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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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Browser Game Pick: Crush (Issam Khalil and Cat Musgrove)

January 29, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Developers Cat Musgrove and Issam Khalil have teamed up to produce Crush, a free Unity-based browser game that simulates the anxiety and panic one experiences when attempting to speak with one's crush.

Developed as part of the recently concluded Global Game Jam, Crush is a short experience in which players must wade through a crowd and approach a spotlighted blue cube, though anxiety manifests itself throughout and sabotages your intentions. Despite the unusual premise and gameplay, Musgrove assures that the game is possible to finish.

"Crush is a simple prototype that explores the idea of anxiety," Musgrove explains. "We were trying to recreate some of what I've been feeling. Perhaps in breaking down the pieces that make up a panic attack, simplifying them and creating a system, I can learn something about what is happening to me."

Ur Not a Hero is Elevator Action intensity with a Gears of War style cover system

January 29, 2013 9:00 AM | John Polson

ur not a hero.jpg

Mixing Elevator Action and Gears of War to create a hard 2D cover-based shoot out, peanutbutterfinger's free alpha build of Ur Not a Hero for Windows makes you quickly live up to your non-potential. Bullets fly everywhere, and one hit kills you. Fortunately, you can retry as much as you want, although your stage grade suffers for it, and you'll need a high rank to unlock the later levels.

If a stage seems too hard, just hire another of the "heroes" pictured above. Each has his own way of getting the job done, whether it's with fists or firearms.

Pre-alpha footage of the pixelated carnage is after the jump.

Wipeout vets start new life outside of racing genre

January 29, 2013 3:00 AM | Staff

sawfly long.jpgThe shutdown of Sony Liverpool last year was a sincere downer not only for the people at that studio and the UK game industry, but also for fans of the Wipeout racing franchise.

But when a larger game studio collapses, the seeds of talent typically explode across the landscape, and soon we see smaller studios crop up that are ready to start a new chapter of creative independence.

Announced last week, Liverpool-based Sawfly is made up of four key ex-Sony Liverpool developers. Right now, they are taking on contracts from other companies, finishing up their new studio's first game, a "cheeky, irreverent" game for publisher Ripstone, and pitching a new property.

Mike Humphrey, Sawfly's managing director, took some time to answer a few quick questions via email. (And sorry Wipeout fans -- they're not focusing on racing games right now.)

Browser, Freeware Game Pick: Surgeon Simulator 2013

January 28, 2013 9:00 PM | John Polson

Global Game Jam 2013 entry Surgeon Simulator 2013 is a wild combination of QWOP-like physics and Trauma Center operations. The goal here is to replace the heart of the patient before he bleeds out. Anything less than a firm, steady grip will spell disaster.

Controls are tough, but that seems to be the point, thanks to sadistic developers Tom Jackson, James Broadley, Luke Williams, and Jack Good. Play it via browser or your favorite PC platform.

[Mike Bithell via PC Gamer]

Freeware Game Pick: The Great Work (Nifflas)

January 28, 2013 3:20 PM | John Polson

Nifflas' The Great Work is a multiplatform free and open-sourced spin on Kyntt Underground with alchemy, swimming, and an extensive inventory system. Whereas Knytt Underground automatically added powers and items, players have to manually swap, take, equip, or unequip them (in the case of wild animals chasing you for your honey scent). Developer Nicklas Nygren (Nifflas) told me the game takes about 1-2 hours to beat. "It's however very easy to make additional levels for it and I hope this will take off."

The game was developed for a documentary called "Alkemistens År", which is the story about an IT-salesman that became a full-time Alchemist. The premiere for the documentary film is on January 30 on Swedish Television (SVT2).

Cryamore reaches $60,000 Kickstarter goal in three days

January 28, 2013 11:10 AM | John Polson

The Kickstarter for Cryamore has already passed its $60,000 goal in its first three days, securing the funds to help the devs meet their March 2014 deadline. Guest writer Roger Hicks highlighted some of the gameplay, UDON/Skullgirls art talent, and amazing audio in store, and his predictions were spot on with the game's popularity.

Whether it be players' desires for a high-quality action-adventure or their belief in Cryamore's killer seven developers, this early momentum suggests the game may meet its stretch goals, too. This would mean more content, voice acting, and Android/OUYA support. As the $10 pledge is already sold out, the $15 level will net you a Windows or Mac digital copy of the game ($5 off retail).

[Kickstarter for Cryamore]

Global Game Jam 2013 brings 3,000 free games for the heart

January 28, 2013 12:30 AM | John Polson

1minlife.pngGlobal Game Jam 2013 is wrapping up, with around 2,960 games to play (at last count) built around the theme of "sound of a heartbeat." Not even scratching the surface reveals a healthy collection of free ideas to play from around the world.

On the first continental stop, the Asian entry 1MinLife asks players to click their mouse button to get the heartbeat moving while collecting money and surviving until old age. The game, often like life, gets doubly tricky when there's someone else to consider. Thanks, Ryo Shuto, Takahiro Sudoh, Yasumichi Onishi, and Takehiko Ishiguro.

Eden Industries reveals Waveform Mobile ports, new RPG coming

January 27, 2013 9:00 PM | John Polson

Town.pngEden Industries has announced that its wave of light bending game Waveform is coming to Android and iOS devices later this year. The big news, though, is that they revealed to PC Gamer its new RPG (pictured above), Citizens of Earth. Players assume the role of Vice President of the world and must investigate strange things happening, while recruiting normal citizens to do your battles along the way.

For comparisons, developer Ryan Vandendyck told me the wide-open gameplay of recruiting anyone in the world gives the game a Pokemon-like feel of bringing everyone onto your team to use them in and out of battle. The game also draws upon the modern theme and humorous style of Earthbound. Finally, the combat draws inspiration from JRPG designs like Dragon Quest, but it is unique and focuses around the interesting and bizarre combat potential of the seemingly run-of-the-mill townsfolk.

The first 5 games funded by indie incubator Execution Labs

January 27, 2013 12:00 PM | Staff

execution labs.jpegThe Montreal-based indie game incubator that we first reported about in November has unveiled the first five teams it will help get started.

Five new teams from throughout Canada will receive "shared office space, development tools, and access to a roster of world-class mentors who provide coaching in areas critical to game development and commercialization" through the program.

The five projects, quoted directly from Execution Labs, are as follows:

-Crankshaft Mobile, from Montreal, is developing a Rogue-like top-down brawler.

-Pixel Crucible, also out of Montreal, is building a hybrid adventure/management fantasy game.

-Lightning Rod Games, from Toronto, is planning a mid-core "evil genius" game that is a mix of Flight Control and Plants vs. Zombies.

-Miscellaneum, from Montreal, is working on The Firemasters, a blazing 3D side scrolling action game in which you play each member of a four-person firefighting team on Mars.

-Imaginary Games, relocating from Vancouver, is creating a Tim Burtonesque social card game about a mysterious graveyard carnival.

More on the Execution Labs site.

[Frank Cifaldi wrote this article originally for sister site Gamasutra.]

Dwarfs!? dev reveals early footage of new game Quest for the Gauntlet

January 26, 2013 4:00 PM | John Polson

The free-to-play Dwarfs!? developer Power of 2 revealed on Facebook early footage of an upcoming game entitled Dwarfs!? Quest for the Gauntlet. It will be an action roguellike with up to 4 players. The team had added some early character class art, too, suggesting there will be four: rune master, prince, weapon master, and assassin.

Power of 2 developer Robin Flodin wouldn't share much but told me they are aiming for a Windows, Linux, and Mac release. Let's hope there's an option to reduce the size of the damage information.

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