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About The IGF

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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Release: Shattered Haven (Arcen Games)

March 22, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Shattered Haven doesn't comfortably fit inside genres. I mean, yes, it is definitely 2D, sports many puzzles, requires decent reflexes, urges gamers towards high-scores, feels RPG-ish and is obviously a horror game, but what do all these elements make it? I frankly don't know. What I do though know is that Shattered Haven is an utterly unique game with some excellent ideas and that playing through its (first) few levels has been immensely enjoyable. Oh and it even comes with a smart level-editor, while simultaneously supporting local 2-player co-op.

You can purchase Shattered Have on Steam, GOG.com, Arcen's own site and all sorts of other places. It will happily run on both Windows and Mac machines.

Kickstarter Projects: Battle World - Kronos (KING Art Games)

March 22, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Kickstarter has an uncanny ability of reviving supposedly dead genres and proving that our corporate overlords fail to grasp what the popular taste is all about. Anyway. KING Art Games, the people responsible for hilarious point-and-clicker The Book of Unwritten Tales, have unleashed their plans for a glorious looking turn-based strategic offering: Battle World - Kronos. A game that, should it reach its funding goal, will be made available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Battle World will obviously support all sorts of multiplayer options, no DRM whatsoever and, according to its devs, a well-sized single player campaign and smart A.I.. Oh, and if those are pre-alpha (!) graphics we are looking at, the thing is bound to look amazing.

Trailer: Penny Arcade's Rain-Slick 4 (Zeboyd Games)

March 21, 2013 11:50 PM | Danny Cowan

In advance of a public appearance at PAX East this weekend, Cthulhu Saves the World developer Zeboyd Games has released a teaser trailer for its upcoming retro-styled RPG Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4.

Much has changed for the newest chapter in the series. The world, as players knew it, has been destroyed, and the game's cast must now battle through the Underhell in search of their teammates. Zeboyd notes that Rain-Slick 4 "expands considerably on its predecessor in size, scope and gameplay," and offers a new monster-recruiting mechanic during battle sequences.

On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4 is set for release this year for Windows and for the Xbox 360 via the Xbox Live Indie Games service.

Browser Game Pick: Dungeon Blocks (Tom Fraser)

March 21, 2013 9:05 PM | John Polson

dungeon gitd.pngAs much as I love clearing lines for Tetris, sometimes I wish the pieces could hang around longer. Tom Fraser's Dungeon Blocks has players build holes, not lines. Depending on a hole's dimensions, it becomes a block dungeon for a certain imp. Each stage specifies new types of hole/dungeon to build to clear the level completely. Getting one star in each level is a bit trivial, but building something like the Dragon Treasury in the last level takes a master of Tetrominos.

After playing Fraser's Dungeon Blocks, feel free to try the other entrants of Kongregate's latest Game in Ten Days (GiTD) competition.

Your indie guide to IGF 2013: a GDC primer

March 21, 2013 6:23 PM | John Polson

igf pavilion async 2012.jpgThe week-long 2013 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco's Moscone Center, which hosts both the Independent Games Festival and related Summit, begins Monday, March 25, and we're listing a thorough indie to-do list, highlighting some of the can't miss indie-related events happening every day.

The week begins with the two-day Indie Games Summit (Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26), which is packed with sessions on some of the latest and greatest titles released. Attendees will want to build their own GDC schedule to avoid missing any of these talks.

Postmortems of several hit indie games will include the fake-science puzzler SpaceChem, spacecraft crew sim and RTS FTL: Faster Than Light, the stealth-redefining action game Mark of the Ninja, and the reverse shmup and rhythm hybrid Retro/Grade.

Other notable lectures include crowdfunding tips for indies, designing the mystery behind the episodic Kentucky Route Zero, and the game idea-spawning Twitter account PeterMolydeux and its corresponding Molyjam.

Finally, the ever-popular Indie Soapbox session returns, allowing several devs 5 minutes to rant about indie game development. The lineup includes: Renaud Bedard (FEZ), Bennett Foddy (QWOP), Chris Hecker (SpyParty), Rami Ismail (Super Crate Box), Noel Llopis (Casey's Contraptions), Tim Rogers (Ziggurat), David Rosen (Lugaru), Emily Short (Galatea), Rich Vreeland (FEZ OST), and Matthew Wegner (Aztez).

