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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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Open Beta: 1D Sports (Distorted Poetry)

August 11, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

1d sports.pngRetro-tastique button masher 1D Sports by the excellently named Distorted Poetry has just entered its open beta phase and you are invited to participate, provided of course you pay the (very) modest $1.00 admission fee; a fee that will be raised to $2.99 upon release. The game will run on any relatively modern Mac or PC, provides both single- and multi-player modes and can be utterly brutal for your keyboard.

If you've ever played any of the Daley Thomson games or Konami's Track and Field back in the '80s you'll know what to expect. If not, well, all you need to know is that furiously hitting the z button will make your on-screen athlete/coloured dot go very fast indeed. It's way more fun than it sounds and 1D Sports' extreme visual minimalism actually helps you focus on the task at hand.

Freeware Game Pick: Billy Goats Gruff (NightFable)

August 10, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

billygoatgruff.pngA cute little point & click adventure game, Billy Goats Gruff was created for July's MAGs and was completed in the span of the six days. Though short, Billy Goats Gruff offers a nostalgia-inducing look at a familiar fable. Can you get to the other side with a one-eyed troll standing in between you and your sweet, sweet grass? Warning: it's not immediately evident but the game uses a verbcoin. In order to interact with things, you have to hold down the left mouse button for a bit so as to be able to see your options.

Download the game here.

Trailer: Shad'O (Okugi Studio)

August 10, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw



Okugi Studio's first PC title is a tower defense game that will have you following the story of the nine year old William, a kid trapped in his own mind. Driven to figure out exactly what happened, he find himself waging war against dark, creepy-looking things with the help of a bunch of companions. It looks like there's going to be procedurally-generated fog, boss battles, and a focus on narrative in this one. The price hasn't been announced as of yet. However, we do know that the game will be made available on a variety of platforms (including Steam!) sometime on September 4th.

Check out the website here.

Pay Once for PC and iOS? Galcon Dev Experiments with Dynamite Jack

August 10, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

Dynamite-Jack.jpgIn a rather novel pay-once, cross-platform experiment, Galcon developer Phil Hassey has offered a limited deal to give iOS purchasers of Dynamite Jack free Humble Store codes for PC.

The App Store's fierce restrictions on game codes limits this experiment such that consumers must pay for the iOS version first to get the Windows, Mac, and Linux versions free. Whereas Humble Store and Steam developers can get virtually unlimited codes for their games to distribute, Apple only gives 50 free codes per update.

To make this sale reciprocal for PC, Hassey would have had to buy the codes himself, so Apple could keep its 30% profit. Prepping for this promotion with 10,000 iOS codes would have cost him around $9,000 instead of $0.

Despite not being able to reciprocate this sale to PC owners, Hassey said he has received no complaints or backlash so far. "I reassure them that they can give their extra desktop code to a friend, so they still get benefit from this promotion."

Browser Game Pick: The Liberate Pixil Cup Quest (Bob Black)

August 10, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

120809_pixilcup.png

Tiniglob's Bob Black has released The Liberate Pixil Cup Quest, a "coffee break roguelike" developed using OpenGameArt-licensed assets for The Liberated Pixel Cup contest.

The experience is short but sweet, distilling roguelike mechanics in a simple, breezy quest. You don't have to worry about equipment or permadeath here -- players manage a small inventory of consumable items as they battle a randomly generated set of enemies. Stats are raised by purchasing upgrades from the shops at the center of the level. Once you've beaten all 50 monsters, you're done!

Trailer: Oliver & Spike (Rock Pocket Games)

August 10, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Rock Pocket Games has released a new trailer for its dimension-hopping platformer Oliver & Spike: Dimension Jumpers showcasing the game's latest build.

Oliver & Spike's potential becomes apparent once you witness the game's protagonist cross a large gap by switching to an underwater dimension -- impressive stuff! The mechanic is bound to make for some challenging environmental puzzles, and the full game will also feature unique areas designed for cooperative play.

