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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 Royale Profile: The Dream Machine, Chapters 1-3

November 29, 2012 7:00 PM | Staff

[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each of the games in the latest bundle from IndieGames' co-created site, Indie Royale.]

If I wanted to phone in this final Indie Royale profile and nip off for a nap instead, I could just list the acclaim and awards that Cockroach's episodic series The Dream Machine has garnered since it was launched and leave it like that. It was an IGF finalist, an IndieCade finalist, an IndiePub contest winner, an Into the Pixel art award winner and more. The third episode finally launched after a cliffhanger and a break, making the jump to Steam at the same time. With two chapters left on the horizon, now is a great time to catch up on the highly acclaimed series. But awards only paint so much of the picture; they attest to the quality of The Dream Machine without actually demonstrating how it all comes together. So yes, I don't think I should phone it in.

Ask an Indie: KRUNCH (LeGrudge & Rugged)

November 29, 2012 5:00 PM | John Polson

Vieko Franetovic and Michael Lohaus have begun discounted pre-orders for their 100-level, quick-reflex game KRUNCH, coming to Windows, Mac, and Linux next month. As part of "Ask an Indie," the developers agreed to come talk about KRUNCH in the comments below.

The game began as a Ludum Dare prototype and claims to "test fans of games such as Mega Man and VVVVVV." Some of KRUNCH's music comes from none other than Rich Vreeland (aka Disasterpeace), too.

Over a year and a half has passed since Mike Rose's preview. KRUNCH was "95% done, has 100 wicked levels and [was] looking for the right sponsor" back in January 2011, so I'm curious to hear what's happened since. For comparison, a video of the game from 2011 is after the jump.

Release: Stealth Bastard Deluxe (Curve)

November 29, 2012 3:30 PM | John Polson

Curve freakin' knows platforming. There was Explodemon, Fluidity, and now its 2011 surprise freeware hit receives a deluxe upgrade and is on sale for Windows on Steam. To combat new enemies and traps, the Bastard now has a wide array of tactical equipment: The Camo Suit, the Decoy, the Sonic Decoy, the Antilight and the Teleporters.

Stealth Bastard Deluxe offers 80 levels of tricky stealth puzzle platforming, draped with stunning pixels and lighting. Plenty of extra stages are also waiting, made available by some online magic and the game's extensive level editor.

All this is available for $8.99, with the soundtrack included for $11.69. Both are 10% discounts for the first week of release. And just maybe we'll have a big competition based around the freeware version next week...

Chrome App Release: 8BitBoy (AwesomeBlade Software)

November 29, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Out of a job and depressed, a sullen hero sets out on a retro-inspired adventure to reclaim his lost glory in AwesomeBlade Software's platformer 8BitBoy, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux via the Chrome Web Store.

Though the platforming action here is familiar (yet solid!), each world in 8BitBoy is absolutely bursting with hidden secrets, as you can see in the gameplay trailer above. The game boasts a lengthy quest, with AwesomeBlade promising 12-16 hours of story mode gameplay, in addition to a collection of bonus challenges and secret areas.

8BitBoy is priced at $8.99. A trial version is also available, offering up the game's first world for free.

Binding of Isaac struggled with bugs on release

November 29, 2012 8:30 AM | Staff

isaacgdsq.pngDeveloper Edmund McMillen released a buggy version of The Binding of Isaac because he "didn't want to waste any more of my time on something I expected would crash and burn," but soon found he had a cult hit on his hands.

This revelation comes as part of a postmortem of the game published today on sister site Gamasutra -- a reprint from sister publication Game Developer magazine's November issue.

"As of writing this postmortem, The Binding of Isaac has sold over one million units on PC and Mac in its first year on Steam, one-quarter of the people who own the main game paid for the Wrath of the Lamb expansion, and the interest seems to continue building," McMillen writes.

However, he says, he had very low expectations for the game as he was working on it.

