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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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Kickstarter Projects: Humans Must Answer (Sumom Games)

March 14, 2013 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

The ex-S.T.A.L.K.E.R. devs at Sumom Games have launched a Kickstarter project for Humans Must Answer, a "slightly wacky" horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up for Windows starring a race of vengeful alien chickens.

Citing inspiration from Irem's R-Type series, Humans Must Answer boasts a variety of creative weaponry, including a unique support item that changes forms depending on what kind of ammunition you fire at it. As you can see for yourself in the pitch video above, it's shaping up nicely, and with an estimated delivery of May 2013, you won't have to wait long to play it.

Humans Must Answer's funding goal is set at £5,000. A copy of the game can be preordered with a £7 pledge (or £5, if you manage to snag the special early bird tier), while higher pledges are eligible for downloadable soundtracks, wallpapers, and in-game appearances.

Freeware Game Pick: Trigonometry Wars 3 Redux (Giest118)

March 14, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

My Little Pegasus: Kizuna DoPonyPachi developer Giest118 has released a significantly revised version of his Cave-inspired freeware bullet hell shoot-'em-up Trigonometry Wars 3 for Windows. More project details are available here.

Don't be fooled by the simplistic visuals -- the action here is well-designed throughout, and the complex bullet patterns will challenge you from the get-go. It also has gamepad support, and if the five included stages aren't difficult enough for your liking, a more challenging second loop awaits you after you beat the final boss.

(Bonus points for the unnecessarily vulgar how-to-play screen, too!)

[via @shmups]

Multiplatform Pick: Runner 2 (Gaijin Games)

March 14, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

If this were a proper review of Runner 2, of the aptly named runner in the Bit.Trip series sporting the awesome Future Legend Of Rhythm Alien subtitle, I'd probably go on and compare Runner 2 to its illustrious predecessor, carefully weigh the importance of innovation versus mere refinement, try and judge the new drastically different visual style and maybe even make some sort of remark on the whole running-things genre.

Happily, this is not a review. It's a humble post simply reminding you that Runner 2 has been made available on every major platform from the Windows PC to the Wii U (but not the Atari Jaguar) and that I am having a fantastic time playing through my copy. I really wouldn't feel the need to write about it if I weren't. We have after all already covered the game's release.

Now, there's no sort of point I'm trying to make here. No general suggestions or anything. I just have to publicly admit that I can't get myself to stop playing this sadistic little game. It's tough, it requires no real thought, it's almost exactly what I thought a Bit.Trip Runner sequel would be (well, besides the graphics really; that was a surprise), it can be monstrously unfair, it doesn't really innovate, and yet I find it terrific. And beautiful. And a source of unlimited Schadenfreude. And a huge improvement over its already great predecessor too.

Oh, and Gaijin, those checkpoints were a mandatory improvement, as, of course, was the addition of the utterly brilliant dance button!

Anyway. Confession over.

Arcen Games on A Valley Without Wind 2

March 14, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

avww2interview.pngFollowing the release of the highly divisive A Valley Without Wind, Arcen Games was, for its first time ever, in the awkward position of having to explain unpopular design and aesthetic choices. Its response was equally novel, as it went on and released its very first sequel: A Valley Without Wind 2. A sequel that was actually gifted to everyone who had bought the original game and tried to address all complaints without alienating its core fans. A risky sequel.

Here's Arcen Games discussing it:

Arcen Games haven't been known for their sequels, but rather for their constant updates on existing games. Why A Valley Without Wind 2 then?

I have actually stated in the past that I never wanted to do a sequel to anything, that I believe post-release updates and expansions are the way to go, but here we are. Never say never! The reasoning behind Valley 2 was that there were a lot of huge changes we wanted to make to the game to really get it improved the way we wanted, but there were plenty of people who really liked the first game as it already was. To make those sort of changes to the first game would basically be to erase it. So we decided to make a sequel and give it away bundled with the first game for free, and vice-versa. That way people could experience the first game, which is pretty cool in its own right, as well as the much-improved sequel, without having to choose.

A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda finally coming to XBLA with EX edition, sequel planned

March 14, 2013 3:00 AM | John Polson

ARES EX.pngDream.Build.Play 2010 first prize winner A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda will get an EX edition for its XBLA debut this summer. Aksys Games has stepped in to publish the game, which will be improved and expanded from the Steam version. The base game is a futuristic, side-scrolling action platformer - think of it as a Mega Man X and Contra hybrid.

