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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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Play as the Pope's puppets in Master of Clowns, an Italian election game

February 22, 2013 12:35 PM | John Polson

master of clowns.jpgFabrizio Zagaglia and Luca Salmin worked on ragdoll fighter Master of Clowns as part of an Italian election game jam hosted by IndieVault.

The goal of the game is to grab the items, from bats to wads of cash, that loom overhead and smash your opponent with them. In Master of Clowns, the real winner doesn't appear to be any of candidates, though.

As for the jam itself, (as translated by Google) it "aims to tell (and defuse) the upcoming Italian elections through the creation of video games." There are a few other entries to try, though most seem to have a bit of Italian text to them. Urustar's The Wrong Lizard looks particularly intriguing.

[Master of Clowns]

Wadjet Eye announces Blackwell Epiphany

February 22, 2013 10:45 AM | John Polson

blackwell epiphany1.pngWadjet Eye Games announced the fifth Blackwell entry is in the works, entitled Blackwell Epiphany, via the Adventure Game Studio forums this week. This detective and ghost adventure sounds a bit dreary, as the duo are out to stop a powerful, malevolent force that can "destroy the very core of a life in order to get what it wants." Dave Gilbert is once again handling the writing and programming, with art by Ben Chandler and music by Thomas Regin.

Wadjet estimates a Fall 2013 release for Blackwell Epiphany on PC. For now, we have more wonderful screenshots after the jump!

Gratuitous Space Battles Is Free to Play This Weekend on Steam

February 22, 2013 6:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Positech Games' popular interstellar strategy title Gratuitous Space Battles is free to play on Steam through Sunday at 1 PM PST.

True to its name, Gratuitous Space Battles eschews diplomacy and resource-gathering in favor of "completely unjustified" large-scale combat scenarios that blend elements from the RTS and tower defense genres. The game includes a wide variety of unlockable hulls and modules, along with a unique multiplayer mode that allows other players to challenge your best fleet.

Gratuitous Space Battles is available at a discounted rate of $3.74 (or $4.74, if you opt for the DLC-bundled Complete Pack) through February 25th.

Deus Ex, Blade Runner nods in this cyborg retirement FPS freeware

February 21, 2013 5:10 PM | John Polson

king of the wood.pngDeveloper allen describes The King of the Wood as "a short fps that rips off deus ex and blade runner and many other things" in a TIGS post. That seems rather accurate, too. You are a hit man for hire, "retiring" an unlicensed cyborg that's taken up residence in a big mansion for several months.

You have to do a bit of walking around to find what objects you can interact or get drunk with (by hitting "E") and be quick to kill robots that chase after you (bastards take four bullets, reload with "R"). Scattered around the mansion are also books with excerpts from writer Lee Williams that add to the intrigue of this cyborg hit man FPS.

I think its premise and non-military, non-voxel FPS style should warrant your time. We can spoil some of the tips to advance in the game in the comments, but why not give The King of the Wood a try first?

Legend of Grimrock 2 announced: more dungeon crawling is afoot

February 21, 2013 3:10 PM | Staff

log_2_tease.jpgLegend of Grimrock 2, the sequel to last year's dungeon crawling RPG, is coming, Almost Human Games shared on its blog today. The investment in a sequel seems an intelligent decision, as the studio recently announced selling 600,000 copies of the game.

The developers expressed on their blog that DLC or expansion wouldn't have felt right. They "still have a lot of ideas we'd like to explore, lots and lots of new content already done (originally made for a DLC/expansion) and a big engine update in the works. Simply put, a DLC would have limited too much what we can do. With a full blown sequel we can raise Grimrock to the next level."

News of Legend of Grimrock 2 comes only a month after the developers teased these images, warning that this was "just the tip of the iceberg."

