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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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World of Goo, Henry Hatsworth Designers Release Little Inferno for PC and Wii U

November 20, 2012 1:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Three-person studio Tomorrow Corporation has released Little Inferno, a curious little firebug of a game for Windows and Nintendo's recently launched Wii U console.

Little Inferno sits players in front of the Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace and tells them to burn all of their worldly possessions. Logs, toys, and credit cards are all fair game for incineration. Using the coins you earn from burning objects, you can then purchase more lavish items like nuclear devices and tiny galaxies...which can also be burned.

The fire-based mechanics recall Sony's Trash Panic, though the objectives are more freeform; it's up to the player to discover 99 hidden item combos, which reward acts of creative cremation. It's not all just mindless arson, either -- the game has an overarching narrative that explores why the world is so obsessed with burning things.

Tomorrow Corporation's staff includes 2D Boy co-founder, designer, and artist Kyle Gabler, which helps to explain the World of Goo aesthetic similarity. Also working for Tomorrow Corporation are veteran developer Allan Blomquist and Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure creator and director Kyle Gray.

Little Inferno is priced at $14.99, and is available via Nintendo's eShop, Steam, and Tomorrow Corporation's website. Buyers who purchase the DRM-free Windows version from Tomorrow Corporation directly will also receive Mac and Linux ports, once they're available.

Kickstarter Projects: Tiny Barbarian DX (Michael Stearns)

November 20, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

StarQuail Games' Michael Stearns (creator of Astroman) has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Tiny Barbarian DX, a greatly expanded follow-up to his freeware 2D action game Tiny Barbarian.

Inspired by pulp fantasy (Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, in particular), Tiny Barbarian stars a 17-pixel-tall warrior on an episodic quest, during which he will "ride a bumblebee," "bite a vulture," and "outsmart a puma made of liquid metal," among other outlandish feats. A gameplay sample is available here. The new combat system looks like a lot of fun!

Tiny Barbarian DX's funding goal is set at $12,000. Backer rewards include downloadable copies of the game ($8), buttons ($35), physical boxed editions ($70), and backer-specific Easter Eggs that may never be discovered by other players ($500).

Indie Tools: CryENGINE 3

November 20, 2012 7:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

cryengine3 sdk.pngI'll once again be brutally honest and admit I wouldn't dare install CryENGINE 3 on my PC. I'm pretty sure it would only confuse my 2D-focused brain, but, still, I just couldn't avoid letting you game creating readers know that one of the most impressive, triple-A 3D engines has been made available for some indie developing fun; especially if you are looking to create something freeware.

The CryENGINE 3 Free SDK, you see, is absolutely free for non-commercial use, meaning you could come to grips with it for no cost whatsoever (well, beside the time you'll invest in finding out how it works). What's more, its latest update will apparently let you enjoy the power and flexibility of the fully licensed CryENGINE and includes all sorts of interesting bells and whistles such as a dedicated server, terrain shadows and box projected cube maps (whatever these might be).

Also, uhm, I do suppose that a freeware and wildly innovative indie first person offering would be a rather fantastic thing too.

Thomas Was Alone's Bithell talks getting criticized in public

November 20, 2012 4:00 AM | Staff

thomas small.jpegThomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell says getting feedback on your work and actually implementing it is an essential skill for game makers. A few weeks ago at GameCity, he decided to quiz professionals in the areas of promotion, art, design and more on what his game could have done better -- and he did it in public.

"I was talking to the organizers about doing a postmortem, but honestly, I was a bit scared. I didn't really feel I'd be benefiting the audience, and it kind of felt a bit self indulgent," Bithell reflects. Thomas Was Alone is his first indie game, an action puzzler about a rectangle seaching for friends. It's received a warm reception since its release this past June on PC and Mac -- and it's just come out on Steam last week.

"Getting others to criticize your work, and listening to that criticism, is one of the most important skills a creative can have," he says. "And while indies do this a lot among ourselves, sharing builds and writing lengthy emails to each other, I didn't feel it was something that was very public. People see a finished game, and assume that was the work of a few geniuses. That's rarely the case."

So rather than do a postmortem presentation, he thought of doing a series of lunchtime Q&A sessions with colleagues where he shared candid conversations on what he could learn from their feedback on Thomas Was Alone.

