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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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Sir, You Are Being Hunted: The Interview

May 28, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

jim r.pngJim Rossignol, esteemed editor of Rock Paper Shotgun and one of the gentlemen running indie dev studio Big Robot, has kindly agreed to chat about Sir, You Are Being Hunted and the forthcoming tweedpunk revolution. Here's what he told us:

Brilliant title aside, what is Sir, You Are Being Hunted all about?

From a development point of view, it's about a small team (four of us, with some freelance help) exploring open-world games using procedural generation and lots of cheap middleware. From the player's point of view it will be about exploring an island, with a view to staying alive long enough to escape. The island, which is a sort of caricature of British rural landscapes, is abandoned, and stalked by gentlemen robots. They smoke pipes, have shotguns, and mean to kill you before they make a cup of tea. It's a mixture of Sherlock Homes and STALKER. We are calling the brave new genre "Tweedpunk".

And who are the sirs of Big Robot that will apparently be responsible for this robot-infested, open-world, survival sim?

There's Tom "Nullpointer" Betts, who is chief programmer person. He has spent the past few years as a digital artist and lecturer in games media. Helping Tom is Dan Puzey, who is developing our AI systems in his spare time (he's a lead architect on commercial software projects in his day job). Doing the design and general dogsbody stuff is James
Carey, formerly of The Creative Assembly. He also worked with Bohemia on Arma 2. We're also getting help from musician Andy Holbrook, and 3D artist Christophe Canon. I have no discernible talent, but you might remember me from PC games site, Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Martin Jonasson and Petri Purho on Juicing and Tweening

May 28, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

"Adding juiciness to your game makes your game better 100% of the time, guaranteed," insists Crayon Physics Deluxe developer Petri Purho in a talk given at the Nordic Game Indie Night 2012 last week. Purho and jesus vs. dinosaurs creator Martin Jonasson spent 15 minutes describing how to make a bland Breakout clone into something more enjoyable, without changing its core mechanic.

Using different equations in their code (which could be tweaked via an easily accessible menu) afforded the ordinary Breakout clone more audio-visual character. Changes made to the introduction of the stage, the paddle's traversal, the ball's impact animations and behaviors, and different sound effects and background music all add the requisite juice to make Juicy Breakout feel like a "real game," as Purho put it.

The two have provided the exemplary Juicy Breakout and its dev menu (press ESC) to experiment with the juicy, tween-y variables.

[ Source: @teknopants, Juicy Breakout ]

Browser Game Pick: Mini Footprint Thief (shadowdruid)

May 27, 2012 10:30 PM | Steve Cook

thief3.png Mini Footprint Thief is a turn-based puzzler, in which you have to break into a house, sneak past the laser robots and make your way to the large, bright green pixel in the final room. The robots move in straight lines and turn when they hit a wall.

The key here is to be cautious and memorize where and when you can and can't move. This can be achieved by moving back and forth between two spots on the grid. There is no time limit and moving fast might get you confused and killed - repeatedly.

Mini Footprint Thief is a Mini LD 34 entry. You can play the 18x64 version here. I recommend playing the 90x320 version.

Notable Betas and Pre-orders: Metagolf, Krater, and Wrack

May 27, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

The weekend provides a good time to catch up on some indie news I've missed during the week. The three titles I've included here have already been discussed on our blog but warrant a second look, since they are now available to play in some form.

First up, Michaël Lievens' Metagolf, a 2D platformer with mini-golf elements, has reached its final stages in beta. The golfing seems to be the meat of the game, involving puzzles, obstacles, and mazes that players must guide their golf ball through to complete each course. Lievens describes it as Mario-Golf 2D with a twist of Sonic Spinball. You can download the Metagolf beta on Windows, Mac, or Linux for $2.95 during the Because We May sale.

