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IndieGames.com 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, Gamasutra.com 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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Rayman could learn from Tumetsu's Bodiless

February 7, 2013 4:20 PM | John Polson

bodiless.pngTuomas Salmi (Tumestu) has created a clever, browser-based puzzle platformer called Bodiless, in which you navigate platforms with your limbs or head. Some areas are best reached and traversed with your arms or feet, while others are so high that only your head can latch on.

It looks a little disturbing at first, but thanks to the minimal design, it's not as gruesome as it could be. It's a curious concept that I can't recall my favorite magical limb hero, Rayman, ever used.

Some of the other mechanics are more genre staples (lots of spikes, gravity shifts, collectibles), but the main allure to Bodiless seems to be how the player's lack of body becomes the key to navigate the mazes.

First Footage: New Game + (Jasper Byrne)

February 7, 2013 12:30 PM | Danny Cowan

If you've been eagerly awaiting a follow-up release from Lone Survivor creator Jasper Byrne, this recently released gameplay footage from Byrne's in-development dungeon crawler New Game + should whet your appetite.

Byrne recently resumed work on the title after a brief hiatus. Upon completion, New Game + will feature a cooperative campaign for up to four players, in addition to the competitive mode seen above. Combat in the game is inspired by Dark Souls, and players must keep an eye on their stamina as they carefully gauge their opponent's moves. Looks like a lot of fun!

[via Indie Statik]

Gabe Newell's vision for Steam: More choice, more democracy, less Greenlight

February 7, 2013 10:30 AM | Staff

newellatlbj.jpgValve's Gabe Newell is an interesting man in an interesting position.

His company's Steam platform has changed the way people consume games on their computers, in many ways democratizing which games consumers choose to play by opening the doors to weirder and more experimental independent developers. And now he's targeting the living room, with Steam's Big Picture Mode and with simple "Steam Box" units that will plug into televisions coming in the very near future.

But one big hurdle is Steam's approval process: as Newell himself admits, Steam is a "dictatorship," and that has to change.

At a candid talk at the University of Texas recently, Newell outlined his vision of where Steam is going: doing away with the approval process, converting Steam into a network API that any developer can call, transferring ownership of its "boring" storefront to its users and, surprisingly, killing off the "Greenlight" crowd-voted approval process introduced just months ago.

We've highlighted some choice quotes below.

The Astronauts tease The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

February 7, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

The Astronauts would have been a brilliant name for a late '60s rock-and-roll band, but, apparently, that's what a team of ex-People Can Fly developers have decided to call their brand new indie studio. Interestingly, The Astronauts have chosen a most interesting name for their first project too: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. A distinctly Lovecraftian name for a hopefully dark game that will attempt to bring weird fiction horror, exploration heavy gameplay and immersive storytelling to the PC.

Here's what the whole thing will be all about:

"As a detective with the supernatural ability to visualize scenes of lethal crimes, you investigate the kidnapping of a young boy, hoping to save him before it's too late. The investigation leads you to a beautiful mountain area, where you come across a severely mutilated body of one of the kidnappers. Using both your paranormal skill and modern detective tools you discover the mystery behind the trail of corpses in the valley, the roots of an ancient force ruling the area, and the fate of the kidnapped boy".

Oh, and the teaser you can watch above has been rendered in the game's engine. Yes, it does look lovely.

[via Joystiq]

Civilization V designer Jon Shafer unveils new studio and project

February 7, 2013 5:00 AM | Staff

Civilization V lead designer Jon Shafer today announced that he has formed a new Michigan-based studio, and launched a Kickstarter to fund its first game.

Shafer, previously lead designer at both Firaxis Games and Stardock, has founded Conifer Games, a studio dedicated to designing strategy and hardcore RPGs.

The studio currently consists of Shafer as president, Kay Fedewa as art director, and Jonathan Christ as architect, and its first title will be the Kickstarter-funded At the Gates.

1989 Atari ST, Amiga hit Archipelagos re-remade and released

February 7, 2013 3:00 AM | John Polson

archipelagos.png"If the term 'indie' had been coined at that time, it would have applied to Archipelagos," recalls Paul Carruthers, the creator of the original 1989 first-person action and strategy hit.