Road to the IGF: Tomorrow Corporation's Little Inferno

February 21, 2013 12:12 PM | Staff

little inferno small.jpegLittle Inferno has been a polarizing game, with many loving its send-up of social and mobile time-wasting and rampant consumerism, and others missing the point entirely -- most notably the National Fire Protection Association, which felt that the game, a launch title for the Nintendo Wii U, might give kids the wrong idea about fire safety, since it's all about burning your toys.

Gamasutra speaks here to Kyle Gabler, Allan Blomquist, and Kyle Gray -- who together form Tomorrow Corporation (and separately, are, respectively, two of the developers of World of Goo and, the last, Henry Hatsworth) -- about the multiply IGF nominated game.

What is your background in making games?

Kyle Gray: The three of us (two Kyles and an Allan) met at grad school at Carnegie Mellon University almost 10 years ago, and collaborated on a few projects together, including the Experimental Gameplay Project, which is still running monthly game design competitions. Back in those days, starting a game company right out of school was virtually unheard of. This was back when "indie" was grungy musicians, "steam" was hot water vapor, and "digital distribution" was emailing cat photos.

So instead, we all got jobs at Electronic Arts. But after a while, we got restless and wanted to make our own mark on the industry. Kyle left to form 2D BOY and create World of Goo with the talented Ron Carmel and eventually Allan, while I pitched Hatsworth internally at EA. After both games finished, the three of us got back in touch and started Tomorrow Corporation.

We spent a few months talking and meeting over what we should make. Having just released a platformer and a physics-puzzler, the only thing we knew for sure was we wanted to make something totally different. Little Inferno was the perfect fit -- something no other company would be dumb enough to make!

A Valley Without Wind 2 Hits Steam

February 21, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Arcen Games has released a sequel to its inventive side-scrolling action game A Valley Without Wind for Windows and Mac via Steam.

A Valley Without Wind 2 equips players with multiple spell types, depending on which among 12 unique characters is chosen. The game's world is procedurally generated, and up to eight players can team up in the game's cooperative multiplayer mode. During breaks in the action, you can return to the world map to hunt for new items and recruit troops to better prepare for the challenges ahead.

A Valley Without Wind and its sequel can be purchased in a Steam dual pack for $11.24 through February 25th. The compilation is regularly priced at $14.99.

Jonathan Blow's The Witness coming to PlayStation 4, first trailer revealed

February 20, 2013 7:54 PM | John Polson

Thumbnail image for The Witness 440 puzzles.pngBraid developer Jonathan Blow will bring The Witness to the PlayStation 4, he announced at Sony's press event today. Specifically, PlayStation 4 will be the only console The Witness will appear on during the game's "release window," Blow said.

Blow also revealed the game's first trailer at the PlayStation 4 event. The trailer is under heavy stress, but it is embedded after the jump.

Freeware picks from space: Sluggish Morss

February 20, 2013 2:35 PM | John Polson

sluggishmorss.jpgWill You Ever Return? developer Jack King Spooner and Nuign Specter developer Jake Clover have teamed up to release a bizarre duo of cyberpunk, spacey Windows games titled Sluggish Morss and Sluggish Morss: A Delicate Time in History.

You won't see much claymation this time around, but a healthy dose of WTF is rather assured. A Delicate Time in History plays more like Spooner's adventure games, whereas the other, well... check it out after the jump.

Mojang, Oxeye, Wolfire, Vlambeer, Ludosity, Grapefrukt jamming live for Mojam 2

February 20, 2013 1:33 PM | John Polson

The Humble Bundle Mojam 2 is live, featuring Mojang and friends game jamming for the next 78 hours to create games just for the event. Unlike other Humble bundles, 100% of the proceeds will go towards charities. The two charities for this event are the staple Electronic Frontier Foundation and Block by Block, which is "a wonderful collaboration between Mojang and UN Habitat to bring youth into the urban planning process for better cities."

Fans can pay what they want now for six new game prototypes from Mojang, Oxeye, Wolfire, Vlambeer, Ludosity, and Grapefrukt, which will be released after the bundle drive ends.

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