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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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Trailer: THRED (Bitmonster Games)

December 19, 2012 9:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

While a free-to-play title bristling with potential IAPs, Bitmonster Games' THRED is still kind of cool. Why? Because a hundred percent of the revenue (after taxes) earned by the game will get directed towards raising awareness and funds for the fight to end mother-to-child HIV transmission by 2015. And also because it looks like a rather nifty-looking endless runner, y'know?

There's a full press release over here for those interested in the length details.

Unique Showcase Space for Smaller Devs at GDC 2013 via GDC Play

December 19, 2012 5:00 PM | John Polson

gdc play (1).jpgOrganizers of the 2013 Game Developers Conference have announced the return of its emerging and independent developer showcase GDC Play, with early, discounted exhibit space now available.

This will be the second GDC Play showcase, after a successful 2012 debut, and will take place Tuesday, March 26 - Thursday, March 28 at San Francisco's Moscone Center during the 2013 Game Developers Conference.

In a new, expanded onsite location this year, GDC Play 2013 will be in the South Hall's Gateway Ballroom, in a prominent position directly opposite the main GDC Expo floor - providing enhanced opportunities to target the more than 20,000 attendees at the show.

GDC Play itself was inspired by the success of the Independent Games Festival Pavilion at GDC and allows exhibitors to display their games to key distributors, publishers, press and investors visiting the conference. (All passholders, including Expo Pass attendees, can visit GDC Play.)

The showcase remains a simple, lower-cost opportunity to exhibit titles to prospective business partners, investors and the press. When signing up for GDC Play, game creators will be given a standalone kiosk with a monitor, keyboard, and speakers. An internet connection can be provided at an additional charge.

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2012 (+2!)

December 18, 2012 6:00 PM | Staff

spelunky gama.jpgA Top 10 Indie Games of 2012 list just couldn't fit all of our must-play titles of the year. Instead, we're shoehorning the industry standard by adding two more, because we can and more importantly, because we must.

If 2011 represented an "indie boom" for the scene, 2012 was an indie-vasion on all fronts. Free, paid, and free-to-play indie games revitalized aging Sony and Microsoft consoles, were often the highlight software of new gadgets such as the Wii U and PlayStation Vita, and even overwhelmed Steam to the point of Valve restructuring its entire submission process.

Free and paid indie games continue to spawn from a variety of game jams and competitions. These games take up residence in more online stores, browser-based mega sites such as Kongregate and Newgrounds, mobile devices led by Android and Apple, and every other platform that has now warmed up to "indie." Social gaming, however, remains occupied by mostly indie tumbleweed.

We needed to increase the residence of our own top 10 indie games of 2012 list to 12 because these developers deserve the recognition, and our readers deserve a chance to learn about the diversity and opportunity that presently exists. We are here to celebrate games that challenge our skills as much as they challenge our beliefs and expectations.

These are our top games of 2012.

iPad Release: Cook, Serve, Delicious! (Vertigo Gaming)

December 18, 2012 2:00 PM | Danny Cowan

The Oil Blue creator Vertigo Gaming has released an iOS version of its restaurant sim Cook, Serve, Delicious!, available exclusively for recent iPad devices (iPad 2 onward).

In Cook, Serve, Delicious! players manage a struggling restaurant, and are in charge of everything from food preparation to maintenance. During the cooking portion, you'll use a touch-driven interface to choose ingredients; fast, accurate preparation will raise your profits and grow your customer base. Just don't forget the hand sanitizer after you take out the trash and clean the bathrooms!

The iPad version of Cook, Serve, Delicious! is regularly priced at $4.99, but is available for $2.99 through January 6th. Windows and Mac editions are also available for $8.95 each.

Meet the IGF's art and audio jurors for 2013

December 18, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

igf-student.jpgOrganizers of the 2013 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the latest additions to its discipline-specific jury panels that will determine the finalists and winner of its various awards.

The jury announcements for this year are beginning with some of the industry professionals, independent game notables and former IGF award winners that will make up its Excellence in Visual Art and Excellence in Audio Awards.

The latest jury rundown following prior announcements of its Nuovo and debut Narrative Award jurists, as well as this year's Design and Technical Excellence juries.

