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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: Finitris (Post-Crash)

October 29, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

finitris 2.jpgLearning regular expressions can be fun. No, really! Post-Crash Games' Finitris is a puzzle game that explores regular expressions and finite state automata. The main goal of Finitris is to create lexical train tracks that accept certain word patterns ("strings") and reject others. Thankfully, the game offers an extensive tutorial to explain how to construct these tracks.

I'm not going to say this game is the most fun browser game ever. However, Finitris succeeds in making a complicated computational model and language more comprehensible and entertaining than did my graduate courses in Natural Languange Processing. Now where's a game that teaches data management and security?

Indie Royale Profile: Home

October 28, 2012 11:00 PM | Staff

[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each game in the Halloween Bundle from IndieGames' co-created site Indie Royale.]

Home is a game that seems designed to teach you that there are much scarier things than bumps in the night. Billed as "a unique horror adventure" by creator Benjamin Rivers, Home shares very little in common with the usual indie horror style, opting for pixels and subtlety over obvious scares and loud sound design. It's psychological, but in the furthest possible way from most horror games with that label. It's a short hour and a half journey built entirely around the mysteries of the subjective, so prepare to be depressed, confused and guilty without really knowing why.

Video: Stop Sweating the Details and Let Game Design 'Happen'

October 28, 2012 8:00 PM | Staff

[Note: To access chapter selection, click the fullscreen button or check out the video on the GDC Vault website]

For most people, the distinction between a game and a toy is that games rely on a defined set of rules. They dictate how players should experience a game and give structure to a designer's creation.

But for indie developer and Santa Ragione co-founder Pietro Righi Riva (Fotonica), rules aren't everything. At this year's GDC Europe, he argued that truly great games aren't defined by their rules, but emerge naturally if designers give players the freedom to experiment on their own.

Trailer: Pinstripe (Thomas Brush)

October 28, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

The creator of Coma and Skinny is back with something new. At least, they soon will be. Scheduled for release somewhere between this Christmas and next summer, Pinstripe appears to be the story of a man in search of his dead wife. Maybe. Judging from the trailer, it looks like the chap in question also discovers some amount of fun firing cannons and knocking hapless old women into the abyss. Yup.

Sadly, there's no official website just yet. We'll let you know when there is.

Kickstarter- Rainbow Nightmare: Libra (AudioMew)

October 28, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

Rainbow Nightmare: Libra will be a retro RPG mashup with traditional overhead RPG exploring, side scrolling platforming, and card collecting. Featuring cat girls, robots, zombies, and sometimes a combination of these three, AudioMew seems to be hitting several of the popular gaming tropes.

Trailer: Real World Racing (Playstos)

October 28, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Italian indie developer Playstos Entertainment details its upcoming photorealistic racer Real World Racing in the preview trailer above.

Taking place from a top-down perspective, Real World Racing uses photographs of actual locations as the basis of its 50 included racetracks. The full version, to be released in the first quarter of next year, will include 80 different vehicles, and will feature an online multiplayer mode that supports up to 16 players.

"RWR is kind of an oddball: we're striving to be on the simulative side of the racing genre while using a top-down perspective," Playstos designer Giorgio Ciapponi notes. "Add high quality aerial maps to the mix, enhanced with handcrafted 3D terrain and objects, and we like to think we have in our hands something quite unique."

Playstos has also set up a Steam Greenlight page for Real World Racing.

Indie Royale Profile- Sam & Max: The Devil's Playground

October 28, 2012 4:00 AM | John Polson

[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each game in the Halloween Bundle from IndieGames' co-created site Indie Royale.]

Any fan of adventure games surely knows of Steve Purcell's Freelance Police. Between Sam and Max's outing in the golden age of Lucasarts and the modern Telltale revamp, the dog and rabbit thingy have been adventure game icons for just short of twenty years. Of course, a lot of that time found the characters stuck in development hell. It was Telltale's critically acclaimed series, co-designed with Purcell, that did a considerable amount to bring them back in a modern context. This brings us to today, where you can grab the third season of this shiny revamp in the Halloween bundle. But is it worth checking out for newbies? Most definitely.

Some Indies Don't Fight Piracy, They Embrace It

October 27, 2012 10:00 PM | Staff

hotlinemiami icon.jpgJonatan Soderstrom is the latest indie developer who's accepted that people will pirate his game, and has even gone out of his way to provide technical support to people downloading Hotline Miami without paying.

He joins a small but growing list of independent developers who have acknowledged that there's little they can do to stop people from stealing their PC games; instead they have found ways to embrace those pirates and make the best out of the situation.

"I don't really want people to pirate Hotline Miami, but I understand if they do," Soderstrom posted on Twitter, adding that he knows what it feels like to be broke. "I definitely want people to experience the game the way it's meant to be experienced. No matter how they got a hold of it."

After finding a cracked copy of Hotline Miami posted on popular torrent site The Pirate Bay, Soderstrom addressed commentors who complained about bugs in the game -- he not only offered advice for some issues, but also promised a patch and asked that the page be updated once it's released.

When McPixel developer Sos Sosowski found his game on The Pirate Bay recently, he also chose not to ask the site to take down the torrent. He instead thanked the people stealing his game for their interest, and offered free download codes in the comments.

Kickstarter Projects: MaK (VergeGameStudios)

October 27, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Remember MaK? The developers called it a 'physics sandbox with tethers, rockets, engines, balloons, explosives, teleportation, relative gravity and potentially unlimited room for creativity.' There's more than a whiff of Super Mario space Galaxy wrapped in up in it as well. If you've ever wanted a whimsical Minecraft set in space, this may be it.

As you might have guessed from the title, they're also in need of some financial help. MaK currently has a Kickstarter project up that is looking to achieve $230, 000 in funding. If you feel like contributing, here's the appropriate link.

What a Horrible Night to Have a Demo: Castle in the Darkness Prologue (Matt Kap)

October 27, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

Developer Matt Kap has released a playable demo for Windows of his retro-flavored exploration platformer Castle in the Darkness in the form of a prologue. Those who dislike playing demos because they spoil the main game, fear not! This is a separate scenario chock full of action. I explored a bit, too and found what I think was a bloated Double Dragon brother attacking me with drumsticks.

Readers seemed very excited by the mix of Megaman, Metroid, Castlevania mechanics seen in previous trailer. Players can expect all that and more in the full adventure in 2013 with over 15 hours of play, and according the the Greenlight page will be "the (cheap) price of most games' DLC!"

Those satisfied with the demo or the trailer can vote up Castle in the Darkness on Steam Greenlight.

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