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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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Browser Game Pick: Live Forever (Hubol)

May 5, 2012 10:30 PM | Steve Cook

hubol.png If there was ever a game that could be accused of dishing out maximum sensory overload, it would have to be Live Forever.

As you begin your game, you are hatched from an egg and told your sex and sexuality. The main objective is to prolong your life, however highscores are also recorded for other achievements such as the amount of friends you make or the amount of sounds you hear, which may require you to take a different approach. A variety of objects appear as you hover on screen, ranging from coins, botox needles, cakes, drugs and diet pills. It is up to you to figure out what to avoid and what to collect, since each object has a positive or negative effect on your lifespan.

Live Forever has a b-game style all of its own, from the strange sounds to the lovingly drawn sprites and backgrounds. As a word of warning, it contains adult themes.

Try to have some patience for the lengthy loading time. You can play the game here.

Irrational's Steve Gaynor and Friends Go Indie in Portland

May 5, 2012 6:00 PM | John Polson

stevegaynorgama.jpgA trio of former 2K Marin colleagues are starting a new, Portland-based independent studio where they hope to focus on what they loved most about their old work -- the story-driven game experience.

Designer, speaker and blogger Steve Gaynor recently revealed he'd left Irrational Games to found The Fullbright Company with friends Johnnemann Nordhagen, a programmer, and Karla Zimonja, a "jack of all trades" who collaborated with Gaynor on "story stuff" as they worked together at 2K Marin on the acclaimed Minerva's Den DLC for BioShock 2.

"We were all kind of a team on the story and look of that project," Gaynor tells Gamasutra.

Although it was "super exciting" to have worked at Irrational and to have contributed to a project like BioShock Infinite, Gaynor says part of the decision to make a move now comes down to simple homesickness.

As longtime West-Coasters, he and his wife just weren't taking to life in Boston as well as they'd hoped. And given that Gaynor and his two colleagues wanted to recapture the small-team feel they'd had with Minerva's Den, it seemed like there was an opportunity there.

Gaynor's beloved Portland isn't exactly a hotbed for variegated game development: "Nobody's doing the kind of stuff in games that I want to be doing in Portland, and we were going to have to start up our own thing."

Browser Game Pick: Nuclear Outrun (Nerdook)

May 5, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

nerdook.png Once again, Nerdook has a new game out on Kongregate. This time around, he wants us to race twenty trucks to the finish line. Our opponent? A nuclear missile. Yes, you heard right. A weapon of mass destruction, a destroyer of civilizations. You're going to do your best to outrun one of those buggers. It won't be easy. There are crates, portraits, fruit and a cadre of zombies standing between you and survival. Fortunately, you'll be able to make use of the game's various upgrades and assortment of firearms.

Nuclear Outrun isn't particularly deep but it's not a bad way to invest twenty minutes or so. If you've been in need for a weekend diversion, you can check out the game here.

New Release: Dark Scavenger (Psydra Games)

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

Dark Scavenger.pngAnyone else remember Steve Meretzky's Superhero League of Hoboken? Well, it was a truly odd RPG-adventure hybrid with its tongue held firmly in its cheek that sadly failed to set the world on fire.

Dark Scavenger, on the other hand, is a brand new RPG-adventure hybrid of the point-and-click variety, that is so utterly demented it's bound to make people notice. Players will after all get to team up with three eccentric (to put it mildly) aliens in a quest to fix their ship, possibly save the world and read a ton of brilliantly odd bits of dialogue.

Dark Scavenger is out now for both PC and Mac and currently having a 50% off launch sale, meaning you can grab this little gem for $4.99. You can download its hefty demo here.

Indie Royale Profile: Containment (Bootsnake Games)

May 5, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

[Colin Brown of Backlog Journey guest reviews the games in the latest Indie Royale offering, The May Hurray Bundle.]

Sick of zombies? I don't blame you, because there's definitely a few too many of the undead blighters showing up in games these days. Still, I was pretty happy to give Containment: The Zombie Puzzler the benefit of the doubt because, well, you don't often see zombie puzzlers. Luckily Bootsnake Games backs up the neat genre mash-up premise with a puzzle game that brings in unique mechanics, a great presentation and an excellent dynamic feeling to the levels. Let me just expand on all three of these points for you.

