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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: Skipping Stones (Saleem)

December 12, 2012 8:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Less of a game and more of an experiment in sound and digitized poetry, Saleem's Skipping Stones looks like it's shaping up to be one of those things you play with when you're bored, in need of an escape from the turbulence of an average day in our urban world or just, well, are tired of messing around with Angry Birds. If you're wondering what exactly Skipping Stones will have you doing, it's in the title: you'll be rocketing stones across a lake's surface in order to create new musical tones. Yup. That's about it.

Official website here.

IGF 2013 Highlights Initial Design, Technical Award Jurors

December 12, 2012 4:00 AM | Staff

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 Design and Technical Achievement Awards, as well as high-profile additions to its Nuovo and Narrative awards, the first members of which were recently announced.

Former Journey producer and designer and current Funomena co-founder Robin Hunicke will be joining both the Nuovo and Narrative juries. Also joining the Narrative jury is Telltale writer and designer Sean Vanaman, notable for his work co-writing the recent award-winning Walking Dead adventure series.

And the Nuovo Award jury will also see the inclusion of designer, curator and Kokoromi art collective co-founder Heather Kelley and Lea Schoenfelder, creator of former IGF finalist Ulitsa Dimitrova.

While the juries continue to be assembled in advance of the kick-off of our next phase of the finalist selection process, we're happy to announce the following confirmed jurists.

Time Surfer is Tiny Wings and Braid "Mashed Up"

December 11, 2012 11:02 PM | John Polson

PAX East Indie Showcase winner Kumobius has revealed its next game: Time Surfer. It seems even more colorful than Bean's Quest and features auto-platforming similar to Tiny Wings with time manipulation mechanics from Braid all "mashed up," the team blogs.

A quick look at the trailer reveals why rewinding time might be necessary. Time Surfer is blazing fast, and its iPad and iPhone release is quickly approaching: January 2013. I've asked the developer if Time Surfer will eventually surf its way over to PC, as did Bean's Quest. While waiting for an update, check out the stellar promo art after the jump:

7DFPS Hit First Person Tutor Reborn on iOS as The Grading Game

December 11, 2012 12:00 AM | John Polson

the grading game.jpgCharlie Deck's (bigblueboo's) 7DFPS entry First Person Tutor, where players sharp-shoot English grammar and spelling, has received a massive overhaul and is now available on iTunes as The Grading Game. For $1, the game provides horribly written papers on over 100 topics that range from "illegal numbers to Kim Jong Il's hairstyle." The career mode sees players correct papers from freshmen all the way to third-year doctoral students.

Players will find grammar, spelling, capitalization, and homophone mistakes, and they can hone skills for a specific mistake in the practice mode. Within each mode are several different gameplay types. The minefield levels provide back-to-back mistakes, and needle in a haystack levels task players with finding the singular mistake in a swarm of text.

Galcon 2 Braves Kickstarter and the Free-to-Play Model

December 9, 2012 4:00 AM | John Polson

Developer Phil Hassey has begun a Kickstarter project for Galcon 2 this weekend, explaining some of the overhaul the series will receive including a switch from pay-once to free-to-play pricing.

After releasing the "swarmy RTS" Galcon for iPhone and Android then Galcon Fusion for iPad desktops, Hassey has thought about several ways to improve the experience. Chief among those are making auto-matching much quicker and adding clan support, a new ranking system, and an in-game store.

Free Legal Services Pick: New Media Rights

December 7, 2012 2:30 PM | John Polson

legal assistance.pngLegal services that usually cost indies $300 to $500 an hour New Media Rights has done for free since 2007. Currently, this non-profit organization is seeking funds to keep services free and to pay for the ongoing web series Legal Assistance for Game Developers, reports Joystiq.

Along with explaining the company's history and services, Assistant Director Shaun Spalding offered his two biggest tips to indie developers: 1) Don't name your game the same name or something confusingly similar to another game (especially if you're trying to copy that game. 2.) Figure out who owns what ahead of time and make sure that everyone you're working with understands the goals of the project.

Kickstarter Projects: GameTron 1000 (Mojo Bones)

December 7, 2012 3:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw

What is GameTron 1000? Is it a beat 'em up? A slash 'em up? A puzzle-platformer? It's hard to say because Mojo Bones is apparently looking to make it just about everything. The idea here, it seems, is to create a a game that will feature a bunch of genres and sub-genres that can be mixed & matched to cater to the short attention span of the masses.If there's any combination you particularly like, you'll even be able to sequester them away for later. Cool, eh? They need a somewhat hefty 90, 000 pounds to get all of this going so if you like the idea, you may want to start evangelizing the game real soon.

For more details, here's the official Kickstarter page.

iPad Release: Sweatshop HD (LittleLoud)

December 6, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Indie developer LittleLoud has released Sweatshop HD, an upgraded iPad version of its browser-based tower defense game / worker exploitation sim Sweatshop.

As the Trainee Manager of a struggling clothing factory, you're charged with hiring, firing, and motivating an underpaid workforce to meet dangerous manufacturing demands. Players can either meet worker demands and create a (relatively) happy work environment, or they can exploit their workforce for greater earnings, at the occasional expense of worker life and limb.

"We used expert advice from UK-based charity, Labour Behind the Label," notes Sweatshop HD writer and designer Simon Parkin. "The game's systems mirror the real-life pressures that exert upon the sweatshop industry, so there's a serious message behind the silly story. By the end of the game the player will have a deeper understanding of the environment and processes involved in mass-produced clothing."

Sweatshop HD is priced at $2.99.

Personal Struggles Inspire Personal Games

December 6, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

tourettesquestlarge.jpgAs game development becomes more widely available as a storytelling medium, unique life experiences come to light.

One of the very best stories I've covered this year has been the genuinely heartwarming tale of Marius Mathisen, a Norwegian father who created a game specifically for his young step-daughter, who struggles with learning difficulties.

It's just one example of game players finding ways to make their passion help other people, and of the broadening scope of this entertainment offering us insights into emotional lives not previously covered by games.

Now, because of the uniqueness of games, the experiences of people with life-challenges are being explored in a way that's entirely new. Another example is Lars Doucet's prototype of Tourette's Quest, which he says is inspired by his own condition.

IGF 2013 debuts initial Nuovo, Narrative Award jurors

December 5, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

igf-student icon.jpgOrganizers of the 2013 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the first 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 make up its Nuovo award, as well as its first ever Excellence in Narrative Award.

While the juries are still being assembled in advance of the kick-off of our next phase of the finalist selection process, organizers have announced the following confirmed jurists.

The Excellence in Narrative Award

The following jurists are among those chosen to lead the IGF's debut Excellence in Narrative award, which is intended to recognize innovation, quality, and impressiveness of storytelling in a game, including, but not limited to, scenario, plot construction, story, and dialogue.

The Excellence in Narrative jury will include the following:

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