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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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Indies question whether journalists should be our game curators

March 26, 2013 2:01 PM | Staff

terry.jpg"Ultimately, journalists are interested in an interesting story more than an interesting work." - Independent developer Terry Cavanagh explains why he organized four fellow devs together to form Free Indie Games a year ago, a blog that, very simply, spotlights games that its editors find interesting.

"We need curators," he said at a GDC talk on Monday. And those curators, he says, need to be fellow game developers.

His words came as an introduction to a discussion about several games that he and fellow Free Indie Games editor Porpentine shared with an audience at the Independent Game Summit.

He raises an interesting point: As the barriers to entry diminish and as games become something that almost anybody can make, are general interest journalists the best filters for curating and sharing diverse content that might have a limited audience appeal?

"I'd say that it isn't that women and queers and people of color aren't making games," said Porpentine. "It is that they are not being covered sufficiently."

[Frank Cifaldi wrote this article originally for sister site Gamasutra]

Desktop Dungeons Beta Free to Play During GDC Week

March 26, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


QCF Design announced that the beta version of its IGF award-winning roguelike Desktop Dungeons is free to play during the week of the Game Developers Conference (through March 31st).

Note that you'll need to complete a quick (and free) signup in order to participate, but if you haven't yet had the chance to try Desktop Dungeons, now's a great time to do so! If you want to continue playing after GDC ends, you can regain access to the beta by preordering the finished product for Windows and Mac.

Freeware Game Pick: Barbarium (Hypnohustler Games)

March 26, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

barbarium.pngI've gotten so used to short freeware games that more elaborate offerings, like the post-apocalyptic fantasy/sci-fi platformer Barbarium, can feel almost shocking; in the nicest of ways possible of course, but still shocking. Anyway. The 2-years-in-the-making Barbarium is a hefty and well-crafted offering sporting hairy barbarian guys, not-overdressed barbarian ladies, mages, a menagerie of odd baddies, swords, laser-guns and all the stuff you'd expect to find in a '50s action movie. Also, it's an action platformer. Or an arcade adventure. Definitely not a Metroidvania though, but it's properly big and even features some pretty impressive bosses.

You can download the standalone version of Barbarium here (direct d/l) or, simply, play it online.

La Molleindustria plays with guns in The Best Amendment

March 26, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

nragame.pngAn arena shooter offering everything from moral relativism and wild bluegrass music to cute graphics and realistic blood isn't something we get to see everyday. Then again, an arena shooter in which all the characters are controlled by the player who's simply trying to not kill her or his future self is even rarer than that and this should be reason enough to rush and download The Best Amendment. It's the latest game by the radical mind of Molleindustria and a most certainly unofficial NRA game about gun control, tactical shooting and pointless murder.

The game is available for a pay-what-you-want price (yes, you can be cheap and pay $0), but keep in mind that the money it makes will help fund a series of workshops brilliantly called 'Imagining Better Futures Through Play'.

Dust: An Elysian Tail Coming to Steam This Year

March 25, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan


At PAX East this past weekend, Humble Hearts founder Dean Dodrill announced that his hit Xbox Live Arcade platformer Dust: An Elysian Tail is coming to Windows via Steam this year.

Dodrill said that he's "very happy" with the port's current status, and doesn't plan to make any major additions, in the interest of launching it as soon as possible. Dodrill and Dust co-creator Alex Kain hope to have the Steam version available as soon as next month, though no specific release date was announced.

Dodrill also hinted at a sequel during his PAX panel, teasing that he has "a lot of ideas" for Dust 2, should it ever enter production.

[via Polygon]

Don't Starve Launches April 24th on Steam

March 25, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Mark of the Ninja and Shank developer Klei Entertainment announced that its "uncompromising wilderness survival game" Don't Starve will launch for Windows via Steam on April 24th.

Currently available in beta form, Don't Starve challenges players to balance health, hunger, and sanity while foraging in a procedurally-generated world. The beta has seen a number of major updates since its launch, and Klei plans to issue new content for the game on a regular basis during its first six months of release.

Don't Starve is currently available for pre-purchase via Steam for $11.99.

[via Joystiq]

Browser Game Pick: Loss (Amidos)

March 25, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

loss.pngLoss is a very short little platformer. It also is a very intriguing exploration of the genre's game mechanics, dressed up as a simple philosophical concept, and, well, anything else would be absolutely spoiler-y. Just spend a few minutes with it and you'll be filled with glorious new game design ideas.

Road to the IGF: Michael Lee on mindful xp

March 24, 2013 4:00 PM | John Polson

As part of our Road to the IGF series, Gamasutra is speaking to each of the student finalists in the 2013 Independent Games Festival to find out the story behind the games.

Today, we speak to Carnegie Mellon student Michael Lee about his team's project, mindful xp, a collection of rapidly prototyped games with meaningful mechanics. Lee discusses the challenges of working in such a tight window and summarizes the types of experiments that were and were not well suited to such rapid prototyping.

Dwarf Fortress: A game that will live forever?

March 24, 2013 12:00 PM | Staff

dwarf fortress.pngby Craig Ellsworth

So I've been thinking a bit recently about Dwarf Fortress, and one unique quality (of many) of the game is that it is a lifelong endeavor for the Adams brothers, and therefore a lifelong endeavor for the fans.

Tarn Adams has stated that it'll be at least twenty years before it's finished, and it's already been released for six years--and was being worked on for four years before its first release, making it a thirty year run before it's even considered complete.

I don't think there is any videogame that has that kind of staying power.  Sure, we recognize the classics for their historical value, and maybe we still get a little fun out of them, but really, how often are you going to play Galaga, when you could play any number of modern shmups?

Yet Dwarf Fortress isn't intended to be overshadowed by newer, more evolved games in its genre, partly because it's in a genre of its own, and partly because it's a never ending game.

Even twenty years from now, assuming that there is still technology to play it, the popularity of Dwarf Fortress will reach its apex at its final release (and perhaps even then Tarn would technically call it the 1.0 release, and might continue working on it), and it's legacy will be more than a historical curiosity.  People won't play Dwarf Fortress for a quick thrill like you might dust off the old Pac-Man machine; I expect they'll be playing it as fervently as ever, spending months perfecting their fortress, only to have it destroyed by some night creature invasion they weren't prepared for.

Groupees' Build a Bundle 5 Features Lume, Dawning, and More

March 24, 2013 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan


Groupees has launched Build a Bundle 5 with a selection of up to nine games -- including a handful of indie standouts -- for a buyer-chosen price (two games / $1.50 minimum).

Featured games include Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus, Storm in a Teacup, Manhunter, Marvin's Mittens, Dawnstar, Nethergate: Resurrection, Spellforce: Platinum Edition, Lume, and Dawning. The majority of games are available as DRM-free downloads, and many also include Steam and Desura keys.

Build a Bundle 5 will conclude on March 29th.

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