Prison Architect, Kerbal Space Program Headline Steam's Early Access Initiative

March 21, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Want an early look at Prison Architect, Kerbal Space Program, and other in-development PC games? Steam now gives you the opportunity to sample upcoming releases with Early Access, a program that gives buyers "immediate access to games that are being developed with the community's involvement."

Featured games are in varying stages of development, and by prepurchasing an Early Access title, you'll get access to its current playable version, along with developer-issued progress reports. The launch lineup also includes standouts like Code Hatch Corp's StarForge and Dejobaan Games' 1... 2... 3... KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby), among many others.

Road to the IGF: Arcane Kids' Zineth

March 21, 2013 3:12 PM | John Polson

As part of the Road to the IGF series, we are 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 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student and Arcane Kids developer Russell Honor about his team's project, Zineth, which celebrates "speed, movement, and Twitter." Honor discusses what social media integration worked and what did not, along with most of the mystery that players seem to overlook.

Indie Game Developer Quality-of-Life Survey Results

March 21, 2013 12:55 PM | Staff

i_love_indie.png

[Sister site Gamasutra polled approximately 1,000 developers at the end of 2012 on their quality-of-life. While the site normally performs a yearly Salary Survey every April to check the pulse of developers' financial health, it thought to supplement that with a quality-of-life survey to see how you're doing in ways not measured by dollars and cents.]

With so many experienced developers deciding to start their own studios after one too many layoff cycles, we thought we'd ask: How are the indies doing?

Indie devs have half the market success rate of other devs. 34% of indies (both individual developers and small independent studios) have successful projects, compared to 70% for publisher-owned studios and 65% for first-party studios.

Indies are far more likely to work less than full-time. 28% of small indies work less than 40 hours per week, compared to 6% of first-party devs, 10% for publisher-owned devs, and 15% for established indies.

Small indies are having the best of times and the worst of times. On one hand, small indie developers are far more likely to be able to work from home (81%, followed by 56% from first-party devs), they're the most confident in their current project's quality (36% of "very confident" responses were from small indies, followed by 30% from first-party devs), and they report that their job has the least negative impact and greatest positive impacts on their family and social life than any other dev studio type.

Bundle In A Box: Cerebral Bundle Features Dinner Date, J.U.L.I.A, and More

March 21, 2013 11:00 AM | Danny Cowan

130319_biabcerebral.jpg

Kyttaro Games (an indie studio staffed by our own Konstantinos "Gnome" Dimopoulos) has launched its latest Bundle in a Box, featuring a collection of up to nine DRM-free games for a price of your choosing (minimum $1.99).

Headlining the Cerebral Bundle are two exclusive debuts: Robb Sherwin's survival horror text adventure Necrotic Drift Deluxe and Sergey Mohov's tile puzzler D├ędale De Luxe. The bundle also includes Stout Games' Dinner Date, Banov's retro-styled RPG Phantasmaburbia, and CBE Software's "comedy save-'em-up" Vampires!

Pay more than the average purchase price (currently $6.04) and you'll also receive downloadable copies of J.U.L.I.A., I Get This Call Every Day, Cognition, Ep.1: The Hangman, and Reversion - The Meeting. A variety of bonus extras will also become available to all buyers as the campaign continues over the next two weeks.

Anti-shmup Retro/Grade released on Steam

March 21, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

The colours, the wonderful, musical colours! And they are no longer there exclusively for PS3 gamers anymore, which, frankly, is fantastic news!

Anyway, that's enough exclamation marks for one post. What I meant to share with you is that the brilliant Retro/Grade has finally made it to Steam in its complete glory and that, should you hurry, you'll be able to grab it for 25% off. As for the game itself, well, it's a wonderful shmup-in-reverse with a distinct essence of rhythm game and it's unlike anything I've recently played. Also, it's great. Really, properly great.

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