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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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Indie Tools: Zoetrope

December 4, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

zoetrope.pngChris Klimas, the developer of revolutionary choose-your-own-adventure creator Twine, has been working on an open-source, beginner-friendly library for 2D games for Mac, Windows and Linux for quite some time now. Said engine is called Zoetrope and, as you may have already guessed, is already available on the Zoetrope site.

The engine is based on LÖVE and Lua and is not wholly dissimilar to Flixel. What's more, Zoetrope comes with some excellent documentation and one of the easiest to follow scripting tutorials I have ever encountered. Impressively it also supports animated sprites, physics, collision detection, tweens and delayed events, gamepads, saves and levels created in Tiled. Oh, and it's completely and absolutely free; even for commercial projects.

Trailer: Doorways (Saibot Studios)

December 4, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

If what you see above is merely considered a teaser trailer, I frankly can't imagine what horrors await for us when the proper trailer of Doorways gets its public showing; let alone when the game itself gets released... Torture, bodies on spikes, death, the supernatural, creepy buildings, unearthly vistas, disturbing sounds and, well, an apparently endless menagerie of weird stuff make this a survival horror adventure I'll be definitely keeping an eye out for. The fact that it will also sport some apparently proper puzzles and successfully atmospheric graphics can only be considered an added bonus.

You can find out more about Doorways over at its Steam Greenlight page.

Mark of the Ninja's five stealth design rules

December 4, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

mark of the ninja long.jpgFor Klei Entertainment's Nels Anderson, making a great stealth action video game meant throwing out a lot of a lot of the genre's existing tropes.

Anderson was lead designer on Mark of the Ninja, a stealth game that brought an unconventional twist to the genre through its 2D side-scrolling vantage point.

While the game casts aside certain stealth elements laid out by games such as Splinter Cell, Thief and Tenchu, it does still rely heavily on cornerstones of stealth game design.

"With Mark of the Ninja," Anderson explained, "we wanted to make sure that that the fundamental experience of being a ninja was brought across and everything else supported that."

After breaking the genre down into its fundamentals, Anderson established Mark of the Ninja's five stealth guidelines he called the "Heresies of the ninja." These "heresies" broke the rules laid out by stealth design's predecessors.

Browser Game Pick: HD Xyth (nulllvoid)

December 3, 2012 10:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

hdxyth.jpg Need something you can really sink your teeth into this Monday evening? Try HD Xyth. A collectible card game set within the outer reaches of space or, more specifically, the Hidden Dimensions series, HD Xyth will have you duking it out with aliens even as you assemble fleets and marshal resources to take down the opposition. HD Xyth had a little bit of everything. There are story-driven campaigns to work with, possible duels with the A.I and even the opportunity to take on human players - the only thing missing here is an aggravating IAP model but we can overlook that, right?

Play the game here.

Freeware Game Pick: Pokemon 3D (nilllzz)

December 3, 2012 8:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

A fan-game that doesn't deviate too much from the source material, Pokemon 3D has been described as a re-creation of the old Pokemon Gold/Silver titles. Here, you'll take on the role of the familiar protagonist. Your quest? To be the greatest Pokemon trainer of all, naturally. The twist here is that the game is a three-dimensional thing, one that will allow you to properly explore the landscape and be unnecessarily hindered by terrain.

Feel like a trip down memory lane? Check out the game here.

Browser Game Pick - Pro Gamer: The Game (Catavento)

December 3, 2012 5:00 PM | John Polson

pro gamer.pngPro Gamer: The Game is a browser title that revolves around upgrading a gamer pad while playing a bunch of micro games that resemble Canabalt, Space Invaders, Frogger, and more. Completing the micro games gives the pro gamer money to purchase upgrades, and beating several in a roll yields a multiplier. The upgrade items allow the pro gamer to play more games in a row with more comfortable seating and earn more cash per game with bigger televisions.

Unmechanical Takes Top Prize in Brazilian International Game Festival

December 3, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

bigfestival.pngThe Brazilian International Game Festival (BIG) has announced Unmechanical, Papo & Yo, and more as its winners. Unlike the IGF, BIG accepts completed games for all but one category. If the game has been released commercially, it must have occurred within two years prior to the date of the festival.

The winners were announced at the Museum of Image and Sound in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 30.

Best Game ($30,000) - Unmechanical
Best Art ($2,000) - Wonderputt
Best Sound ($2,000) - Unmechanical
Best Narrative ($2,000) - Papo & Yo
Best Gameplay ($2,000) -Tiny and Big
Breakthrough Award ($2,000) - Out There Somewhere
Best Online Game ($5,000) - Jelly Escape
Audience Award - Papo & Yo

The dev island and best demo winners follow.

Trailer/Demo: Retrobooster (Really Slick)

December 3, 2012 1:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Retrobooster creator Really Slick released a new demo version for Windows and Linux showing off the game's current state.

Retrobooster is "a high-tension survival shooter" in which players solve puzzles and explore unfamiliar environments in a thrust-driven ship. The gameplay mechanics appear to be similar to classics like Solar Jetman and Subterrania -- mastering the game's controls and physics in the enemy-filled areas seen in the trailer should prove to be quite a challenge.

Retrobooster also includes split-screen cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes for up to four players. The full version is set to be released in 2013. Retrobooster is also up for vote at Steam Greenlight.

Freeware Game Pick: DoTonPachi Maximum 1.5 (Gustav)

December 3, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Need a bullet-hell shooter fix? Indie developer Gustav (GuwangeDash, Odd Mobs Zero Arrange) has released DoTonPachi Maximum 1.5, a vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up that pays tribute to the DoDonPachi series.

Many of Gustav's previous works have presented variations on games originally created by prolific arcade shoot-'em-up developer Cave, and this one's no different. Just be warned that you're probably not ready to face the true last boss (seen above, and newly added for version 1.5).

[via @shmups]

Browser Game Pick: Star Wars Roguelike (Ondřej Žára)

December 3, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

star wars roguelike.pngCare for a short break featuring both Star Wars and some ASCII roleplaying? Well, you are in luck and so is this lovely, miniature Star Wars rogue-like, for it has found its audience. Play as either a Jedi or a Sith, appreciate some smart mechanics, use and abuse an elegant selection of Force powers and murder everything from clone troopers to Mickeys. Lightsabers are, of course, also included.

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