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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: Press [X] To Give Up

January 24, 2013 3:00 AM | John Polson

press x to give up.pngUnleash your inner matador in the Nordic Game Jam 2013 entry Press [X] To Give Up. As the name implies, "X" is the one key you don't want to press. Instead, you want to time the movement of your capote (cape) and prepare your banderilla (weapon) for five well-timed strikes. Be warned that the game punishes false moves and advances play in equally jolting ways.

I hounded the developers a few days ago when I first saw the game, and I am glad they shared it! Kudos to Anders Børup, Bram Michielsen, Henrike Lode, Jonas Maaløe, Jonatan Van Hove, Mads Johansen, and Thomas Ryder.

When finished, be sure to check out this article for more Nordic Game Jam games.

Road to the IGF: Colin and Sarah Northway's Incredipede

January 24, 2013 1:30 AM | Staff

incredipede small.jpgWe've covered the wonderful story of Incredipede on Gamasutra before, but it's worth reiterating the basics -- this is a game developed over four years, across 12 different countries.

It's also a game for which the artist was previously a woodblock designer, who was found by Colin Northway through the Wikipedia page for jumping spiders.

It's the game's visual element that has helped the game receive a nomination for the Visual Art award at this year's IGF. Whether Incredipede goes on to win the award or not, there's no denying that its art style is extremely exciting and rather inspirational.

As part of Gamasutra's Road to the IGF series, Northway discusses how the idea for Incredipede came about, and how Incredipede's Greenlight debacle has, in fact, benefitted the game in the end.

Trailer: Evoland (Shiro Games)

January 23, 2013 2:16 PM | John Polson

The expansion of the Zelda- and Final Fantasy-inspired Ludum Dare 24 winner Evoland lands on Greenlight and gets a proper trailer. Shiro Games' co-founder Nicolas Cannasse created the original jam version, and this appears to be a sizable enhancement.

The action adventure game Evoland revolves or "evolves" around the mechanic of unlocking new technologies bit-by-bit, with gameplay systems and graphics upgrading while playing. While the GameBoy visuals looks familiar to the Ludum Dare version, it seems Shiro Games is fleshing out turn-based and boss battles, along with fancy 3D chapters.

Expect Evoland to land the first quarter of 2013. The expanded Evoland will hit Windows first and then arrive on iOS and Android.

GDC 2013 donates Indie Games Summit tickets to Indie Giving charity

January 23, 2013 12:16 PM | John Polson

Organizers of Game Developers Conference 2013 are announcing a partnership with the Indie Giving charity effort, donating 30 GDC Indie Games Summit tickets to the 2013 Indie Giving event.

As part of the new agreement with Indie Giving, which is run by FGL head and indie community veteran Chris Hughes, generous indie game creators will get an exclusive opportunity to buy the now sold-out IGS pass (alongside a pre-GDC Flash Games Summit pass).

Along the way, they will volunteer on an onsite project just before GDC 2013, with 100% of their Indie Giving package price going directly to the U.S. National Parks Conservancy.

For those who sign up for the Indie Giving package, on Saturday, March 23rd, the group will be working with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to help preserve and enhance beautiful landscapes and maintain historic buildings and trails.

Indie Giving package buyers will also have a chance to attend the Independent Games Summit on Monday, March 25th and Tuesday, March 26th at GDC 2013 - the only way you can get this sold-out pass right now. You can also attend Sunday, March 24th's Flash Gaming Summit with your Indie Giving package.

Divekick Announced for Spring Release on PlayStation 3, PS Vita, PC

January 23, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

One True Game Studios' two-button, no-joystick fighting game Divekick is launching as a downloadable title for the PlayStation 3, PS Vita, and PC platforms this spring, co-developer and publisher Iron Galaxy Studios (Street Fighter III: Online Edition, Marvel Vs. Capcom: Origins) announced this week.

Satirizing a once-overpowered move in Capcom's Street Fighter IV, Divekick is a one-on-one 2D fighting game in which the first successful blow ends the round. The release follows up on a successful Kickstarter campaign, which was subsequently canceled, once the developer received publisher backing.

"Divekick is good at two things: teaching some of the basics of fighting game to players of any skill, and ending friendships," developer Adam Heart notes. "I partnered with Iron Galaxy because I know they love these things as much as I do. [...] This game was made by the community, for the community, to completely tear apart the community."

