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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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Opinion: Fish, Blow Make 'Auteur' a More Interesting Word

April 17, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

blow gama.jpgThe Atlantic's recent, widely-circulated profile on Braid and The Witness creator Jonathan Blow caused a bit of a stir in gamer circles, as is to be expected when major publications turn their "outsider" eye toward our space.

While many on social media generally agreed it was a compelling profile of "flinty"-eyed Blow and his oblique, unsettling persona, they didn't care for the Atlantic writer's universal dismissal of games as "juvenile, silly and intellectually lazy."

Obviously games wouldn't have the economic weight they do today if a majority of their fans agreed with that assessment. We can probably forgive that the article lacks the context of the commercial industry's necessarily risk-averse, mass-market nature and how designers like Blow must double down on independence, on personal message, must eschew the visible system, in order to act as innovators in this environment of products that outsiders find dumb.

We can forgive it because mainstream publications and their audiences have just recently begun to understand what "we" have known for years: that it's possible for games to be personal expression, media capable of experiences unique to games alone. This is a big huge revelation for them, so we might even be able to forgive that "Citizen Kane" thing. Oh man.

PC, XBLIG Action Game 48 Chambers Updates With New Gameplay Modes

April 16, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Take Arms developer Discord Games has released the first update for 48 Chambers, a challenging overhead-view action title for the Xbox Live Indie Games service and for Windows (available via Desura, Indievania, and Discord's website).

Addressing player feedback, the newest version of 48 Chambers includes Casual and Hardcore modes -- the former gives players infinite lives to complete each level, while the latter only gives one life. The Windows edition also tracks Hardcore mode progress with online leaderboards, allowing you to see how you measure up against your fellow masochists.

The XBLIG version of 48 Chambers is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1). The PC version is on sale for $1.49 over the next 48 hours only. Discord's website also offers a $4.99 Supporter Edition, which includes a digital soundtrack, downloadable art assets, and beta access to its next developed title.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery: EP Now Available On Steam

April 16, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

sword&sworcery.jpg If you've been following the indie video game scene, you probably don't need an introduction to Sword & Sworcery. First sometime early last year, Sword & Sworcery is a gorgeous-looking iOS game that made clever usage of its platform's device orientation capabilities. With awesome music, an interesting visual presentation and pretty much everything else you could need in a game like this, Sword & Sworcery made waves.

And now? It's available on Steam for those who missed it the first time around. You can purchase it for $6USD right now. As an added bonus, the soundtrack is free. Check out the game here!

A MAZE. Festival Nominees Announced, Financial Support Needed

April 16, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

"Do You Indie?" The 10 nominees of the A MAZE. Indie Connect Festival do. Organizers invite everyone to the event on April 26-27, held in Berlin during the German Games Days. The winner of the event will take home 5,000 Euro, along with "probably the most amazing trophy in the games world," says the official site.

The festival, however, needs the public's help in raising funds for its prize to stay independent. Tobias Last explains to IndieGames, "The winner will definitely receive the full amount, even if we won't be able to collect the full 2,500 from the community... The reason we're trying to get it partly funded by the crowd is so we can stay independent from a corporation sponsored award." Those who pledge at the Easter Egg level (75 Euro) gain admission to the event; 2-day tickets otherwise go for 60 Euro.

The festival's judges whittled down 76 entries to 10 nominees, revealed after the jump. The only one new to our blog is Messhof's ASDFplane, which is sadly missing from Messhof's website.

Trailer: Some JRPG (4 Corner Games)

April 16, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

4 Corner Games has released a trailer for its upcoming retro throwback Some JRPG, an intentionally generic experience that celebrates the genre's quirks and cliches.

The footage above spoofs a number of elements that are common to early JRPGs, including poorly translated NPC-speak and nonsensical quests that you have no choice but to accept. Some JRPG also sticks closely to genre standards in terms of mechanics, offering maze-like dungeons and first-person battles.

Some JRPG will launch for Windows this summer, with free content-expanding updates to be released in the months afterward.

