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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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Latest GameDog Update Adds New Games from thecatamites

January 2, 2013 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

The latest update to Quikding's free iOS "retro bootleg handheld gaming system simulator" GameDog adds a pair of new games from Goblet Grotto and Murder Dog IV creator thecatamites: Girl Cube and Magic Wand.

GameDog truly offers something for everyone, and it's been updated with a number of new games since its launch late last year. Some of them are quite clever -- New Free Holder, seen above, is a Kirby's Block Ball-styled challenge in which players must keep multiple balls in play across two side-by-side screens, while Hockey Lords: Rink's Awakening is a sports game in which the object is to murder all members of the opposing team using a sniper rifle. Great stuff, all of it.

Mobile Game Pick: Gua-Le-Ni (Double Jungle)

January 2, 2013 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

David Hume, Mozart, food, taxonomies and cryptozoology combined can apparently make for some brilliant gaming moments thanks to the demented minds responsible for Gua-Le-Ni; one of the oddest and most enjoyable iPad games I have recently run into and a most intriguing offering that had somehow slipped under the radar. Anyway, it's never too late to enjoy a fine casual game with truly unique visuals and gameplay methinks. Especially one that lets you play taxonomist with a menagerie of sui generis beasts and then, well, feed them. Oh, and the currently available and thoroughly updated version even comes with a brand new game-mode and all sorts of added content.

Top Indie Games of 2012: Dev Redux Part 2

December 31, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

andy hull.png[More developers from our Top 10 Indie Games of 2012 (+2!) list have agreed to share their must-play games of 2012. Today's list features the picks of Andy Hull, Derek Yu, Dean Dodrill, Robin Hunicke, Jamie Cheng, Nels Anderson, and Jonatan Söderström.]

Spelunky HD developer (pictured right) Andy Hull's picks:

Hotline Miami by Dennaton Games

"GTA: Vice City is one of my favorite games of all time, in large part due to its amazingly stylish setting. Hotline Miami turns that up to 11, and complements it with fast, brutal and fun gameplay. Cactus has such a unique creative vision. His games always seem to have an authentic coolness that I just can't get enough of."

Perspective by Team Widdershins from DigiPen

"I was worried this game would be big on concept but not that fun in execution. I'm glad I was wrong. This worked my brain in all the right ways, and I quickly fell into a comfortable rhythm of switching between the 3D world navigation and the 2D platforming. The simple and intuitive rules allow you to traverse levels that look impossible at first glance."

Octogeddon by George Fan

"George Fan's Ludum Dare 24 entry is a small little gem that really shows how much awesome you can squeeze out of a simple but tightly designed game. Once I started playing, I couldn't stop until I had built my ideal octopus of doom."

What AAA can learn from indies -- according to indies

December 30, 2012 12:00 PM | Staff

supertimeforcesmall.jpgYesterday we asked some leading indie game developers about the lessons they had learned in the past year. Today, we ask what -- if anything -- big triple-A publishers could have learned from the indie game community in the last 12 months.

The indies we spoke to generally pointed out that big publishers can never truly attain the elusive "indie spirit." That's not meant as an affront, but the fact is that large game makers are set up in different ways and work to different scales.

And while indie games have enjoyed a very good year, it's rare for an independent game to achieve the sort of financial success that would muster a flicker of interest among triple-A publishers, who increasingly are about going big or going home.

Still, small independent game developers offer plenty of interesting insights into the overall game development ecosystem. Here are some of the takeaways.

Indies met challenges, learned lessons in 2012

December 28, 2012 5:00 PM | Staff

dearesthersmall.jpgRecently, I spoke to a number of well-known independent game developers to find out if they too shared the sense that this has been an extraordinary year for indie games. Part of that conversation focused on the lessons other small teams might learn, as indie games move from niche to mass-market, via digital distribution hubs on consoles, mobile and PC.

What have they learned this year as they strove to get their games noticed? How have they been able to find success?

Maintain the indie spirit

Derek Yu, creator cave-exploration hit Spelunky says this year has seen a big improvement in the core issue of getting games out there. "Funding and distribution have always been a big issue for small teams but thankfully that's becoming better as more indie-friendly channels open up," he says.

Teaser Trailer: forma.8 (Mixed Bag)

December 27, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

Italian indie team Mixed Bag's forma.8 looks to be an exciting exploration adventure with a style and feel of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet mixed with PixelJunk Shooter. As described on the game's SlideDB profile, the story involves a "little exploration probe on a foreign planet, with a life or dead mission to accomplish."

The developers promise "an innovative control system implemented with touch screen in mind" for "iPad, iPhone and other mobile platforms." The old school action adventure forma.8 is tentatively scheduled for 2013.

Teaser Trailer: Pavilion (Visiontrick Media)

December 25, 2012 8:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

An isometric puzzler that has been described by its creators as a 'fourth person exploratory experience about guidance, influence and subliminal control', Pavilion will have manipulating your environment and 'influencing' the protagonist's senses even as you attempt to drive him towards the truth. Not much else is known about the game. However, it certainly looks different compared to its original form.

Official website.

Top Indie Games of 2012: Dev Redux Part 1

December 25, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

jonas.jpg[The developers from our Top 10 Indie Games of 2012 (+2!) list have agreed to share their must-play games of 2012. Today's list features the picks of Jonas Kyratzes, Anna Anthropy, Vince Twelve, Jim Crawford, Justin Ma, and Matthew Davis.]

The Sea Will Claim Everything creator (pictured right) Jonas Kyratzes' picks:

Dys4ia by Anna Anthropy

"A painfully honest look at life in today's society from the perspective of someone demonized by that society so it can keep ignoring its actual problems. Classic game mechanics illustrate human life with elegant simplicity."

Frog Fractions by Twin Beard

"A game made with enthusiasm and carefully deployed insanity."

Android Game Pick: Agents (recursive frog)

December 20, 2012 8:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Before you click on the video, here's a warning: it may contain spoilers. However, that's the closest thing you may get to a trailer for this unusual title. Made for the most recent Ludum Dare, Agents is an Android-based title that will have you playing as the commander to two field agents. Your mission? To help them navigate through a weapons facility even as they attempt to destroy it. What makes Agents so unique, perhaps, is the fact it's entirely without visuals. If you think this sounds awesome and own an Android device, well, you know the drill.

Just go play it already.

iOS Game Pick: The Journey Down: Chapter One (Skygoblin)

December 20, 2012 3:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Rastafarian loving and very funny indeed point-and-click adventure The Journey Down has finally made its promised jump to the land of handheld devices and, well, all is right again. Bwana and Kito can now try and make ends meet while solving puzzles and journeying through a plot of corruption and danger on one of those shiny touch-based thingies, while those already stunning graphics look better than ever. Yes, I am content. And did I ever mention just how brilliantly touchscreens work for adventures? Ah, I see...

The Journey Down will run happily on both the iPhone and iPad and if you hurry and grab it during its launch week you'll only have to pay $0.99. Oh, and apparently the game will also be appearing on Steam shortly after the holidays are over; January the 9th to be precise.

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