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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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Indie Tools: Construct 2

July 31, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

With so many easy to use game creation tools around, Construct 2 doesn't sound as unique as the original Construct did some years ago. I, on the other hand, always wanted to give the thing a try ever since playing and loving the excellent Phenomenon 32; a game created using the beta version of Construct and one of the most complex freeware games I have ever had the pleasure of trying.

Interestingly, even though Phenomenon 32 was a downloadable game, Construct 2 seems to only support HTML5 and web games, meaning that you can publish your creations on Facebook, Chrome's web store, the Scirra Arcade, all sorts of sites and even as a Windows 8 Metro App, but not as a proper PC or Mac program. Not yet at least, as both PC and mobile platforms (iOS/Android) have yet to be implemented; they have been promised mind you. Oh, and you can always play your Construct 2 HTML5 games offline or via LAN.

But is it any good? Is it easier to use than those other Indie Tools? Well, in a nutshell, I'd answer yes and it depends respectively. Construct 2 seems like an excellent tool for the creation of all sorts of 2D games and it does let devs drag and drop their games to completion. It is very user friendly but when compared to, say, Stencyl, one can't decide which one is the friendliest of the two. It's more of a personal taste thing or, actually, something that has more to do with how somebody thinks and creates. I for one really liked what I saw...

Better give it a try yourself though. The free version of Construct 2 should be more than enough to get you started and see whether this is the tool to unleash your creativity. Should this be the case, well, I'm sure you'd better take a look at the paid versions of the thing. They can do much more, come with commercial licenses and will eventually even allow for mobile development.

Trailer: The Sea Will Claim Everything (Jonas Kyratzes)

July 31, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Whereas team IndieGames was discussing effective game trailers, Jonas Kyratzes was apparently searching for ways to subvert everything we knew and go for the sui generis approach in trailer-crafting. He has thus created a truly unique trailer for his equally unique The Sea Will Claim Everything; a trailer with no graphics whatsoever, wise remarks on the state of video gaming, subversive humour and mentions of a forthcoming game that has absolutely nothing to do with Kyratzes' work.

Interestingly it is also the only kind of trailer that could ever hope to encapsulate what TSWCE is all about and definitely something you have to watch.

Only then should you be allowed to watch The Sea Will Claim Everything - Trailer #2; a much more traditional affair sporting review quotes and -gasp- some lovely hand-painted pictures.

Voxatron Exploding in a Flash

July 31, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

voxatron web test.pngLexaloffle has not only continued its work on the multiplatform action-adventure Voxatron proper, the developer is also creating a Flash-based slice-of-game, too.

Joseph White blogged about a recent web test, saying he can't imagine it will ever replace the native game, but it might become a nice way to preview levels and to share stuff online. White says it could also become a way to show replays.

Your framerate will vary, especially with the glorious death animation that triggers an explosion of voxels. Those interested can give the Voxatron web test a try.

[Thanks, Marcus R.]

Kickstarter Projects: Project Giana (Black Forest Games)

July 30, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Black Forest Games is nearing completion on its upcoming PC platformer Project Giana, and now seeks funding via Kickstarter to flesh out the final product.

Project Giana follows up on The Great Giana Sisters, an '80s platformer that earned some degree of notoriety (and, supposedly, a legal threat from Nintendo) for its resemblance to Super Mario Bros. The series saw a revival recently with the release of new entries for iOS and (somewhat ironically) the Nintendo DS.

Project Giana boasts a polarity-switching mechanic that grants players multiple abilities and transforms the surrounding environment in each level. Black Forest notes that the game in its current state will eventually see release even without Kickstarter funding, but a successful campaign will allow for the creation of additional content, new bosses, and a time attack mode.

The project's goal is set at $150,000. A DRM-free copy of Project Giana will be given to backers who pledge $10 or more. Higher pledge tiers offer t-shirts, posters, and and original concept art canvas prints, among other bonuses.

Indie Royale Profile - Unepic

July 30, 2012 8:00 PM | Staff


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

Unepic is often held up as a shining example of why digital distribution storefronts just can't get it together when it comes to selling indie games, due to repeated rejections from Steam and GOG despite the cult following. While I can definitely see why it's been turned down before--an in-game store, some dodgy use of copyright material, full frontal male nudity--there's still a really creative and pretty unique take on an old favourite genre. By taking some choice favourite RPG elements and packaging them into a sprawling Metroidvania, Unepic carves a very fun niche for itself.

