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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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November's GDC Next open for talk submissions

April 29, 2013 3:07 PM | John Polson

GDC Next.pngUBM Tech is announcing a call to present lectures, roundtables and panels at the inaugural Game Developers Conference Next (GDC Next) - with submissions open from now through Wednesday, May 29th.

Those who submit talks are being asked to present best practices across six tracks: Independent Games, The Future of Gaming, Next Generation Game Platforms, Free-to-Play & New Business Models, Smartphone and & Tablet Games, and Cloud Gaming.

GDC Next, which aims to highlight the 'state of the art' for the future of video games, is taking place simultaneously with the App Developers Conference on November 5th-7th, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Mobile brawling without virtual buttons in Squids dev's upcoming Combo Crew

April 26, 2013 12:37 PM | John Polson

The Game Bakers promises a pure arena fighting experience without virtual d-pad controls in Combo Crew, coming May 2013 for the iPhone, iPad, and Android. The Squids developer remains committed to supporting mobile games, and according to the above trailer and the one after the jump, it will do so with simple gestures, quick matches, stylish graphics, and slick animation.

Lineup for the fourth No Quarter exhibition revealed

April 25, 2013 4:30 AM | Staff

noquarter2013.jpegThe fourth annual No Quarter Exhibition will take place in New York next week, and feature four new games from a selection of notable indie developers.

For the past several years, the NYU Game Center has commissioned work from established and emerging indie devs, with the aim to create experiences that work in a social, gallery setting. Last year's No Quarter included work from people like Zach Gage and Jan Willem Nijman.

This year, new games from Bennett Foddy, Sophie Houlden, Matthew LoPresti, Nik Mikros, and Josh DeBonis will be displayed on May 3 at the Tisch School of the Arts.

The event is free to attend. Those hoping to visit can find more details on the official website.

[Mike Rose wrote this newsbrief originally for sister site Gamasutra]

IGF China seeking pan-Pacific indie game submissions for 2013 event

April 24, 2013 12:22 PM | John Polson

The Independent Games Festival China - which will take place alongside this September's GDC China in Shanghai - has opened its call for submissions and is accepting indie game entries from the pan-Pacific area from now through July 19.

Following its success from previous years, GDC China will once again host all three main elements of IGF China, including the Independent Games Summit, the IGF Pavilion, and the prestigious IGF China Awards.

Now in its fifth year, the IGF Summit at GDC China will feature sessions from some of the world's top developers, while the IGF Pavilion will showcase some of the region's best independent and student games.

And of course the IGF China Awards - which are split into both Main and Student competitions - will honor the many talented developers in the pan-Pacific area.

Last year's event saw 159 high-quality entries from regions including Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Serbia, Montenegro, and more.

Last year's recipients included the Best Game winner, the retro-inspired puzzler Cubetractor, and abstract action Best Student Game winner, Fish - and other previously honored games (from 2011 and before) include acclaimed strategy title FTL: Faster Than Light and unconventional retro game Pixel May Cry.

Vlambeer's games popular among players, cloners alike

April 23, 2013 12:01 AM | Staff

luftrauserssmall.jpgVlambeer's not only known for tight and focused games like Super Crate Box and Ridiculous Fishing. The Dutch independent game studio is also known for taking a stance against game cloning, which is all-too-common on mobile app stores.

The reason Vlambeer is so publicly anti-cloning is because Ridiculous Fishing spawned a clone, which released well before the actual Ridiculous Fishing, and that nearly tore the studio apart a couple years ago.

Now it appears that another one of Vlambeer's upcoming distinctively-styled games, Luftrausers, has been cloned and released on mobile.

Vlambeer's Rami Ismail told Gamasutra over instant messenger that the studio has emailed both Apple and Google about game, which is credited to one "RubiqLab."

"The basic consensus seems to be since [RubiqLab is] using our assets and using fake screenshots exactly like our game that we should just file a complaint," he said.

New DROD teases more dungeon puzzles; developer listening to platform requests

April 22, 2013 9:05 PM | John Polson

Caravel Games' next Deadly Rooms of Death (DROD) entry now has a teaser full of new turn-based, dungeon-crawling puzzles. The Second Sky is to be "Beethro Budkin's climactic adventure in the Great Beneath, as he goes up against the Underground Empire under the threat of a looming Grand Event," says the YouTube description. The teases in the video include new weapons, new enemies (such as the chain serpent), and duplicator puzzles.

