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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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Move through the music in Bean's bullet hell survival game Soundodger

March 23, 2013 10:04 PM | John Polson

The newest game from Michael Molinari (Studio Bean) will having you moving not to but through the music in Soundodger, coming soon for Web, Windows, and Mac. The game features all-original music that is choreographed to allow patterns of shapes to fill the screen and chase you. Bean blogs, "All you have to do is dodge them. It's like a dance, except you're a slave to the music."

Bean created the visually stunning basketball platformer Basketbelle and the moving ...But That Was [Yesterday], but this entry seems to be more primal, more appealing to those who crave twitch and tapping tunes.

Kudos to One Mr Bean for the snazzy Soundodger website design, too.

Road to the IGF: ATUM

March 23, 2013 4:00 PM | John Polson

As part of our Road to the IGF series, sister site 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 NHTV Breda (Netherlands) student designers Marta Clavero Jimenez and Thomas Buijtenweg, who jointly discuss their attempt to "break the fourth wall" in their game inside a game, ATUM. The two also share how they tackled managing ideas of 17 developers, especially when conflicting designs were introduced.

ATUM is a curious name. Could you tell me about it?

The name of the game, ATUM, is an Egyptian deity that, together with the scarab Khepri, is responsible for the cyclical process of sunrise and sunset. Together with the books scattered around the room, which are all stories related to the idea of eternal recurrence, and some of the objects containing images of symbols that also insinuate this concept, we wanted to put a lot of emphasis on this idea.

The intimacy of sound: Robin Arnott's mysterious SoundSelf

March 23, 2013 12:00 PM | Staff

soundself small 2.jpgFor many, the creation of games can be a way to share important personal experiences with others. That's part of Robin Arnott's goal with SoundSelf: The project aims to create a sonic and visual experience using the player's own voice, leading to a mind-body experience where the senses don't feel separate.

Hum or chant to SoundSelf and it responds, a fascinating experiment in creating not an intellectual gaming experience, but a physical one.

Arnott, a thoughtful, warmly effusive person, has come to games through a personal journey, and his work in the games space expresses that, leading up to the complex, Kickstarter-funded SoundSelf, for which a public prototype is currently available.

He previously did the sound design for Antichamber, and gained acclaim for the unnerving Deep Sea, an auditory, sensory-deprivation experience where the player's own breath control is paramount to the experience.

He began as a film student at NYU, and found himself quickly growing disenfranchised with what he describes as an "economy of favors" in that space where ego, self-worth and social capital felt like poisonous currency. "At the time I may have fit in [there] well, but as I became more empathetic... and somebody who wanted to do more good, I think I became conscious of it."

Kickstarter Projects: Pixelry Champions (Evelend Games)

March 23, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Had you seen the (short) demo of Pixelry, you would already be a backer of the Kickstarter campaign for the creation of Pixelry Champions; well, provided you thought of the demo as highly as I did and had noticed that huge gap in the knight-sim genre. Everyone else, just have a look at this unique and beautiful game, will you? There just aren't enough pixelated RPGs about chivalry and I haven't had a decent jousting tournament since, uhm, Conquest of Camelot I believe...

Indie Fund-backed The Swapper coming to Steam in Spring 2013

March 23, 2013 2:55 AM | John Polson

Another Indie Megabooth game at PAX East 2013 this weekend, The Swapper is an atmospheric, 2D puzzle-platformer coming to Steam this Spring. The trailer above is the first official footage of the game since May 2011, showing off its handmade art and body-swapping gameplay.

Facepalm Games is a two-man studio in Helsinki, Finland, and The Swapper will be their first release. Indie Fund announced its assistance for the game last year.

Vlambeer's Luftrausers Launches for PS3, PS Vita This Spring

March 23, 2013 12:30 AM | Danny Cowan

Super Crate Box creator Vlambeer, in a partnership with Hotline Miami publisher Devolver Digital, will publish the slick-looking aerial combat game Luftrausers for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita this spring via the PlayStation Network.

"Thanks the team at Devolver Digital and the people we've been working with at Sony, we've been able to get right to what matters most: making a fun game about airplanes for people to enjoy on their PlayStation devices," Vlambeer's Rami Ismail notes. "So instead of worrying about that sort of thing, we've been working hard to balance the game so you're always in the heat of battle, we've been adding more impossible missions and most importantly, we've been making the plane crashes more satisfying."

Luftrausers will also be released for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Road to the IGF: The Fullbright Company's Gone Home

March 22, 2013 10:01 PM | Staff

The Fullbright Company's Gone Home has earned an Excellence in Narrative nomination in the Independent Games Festival -- storytelling through first-person exploration is its primary mechanic, reflecting the team's heritage in environmental narrative in the AAA space.

You play as the older sister of troubled teen Sam, returned to your family's new homestead after a trip abroad to find the house empty, and must piece together what's happening by exploring the clues in the big suburban home, including Sam's diaries, letters and cassettes.

Continuing our series of Road to the IGF interviews with nominees, we talk to the Fullbright Company's Steve Gaynor about building a character the team hopes is unique and nuanced enough that learning her story is motivation enough to interact with the world.

Prepare to Buy: Steam's Indie Spring Sale is Live

March 22, 2013 8:00 PM | Danny Cowan


So, how's your wallet? Is it ready to handle another Steam sale? How about one that drops the price of hundreds of acclaimed indie titles? I offer your bank account my condolences in advance.

The Indie Spring Sale brings steep discounts for many worthwhile games, including standouts like Recettear ($6.79), Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams ($7.49), and the recently released A Valley Without Wind 2 ($3.74).

If you're looking to curb your spending this time around, you might want to have a look at some of the cheaper offerings like 10,000,000 ($3.34), Terraria ($2.49), The Binding of Isaac ($1.24), or Super Hexagon ($1.01).

(Personal pick: if you've been waiting on a price drop for Retro City Rampage, now's your chance -- it's currently $4.99, the cheapest it's ever been since its launch.)

Steam's Indie Spring Sale will continue through March 29th.

Gameplay Trailer: Sanctum 2 (Coffee Stain)

March 22, 2013 2:07 PM | John Polson

A year after Coffee Stain Studios announced Sanctum 2 for PC, XBLA, and PSN, the team has finally begun to leak footage of the FPS and tower defense hybrid. Due to release in 2013, Sanctum 2 will offer new towers, more story with an in-game graphic novel, an expanded Survival Mode, aggressive enemies that will now attack the player and the core, co-op with up to 4 players, and a single or multiplayer campaign.

Those looking for more Sanctum 2 can check out the previously released (but new to the blog) teaser trailer after the jump.

Beta Release: Legend of Dungeon (Robot Loves Kitty)

March 22, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Tiny Plumbers creator Robot Loves Kitty has released an in-progress beta version of its side-scrolling multiplayer roguelike Legend of Dungeon for Windows, Mac, and Linux, with Android and Ouya ports set to debut later this year.

The product of a 659%-funded Kickstarter project, Legend of Dungeon offers beat-'em-up inspired gameplay for up to four players. Be warned that permadeath is in full effect, however, so try to reign in your bad beat-'em-up habits (stealing food/items, screwing over your teammates for laughs, etc), for the sake of your party. The latest version of the game features randomized dynamic music, along with various fixes and balance tweaks.

Legend of Dungeon can be purchased for $10 during its beta period, and is also up for vote at Steam Greenlight.

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