Freeware Game Pick - Cruise Racing: Arcade Prologue (David Walters)

May 4, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Super Box Factory developer David Walters sends along his latest Something Awful game jam-inspired creation: the '90s throwback racer Cruise Racing: Arcade Prologue, available as a free download for Windows platforms.

"The theme this time was to spend a week making a game in the style of 90's Arcades," Walters explains. "I chose to take on the task of making a racer like Daytona or F355 Challenge. It's naturally not as polished as those games but I think I've captured the style pretty well and I hope to have made something that's at least 5 minutes of fun."

Upon seeing the dip switch screen at startup, it becomes clear that Walters nails the style -- the experience is complete with an enthusiastic announcer and equally peppy music. If its goal was to bring back fond memories of Ridge Racer, it succeeds greatly!

My Little Pony Goes To Bullet Hell In My Little Pegasus: Kizuna DoPonyPachi

May 4, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

"So I played a pony-themed bullet hell shmup. It was bad. It was terribad. It was so bad it offended me," notes developer Giest118. "So I figured: 'While any pony game I make would LOOK like ass, it'd as least PLAY better than this.'"

This line of reasoning inspired the creation of My Little Pegasus: Kizuna DoPonyPachi, a free vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up for Windows platforms.

Kizuna DoPonyPachi features a scoring system modeled after Cave's arcade shoot-'em-up Ketsui. In brief: kill an enemy in close proximity and it'll drop high-value scoring items, and subsequent chained kills score big points. It's a deep system that rewards skilled play, and though Kizuna DoPonyPachi isn't the best-looking game in the world, its gameplay is definitely built on a solid foundation.

[via Shmups]

The Dream Machine Coming To Steam On May 11th!

May 4, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

thedreammachine.jpg While there has been no shortage of point & click adventure games lately, few offer the kind of visual uniqueness presented by The Dream Machine. A delightful amalgamation of clay and 3D animation, The Dream Machine is the quiet, eerie tale of a loving couple and their experiences at an unsettling little apartment. I won't spoil it for you but it eventually does get kind of weird. I mean, the developers cited Rosemary's Baby as one of their influences. Who could expect anything less? Seriously, though. When The Dream Machine finally comes out on Steam on May 11th, do yourself a favor and purchase the game. Take a break from your platformers. Set an evening apart from your first-person shooters. The Dream Machine definitely deserves your time.

But, hey, you needn't take my word for it. For those of you curious as to how the game actually plays, the first chapter is available for free over here.

Nigoro interview: "Overseas Sales are Essential" for Developer's Future

May 4, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

naramura.jpgIn the following interview, Nigoro's Takumi Naramura, La-Mulana's director, sheds details on the WiiWare cancellation and candidly discusses the deveoper's dependence on overseas sales of its forthcoming PC port. He also urges Japanese indies to open up the export market, stating that there are several unnoticed masterpieces that need to be introduced overseas so that the Japanese indie game scene flourishes.

Last week, strong community reactions followed Nigoro's blog announcement and Nicalis' subsequent cancellation of La-Mulana for WiiWare in North America and Europe.

When speaking with IndieGames, Naramura shared he was "very surprised at this situation," and in a few days the team would post something new to La-Mulana's official website. Despite the ongoing Golden Week holiday in Japan, though, Naramura wanted to share as many details as possible now.

Kenshi Seeks Funding Via Indiegogo

May 4, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Developer Chris Hunt has launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund development of the free-roaming, squad-based RPG Kenshi.

Described as "X-Com meets Oblivion, with a dash of Stronghold," Kenshi promises an original take on the genre in which players manage a mining business and amass a fortune through exploration and research. An alpha version was featured in last month's GamersGate's Indie Fort Bundle

Kenshi has a funding goal of $40,000, but even if the goal isn't met, all pledged funds will be given to the developer when the campaign concludes on July 1st. Supporters who pledge $10 or more will receive a downloadable copy of the game upon its launch.

[Thanks, Alejo!]

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