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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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Browser Game Pick: One Button Pixelympics (jop5oup)

August 6, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

one button pixelympics.pngFollowing the tradition of Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge and the Epyx Games series, One Button Pixelympics brings button-mashing sports action to the modern micro computer. Wisely it does so by using a single button (that shall be mashed), simple pixel-art graphics and the medium of the humble browser, and though I'm pretty sure you will either hate it or love it, I must suggest you play the thing competitively with a friend on the same computer.

Browser Game Pick: Flee Fish Flee (Whiting & Ishisoft)

August 6, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

flee fish.jpgFlee Fish Flee: adorabubble adventure is a puzzle game made by Craig Forrester (Ishisoft) and Jonathan Whiting as part of this weekend's TIGJamUK 7. Your fish must calculate movements carefully to gather all the diamonds, because even fish are materialistic, I think.

I'm no marine biologist, but there's what appears to be blow fish which only move vertically, star fish which keep moving in whatever path they are in, sand-colored sponges which scatter when approached, and a green squid which moves in eight directions to eat you. Further in, the puzzles introduce an element of stealth, something that "clouds" the squid's view.

See how you far under the sea you get in Flee Fish Flee. (Tip: hit "r" to restart when the puzzle is unsolvable.)

[via @whitingjp]

Tower Wars Releases On August 15th, Will Have $9.99 Price Tag

August 5, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

So, in case you missed previous mentions of the game, Tower Wars is pretty much what you think it is: a tower wars game appointed with some pretty sweet, steampunk-inspired aesthetics. Here, you won't just be constructing fortifications and elaborate mazes to keep your castle safe. No, you'll be sending little robotic minions out to wage war against your opponents as well.

If you missed the closed beta, however, you needn't fear. Tower Wars will be out on August 15th and it will cost you $9.99. Too expensive? There's a 10% discount for the first two weeks, something that may please those who want to minimize expenditure.

Tower Wars' Steam page can be found here.

Ask IndieGames: Which genres do you want to see indie developers tackle?

August 5, 2012 8:00 AM | John Polson

This month's Ask IndieGames explores the genres and games we want to see indie developers tackle. Our blog is full of great platformers and twin-stick shooters, so we wonder what other genres merit exploration within the indie space.

mike rose.jpgMike Rose: I really enjoyed the recent 7DFPS challenge, and the great angles that some of the participants went for. The FPS genre is pretty weird in that it barely ever goes anywhere new, with the same ideas used over and over again, yet it's been going on for so long now that we've just stopped caring whether we're playing the very same games over and over again. We should definitely be looking to push the genre forward and explore new angles with it, and I think indie devs are in the best position to experiment with it.

Other than that, I'd love to see more sport or management games from indie devs. These are two genres that I'm not even that interested in to be perfectly honest, but I think there is a huge amount of scope for expansion on concepts and innovation. The Kairosoft games, for example, are utterly fantastic management titles that have brought a lot of people into a genre they perhaps wouldn't normally touch. We need more like that. New Star Soccer is also a great management/sports game, so simple yet so addictive. More of that kind of thing would be perfectly fine with me.

Kickstarter Relaunch: Jetpack 2 (Adept Software)

August 5, 2012 4:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Though its initial Kickstarter campaign fell short of expectations, Adept Software has launched a new project to fund the creation of a sequel to the 1993 DOS shareware platformer Jetpack.

Designed by Jetpack's original creator Adam Pedersen, Jetpack 2 boasts new features like a real-time physics engine, but pays tribute to its roots with a soundtrack made up entirely of MOD files. Like its predecessor, Jetpack 2 will also include a level editor, which is currently in beta testing.

As of this writing, Jetpack 2 has earned more than $8,000 toward its funding goal of $10,000. DRM-free copies of the Windows, Mac, and Linux versions of the game will be given to backers who pledge $15 or more, and the beta version can be accessed immediately after the campaign's conclusion by pledging $30 or more.

