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About The IGF

IndieGames.com 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, Gamasutra.com 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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Features

IGF China Seeking Indie Game Submissions for 2012 Event

August 17, 2012 8:43 PM | Staff

gdcchina gama.jpgThe Independent Games Festival China - which will take place alongside this November's GDC China in Shanghai - has opened its call for submissions and is accepting indie game entries from the pan-Pacific area from now through September 10.

Following its success from previous years, GDC China will once again host all three main elements of IGF China, including the IGF Summit, the IGF Pavilion, and the prestigious IGF Awards.

Now in its fourth year, the IGF Summit at GDC China will feature sessions from some of the world's top developers, while the IGF Pavilion will showcase some of the region's best independent and student games.

And of course the IGF Awards - which are split into both Main and Student competitions - will honor the many talented developers in the pan-Pacific area.

The Real Story of Developing for Nintendo's Download Platforms

August 16, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff


Gaijin Games' Bit.Trip Beat

Nintendo is typically the butt of the joke when it comes to digital storefronts and sales. Developers have routinely lambasted the company's services -- WiiWare, in particular, and DSiWare -- over the past couple of years.

Trent Oster, co-founder of Beamdog Studios, which ported MDK 2 to WiiWare, told Gamasutra earlier this year that Wii (and WiiWare) "isn't a good platform for developers." He also cited problems with how Nintendo handles payments, file size limitations and game certification.

Icon Games released numerous titles for WiiWare -- such as Stunt Cars, Family Games and Soccer Bashi -- and had even harsher words for the digital platform.

"... The WiiWare store is horribly inflexible; so if a title isn't selling you have no options to boost sales," head of development Richard Hill-Whittall wrote on the company's blog. "You can't change the price point, they don't run sales or promotions, you can't update the game once it is on sale unless there is a critical bug found, etc."

Don't Let Popular Opinion Get in the Way of Your Vision

August 15, 2012 3:30 AM | Staff

beat sneak bandit gama.gifSimon Flesser and Magnus Gardeback of mobile game studio Simogo urged developers at GDC Europe today to "base [design and business] decisions on what feels right instead of what is considered right."

With the studio's first game, 2010's Kosmo Spin for iOS, the two-man team created the game following all the rules you're "meant" to follow -- 99 cent price, small file size, lots of updates and a very casual setting. These are the elements they had read would make their game sell.

Simogo's second game Bumpy Road also attempted to incorporate a number of these "popular" mobile game elements, with lots of updates released post-launch and cut-price sales from time to time. However, the game was priced higher than 99 cents, and yet still managed to sell solidly, making the development pair question whether there really was a set way to sell mobile games.

Earlier this year, Beat Sneak Bandit was released -- a rather niche rhythm game that was "deliberately difficult" and required that the player had a lot of patience.

It broke every mobile game rule, says Flesser and Gardeback, providing players with hardcore gameplay that featured no in-app purchases, no cross-promotion, no ads, and no cut-price sales at all.

Indie Tools: articy:draft

August 14, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

articy.pngThere are some times when you run into things you didn't even know existed and then go on and wonder how anyone could live without them. It's those times when you either feel consumerism has finally gotten to you or you are a designer of complex games and discover such tools as articy:draft.

As I sincerely hope you are a designer and not someone who's ready to spend quite a lot of money on the "first professional tool for story and game design", let me just say that articy:draft is a truly impressive program. Or, well, at the very least and after putting marketing jargon aside, the very first tool of its ilk I have ever ran into, and I'm utterly loving it.

Sound Shapes Q&A: Prototyping for PlayStation Consoles

August 13, 2012 1:00 PM | jeriaska

soundshapes_478.jpgShaw-Han Liem, Jonathan Mak and Jason Degroot "6955" at the E3 Expo

Queasy Games' Sound Shapes for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita is a sidescrolling platformer, where level design generates sound design. The game allows you to customize your own stages in its level editor, incorporating building blocks designed by guest artists like Beck and deadmau5, and share those results over the PlayStation Network.

