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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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How Legend of Grimrock's Dev Rolled The Dice And Won

April 26, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

grimrock.jpgAlmost Human never imagined Legend of Grimrock would have the commercial success it enjoyed after launching for Windows two weeks ago. At one point, this self-funded downloadable game from the four-man team was the top-seller on Steam, beating out multi-million dollar titles from major publishers.

Legend of Grimrock's success surprised many others, too, as it's not often to see a first-person dungeon crawler inspired by the Eye of the Beholder games at the top of any sales chart, at least not in this millennium. With a few exceptions out of Japan (e.g. Etrian Odyssey series, Wizardry) and iOS, you hardly see those games at all anymore.

Even though conventional wisdom suggests there's no market for an old school game like Legend of Grimrock, the Finnish indie team wanted to make this dream project anyway, and it was willing to risk the company's future to self-publish this game -- the studio's first shipped title.

"We pretty much had [all] our eggs in one basket," Almost Human co-founder Juho Salila admits to Gamasutra. "We started the company fully aware of the risks." The team formed in February 2011, made up of veterans from bigger Finnish game companies like Remedy Entertainment (Alan Wake) and Futuremark (Shattered Horizon).

He adds, "We're all seasoned professionals, so we weren't that concerned about getting another job if the game failed. All the passion and monetary pressure drove us forward at great pace. ... In the end we thought that if the game failed and the company died, so what, at least we tried, so it wouldn't bother us the rest of our lives for not having the courage to try."

Third Annual No Quarter Exhibition Reveals Indie Developer Lineup

April 25, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

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Organizers of the annual No Quarter Exhibition in New York announced that this year's event will feature four brand-new titles from a lineup of standout indie developers.

The third annual Exhibition will showcase new creations from Zach Gage (creator of SpellTower and Bit Pilot), Jan Willem Nijman (co-creator of Super Crate Box), Margaret Robertson (game designer at Hide & Seek), and Noah Sasso (creator of Miracle Adventures in 2113).

In previous years, No Quarter commissioned and featured titles such as Mark Essen's Nidhogg and Terry Cavanaugh's At a Distance. All games will be on display and publicly playable for the event's duration.

The third annual No Quarter Exhibition will premiere at 7:00 PM on May 18th at New York University's Game Center. Attendees must RSVP online prior to opening night.

Limited-Edition Soulcaster, Escape Goat Shirts For Sale This Week Only

April 25, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

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MagicalTimeBean's Ian Stocker has opened orders for a pair of t-shirts based on his XBLIG hit Escape Goat and the Indie Royale-starring Soulcaster series.

Escape Goat's shirt presents a tasteful purple logo on a gray background, while Soulcaster's offers a classic white-on-black design. The shirts are priced at $15 each; sizes range from XS to XXL.

The sale will last until April 29th, after which these shirts will be permanently discontinued. Xbox Live Indie Games-inspired apparel is quite rare, so this is definitely a tempting offer!

Browser Game Pick: Tinysasters (Volute)

April 25, 2012 6:05 PM | Cassandra Khaw

tinysasters.jpg Volute's Tinysasters is an entry in the Ludum Dare 23 and a slightly peculiar little 'puzzle/simulation/gestation' sort of title. Set atop an 8*8 landscape, Tinysasters demands that you figure out how best to maintain the equilibrium of the land. You see, disasters have a tendency of striking this unfortunate country at rather regular intervals. In order to stop Mother Nature from routinely decimating your surroundings, you are going to have to build a level 4 shrine. How does that work? I'm not sure. I suppose religious people have a way of placating the environment.

It's a brief, thoughtful little experience that may or may not appeal to everyone but it had me preoccupied for about fifteen minutes or so today. You can check it out here.

Benjamin Rivers On The Importance of Boxing Up His Home

April 25, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

home.pngBenjamin Rivers recently began taking pre-orders for a June 1 release of his pixelated horror adventure Home. A mere $2 will net a DRM-free digital download of Home. The ambitious Old-School Collector's Edition costs $20 (plus shipping) and includes physical packaging, a town map and mapping tools, classic-style game manual, and exclusive game-universe artifacts.

