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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: Molleindustria On Phone Story's 'Objectionable' Message

September 14, 2011 9:00 AM | Michael Rose

paolo_pedercini.jpg[Following the news that Molleindustria's latest game Phone Story had been removed from the App Store by Apple, Leigh Alexander from sister site Gamasutra talked to dev Paolo Pedercini about what the team plans to do next.]

The rise of the iPhone has revolutionized communication in the modern world, and the game development industry has been one of the largest beneficiaries of this paradigm shift. Thanks to Apple's touch screen and App Store, mobile game development was dredged from its cultural ghetto to a legitimate avenue for big studios and indies alike.

It arrived in the nick of time, too, after the rapid contraction of packaged goods and the recession of a few years ago forced so many developers to seek more agile, less expensive and lower-risk spaces within the industry. Since then, powerhouse studios have been built and careers have been rescued on the back of Apple's must-have device.

But until now, few have been willing to turn the lens on this boom and examine what mass-market gadget lust is costing us ethically. Though we've since heard of suicides at Foxconn, deplorable working conditions and hazards to the environment involved in the manufacture of the latest hot smartphones, game developers were mostly silent -- until now.

It seems natural that provocative serious games developer Molleindustria was the one to take the step. The studio, which has taken on forces like the Catholic church, McDonalds and Big Oil with games like Operation Pedopriest, McDonalds Video Game and Oiligarchy, never pulls its punches as it uses games to sharply deconstruct the social and economic constructs most people take for granted.

Its latest title, Phone Story, uses a series of minigames with voice-over narration to shed light on the human cost and high environmental impact of smartphone development on. In one, while the narrator explains that most electronic devices require the mining of coltan, a conflict mineral in Congo whose demand spurs war and child labor, the player must use the touch screen to guide armed soldiers to bark at exhausted child miners in order to meet the goal in time.

Sense of Wonder Night 2011 Live Streaming This Friday 16th

September 13, 2011 6:00 AM | Tim


It was announced yesterday on Tokyo Game Show's official site that the entire SOWN 2011 presentations will be live streamed this Friday, starting at 5.30pm Japan time. The ten presenters will be at the event to demonstrate their games to a live audience, with Japanese-English and English-Japanese translations to be conducted on stage during the presentations as well.

Now in its fourth year running, SOWN is an annual event that aims to discover new and unconventional game concepts that "catch people by surprise and give them a Sense of Wonder -- a sense that something will change in their world -- right at the instant of seeing or hearing the concept."

SOWN's presentations are based on the Game Developers Conference's Experimental Gameplay Workshop format, allowing each developer to take the stage, demonstrate and explain the project, and answer questions for around ten minutes.

The selected games and their presenters for the night are as follows:

Eufloria (PSN) - Rudolf Kremers, Alex May, Brian Grainger
I'm Gonna Be God of the Forest - isao
Inside a Star-filled Sky - Jason Rohrer
KuraKuraMaze - Yoshimi Kurihara
Leedmees - Orihara Nagayo
Q.U.B.E. - Daniel Da Rocha
reflow - Frederik Maucksch and Matthias Wolff
Solstice - Jordan Hemenway
Incredipede - Colin Northway
Taplib - Yanagihara Takayuki

The SOWN presentations will take place on September 16 from 17:30-20:00 in Room 201, Makuhari Messe of the International Conference Hall. The Tokyo Game Show itself will occur September 15-18, as the annual expo aims to become "The World's Largest Event."

Soul Brother OST on BandCamp! Lone Survivor Back on Track?

September 11, 2011 4:01 PM | Cassandra Khaw



One of Indiegames Blog's perennial favorites, Jasper Byrne, the maker of Soul Brother and the upcoming Lone Survivor, has set up a BandCamp page showcasing the music of the former. To recap for those who haven't heard of Soul Brother, it's an intriguing little 2D puzzle platformer situated in Adult Swim. Where most protagonists in the genre rely on guns or the ability to roll into balls, Soul Brother lets you inherit the abilities of whatever your soul transfers into. A little morbid? Maybe. But it's pretty nifty.

