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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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Mobile Game Pick: The Warbler's Nest (Orangepeel Softworks)

July 2, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

warblers nest.pngThe Warbler's Nest is a relatively short work of interactive horror fiction by Jason McIntosh, that has you enter the world of a troubled soul, searching for answers among the almost ominous reeds. The game was originally created for the 2010 Interactive Fiction Competition and went on to win that year's XYZZY Award for Best Story.

It's a text adventure, that truly understands its nature and plays this to its strength by taking full advantage of the medium and being a wonderful, dark, interactive fairy tale. It also is an offering you can complete in one afternoon or spend far longer exploring all its tiny details. No matter how you play it though, you'll definitely appreciate how sharply, atmospherically and at times disturbingly it's written.

The iOS port of Warbler's Nest comes with an excellent interface that works like a dream on the iPad and pretty well on the smaller screen of the iPhone. Its UI features include a popup palette of common commands, the ability to take notes and full VoiceOver support. You can buy it for $0.99 over at the App Store.

Zeboyd Update: Rain-Slick 3 Hits XBLIG, Cthulhu Arrives On iOS And Android

July 1, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Fans of retro RPG specialist Zeboyd Games take note: following a brief delay, the studio's most recent release, Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3, is out now for the Xbox 360 as an Xbox Live Indie Games title.

But that's not all! Zeboyd's previous hit Cthulhu Saves the World is now available for iOS and Android in a new port developed by TinkerHouse Games. Good times!

The mobile version of Cthulhu Saves the World is priced at $1.99. Rain-Slick 3 is available for 400 Microsoft points ($5).

Ask IndieGames: What makes a good free-to-play game?

June 30, 2012 1:00 PM | John Polson

free pic.jpg

Ask IndieGames is a monthly feature that takes a range of topics relating to indie gaming and development and poses them as a question to the editorial staff.

This month's topic is free-to-play (F2P) games. Love them or loathe them, F2P games are gradually taking the video game industry by storm, in the web browser, on mobile devices and now even on home consoles. What elements should indie developers look to include or avoid when building a F2P game? What can indie developers do differently?

iPhone Game Pick: Unstoppable Fist ( Ragtag Studio)

June 29, 2012 2:20 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Unstoppable Fist hovers somewhere between the realms of awesome and unspeakably corny. An old school beat 'em up of sorts for the iOS, this modestly priced title will have you commanding a rather burly-looking, mullet-headed dude in a Miami Vice-like outfit. Instead of facing off against catastrophic doom and doomed romances, you'll be taking on zombie chicken and zombie fish in this one. Yes.

Want to know more? Check out the IndieDB page here.

Dynamite Jack Out Now On iPad

June 29, 2012 1:00 PM | Danny Cowan

After premiering for Windows, Mac, and Linux last month, Phil Hassey's explosive stealth title Dynamite Jack is now available for Apple's iPad.

Armed only with a cache of explosives, the game's protagonist Jack must stealthily take out guards and solve puzzles throughout 28 campaign levels. Players can also download dozens of user-created maps and make their own challenges using a built-in level editor -- there's a video tutorial here, if you want to put your design skills to the test.

Dynamite Jack is priced at $2.99.

Mobile Game Pick: Bee In A Bubble (Ovine by Design)

June 29, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Ovine by Design, the generous indie developers and retro remakers that have already given us wonderful freebies like Ultimate Bruce Lee, have also released their third iOS game: Bee In A Bubble. A lovely and modestly priced app for both the iPad and iPhone that uses excellent controls and 16-bit graphics to explore the consequences of crossing a Bee and a Bubble. (hint: apparently retro-inspired arcade maze games get spawned).

The game sports over 30 levels, three increasingly excellent control configurations, accessibility options and a lovely soundtrack that wouldn't feel out of place on an Amiga. I am personally loving it and have already started obsessing about my highscores.

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

June 29, 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 Visual Conceps, Naked Sky Entertainment, MLB Advanced Media, 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:

Naked Sky Entertainment: Visual Effects Artist:
"Naked Sky Entertainment is an award-winning game development studio based in Los Angeles. We foster a creative environment, shunning steep hierarchy and never-ending bureaucracy, where everyone's opinions are heard. Our mission is to create meaningful, inspirational, socially responsible, and thought-provoking fun. We are a licensed developer for Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, Apple iOS, and other next-gen platforms."

Pocket Gems: Senior Game Artist:
"Pocket Gems develops free-to-play mobile games that are ridiculously fun. We were founded in 2009 by Daniel Terry and Harlan Crystal, engineers and gaming industry outsiders, who wanted to bring the excitement of social gaming to the mobile platform. Our 14 titles to-date have been smash hits, each landing at the top of the charts and entertaining millions of customers across the globe."

5 Ways to be a Successful Indie Developer

June 28, 2012 10:00 PM | Staff

penny arcade 3 gama.jpgFortune has favored indie studio Zeboyd Games over the last couple of years. While the studio started out creating text-based adventures for Xbox Live Indie Games, it soon found small-time fame with Breath of Death VII: The Beginning, a retro parody RPG that took multiple digs at RPGs of old.

This success continued into quasi-sequel Cthulhu Saves the World, another big hit on XBLIG, before the two titles were finally brought to PC via Steam and received the full recognition they deserved.

This week Zeboyd Games released what is its first crack at a big-name franchise. Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness -- Episode Three takes the original, polygonal RPG franchise and gives it a complete 2D Zeboyd-style make-over.

On the back of this rapid success, Zeboyd founder Robert Boyd plans to release the fourth and final Penny Arcade Adventures game in 2013. After that he'll either continue to work with Penny Arcade on new IPs, or crack on with the studio's own titles. Either way, Zeboyd plans to take a break from turn-based RPGs after Episode 4, and try something different -- perhaps a 2D Legend of Zelda-esque action game, hints Boyd.

Feature: 10 iOS Adventure Games You Must Play

June 28, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Apple's iPhone and especially those amazing (and rather expensive) iPads truly make for an excellent adventure gaming platform that's very indie friendly indeed. The large memory and multi-touch screen of the iOS devices, combined with the low asking prices and reasonable development costs have already provided us with more than a few excellent and at times innovative takes on the genre. Here are the 10 adventure games you really shouldn't miss:

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
sword sworcery ep.pngA huge indie hit on numerous platforms and a digital art manifesto all wrapped up in one innovative game that started its life on iOS. Intrigued? Well, you should be, for Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery is a rare game indeed, that effortlessly combines point-and-click gaming with simple combat mechanics, well-paced exploration and a ton of highly experimental ideas. It's artistically impressive too, what with its incredibly stylized visuals and downright brilliant soundtrack.

(App Store link)

You're going to underestimate your work -- no matter what

June 28, 2012 5:00 AM | Staff

Mac App gama.jpgIn a new feature on Gamasutra, indie developer Matej Jan writes that even for a simple, single-screen iOS game, he vastly underestimated the amount of programming required, and you will too.

Despite working with his own technology and with a good understanding of how the game would come together -- after the designers briefed him, "it was pure execution", he writes -- it still took him too long to create Monkey Labour.

This, despite the fact that the game's clear influence is Nintendo's black and white Game & Watch handheld.

"As always, it all depends on a multitude of factors, the major ones being the size of the game and your previous experience with doing exactly the things needed to realize it."

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