Paul has recently remade and released Archipelagos for mobile devices. While the gameplay and eerie music remain the same, the graphics received an overhaul. The main strategy of the game involves players restoring the chain of islands, the archipelagos, from being corrupt by destroying boulders and obelisks, sometimes connecting land, and avoiding captive hazards along the way.

The remake is available for iOS, Blackberry Playbook, and Blackberry 10 for $1, and it will soon hit Android devices and PC.

Bastion's argument for doing away with cross-platform development

February 7, 2013 1:00 AM | Staff

bastion.jpgIn a talk at the DICE Summit on Wednesday, Supergiant Games co-founder and studio director Amir Rao (Bastion) talked about the year-plus his team spent taking Bastion to different platforms.

Along the way, he urged the audience to get away from the concept of simultaneous 'ports' and 'lead SKU' and towards a thoughtful, non-parallel multi-platform development process.

Having worked with mixed success on simultaneously shipping PC and console games in the Command & Conquer series at Electronic Arts, Rao decided that in transitioning Bastion to new platforms, they would use a full team, not simultaneously ship, and take the time to understand the new audiences and advantages of new platforms.

Rao gave the example of Plants Vs Zombies, which he loved and bought on multiple sequential platforms, from PC through Xbox to iOS, and he feels like many people rebought on the new platforms.

In Bastion's case, the team went from Xbox to PC to tablet and smartphone, and gave the core original team plenty of time to think through the tricky issues, like taking a multitude of console and PC controls to touch.

Browser Game Pick: Smash Da Gas (MooseMouse Media)

February 6, 2013 8:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Shawn McInerney (MooseMouse Media) has launched a public beta of his browser-based multiplayer racing and stunt driving game Smash Da Gas (Unity plugin required).

While a variety of conventional racetracks are included, the real standouts are the Freestyle Hangout Parks, which are basically oversized playgrounds for tiny cars. Even when you don't have any particular objective in mind, it's fun to cruise around, climb steep hills, and perform mid-air stunts after launching yourself off of ramps. I bet it's even better if you can get a few friends to join in!

McInerney notes that additional cars, tracks, and customization features will be added in future updates.

Kickstarter Projects: Race the Sun (Flippfly)

February 6, 2013 5:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Brotherly indie team Flippfly launched a Kickstarter project this week for Race the Sun, an endless low-altitude racer for Windows and Mac that boasts a collection of unique multiplayer elements.

Citing inspiration from Star Fox and Temple Run, Race the Sun features procedurally generated level layouts that change daily. As you race, however, you'll encounter portals that lead to alternate worlds created by other players. Flippfly notes that the game will be packaged with powerful world-creation tools, to encourage the proliferation of user-created levels.

Race the Sun is also built around an asynchronous cooperative multiplayer mode in which players can resume a teammate's progress after death. Team members can continue to join in until the team's life force is fully depleted, and a combined score will be posted to a multiplayer-specific leaderboard afterward.

Race the Sun's funding goal is set at $20,000. Backer rewards include a downloadable copy of the game upon release ($10), beta testing access ($30), and custom in-game quotes ($75), among other bonuses.

Shoot happy rainbow vector beams of death in Jacob Buczynski's Danger sprout

February 6, 2013 2:05 PM | John Polson

Danger Sprout.png

[Edit: Jinxtengu uploaded a new build of the game that fixed an earlier control issue. The game runs as it should now, at least for me on Windows 7!]

Space Rot and Pasta Master developer Jinxtengu (also known as Jacob Buczynski) has just added another amazing free game for Windows to his arsenal. Danger sprout is a shoot em up platformer with vector-based graphics, light puzzles, and "happy rainbow beams.. OF DEATH."

The Major Havoc and Vib Ribbon visual inspirations make Danger sprout a delightfully shaky journey to save your cat, so much so that I recommend playing for the atmosphere alone. The game's mechanics are fun and at times challenging extras.

[source: @Benerhos]

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