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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

Interview: The Artist is Present Questions 'Can Art Be Games?'

October 19, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim

Plenty of games have been positioned as art, but what happens when a work of art is turned into a game?

The Artist is Present by Pippin Barr is a video game that reenacts a curious work of art. Originally a performance piece at The Museum of Modern Art, the artwork The Artist is Present was performed by Marina Abramovic in 2010.

During the performance, Abramovic sat perfectly still at a wooden table for a total of 736 hours and 30 minutes, while the audience lined up for the opportunity to sit with her.

Performance art often challenges the boundaries of art, so it follows that a game based on art would challenge the boundaries of video games.

In Barr's game version of The Artist is Present, the player's only goal is to stand in line for hours and sit down with a crude, pixelated representation of Abramovic. Gamasutra talked with Barr to find out what a game that makes you wait says about the medium.

IndieCade 2011: The Takeaway

October 10, 2011 7:30 AM | jeriaska

indiemarks_indiecade.jpg
Mark Essen and Mark DeNardo of Cream Wolf fame

On the final day of IndieCade 2011, we spent time with independent game developers from LoadComplete, the Copenhagen Game Collective, Pixeljam and Haunted Temple Studios to hear what they will take away from the festival in Culver City, California. Images from the event can be found on our flickr photo set and the IndieCade photostream.

Mark DeNardo
Musician, Pixeljam

I've come to IndieCade for Pixeljam Games, having done music composition for Dino Run, along with some level design and marketing for games. I am here to see friends I've made at other conventions. It's also really awesome that it's happenstance that Pixeljam is currently #1 on Bandcamp with the bundle of Dino Run SE and Space Rubbish.

We have two games coming out. Glorkian Warrior is a collaboration with James Kochalka. I met James at an 8-bit event a little while ago and got us going in the direction of our working together on a game with Rich Grillotti's illustrations. Having been here, I may return to Brooklyn to talk with Miles Tilmann about my insights on how to make it a better game.

Some of my ideas have come from hanging out in the IndieCade firehouse and looking at games, while others have come from just talking with people at Venice Beach. It may be that many expected Glorkian Warrior or Dino Run iPhone to come out sooner, but I always think about the Shigeru Miyamoto quote: "A late game is only late until it ships. A bad game is bad until the end of time." We're looking to make good games until the end of time.

I also have game designs I'm working on myself, but I'm sworn to secrecy outside the Foshay Masonic Lodge.

IndieCade 2011: What Brings You Here?

October 9, 2011 6:00 AM | jeriaska

theswapper_indiecade.jpg
Otto Hantula and Olli Harjola, makers of The Swapper

We caught up with independent game developers from Facepalm Games, Metanet Software, thatgamecompany, Kokoromi and Distractionware to hear what brings them to the IndieCade independent games festival in Culver City, California. Images from the event can be found on our flickr photo set and the IndieCade photostream.

Facepalm Games
Creators of The Swapper

Olli Harjola: IndieCade is awesome because it's so social. You get to chat and it's nice to see how people play your game. That it's open to everyone makes it very different from some trade shows.

This may not be the best environment for playing [The Swapper] because it's very atmospheric. You can create clones and swap your mind between them. It's supposed to be played slowly in your own room, a dark room, with headphones. Still, it's going very well.

Otto Hantula: It feels like we're hanging out. We've only had a few people playtest the current version of the game before, so this is very valuable to see how well it works.

Interview: Soldat's Marcinkowski On Why Alpha Funding Will Save The Games Industry

October 1, 2011 9:00 AM | Michael Rose

michal.jpgHow many games do you know that still have an active player base nearly 10 years after the original release? How many of those originally had just one developer?

Polish 2D side-scrolling multiplayer shooter Soldat was released in August 2002, and still now receives updates to keep its fanbase happy.

The game sees players fighting each other in a variety of battle arenas with a huge range of weapons from the realistic to the very silly, and takes huge inspiration from the likes of Liero and Worms.