Queasy's Jonthan Mak won three Independent Games Festival awards for his solo effort Everyday Shooter, a marker of its inventive unity of gameplay, graphics and sound. This time around, audio has been overseen by Shaw-Han Liem, the composer of the I Am Robot and Proud series of electronic music albums.

In reaching out to visual artists like indie dev team Pixeljam to craft sprites for the game, Toronto chip musician Jason DeGroot, aka "6955," has been tasked with coordinating creative collaborations over the course of development. In this interview we hear about the prototyping process that preceded the recent launch of Sound Shapes.

In interviews you have said that Everyday Shooter got its start after you decided to turn your attention away from a more elaborate project to try out something simpler in design. Sound Shapes, it's been mentioned, got its start five years ago in a basement. What objectives were guiding you at the beginning?

Jonathan Mak: This is kind of the exact opposite. It started off with Shaw-Han and I creating visualizers for live music shows. We started talking about doing a game, but the problem was that at that point I still had Everyday Shooter stuck in my head.

Shaw-Han Liem: We grew up like a block away from each other but never met until around six years ago. I had been getting into projections and processing, and since he has so much experience doing coded visuals, it made sense to talk.

Pay Once for PC and iOS? Galcon Dev Experiments with Dynamite Jack

August 10, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

Dynamite-Jack.jpgIn a rather novel pay-once, cross-platform experiment, Galcon developer Phil Hassey has offered a limited deal to give iOS purchasers of Dynamite Jack free Humble Store codes for PC.

The App Store's fierce restrictions on game codes limits this experiment such that consumers must pay for the iOS version first to get the Windows, Mac, and Linux versions free. Whereas Humble Store and Steam developers can get virtually unlimited codes for their games to distribute, Apple only gives 50 free codes per update.

To make this sale reciprocal for PC, Hassey would have had to buy the codes himself, so Apple could keep its 30% profit. Prepping for this promotion with 10,000 iOS codes would have cost him around $9,000 instead of $0.

Despite not being able to reciprocate this sale to PC owners, Hassey said he has received no complaints or backlash so far. "I reassure them that they can give their extra desktop code to a friend, so they still get benefit from this promotion."

What do Symphony, Rigonauts, Deponia, and Unmechanical Have in Common?

August 9, 2012 9:00 PM | John Polson

collage august 2012.jpgIndie games Symphony, Rigonauts, Deponia, and Unmechanical have all hit Steam and other online stores over the past few days, offering players a healthy variety of genres for the upcoming weekend. English Country Tune is in a slightly different boat, finally releasing on Steam today after being available through the Humble store since November 2011.

Each of the games is highlighted after the jump.

Ask IndieGames: Which genres do you want to see indie developers tackle?

August 5, 2012 8:00 AM | John Polson

This month's Ask IndieGames explores the genres and games we want to see indie developers tackle. Our blog is full of great platformers and twin-stick shooters, so we wonder what other genres merit exploration within the indie space.

mike rose.jpgMike Rose: I really enjoyed the recent 7DFPS challenge, and the great angles that some of the participants went for. The FPS genre is pretty weird in that it barely ever goes anywhere new, with the same ideas used over and over again, yet it's been going on for so long now that we've just stopped caring whether we're playing the very same games over and over again. We should definitely be looking to push the genre forward and explore new angles with it, and I think indie devs are in the best position to experiment with it.

Other than that, I'd love to see more sport or management games from indie devs. These are two genres that I'm not even that interested in to be perfectly honest, but I think there is a huge amount of scope for expansion on concepts and innovation. The Kairosoft games, for example, are utterly fantastic management titles that have brought a lot of people into a genre they perhaps wouldn't normally touch. We need more like that. New Star Soccer is also a great management/sports game, so simple yet so addictive. More of that kind of thing would be perfectly fine with me.

Reinventing stealth in 2D with Mark of the Ninja

August 3, 2012 8:00 PM | Staff

markofninja gama.jpgAlthough there are plenty of ninja games, quite few depict the ninja as the master of stealth and trickery he ought to be. And stealth games are precious rare in the platformer genre. But with its upcoming Mark of the Ninja, Klei Entertainment wanted to try a couple new things.