Browser Game Pick: Reaching Finality (Cory Martin)

August 5, 2012 12:30 AM | John Polson

reaching finality.jpgCory Martin's Reaching Finality is an action-adventure title that ultimately plays it safe. I found comfort in the pixels created and color palette chosen, so I didn't mind the familiar Zelda gameplay, the partial possession by a spirit trapped on Earth, or helping the spirit reach its final destination.

The writing was charming but stopped once I entered the large dungeon. I would have liked more narrative and a more "final" or spiritual dungeon to tie into the theme. The dungeon's boss was challenging to the point I had to fight it twice, though I made it harder on myself having only five hearts (from photos, there appear to be a few more containers to find). Finally, while the music didn't loop, I enjoyed the tracks, especially the title screen song.

Keep in mind this was made in under two weeks for the Newgrounds Stencyl Jam 2012. All in all, if you want a solid Zelda experience, consumable in under an hour, give Reaching Finality a try.

Freeware Game Pick: Walker (Blake Fix)

August 4, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

stuck walker.jpgBlake Fix's Windows-compatible Walker offers an amazing platforming adventure, full of large areas to explore and lots of collectibles that require exploration or slight puzzle solving. What may be a deal-breaker for some is that, true to its name, Walker doesn't stop walking. Instead, players use one button to scale objects or ricochet off them to change direction. Frantically flailing that same button will revive Walker if death becomes him/her/it. Finally, this cute instruction "picture book thing" shows the charming characters and writing you will encounter and come to adore.

Despite a few hiccups, one-button adventure Walker should keep you busy and happy for a few hours finding all the plusms. Walker thankfully employs checkpoints and a save feature, in case it proves to be too much for one sitting.

[Thanks, @FusionScene]

Trailer: DRM (Bagfull Of Wrong)

August 4, 2012 4:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

DRM, that is Death Ray Manta and definitely not Digital Rights Management, will soon be released and apparently sport one of the best indie game names ever, while simultaneously being an explosive and downright psychedelic arena shooter. Or, well, so it seems, though judging by its developer's previous offerings surreal terrific-ness is to be expected.

You can follow the development of DRM by reading some funny and wise words here.

Free Indie Games Spotlight: Milford the Ghosts (Colorvade)

August 4, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

milford the ghosts.jpgColorvade's Milford the Ghosts (the plural seems intentional) is a horizontal shoot 'em up about a ghost named Milford who shoots himself as a projectile at randomly generated enemies. Every hit Milford lands builds experience to level up, and every hit makes him level down.

The sprites and the light-shmup gameplay are the highlights for me here, along with enemies I sometimes am too weak to beat, but I play chicken with them anyway.

See how long you survive in Colorvade's Mildford the Ghosts.

[This game was reposted with permission from Free Indie Games.]

Reinventing stealth in 2D with Mark of the Ninja

August 3, 2012 8:00 PM | Staff

markofninja gama.jpgAlthough there are plenty of ninja games, quite few depict the ninja as the master of stealth and trickery he ought to be. And stealth games are precious rare in the platformer genre. But with its upcoming Mark of the Ninja, Klei Entertainment wanted to try a couple new things.

Nels Anderson is leading the game's design, and even tackled the early legs of the project all on his own. It's the first time Vancouver-based Klei has done multiple projects at once; work on Mark of the Ninja became possible once Shank 2 was underway. Anderson says his studio would rather encourage cool ideas when they're possible rather than wait for some unspecified "right time."

With Klei's well-received Shank games, "we had figured out all this stuff about creating a 2D game that has really good feel, tight responsive controls, and stylized, super-fluid 60-frames animation," he says. "So let's take those core fundamentals, and use them to do something completely different."

As a fan of stealth games, Anderson saw an opportunity to mix up the melee combat generally native to 2D platformers. "At a high level, part of the reason I like stealth games so much is... the flow of the game is all about the game pushing onto you. Some dudes show up, and you react," he explains.

But in stealth games the player is fundamentally undetected from the beginning: "It's the player that pokes and perturbs the world," Anderson says. "The flow of these games tends to be more about pull. You utilize your understanding of how the systems work, and you prod and disturb the game world in kind of an intersting way. That's why I like stealth games so much -- because it's not about reaction, it's about anticipation and planning."

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