The Excellence in Visual Art Award

The Visual Art award is a category which seeks to highlight the innovation and quality in visuals for indie games.

Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Visual Art award have been entrants which featured impressive displays of the craft of games, including The Behemoth's vibrant cartoon-ish beat-em-up Castle Crashers, Polytron's 2D/3D "trixel"-based puzzle platformer Fez, Amanita Design's hand-painted adventure game Machinarium, Playdead's equal parts soft and stark monochromatic puzzler Limbo, and thechineseroom's ambient first-person exploration game Dear Esther.

Trailer: Askaryl's Grimoire (Blue Flame Publishing)

December 17, 2012 11:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

It's safe to say that upcoming gamebook Askaryl's Grimoire probably has one of the most epic trailers in its genre. Scheduled for eventual release on various iOS devices, Askaryl's Grimoire will have you taking on the role of Edhan as he attempts to retrieve the aforementioned tome. Along the way, you're also going to have to avenge your mother's death somehow - standard procedure for heroes, really. There is apparently a fairly comprehensive combat system, mini-games, and a gamut of illustrations.

If you're curious and want to learn more, check out the official website here.

Hand Shadow Puppets Make Up This Cute Free Game

December 17, 2012 1:30 PM | John Polson

Strawberry Gohan (Kosuke Kawano) released a cute little action platformer made of hand shadow puppets and other silhouettes called Shadow Love for the iOS and has just set the game for free. Seeing every enemy and prop animate definitely keeps the levels fresh. I particularly appreciated the six-sided star power up (updated from the trailer), instead of the traditional 5-pointed star. Incidentally, belated Happy Hanukkah, everyone!

Yes, the game has been out for a few months, but I figure the "free" bump would mean a lot more people would try it out. So if you have an iPad or iPhone, or anything else iOS, give it a spin! I tested it on an iPad 2 and iPhone 5, and it works well. Tip: don't lock the screen vertically or the game won't fit.

[Source: @rustysabre]

Today I Die Dev's Storyteller Still Enchants

December 14, 2012 5:00 PM | John Polson

Today I Die and I wish I were the Moon developer Daniel Benmergui is still working hard on his IGF 2012 Nuovo award winner Storyteller. He recently published a dedicated website for Storyteller and announced a late 2013 release for Windows, Mac, and iOS.

The gameplay, as depicted in this new video, revolves around creating comic strips with people, props, and word bubbles to fit certain stories. The game has come a long way since my January preview, too, with new "classic soap opera complications like amnesia, dark secrets and returns from death [being] part of your toolbox."

The Avant-Game - brain food for the hardcore weirdos

December 14, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

kiss like a girl.jpgOriginally published in the December issue of Game Developer magazine, this piece on diversity in video games from editor-emeritus Brandon Sheffield explores a handful of downloadable titles that push just a little further than what we're used to.

I'm a proponent of diversity in the game industry -- that's no secret to anyone who's read my prior columns. This time though, I'm talking about diversity in the games, not the developers. We've only begun to see games tackle interesting subjects, emotions, and genres; games like Flower, Journey, The Unfinished Swan, and Dear Esther are experimental, but within mainstream bounds. But what about games for the hardcore weirdos? Do we have something for the Ed Wood aficionados of the game world?

Beyond triple-A, beyond social, and even beyond the realm of the standard indie game, there lies a world of curious, confusing, and confounding computer entertainment--and though they don't often make much money, they show us how incredibly broad and full of potential games can be.

Mike Singleton's 'The Lords of Midnight' Return!

December 13, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

lords of midnight.pngThe great and wonderful Mike Singleton may have sadly and prematurely passed away, but his legacy lives on and is about to reach even more people, as 1984 strategy/RPG epic The Lords of Midnight is ready to make its return! The new version, bound to appear very soon, will feature updated graphics, an apparently slick interface and all sorts of other goodies, and will be available on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows phones, proper Windows and Mac. As for the traditional accompanying fantasy novella, it has already made itself available for free on the game's site.

Oh, and please, do trust me when I say you will never find a more Tolkien-esque game than this masterpiece. Its combination of epic battles with the adventures of solitary characters has never been matched.

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