At any rate, the Soul Brother OST will have all the music from there and a little bit more. There are remastered tracks, additional vocals and experiments with music all tucked away into the digital album. Jasper goes into detail about OST here on his website. If that's not enough to sell you on the idea of supporting an indie developer, it looks like the money from the sales will, at least in part, be funneled into the final push for Lone Survivor before it hits the IGF. Can we help make that happen? A 2D Silent Hill Meets Lost Highway isn't something you encounter every day, after all.

For those interested in checking out the OST, here's the BandCamp page. For everyone else, take a peek at the blog here.

Survey: Why Go Indie?

September 7, 2011 12:00 PM | Michael Rose

daniel fedor.jpgA new game developer focused survey by Daniel Fedor, a former BioWare producer and now full-time indie, has been looking into the reasons why devs decided to go indie, as well as why devs would choose not to go indie. The results were posted on sister site Gamasutra, and prove rather interesting.

Of reasons to become an indie dev over working for a AAA company, 73 percent of those surveyed cited "creative freedom", while 58 percent said it was down to "sharing one's ideas with the world". 49 percent said being an indie dev was good for the "improved working hours." 47 percent also said it was due to "the chance to earn more than a salary and/or benefits", although it is questionable exactly what this means - indeed, a couple of commenters on Gama have left notes to this effect.

Now onto the cons of going indie. 54 percent of participants cited "inability to go without pay long enough to ship a game", while "lack of business acumen" was noted by 37 percent of those surveyed. Other reasons cited included "family depends on income", "liking coworkers" and "liking current project."

This is just a basic break-down of what the survey found - it's worth checking it out in full if you're interested. It's also worth noting that 121 people took part in total, and 56 percent of those were devs who are considering becoming indie, while only 27 percent were actually indie. Read the full survey at Gamasutra. You can also see the results directly here.

On-Going Cryengine 3 SDK Tutorial : 17 Parts and Counting!

September 7, 2011 9:33 AM | Cassandra Khaw



Sorry, end-users but this post is going to be all about the developers. Yes, just them. Unless, of course, you're interested in the inner mechanics of the CryEngine in which case, you're less of an end-user and more of a budding -- Okay, I'll stop now.

That said, this tutorial series by CyberGamearts is a rather in-depth look at the basics of formulating a game and most definitely worth a look. So, if you've been procrastinating on picking up a new technology and needed a little boot in the right direction, go check it out!

The rest of the videos can be found here.

What do YOU want to see in Indiegames Blog's first Game Jam?

August 12, 2011 2:31 PM | Cassandra Khaw

indiegames_tiny.png These days, it's hard to go anywhere without encountering a game jam. From regional events to Ludum Dare, there's one everywhere you look. Everywhere, that is, except here. Over the last few years, we've done our best to cover the best that such events have had to offer - games like Youdunnit, Hide and Station 37 come immediately to mind. However, we've never organized our own game jam.

Obviously, this post is all about changing that. After much deliberation, we've decided that we really, really want to host our own regular game jam event. Nonetheless, before we can accomplish this, we need one thing: we want to know what you think.

How long do you think the time period should be? Do you want to assemble your own teams? Do you want us to make random groups out of all the participants? Should the community vote? In short, tell us what you think would be the most bang for your virtual buck.

While we've got a few ideas about the whole shindig in the pipeline, we're only going to reveal the details later.

So, without further ado, spam the comment thread!

Q&A: Yasunori Mitsuda and Laura Shigihara Play For Japan

August 11, 2011 8:00 PM | jeriaska

Following the Tohoku earthquake, game composer Akira Yamaoka organized the Play For Japan fundraising initiative, whose proceeds are being donated to the Red Cross in Japan. In this interview we hear from two musicians whose work is featured on the charity album "Play For Japan: The Album."

mitsuda_yasunori_270.jpgFor the compilation Yasunori Mitsuda provided an arrangement of "Dimension Break," a music track from the PlayStation 1 game Chrono Cross, published by Square Enix. This 2011 orchestral rendition will be included in the musician's long-awaited Chrono Cross Arrange Album, in the process of being recorded at Procyon Studio.

