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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

Nuclear Dawn Screenshots + Interview

August 4, 2011 3:00 PM | Michael Rose

nuclear dawn (4).jpg

It's been a long ride, but team-based shooter Nuclear Dawn is finally upon us. Starting life as a Source mod back in 2006, the game is now ready to be released as a full-blown commercial release next month. For those about to yawn and mutter 'not another FPS', Nuclear Dawn has a twist - one player is playing the game from an RTS perspective, looking down on the battlefield, giving commands to soldiers and assisting with support.

The Interwave Studios dev team has thrown a bunch of exclusive screenshots our way, which is awfully nice of them. Jump below the cut to check them out in all their glory. I've also got an interview coming up on sister site Gamasutra later today [update: it's now live over at Gamasutra.]

Visit the Nuclear Dawn site in the meantime for all the goss.

You Should Download Bastion

August 4, 2011 12:00 PM | Michael Rose

This year's Xbox Live Summer of Arcade somehow caught me off guard, and I've just now got around to giving each title in the series a play. Bastion is one of the games featured in this year's lineup, and a title that I'm already quite familiar with, having judged it for the IGF last year. Somehow, however, I'd managed to forget just how brilliant this game actually is.

I always find it interesting when a title that has seemingly average gameplay manages to completely captivate me via multiple other routes. Technically speaking, Bastion is your bog-standard hack-and-slasher in which you run at enemies and hammer the B button, or hammer another button to fire at them from afar. Yet while the game doesn't really feature anything new in terms of basic gameplay, it's everything that it chucks on top which makes this an essential download.

Personality, variety, stunning visuals, story - it has pretty much everything else going for it. You've no doubt watched the videos by now, and know all about the cool-as-fcuk voice-over that commentates on everything you see and do. The underlying story that shrouds the entire game in mystery is sublime, and I found myself unable to stop playing for hours on end, since I just had to unravel each next mystery as it came.

Seattle Indies Expo To Be Held Tonight

July 18, 2011 5:55 AM | Cassandra Khaw

hauntedtemple.jpg

What better way to spend a Monday evening than to get a hands-on with games like Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and Skulls of the Shogun? For those of you lucky enough to be in the general vicinity of Seattle today, I urge you to take a few hours out of your evening to check out the Seattle Indie Expo that is being organized by Haunted Temple Studios. Free to attend (and to exhibit at, unless you opt for the $10 Optional Exhibitor Package), the Indie Seattle Expo will feature a pretty impressive collection of top-notch exhibitors.

For more information (and to RSVP), you can check out the website here.

Game Developer Debuts Free 2011 Game Career Guide Issue

July 11, 2011 8:41 PM | Eric Caoili

For the fourth year running, Game Developer magazine's annual Game Career Guide issue -- which aims to help students and aspiring developers secure a job in the game industry -- will be given away for free.

This special issue is now available in digital form for free, and includes over 100 pages of content targeted at those interested in sinking their teeth into game development.

This year's Game Career Guide builds upon the success of the 2010 issue, which saw more than 300,000 online page views from more than 37,000 people, and was physically distributed to over 30,000 people worldwide at major video game consumer and trade shows, including Penny Arcade Expo, GDC, and more.

The 2011 Game Career Guide includes a helpful tutorial on how to make a basic 3D game in Unity, and provides a detailed breakdown of the essentials of pixel animation. Also included is a feature on AI pathfinding, with diagrams and examples that should help beginners wrap their heads around the basics.

In addition, the Game Career Guide issue will provide a version of Game Developer's handy salary survey, which offers a comprehensive breakdown of entry level jobs in professional and indie game development.

Indie Selections For 2011 'PAX 10' Showcase Announced

July 9, 2011 1:00 AM | Tim

The organizers of the 2011 Penny Arcade Expo have once again selected ten indie games to be showcased in free booth space at the annual show in August.

Over 100 entries were submitted for entry in this year's PAX 10, and the lucky winners were chosen by a panel of game industry experts.

The PAX 10 has been a part of the annual gaming convention since 2008, when winners included Audiosurf and The Maw.

"Every year the showcase of new indie gems are one of the highlights of the show," said Penny Arcade president of operations and business development Robert Khoo in a statement. "In always chasing the next big blockbuster, too much of our industry is dedicated to making the same game over and over again. The PAX 10 is one way that indies with innovative game concepts can get in front of the community."

The 2010 Penny Arcade Expo saw nearly 68,000 attendees, just under the record 69,500 that attended this year's PAX East sister convention in Boston.

This year's featured PAX 10 titles are:

Letter From The Chairman: Welcome Back For IGF 2012

June 30, 2011 3:08 PM | Michael Rose

boyer.jpg[Following the announcement of the 2012 Independent Games Festival competition, IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer goes in-depth on the changes made for this year's Festival, examining the ethos for the competition and the shifts in policy and rules for this year's 14th annual IGF experience.]

Well, we made it unscathed through that lucky-13th, and here we are again, back where we started, with the opening of the 14th year of the Independent Games Festival. Last year's festival was a landmark one on a number of levels.