Nels Anderson is leading the game's design, and even tackled the early legs of the project all on his own. It's the first time Vancouver-based Klei has done multiple projects at once; work on Mark of the Ninja became possible once Shank 2 was underway. Anderson says his studio would rather encourage cool ideas when they're possible rather than wait for some unspecified "right time."

With Klei's well-received Shank games, "we had figured out all this stuff about creating a 2D game that has really good feel, tight responsive controls, and stylized, super-fluid 60-frames animation," he says. "So let's take those core fundamentals, and use them to do something completely different."

As a fan of stealth games, Anderson saw an opportunity to mix up the melee combat generally native to 2D platformers. "At a high level, part of the reason I like stealth games so much is... the flow of the game is all about the game pushing onto you. Some dudes show up, and you react," he explains.

But in stealth games the player is fundamentally undetected from the beginning: "It's the player that pokes and perturbs the world," Anderson says. "The flow of these games tends to be more about pull. You utilize your understanding of how the systems work, and you prod and disturb the game world in kind of an intersting way. That's why I like stealth games so much -- because it's not about reaction, it's about anticipation and planning."

Comic Market 82 Previews and Demos

August 2, 2012 8:00 PM | John Polson

The 82nd Touhou... errr, Comic Market (Komike or "comiket") will take place at the Tokyo Big Sight on August 10-12 and bring a slew of manga, music, and independent games to enjoy. Finding anything announced without a Touhou influence has been difficult, but these four Windows titles have gameplay I don't see every day in our inbox.

Take the above "real time, high speed, action RPG" 双子魔法組曲 -WORLD OF TWAIN- or (roughly Magical Twins Music Suite) from circle 永久る~ぷ (Eternal Loop). Players use mouse and keyboard to assign different commands in a real time battle that resembles a chaotic Deathsmiles, complete with turning your character's direction. According to the story path you choose, the party members you use change. Those members also get to go on dates during the campaign. The character's chemistry can affect potency of magical powers and more. iPad, please! (Keep an eye on this download page for a free trial).

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Don't Sh!t Your Pants for Cellar Door's upcoming Rogue Legacy action-platformer
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How a bad publisher deal made Mutant Mudds dev Renegade Kid go indie
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Indies question whether journalists should be our game curators
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Road to the IGF: Michael Lee on mindful xp
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Dwarf Fortress: A game that will live forever?
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Road to the IGF: ATUM
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The intimacy of sound: Robin Arnott's mysterious SoundSelf
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Road to the IGF: The Fullbright Company's Gone Home
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Your indie guide to IGF 2013: a GDC primer
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Road to the IGF: Arcane Kids' Zineth
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Road to the IGF: Behold Studios' Knights of Pen & Paper
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Team Meat's Refenes: Apathy and refunds are more dangerous than piracy
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Have you considered porting your game to MS-DOS?
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Road to the IGF: Tale of Tales' Bientot l'ete
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Roundtable: The Interactive Fiction Renaissance
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Road to the IGF: Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
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Road to the IGF: Team Pixel Pi's Pulse
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Road to the IGF: Anna Anthropy's Dys4ia
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The Cat that Got the Milk, The Button Affair dev on dressing games to the nines
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Veteran Japanese devs make a game on fighting terrorists with a wrecking ball
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Road to the IGF: Alexander Martin's Starseed Pilgrim
-March 11, 2013 3:00 AM

Video: Relive GDC 2012's popular Experimental Gameplay Sessions
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A history - and call - for German indie developers
-March 6, 2013 3:00 AM