Editor Mike Rose was fond of the original PC release in 2010. Extend's Nenin Ananbanchachai told me he is not sure if the PC version will get the EX update. However, "the sequel of A.R.E.S. will be another game, not the EX," he shared.

Features of the new build are after the jump:

Fun Infused Games Begins Work on Hypership Out of Control 2

March 13, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Fun Infused Games revealed that a sequel to its hit iOS/XBLIG autoscrolling shoot-'em-up Hypership Out of Control is currently in development for iOS and Android platforms.

"For Hypership 2 I still plan on keeping the same bright graphics but no longer will we be using upscaled, pixelated graphics," creator Kris Steele notes. "Additionally each of the 10 waves won't be simple a color swap but rather have their own unique look and style. Because I'm looking for a lot of artwork (which I contract out for) I will do a Kickstarter campaign to try and help finance this once I've got something more solid to show off."

Steele also reveals that PC and Ouya versions of Hypership 2 might also be in the cards, once the iOS and Android editions are completed.

[via @shmups]

Road to the IGF: Anna Anthropy's Dys4ia

March 13, 2013 4:14 PM | Staff

dys4ia-200.jpgAnna Anthropy has always aimed to challenge the status quo with her games, but Dys4ia, a collection of mini-games that tell the story of undergoing the hormone therapy process as a trans woman, feels more intimate than much of her previous work.

Not only does it aim to communicate the sense of vulnerability in one's own body and the life challenges that seem to go hand in hand with the process, but it also illustrates some of the systemic prejudices and social behavior of others that create additional challenges. In that regard it's Anthropy's personal story, but it also has something to teach others.

The game's been nominated both for the Excellence in Narrative and Nuovo categories at this year's Independent game festival. Continuing our Road to the IGF series of interviews with nominees, we catch up with Anthropy about Dys4ia.

What's your background in making games?

I started making games because i was sick of playing straight dudes' fantasies about killing / fucking aliens and rescuing / fucking / killing women. When i started making videogames, they were really alienating to me - there was no Twine, there were very few other queer people making games. I figured if I wanted to see more queer games, I would have to make them myself.

The Cat that Got the Milk, The Button Affair dev on dressing games to the nines

March 13, 2013 2:01 PM | John Polson

catgotmilkbox.pngThe developers behind the ultra stylish and clever The Cat that Got the Milk and The Button Affair freeware games are ready to chase the modern dream. Moonlighters from UK studio Blitz Games, Oliver Clarke, Helana Santos, Chris Randle, and Jon Mann are curious if fans who enjoy their games will support their interpretations of art in games as larger, paid projects.

They're going after their dreams, and that desire has led to how the team wishes to define itself, being known from this day forward as Modern Dream, Oliver Clarke shares with IndieGames.

While Clarke isn't quite ready to talk about his team's next dream, presumably the upcoming game using depth sensing technology listed on his LinkedIn page, he spills the beans on how the two wildly popular freeware titles were created, lessons learned from them, the team's plan to tackle paid games, and the options all developers can implement to make their games more accessible.

Trailer: Underrail (Stygian Software)

March 13, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Underrail's trailer is exciting for all the right reasons, as is its alpha demo. It seems like a deep, clever, detailed and quite a bit old-fashioned RPG set in an intriguing world and filled with choice, and we all love those don't we? Especially when they come from small indie developers and ooze passion from every digital pore of theirs.

Keep in mind you can already grab the Underrail Alpha over at Desura or Gamersgate and support the game on Greenlight.

(via Beefjack)

Steam Release - Sword of the Stars: The Pit (Kerberos)

March 12, 2013 11:55 PM | Danny Cowan

This week marks the release of Sword of the Stars: The Pit, an independently produced sci-fi roguelike available for Windows via Steam. A free demo version is also available.

Taking place in the same universe as the previous (and more strategy-oriented) Sword of the Stars games, The Pit boasts three playable classes, and includes 30 levels in which you'll scavenge for loot, craft items, and experiment with randomized augmentations in between tense enemy encounters.

Sword of the Stars: The Pit is regularly priced at $9.99, but is available at a discounted rate of $8.99 through March 15th.

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