It was the first that folded the IGF Mobile into the main competition, the first where one of the entrants (and the eventual Grand Prize winner) surprised everyone (the developers included!) by selling several hundred thousand copies of their game before judging had even begun, our first with a new two-tier judge and jury system, and, obviously, my first year as chairman.

I learned a lot about the festival and how it operates and how it could better be improved over the past year.

Summer Solstice 1-Day Sale: Sword & Sworcery $1.99/$0.99, Album is 'Pay What You Can'

June 21, 2011 2:13 PM | Cassandra Khaw

sworcery_album.jpg

Is it wrong that I immediately jumped for my digital wallet the moment I found out that Jim Guthrie's Sword & Sworcery LP: The Ballad of the Space Babies is temporarily available under the 'Pay What You Can' model? I mean, I haven't actually gotten around to playing the game itself thanks to being phenomenally backlogged but I do love the music.

Either way, I think both the album and the promotion are absolutely stellar. What I think is a little less awesome is the fact that the offer is only valid for 24 hours. Yup. Only 24 hours. Blink and you'll miss the opportunity to be a gratuitiously opportunistic cheap-skate! Seriously, though, although it's entirely possible to bag this album for free, I'm going to very sad if our readers decide to take advantage of that so please don't.

But enough of my sleep-deficient ramblings! What are you waiting for? Go get the album already!

P.S: Oh, and also, for today only, Sword & Sworcery ep for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch is $1.99 while Sword & Sworcery micro for the iPhone and the iPod touch is $0.99. For more information, you can check out the official site here.

Q&A: The Publication of Gemini Rue

June 16, 2011 11:05 PM | jeriaska

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Joshua Nuernberger at the 2011 E3 Expo in Los Angeles

Point-and-click adventure title Gemini Rue was a finalist of the 2010 Independent Games Festival's Student Showcase. Published for the PC by Wadjet Eye Games, the sci-fi noir thriller puts you in control of two separate protagonists, whose past histories are shrouded in secrecy. Locations to explore include a seedy urban sprawl on the surface of the planet Barracus and a hermetically sealed rehabilitation center set in an undisclosed location.

At E3 we had the chance to hear from Joshua Nuernberger, the independently developed game's creator, on the subject of Gemini Rue's release. Developing the final build with the publisher, which entailed the inclusion of additional character portraits and voice acting, he says succeeded in serving the game's artistic vision.

Were there particular techniques that were useful in developing such a detail-oriented and coherent storyline for Gemini Rue?

There were a couple things that I would always keep in mind when implementing the story through gameplay. I really wanted to establish the two central characters at the beginning and set up this mysterious relationship between them. You don't really know who Delta-Six is or what the doctors are doing to him.

Upon cutting to Azriel, there's a lot of mysterious details surrounding his circumstances. Why is he on this planet and who is he trying to find? Leaving out a lot of the standard exposition I thought would be a way to motivate players to continue playing to the end.

Feature: What Went Right And Wrong... Seven Times

June 16, 2011 2:00 PM | Michael Rose

ss_ballistic.jpgSister site Gamasutra's latest feature takes a look at a series of seven Xbox Live Indie Games developed by indie Radiangames -- aka Luke Schneider, formerly of Volition -- and recounts many highs and lows.

One area Schneider tackles that is of particular interest is "passion vs. innovation" -- or whether a game doing something new or something that satisfies its creator's personal passions is more important.

Writes Schneider, "If there's one thing game journalists and fans love to talk about, it's innovation and originality. A game is only as good as it is innovative, or so we're conditioned to believe. I even used the word in my press releases on occasion, and I often agonized (in a good way) over how to make my games stand out more."

E3 2011: BIT.TRIP Complete (Gaijin Games)

June 10, 2011 1:00 AM | jeriaska

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Alex Neuse giving a demo of BIT.TRIP Saga at E3

This year at E3, Gaijin Games has been preparing the retail release of their entire six-title library of BIT.TRIP rhythm games for two separate Nintendo consoles.

BIT.TRIP Saga for the Nintendo 3DS will include WiiWare titles BIT.TRIP Beat, Core, Void, Runner, Fate and Flux. The graphics have been adapted for the console's 3D screen, which the independent developer says will give players an edge by individuating foreground gameplay from background imagery.

Revealed today, another more elaborate compilation will be making its way to the Nintendo Wii, packaged as a disc available in stores. BIT.TRIP Complete will come with a number of added extras paying tribute to fans who have supported the game series since its arrival through digital distribution on the Wii.

We had the chance to catch up with game designer Alex Neuse to hear about progress on the 3D portable title, as well as first details on the home console compilation.

BIT.TRIP Saga for Nintendo 3DS is planned to include all the previously released games in the series. How have the play mechanics and presentation been modified for the portable console?

Alex Neuse, Gaijin Games: For Beat and Flux you use the stylus on the touch screen, which feels super-perfect. You can also use the circle pad if you want, though I prefer the stylus. In Fate you steer with the circle pad and aim / shoot with the stylus. The overall presentation has also been enhanced. In most of the games, though Runner is a little different, the gameplay plane is nearer to you, separated from the background.

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Q&A: Brainwave game hints at future of biometric gameplay
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Road to the IGF: Klaus Pedersen's Back to Bed
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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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