IndieGames' readers seemed pretty excited about Home's trailer that warns no play through will "end well" along with the game's narrative that adapts to choices made. Readers also got pretty worked up over another indie developer releasing boxed copies of his games, so I asked Rivers about his bold move to box Home.

While Rivers had previously done contract work or freeware releases, Home is his first commercial release. Even so, he felt the box set is important because of the design concept that defines Home. Rivers tells IndieGames, "I gave a talk at last year's Gamercamp regarding what I call 'ambient narrative' -- that combination of elements in a game that hints at background, history and context, clues that an eager player will pick up on and use to flesh out a game world in his/her own mind."

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 HD Fan Remake Discontinued

April 25, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

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Development has ceased for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 HD, a fan-created PC remake for Sega's 16-bit platformer that saw a demo release earlier this year.

An update at the project's Facebook page cites the loss of key staff members and "internal conflicts" as reasons for the cancellation, as the team's former lead programmer refused to share source code needed to continue development.

Last month's demo release was initially met with an enthusiastic reception among fans, followed by widespread criticism due to its inclusion of DRM and a suspected keylogger trojan. The remake was never in a publicly playable state beyond the game's first zone.

"Hopefully, another group in the Sonic community will pick up the torch and go forward with the vision we had over a year ago -- not just creating a Sonic 2 remake, but creating entirely original content," project leader Vincent writes.

RE: Get To Schol On Time Released Via Desura, Demo Version Now Available

April 25, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

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Spiceworx's infinitely strange RE: Get To Schol On Time is now available for Windows via Desura. A Flash demo version can be played at Mochigames.

RE: Get To Schol On Time defies description, offering challenges that range from side-scrolling nightmares to Hollywood actor-assisted art instruction. It may be my imagination, but it seems as though the difficulty has been toned down in comparison to the original Xbox Live Indie Games release -- a good change, as this one definitely deserves to be played through to the end.

RE: Get To Schol On Time is priced at $2.99, and includes a downloadable soundtrack with purchase. A 99-cent iOS version is also available.

Browser Game Pick: Gunbrick (Nitrome)

April 25, 2012 7:30 AM | Steve Cook

gunbrick.png Gunbrick is a puzzler, in which you control a brick that can roll at 90 degree angles. The front of your brick has a gun that can be used to propel yourself in the opposite direction, destroy blocks and activate switches. The rear of your brick can be used to shield yourself from dangers such as bullets and fire.

There's some well thought out level design, a lot of polish and unlike some Nitrome releases, Gunbrick lets you discover the game mechanics for yourself.

It can be played in a tiny window on Nitrome's front page, which I could only barely manage to see, or full size with lovely chunky pixels.

A Valley Without Wind Launched

April 25, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome


It stayed over a year in beta, but, finally, A Valley Without Wind has been launched and is now available on everything from Steam and GamersGate to the MacGameStore and IndieCity. What's more, the game can be bought for 10% off during its launch week and you can sample its procedurally generated, open world, side-scrolling delights with the help of this hefty demo.

As is always the case with Arcen Games, I would expect the rather brilliant and already impressively deep AVWW 1.0 to keep evolving for the next few years, until it probably becomes a huge and stunning Metroidvania-eqsue entity that goes on to consume the planet.

Freeware Game Pick: Inside My Radio (Turbo Dindon)

April 25, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

insidemyradio2_thumb.pngTake some visual cues from Stealth Bastard and rhythmic platforming from Beat Sneak Bandit, remove the sneakiness, and you have the hypnotic Windows-compatible freeware title, Inside My Radio. Four developers came together to create for the 72-hour Ludum Dare 23 jam a game where you control a guy who must keep the rhythm inside a tiny-world-like boom box.

While somewhat like Beat Sneak Bandit, not all of your movements are tied to the rhythm. Players can walk left or right free of the beat; (wall) jumping and dashing must be timed, though, to get through the challenging platforming sections. Thankfully, this twitchy rhythm platformer has multiple save points, since you'll drop lives like Joachim Neuville drops an infectious, heavy beat. For those with no speakers or headphones or those who need the game to be more accessible, the developers have built a visual beat gauge that shows when to jump or dash (hit F1 to display it).

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