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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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Strap Your Sister to Your Back in 2.5D Platformer The Balloon Quest

July 27, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

Ok, so your sister is tied to your back helplessly for only part of the journey in 2.5D platformer The Balloon Quest. The strapped balloon affords you a gliding ability and a double jump (at the expense of releasing the sister). Once airborn, she can float up to gather goodies and deadly weapons to help you slice anthropomorphic doors and wicked creatures.

The Balloon Quest isn't quite as twisted as it sounds, but it's all about the spin, right? The key to surviving the artfully designed quest is to keep your sister happy. Getting hit, not catching when she falls, and letting her float too high all spell doom. Fortunately, the sister is happy to float, so there's no noisy baby Mario as in Yoshi's Island. Unfortunately, aside from the weapons, the collectibles don't store if you die before a checkpoint.

The Balloon Quest comes from students at the University of Applied Sciences, Salzburg, Austria. The current demo includes 3 levels for both Mac and Windows users with more content promised.

[Thanks for the tip, Nelson F.]

Demo and Release: Worlds (Curious Planet)

July 27, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

Curious Planet has released a new, free demo to celebrate its recent English release of Worlds DRM-free from the developer and on Indievania for $6.00/5€ for Windows. In this action-adventure stealth game, players have missions (with multiple solutions) to maintain the balance between different worlds, while avoiding alerting people of the existence of other worlds.

Worlds was available since 2011 in French, but it has only recently received an official English translation. The developer has several updates planned, increasing it from 7 (5-8 hours of gameplay) to 20-30 missions.

[Thanks for the tip, Chris P.]

Indie Gala 7 Launches 7+ Game Bundle

July 27, 2012 10:00 AM | John Polson

indiegala7.png

The Indie Gala 7 has launched today, featuring seven Steam-compatible games with 2 unlocks revealed in the second week.

The pay-what-you-want tier of games includes Rig'n'Roll, Space Rangers, Reign, and an unlocked game. Those that pay more than $5.00 will also get Death to Spies, Death to Spies: Moment of Truth, King's Bounty, UFO, and another unlocked game.

Purchasers can choose to divvy up their payment to the developers, the website, Able Gamers, and the Italian Red Cross for helping Emilia.

Preview: Drox Operative (Soldak Entertainment)

July 27, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

drox operative.pngBuilding on their experience with Diablo-esque action RPGs Soldak Entertainment is currently adding the finishing touches to Drox Operative; a most ambitious sci-fi RPG, that shockingly does at certain points actually play a bit like Diablo. Or at least that's how I felt while giving its preview beta a thorough try.

Admittedly though playing in space and, spectacularly, as a spaceship do change the dynamics of the game to something very different from your average dungeon crawler. Even core mechanics get radically altered. There are no walls and doors to hide behind and speed feels much more important in the open space of, err, space, but, still, I simply couldn't shake off that feeling of Diablo similarity. Mind you, it's apparently a positive feeling, as I've grown very fond of Drox Operative and am pretty confident that its adherence to a loose interpretation of the sub-genre's rules helps it a lot.

Drox Operative is after all a very good action RPG involving a multitude of warring alien races in a constantly evolving galaxy. Interestingly it does also do co-op multiplayer, which I didn't get the chance to try, but is definitely a nice touch.

Kickstarter Project: Us and the Game Industry for Show

July 27, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

For those who want to explore indie development outside of XBLA, there's the documentary Us and the Game Industry, which director Stephanie Beth described to IndieGames as "a film of quite quiet introspection and devotion to the craft." Only two days remain for its second Kickstarter.

Zach Gage (Spelltower) and Alexander Bruce (Antichamber) join the announced film subjects of thatgamecompany, Spry Fox, Jason Rohrer (who reveals his upcoming massively-multiplayer asynchronous game: The Castle Doctrine), and Die Gute Fabrik.

According to the project page, a second kickstarter has always been planned to cover the expenses to edit the film down to a feature length and to tour several film festivals. Us and the Game Industry for Show must raise $7,000 in the next two days. $15 nets an HD download of the video upon completion, and $30 nets the movie plus three extended interviews based on "viewer demand."

