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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: Train-Cognition (Chris Figueroa, Ryan Schaefer)

December 12, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Developers Chris Figueroa and Ryan Schaefer hit Kongregate this week with Train-Cognition, a Unity-based browser game developed for the 48-hour Indie Speed Run competition.

Train-Cognition is a short "Wild West Platforming Shooter" in which players fend off attackers aboard a speeding train using a simple mouse-and-keyboard setup. There's a twist to it, and you can't help but love the way you can shoot off your enemies' hats. I'd love to see the concept expanded in a lengthier game.

Oniken Update Adds Extra Level, New Playable Character

December 12, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Later this week, JoyMasher's 2D action-platformer Oniken will update with a bonus level starring a new playable character who promises to shake up the game's retro-styled side-scrolling formula.

While you may be well-acquainted with Oniken's sword-wielding main character, newcomer Jenny carries a machine gun and a grenade launcher. Her level -- which takes place between stages 1 and 2 in the original game's storyline, JoyMasher notes -- features gameplay more akin to Konami's Contra series, compared to the Ninja Gaiden-like action featured in Oniken's campaign levels.

Oniken: The Rescue will be released as a free update on Friday, December 14th.

Freeware Game Pick: Will You Ever Return? 2 (Jack King Spooner)

December 12, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

"When you cut into the present, the future leaks out. We're not fighting for a scrap of immortality, we want the whole tamale. We built it with our brains and our hands. We paid for it with our blood and our lives. It's ours and we're going to take it. Anybody gets in our way we will get our communal back against a rock or a tree and fight the way a raccoon will fight a dog. "

Will You Ever Return? returns and is as odd, disturbing, smart and brilliant as anyone would hope for. You know you simply have to play it, just like you know what you'll be signing up for. Oh, and if you don't actually know what to expect from this utterly unique RPG-ish sort of thing, well, you are certainly in luck for this is one unique beast.

Download Will You Ever Return? 2 for Windows via Gamejolt.

Unity of Command expands with Red Turn DLC

December 12, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Unity of Command Red Turn.pngIf you haven't tried out Unity of Command yet, you are really missing out on what can only be described as the best, proper, indie strategy game ever. No, I am absolutely serious. Serious like a particularly serious thing. Unity of Command is a deep, smart and tactically demanding simulation of WW2 battles, that manages to present itself with an elegant and simple to grasp interface and cute graphics without sacrificing anything of the underlying complexity. It's a game I have tried out on (!) both seasoned strategy gamers and my breed of more casual fans with huge success.

Anyway. Enough with the ranting. On to the news bit, the news bit being that Unity of Command has happily expanded itself with a hefty and excellent looking piece of DLC: Red Turn. It sports a gigantic new campaign following the Red Army from the victory in Stalingrad to Kursk to the capture of Berlin, and thus covering the bloodiest and most important bits of WW2. The DLC is out now and also features two new Axis scenarios, 4 PVP scenarios, 39 types of units, more options for modders and, well, more.

IGF 2013 Highlights Initial Design, Technical Award Jurors

December 12, 2012 4:00 AM | Staff

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 Design and Technical Achievement Awards, as well as high-profile additions to its Nuovo and Narrative awards, the first members of which were recently announced.

Former Journey producer and designer and current Funomena co-founder Robin Hunicke will be joining both the Nuovo and Narrative juries. Also joining the Narrative jury is Telltale writer and designer Sean Vanaman, notable for his work co-writing the recent award-winning Walking Dead adventure series.

And the Nuovo Award jury will also see the inclusion of designer, curator and Kokoromi art collective co-founder Heather Kelley and Lea Schoenfelder, creator of former IGF finalist Ulitsa Dimitrova.

While the juries continue to be assembled in advance of the kick-off of our next phase of the finalist selection process, we're happy to announce the following confirmed jurists.

Kickstarter Projects: War for the Overworld (Subterranean Games)

December 12, 2012 12:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw

Not entirely certain about Molyneux's promises of Populous brought back to life? Miss the old days when life was simple and all you had to do to relax was slap an imp? If so, War for the Overworld might be what you're aiming for. Described as a blend of Starcraft, Dungeon Keeper, Overlord, and Evil Genius, War for the Overworld will have you scurrying about, creating traps, casting dastardly spells, commanding armies and crunching on the fingerbones of law-abiding heroes. It looks pretty darn awesome. War for the Overworld is currently looking to attain £150,000 goal. Thus far, they've picked up a little over £60,000.

Want to push that number even higher? Toss a pledge at their Kickstarter pledge here.

Trailer: The Raven (KING art)

December 11, 2012 8:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

I'm .. not really sure how we missed this one the first time around. The Raven is a point & click adventure from the makers of the Book of the Unwritten Tales and the story of a master thief who goes by the aforementioned moniker. Well. Sort of. He's apparently dead. Nonetheless, that doesn't stop a raven feather from making an appearance at a crime scene years later. Is someone trying to emulate the master? Is he. perhaps, not really dead and part of a massive conspiracy? Who knows? Except, well, the developers but that's besides the point.

The developers have yet to reveal a release date outside of 2013. Nonetheless, if you want to keep tabs on the game, you may want to bookmark their website here.

Kenta Cho Two-fer: Timebomb, Undermine

December 11, 2012 5:00 PM | John Polson

time bomb.pngKenta Cho's browser freebies Timebomb and Undermine maximize gameplay ideas while minimizing the fuss over aesthetics. Upon playing the excellent Tank Fires Block this weekend, I found I missed a couple other greats from Kenta Cho and decided to share them here.

The above image is from Timebomb, which is about creating a massive chain reaction of explosions while avoiding harm. Bombs countdown around the screen but stop when they impact the force field. As more bombs weigh on it, it shrinks. The constantly shrinking shield makes running away from deadly bombs and their explosions a delicate effort via mouse control. However, the longer the explosion reaction, the higher players' scores will be.

Up next, Undermine is the most curious of shooters, in that players score points from what they don't shoot.

XBLIG Standout Dead Pixels Hits Steam

December 11, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


CSR-Studios' retro-styled zombie survival action game Dead Pixels is now available via Steam, boasting a lengthy single-player campaign and a local co-op mode.

Originally released for the Xbox Live Indie Games service, Dead Pixels later went on to star in Indie Royale's Graduation Bundle. The Steam release includes all content from the XBLIG version's latest update, and also features a collection of Steam achievements, along with online leaderboards.

Dead Pixels is priced at $2.99. If you already purchased the game through Indie Royale, check your bundle collection page for a Steam key.

Team Meat Details Mew-Genics Soundtrack, Reveals Title Theme

December 11, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Edmund McMillen has released the title track from Team Meat's upcoming game Mew-Genics, revealing that its soundtrack will be composed by Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum's Matthias Bossi and Tori Amos bassist Jon Evans.

"So we really splurged with the soundtrack for Mew-genics," McMillen notes. "The game will feature a full album of over 20 studio recorded songs, with more than half of them with lyrics! We really wanted to make the game's music feature extended themes of the game or small stories within each song, kind of how Katamari did it in a way, except all our songs are about cats!"

Team Meat has released a steady trickle of new details regarding its Super Meat Boy follow-up over the last several weeks. Recent updates have revealed a quirky cast, along with the (potentially terrifying) fact that the final product will feature over 12,207,031,250,000,000,000,000 cats.

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