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About The IGF 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, 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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Chillingo, Samsung unveil '100% Indie' mobile games portal

February 8, 2013 12:00 PM | Staff

100 indie.pngElectronic Arts-owned mobile game publisher Chillingo is gearing up to launch a new games portal called '100% Indie', which will offer developers a means of connecting with Android users who own Samsung devices.

Due to launch of March 4, the scheme is a joint venture between Chillingo and Samsung, and is the latter's attempt at pushing its own Samsung Apps mobile store.

Those studios who sign up to the initiative and offer their games through the Samsung Apps Android store will receive promotional resources and information that the company says will encourage and motivate.

As a way of enticing developers in more rapidly, Chillingo revealed that those developers who join the program in its first six months live will receive 100 percent revenue for their title.

'Road to the IGF' Pt.1: the stories behind this year's top indie games

February 8, 2013 10:00 AM | John Polson

Gamasutra's 'Road to the IGF' series is in the process of highlighting every 2013 Independent Games Festival finalist - and here's the first batch of interviews, including Kentucky Route Zero, Cart Life and Incredipede.

All finalists will be playable at an expanded IGF Pavilion on the Game Developers Conference 2013 Expo floor from March 27-29, 2013, at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

This year, the 'Road to the IGF' series has already shared stories of innovation in indie gaming such as Q-Games' Move-controlled audio experiment PixelJunk 4AM, Blendo Games' 10-minute long adventure Thirty Flights of Loving, and more.

The full highlights so far from this year's finalists are as follows:

- Simogo discusses its haunting and intentionally-mysterious Visual Art nominee Year Walk, a divergence from the studio's familiar, cute tone.

- Cardboard Computer reveals the inspiration for Kentucky Route Zero, and why it's glad that the game's Kickstarter came before the big crowd-funding boom.

iOS Game Pick: Kairo (Richard Perrin)

February 8, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

kairo.pngA lost world, a beautiful setting, ethereal vistas, abandoned monuments, cyclopean machinery and a healthy serving of exploration heavy experimental gameplay made Kairo on of the best and most atmospheric indie games of 2012. What's more, due to the game's minimalist mechanics and simple controls, porting it to both the iPad and iPhone has been a huge success, meaning that, yes, I do wholeheartedly suggest everyone grabs the excellent iOS version of Kairo. It even sports the same amazing soundtrack you know...

Road to the IGF: Henry Smith's Spaceteam

February 7, 2013 1:30 PM | Staff

spaceteam long.jpgLocal multiplayer games for iOS are rather uncommon -- especially ones where you end up screaming at everyone else in the room.

Spaceteam gives each iPhone or iPad-toting player a spaceship control panel, and asks you to work as a team to keep the vessel in one piece. However, instructions on how you need to act are sent to other players, who must then in turn shout the information out to everyone else before the time runs out.

It's a rather intriguing and unique concept, so much so that the game has received a nomination in the Nuovo category at this year's IGF awards.

As part of Gamasutra's Road to the IGF series, creator Henry Smith discusses the various influences he drew inspiration from, and what he plans to do next with the space genre.

iOS Game Pick: Roar Rampage (Neutronized)

February 7, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

roar rampage.pngAs foretold, Neutronized's Roar Rampage has just been released and, as expected, it is a brilliant arcade offering for the iPad and iPhone; actually I can safely say it already is one of my favourite action games on the platform. Roar Rampage, you see, is a sidescrolling (and rather bold) evolution of the classic Rampage city destroying game, and one that offers excellent pixel-art graphics, a ton of content including all sorts of weapons, power-ups and even settings, 100+ levels, some lovely mini games and a retro-tastique soundtrack. Crucially, some great controls too.

1989 Atari ST, Amiga hit Archipelagos re-remade and released

February 7, 2013 3:00 AM | John Polson

archipelagos.png"If the term 'indie' had been coined at that time, it would have applied to Archipelagos," recalls Paul Carruthers, the creator of the original 1989 first-person action and strategy hit.

Paul has recently remade and released Archipelagos for mobile devices. While the gameplay and eerie music remain the same, the graphics received an overhaul. The main strategy of the game involves players restoring the chain of islands, the archipelagos, from being corrupt by destroying boulders and obelisks, sometimes connecting land, and avoiding captive hazards along the way.

The remake is available for iOS, Blackberry Playbook, and Blackberry 10 for $1, and it will soon hit Android devices and PC.

Bastion's argument for doing away with cross-platform development

February 7, 2013 1:00 AM | Staff

bastion.jpgIn a talk at the DICE Summit on Wednesday, Supergiant Games co-founder and studio director Amir Rao (Bastion) talked about the year-plus his team spent taking Bastion to different platforms.

Along the way, he urged the audience to get away from the concept of simultaneous 'ports' and 'lead SKU' and towards a thoughtful, non-parallel multi-platform development process.

Having worked with mixed success on simultaneously shipping PC and console games in the Command & Conquer series at Electronic Arts, Rao decided that in transitioning Bastion to new platforms, they would use a full team, not simultaneously ship, and take the time to understand the new audiences and advantages of new platforms.

Rao gave the example of Plants Vs Zombies, which he loved and bought on multiple sequential platforms, from PC through Xbox to iOS, and he feels like many people rebought on the new platforms.

In Bastion's case, the team went from Xbox to PC to tablet and smartphone, and gave the core original team plenty of time to think through the tricky issues, like taking a multitude of console and PC controls to touch.

République Devs Issue Status Update, New Screenshots

February 5, 2013 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Following up on months of backer-only updates, developer Camouflaj has issued a public announcement regarding the status of its successfully Kickstarted stealth-action game République.

In the video above, Camouflaj details a number of challenges it faced during République's development, but notes that the game in its current state is "looking fantastic." Since development began, République's team has ditched prerendered backdrops in favor of 3D environments, and has overhauled the AI and animation systems, among other improvements.

Screenshots from the game's most recent build are available at Camouflaj's website.

Video: How to function as a depressed, solo game developer

February 5, 2013 11:00 AM | John Polson

michael todd.jpgCourtesy of the GDC Vault is a free lecture given at the Game Developers Conference 2011 on minimizing depression's adverse effects and maximizing productivity and creativity.

Developer Michael Todd suggests those who work solo or remotely and are prone to depression need to be proactive about the work they select. Finding projects that are highly rewarding, suit your needs, and match your abilities will help keep you inspired and productive.

Some tips he offers are to get other people to play your game and to discuss online or in person its potential flaws, instead of trying to work through development alone. He also says to play demos to realign your reality with what games are currently offering. Additionally, he suggests for self-evaluation and motivation that carefully track how much time you spend on work is better than merely estimating.

The video starts after the jump.

Road to the IGF: Simogo's Year Walk

February 1, 2013 10:30 AM | Staff

yearwalkbig.jpgSimogo, winner of last year's Best Mobile Game at the Independent Games Festival with Beat Sneak Bandit, is at it again with its latest game, Year Walk.

The studio's portfolio -- Kosmo Spin, Bumpy Road and Beat Sneak Bandit -- is unified by a handmade-texture look and a touchable charm. Year Walk, nominated in this year's Visual Art category, is something of a departure from the adorable action puzzles we've come to expect from the Swedish developer.

Year Walk has a haunted look, a palette heavy on the play of light and shadow. Very little's yet publicly known about the game itself, aside from the fact that the studio's described it as a first-person adventure that focuses on unique events and fluid movement. The rest is intentionally obscured.

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