Q&A: Brainwave game hints at future of biometric gameplay
-March 6, 2013 1:00 AM

Road to the IGF: Klaus Pedersen's Back to Bed
-March 4, 2013 3:10 PM

Indie game development on the rise in a big way
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GDC Play 2013 'Best in Play' game winners announced
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Retro City Rampage does better on PSN than Steam, XBLA; dev releases 8-bit ROM
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A free Twine game about the homeless of Denver, Colorado's Cherry Creek
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Road to the IGF: Jeppe Carlsen and team's 140
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The Button Affair is a stylish semi-autorunner and fundraiser for disabled gamers
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Sean Barrett didn't enjoy Corrypt's twist, makes a free Brough-like anyway
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Art Game: Make art with games in a game about art
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RIOT interview: ethnicity not a focus as it disconnects us, says developer
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It's Valentine's Day and there is time for Depression Quest
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Valentine's gift ideas: Indie Royale, Indie Gala, and Game Music Bundles!
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Q&A: Bit.Trip Business: Indie studio life in 2013
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Road to the IGF: Teknopants' Samurai Gunn
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Road to the IGF: Mousechief's 7 Grand Steps
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'Road to the IGF' Pt.1: the stories behind this year's top indie games
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Bastion's argument for doing away with cross-platform development
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Terrorist or tourist? You decide in Lucas Pope's Papers, Please free demo
-February 5, 2013 2:30 PM

Video: How to function as a depressed, solo game developer
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Bathe in the gore that is 2BAM's CJR demo
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It's official: XNA is dead
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Is Proteus a game -- and if not, who cares?
-January 31, 2013 12:00 AM

Top 10 Indie Platformers of 2012 (Paid)
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Lume sequel is a gorgeous world of motorized paper and cardboard
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Road to the IGF: Cardboard Computer's Kentucky Route Zero
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Bombball aims to unlock OUYA eSport potential
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Interview: The 411 on Indie Speed Run
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The mysterious Quake-inspired game from the dev behind Dustforce
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Road to the IGF: Blendo Games' Thirty Flights of Loving
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As release looms, Antichamber dev reflects on emotional rollercoaster
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Super Crate Box, Thomas Was Alone devs share on new site stories of being bullied
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Cactus Goes Commercial: How One Indie Moved Beyond His Freeware Roots
-July 14, 2012 4:00 AM

GDC Europe's Indie Games Summit Adds Fotonica, Eufloria HD Design Discussions
-July 10, 2012 8:00 PM

Games Like Spelunky That Do Not Require An Xbox 360
-July 4, 2012 11:00 AM

A Developer Love Letter to Spelunky
-July 4, 2012 10:00 AM

Indies Challenge Themselves to Find Innovation in the Tired Old FPS Genre
-July 4, 2012 1:00 AM

Ask IndieGames: What makes a good free-to-play game?
-June 30, 2012 1:00 PM

PlayStation Network Indie Devs Divided on Software Pricing
-June 28, 2012 1:00 AM

Mobile Features

Five PR tips indies really need
-July 16, 2013 10:50 AM

Indie Games Summit at GDC Europe debuts line-up, adds Gamescom perk
-July 10, 2013 11:40 AM

What indie game festivals do for the big publishers
-June 25, 2013 3:30 AM

GDC Europe's Indie Summit adds Ridiculous Fishing, Badland postmortems
-June 20, 2013 1:49 PM

Video: Over 20 amazing demos at GDC 2013's Experimental Gameplay Workshop
-May 21, 2013 5:50 PM

AudioBrush aims to cure iOS music games of their offbeat afflictions
-May 14, 2013 8:56 PM

Aliceffekt Interview: Hiversaires' World Without Words
-May 14, 2013 2:45 AM

Video: 'Hothead developers' rant at GDC 2013
-May 7, 2013 6:07 PM

A MAZE. Indie Connect - German Indie Festival - 2nd Encounter
-May 3, 2013 2:10 AM

Four perspectives on personal games
-April 30, 2013 10:40 PM

November's GDC Next open for talk submissions
-April 29, 2013 3:07 PM

Vlambeer's games popular among players, cloners alike
-April 23, 2013 12:01 AM

How a bad publisher deal made Mutant Mudds dev Renegade Kid go indie
-April 18, 2013 12:07 AM

Postmortem: Game Oven's intimate finger twisting Fingle
-April 14, 2013 10:06 AM

Play folk games on the fly with Tiny Games app
-April 3, 2013 11:05 PM

GDC/PAX East Catch-up Part 2: Home, Kentucky Route Zero devs' next plans
-April 2, 2013 2:00 PM

The five reasons freemium sucks (according to QWOP's developer)
-March 30, 2013 1:36 PM

IGF 2013 winners led by Cart Life and FTL: Faster Than Light
-March 27, 2013 10:35 PM