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

July 27, 2012 1:00 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 Slant Six Games, Sledgehammer Games, 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:

HumaNature Studios: Graphics Programmer:
"HumaNature Studios, Inc. is a small creative studio dedicated to creating charming and uplifting experiences. Our secret plan is to make lots of money by creating products that actually deliver value to people's lives (shhh don't tell anybody). We are wholly independent and only want cheerful, creative people who are self-motivated. The studio is run by Game Industry veteran, Greg Johnson who's made many games including ToeJam and Earl, Starflight, and kids' music called Choo Choo Soul."

Sledgehammer Games / Activision: Lead Level Designer:
"Sledgehammer Games was founded with a singular goal: Achieve Excellence. We have a state of the art facility, an industry leading development team, and a studio culture built to promote and support world class game developers. We are actively recruiting top talent for our Call of Duty development team."

Indie Royale Profile: Geneforge Saga 1-5

July 26, 2012 11:00 PM | Staff


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

Any single instalment of the Geneforge saga would easily eat up thirty or forty hours of your gaming time no problem, so the fact that this Indie Royale includes all five of the games is absolutely staggering. While I've always been a huge proponent of quality over quantity when it comes to indie games, even I have to admire the sheer amount of hours to dollars you get here. Of course, hundreds of hours of gameplay isn't really a great quality to boast unless those hundreds of hours feel well spent, but luckily Geneforge has far more going for it than sheer length.

Trailer: Barely Floating (AJA)

July 26, 2012 4:16 PM | Cassandra Khaw



One of the things that I love most about adventure games is how the protagonists are never a certain 'type'. You get all sorts. Sometimes, they're hulking, muscular creatures. Other times, they're somewhat decrepit old men. Barely Floating's hero definitely belongs to the latter category. As one of the unlucky few that is being held for ransom atop a luxury yacht, you must, well, I'm not sure yet - escape probably factors in there somewhere.

Barely Floating will apparently be released as a part of the upcoming Summerbatch, a 'pay-what-you-will' collection of fresh new adventure games. Curious? You can check out Barely Floating's BigBlueCup forum thread here and bookmark the Summerbatch website over here.

Nifflas to Create Knytt Underground for PlayStation, PC

July 26, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

Logo_KnyttUnderground.pngNifflas has partnered with Green Hill and Ripstone Publishing to release Knytt Undergound on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita this year. Nifflas has announced a Windows, Mac, and Linux version, too.

In the press release, Green Hill stated the PlayStation 3 and Vita versions will get "unique content," too. Nicklas Nygren of Nifflas shared, "Knytt Underground is the biggest game I've ever developed and is the first game where I feel that I have a story to tell. It's about the big questions; trying to understand life and our place in it - and failing completely."

Knytt Underground is the sequel to Knytt and Knytt Stories, both of which are freeware for Windows.

After the jump are several images of Knytt Underground:

Q&A: Martin Stig Andersen on Limbo's Soundtrack

July 26, 2012 1:00 PM | jeriaska

msa-limbo-478.jpg
Presenting at the 2012 Game Developers Conference

Martin Stig Andersen's soundscape for Limbo received the Interactive Achievement Award for sound design from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Recently released for Mac and PC, Limbo Special Edition comes bundled with a boy sticker, seven original art cards, 3D glasses and the award-winning soundtrack.

We had the chance to meet with the sound designer, together with French-language news site Musica Ludi, to hear about the process behind Playdead studio's independently funded game titles.

The soundtrack to Limbo has appeared on iTunes and Bandcamp. What were your initial thoughts on the process of taking this very dynamic, atmospheric game score and adapting it for a standalone soundtrack album?

Martin Stig Andersen: What is most frightening to me about making an isolated soundtrack is having to consider that while composing. Because I did not compose music outside the game, in a way I did not like the idea of releasing a soundtrack. Ideally, when you take the game design, art and music away from each other, each is ruined.

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