Developer Michal Marcinkowski began solo work on Soldat at the end of 2001, but now has a team of over half a dozen people keeping it chugging along. What exactly is the secret to his success?

"I think Soldat is simply a great game," he told sister site Gamasutra. "I don't do much myself other than paying bills for hosting the websites and servers and mentoring the new developers."

"It's the Soldat community that develops and maintains the game now. People love the game, so they join in coding, moderating, organizing tournaments and hosting modded servers with cool new features that keep the game fresh."

Q&A: Mega Ran and K-Murdock of Forever Famicom

September 25, 2011 9:00 AM | jeriaska

megaran_kmurdock.jpg
K-Murdock & Mega Ran at PAX Prime

Mega Ran writes hip-hop music based on videogames and his experiences playing them. Between panels at last month's Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, the rapper met with an independent game studio that is planning to feature his music in a highly anticipated upcoming game title.

Last year Mega Ran released a collaboration with Kyle Murdock, whose music has been influenced by pioneers of lyrical hip-hop like De La Soul, Japanese electronic artists such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, and game composers including Yuzo Koshiro of Streets of Rage. Paying tribute to the NES and Super Nintendo, their collaborative album is entitled Forever Famicom.

We had the chance to hear from the musicians on the potential creative overlap shared by the nerdcore and indie game scenes.

Q&A: David Lloyd & Larry Oji of OverClocked ReMix

September 24, 2011 9:00 AM | jeriaska

ocremix_pax.jpg
David Lloyd (djpretzel) & Larry Oji (Liontamer)

During last month's Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, David Lloyd and Larry Oji took part in two panels: on the subjects of videogame music influencing mainstream culture and the operation of their online game arrangement community OverClocked ReMix.

For more than ten years OCR has been posting submissions and organizing free compilations of game remixes. We caught up with the founder and head submissions evaluator to hear how more recently the website has become involved in publishing indie game soundtracks.

Return All Robots! "Robotastic Dub-o-Matic Genetic Lab" [Jamaican Cyberturtle] composed by Andrew Aversa, remixed by Kaliedoscope composer Mattias Häggström Gerdt

GDC Vault Adds Free Jon Blow, Douglas Wilson, Zombie Lane Talks

September 21, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim

The GDC Vault service has debuted its second group of free lectures from last month's GDC Europe, this time featuring Douglas Wilson on intentionally broken games, Digital Chocolate on Zombie Lane, and Braid creator Jonathan Blow on truth in game design.

In addition to these and other videos, slides for all of GDC Europe's sessions are now available for free, providing a glimpse into the wide range of notable topics discussed at the show.

GDC Vault also hosts videos from previous conferences, including the classic postmortem series from GDC 2011, and other recently-debuted free videos such as this trio of strategy game lectures from some of the industry's top developers.

The following are the newest free videos to make their debut on GDC Vault:

- As part of the show's Independent Games Summit, Copenhagen Game Collective co-founder Douglas Wilson hosted a lecture titled, "Intentionally Broken Game Design and the Art of 'Deputizing' Players," exploring how "incomplete" games can still be successful. Drawing from his experience working on the IGF finalist B.U.T.T.O.N. and titles like Johann Sebastian Joust, Wilson explains how games can encourage players to improvise their own rules.

Stagconf to be Held on the 27th of September

September 19, 2011 9:44 PM | Cassandra Khaw

stag.png Will you be in the general vicinity of Vienna sometime next week? If so, I envy you. At least, I would if you're going to Stagconf. A one-day conference that will be held on the 27th of September at the Natural History Museum, Stagconf will revolve around innovative storytelling in computer games. That might not sound too exciting up till the point you take the speakers into consideration. With chaps like Hal Barwood (he played a prominent role in Lucas Art's Indiana Jones franchise) and Alexis Kennedy (he's one of the people behind Echo Bazaar) serving as some of the speakers at the event, Stagconf sounds like the place to be next Tuesday.

Either way, if this piques your interest in some way, you might want to get the full details from their website.