Building an indie studio from scratch, with Absurd Interactive

April 21, 2013 9:06 AM | Staff

absurdint.jpg[written by Sean Hart]

On the verge of releasing Absurd Interactive's first title This is Not a Ball Game (TINABG) on iOS, I felt it was time to reflect on what TINABG means to us.

In retrospect, the road was long and unpredictable yet not without moments of wonder and priceless insights. The development of TINABG truly reflected our company's namesake, the Absurd.

The Origins of Absurd Interactive

Our story begins in the spring of 2011, after returning to the U.S. from an eventful European vacation in which I ran across people interested in investing in a software company. I stood at the base of a mountain of responsibility I wasn't sure I could handle. In hindsight, I realize you never really conquer the mountain, you just get better at climbing it.

The 5 stages of depression in game development, according to Epiphany Games

April 20, 2013 4:10 AM | Staff


This was originally posted on the Flat Earth Games blog. For background, the company is run by myself and my brother Rohan, and our first game is being co-developed by a Sydney-based studio called Epiphany Games. They and about ten other contributors have been working in their spare time, to be paid in a percentage of the profits from the game. This is an article about the stress I've felt during this process as a result of the depression I've been grappling with at the same time as all this has gone on...

A little over a year ago, or about 3-4 months into the development of my first game, I fell into a very deep depression for which I have since been on medication and in and out of therapy. It’s entirely possible that, given my previous career involved promoting work by others, I’d had distance enough from that work not to let the stress (and there was indeed much stress) get to me. Although with depression of any kind, focusing on one factor (or even external factors at all) isn’t exactly healthy, so I only bring up the work situation because it’s pertinent to my experience here.

Suffice to say, it’s been more and more difficult with each passing month to keep my head up high or down and working, depending on where it needs to be, and I feel it’s been detrimental to the project, the team and to myself in stages.

I should stress that these are stages I’ve identified in my experience only, and I certainly don’t suggest that these are uniform and are felt in the same way by everyone going through depression of any kind.

How a bad publisher deal made Mutant Mudds dev Renegade Kid go indie

April 18, 2013 12:07 AM | Staff

jools portrait.jpg

[Original Post by Jools Watsham]

There was a specific point in time when Renegade Kid went full bore indie. I prefer to avoid using the term ‘indie’, but the current meaning of the word accurately describes our current status: we stopped relying on publishers for game-development funding and decided to start trying to fend for ourselves financially with the development and publishing of our original games. At least, that’s what indie means to me.

There were two events that happened in 2012 that firmly set our destiny on course. The first was the release of Mutant Mudds in the Nintendo eShop on January 26. Even though we self-funded and self-published this title – putting us in the indie role – we did not expect this to be our new business model going forward. At least, not one hundred percent anyway.

The development of Mutant Mudds was a labor of love. We did it because we felt we had to. We had to quench our thirst to create such a game. We were developing other titles while Mutant Mudds was being created, so it felt like a side project. Even though we dedicated many hours to the development of the game, it almost felt as though we spent no money on it. So, when we published the game it felt like a perfect gamble and allowed us to be able to accept the possibility of no sales because our emotional bank accounts were filled by the completion of the game. We were proud of what we achieved.

A Molyjam game is getting backed by Indie Fund

April 17, 2013 8:29 PM | Staff

kachina_thumb.jpgIndie Fund has announced its support of Ben Esposito's Kachina, a game which began life at 2012's Molyjam.

Indie Fund describes Kachina as "a whimsical physics toy" set in the American Southwest, in which players control a hole in the ground able to swallow up and spit out creatures and objects. The title invites players to explore "the relationship between modern American and indigenous Pueblo cultures through themes of erasure and discovery."

Kachina exhibited at 2012's IndieCade as well as 2013's Experimental Gameplay Workshop at GDC, alongside fellow Indie Fund project Mushroom 11.

"We're happy we can support Ben to go exploring his own first commercial indie game," says Indie Fund. "We think his voice will be a unique addition!"

[Kris Ligman wrote this originally for sister site Gamasutra]

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