions for 2012 Event

August 17, 2012 8:43 PM | Staff

gdcchina gama.jpgThe Independent Games Festival China - which will take place alongside this November's GDC China in Shanghai - has opened its call for submissions and is accepting indie game entries from the pan-Pacific area from now through September 10.

Following its success from previous years, GDC China will once again host all three main elements of IGF China, including the IGF Summit, the IGF Pavilion, and the prestigious IGF Awards.

Now in its fourth year, the IGF Summit at GDC China will feature sessions from some of the world's top developers, while the IGF Pavilion will showcase some of the region's best independent and student games.

And of course the IGF Awards - which are split into both Main and Student competitions - will honor the many talented developers in the pan-Pacific area.

Indie Royale Profile: SQUIDS (Game Bakers)

August 17, 2012 5:00 PM | Staff



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

SQUIDS is a game that was originally launched and polished on iOS devices, before the Game Bakers eventually ported it over to PC and Mac, thereby opening the door for a bundle appearance. As someone who skips the vast majority of smart phone games, I'm very glad they did this, because SQUIDS is a seriously well polished and incredibly fun title. I feel like casual games wouldn't get such a bad rap if every game was this polished and engaging.

Freeware Game Pick: Spelunking Club Session (Sprite Hammer)

August 17, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

Underground night club simulator is a crowded genre, I know, but that shouldn't stop you from trying Windows title Spelunking Club Session from Sprite Hammer.

When you start, don't be alarmed by the silence. The game suggests buying a bar first to generate income, but those who want to get the party started should purchase a jukebox immediately. With enough income, you can add a cage dancer, arcade machines, and most importantly, a bubble machine. You can also dig to expand your cave club. I didn't unearth any bonuses, though.

There's no story to add any longevity, but it's fresh enough concept to warrant a try or two. You can grab Spelunking Club Session off IndieDB now for free.

Freeware Game Pick: Cubistry (The Hohng Company)

August 17, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Short on time? Need to kill a few minutes? Cubistry, a free downloadable puzzler for Windows, is one-man studio The Hohng's Company first release, and it won't take you much time at all to play it through to completion.

Similar in premise to the oft-ported computer game Shanghai, Cubistry presents players with a cube that must be dismantled by matching pairs of identical squares. Though it's a simple concept, there's a speed-running element to it that adds extra challenge. See how fast you can clear this one!

Developer Sangwoo Hong notes that the game is currently exclusive for Windows, but will be released for the Chrome App Store and Google Play soon.

XBLIG Pick: Sticky Bump (KeeWeed)

August 17, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Fact: we don't have enough bumper car games. Developer KeeWeed sets out to right this wrong with Sticky Bump, a flashy multiplayer bumper car game for Windows and Xbox Live Indie Games.

In Sticky Bump, up to four players compete to gather as many traffic cones as possible in a single-screen arena, while avoiding the enemy Bully cars. While there's no single-player mode (and multiplayer is local-only), gameplay promises to be quite hectic with a full roster of four players. It looks way better than Burger King's competing Xbox 360 bumper car sim Big Bumpin', in any case.

The Windows version of Sticky Bump is available as a free download. The Xbox Live Indie Games edition is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).

Browser Game Pick: OWWW (lazercatz)

August 17, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

owww.pngOWWW is a puzzle-platformer taking place inside Terry Cavanagh's mouth (or is that tooth?) and it's absolutely brilliant. Tough and brilliant. And funny, yes, definitely funny, though in a very VVVVVV, very surreal way. Play it and make sure you reach the end. No, really, just listen to me and play it. To the end. Now!

Thank you.

Trailer: Zombie Cruise (Tuonela)

August 17, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

I really don't know what to make of that Zombie Cruise video. During its first few seconds I was pretty sure I was looking at a FMV adventure of sorts; then I started being interested in its overall Rocky Horror Show vibe and them quirky zombies, only to be subsequently appalled by the apparent over-the-top sexism of the thing (Niki Titbanger anyone?) and finally be persuaded that this could actually end up being a smart and funny if slightly offensive game. Regardless. Zombie Cruise will most definitely be an episodic, romantic, action adventure for the PC, Mac and iPad and I'll be more than eager to finding out more about it.

Oh, and it apparently has absolutely nothing to do with FMV adventures.

Get a job: Respawn and others hiring now on the Gamasutra jobs board

August 17, 2012 4:00 AM | Eric Caoili

In the latest postings over the last seven days, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles in every major discipline, including opportunities at Respawn Entertainment, Turtle Rock Studios, and others.

Each position posted by employers will appear on the main Gamasutra job board, and appear in the site's daily and weekly newsletters, reaching our readers directly.

It will also be cross-posted for free across Gamasutra's network of submarket sites, which includes content sites focused on independent games and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

Turtle Rock Studios, Inc.: Network Programmer:
"Turtle Rock Studios Inc. is an independent game developer based in Southern California. The team at Turtle Rock is best known for its work with Valve Corporation on Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and Counter-Strike: Source, and for revolutionizing cooperative gaming with the award-winning Left 4 Dead."

Rovio Entertainment Ltd: Game Artists:
"In 2009, Rovio released Angry Birds, a casual puzzle game for touchscreen smartphones that became a worldwide phenomenon from 2010 onwards. The Angry Birds games have enjoyed continuing worldwide chart success, and the franchise has since expanded to a variety of new business areas. Rovio is rapidly expanding its activities in broadcast media, merchandising, publishing and services."

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