Oliver & Spike is in development for Windows and Mac platforms, and console ports (including a possible Ouya version) are still being discussed. A release date has not been announced.

Browser Game Pick: Sokoban Palace (Nocturne Games)

August 10, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh.pngSo, Sokoban my ancient enemy, we meet again! Thought I wouldn't recognize you with your shiny new pixel-art graphics and posh presentation, eh? Thought the music, the fantasy theme and a few touches of humour would fool me? Thought the name change to Sokoban Palace would throw me of your track? Hah, I say. Hah! I have once again discovered your puzzle-ridden, box-pushing, retro-remade self and shall beat your 320 levels (oh dear). Then, I will, well, probably collapse I suppose.

Opening the freeware JogoBox Steam-clone

August 10, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

jogobox.pngJogoBox, though still in beta, is a polished and well-designed Windows PC app that lets you play all sorts of freeware games be they indie, flash, casual or even retro for, err, free. It's quite a bit the Steam-clone like Tiggit only better looking and less open source. Also, and as I just mentioned (you weren't paying attention, were you?), it does actually play older DOS games via dosbox and flash games without any glitches whatsoever, and even though the way those games are categorized does border on odd, I must admit I'm loving the interface and, frankly, the selection of games already on the service.

Hit the jump for a short interview with Renate Geven; one of the creators of JogoBox:

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

August 10, 2012 3:00 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 Trion Worlds, CCP North America, Gree International, 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:

Trion Worlds: Server Engineer:
"Trion Worlds is changing everything about the way online games are designed, developed, and delivered. We're infusing the old, static gaming world with a sense of dynamic, creative collaboration to create AAA Connected games. This philosophy applies just as much to the people who make the games as it does to the games we make. At Trion, we give our team members the opportunity to have an impact on our games as well as provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. Ambition and individual creativity are not just encouraged, they're expected."

CCP - North America: Sr. Character Artist:
"Each of our four studios have unique environments, while working with cutting edge technology and freedom to innovate across the globe. Awesome benefits include things free meals, childcare support, health/recreation supplements and company trips to exotic locations like Morocco and a team spirit that is so unique you just have to visit us to believe it! We have employees from over 30 countries, representing a truly international community."

5 Tips for Making Great 16-Bit-Style Action Games

August 10, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

volgarr gama.jpgBring up Shinobi III, Strider, or a number of other classic action titles to veterans of the 16-bit console game era, and you're likely to see a spark in their eyes, a fond remembrance for the good old games that the industry once produced -- 2D titles that demanded precise attacks, prescient acrobatics, and the sort of time investment that few adults could spare.

"A lot of people look at those games with nostalgia, but they don't really identify the fact that those games never actually stopped being fun," says indie developer Kris Durrschmidt. "These games aren't outdated. The game mechanics aren't outdated. People just stopped [making them]."

Durrschmidt, along with programmer Taron Millet, recently formed a startup called Crazy Viking Studios to create games that look and play like those action titles they remember from the Super Nintendo and Genesis' glory days, the kind of experiences that big publishers have, for the most part, since left behind.

The two have a history producing action-heavy sidescrollers; before forming Crazy Viking, they worked on a number of handheld licensed titles with cult followings at Griptonite Games, such as The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night (GBA), Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (DS), and most recently Shinobi 3D (3DS).

When Glu Mobile took over Griptonite last year and transformed it into a smartphone/tablet-focused studio, Durrscmidt and Millet decided it was time to strike out and create something unburdened by someone else's license or the often times irrational demands of IP owners.

Their first project, Volgarr the Viking, promises "16-bit style action from the golden era of arcade games, reimagined for today." To the untrained eye, it looks just like an SNES or Genesis title -- it even comes with a throwback box (provided you pledge enough money to its Kickstarter campaign) -- except the game's releasing for Windows PC.

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