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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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iPad2+ Pick: LiquidSketch (Tobias Neukom)

September 28, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

Mixing fluids has seldom been more fun than in Tobias Neukom's new iPad 2 or 3 puzzler LiquidSketch. Seldom have those fluids been so carefully modeled, too.

The main game is split into 6 stages with 15 puzzles in each. Players must mix colors, navigate mazes and solve physics puzzles by controlling the liquid. This liquid moves by using the gyroscope, by splashing it around with a flick or by placing pumps and blocks to construct bridges, dams, and fountains. The last two stages (30 puzzles) combine all these mechanics for even greater challenges.

A sandbox mode allows players to experiment with every mechanic, and it is just short of being a functional level editor, sans sharing. There's no goal to it, just chaos.

iOS & Facebook Pick: Catch-22 (Mango Down)

September 27, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

PAX10 2012 and IndieCade 2012 Selection Catch-22 by Mango Down has released on iTunes and Facebook. Players must jump to avoid their shadow while alternating clockwise or counterclockwise and collecting orbs to increase their score. Players lose if they bump into their shadow, unless they bump when switching. Timing the latter remains the most intense moment for me!

The core game seems the same on both Facebook (space to jump) and iOS (touch anywhere to jump). Since the developers don't have a donation set up on the official Catch-22 website, the next best thing would probably be to buy the universal app on iTunes for a mere $0.99.

Nitrome Partners with Browser-Based Game Console Brass Monkey

September 26, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

brass monkey.pngBoston-based start up Brass Monkey has announced a 30-game partnership with leading independent browser-based developer Nitrome.

The company's self-named "console" turns Android and Apple devices into virtual controllers that connect to browser games via one's Wifi. Brass Monkey has already added the likes of Mario von Rickenbach's Rakete and a collection of Orange Pixel's games. However, the Nitrome partnership will add a 30-game collection that is almost double the console's current lineup.

A version of Brass Monkey's controller app called "Touchy" will soon be available for use on Nitrome. The developer blogs that players can use touch devices for built-in motion control and touch screen interface through the Touchy app. "This technology also allows us local multiplayer opportunities that we could never achieve within the confines of a normal keyboard."

After the jump is a trailer for Nitrome's Double Edged, which offers a glimpse of the four-player, browser-based capability.

Trailer: Irrupt (Sets And Settings)

September 24, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

GRAVNAV developers Andrew Nissen and Folmer Kelly -- under the new studio name Sets and Settings -- are preparing to launch Irrupt, the pair's first effort for iOS platforms.

In Irrupt, players guide an endless procession of astronauts from one spaceship to another, dodging asteroids along the way. As gameplay progresses, you'll be able to activate laser turrets that clear out some of the incoming debris. Kelly offers a discussion of the game's design and visual style in a series of posts at the game's official website.

Irrupt will be priced at 99 cents when it launches in the App Store this Thursday, September 27th.

God of Blades Available 27th September

September 24, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

This is definitely the season of releases. From much-anticipated mainstream titles like Borderlands 2 to stuff that jives better with the indie crowd, we've seen them all and on 27th September 2012, God of Blades will join the line-up of freshly-released titles. Described as a love-song to 'pulp fantasy tales of yore, 70s synth-prog-landscape oddities, and forgotten places', God of Blades will have you taking on the role of a spectral king as he slices and dices through a Doomsday cult devoted to cosmic horrors. It even has this little feature that will allow you to unlock specific weapons if you take the time to travel to real-life libraries. The iOS game will be priced at $2.99

For more information, here's the official website.

Sense of Wonder Night 2012: Dumpster Diving and A Mobile Rendezvous

September 23, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

Tokyo Game Show's Experimental Gameplay Sessions equivalent Sense of Wonder Night (SOWN) celebrated its fifth year Friday evening. Here are two of its demonstrations for a dumpster diving minigame and an interesting use of iPhones contacting each other.

First up is trash digging iOS game Grandmaster by Artur Mine and Dmitry Verbitsky (of Beast Mode), joined by Marina Magaz. In a series of mini games, players dig through trash to find food and fend off their territory from police and other bums.

The developers take to the stage to describe how Russian homelessness isn't restricted to mere alcoholics; it spans the whole culture. Bums are the "samurai of the dump," so in Grandmaster, players naturally perfect the art of dumpster diving. Foregoing questions in the end, the developers burst into song (at the 11:00 mark). While the microphone picks up the mad keyboard skills, the vocals didn't pick up so well.

GameMaker Aims to Be the Unity of 2D Games with New Releases

September 22, 2012 12:00 PM | Staff

gamemakerstudiolarge.jpgToday, the popular 2D development tool GameMaker has announced Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone support. Windows 8 support for Game Maker: Studio will be available on October 26; Windows Phone 8 support will follow when the devices themselves launch, later this year.

That's just the latest in a raft of improvements that began with the May release of the latest edition of the software, GameMaker: Studio.

"GameMaker's been around a long time," says Sandy Duncan, CEO of Yoyo Games, which acquired the tool in 2006. "Really, we didn't do that much with it for about three years," he admits.

While some significant indie games have been made with the engine, including the original PC versions of Derek Yu's Spelunky and Vlambeer's Super Crate Box, the product was losing steam.

Today Is Independent Game Development Day In Massachusetts

September 22, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan


Happy Independent Game Development Day!

Yes, it's official -- Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick has declared today, September 22nd, to be Independent Game Development Day. Celebrate by making some games! Or by taking a break from making games, if you'd prefer. It's your day, after all.

"Independent Game Developers are a key part of the state's video-game cluster and our creative economy in Massachusetts," said Helena Fruscio, Creative Economy Industry Director for the Executive Office of Economic Development in Massachusetts.

"Not only are they pushing the limits of game design, but these small businesses owners are supporting community growth by creating jobs and expanding opportunities within the cluster. On September 22nd we are thrilled to celebrate the independent game development community and highlight the first ever Festival of Indie Games in Massachusetts."

[via @MommysBestGames / @dejobaan]

SOWN 2012: Generative Music and Sexy Gynamastics

September 22, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

Two Sense of Wonder Night alumni, ZacoZaco and Takayuki Yanagihara, returned to Tokyo Game Show with their latest experimental game designs and even more experimental performances.

First up is ZacoZaco's free Taiso (Gymnastics) on iPhone and Android, presented in somewhat creepy Japanese text-to-speech. The developers have always wanted to create a game in Unity and one where they could throw their phone around, so Taiso was quickly and easily born. Players earn points the more the phone flips and turns along with a solid landing.

The presentation is rather bizarre, told through the diary of the three ZacoZaco developers. One team member stresses over going to a sexy bar and references Chelsea Clinton. Another member thought of making an App that actually hunts loud gamers who play Monster Hunter on the train, but that got scrapped.

I must say the translator was such a good sport. ZacoZaco certainly outdid their KuraKuraMaze demonstration at SOWN 2011.

10 Indie Games to Sing Along with

September 21, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

As much as I love a good synthesized song, there's something special and seemingly rare about indie game music with lyrics. Thanks to the Internet, I've realized dozens of quality songs exist in indie games already. Some songs start at the title, others at the end credits, and some even in-game. To celebrate these songs, I have begun gathering them here.

First up is Beck's Cities (on Queasy Games' Sound Shapes). This PlayStation Network (Vita and PS3) game and song will make you MOVE a little, TURN a little, BREAK a little and even HURT a little. Hell, the stage itself sings along!

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