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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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Letter From The Chairman: Welcome back (soon!) for IGF 2013

June 19, 2012 12:00 PM | Staff

chairman_2012s.jpg[Ahead of opening submissions for the 2013 Festival, IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer goes in-depth on the shifts in policy and rules for this year's 15th anniversary IGF experience, and the ethos and considerations behind them.]

Hello everyone, and a fine hallo to you, as we approach the opening of the 2013 Independent Games Festival. If you're playing along at home, you'll note that this is officially the 15th edition of the IGF, a remarkable landmark that puts into perspective just how far the business and culture of independent games has come since its 1999 debut (see the photos of that year's winners to drive the point home -- also, should we bring back the giant novelty check?).

As you know, each year we take some time following the ceremony to consider how best to improve and evolve the Festival in preparation for the next. It's a discussion we hold along with the community that has brought changes in previous years such as our two-tiered judge and jury system, and this year we'll be introducing a number of new changes as well.

Let's kick off the list of changes we're making this year with the one that most directly affects our entrants:

Kickstarter Projects - Alpha Colony: A Tribute to M.U.L.E. (DreamQuest Games)

June 19, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

DreamQuest Games has launched a dual-purpose Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of both a faithful remake and a modernized version of the cult 8-bit computer strategy title M.U.L.E.

M.U.L.E. Returns is an Android and iOS app that offers the exact same gameplay as the original M.U.L.E. -- it even goes so far as to offer a series of 8-bit skins as downloadable content. Alpha Colony, meanwhile, is an economics-focused title for PC and mobile platforms that draws inspiration from games like Settlers of Catan and Civilization.

Both games are being created with the blessing of the Bunten family, who has provided DreamQuest with original art and documentation from M.U.L.E. creator Dan Bunten.

Backers who pledge $10 will receive the iOS version of Alpha Colony upon completion, while the desktop edition is priced at $15. Higher pledge tier rewards include multiple-game combo packages, digital music downloads, and limited-edition prints.

[via @EvilSharkey]

Indie Tools: inklewriter

June 19, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

inklewriter.pngWriting and designing interactive fiction is always a joy, but inklewriter makes experiencing this joy easier than before. It is a tool explicitly designed to allow everyone to write, test and share their own interactive stories in the comfort of their web-browser.

The tool is geared towards actually writing. No scripting or programming is required, as all indexing happens automatically behind the scenes. Presumably by magic. And please do believe me when I say that after completing the short tutorial you'll be creating your text-based adventures in no time.

Happily, more updates and extra features are on the way!

Browser Game Pick: First Person Tutor (bigblueboo labs)

June 19, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

first person tutor.png

In 7DFPS entry First Person Tutor, players assume the role of a financially challenged teaching assistant serving an evil professor who pays off a bit of debt for every student failed. Players must snipe spelling and grammar mistakes to lower the student's grade before the timer runs out.

My favorite part of First Person Tutor may be the sadistic professor. Giving the student and F made the professor "indifferent" but giving an F- made him dance with joy. Oddly, he cackled madly at an F+, which I thought was better than an F.

As much as I like the grammatical aspect of the game, I wonder what an existential version of the same game name would be like: a tutor of being (in the first person)?

Indie Royale Profiles: Noitu Love 2 and The Iconoclasts Alpha

June 18, 2012 8:00 PM | Staff


[Guest reviewer Colin Brown from Backlog Journey profiles each game in the June Bug Bundle available on IndieGames' co-created site Indie Royale.]

I've been cautiously intrigued by Noitu Love 2 since the big Steam rerelease. I wasn't sure if it would be my kind of game since I'm woefully under-experienced in the classic games like Gunstar Heroes that inspired it. The manic trailer did look rather nice though, and I've been loving the soundtrack I picked up in the Game Music Bundle. Just when I decide to buy it next time I get a chance, lo and behold the Indie Royale comes along and makes the decision for me. Now, after playing and beating it, I only wish I had jumped on this game sooner.

Computer Science Master's Project Demonstrates Funky Use Of Neural Impulse Actuator

June 18, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw



I could totally get behind the idea of paying money for something like this. Game world that is influenced by your mind? The ability to causes things to spontaneously explode into pixelated flames when stressed out? Sure! While I doubt Coakley is ever going to make a commercial version of this little endeavor anytime soon, it's still a nice glimpse of what we can one day expect from our peripherals. Forget motion control. Mind-reading controllers are the next step in evolution.

Ahem. Check out a slightly more technical explanation at the creator's website here.

Wolfire Games Shows Off Receiver's Game Mechanics

June 18, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw



Wolfire Games recently took a break from Overgrowth to participate in the 7-day FPS Challenge and the results have been fairly impressive. In this not-quite-free chunk of first-person goodness from Wolfire, players will get to unravel the secrets of Mindkill as they progress through a labyrinth of shock drones and automated turrets. Receiver features perma-death and some of the most realistic-looking gun mechanics that I've seen yet. It's currently available for $4.99. However, if you're already an Overgrowth customer, you will be getting it for free.

Official website here.

Browser Game Pick: Polyfurcation (Jeremy Penner)

June 18, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

polyfurcation.png

Jeremy Penner's Polyfurcation is a tricky puzzler, where players must cover the flag blocks of each level without any green dots left over. Larger blocks allow the green cells to divide and smaller blocks allow them to fuse back together.

If you're curious how hard the puzzles get, hit "/" to skip worlds. I was amazed as I watched my one, little green dot become an army of 21 to cover all the flags.

Polyfurcation is one of 33 games submitted so far to the Klik of the Month Klub #60, which celebrates its five-year anniversary of "making terrible 2-hour games" on Glorious Trainwrecks.

Puzzle-Platforming FPS Pulse Shift Seeks Alpha Funding Via Desura

June 18, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Developer 3corestudio has released an alpha version of its puzzle-platforming FPS Pulse Shift as part of Desura's Alpha Funding program. A free demo version is also available.

Boasting a striking visual style and multiple graphic skins, Pulse Shift challenges players to navigate tricky platforming sequences from a first-person perspective. Players are also able to rewind and freeze time, and a rotation mechanic ensures that later levels will be quite challenging (and disorienting!)

A playable alpha version is available for $9.99, and will be updated as development progresses.

Trailer: Super Amazing Wagon Adventure (Sparse Vector)

June 18, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Sparse Vector has announced the upcoming release of Super Amazing Wagon Adventure, an Oregon Trail-inspired 2D shoot-'em-up for Windows and the Xbox Live Indie Games platform.

Described as "Oregon Trail meets River Raid meets Robotron meets random number generator," Super Amazing Wagon Adventure essentially combines the best-remembered parts of Oregon Trail and leaves out the boring educational stuff. The result is a pixelated bloodbath featuring customizable characters, randomly generated gameplay events, and a collection of endless survival modes.

This game looks great, and I can't wait to play it. I don't know what it is, but there's just something about Oregon Trail that brings out the best in indie developers -- see also: Organ Trail and So Long, Oregon.

Super Amazing Wagon Adventure is scheduled for release this summer.

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