"From any mainstream marketing perspective, I designed Isaac to fail -- and that was my goal from the start."

Browser Game Pick: Protobotic (Tyler Owen)

November 29, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Protobotic.pngProtobotic is a browser based action puzzle game that combines crate-pushing puzzles with tactical movement planning and quite a bit of shooting, and that is by far the most condensed description of the game I can think of. Also, it's really good and smart and you'll most probably enjoy its 18 levels.

Agustin Cordes on Horror in Games

November 29, 2012 3:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

asylum face.pngAgustin Cordes of Senscape, the person behind indie horror adventure hit Scratches (back from the era when adventures were considered dead and the indie scene was much smaller) and the driving force behind the long awaited Asylum, has decided to let us pick his brain and try and understand how horror works in games.

How interactivity can amplify scares. How pointing-and-clicking can achieve much more than your average monster flick. How you should probably think when designing horror games. How the dialectics of interactive storytelling actually work.

You have essentially specialized in horror games. Why?

You might be surprised to hear that this was mostly a coincidence. Yes, I love horror, I grew up watching the most deranged and depraved movies you can imagine, and yet I wouldn't want horror to be my primary focus in games (even if I can't help it right now). I like just as much comedy, or a good fantasy adventure, or even better: science fiction, which, some will be disappointed to hear, is my favorite genre.

Basically, when I begun working on games Scratches happened to be the most developed idea, even though I was close to choosing a sci-fi story to debut. Other factors decided for horror though: it's no secret it sells better, so it was a good bet for a first game, particularly as the Scratches story leaned well towards a low budget indie game (for example, we didn't have to show any characters).

As for Asylum, I decided to stick with horror because it feels like the most natural next step; I learned from many mistakes I did with Scratches and I wanted to do better, improving upon a similar experience. So, in a way, Asylum is a spiritual successor. That said, we're definitely trying our luck with another genre at Senscape next time.

Kickstarter Projects: Telepath Tactics (Craig Stern)

November 29, 2012 1:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Craig Stern has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Telepath Tactics, a turn-based strategy game for Windows, Mac, and Linux that boasts both a "Fire Emblem-style campaign" and 2-to-6 player hotseat multiplayer modes.

Combining elements from Disgaea and the Fire Emblem series, Telepath Tactics originally started out as a multiplayer-focused title, but now features a single-player campaign that supports XML-moddable maps and characters. Stern has set a funding goal of $25,500, to cover the cost of creating sound effects, music, and additional art assets.

The full version of Telepath Tactics will be released as a digital download to backers who pledge $10 or more. Other backer rewards include early access ($25), posters ($75), and in-game cameos (starting at $300).

Game Jam Contest Puts Your Game in front of Big-Name Judges

November 29, 2012 12:00 AM | Staff

indiespeedrun.jpgA novel new take on the "game jam" that takes inspiration from reality shows has attracted a number of respected game industry luminaries to judge the finalists for its cash prize.

Mojang's Markus "Notch" Persson (Minecraft), Thatgamecompany co-founder Kellee Santiago (Journey, Flower), Double Fine's Ron Gilbert (The Secret of Monkey Island, the upcoming The Cave), Beamdog's Trent Oster (Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition), independent developer Jason Rohrer (Passage, Sleep is Death), Playdead's Dino Patti (Limbo) and Minority's Vander Caballero (Papo & Yo) will judge the seven finalist games from a series of 48-hour game jams taking place between now and January 6.

Those finalists will then be judged by noted internet critic Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw for a $2,500 prize.

Freeware Game Pick: FutureCity3000 (Plant Monster)

November 28, 2012 10:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

futurecity3000.jpg FutureCity3000 is a slick, stylish little point & click adventure that will have you, a hacker with a small chip off his shoulder, exploring a world where sleeping pods and sexbots are common place. Fortunately (or unfortunately), it's still largely a child-safe experience so long as you're willing to excuse the occasional swearing .. and decapacitations.

Download the game here.
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