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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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Bar Oasis 1.5 Released For Free For The iOS

May 2, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw



The original Bar Oasis was a surprisingly solid iOS offering. It provided the novelty of 'serving' drinks to an eclectic collection of characters, a well-drawn cast and a half-decent story line. For the most part, people had seemed rather enamored of it. With the sequel slowly progressing towards completion, Corner Studios decided to surprise its fans with an unexpected addition to its growing franchise. The free-to-download Bar Oasis 1.5 will apparently feature a brand new plot, familiar mechanics and a new .. game mode?

If you need a pocket-sized distraction from your regular gaming habits, you can download the game here.

Atari Reveals Semi-Finalists In Pong Indie Developer Challenge

May 2, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

120501_pong.png

Atari announced that 20 studios will go on to the next round in its Pong Indie Developer Challenge, a contest in which winning titles will be published in the iOS App Store.

Over $100,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to contest winners, as determined by a panel of judges that includes Atari founder Nolan Bushnell. Published titles will also receive a revenue-share publishing agreement, along with marketing and PR support.

While many featured studios don't currently have a web presence, semi-finalists MadRuse Games and Eppy Games offer screenshots of their own Pong-inspired creations at their official websites. The full list of semi-finalists follows after the break below.

Discrimination Pong Inspires Frustration, Discomfort On iOS

May 1, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

After premiering as a freeware title for Windows and Mac platforms in 2010, Discrimination Pong is now available as a free download for iOS devices.

Designed by art collective and-or, Discrimination Pong visualizes discrimination and racism through intentional gameplay defects. During each match, the "not so white-paddle" is made more difficult to see and control as gameplay progresses, while the white paddle receives a variety of unfair advantages.

A free Flash version is also available.

A MAZE. Indie Connect Announces The Most Amazing Game

May 1, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

proteus.jpgProteus, (available now as a Beta) by Ed Key and David Kanaga, has won the award for The Most Amazing Indie Game at the 2012 A MAZE. Indie Connect Festival.

The international jury - Zuraida Buter, Thierry Platon, Marek Plichta and Chris Adkins - ultimately chose it over Where Is My Heart?, after deliberating among 10 nominees from 100 entries. As winner, Proteus earns a Little Indie distribution deal and 5000 Euro.

A MAZE. met its 2500 Euro funding goal for the prize thanks in large part to Andreas Illiger, who in 2011 achieved much success with his indie game, Tiny Wings.

Thorsten S. Wiedemann, director of Indie Connect, seemed overall pleased with the event and is excited for next year's. "We achieved our objective bringing together the protagonists of European indie gaming: Let's play again at the second edition of the International A MAZE. Indie Connect in 2013!"

Kickstarter Projects: Gubble 3D (Actual Entertainment)

April 30, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

A talented team of Atari-era industry veterans has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Gubble 3D, a proposed sequel to the PC, iOS, and PlayStation maze game Gubble.

The studio is headed up by Franz Lanzinger, developer of the classic arcade maze game Crystal Castles. 1997's release of Gubble for PC platforms expanded on the concepts introduced in Crystal Castles, and Gubble 3D will further plumb the depths of maze-based gameplay with the addition of a real-time 3D engine, a story mode, and destructible environments.

Gubble 3D will be released for Windows, Mac, and the iPad if its funding goal of $80,000 is met by May 23rd. Pledge prizes include DRM-free digital copies of the game ($15), a downloadable soundtrack album ($30), limited-edition Gubble plush toys ($75), and Kickstarter-exclusive t-shirts ($100).

Exploring Parallel 3D Space and Time with Oliver & Spike

April 28, 2012 4:30 PM | John Polson

Graphically intense 3D platformers are less common than their 2D counterparts these days, and Rock Pocket Games aims to ameliorate that with Oliver & Spike: Dimension Jumpers. The story goes that Oliver was separated from his parents when he was young and must uncover his past and future by traveling through the different dimensions. The game will be single player or co-op, where the other player can control Spike the dog.

The game contains different puzzles which often require switching dimensions to exploit their specific physics. I've seen swapping happen on a 2D scale, but I haven't seen it as much with such luscious 3D backgrounds. Players will not only switch to other dimensions, they will also have the power to switch to and explore completely different universes.

Bieg and Nasser on Sexy Joysticks and Subversion in Swordfight

April 27, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

swordfight small.pngKurt Bieg and Ramsey Nasser, the creators behind this week's Swordfight, used "plain, stupid fun" to breathe life into decades-old peripherals and to test the boundaries of players' comfort.

With crotch-mounted Atari 2600 joysticks, a player in Swordfight must touch the other's action button, while their arms are (optionally) bound behind their backs. The duo learned this awkward, intimate interaction can be fun, to the point of being emotionally releasing, as long as the rules of engagement and tools used keep the game "safe".

Subverting, or re-purposing, technology isn't anything new. Die Gute Fabrik showed the world two very different games people can play with PlayStation Move controllers: the award-winning Johan Sebastian Joust and Dog the Wag.

Bieg, being particularly fond of subversion, jumped at the chance to make Swordfight a reality, even though it started out two weeks ago as an inappropriate conversation between him, Nasser, and friend Kaho Abe. Swordfight was then developed and playtested at the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center and eventually was taken to the street for public exhibition.

In the following Q&A, Nasser and Bieg tag-teamed their responses to provide extra insight into their experiment.

Kickstarter Update: Republique Announced For PC And Mac

April 27, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Responding to a barrage of community requests, Camouflaj announced that its proposed stealth-action title Republique will now be released for Windows and Mac platforms, provided that the project's funding goal is met.

Previously announced as an iOS-exclusive release, Republique's new ports will be "specifically designed for PC and Mac with new features, gameplay and story elements that speak to the strengths of the platform." Republique's developers discuss specific changes in the update video above.

Republique has earned over $100,000 in pledges so far, and has two weeks left to reach its funding goal of $500,000. Supporters who pledge $15 or more will receive a copy of the Windows or Mac edition upon its release.

Graveyard Snuggle: "Twister Meets Hot Potato, But With More Touching"

April 27, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Are you very comfortable with physical contact among your group of friends? Bryant Drew Jones seeks to obliterate the very concept of personal space with Graveyard Snuggle, a unique board game-like app available for iOS and Android, via Google Play and Amazon.

In Graveyard Snuggle, two or more players sit in a circle, and a skeleton character barks out limb-tangling commands that every participant must obey. If a player jolts the device too severely during his or her turn, the game ends. Judging from the trailer above (warning: alarmingly mismatched audio/video), this would be a great icebreaker at your next orgy.

Graveyard Snuggle is priced at 99 cents.

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

April 27, 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 Retro Studios, Nickelodeon Games Group, 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:

Retro Studios: Retro Studios Character Artist (Level 1, 2, or 3):
"Retro Studios, founded in 1998, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nintendo Company, Ltd. Retro is a state of the art game development studio working in conjunction with Nintendo to bring cutting-edge games to Nintendo hardware systems."

Nickelodeon Games Group: Managing Producer / Product Director, Monkey Quest (MMO):
"Nickelodeon Games Group develops and operates leading game experiences for kids and family audiences across platforms, including over 50 mobile games and multiple online virtual worlds.

Nickelodeon Games includes recent releases like Monkey Quest, the leading action adventure online MMO; SpongeBob Super Bouncy Fun Time for mobile; and the highly-successful Team Umizoomi Math educational app."

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