NSFW YouTube Adventure: McMickey and Air Jordan's Hyperspace Safari (Hannah Epstein)

November 20, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

[The above video is a safer preview of the rather NSFW trip that lies ahead.]

Commissioned by Studio XX in Montreal for the 2012 HTMlles festival and based on the subject of "risk," McMickey and Air Jordan's Hyperspace Safari is another wild Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-via-YouTube game from Hannah Epstein. "[I]n a lot of ways it's an exercise in trying to get sued as much as it's an exposition of authoritarian copyright laws," Epstein tells us.

In my journey through the YouTubed-Internet, I dabbled in Google highway searches, steamy relay chats, and shady Craigslist posts. The last traumatic choice led me to be "kidnapped, beaten and raped, [and] sold into sex slavery," but I managed to escape. Whew.

Your own steamy journey with McMickey begins after the jump.

Demo: Ballpoint Universe (ArachnidGames)

November 19, 2012 9:10 PM | Cassandra Khaw

A side-scrolling shooter/platform adventure game intended for a variety of platforms, Ballpoint Universe's art assets were all derived from work with a ballpoint pen somewhere. As a doodle named, well, Doodle, you're going to have to deal with a 'hellstorm of enemies in order to obliterate the logic fleets and their Admirals'. There will also be planet exploration, upgrades, customization systems and an epic quest to save imagination from being destroyed. Sounds intriguing? The game's first demo is available for download.

In fact, you can find it here.

IGF 2013 Adds 'Excellence in Narrative' Category

November 19, 2012 6:00 PM | Staff

IGF2013polysquare.jpg[Independent Games Festival chairman Brandon Boyer is interrupting this year's Festival for a brief but important announcement.]

Hello everybody, and welcome to a special IGF 2013 mid-stream announcement that, after much careful consideration and discussion, we decided was a necessity:

We're adding a new category to this year's festival, Excellence in Narrative.

This may not come as too much of a shock, because it's something that judges, entrants, and the general public have been asking for for quite some time now. Our initial decision to not add the category was not one we took lightly.

It was the subject of many rounds of internal discussion on both the necessity and logistics of adding a category devoted to recognizing narrative innovation, especially as we were making strides to remove categories and pare the festival down to a few core essentials.

Web Demo: Electronic Super Joy (Michael Todd)

November 19, 2012 4:00 PM | John Polson

"VVVVVV ain't got nothin' on ESJ," developer Michael Todd said of his upcoming twitch platformer Electronic Super Joy. The game now has an online demo, which showcases its rhythm-responsive death traps and flashy visuals. While death will happen often, several checkpoints exist along the shifting landscape. The only skill outside of jumping so far is that players can stomp enemies and missiles.

The game will release on Windows, Mac, and Linux on December 7 and iPad and Android tablets on March 7 for $4.99. However, I wonder if this may appear in a bundle soon since Todd has organized one "with the hottest recent indie releases." What should his choices include? Speculation and demo dissection are what comment threads are made for!

F*ck This Pick: The Hate Combinator (Daniele Giardini)

November 19, 2012 1:00 PM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

hate combinator.pngDaniele Giardini hates puzzle games, I despise match-three games and The Hate Combinator, well, combines all sorts of hateful things into one match-three puzzler for Windows, Mac and Linux. Sounds hateful, doesn't it? Interestingly, excellent choice of nasty things and brilliantly stylized pixel-art aside, it's actually not. It's pretty fun to be honest and its mechanics are something even I find enjoyable, which does go on to show what a great idea Fuck This Jam is.

Seems many devs know exactly what it is they hate in the genres they hate...

Indie Royale Debuts Five-Game Stuffing Bundle

November 19, 2012 10:30 AM | John Polson

IndieGames' co-created site Indie Royale introduces the five-game Stuffing Bundle, featuring the cardboard/clay point and click adventure The Dream Machine (Chapters 1-3); Telltale Games' adventure sequel with a Layton-esque puzzle twist, Puzzle Agent 2; the civilization building Children of the Nile: Enhanced Edition; reverse tower defense game Anomaly: Warzone Earth; and Metroidvania Adventure Apes and the Mayan Mystery.

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