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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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The Cat that Got the Milk sequel revealed, leaps from freeware to commercial

April 4, 2013 5:08 PM | John Polson

abstractno3.jpegThe Button Affair super stylish developers, now called Modern Dream, have announced The Cat that Got the Milk will receive a sequel. Titled Abstract No.3, it will expand on the series' twitchy, path-weaving gameplay and will be the team's first commercial release.

Abstract No.3 is a collection of artistically styled games "that allow the player to explore how shape, texture, colour, sound, music and player interaction drive and create new experiences," explains Oliver Clarke to IndieGames. "The game will be released in parts, the first of which will be called Abstract No3: Kandinsky's Violin. It will feature unique art in the style of the great abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky. It will respond to player interactions in new ways bringing something new never seen before to both Games and Art."

I asked Oliver about some of the features of the upcoming sequel, bound for "multiple popular platforms." He politely replied and even shared a competition-winning drawing that will be featured as a level in the game, after the jump.

Browser Pick: Renegade Sector's latest episode - Treasure of the Abandoned City

April 4, 2013 2:58 PM | John Polson

AbandonedCity.pngThose who enjoy a difficult, top-down shooter should definitely try out the latest Renegade Sector game by Alec Stamos and guest artist Todd Luke: Treasure of the Abandoned City. Unlike Renegade's previous Venusian Vengeance, enemies seem stronger, and players have to ration their weapons more carefully here.

Todd told me that this is the beefiest Renegade Sector episode, yet. "It's kind of like 'Renegade Sector: The Movie,' in the sense that people who aren't familiar with the series can jump right in and partake." He said that the engine is tighter, the enemy behaviors are more varied, it has two bosses and the biggest map, yet. The game also has 5 types of alien plant life to eat, a sarcastic robot, sand, more sand, and a total art overhaul by Todd, himself.

The ad-version of the game is free, but those who wish to support the project can pay what they want for an ad-free version.

It's the Lune announcement trailer!

April 4, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

And, yes, it's a thing of beauty as hopefully will be Lune itself. The game, an exploration-heavy adventure about solitude and reflection in which gamers will get to control the moon itself, will be a wildly experimental thing created by a most artful, multicultural team. So, uhm, have a look!

Freeware Pick: Bwak, one-button horror game starring a chicken

April 4, 2013 2:03 AM | Paul Hack

Why did the chicken watch TV? Because he found himself in a twisted little game called Bwak, the latest creation from the Netherlands-based Meh! development team. Sitting up late at night and flipping through television channels can really be a mind-blowing experience in Bwak. You have but one button at your disposal (the Z key), and it's used to change the channel on the television set. You get a point each time you do so, but every few channels, you stumble across... something creepy. Naturally, this raises your heart rate, and let's just say that chickens have a weak constitution.

Don't click too fast, and keep a swift but steady pace to get past the scary parts (Late-night horror movies? Transmissions from beyond?). Bwak is creepy fun, with simple controls but tricky gameplay that will keep you coming back for more. I'd love to see this on a mobile device!

Browser Pick: 'territory annihilation game' Bomberjam by Mark Foster

April 3, 2013 5:24 PM | John Polson

bomberjam.pngTelepaint developer Mark Foster's 'territory annihilation game' Bomberjam is a local, two-player only battle where players use bombs to destroy the opponent's land and eventually the opponent itself. The bomb's blast range converts the opponent's land into the players own land, creating a rather interesting leverage to exploit. Player 1's controls are WASD to move and E drop bombs, and Player 2's controls are ARROWS to move and SPACE to drop bombs.

My only complaint is that the territories of the players isn't exactly divided evenly. Still, Bomberjam is an interesting concept, even if it was just a simple experiment through which Mark learned Flash programming. I could see it working well with 4 players and power ups, too!

Catequesis teaser nails its 'Japanese terror' and '8-bit retro survival horror' themes

April 3, 2013 11:48 AM | John Polson

Curved Cat Games (Tales of Pocoro) and Pakarico Games have teamed up and released the above teaser trailer for action RPG Survival Horror Story: Catequesis, scheduled to release on PC, Mac, Linux, and Android this fall. The game is about a religious ritual gone bad, all in the attempt to rid the player's girlfriend's father of an incurable disease.

The developers blog that "the story of Catequesis has been inspired by 8-bit and 16-bit mid-nineties video games, taking elements from Japanese terror, Catholic religion and so dissimilar authors' styles as Lovecraft, David Lynch or David Cronenberg." Additionally, "the game shows the ambience of the first Resident Evil and Silent Hill and provides the playability of the early Legend of Zelda, which means a simple and agile way of playing, suitable for any kind of platform (keyboard, touch screen, control pad)."

For more info, check out the game's blog.

Freeware Game Pick: good morning, commander (alllen)

April 3, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

goodmorningcommander.png Its developer describes it as "a short adventure game set in space" and I do have to admit that good morning, commander is definitely set in space, feels very adventure-y and is quite short, but not as short as I expected it to be. So, yes, it does pretty much do what it says on the tin. Let me just add that it's a first person point-and-click affair and that it runs on both Mac and Windows, and let you explore and enjoy it.

GDC/PAX East Catch-up Part 2: Home, Kentucky Route Zero devs' next plans

April 2, 2013 2:00 PM | John Polson

[Over the next two days, the blog will share some of the most interesting news found around the internet from GDC 2013 and PAX East 2013. The two conferences occurred back-to-back, spanning March 22 to March 29. Here is the second part of the highlights, starting with the above GDC 2013 time lapse from indie friend and video editor, Kert Gartner.]

Joystiq on 'Home' creator Benjamin Rivers wants to make a psychological dating sim "Like Home, Rivers' next game will likely still be two-dimensional and will focus on psychologically influencing the player in subtle ways, though this time the goal will be to induce emotional attachment to a fictional character, rather than instill terror."

Release: Dominique Pamplemousse (Deirdra Kiai)

April 2, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

The first of the crowd-funded point-and-click adventures I have supported, Deirdra Kiai's utterly unique Dominique Pamplemousse, has been released and even comes complete with a most handy demo. The game, a musical take on politics and noir, sports black-and-white stop motion animated graphics, characters that keep on singing their lines, some lovely, jazzy music and a ton of smart ideas. Oh, and I am so far loving it.

Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once The Fat Lady Sings!" is available for Windows, Mac and iPad.

Mark of the Ninja creator: Innovation no excuse for crunch

April 2, 2013 1:00 AM | Staff

jamie cheng small.jpgJamie Cheng, founder of Klei Entertainment, creator of the XBLA games Shank and Mark of the Ninja had strong words for any game maker who might claim that working extensive overtime is an intrinsic part of making 'art'.

Speaking at a GDC talk in San Fransisco today, Cheng said: "I find it disingenuous when game developers claim that the reason they work a whole load of overtime is because they are trying to do something new. To hide behind 'art' as a shield for poor process is wrong. You will screw with future developments by taking this approach."

Indeed, while producing mediocre games is a quick way to sink a company, "employing an unsustainable development style will suffocate one over the long term," said Cheng.

He explained that, following a difficult development process during the creation of one of the company's earlier titles, Shank , he made a promise to himself that he would never put himself or his team through crunch again. "I realised that not only do we need to build great games but we also need to find a way to do this without ruining our lives in the process," he said.

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