Sense Of Wonder Night 2011 Illuminates Japanese, Western Indie Spirit

September 17, 2011 3:39 AM | Simon Carless

On the Friday night of Tokyo Game Show, the fourth Sense Of Wonder Night event showcased ten innovative independent games from across both Japanese and Western boundaries. The titles, picked from over 70 submissions, were presented by their creators to an enthusiastic audience of hundreds of Japanese game fans.

The event, which was originally modeled on GDC's Experimental Gameplay Workshop, was supported by Nintendo this year, and was judged by indie-friendly executives from companies such as Hudson (publisher of former IGF finalist Rooms), Microsoft, Gree, and the UBM TechWeb Game Network (GDC and Gamasutra/IndieGames owners - represented by the author of this article).

Each of the featured games had 10 minutes to present their titles to the audience, with noisemakers provided to the audience to 'quack' their approval when a particularly clever game feature is showcased. The concept of the night is "to discover new game ideas that will catch people by surprise".

First off was on of the most well-received presentations, the extremely odd KuraKuraMaze. From a Japanese team presenting in lab coats, it involves using an iPhone's gyroscope to rotate around and pressing the screen to move forward, and trying to reach a 'running water' goal. The 'water' gets louder, the closer you come to the goal. A unique presentation style endeared the team to the audience.

Another portable standout was Reflow, from a German team, which used the iPad camera to direct onscreen 'liquids', setting up flow of the liquids into particular buckets.

You could use one's body or a piece of paper to manipulate by setting black/white shapes - or even one of the team's T-shirts, which was specially designed to complete the final puzzle, a smart end to the presentation.

Round-Up: Indie Video Game OSTs on BandCamp

September 16, 2011 9:25 PM | Cassandra Khaw

astroslugs.jpg After putting up a post about Jasper Byrne's Soul Brother OST (Go buy it and go support the making of a brilliant game and the brilliance of an existing game!), I immediately found myself being reminded that there were plenty of other soundtracks floating out there too. Some of these gems have received extensive coverage both here and elsewhere while others have received significantly less attention. Obviously, the latter needed to be corrected.

With the help of numerous parties on Twitter (one of the best networking resources ever, I swear), I managed to amass a rather extensive collection of soundtracks available on Bandcamp. It's by no means an exhaustive list on what's available on the Internet so if you know of someone that deserves attention, fire them my way.

That said, you can find a random assortment of soundtracks under the cut.

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How a bad publisher deal made Mutant Mudds dev Renegade Kid go indie
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Browser Pick: obliterate humanity, dolphins with a fist of Uranus in Planet Punch
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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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Have you considered porting your game to MS-DOS?
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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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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
-March 8, 2013 12:00 AM

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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-February 26, 2013 9:00 PM

Sean Barrett didn't enjoy Corrypt's twist, makes a free Brough-like anyway
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RIOT interview: ethnicity not a focus as it disconnects us, says developer
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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
-February 7, 2013 1:00 AM

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-February 5, 2013 2:30 PM

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Bathe in the gore that is 2BAM's CJR demo
-February 3, 2013 12:15 PM

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Is Proteus a game -- and if not, who cares?
-January 31, 2013 12:00 AM

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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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Top Indie Games of 2012: Dev Redux Part 2
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PlayStation Mobile opens the floodgates for all game developers
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Molyneux to indies: Don't be afraid to experiment
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Dust: An Elysian Tail Dev Bit the Bullet, Cut a Third of the Game
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The Benefits of Making Your Players Suffer (and Maybe Throw Up)
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Q&A: Leonard J. Paul on Retro City Chiptunes and Vessel Audio
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The Real Story of Developing for Nintendo's Download Platforms
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Sound Shapes Q&A: Prototyping for PlayStation Consoles
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Ask IndieGames: Which genres do you want to see indie developers tackle?
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Q&A: Martin Stig Andersen on Limbo's Soundtrack
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HFB Q&A: A Brief History of SideTracks' PixelJunk Soundtrack
-July 23, 2012 12:30 PM

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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