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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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IGF 2013 Adds 'Excellence in Narrative' Category

November 19, 2012 6:00 PM | Staff

IGF2013polysquare.jpg[Independent Games Festival chairman Brandon Boyer is interrupting this year's Festival for a brief but important announcement.]

Hello everybody, and welcome to a special IGF 2013 mid-stream announcement that, after much careful consideration and discussion, we decided was a necessity:

We're adding a new category to this year's festival, Excellence in Narrative.

This may not come as too much of a shock, because it's something that judges, entrants, and the general public have been asking for for quite some time now. Our initial decision to not add the category was not one we took lightly.

It was the subject of many rounds of internal discussion on both the necessity and logistics of adding a category devoted to recognizing narrative innovation, especially as we were making strides to remove categories and pare the festival down to a few core essentials.

IGF China 2012 Winners Led by CubeTractor, Fish

November 19, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

cubetractor gdcc.jpgThe Independent Games Festival China has revealed the Main Competition and Student winners for its 2012 award ceremony, which celebrates the most creative indie games from throughout the Pan-Pacific area.

The GDC China co-located event is now in its fourth year, and the victors were led by Best Game winner, retro-inspired puzzler Cubetractor, and abstract action Best Student Game winner Fish.

Drawing from a prize pool totaling 45,000 RMB (roughly $7,150), IGF China's Main Competition gave away awards covering Excellence in Audio, Design, Technology, and Visual Arts, as well as the Best Mobile Game and Best Game awards.

Three awards -- for Best Student Game and Excellent Student Winners -- offered 13,000 RMB (roughly $2,050) in cash prizes, and the winners were revealed in a ceremony in Shanghai during GDC China.

Here are the winners for this year's IGF China:

Trailer: Might of Ancient Remnants (Enigmati Inc)

November 17, 2012 4:30 PM | Cassandra Khaw

While I'm slightly skeptical about Enigmati Inc's claims that Might of Ancient Remnants will be 'the first hardcore game on mobile and tablet for both serious and casual gamers who seek competitive thrills through a portable online experience', Might of the Ancient Remnants still looks rather intriguing. What's even more intriguing, perhaps, is the fact that they have weekly public alpha multiplayer sessions for those interested in seeing what the game is all about.

Official IndieDB page can be found here.

iOS Pick: Micro Miners (Jean-Philippe Sarda)

November 17, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

Micro Miners for iPhone and iPad takes elements of Lemmings and Where's My Water, creates an ever-expanding set of rules for digging and surviving, and wraps it all up in a charming albeit visually raw game. The basic rule is to mine every deposit in sight. However, the white and black miners can only dig the deposits that correspond to their color (aside from the gold). Touching the wrong color results in death, and missing three deposits results in a game over.

The game later introduces land- and miner-clearing bombs, deadly lava, lava-only red miners, deadlier earthworms and drill machines, and collectibles that add more miners to each round. The secondary goal for each round is to complete it with 100% of the deposits mined. Missing one or part of one and using the super miner to clear a section subtracts from that percentage. Digging up different-sized diamonds adds back to that percentage.

It all adds up to very hectic, multi-tasking mayhem. And I love it.

Video: What I Mean When I Say 'Game'

November 17, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

boyergdce.jpgCourtesy of the GDC Vault is another free video from its extensive archive of recorded GDC sessions.

This time, we go back to the Independent Games Summit at GDC Europe 2011, where IGF chairman (and former Gamasutra editor) Brandon Boyer makes a case that independent game creators are the ones who will evolve the format of what we call "video games" into something we never could have seen coming.

The current videogame landscape is almost unrecognizable compared to just a decade ago, while at the same time surprisingly similar to that of the artform's earliest days. In this session one part educational and three parts inspirational, writer and Independent Games Festival chairman Brandon Boyer charts the course that has brought us to where we are today, and makes the case for independent creators leading the form into the future. [Video autoplays after the jump]

F*ck This Jam Gets Personal: Devs Parody Curiosity, Facebook, and YouTube

November 16, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

simface.pngThe general goal of Fuck This Jam was to make a game in a genre developers hated, and through "ignorance for conventions and hate for the established rules of a genre, beautiful things will happen." While most of the 1,424 developers are still at work to meet the November 17 deadline, at least three developers have drawn their line in the sand, attempting to the right the wrongs of Peter Molyneux's Curiosity and certain practices on Facebook and YouTube.

Bart Bonte went after 22Cans' cube-clicking communal app Curiosity because it's just that: an app. He tells IndieGames, "Curiosity is not a real game, yet I was amazed by the amount of game press and credit it got." In Bonte's Furiosity, he seeks to add meaning and logic to each layer players chip away.

PlayStation Mobile Release: Panic! (Thumbs Up, Green Hill)

November 16, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Developers Thumbs Up and Green Hill, together with publishing partner Ripstone, have released Panic!, a top-down action-puzzler for Sony's PlayStation Mobile service in Europe.

In Panic!, you must protect fleeing citizens from an alien ooze that's slowly taking over their city. Players must use the surrounding environment to guide the ooze away from survivors, destroying houses and throwing objects in order to create blockades. The game offers a 30-level campaign, along with an endless survival mode.

Panic! is priced at £1.59/€1.99.

Get a job: Battlecry Studios and others hiring now on the Gamasutra jobs board

November 16, 2012 1:00 AM | Eric Caoili

In the latest postings over the last seven days, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles in every major discipline, including opportunities at Battlecry Studios, BioWare Austin, TimeGate Studios, and others.

Each position posted by employers will appear on the main Gamasutra job board, and appear in the site's daily and weekly newsletters, reaching our readers directly.

It will also be cross-posted for free across Gamasutra's network of submarket sites, which includes content sites focused on independent games and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

Battlecry Studios: Monetization Designer:
"ZeniMax Media has formed Battlecry Studios in Austin, Texas to develop premier, engaging gameplay experiences for a connected world."

The Playforge: Senior Game Artist:
"Our name, The Playforge, reflects our goal to be recognized as the industry leading gamesmiths that forge games of superior craftsmanship. Our ethic has been to make only the most creative, irresistible and compelling mobile games that people can play anywhere with their friends."

The unique challenges of building a game world out of cardboard

November 16, 2012 1:00 AM | Staff

cardboard Lume.jpgLume, a smartphone and PC adventure game from State of Play, was built as a model and filmed, rather than constructed in 3D inside a computer. The technical challenges? Paper cuts and uncooperative models.

As creative director Luke Whittaker writes in his new postmortem, working with cardboard offers some challenges game developers might not run into -- but his way of thinking will be familiar to those who hope to push boundaries.

"In developing this game, it was priority for us to be ambitious with our method. By its very nature, that meant that we couldn't plan for every outcome because we didn't know how it would pan out," Whittaker writes.

Lume's environment, a house, was created entirely out of cardboard and then filmed by a professional cameraman who had worked with the BBC. This video was overlaid onto a Flash game logic layer created by Whittaker and his team. Working with paper, however, presented its own challenges.

Trailer: Blocksworld (Boldai AB)

November 15, 2012 8:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Due to arrive on the App Store sometime this November 21st, Blocksworld is yet another one of those sandbox games that will have you engineering everything from motorcycles with poor steering abilities to people who look exceedingly nervous and even animals that .. run away? On top of having an online community that you can shower with your creations, Blocksworld will also include action rules for more advanced robots and games, rockets and well, lots and lots of blocks. They also have an absolutely stellar trailer.

Official website here.
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