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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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What do Symphony, Rigonauts, Deponia, and Unmechanical Have in Common?

August 9, 2012 9:00 PM | John Polson

collage august 2012.jpgIndie games Symphony, Rigonauts, Deponia, and Unmechanical have all hit Steam and other online stores over the past few days, offering players a healthy variety of genres for the upcoming weekend. English Country Tune is in a slightly different boat, finally releasing on Steam today after being available through the Humble store since November 2011.

Each of the games is highlighted after the jump.

Free Indie Games Spotlight: Kodachrome (MNWS)

August 9, 2012 6:00 PM | John Polson

kodachrome.jpgKodachrome (which is a thing) is a rigorous, one-hit metroidvania with a heavier emphasis on exploring than on shooting, accompanied by simple but effective visuals, and mellow chip-tunes.

After a brief dialogue and moving beyond 30 seconds of grayscale introductory screens, players meet the proper game and the first of several monochromatic schemes. Players can (and probably should) find the map and gun early on. The map marks where 16 gems are (in case of backtracking). The gun has several upgrades scattered around the cave world, too.

My only complaint: one hit-death for some twitchy platforming in a metroidvania requires more frequent save spots to avoid fatigue, especially in the casual/browser arena. Those ready for a challenge and who don't mind some repetition can play Kodachrome on Newgrounds and Kongregate.

[Game reposted with permission from Free Indie Games.]

2013 Independent Games Festival Submissions Now Open

August 9, 2012 2:30 PM | Staff

IGF2013polysquare.jpgOrganizers are now officially opening submissions for the 2013 Independent Games Festival, to be held at GDC 2013 in San Francisco next March.

The longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase is now accepting entries to the 15th annual Festival, with deadlines in the Main and Student Showcase categories by October 17th and October 31st respectively, and finalists to be announced on January 2013.

Following over 850 entries to IGF 2012, the Festival has expanded each existing category to six finalists, all of which will be available in playable form at a larger, expanded IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor, and will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes.

These include the $5,000 Nuovo Award, honoring 'abstract, shortform, and unconventional' games, as well as the Excellence in Art, Audio, Design, Technology, Student Game and Audience Award prizes, each worth $3,000, and the crowning $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

Alpha Release - BattleZone: Airhunt (BZA Team)

August 9, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

BZA Team has launched an alpha version of its in-progress shoot-'em-up BattleZone: Airhunt at Desura. A demo is also available.

Reminiscent of the classic Choplifter, BattleZone: Airhunt puts players in control of a heavily armed attack helicopter. The silhouetted presentation gives the game a distinct look, and the final version will feature multiple gameplay modes, including a two-player co-op campaign and competitive multiplayer for up to four players.

BattleZone: Airhunt can be prepurchased for $3.49 during its alpha stage. The full version will be priced at $6.99.

Nyu Media Reveals Second Wave Of Localized Doujin PC Games

August 9, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan


Doujin game localization studio Nyu Media (eXceed Complete Pack, Ether Vapor Remaster) has announced the next five PC titles it's set to translate and publish over the next several months.

Featured games include Xtal Sword's 2D platformer Eryi's Action, Souvenir Circ's action-RPG Croixleur, and a trio of shoot-'em-up titles from Siter Skain: Kamui, RefleX, and ALLTYNEX Second.

Nyu Media's localizations are slated for release throughout the fall and winter of 2012.

Demo: AI War - Ancient Shadows (Arcen Games)

August 9, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

ancient shadows.pngAncient Shadows... it does sound kind of ominous, doesn't it? It is after all a title that can't help but allude to the darkest of cosmic secrets, forgotten horrors and, apparently, the forthcoming (also, fourth) expansion of the excellent AI War sci-fi strategy game. Ancient Shadows will feature all sorts of new ship classes, maps, map types, tunes, AI types, sub-races and factions, but will above all herald the arrival of Champion units. You will thus be able to set a player to the "Champion" role and, instead of a home command station, start said player off with a single, massive, modular, upgradable ship.

AI War: Ancient Shadows has just entered its beta phase and access to it will be offered to all pre-orderers, who will also get a 20% off the $4.99 release price. You can download the Ancient Shadows demo for Windows and Mac and a preview of the new soundtrack here.

As for the expansion's release date, here's what Arcen's Erik Johnson told IndieGames: "Our plan is to launch Ancient Shadows in October, prior to the release of AVWW's art rework and our new game Shattered Haven in November. In December we'll be looking into a potential new platform for a couple of our games, if we're not too tired!"

Freeware Game Pick: Famicloud (caiys)

August 9, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

famicloud.pngFamicloud, despite lacking sound (well, on my deteriorating PC at least), is a brilliant little horizontal shmup, what with its procedurally generated attack waves and levels, and smart score-attack mechanics. Not that the lovely pixel-art graphics don't help or that the impressive variety of game modes is something to scoff at, but adding score focused twitch-arcade mechanics to a more or less traditional shooter was a true masterstroke. If you have a Windows PC you simply have to give it a try.

Oh, and Famicloud is one of the first completed games for the AGBIG competition that will go on till August 18. And, yes, AGBIG does indeed stand for A Game By Its Cover.

Play Bernie's A Game with a Kitty 5: Smash Star Now, New Adventure Later

August 8, 2012 8:00 PM | John Polson

agamewithakitty5.jpgIndieGames' favorite A Game with a Kitty developer Bernie has released new project AGwaK 5: Smash Star as Windows freeware, while he works on a bigger adventure game. The muscular green kitty in Smash Star doesn't even do the heavy lifting, he simply commands his star companion (with "S") to pick up, throw, and use items and enemies for mid-air jumping momentum and other puzzle and platforming mechanics. Stages again require multiple passes to collect all the coins and unlock other paths.

Smash Star serves as Bernie's practice to learn Game Maker: Studio. He says the game is "not flawless," since he is still learning the tools. Bernie is also using Game Maker to create an old-school adventure with low-res graphics he likens to Reactor 09. This game will be available for PC and Android, with a Mac/iOS release also possible. Photos after the jump:

Screenshots For Mass Effect Adventure Fan-Game Finding Shepherd Now Available

August 8, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

shepherd1.png Finding Shepherd is a work-in-progress adventure game that will have you taking on the role of Jack. Without giving too much away, Finding Shepherd will revolve around you attempting to escape the Citadel (and your house arrest) in order to find Shepherd. Filled with F-bombs and plenty of swearing, it's doubtful that Finding Shepherd is going to be particularly family-friendly. According to its thread on the AGS forums, Miranda, Wrex and Kasumi will be part of the upcoming game.

For more information, check out the thread here.

Hardcore Sandbox Survival Game Boundless Announced

August 8, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

boundless_3.jpg Boundless is an intriguing little side project that some industry folk have been working on in their free time.Described as a 'hardcore sandbox survival & exploration game' that will be 'unlike any you have ever played before', Boundless will, if all goes as advertised, have you worrying about more than the next thing you have to shoot. Can't find a warm place to sleep? Prepare to get pneumonia. Ate a poisonous mushroom? Prepare to disgorge your innards onto the forest floor. According to the write-up on indieDB, Boundless's progression system will be defined by your discovery of new and unusual things.

Right now, all we have are a few screenshots detailing the lushly alien environment but it looks like gameplay videos will soon follow. We'll keep you updated.

Check out the IndieDB page.
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