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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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Trailer Roundup for April 19, 2016

April 19, 2016 8:15 AM | Lena LeRay

Lieve_Oma_02.pngThe past two weeks have been busier than I anticipated and I've missed a couple of trailer roundups, but there have been no shortage of good trailers. Look for another trailer roundup in a couple of days.

Every Decision is Wrong: Social Anxiety and The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne

April 19, 2016 6:00 AM | Joel Couture

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"I've been soliciting player feedback for a few months now and one of the constant bits I've received is 'How do I make her happy?'. That response brought me a considerable amount of joy because I've spent most of my life asking myself that question." says Andrea Ayres of Lemonsucker Games.

Ayres' The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne (Samantha Browne) explores social anxiety through a simple lens: going down into a public dorm's shared kitchen to make some oatmeal. Stand up, walk down a hall, make oatmeal. Sounds easy. Yet all along the way, there are these tiny obstacles in Samantha's mind, possibilities of screw-ups and embarrassment swirling in her head. For the player, every decision also contains a small failure, and the tiniest decision can lead to the culmination of Samatha's fears.

Stephen's Sausage Roll - Cook Up Them Dogs By Solving Brutal Puzzles

April 18, 2016 8:00 AM | Joel Couture

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"People who think The Witness is hard know nothing of the Sausage Roll." - Jonathan Blow, developer of The Witness.

Roll some sausages onto the grills. Cook both sides. Don't burn them by putting the same side on a grill twice! Except Stephen, our sausage cook, has very specific controls. But that's not the problem. The challenge is that the movements required to complete the puzzles of Stephen's Sausage Roll are devious, requiring a razor sharp mind. I spent HOURS on the first puzzles I found. HOURS. I just wanted to cook some sausages, but this game insisted I crack open my mind and utilize all of my thought power to do so.

It's not unfair. Its ability to teach necessary skills is elegant, showing you how to play without your knowing it. Its puzzles seamlessly blend with the world. It lets you undo any move you like. It wants you to succeed, but it demands all of your mental power to do it. If you want to know the full measure of what you are capable of as a thinking being, get Stephen's Sausage Roll.

Spooky Recycling - How Bad Horror Games Helped Create The Terrifying Dead Secret

April 14, 2016 11:30 AM | Joel Couture

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Chris Pruett, director of Dead Secret, has made a hobby of studying horror game design for over a decade, playing almost every one he could get his hands on. Starting as a shopping list of games he wanted to play, he slowly developed a site that catalogued the games he'd played, eventually shifting focus onto the designs of the games that struck him.

Now, he's turned this study into his own horror game, Dead Secret, a game about a journalist investigating a murder at the victim's home outside of town. Years of thoughts on design, the components of fear, and the mechanics of a good jump scare have come together in a tense virtual reality horror experience, one that, interestingly enough, came about from playing many bad horror games.

Japanese Dev Krobon on Making an Episodic Platformer for NicoNico Game Magazine

April 13, 2016 10:10 AM | Lena LeRay

pr1.jpgNicoNico Video, a Japanese video site much like YouTube, has been branching into the indie game scene for a few years now. It started with their annual Indie Game Fest, for which game creators can submit games to be used in Let's Plays during the judging period.

Last June, NicoNico parent company Dwango branched out even further by starting an ongoing project called NicoNico Game Magazine (JP, EN). Participating developers release their games as free episodic content with new episodes coming out every two months.

So far, two games which completed development as NicoNico Game Magazine offerings have been bundled up into full games and released on Steam in English, Hero & Daughter+ in February and Pharaoh Rebirth+ in March. The former is a clever, satirical RPG that makes fun of its own genre. The latter is a metroidvania platformer.

Living Electricity Brings Light and Kindness Back to a City in TurnOn

April 12, 2016 9:30 AM | Joel Couture

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As a living electrical impulse, you've got a lot of work to do during a blackout. People need their lights turned back on. Streetlights need to shine. The fair has to have its Ferris wheel shimmering in the night. This is where you come in for TurnOn, a game where you have to slide across power lines, leaping to the things that need your necessary electricity as you turn the bleak night into a beautiful city of multicolored light.

You'll get to see the simple happiness light can bring to people as you solve puzzles and tangle with weird creatures. Through visual storytelling, you'll experience a tale of making folks happier, and all of the ways people take electrical power for granted. TurnOn displays a lot of charm, built to soothe with its music and light displays, and should make for pleasant platforming when it comes to Steam and Xbox One soon.

Zombies Got Nothin' On A Ninja Outbreak

April 11, 2016 11:30 AM | Joel Couture

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Zombies are a drag, sure, but an outbreak of ninjas? Now you've got problems. I'd take slow, dumb undead any day over the situation on Venus in Ninja Outbreak, a top-down action game where you're counting your remaining shells as stealthy, super powered assassins dog you in the dark. Also, there seems to be bears there as well. Again - zombies any day.

Finite, limited ammo forces you to make some hard decisions in the game. Do you risk another fight to grab a couple more shells in a room? Do you delve deeper into the lab, potentially running into more dangerous creatures, or do you beeline it for the exit with whatever scrap items you can find? You're in a rough, tense spot in Ninja Outbreak, and it's up to you to think of how to best get out of it alive.

The making of Wadjet Eye's dystopian adventure Shardlight

April 10, 2016 9:19 AM | Tim

SL-manhole1.pngShardlight, the latest title published by Wadjet Eye Games, is a point-and-click adventure set in a bleak future that is plagued by a deadly disease. The story is about a young woman named Amy Wellard, a mechanic who contracted the plague and must find a vaccine for it to stay alive.

A brainchild of both Francisco Gonzalez and Ben Chandler, Shardlight was originally supposed to be set during medieval times and focusing on the Black Plague. But after some thought, the idea evolved into a post-apocalyptic setting where a disease is slowly killing the infected, and not much hope is left for the surviving population.

Gonzalez cites films and books like Children of Men, V for Vendetta, and The Hunger Games as some of his inspirations for Shardlight. Arkane Studio and Bethesda Softworks' Dishonored played an influential role too.

Crash Hard, Crash Quickly in Barrier X

April 9, 2016 7:00 AM | Joel Couture

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Think of a first-person Turbo Tunnel, and you pretty much understand Barrier X. You fly foolishly fast down a straight path, requiring split-second timing to avoid walls that will crush your ship and end your journey. If you survive long enough, you'll unlock another one of the game's seven stages, and can even log your most embarrassingly short times on its leaderboards.

But hey, there's some nice electronic music to back up the sound of your violent end. And you won't get told off by some jerk bird-man when you lose too many times. Sounds worth getting on Steam to me.

Soda Drinker Pro Is Simulated Soda Perfected

April 8, 2016 9:00 AM | Joel Couture

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He has done it. Will Brierly, in his hubris, has perfected Soda Drinker Pro, the world's most advanced soda drinking simulation. This flawless representation of drinking soda with cats, underwater, in a human mouth, and in dozens of other locations has been coming together for years, and now, it is coming to Xbox One and Steam on April 14, bringing with it the end of civilization itself.

How are we to exist in a world where we cannot have soda any time we want when this impeccable simulation will let us have a drink whenever we like? How is the real world to compete with this? How will we even be able to tell when we're not in the simulation any more when it mirrors reality so immaculately? So, kick back, drink your soda anywhere you like across the cosmos and prepare for the fall of civilization.

Oh yeah and Vivian Clark, the game where you can play as any object you touch, is also hidden in there. So good times are coming.

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