Provocative Alpha: Drugbound (Slouch Couch Games)

January 23, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

drugbound.pngPolitically charged, obviously anti-authoritarian endless runners about drugs aren't a particularly common kind of game, but, as the free alpha version of Drugbound so effortlessly proves, we really need more of them. Drugbound, you see, may just be a web demo of a (free) game in its early stages, yet it also is something I can't seem to be able to put down. The graphics, the parallax scrolling, the elegant mechanics and the almost perfect pace make this an absolute joy to play, and chances are things will only get better by the time it gets properly released on January 31.

Drugbound will first become available for Windows, Mac and Linux, with a mobile iOS/Android version to follow soon after that.

Browser Game Pick: Plunger (Nitrome)

January 23, 2013 3:00 AM | John Polson

plunger.pngPlunger is an action puzzler with a rather refreshing mechanic. Players can throw the wall-hooking plungers vertically or horizontally and move along the rope they make and also use them to connect the goal nodes.

The rope is the only way to move and is also the easiest way to die or get stuck. Some critters will walk onto your rope and chase you, others will freeze or burn your rope, and some wall creatures even devour your rope, sucking you towards them.

Plunger can be played with just keyboard arrows, Nitrome's Touchy App or Brass Monkey's App. Overall, I found Plunger to be quite a fun diversion across its 24 stages.

Road to the IGF: Santa Ragione's MirrorMoon

January 22, 2013 7:30 PM | Staff

mirrormoon small.jpgI first came across Santa Ragione in 2010, when the small studio released first-person running game Tales of Unspoken World. The title formed the basis for the wonderful Fotonica, one of the most intriguing indie releases of 2011.

Even then, it was obvious that the Milan-based company was meant to great things. Then at the start of 2012, the team took part in the Global Game Jam, and MirrorMoon was born -- a first-person exploration puzzler that has now been nominated for the Nuovo award at the IGF.

Santa Ragione's Pietro Righi Riva and Nicolo Tedeschi worked alongside fellow Italian indie Paolo Taje of Bloody Monkey on the game, and the trio is now planning to expand on the concept off the back of its popularity.

As part of Gamasutra's Road to the IGF series, Riva discusses where the idea for MirrorMoon came from, and why game jams are so important to indie studios.

Freeware Drawing App: Infinite Doodle (Smudged Cat Games)

January 22, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

David Johnston of developer Smudged Cat Games (Gateways, The Adventures of Shuggy) has released Infinite Doodle, a freeware drawing application for Windows that allows artists to zoom and add detail at an infinitely small level.

"I've been messing around with a little app called Infinite Doodle for a while now while I really should be working on porting Gateways to Mac and Linux. I reckon it's pretty much done now though so I've uploaded the Windows version to the website for all to try. I started working on it as an XBLIG title but I figured I might as well release a freeware version of it for PC."

The app includes a collection of stamps, shapes, and letter art, along with a freehand drawing tool. You can sample the tool's possibilities in the (strangely entrancing) example video above.

2013 Independent Games Festival announces Student Showcase winners

January 22, 2013 1:27 PM | John Polson


The Independent Games Festival has announced the eight Student Showcase winners for the fifteenth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, celebrating the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year.

This year's showcase of top student talent include the first-person meta-videogame ATUM, from the Netherlands' NHTV IGAD, the similarly meta-game-ified pen & paper RPG Knights of Pen & Paper, from Brazil's Instituto de Ensino Superior de Brasilia & Universidade de Brasilia, and the Jet Set Radio-esque Zineth, a game which "celebrates speed, movement & Twitter", from students of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

In total, this year's Student Competition took in over 300 game entries across all platforms -- PC, console and mobile -- from a wide diversity of the world's most prestigious universities and games programs making the Student IGF one of the world's largest showcases of student talent.

All of the Student Showcase winners announced today will be playable on the Expo show floor at the 27th Game Developers Conference, to be held in San Francisco starting March 25th, 2013. Each team will receive a $1,000 prize for being selected into the Showcase, and are finalists for an additional $3,000 prize for Best Student Game, to be revealed during the Independent Games Festival Awards on March 27th.

The full list of Student Showcase winners for the 2013 Independent Games Festival, along with 'honorable mentions' to those top-quality games that didn't quite make it to finalist status, are as follows:

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