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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: ANtopia (Ben Pettengill)

May 1, 2012 7:30 AM | Steve Cook

antopia.png ANtopia is a top down romp with a sprinkling of action and exploration. You are a part of an ant colony and quickly learn that the ant queen is dying. Your quest is to save her.

The game is short and not especially challenging, which might leave you wanting more. However, it does have that endearing, pixelated, retro vibe going on. It was developed for Ludum Dare 23.

You can play it here.

Indie Tools: Inform 7

May 1, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

infrom7.pngInform 7 is being described as a design system for interactive fiction based on natural language. Shockingly, it does exactly what it says on the tin (and quite a bit more), while simultaneously being a truly powerful tool for creating intricate pieces of interactive fiction on most platforms you'd care to mention.

Inform 7 runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and most probably anything with a keyboard. It has after all been the tool of choice for countless text adventure creators (including the brilliant Emily Short) and more than a few educators. Oh, and it's absolutely free to use too.

A MAZE. Indie Connect Announces The Most Amazing Game

May 1, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

proteus.jpgProteus, (available now as a Beta) by Ed Key and David Kanaga, has won the award for The Most Amazing Indie Game at the 2012 A MAZE. Indie Connect Festival.

The international jury - Zuraida Buter, Thierry Platon, Marek Plichta and Chris Adkins - ultimately chose it over Where Is My Heart?, after deliberating among 10 nominees from 100 entries. As winner, Proteus earns a Little Indie distribution deal and 5000 Euro.

A MAZE. met its 2500 Euro funding goal for the prize thanks in large part to Andreas Illiger, who in 2011 achieved much success with his indie game, Tiny Wings.

Thorsten S. Wiedemann, director of Indie Connect, seemed overall pleased with the event and is excited for next year's. "We achieved our objective bringing together the protagonists of European indie gaming: Let's play again at the second edition of the International A MAZE. Indie Connect in 2013!"

Kickstarter Update: Shadowrun Returns Wraps Up With $1.8 Million In Pledges

April 30, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Exceeding its initial funding goal of $400,000 many times over, Harebrained Schemes concluded its Kickstarter campaign for Shadowrun Returns with a total of $1,836,447 in pledges.

Backed by original series designer Jordan Weisman, Shadowrun Returns seeks to revive the franchise with "a graphically rich 2D turn-based single player game with deep story interaction, meaningful character development, and highly-contextual tactical combat."

Having met its stretch goals, the game will also be ported to Mac and Linux, and will feature a second explorable city, a mission editor, and a collaborative soundtrack by SNES Shadowrun composer Marshall Parker and Sam Powell, who created the music for the Sega Genesis version.

Discussing Sci-Fi Arcade Style Vektropolis With Frank Travaini

April 30, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

The above two-month old trailer of Dark Computer Enterainment's Vektropolis made the rounds this month thanks to Pixel Prospector originally, charming gamers with its classy 80s arcade vector style. IndieGames caught up with developer Frank Travaini to find out the latest on his team's retro rescue game/first person shooter.

"[The above] video shows us playing around with just some of the features, but it's still very much a tech demo at that point. Andrew Crawshaw's been working on fine tuning the challenge of the game, and trying to tie together as much of our feature set as we can in a way that make sense but most of all is going to be fun. The video might make it look like an out and out shooter, but there's going to be a strategic element, too."

Lead Vektropolis developer Daniel Gallagher is no stranger to 80s vector graphics, seeing as he co-founded Vektor Grafix, which ported the 1983 Star Wars arcade game to several platforms.

Kickstarter Projects: Gubble 3D (Actual Entertainment)

April 30, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

A talented team of Atari-era industry veterans has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Gubble 3D, a proposed sequel to the PC, iOS, and PlayStation maze game Gubble.

The studio is headed up by Franz Lanzinger, developer of the classic arcade maze game Crystal Castles. 1997's release of Gubble for PC platforms expanded on the concepts introduced in Crystal Castles, and Gubble 3D will further plumb the depths of maze-based gameplay with the addition of a real-time 3D engine, a story mode, and destructible environments.

Gubble 3D will be released for Windows, Mac, and the iPad if its funding goal of $80,000 is met by May 23rd. Pledge prizes include DRM-free digital copies of the game ($15), a downloadable soundtrack album ($30), limited-edition Gubble plush toys ($75), and Kickstarter-exclusive t-shirts ($100).

Browser Game Pick: Astro Break (hulahulahest)

April 30, 2012 7:30 AM | Steve Cook

astro break.png Ludum Dare entry Astro Break plays like something that came straight out of an arcade cabinet. It's a little bit like a game called Super Obliteration, which in turn was a mixture of Asteroids and Pang. Run around the edge of a tiny planet, dodging and shooting asteroids, which split in two and keep doing so until they are small enough to be destroyed. Sometimes asteroids will drop fruit, shields or power-ups.

It gets the arcade feel just right but it lacks variety. There only two power-ups available: the spread gun and the auto cannon. Furthermore, although each successive wave becomes more difficult, you may find the lack of reward off-putting.

You can play the game here.

Browser Game Pick: Intense Staring Simulator (DedHedZed)

April 30, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

intense staring simulator.pngNothing compares to the experience of stepping into the shoes of a misanthropic sociopath with a burning hatred for other people, and we would had frankly never discovered said truth if it weren't for the magic of the modern video game. Or the magic of the Intense Staring Simulator to be precise. It's a short, smart, actually funny and joyfully silly offering with sharp writing and colorful enough graphics to lift the spirits of the average sociopath. And all you have to do is point, click and stare intensely.

Freeware Game Pick: The Desolate Hope (Scott Cawthon)

April 30, 2012 12:00 AM | John Polson

Scott Games' latest Windows freeware title, The Desolate Hope, isn't great just because of its stunning artwork, its gripping sci-fi story, and its coffee pot protagonist. It also packs a triple punch with three distinct gameplay types, each skillfully woven together. The side scrolling action has different platforming elements for each section, the overhead adventure distills fun elements of a classic Zelda (including walls you can walk through or destroy) and the turn-based, RPG-style boss battles are visually mesmerizing and tough.

The Desolate Hope is pretty non-linear and offers hours of gaming. The leveling system is interesting in that there are no experience points. The game also has a day-and-night system that mixes up the game more and adds a sense of urgency to completing it. Finally, the rich story should keep you guessing until the very end.

The trailer is after the jump, but if you want to keep a lot of the visual experience a surprise, go ahead and download The Desolate Hope now.

Browser Game Pick: Dude, Where's My Planet (Alexander Batsis / Teo Mathlein / Martin Petrini)

April 29, 2012 7:30 PM | Steve Cook

dude where my planet.png There have been a number of games in recent years where the mechanics revolve around using gravity to leap from planet to planet, including Frozzd and Space Hopper.

In Ludum Dare entry Dude, Where's My Planet, the mechanics differ from the usual 'use the jump button to launch yourself toward the next planet'. Instead, you take a run-up so that you automatically launch when enough speed is built up. The trick is to try and get your trajectory at the correct angle to land on the next habitable planet. Avoid planets with spikes and get to the cannon, which will launch you toward the next batch of planets to navigate.

The game has a refreshing art style all of its own and solid physics to boot. Give it a play here.
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