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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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Furthering Important Discussions -- Indie Game: The Movie Released

June 12, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

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After years of work and several awards (including Sundance) under its belt, James Swirsky's and Lisanne Pajot's Indie Game: The Movie is finally available to purchase through direct download, on Steam, and on iTunes. The documentary follows Phil Fish (Fez) and Tommy Refenes and Edmund McMillen (Super Meat Boy) as they work towards the release of their games, with some Jon Blow (Braid) interview segments peppered in for added flavor.

The three arcs offer something different for everyone beyond the obvious game culture. Team Meat's story touches on family, feelings of isolation, and a beautiful parallelism to the characters of Super Meat Boy. Edmund and his work seems to be to me the raw and exposed Meat Boy, and his wife Danielle, the Bandage Girl that helps hold him together. Phil Fish's story explores legal complications and the dangers people face when partnerships dissolve.

Beat Juice Radio Completed, Playable For Free At Kongregate

June 12, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

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Zak Ayles (aka mooosh, the artist for this particular title) writes in with word that stevesan's beat-matching rhythm game Beat Juice Radio has been completed, and is playable for free at Kongregate.

We covered a prototype version of the game last month, and since then, the game has grown to include multiple backing tracks and an improved scoring system.

Players can compete with a series of AI opponents in the solo "Beat Bronco" mode, or attempt to outwit a local competitor in the head-to-head "Beat Battle" mode. Beware, though, as you'll need to successfully play back any beat sequences you create before you can score points in the two-player mode -- mashing the keys is not recommended!

Indie Tools: Scratch

June 12, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

scratch.pngScratch, a simple and easy to use game creation tool, was developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab and has always been aimed at introducing people of all ages to simple programming concepts and, more importantly, to the creation of games, interactive stories, animations and digital art. It has apparently been more than successful as (at the time of writing) 2,593,955 Scratch projects from around the world have already been created and shared.

The fact that Scratch is one of the simplest development tools around and one that has been freely available for Windows, Mac and Linux for over five years now must have helped quite a bit. Besides, it does sport an absolutely huge community and some excellent getting started documentation.

Freeware Game Pick: Diluvium (Les Coll├ęgiennes)

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

diluvium.pngMade in 48 hours for TOJam The Sevening, Diluvium is a brilliant little summoning/speed-typing tactical game you can download for both your Mac and Windows PC. Essentially a multiplayer game, though with a handy single-player mode thrown in, Diluvium pits two summoners against each other.

You are obviously one of them and get to type animal names in order to summon beasties, have them attack your rival's pawns and ultimately the enemy summoner himself/herself. The first summoner to kill the other wins.

Besides the excellent visuals, what's really impressive is the fact that the game sports 284 summonable animals, each with its own stats and each combinable into totems of up to three animals. Things get even more tactical as any totem is as intelligent as its most intelligent member, has the sum of each animals hit points and an averaged movement speed.

Get Your Gene On: Play and Pre-order Cipher Prime's Splice

June 12, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

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Binary trees have never been more fun than in Cipher Prime's Mac and Windows puzzler Splice, out June 14. Players have a god-like power, bestowing life by rearranging (splicing) black cells to mimic the genetic structure outlined in the background.

Of course, that's just the beginning of Splice's complexity. The free demo ends with the second of several mechanics: a cell that replicates its relationship to its parent and its descendants. The full version will offer 49 normal puzzles and an epilogue of more difficult craziness after beating the game.

Steve Swink Details Current Project, Notes That "Scale Is A Game"

June 11, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan

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Developer Steve Swink has divulged some new information regarding his upcoming first-person puzzler Scale, revealing preliminary gameplay details and noting that the game is currently targeted for a Windows and Mac release.

Shown off in prototype form at E3, Scale lets players alter the size of any object within the game's world. Though it's in an early state, Swink feels that the mechanics are promising.

"With some game concepts I've explored, finding interesting puzzles/ideas is like pulling teeth," he admits. "With this one, the list of puzzles to prototype keeps getting longer. I've shown a few examples publicly to help everyone understand the basic idea, but I'm keeping what I think are the most interesting uses of the mechanic secret for now."

Freeware Game Pick: Shifter (Axemsir)

June 11, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

shifter.jpg At this point of time, it's hard to turn sideways without encountering an 'escape-the-room' game or yet another point & click adventure. Personally, I'm not complaining. However, if you're tired of running into them individually and have, for some reason, wanted to see a blend of both genres, Shifter is likely the game you're looking for. Set within a well-guarded town, Shifter will have you playing the titular creature. Forbidden from leaving the settlement, you must find some way to achieve freedom. All of the standard adventure game mechanics are here. There are dialogue options, items to use and puzzles to solve. What makes Shifter unique is the fact that you'll also be able to mimic various townspeople.

Though short, Shifter's a pretty little nifty little diversion that you should totally download from here.

E3 Impressions: Prom Week (Expressive Intelligence Studio)

June 11, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw



Described as a cutting-edge experiment in interactive narrative, Prom Week was an IGF 2012 Finalist for Technical Excellence and a crowd favorite at the E3 Indiecade Showcase last week. At least, I think so. I certainly didn't get a chance to play it up till the point I got home from the expo as the booth was constantly crowded with interested playtesters.

Set within the days leading up to that all-important event and on that hallowed occasion itself, Prom Week allows players to explore the stories of ten adolescents, all of whom appear to be based on familiar high school archetypes. For example, there's Oswald, the overachieving bastard in preppy attire and the curiously-dressed foreign exchange student Gunther. Each of them come with their own set of likes and dislikes along with a relatively malleable network of person connections.

This, of course, is where it gets interesting.

qrth-phyl: Hermitgames' Snake-like Coming Soon

June 11, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

Fren-ze and Oogiblocks developer Hermitgames is ready to procedurally bend and twist your Snake skills in the upcoming Windows and XBLIG title qrth-phyl. According to its official blog, qrth-phyl is a snake-like with a hint of intrigue where you "[c]ollect, grow, avoid your past, find new space, wake up..."

After spotting this dramatic, cubic trailer in a Tweet from @retroremakes, I asked developer Matt James to shed some more details.

Demo: Imagine Earth (Serious Brothers)

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

Imagine earth.pngCasual simulation does sound like a rather obvious contradiction in terms, but indie developers Serious Brothers seem to have somehow made it happen. They have taken the classic (and seriously complicated) SimEarth formula, radically simplified it, thrown in a few ideas that have already appeared in Fate of the World and added some ethically and politically shakey theorems of their own.

Now, I will not go on and showcase their numerous scientific mistakes and gross over-simplifications, but you should really keep in mind the fact that this is not a scientifically and philosophically objective game.

You can find out more about Imagine Earth by playing its recently released demo on Steam. It's a sleek, easy to play and lovely to look at game, that's bound to entertain and -in the very least- provide with some ideas regarding Earth's problems. Oh, and don't let the cutesy graphics and streamlined interface fool you; Imagine Earth can be a most demanding beast.

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