Your indie guide to IGF 2013: a GDC primer
-March 21, 2013 6:23 PM

Road to the IGF: Behold Studios' Knights of Pen & Paper
-March 20, 2013 6:50 PM

Team Meat's Refenes: Apathy and refunds are more dangerous than piracy
-March 20, 2013 11:50 AM

Roundtable: The Interactive Fiction Renaissance
-March 16, 2013 8:00 PM

Veteran Japanese devs make a game on fighting terrorists with a wrecking ball
-March 11, 2013 6:42 PM

Why they're playing: Year Walk
-March 6, 2013 11:58 PM

Vlambeer, Kert Gartner on making a six-second Vine trailer for Ridiculous Fishing
-March 6, 2013 3:43 PM

A history - and call - for German indie developers
-March 6, 2013 3:00 AM

Road to the IGF: Klaus Pedersen's Back to Bed
-March 4, 2013 3:10 PM

Indie game development on the rise in a big way
-March 4, 2013 3:00 AM

GDC Play 2013 'Best in Play' game winners announced
-March 3, 2013 4:00 PM

RIOT interview: ethnicity not a focus as it disconnects us, says developer
-February 25, 2013 3:55 PM

IGF 2013 Audience Award Opens Voting
-February 19, 2013 1:07 PM

BitSummit initiative to help connect Japanese indies to the world
-February 19, 2013 3:00 AM

Shade, and the future of interactive fiction on the App Store
-February 13, 2013 2:15 PM

Q&A: Bit.Trip Business: Indie studio life in 2013
-February 13, 2013 8:00 AM

'Road to the IGF' Pt.1: the stories behind this year's top indie games
-February 8, 2013 10:00 AM

Road to the IGF: Henry Smith's Spaceteam
-February 7, 2013 1:30 PM

Bastion's argument for doing away with cross-platform development
-February 7, 2013 1:00 AM

Video: How to function as a depressed, solo game developer
-February 5, 2013 11:00 AM

Road to the IGF: Simogo's Year Walk
-February 1, 2013 10:30 AM

Road to the IGF: Lucky Frame's Bad Hotel
-January 27, 2013 4:00 PM

Why they're playing: Hundreds
-January 26, 2013 6:00 PM

Interview: The 411 on Indie Speed Run
-January 24, 2013 3:05 PM

Super Crate Box, Thomas Was Alone devs share on new site stories of being bullied
-January 17, 2013 3:00 AM

Joe Danger is a rare example of console-to-mobile done right
-January 13, 2013 9:00 PM

10 Indie Games Scene Shakers in 2012
-January 10, 2013 4:00 PM

GDC 2013 adds Capy, Shellrazer, Yamove! Summit talks
-January 10, 2013 1:30 PM

Betting on style with Saltsman and Wohlwend's Hundreds
-January 6, 2013 7:00 PM

Top Indie Games of 2012: Dev Redux Part 2
-December 31, 2012 2:00 PM

What AAA can learn from indies -- according to indies
-December 30, 2012 12:00 PM

Indies met challenges, learned lessons in 2012
-December 28, 2012 5:00 PM

Top Indie Games of 2012: Dev Redux Part 1
-December 25, 2012 12:00 PM

Unique Showcase Space for Smaller Devs at GDC 2013 via GDC Play
-December 19, 2012 5:00 PM

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2012 (+2!)
-December 18, 2012 6:00 PM

The Avant-Game - brain food for the hardcore weirdos
-December 14, 2012 3:00 AM

Personal Struggles Inspire Personal Games
-December 6, 2012 3:00 AM

The 9 Common Mistakes Every Indie Game Studio Should Avoid
-November 23, 2012 4:00 PM

How competition deadlines whipped FTL into shape
-November 21, 2012 4:01 AM

PlayStation Mobile opens the floodgates for all game developers
-November 20, 2012 9:00 PM

F*ck This Jam Gets Personal: Devs Parody Curiosity, Facebook, and YouTube
-November 16, 2012 12:00 PM

The unique challenges of building a game world out of cardboard
-November 16, 2012 1:00 AM

