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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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Freeware Game Pick: Melodisle (Andrew Gleeson)

March 5, 2013 3:00 AM | John Polson

melodisle.pngOne Game A Month project Melodisle not only looks a bit like FEZ, it has the curious, progressively complex puzzles, to boot. Players control the character and a full octave scale that allows the character to sing and solve various puzzles laid about the game.

After a play through, I think you'll be surprised that this is Gleeson's first game and be wanting to see what he comes up with next! Download Andrew Gleeson's Melodisle for Windows.

[source: Free Indie Games]

Beta Release: Twisty's Asylum Escapades (Twisted Jenius)

March 4, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Two-person indie team Twisted Jenius has released a free beta version of Twisty's Asylum Escapades, a third-person action-adventure game for Windows starring a toothy disembodied brain.

It's an unusual premise, but the graphics have an early PlayStation 2-ish charm to them, and there's a decent amount of variety to the gameplay, as you can expect some light puzzle-solving during the moments in which you're not gnawing peoples' faces off. Twisted Jenius notes that the game is free in its current state, so if you want to give it a shot before the next release, now's the time.

Road to the IGF: Klaus Pedersen's Back to Bed

March 4, 2013 3:10 PM | John Polson

Back to Bed places a narcoleptic, sleep-walking boy in an M.C. Escher-inspired isometric puzzler, where the player must nudge the boy safely to his bed using a creature from his subconsciousness. Here, the visuals and mechanics appear only limited by the limbo world in which the player is caught.

The title won the Guts & Glory award in the 2012 Dutch Game Awards, was nominated for the Unity and Nordic Game Awards, and is a finalist in the student category for the 2013 Independent Games Festival.

As part of Gamasutra's Road to the IGF series, project manager and DADIU (National Academy of Digital, Interactive Entertainment) student Klaus Pedersen discusses the inspiration for and research behind Back to Bed, the considerations of designing puzzles around a sleep walker, and the changes players can expect in the upcoming iPad (and later, multiplatform) version.

Browser Game Pick: Drop A Beat, Giuseppe! (Major Bueno)

March 4, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Caesar's Day Off developer Major Bueno is back with a unique challenge, putting players in the role of "the worst piano player" in the free Flash game Drop A Beat, Giuseppe!

As a truly awful musician, your audience is understandably upset with you, and you'll need to reflect the trash thrown your way by hitting the spacebar. You can move left and right by rapidly mashing the letter keys on the left and right side of your keyboard, which also causes the on-screen pianist to unleash a blissfully obnoxious cacophony.

The core concept is fun, and the control method is brilliant, but the moment that truly won me over is technically outside the scope of normal gameplay. You'll know it when you see it.

[via Free Indie Games]

Freeware Game Pick: 9 Months In (tzachs)

March 4, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

9monthsIn.pngInitially and quite exclusively only available via the AGS Bake Sale Bundle, indie point-and-clicker 9 Months In has just been released as freeware and, thus, been once again made available. Anyone even vaguely interested in adventure games should of course give it a try, as not only is this a fine example of tight design, but games starring pregnant women, let alone falsely imprisoned pregnant women, just aren't as common as they should be.

IndieGoGo Project: J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition (CBE Software)

March 4, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Despite its original lack of a proper budget, sci-fi adventure, interactive fiction, puzzle hybrid J.U.L.I.A. was a great and truly original game indeed. Its minor flaws were stuff I could easily ignore in favour of its story and wildly innovative design. It wasn't much of a surprise that it reviewed very well and apparently sold in decent numbers then, leaving only two problems for its hard working developers: a) they were never paid from J.U.L.I.A.'s publisher in what eventually became a well publicized scandal and b) untapped potential. Oh, and CBE almost closed its doors too, which really does sound as catastrophic as it was.

On the bright side of things, the J.U.L.I.A. team has managed to get the rights to the game back in its hands and has decided to drastically update the thing by infusing it with new graphics, lip-syncing, extra content (including the complete J.U.L.I.A. Untold game), more puzzles, an easy mode, an added layer of polish and, well, more of everything and a little bit less of frustrating. Hence the J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition project was a born, CBE was given another chance at survival and J.U.L.I.A. can become the game it was meant to be.

So, uhm, go on, support it! A complete copy of the game will only set you back $9 (if you are fast enough).

Indie game development on the rise in a big way

March 4, 2013 3:00 AM | Staff

i_love_indie.pngThe number of indie developers in North America is on the rise, according to the Game Developers Conference's State Of The Industry survey, with 53 percent of respondents now calling themselves "indie."

The 2013 survey also found that 51 percent of these indie developers have been indie for less than two years, signifying that 2012 saw a notable indie uprising in the industry.

Additionally, 46 percent of those surveyed said that they currently work in companies of 10 people or less, while only 24 percent worked with a publisher on their last game.

And what of the games they're currently working on? As it turns out, 20 percent of respondents are working with a publisher on their current project.

The graph (after the jump) shows how developer interest is weighted towards platforms that are friendlier for independent game development (click for larger version):

GDC Play 2013 'Best in Play' game winners announced

March 3, 2013 4:00 PM | Staff

bestinplaygdc.gifOrganizers of the 2013 Game Developers Conference are announcing the eight winners of its new award program - 'Best in Play' - for exhibitors in the three-day GDC Play 2013 event, which allows emerging developers to show their games in a specially designed kiosk.

The winners, picked from more than 70 exhibitors currently at GDC Play, include the beautifully landscaped, mech-based first-person shooter Hawken by Meteor Entertainment for PC and the extremely physical and collaborative micro challenge game Spin the Bottle by KnapNok Games for Wii U.

For the new Best in Play award program, all GDC Play exhibitors were judged on their in-development or complete games by a panel of veteran GDC organizers and Gamasutra editors. All Best in Play winners receive 2 All Access Passes to the 2014 Game Developers Conference.

Winners for Best in Play will also receive special designations for their kiosks at GDC 2013, where their games will be playable by all GDC attendees. GDC All-Access Pass holders can contact all GDC Play exhibitors via the currently operating GDC Play Matchmaking Software.

The Best in Play winners are as follows:

Browser, Android Pick: 閃光乱舞 - Laser Bouncer (o_healer)

March 3, 2013 12:00 PM | John Polson

laser bouncer.jpg閃光乱舞 - Laser Bouncer is a physics puzzle game by o_healer where players must get the blue ball to the white exit, using two important puzzle states. The stage exists normally in the left photo, where all objects can affect each other. With a press of one of the diagonal buttons, the ball moves as a laser and the background freezes. Once the diagonal button is let go, the ball can again affect the pieces of the stage to make a path to the goal. The freeze function becomes more valuable in later stages, when the goal's path remains open for only an instant.

Click here for the browser version or the links for the Android versions of Laser Bouncer. Be sure to poke around with the developer's other puzzle games, too. They're quite fun!

Road to the IGF: Scamehorn and Baard's Super Space ____

March 3, 2013 4:00 AM | Staff

"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. "

It's Newton's third law of motion that's a key influence for David Scamehorn and Alexander Baard's cooperative game Super Space ____, which is up for the Excellence in Design award at this year's Independent Games Festival.

In Super Space ____, four players each take control of one of four turrets that are mounted a "spacecraft." Asteroids fly in and players have to shoot to destroy. But when players shoot, the recoil from their guns move the ship in the opposite direction. So one can imagine how four guns going at the same time might affect the direction of the ship. Players compete for high scores, but at the same time, must cooperate with one another to maneuver the ship in order to avoid obstacles.

Scamehorn and Baard filled us in a bit more on the game and its development.

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