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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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Beautiful folk play and emergent interaction in Journey

November 12, 2012 1:00 AM | Staff

journey gama.jpgAward-winning experimental designer Chris Bell has been working with the design challenge of creating friendships between strangers, in his recent work on Way and Journey.

Looking back at those games helped him map his own design interests in the goal of looking ahead toward his next project: "When I look at both of those games now, it's particularly revealing to see how the player communities have changed over time," he says.

At Journey's launch, most players wanted to reach the mountain. Having achieved that, they're no longer fascinated by the ultimate goal and look elsewhere in the game -- its symbols and lore, for example -- for meaning and engagement. They perfect the art of flying with other players, and create their own challenges as they discover the nuances of the game's movement constraints.

The interest that outlasts all of these in both Way and Journey is the act of interacting with other players, the variable of another human -- "this person who guarantees the recurring mystery of who is this stranger this time, how will this stranger play, and how will the two of us express ourselves together?"

By linking two free-choosing individuals with individual motivations in a suggestive "playground" environment, new forms of performative play emerge naturally, says Bell. Players have intentionally or otherwise developed their own improvisational folk games within Journey's world -- without the developer ever needing to explicitly outline the potential for those games within the world.

Trailer: Deadlock

November 11, 2012 9:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Originally created for the '7 Days FPS' challenge, Deadlock is an FPS that features both puzzles and platforming. Here, the goal is to advance to the top of an enormous tower without being unceremoniously booted by the security system. Along the way, you'll be called upon to solve environmental puzzles, deal with A.I driven robots, turrets as well the fact you cannot actually destroy anything you encounter. At best, you'll be able to temporarily stun them.

Official site here or go on and play the current build of Deadlock for browsers, Mac, or Windows.

Trailer: Maldita Castilla (Locomalito)

November 11, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

Locomalito's Windows freeware title Maldita Castilla is in the final stretch... finally! Over a year has passed since a demo appeared, and this weekend the new trailer above revealed the release window of Winter 2012.

Maldita Castilla's hones in on the arcade feel of games from 1985-1987, paying homage to Ghost'n'Goblins, Tiger Road, Black Tiger, Shinobi, Rygar, Karnov, Trojan, and Castlevania's candles. To add era-appropriate arcade sound, Gryzor87 composed the music emulating the Yamaha YM2203 sound chip.

Winter 2012, huh. The snow cannot fall soon enough. In the meantime, I guess Endless Forms Most Beautiful, Verminest, Viriax, and more juegos will do.

Browser Game Pick: Save the Day (Denki)

November 11, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Quarrel developer Denki has released Save the Day, a frenetic HTML5 take on the Apple II classic Choplifter.

In Save the Day, players have only a few minutes to evacuate hundreds of people from the path of an erupting volcano. While the premise is similar to Choplifter's, the pace is much quicker; you'll have to plan out routes quickly and save multiple survivors in a row in order to earn score bonuses and time extensions.

While your main goal is to rescue survivors, putting out fires is also worth your time, as they often hide point-boosting treasures. It's great fun, and a well-designed upgrade/level-up system makes the experience even more addicting than it would be otherwise.

[via @expdotzine]

Indie Royale Profile: Spirits

November 10, 2012 11:00 PM | Staff

[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each game in The Harvest Bundle currently running on IndieGames' co-created site Indie Royale.]

One thing that indie games have always been particularly good at is taking older game conventions to remix and reinvent into something fresh and new. It's no secret that Spaces of Play borrows the main gameplay gimmick of Spirits from Lemmings, but that indie spark does a lot to twist it into a unique creation. The game still revolves around shepherding helpless, adorable creatures and sacrificing them for the greater good, but a splendid audiovisual style and neat wind based mechanics provides a new, entertaining experience.

Release: Phantasmaburbia (Banov)

November 10, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

Phantasmaburbia for Windows sounds disturbing. It aims to take the tropes of RPG design and give them quite the shake: no NPCs, no shops, just one town in the game, a lack of grinding, and spatial manipulation puzzles that require logical thinking. I've seen some rather polarizing comments on the game from consumers and developers and wanted to start a discussion here on it.

I'm not a big RPG gamer, but I do love platformers. So I became intrigued with Phantasmaburbia when platformer-intensive developer Kyle Pulver told me he really enjoyed it. "It felt like an arcade style JRPG. Progressing in the game is quick and streamlined, and I never felt the looming grind that I usually experience in typical RPGs."

Trailer: Super Space ____ (David Scamehorn, Alexander Baard)

November 10, 2012 2:00 AM | Danny Cowan

DigiPen USA students David Scamehorn and Alexander Baard are preparing to launch Super Space ____, "a couch co-op arcade shooter about competition, cooperation, communication and the democracy of physics."

Named as a finalist title in this year's IndieCade, Super Space ____ bills itself as "a loud and wild pickup and play party game" in which two players pilot an oddly-shaped spacecraft and shoot incoming asteroids throughout a series of randomized waves. The twist: each shot produces recoil that propels the ship, and players must carefully coordinate in order to avoid asteroids and collect power-ups. It looks fun, in a friendship-straining sort of way!

Super Space ____ will be released for Windows this winter.

Tourette's Quest Seeks To Educate And Entertain

November 9, 2012 11:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

tourettes1.gif While most edutainment titles seem to be a case of hit or miss, Tourette's Quest looks like it might be a genuinely interesting offering from one of the makers of Defender's Quest. Inspired by the likes of Spleunky, FTL and the Bindings of Isaac, Tourette's Quest will be a procedurally generated Zelda-like dungeon crawler with an emphasis on resource management. Interestingly, the central things to monitor here are the character's stress levels and Tourette's symptoms. The goal with the game is to make it as far as possible without dying, something that can be made difficult by the fact that each floor unlocks a new, randomly selected Tourette's symptom.

There's a fair deal more to read on the developer's website and a rough prototype for those interested in tinkering with the nascent ideas can be found here.

Video Footage of CLARK

November 9, 2012 5:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

CLARK is an action-packed, puzzle-adventure that will probably make fans of Disney's WALL-E rather pleased. Featuring an industrial bot with an obsessive love for keeping boxes in good order, CLARK will have you attempting to save your fellow robots from the landfill and battling against next-generation cleaning bots. CLARK also looks rather spiffy. Scheduled for possible release sometime in January next year, CLARK will apparently sport arcade-style controls, complex spatial puzzles and over 30 levels.

For more information, check out their IndieDB page here.

Love What You Hate In F*ck This Jam

November 9, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

From November 9 to November 17, indie developers from around the world are taking the game genres they hate and making something they actually respect and enjoy. Ian Bogost, Zach Gage, Fernando Ramallo and Rami Ismail speak in the above keynote for Fuck This Jam, encouraging developers to embrace that which they hate, much like Zach Gage did with word puzzle games for SpellTower.

Over 1,400 developers have signed up for this jam, and more are invited to do so. Needless to say, we're all looking forward to what comes from the frustration, hate, and ignorance these developers break through.

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