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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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Browser Game Pick: GL Invasion (Jordi Ros)

July 12, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

gl invaders.pngJordi Ros, the programmer of GL Invasion, contacted and let us know about his and Victor Royo's game; yes, the one you can play by following the sole link of this post. He also described it as a shmup mini-game, which seems rather accurate.

What I can add to said description is that GL Invasion is a good-looking, bullet-hell shmup, but frankly can't comment on its length. The thing is hard as nails or, at the very least, far too hard for me, even though I do find the constant deaths oddly enjoyable and the slight, yet for the most part constant, evolution of my in-game skills most satisfying.

Lessons learned from The Real Texas' voluntary 18-month delay

July 12, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

the real texas.jpgSometimes game development can go right down to the wire, with ongoing tweaks until just weeks and days before the planned release. Other times, a developer will complete development earlier, and stew over the whole experience for a while.

Calvin French of Kitty Lambda took that stewing period to whole new levels with his adventure game The Real Texas. Released last month, the game had actually been finished and ready for play for around a year and a half.

The Real Texas throws a parody spin on exploration-focused adventure gaming classics like Zelda: Link to the Past and Ultima VI, with an emphasis on customization and comedy situations. It's caused quite a stir within the indie game scene, thanks to its pure open-worldiness and unique methods for approaching certain elements of game design, such as an unusual combat system.

"I implemented the final boss battle in January 2011," French tells us. "After such a long haul, the temptation is to release right away.

What I did, however, was take another full year and let it kind of 'simmer.' This simmering involved a lot of player testing, and also gave me space to address some bigger issues."

Thanks to this waiting game and blasting through the game multiple times over a long period, the developer slowly came to realize small plotholes and oddities that would no doubt end up confusing players, including a bewildering end game and a rather large gap in the story.

Browser Game Pick: Seedling (Connor Ullmann)

July 12, 2012 12:00 AM | John Polson

A week after seeking a Flash sponsor, action-adventure Zelda-like Seedling is now available to play in browsers. Hollow and Quietus developer Connor Ullmann has delivered a huge adventure, with over 100 areas and eight dungeons to explore and six different weapons to find in a 3-5 hour quest. Fortunately, Seedling is forgiving in that players respawn at the beginning of each screen, instead of the beginning of the dungeon.

Rekcahdam (Celestial Mechanica) made all the ear candy for Seedling. Fans of the music can purchase Rekcahdam's soundtrack for $1 or more.

For an epic Flash-based experience, Seedling awaits.

Kickstarter Projects: Star Command For PC/Mac (War Balloon Games)

July 11, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan

How do you follow up on a successful Kickstarter campaign? Well...how about with another Kickstarter campaign?

War Balloon Games, creator of the sci-fi themed mobile simulation title Star Command, now seeks additional funding to complete a desktop version of the game for Windows and Mac. Currently, the project has earned over $26,000 toward its goal of $100,000.

"High-resolution UI, surround sound, mouse/keyboard input, increased processing power, and enormous storage space would all be unleashed in a super-nova explosion maelstrom to create the most complete and ultimate version of Star Command," War Balloon notes.

Backers who pledge $25 or more will receive a copy of Star Command upon its release, and will have access to exclusive in-game bonus content.

Browser Game Pick: Shop Empire 2 (littlegiantworld)

July 11, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

shopworld.jpg The sequel to the plainly-named Shop Empire, Shop Empire 2 is pretty much what it sounds like: a free resource management game that will have you taking charge of a nascent shopping mall. As you might have guessed, you're responsible for ensuring that your collection of fast food places, boutiques, and entertainment facilities achieve profitability. To do so, you're going to have to monitor customers, plan buildings, deal with thieves and more.

You can play the game here.

Demo: The Samaritan Paradox (Andail)

July 11, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

samaritanproduction.jpg Your name is Ord Salamon and you're the guy who has to help a young girl figure out where her father left his last secret novel. That's the basic idea behind The Samaritan Paradox. A rather attractive-looking point & click adventure, The Samaritan Paradox will have you investigating everything from the island of Fargo itself to the suicide of your client's father. It also has a demo for those interested in checking out the early bits of the game.

Official forum thread here.

Project Zomboid: How (Not) to Make a Game

July 11, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

Eurogamer recently shared IndieStone Studios' Project Zomboid talk to a crowd of 350 at the Rezzed PC and Indie Games Show. The team has already seen several highs and lows with its zombie apocalypse, survival role-playing title even though it is still in development.

Talk highlights include telling everyone to "Go Indie" but not "End up Penniless." The team is pro-demo and pro-outsourcing for music talent. The team also recalls when someone broke into their dev house and robbed them of their only game build. File this one under not forgetting to put a back-up somewhere safe.

Oh, and multiplayer is coming.

Jay Is Games Announces "Escape"-Themed Browser Game Design Competition

July 11, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

120710_escape.png

Online gaming portal Jay Is Games is now accepting submissions for its latest Casual Gameplay Design Competition, in which entrants are challenged to create an original browser game around the theme "escape."

Presented in collaboration with Armor Games and Pastel Games, the competition welcomes entries developed using browser-based technologies such as Flash, Unity, and HTML5. Previous contest entries include browser game standouts like Sprout, Gimme Friction Baby, and Gateway.

First prize is $1,000, while additional prizes of $500 each will be awarded to the competition's top 3 Flash games, as chosen by Armor Games. The deadline for entry is September 3rd.

ETHER might just restore your faith in adventures

July 11, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Judging by the current state of mainstream gaming, I am pretty certain that a game like forthcoming first-person adventure ETHER could only exist in the welcoming embrace of the indie gaming community. Not that the community or its taste are impeccable, but at least we do have a thing for the odd and innovative and Ether definitely seems odd in the best of possible ways. And quite innovative too, especially when it comes to its plot and setting.

Ether is, according to White Paper Games, "set in an alternative history world where mental disease and illness can be cured by individuals who possess the unique gift of ethereal projection. These so-called 'restorers' can delve into the minds of their clients to fix their broken memories. In Ether you play as a restorer who has become lost in one of his client's minds, a mysterious woman named Jean. The restorer, now unsure of his own identity, will only recover his knowledge of who he is by exploring Jean's memories".

What's more, the game looks beautiful and its art-style seems to work well enough in creating the required oppressive atmosphere. The fact that its puzzles are characterized as narrative ones or that it will be using QR-codes in some sort of ARG way should definitely be considered as a further source of intrigue. Oh, and it will come with four whole worlds to explore.

Ether will be made available on PC & Mac sometime soon.

Browser Game Pick: Personal Trip To The Moon (VoEC)

July 11, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

personal trip moon.pngPersonal Trip To The Moon, despite what one would expect, does exactly what it says on the tin. It's all about a trip to the moon and it's very personal indeed. It also is a beautiful and mostly interactive tale that, in a mere 15 or so minutes, manages to touch upon matters of freedom, societal norms, personal liberation, empowerment and, well, life. Or, so I believe...

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