Molyneux to indies: Don't be afraid to experiment
-November 15, 2012 1:00 AM

Even Canabalt's Creator Can't Explain its Success
-November 7, 2012 1:00 AM

The Secret to Spider's Success: New Forms of Collaboration
-November 3, 2012 2:00 AM

Terry Cavanagh and the Heart of Super Hexagon
-October 30, 2012 3:00 AM

A New Record for IGF Submissions at Nearly 600 Games
-October 23, 2012 8:00 PM

Video: Is Your Game 'Juicy' Enough?
-October 17, 2012 8:00 PM

One Week to Go for 2013 IGF's Main Competition Entries
-October 11, 2012 1:00 AM

Gree Launches New Program to Support, Promote Indie Devs
-October 9, 2012 1:00 AM

The Benefits of Making Your Players Suffer (and Maybe Throw Up)
-October 8, 2012 8:00 PM

Ask IndieGames: 'Can too much interaction obstruct a game's intended message?'
-October 6, 2012 2:00 PM

GDC 2013 Indie Games Summit Call for Submissions
-September 29, 2012 12:00 AM

10 Indie Games to Sing Along with
-September 21, 2012 2:00 PM

Why Indie Games Make Meaningful Spectator Sports
-September 20, 2012 3:00 AM

Rewarding Kickstarter Donors with Copies of Your Game Is Vital
-September 3, 2012 10:00 PM

Ask IndieGames: Are indie developers censoring themselves?
-September 2, 2012 10:00 AM

IGF China Seeking Indie Game Submissions for 2012 Event
-August 17, 2012 8:43 PM

Don't Let Popular Opinion Get in the Way of Your Vision
-August 15, 2012 3:30 AM

Pay Once for PC and iOS? Galcon Dev Experiments with Dynamite Jack
-August 10, 2012 2:00 PM

Ask IndieGames: Which genres do you want to see indie developers tackle?
-August 5, 2012 8:00 AM

The Day After #ScreenshotSaturday 5
-July 29, 2012 9:30 PM

The Day After #ScreenshotSaturday 3
-July 15, 2012 10:00 PM

GDC Europe's Indie Games Summit Adds Fotonica, Eufloria HD Design Discussions
-July 10, 2012 8:00 PM

Take this survey on the motivations of Kickstarter contributors
-July 6, 2012 5:00 PM

Indies Challenge Themselves to Find Innovation in the Tired Old FPS Genre
-July 4, 2012 1:00 AM

Ask IndieGames: What makes a good free-to-play game?
-June 30, 2012 1:00 PM

Feature: 10 iOS Adventure Games You Must Play
-June 28, 2012 7:30 AM

Why a Key Trials Evolution Coder Went Independent
-June 22, 2012 3:00 AM

Letter From The Chairman: Welcome back (soon!) for IGF 2013
-June 19, 2012 12:00 PM

Wreck-It Ralph: The Indie Edition (by Kert Gartner) Must Happen
-June 10, 2012 8:00 AM

Andy Moore on His One-hour Breadth Jam: Jam O'Clock
-June 1, 2012 2:00 PM

Dev Tech Tops Wii U as "Open and Flexible," Uses Gadgets You Already Own
-May 21, 2012 2:00 PM

Ask IndieGames: How Do I Get You Guys To Pay Attention To My Press Release?
-May 18, 2012 4:15 PM

FPS Games and Imitation: What Should Return and What Must Go
-May 18, 2012 2:00 PM

Interview: Hard Lines Dev Pumps His FIST OF AWESOME
-May 17, 2012 2:00 PM

Ask Indie Devs: FPS Games and Innovation
-May 11, 2012 3:00 PM

Exploring Parallel 3D Space and Time with Oliver & Spike
-April 28, 2012 4:30 PM

Bieg and Nasser on Sexy Joysticks and Subversion in Swordfight
-April 27, 2012 2:00 PM

Final Fantasy to Snow White: Composer Kumi Tanioka's Independent Vision
-March 1, 2012 5:00 PM

Road to the IGF: Powerhead's Async Corp.
-February 26, 2012 5:07 PM

Road to the IGF: Game Oven's Fingle
-February 25, 2012 4:43 AM

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