Hardcore Restaurant Sim Preview: Cook, Serve, Delicious (Vertigo Gaming)

July 30, 2012 6:00 PM | John Polson

cookservedelicious.pngHardcore restaurant sim management, you say? From the developer of The Oil Blue, I'd expect no less. In Vertigo Gaming's upcoming commercial sequel to Ore no Ryomi 2, players must return the Cook, Serve, Delicious restaurant to its five-star status by keeping the menu items interesting, toilets cleaned, and the buzz high, in addition to preparing food.

Players start with a run-down restaurant and a wad of cash to purchase food items and kitchen equipment. Several food items go stale after two days, so carefully selecting perennial, "staple" foods is key. Serving people properly yields profits for more purchases.

The restaurant is open for over twelve hours, allowing players to warm-up before two meal rush hours. During the down-time, players can learn typing shortcuts for ingredients and items. While Cook, Serve, Delicious allows for mouse or keyboard play, the frantic rushes seemed impossible to perfect without memorizing the key shortcuts.

Free Indie Games Spotlight: ZOMI

July 30, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

ZOMI.pngIn C.C. Norris' puzzle-platformer ZOMI, the land is cursed and you must break the evil witch's spell. You use up for jump and left and right to move. However, the down arrow releases an "attack" that clears away bricks. This attack, which descends from directly above you, can also kill you.

In addition to avoiding self-traps, ZOMI adds the pressure with crumbling terrain and little bloody(?) figures that creep up from the ground. I found the music and visuals creepy, too. My ears even cringed a bit with the death sound effect. Simple solution: don't die.

ZOMI is free for Windows.

[Game reposted with permission from Free Indie Games.]

Indie Events: Freeplay Submissions Open, Lunarcade Landing Soon

July 30, 2012 10:00 AM | John Polson

The eighth annual Freeplay Independent Games Festival, open to international submissions, and Lunarcade are coming soon to Australia.

Held in Sydney, Australia August 3-9, Lunarcade will feature experimental titles such as Bientôt l'été by Tale of Tales, Lifeless Planet by Stage 2 Studios, Memory of a Broken Dimension by XRA, Thirty Flights of Loving by Brendon Chung, and Zobeide by Robert Yang.

Coming next month, the Freeplay Independent Games Festival 2012 will offer a mix of panels, lectures, and hands-on gaming at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia from September 19 to 23. The show is currently accepting free, international submissions for its third year of awards.

The Project Zomboid Interview

July 30, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

pz_interview.pngProject Zomboid, the incredibly ambitious zombie survival RPG that pits gamers against loneliness, starvation, desperation, insanity and, yes, zombies, is about to get a brand new version, and Will Porter, Project Zomboid's writer and co-designer, is about to answer a few questions. So, uhm, read on!

So, Project Zomboid, a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested RPG by The Indie Stone is having indie and PC gamers all excited; then again, who are The Indie Stone?

The Indie Stone are Marina 'Mash' Siu-Chong, Andy 'Binky' Hodgetts, Chris 'Lemmy' Simpson and me Will Porter. I also have silly nicknames but don't like to refer to myself with one, as I find it a little bizarre. We're an Indie collective that's partly based in Newcastle, partly near to Brighton and partly close to Canada. Our game also has a bunch of lovely contributors from all over the world, who all share our adoration of the shambling dead.

And you've decided to tackle zombies in a most unique and, dare I say, spectacular way. So, why did you decide on creating a deep RPG-like offering? Seems like these days FPSs are all the rage...

Well, I guess the easiest answer is because at PZ's core the development team is only really four people - one coder, two arty types and a writer. We all share the same vision and we all make gameplay decisions, but asking Chris to code an FPS all on his own would be a bit of an issue. (Then again he did actually do that once, and it didn't end well for either the game or his sanity!)

Chris and Andy have a background in modding the Sims and Civilization, they're really interested in systems, moodles and evolving gameplay. I think it was quite a natural decision to go with a survival simulator like PZ.

Greenrunner/Redrunner/Retroskoi+ squeezed into a C64 cartridge

July 30, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

greenrunner.pngSeems like RGCD and Psytronik won't stop supporting the venerable Commodore 64 and that 8-bit indie gaming will never die. Homebrew arcade gems Greenrunner and Redrunner, you see, have just been upgraded to run on both PAL and NTSC machines and have even been crammed into a lavishly packaged 64kb cartridge you can enjoy on any C64 or C128 and even on the ill-fated C64 GS console. Retroskoi Plus, a 2-oscillator monophonic synth, has also been included in said cartridge.

You can buy the cartridge via the RGCD shop or download the games for free from this place. Sountracks and ready-to-run versions of the games bundled with the Windows version of the VICE emulator are also available.

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