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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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Limbo Sound Design: Ambiguity Is the Key to Atmosphere

July 18, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

andersenms gama.jpgIn video games, sound is often used as a vehicle for a game's developers to project their own interpretation of their game onto players.

But Limbo audio director Martin Stig Andersen tells Gamasutra in a new feature interview that he avoided using music that would "manipulate" the player and instead aimed for sounds with less "identity."

"The more identity the sounds had, the more I would distort them," says Andersen, who created the soundtrack for the popular indie title.

"So I wouldn't include sounds that gave too strong associations. If we added something that had a strong identity like a voice or an animal, then it would almost destroy the atmosphere. So with that style, Limbo offered an audio and visual atmosphere that can really get into the player's mind, and make them feel scared, worried or on edge."

In fact, says Andersen, he and game director Arnt Jensen feel that "everything should be open to interpretation", and that's what drove the audio aesthetic of the game.

Browser Game Pick: Eat Your Dinner (bnhw)

July 17, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

eatyourdinner.jpg A cutesy little puzzle game that will you put in control of a pixelated baby snake, Eat Your Dinner wants you to figure out how to make the little reptile clear his plate. To do so, you're going to have to gobble up all the little colored balls on the screen. However, standing between you and a sated tummy is a bunch of annoying blocks. If you're of the wrong color, you won't be able to move through them.Thus far, Eat Your Dinner hasn't been particularly challenging but it's still an interesting diversion.

Play the game here.

Browser Game Pick: ir/rational (tjubert)

July 17, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

irrational.jpg

Point & click games not frustrating enough for you? Try this for size. While ir/rational won't have you turning rubber chicken into transportation devices, it will have you pondering the logistics of, well, logic a lot. Described as a 'short game of logical argument' and a 'dark philosophical adventure', ir/rational will have you awaken within a dark, enclosed space and doing things like proving that you are, indeed, breathing oxygen and the possibilities of a perfect God. Yup. It's one of those games. Though frustrating to play before your first cup of coffee in the morning, ir/rational is still an intriguing offer that demands your attention.

Play the game here.

Driving Discussion: Joost van Dongen's Proun

July 17, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

proun square.jpg[Driving Discussion is a week-long feature aimed at examining unique racing and driving indie games and the developers who are pushing the genre forward. Much like the seven-day first-person shooter (7DFPS) challenge was a response to stagnation, this feature draws attention to a relatively neglected genre.]

Co-founder of Awesomenauts and Swords & Soldiers developer Ronimo Games, Joost van Dongen spent six years working on his psychedelic racer Proun, which released last year. While withstanding a visual onslaught of intense geometry, players in Proun must avoid obstacles by rotating around the outside of a tube to gain as much speed as possible.

While not the first idea that comes to mind when thinking of racing or driving nor a profound commercial success, Proun for Windows does what any good racer should do: capture the sense of speed with appealing sounds, visuals, and physics.

In this exchange, van Dongen explores Proun's roots and creates at least two interesting racing game ideas in the process: a big open-world top-down racing RPG with the kind of exploration in Star Control II and an expressive experimental racing game with "the kind of melancholia that lots of the most successful indie games seem to aim at."

Browser Game Pick: Eruption (Derevensky)

July 17, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

eruption.png

Created for the Mini Ludum Dare #36 jam, Derevensky's Eruption is a platformer where soul particles battle their fiery, volcanic captors, as a reborn warrior tries to escape his erupting burial tomb. The blue souls are key to surviving; they create a trail that destroys the harmful lava rocks.

The developer admits to not referencing the MiniLD theme of "Contrast" much, other than the game's visual style and color scheme (black-white, blue-orange). Still, there's a bit of chaotic fun in watching the blue soul trail collide with the orange lava rocks.

Eruption is available as a Windows download or playable via browsers.

Alpha Demo: Killer Raceway (Kei)

July 17, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Single-person indie studio Kei (aka The Elk) has released a demo alpha version of its upcoming Windows combat-racer Killer Raceway.

In Killer Raceway, players pilot futuristic vehicles through obstacle-filled tracks while collecting items and fending off AI opponents. Though the game is still in an early stage of development, the full version will feature more than two dozen tracks and a variety of power-ups.

Killer Raceway can be purchased for $6.25 during its alpha stages, and will be priced at $24.99 upon completion.

Kickstarter Projects: Super Motherload (XGen Studios)

July 17, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Defend Your Castle creator XGen Studios seeks funding for Super Motherload, an upgraded version of its popular Flash mining title Motherload.

Originally launched in 2004, Motherload has been played millions of times online, and has inspired a number of similar browser games. The updated Super Motherload will be a fully fledged release for Windows and Mac platforms, and boasts multiple playable characters, a story mode, and cooperative (and/or competitive) multiplayer for up to four players.

Super Motherload's funding goal is $50,000, and a prerelease copy of the game is available for a $15 pledge. Other backer bonuses include t-shirts, poster prints, physical copies of the game, and -- perhaps best of all -- an official tabletop board game adaptation of Super Motherload.

Release: Anna (Dreampainters)

July 17, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Anna released.pngAnna, the Italian horror adventure we lovingly previewed here, has finally been released for the PC and you can grab it there for the sensible price of 7.99€/9.99$. All of its promised three different endings have been included, as have been bits of D'Ayas Valley rather disturbing folklore, more than a few scares, a healthy dose of atmosphere, a beautiful soundtrack and some lovely 3D graphics.

Record Tripping Devs Tease Stereoscopic 3D Game The Dangerfield

July 17, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

The Danger Field.png

Webby, FWA, and South by Southwest award winner The Bell Brothers have released a teaser page for their upcoming, browser-based Rodney Dangerfield game, aptly titled The Dangerfield. It will feature stereoscopic 3D gameplay, which talented eye-crossers can experience now.

They aren't the first indies to be commissioned to make a video game with non-indie source material. Earlier this year, Adam Saltsman teamed up with Paul Veer to release a Hunger Games iOS title. The Bell Brothers told Indie Games they have full creative control with The Dangerfield project, "as long as we don't do anything that would shine a bad light on Rodney."

The Brothers stated their goal is to launch an expanded, iOS version of Record Tripping (the original is playable in browsers) with The Dangerfield later this year.

Browser Game Pick: Heroes Rise ( Zachary Sergi )

July 16, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

superheroes.jpg Having grown up in the era where 'choose-your-own-adventure' books were common, I am nothing but infatuated with the stuff that Choice of Games have been putting out. Of course, it does help that the writing is often pretty stellar as well. Though best for those who love comic books and super heroes, Heroes Rise remains an excellent entry into the company's roster of titles. Centered around the life of an up-and-coming 'Powered' individual, Heroes Rise will have you doing everything from fighting illegals to illegal fighting. It's a pretty hefty piece of work and it will probably keep you occupied for a decent amount of time. Let us know how your adventure goes!

Play the game here.
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