Kickstarter Projects: Nekro (darkForge)

April 16, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Recently formed indie studio darkForge is soliciting pledges for Nekro, a randomly-generated, overhead-view action game in the vein of titles like Myth: The Fallen Lords and Giants: Citizen Kabuto.

Headed by industry veterans from Microsoft, Blizzard, and Sony, darkForge is crafting a game in which players control a demon-summoning necromancer. The pitch video above includes some snippets of pre-alpha gameplay footage, which offers a good idea of what kind of awful creatures you'll be summoning to terrorize humankind.

The project has earned over $16,000 toward its funding goal of $100,000 as of this writing. A pledge of $15 earns a DRM-free copy of the game for Windows, Mac, and Linux upon its release, while higher amounts are eligible to receive t-shirts, plush toys, and other rewards.

[Thanks, Sean!]

Peter Molydeux Opens Up: Announces Favorite MolyJam Games

April 16, 2012 7:30 AM | Steve Cook

molyjammer.png Peter Molydeux, the inspiration behind MolyJam, has opened up in a podcast, regarding his thoughts on the jam, his personal favorites from the jam (which include Recidivism and Nebulous Hero), why he didn't attend any of the jams (he wanted to stay "incognito") and how the man himself, Peter Molyneux, got into contact with him for a possible collaboration.

You can read a summary of what was talked about here or listen to the podcast here.

Source: Spong.

Indie Buskers First Weekend Jam Finished, Games for Sale

April 16, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

The Indie Buskers finished their first live-broadcast jam, completing five divergent titles in around 48 hours. Ido Yehieli crafted the above-demoed Pakkuman's Defense: a "Pacman with tower defense elements, played in a huge world." The mash-up works pretty well, though I wouldn't mind seeing a clever implementation of the power pellet, post-release.

Sophie Houlden worked on Rose and Time: a "[t]ime travel stealth game where you are avoiding copies of yourself from the past/future." Rat King tackled The Sun Is Deadly!: a "game where you control objects to block sunlight to create a path of darkness - so that a vampire can get to their intended victim."

Also in the jam, Sos Sosowski built Super Office Stress: a "[r]oguelike set in an office building. It's your first day at work and you have to climb to the top to become the CEO." Finally, Pekka Kujansuu tasked himself with Pirate Space Program: "a game about a pirate trying to be an astronaut."

The games are available for purchase now as a bundle at a pay-what-you-want price.

Voting open for Adventure Game Studio Awards 2011

April 15, 2012 10:30 PM | Steve Cook

adventure-awards.png The nominations have been decided for the 2011 Adventure Game Studio Awards. There are a large number of categories that can be voted on, which include Best Game, Best Dialogue Writing, Best Original Story, Best Puzzles, Best Non-Adventure Game, Best Player Character, Best Animation, Best Voice Work and Best Music. The Lifetime Achievement Award and Best Innovation Award are decided by a commitee of judges.

Nominations include the ever popular Ben Chandler for ~airwave~ (which has been nominated in nine categories), Draculator II: Byte of the Draculator (a collective effort from a bunch of AGS users), AGD's Kings Quest III re-imagining, The Unicated (a black comedy), Another World-inspired Concurrence and so many more.

You can take a look at all the nominations here. If you want to vote, you have to register for the AGS forums beforehand. If you feel inclined to do so, you can cast your votes here.

Freeware Game Pick: UNGA needs MUMBA (Knoodn)

April 15, 2012 3:39 PM | Cassandra Khaw

unganeedsmumba.png And everyone who enjoys indie point&click adventure games, I think, needs a prehistoric title to round off their Sunday evenings. As you might have already guessed, UNGA needs MUMBA is a rather comical affair set in ancient Central Europe. Here, you're going to have to maintain your dignity in spite of your unibrows, please your wife (not in that sense, people!) and bring mammoth meat home for dinner. The poor protagonist is definitely not hard to adore as he seems perpetually stuck on the short end of the spear; no one seems to want to give him much of a break. Then again, when you walk around with dead animals in your stylish tunic all the time, I suppose it's halfway called for.

Download the game here.
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