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IndieGames.com 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, Gamasutra.com 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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The Secret to Spider's Success: New Forms of Collaboration

November 3, 2012 2:00 AM | Staff

100310-spider.jpegRandy Smith, the Thief designer who went mobile and found success with Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, says that remote work means he creates "more evocative documents to communicate the vision and design."

When he founded his studio Tiger Style with programmer David Kalina, it was always set up for distributed development -- which presents its own challenges. The two had come from a studio environment -- most recently at EA LA -- and needed to find new ways to work.

"I don't see everyone face to face, so I rarely assume they're picturing the same game I am. This puts pressure on me to provide effective direction. I find myself creating more evocative documents to communicate the vision and design," Smith says.

You can see an example of that at the bottom of this post.

While the document describes a "different version of Spider than what we shipped," according to Smith, getting ideas into easily comprehensible formats is key to remote collaboration.

Android Game Pick: Candy Grapple (Switchbreak)

November 2, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Halloween is over, but if you're not yet sickened by the sight of candy, you might want to give Switchbreak's (Waterfall Rescue) new Android action-puzzler Candy Grapple a try.

In Candy Grapple, players swing from a series of suspended platforms using a simple one-touch control scheme, collecting candy and avoiding the enemies that infest each level. The game features a variety of unlockable costumes, and includes several dozen levels.

Candy Grapple is priced at 99 cents. An iOS version will be released soon.

GDC's 'Experimental Gameplay Workshop' seeks new prototypes for 2013

November 2, 2012 8:00 PM | John Polson

egw 2013.jpgThe ever-popular Experimental Gameplay Workshop will once again to return to the Game Developers Conference in 2013, and the event's organizers have issued a call for submissions for new "experimental" video game prototypes.

The selected titles will earn a slot in the two-hour Experimental Gameplay Workshop session at GDC 2013 in San Francisco, which aims to showcase an eclectic mix of unusual game concepts that explore new ideas and genres.

Led by Robin Hunicke (Journey) and Daniel Benmergui (Storyteller), and Richard Lemarchand (Uncharted), this event gives event gives developers from all over the industry a chance to show off concepts that stretch boundaries and hopefully move the industry forward.

In fact, a number of "experimental" titles that debuted in previous years have gone on to become some of the most well regarded in the business. Some of these standout games include Katamari Damacy, flOw, Braid, Portal, World of Goo, and more.

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

November 2, 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 LucasArts, Amazon, Bungie, 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:

LucasArts: Senior Tools Engineer (Action/ Adventure Title):
"LucasArts, a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide for video game console systems, computers and the Internet. Based in San Francisco, Calif., as well as on the Internet, LucasArts was created in 1982 by George Lucas to provide an interactive element to his vision of a state-of-the-art, multifaceted entertainment company."

Slingo, Inc.: Senior Game Programmer:
"From the number 1 game on AOL in 1997 to the number 1 application on Facebook in 2012, Slingo holds the distinction of being one of America's most-played online games with almost 5 billion lifetime games played. Established in 1995 and headquartered in Hackensack, New Jersey, Slingo, Inc. creates exceptional games for every platform."

Trailer: EEK! (Don't Step On The Cracks)

November 1, 2012 9:30 PM | Danny Cowan

Next week, App Store developer Don't Step On The Cracks will launch EEK!, an iOS dodge-'em-up that takes a unique approach to in-game graphics.

Controlled entirely via tilt, EEK! challenges players to survive as long as possible amidst a swarm of deadly obstacles and explosions. What's neat about this one is that all in-game elements are represented as written words; instead of dodging space debris, you'll instead avoid stylized words like "FIREBALL" and "COMET." It works surprisingly well, if the footage above is of any indication.

EEK! will be released as a universal app on November 6th.

Trailer: Year Walk (Simogo)

October 30, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Beat Sneak Bandit creator Simogo offers another glimpse of its upcoming iOS first-person adventure game Year Walk in the newly launched trailer above.

First revealed last month, Year Walk promises to "blur the line between two and three dimensions as well as reality and the supernatural" in a tale that tasks players with exploring the world and solving puzzles in a 19th century Swedish setting.

Year Walk is set to launch early next year.

Terry Cavanagh and the Heart of Super Hexagon

October 30, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

terry super.jpgAt England's independent game festival GameCity, Terry Cavanagh was introduced as "brilliant and unforgiving," and his popular iOS action game Super Hexagon is certainly an example of both.

Super Hexagon has three modes: Hexagon, Hexagoner and Hexagonest, and they're labeled "hard, harder and hardest."

"I like to think the first two modes are just practice," Cavanagh joked.

Of course, he's a master of his own game, in part because of his persistence -- it took him a few tries, but he was able to complete the game in full before a live audience, even through its final Hyperhexagonest mode unlocked after 60 seconds surviving the hardest difficulty. The prize is just a simple kill screen and a single word of praise: "Wonderful."

Behind him, the projector showed his folder of bright, offbeat and minimalist prototypes on his computer, from things made in jams (there's a game where you have to drive a speeding bus the wrong way down a cluttered highway) to popular VVVVVV. The folders are labeled simply by number, one through seven, and in the seventh is a prototype called Hexagon.

iOS Pick: Punch Quest (Rocketcat Games)

October 29, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Hook Champ and Mage Gauntlet creator Rocketcat Games has launched Punch Quest, a free-to-play autoscrolling beat-'em-up for iOS devices.

Keeping its mechanics simple for touch screens, Punch Quest maps its controls to taps from your two thumbs. The result is a testosterone-fueled frenzy of jabs, uppercuts, and body slams...with the occasional ride on a laser-spewing velociraptor. I really enjoyed Hook Champ, and this looks like a worthy follow-up!

iOS Pick: Alien Bio Lab (Coffee Dog Games)

October 29, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

121025_alienbio.jpg

Hello Panda developer Hima has released a free iOS version of the creature-matching puzzler Alien Bio Lab.

Alien Bio Lab is a Puyo Puyo-like puzzler in which playfield pieces morph into new creatures, once three or more of the same type are linked. The game includes Game Center leaderboards and achievements, and gives players the ability to save replays of their best runs.

Alien Bio Lab is available from the App Store as a free download. A demo version is playable for free online in Unity and HTML5.

On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 goes Mac and Mobile

October 26, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

pennyarcios3.pngWell, we did warn you, and you should thus have already prepared your Mac, Android or iOS device for Zeboyd's Penny Arcade On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3; for one of the quirkiest indie RPGs of the year. The game is finally available on Google Play, the App Store and the Mac App Store and even comes with its promised, free "Lair of the Seamstress" DLC expansion.

Do keep in mind, that everyone who has already grabbed the game on either PC or Xbox 360 will also be getting access to the free DLC.

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