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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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Art Game: Make art with games in a game about art

February 26, 2013 12:01 AM | Staff

pippinbarr.jpgThere's often so much talking about games that it seems people tend to forget how effective a communications tool are games themselves.

Into the fray of the rekindled "art game" discussion kicked off by the likes of Proteus and Dear Esther comes designer Pippin Barr's newest little exercise -- titled Art Game, of course.

Game maker and critic Barr frequently uses games to comment on games as well as cultural phenomena digital and otherwise. Among the best-known of his Sierra-style pixel titles is a game recreation of Marina Abramovic's piquant and perplexing The Artist Is Present -- a Museum of Modern Art exhibit where attendees lined up simply to sit across from Abramovic at a table.

Now, as audiences analyze (yet again) those popular games that exist in merry indifference to the supposed "rules" of design, Barr is bringing us back to his digital museum with Art Game, where players are invited to reimagine classic game forms as art pieces.

The Flixel-driven, Commodore 64-inspired browser game offers a choice between two single-player characters, sculptor Alexandra Tetranov and painter Cicero Sassoon, and one two-player option: Enigmatic video art pair William Edge and Susan Needle.

RIOT interview: ethnicity not a focus as it disconnects us, says developer

February 25, 2013 3:55 PM | John Polson

both.jpgDeveloper Leonard Menchiari speaks to IndieGames about his upcoming controversial riot simulator, aptly named RIOT. The 'Half-Life Singularity Collapse' developer launched an Indiegogo campaign for RIOT last week and has almost raised $10,000 of its $15,000 goal already.

The campaign video was high on emotional evocation with its stunning pixels, but gameplay details were rather scant. Menchiari spills some of those in-progress gameplay plans, along with his take on not focusing on ethnicity, his research goals for both sides involved in riots, and his ambivalence towards a possible App Store rejection.

Tired of shooting in bullet hell? Play the Mirror Man

February 25, 2013 2:40 PM | John Polson

mirrorman.jpgMirror Man is a cross between a free-roaming Arkanoid and a bullet hell without your own weapons. Developer ウィア (pronounced Wia) has just released this Windows freeware that asks you to control your ship with WASD or arrow keys and mouse to dodge and reflect enemy fire power to win.

You make mirrors with the left mouse button to reflect the bullets, turning them harmless and blue. To destroy the enemy, you must reflect the blue bullet at least five times to make the shot strong enough, while dodging the relentless enemy shots. To dodge more carefully, you can slow your ship down with the right mouse button.

Finally, to remind you of your frequent failure, the game keeps a counter of how many times your ship is destroyed in the upper left-hand corner. Can you reach the presumed end, that I have not? Give Mirror Man a try for free.

IndieGoGo Project: Ithaka of the Clouds (Jonas Kyratzes)

February 25, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

The time for the Ithaka of the Clouds IndieGoGo fundraising campaign has come and, if you value unique, literary, beautiful, artistic, politically significant and actually mature games you must really support it. It will after all be a huge game about two troll lovers searching for the fabled city of Ithaka of the Clouds. A bittersweet offering inspired by one of the greatest Greek poets who ever lived and a game filled with hundreds of weird and wonderful books, mushrooms, puns, humour, philosophy, extraordinary places, odd creatures, amazing characters and, traditionally, walls of glorious text.

What's more, and for the first time in a Lands of Dream game, Ithaka of the Clouds will come with a new crafting system (trolls, you see, are builders of things), puzzles with multiple solutions and two playable characters. The stunning, hand drawn graphics by Verena Kyratzes and Chris Christodoulou's soundtrack will of course still be present and will, along with Jonas' sublime writing, make sure the game is as magical as its predecessors.

Ithaca of the Clouds, despite being the big and ambitious game it will be, has set its funding goal at a modest $12,000. As for the perks, well, a mere $10 will get you a DRM-free copy of the game, $15 will also provide you with the soundtrack, whereas more generous gamers will get way more exotic stuff ranging from hand-crafted game boxes and books to artwork and a complete, new game created just for them!

Remake dreams that might just come true: Midwinter

February 25, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

midwinter.pngChristopher Jon Wild, the indie developer responsible for the brilliant remake of Mike Singleton's classic The Lords of Midnight, has announced his plans to work on remaking one more game of the late genius: Midwinter. Yes, the 16-bit 3D exploration, strategy, RPG, adventure survival-sim that caused thousands of jaws to drop 20 years ago (and introduced the sniper rifle) will hopefully be getting the remake that Singleton had been considering.

