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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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Meet the IGF's art and audio jurors for 2013

December 18, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

igf-student.jpgOrganizers of the 2013 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the latest additions to its discipline-specific jury panels that will determine the finalists and winner of its various awards.

The jury announcements for this year are beginning with some of the industry professionals, independent game notables and former IGF award winners that will make up its Excellence in Visual Art and Excellence in Audio Awards.

The latest jury rundown following prior announcements of its Nuovo and debut Narrative Award jurists, as well as this year's Design and Technical Excellence juries.

The Excellence in Visual Art Award

The Visual Art award is a category which seeks to highlight the innovation and quality in visuals for indie games.

Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Visual Art award have been entrants which featured impressive displays of the craft of games, including The Behemoth's vibrant cartoon-ish beat-em-up Castle Crashers, Polytron's 2D/3D "trixel"-based puzzle platformer Fez, Amanita Design's hand-painted adventure game Machinarium, Playdead's equal parts soft and stark monochromatic puzzler Limbo, and thechineseroom's ambient first-person exploration game Dear Esther.

Browser Game Pick: Atomic Creep Spawner (deepnight)

December 17, 2012 8:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

atomicreeper.jpg It's that time again, folks. Needless to say, there have been no shortage of awesome-looking entries. deepnight's Atomic Creep Spawner is a deliciously silly experience that will have fans of the classic Dungeon Keeper grinning throughout their playthrough. Well. Sort of. Atomic Creeper Spawner will have you focused on dissuading a single hero from destroying your orbs of true evilness. To do this, you're going to have to fling various monstrosities and the occasional chest at the unfortunate good guy. Anyway, why are you standing around reading this?

Go play the game already.

Freeware: (Tie One Woman to a Train Track and Suddenly) I'm the Badguy [SharkArm]

December 17, 2012 6:00 PM | John Polson

tie woman.png

(Tie One Woman to a Train Track and Suddenly) I'm the Badguy.

Yes. Yes, you are, Curt Kling. For the villain-themed Ludum Dare 25, one half of SharkArm Studios has created an arcade game that rewards tying women to tracks and having trains run over them. Standing by and cackling madly while the train runs over them awards bonus points. Players must avoid the train and the cops who can also untie the women before they become bloody pancakes.

Kling offers some senseless silliness here, with a show-stopping title. If (Tie One Woman to a Train Track and Suddenly) I'm the Badguy isn't rated highly for humor from LD 25, I can't wait to find the funnier games!

[source: SharkArm]

Release: A Walk in the Dark (flying turtle software)

December 17, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

A Walk in the Dark has just been released (complete with lovely launch trailer and everything) and can be grabbed for $6.50 direct from the developer's site. The game is an incredibly demanding and, from what I've seen, well-designed gravity flipping platformer starring a cat and sporting some brilliant, Limbo-esque visuals, a pretty interesting plot and a most atmospheric soundtrack.

Browser Game Pick: Skullface (GregAnims)

December 17, 2012 1:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw

skullface.jpg Though not as responsive as some of the other platformers out there, Skullface is still a competent experience that will have you doing what platformers do best: running, jumping, dodging projectiles, avoiding spikes and occasionally freefalling to your doom. For anyone looking towards investing an hour or two in a platformer, Skullface makes is a great, free option.

Play the game here.

Slender, Suicide Bonuses, and Social Commentary in Ludum Dare 25

December 16, 2012 10:00 PM | John Polson

villain goat.pngThe "You Are the Villain" themed Ludum Dare 25 has just finished formally collecting games for its 48-hour competition, with over 950 entries submitted. All games are available for free to play, and some even highlight the bonus "goat" theme.

Those who participated and registered on the site can now vote for the competition winners. Upon a cursory glance, developers have delivered clever games once again with strong social commentary and popular gaming references.

In the aptly named social commentary, Eversion developer Zaratustra created a gun shop management game that seems to speak to the recent tragic mass-shooting in Connecticut.

Luke Pellen's shooting rampage game SNAP takes a much darker approach. Innocent people are worth more points than police, and players can earn a Suicide Bonus, if they don't bleed out beforehand.

Kickstarter Projects: Topia Online (Josh Griffith)

December 16, 2012 8:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

There are Kickstarter projects you wrinkle up your nose at and there are Kickstarter projects you kind of want to see succeed. Topia Online definitely falls in the latter category for me. Described as a completely player-run sandbox MMORPG, Topia Online is aiming to do more than simply asking players to build townships, it wants to have players building scripts and creating game worlds of their own. All in all, Topia Online looks like it may be a rather fascinating thing to visit on the Internet, a possible respite from the endless World of Warcraft clones. However, there's also the question of getting it started. Topia Online requires a relatively modest $50,000 funding goal to be fulfilled.

So, if you're interested in throwing them a bone or, better yet, a few dollars, here's the official Kickstarter link.

Browser, Freeware Pick: Cantrip (Sons of Sam)

December 16, 2012 10:00 AM | John Polson

"And suddenly the boy had as many holes as a sieve." Such words of encouragement spill from the narrator's lips, as players come to grips with their powers in magnetic 3D puzzle-platformer Cantrip. When a pair of orphan siblings stumble upon a collection of cans in a scrap yard, the witch who owns those cans kidnaps the sister and curses the brother such that every can he comes in contact with sticks to him.

Fortunately, he learns how to control this magnetic power. He can now hurl objects at enemies, attract heavy masses to weigh down buttons, and repel deadly objects at his will. Along with attractive power-ups and narrative, Cantrip has an eerie pencil-sketch aesthetic that suits the fairytale-like setting.

Browser Game Pick: Moonlight (Jonas Kyratzes)

December 16, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Moonlight.pngDid you know about Bob the spider living in Stephen Fry's delightfully bent nose? Well, he has built an enormous base in there apparently; one which includes a dinosaur launching pad and a particle accelerator. But, really, haven't you at the very least met Madonna's lip woman? Ever transformed yourself into an eagle or fantasized about being one of those Douglas Adams-esque kakapos that Douglas Adams so adored?

Well, that's what Jonas Kyratzes is here for. To provide you with Moonlight; the amazing stream-of-consciousness choose-your-own-James-Joyce adventure that will satisfy all the fantasies you never knew you had, while joyfully and interactively discussing life, dreams and, well, Stephen Fry.

Oh, and in case you were wondering... Yes, Moonlight is simply brilliant!

Browser Game Pick: Trail of Regret (tux ducks)

December 16, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

trail of regret.pngIn Trail of Regret, players face some rather grim outcomes in the final moments of a dying old man named Eric. He receives a visit from the angel of death, who grants him the chance to manipulate his memories to be able to confront what he has done and find peace.

Players will unravel some rather dark truths in a sometimes abstract, sometimes sexual world of memories. In the journey, Eric confronts how his choices affected his wife. "How come you never played these games with your wife?" the angel asks. Later, Eric also must confront the memories of how his daughter tragically died in a car accident.

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