Next up, Hamilton's Great Adventure developer Fatshark has reached the beta stage for its post-apocalyptic RPG, Krater. The top-down, squad-based RPG has endless amounts of randomly generated missions and focuses on crafting, exploration, and battles with perma-death or perma-injury consequences. Players can purchase instant access to Krater's current Windows build on Steam for €14.99. Recent gameplay footage is after the jump:

Smudged Cat Releases Beta For Upcoming Platformer Gateways

May 27, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Adventures of Shuggy creator Smudged Cat Games is giving out a beta version of its puzzle-platformer Gateways to players who preorder the game for $10 via its official website.

Gateways equips players with a gun that is able to place portals on walls and floors, enabling quick travel between locations. At first you may assume it's just a 2D adaptation of Valve's Portal, but the game soon introduces gateways that cause players to shrink or grow. And gameplay promises get really complicated when the gateways allow the player's character to travel through time.

Gateways is set to be released June 22nd for Windows and Xbox Live Indie Games.

Browser Game Pick: Micro Thief (Casino Jack)

May 26, 2012 10:30 PM | Steve Cook

thief2.png In Mini LD 34 entry, Micro Thief, you must navigate the Tower of Mighty Mystery and steal all the gold in the quickest time you can manage. It may feel like a labyrinth at first but if you feel the urge to return and beat your personal best, the layout will become more familiar.

The minimalism, from the run and jump formula to the limited screen size, sound effects and chunky pixels, serve the game well. It's simple, enjoyable and beautiful.

Play it here.

Browser Game Pick: Gamer Mom (Mordechai Buckman, Kyler Kelly)

May 26, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

gamer mom.png

The text adventure title Gamer Mom explores one mother's struggle to interact with her family at the dinner table. Her child can't seem to separate from a mobile phone, and the husband character seems equally attached to his laptop and work.

After some choices, my character assumed the husband would like grinding (who wouldn't?), so she tried engaging him and the child in playing World of Warcraft. Despite their love of technology, she could neither interest nor guilt them into playing.

As a son who needed his games as a means of escape and a husband who married a moderate gamer, I couldn't really relate. However, I imagine there are several who can relate and even more people who will appreciate the believable dialogue and charming sketches.

Play Gamer Mom here.

[ Source: reddit ]

Kickstarter Updates: Cloudberry Kingdom, Spate Reach Funding Goals

May 25, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

A pair of soon-to-conclude Kickstarter projects -- Eric Provan's Spate and Pwnee Studios' Cloudberry Kingdom -- have reached their funding goals and are set to see release later this year for Windows platforms.

Inspired by titles like Limbo and Ico, Provan's 2.5D platformer Spate is a "comedic murder mystery set in a rich steam punk world." Funding will be used to purchase development software and Unity assets and packages.

Cloudberry Kingdom, on the other hand, is a randomly generated platformer that uses a level-building AI to produce stages of a desired difficulty level. A beta version is now available to backers.

Both projects are now in their final day of funding, and less than 24 hours remain to kick in a pledge for either game.

Browser Game Pick: Linescape (azurenimbus)

May 25, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

linescape.pngDeveloper azurenimbus (Microscopia) experiments with aspect in his Mini LD 34 entry, Linescape. Set in a 640x3 resolution, players must carefully guide their blue line to the yellow goal using only the left and right arrow keys and the space bar.

After a handful of stages, players must also collect little blue dots (let's call them "stranded pixels") before the yellow goal opens. I fought the urge to run through the stages after colliding with the red lines of death a few times. I found it helpful simply to count... well, you'll see what I mean.

Play azurenimbus's Linescape here.

And when you're done, be sure to check out the other entries, now up to 62!

Two Tribes' Toki Tori 2 To Allow Level Sharing Via Steam Workshop

May 25, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

The upcoming puzzler Toki Tori 2 will be "the first indie game to allow level sharing through Steam Workshop," developer Two Tribes announced this week.

Steam Workshop allows Steam members to create and share original content for a number of popular games, including Portal 2 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Toki Tori 2 marks the first time a Two Tribes game has shipped with an integrated level editor.

Toki Tori 2 will be released for Windows, Mac, and iOS platforms later this year.

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