Though the project has yet to get properly off the ground, the most important step has indeed been taken. Christopher wrote:

"I've spoken with Mike's family and had the 'all clear' there. I've also spoken with Dave Gautrey who was the Maelstrom developer on the original ST and AMIGA version. He is interested in getting involved as a consultant to the project. I've also had early conversations with someone who could help drive the project forward, and help with the hoops required for trying to raise funding."

This being a most ambitious project, it will require a decent budget, a sizable team and one to two years in the making. Oh, and interested parties should definitely get involved and help make it happen. Besides, Christopher has also mentioned something about The Lords of Midnight: 30th Anniversary Edition.

GDC 2013, Wild Rumpus debuting 'Rumpus Royale' indie game world championship

February 24, 2013 8:00 PM | Staff

rumpus royale.jpgGDC organizers have announced the next in its series of new onsite events at GDC 2013, in the form of 'Rumpus Royale MMXIII'.

This week-long 'indie game world championships' is created in a partnership with raucous UK multiplayer indie party organizers Wild Rumpus.

The event will span the entire week of GDC, March 25th-29th, will be located on the Street Level in the West Hall of the Moscone Center, and will provide an all-day "training arcade" and daily tournaments to all GDC attendees.

The Wild Rumpus exists to bring together the best of indie multiplayer games for live events. Members behind the organization include Honeyslug co-founder and Hohokum developer Ricky Haggett, artist and designer Richard Hogg, whose work includes Poto & Cabenga and Frobisher Says, Die Gute Fabrik's George Buckenham and Penguin Books digital producer Marie Foulston.

Wild Rumpus' GDC event invites attendees to "come take on the gaming titans" in this event, with guest commentators and surprises to be announced in the near future.

The games include Bennett Foddy's running 'simulator' QWOP (in a special new version!), Ramiro Corbetta's acclaimed multiplayer sports game Hokra, Terry Cavanagh's twitchy, twisty Super Hexagon and Beau Blyth's IGF 2013 nominated multiplayer fight to the death Samurai Gunn.

Mew-Genics: The cat lady sim for the hoarder in you

February 24, 2013 3:58 PM | John Polson

Mew-Genics1.pngThis weekend, Team Meat shared in-game images and opened up about Mew-Genics' gameplay, describing it as a "cross between The Sims and Pokemon with a sprinkling of Animal Crossing and a dash of Tamagotchi."

All of the gameplay details haven't surfaced, but gleaning from Edmund McMillen's experience the cat lady sim includes winning pageants, breeding, capturing stray cats, dealing with narcolepsy and feline aids, being arrested by animal control, and thawing or freezing cats in Cryo-cubes.

"Isaac Newton meets M. C. Escher" in The Bridge, available now

February 24, 2013 12:00 PM | John Polson

"Isaac Newton meets M. C. Escher" is how Ty Taylor and Mario Castañeda describe their recently released, award-winning game The Bridge for Windows. Its puzzles require the player to rotate the room to get to the exit, while minding the creepy deadly balls, gravity manipulations, gravitational vortexes, parallel dimensions, and more.

All of the game's 48 puzzle-stages (and 24 alternative stages after beating the game) are works of art and should leave you with a "pronounced sense of intellectual accomplishment." In other words, The Bridge is going to break your brain.

The Bridge is available for $14.99 direct from developer, on Steam, and on Gamers Gate.

Road to the IGF: Aleksey Abramenko's Intrusion 2

February 23, 2013 4:00 PM | Staff

Gunstar Heroes, Contra, Metal Slug, Metroid and Castlevania -- these are few of the much-loved side-scrolling action games that inspired Aleksey Abramenko and Vap Games' Intrusion 2, which is up for the Technical Excellence award at this year's Independent Games Festival.

Intrusion 2 (available for download now) is a more refined follow-up to the 2008 original Flash game. Though it is heavily influenced by some of the most well-regarded games of the classic 16-bit era, Intrusion 2 features modern, flowing visuals and a heavy emphasis on physics.

As part of Gamasutra's ongoing Road to the IGF series, Abramenko talked about his three-year quest to make his own statement on this classic genre.

Retro City Rampage Hits WiiWare Next Week, Prototype ROM Coming to PC

February 23, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


VBlank Entertainment will launch the WiiWare version of its open-world classic gaming homage Retro City Rampage next week alongside a new and intriguing free update for PC players.

Both the WiiWare and updated PC versions of Retro City Rampage will include "ROM City Rampage," a prototype version of the game developed with the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System's hardware in mind. Presumably, the prototype edition will feature content from what was previously known as Grand Theftendo, prior to its adaptation into a fully-fledged multiplatform release.

The Steam version of Retro City Rampage will be half-price through the end of the month. The WiiWare edition will be priced at 1,000 Nintendo Points ($10) when it launches on February 28th.

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