Laura Shigihara is currently at work on her independently developed game Melolune, while writing the soundtrack and recording her own vocals. Her music became widely known upon the release of PopCap's popular tower defense game Plants vs Zombies. Prior to recording her song "Jump" for inclusion in Play For Japan: The Album, she held a soundtrack album sale and contributed the proceeds to the MercyCorps charity organization.

We had the chance to hear from the two artists on their participation in Play For Japan. Further discussions of the making of the album can be found on Gamasutra and IndieGames.com.

Review: Beautiful Escape - Dungeoneer (Nicolau Chaud)

August 9, 2011 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

dungeoneer.jpg

My first victim was a bit of a chauvinistic cliche, a hodgepodge of all the things that women dislike in men. A hypochondriac who entered the world of high-fashion photography for the sake of sleeping with every willing model he could find, he was the only one in Verge's group of potential victims that I felt drawn to. Like Verge, the anti-hero of Beautiful Escape: Dungeoneer, I had my preferences, my own prejudices. If anyone had to suffer, it was going to be him. I tried three times to convince him to follow me home. Eventually, he agreed.

The screen faded to black.

Moments later, we found ourselves in Verge's sparse-looking dungeon, our victim strung up in chains at the end of a winding corridor. The objective here was ostensibly a simple one. Our guest needed to be broken, needed to be stripped of everything but the barest sliver of health and hope. He had to leave broken but functional, a step above bestial stupidity and death. I had to meet the game's definition of perfect. I had to give him the Beautiful Escape.

Bearing Witness: Jonathan Blow Interview

August 9, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim

[Gamasutra travels to Jonathan Blow's studio to take a look at The Witness and discuss the development of the game, in a wide-ranging conversation that covers everything from design to business considerations.]

Braid. Though it was far from the first title to hit the service, it defined the Xbox Live Arcade game: original, thoughtful, and fundamentally unlike anything shipped on a disc.

It also defined the dream of the independent developer. It went on to be a tremendous success -- winning awards, moving to other platforms, and in the process of both, selling so many copies that developer Jonathan Blow has been able to assemble a small team to pursue the multi-year development of his latest title, The Witness.

The Witness is completely funded (at a budget Blow estimates at 2 million dollars) by Braid's success. It will be finished when Blow says it is, and has no firm target for release, no publisher, and no announced platforms.

Recently, Gamasutra was invited to Blow's new studio in Berkeley, California to play The Witness (on a Windows PC) and speak with Blow about development of the game.

Fruit Ninja Kinect: Far More Fun Than You'd Imagine

August 8, 2011 3:00 PM | Michael Rose

fruit ninja kinect.jpg

I remember having numerous conversations with people when Microsoft's Kinect was first announced, where everyone agreed that the hardware would do well as long as it didn't see a barrage of games where you simply stood in front of the TV and swiped your arms about frantically. Imagine my surprise, then, when I played Fruit Ninja Kinect and discovered that this is, in fact, exactly what Kinect needed.

Fruit Ninja Kinect takes the original smartphone touch-screen game and blows it up for the big screen. Instead of swiping fruit with your finger, you're instead cutting them down with your arms and, if you feel like it, your feet too. Fruit is launched onto the screen, and you're looking to slice through it all and coat the screen in juice.

It's impossible to understand how much fun this game is without trying it yourself. I admit, before actually playing, I'd already dismissed it as a silly use of the Kinect technology. But how wrong I was - this is now easily one of my favourite Kinect games, and everyone who owns the hardware should give it a try.

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

Doing Stealth the Monaco Way
-September 28, 2012 1:00 AM

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

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

Q&A: Leonard J. Paul on Retro City Chiptunes and Vessel Audio
-August 29, 2012 6:40 PM

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

The Real Story of Developing for Nintendo's Download Platforms
-August 16, 2012 3:00 AM

Sound Shapes Q&A: Prototyping for PlayStation Consoles
-August 13, 2012 1:00 PM

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

Reinventing stealth in 2D with Mark of the Ninja
-August 3, 2012 8:00 PM

Will PlayStation Mobile be Xbox Live Indie Games all over again?
-July 27, 2012 5:00 AM

Q&A: Martin Stig Andersen on Limbo's Soundtrack
-July 26, 2012 1:00 PM

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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