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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: Pexer's Tower (Quimdung)

March 26, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Four Winds Fantasy developer Quimdung has launched Pexer's Tower, an iOS title that recalls classic single-screen puzzlers like Adventures of Lolo and Chip's Challenge.

Players guide the defenseless Pexer to each level's exit, avoiding many fast-moving enemies along the way. Pexer is equipped with a limited number of blocks that can be placed on any tile within each level. With the right timing, players can erect walls and corral enemies to ensure Pexer's safety.

I really enjoyed this one! The gameplay is quite clever, and though the touch-based mechanics can be finicky at times, it's satisfying to trap multiple enemies at once using your own hastily-built blockades. Pexer's Tower also includes Game Center leaderboards that track your best times in each level -- the unpredictable enemy movements demand quick thinking and planning, though, so speed-running this game won't be easy.

Pexer's Tower is priced at 99 cents.

ARG Zombies Kickstarter Nears Conclusion

March 26, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Zombie enthusiasts have five days left to fund Owen Morris's real-world-interfacing undead apocalypse sim ARG Zombies.

ARG Zombies tracks each player's real-world location via smartphone GPS, and generates battles and other encounters based on where competing players travel. The prototype above demonstrates combat sequences that mix turn-based action with timed gestures.

Some project backers will receive gameplay advantages in the form of "magic charms" -- keychains featuring QR codes that render the user invisible to zombies when scanned. Other pledge prizes include stickers, special in-game weapons, and a t-shirt that summons a Super Zombie boss when scanned.

Boasting pledges from notable contributors like Two Player Productions and Reality Is Broken author Jane McGonigal, ARG Zombies has raised more than $5,000 as of this writing. The project must receive $15,000 in pledges by April 1st to be funded.

[via @werezompire]

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

March 23, 2012 11:00 PM | 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 Quantic Dream, Junction Point Studios, Konami, 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:

Carbine Studios: World Artist:
"Flexible. Organized. Brilliant. Innovative. Bad at Poker. Those are just of the few words that describe our favorite kind of people. At Carbine Studios, we're looking for employees with a passion for video games. We value people with cross-discipline talents who enjoy working with others, and who can point to a history of success in collaborative environments.

Disney Interactive Studios/Junction Point Studios: Environment Artist:
"Junction Point Studios, headed by industry visionary Warren Spector, is a developer of innovative single-player and small-group multiplayer console and PC games. Our focus is on player-driven narrative, which we define as 'improvisational gameplay in the context of a strong, traditional narrative.'

The company's main goal is to tell stories with players, not to them, allowing them to craft unique experiences through in-game choices. For some developers, it may be enough to refine and polish. At Junction Point, we want to change things – innovation is a core value. Each game advances the state of the art. We believe long-term success can best be achieved by delivering games of the highest quality in gameplay and presentation."

Out Now: Saltsman, Veer-Developed Hunger Games: Girl On Fire For iOS

March 23, 2012 5:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Lions Gate Films has released Hunger Games: Girl on Fire, a free iOS autoscrolling platformer created by an "indie dream team" of standout developers.

A predecessor to The Hunger Games film and novel series, Girl on Fire challenges players to shoot down Tracker Jackers and dodge enemy fire as lead character Katniss races back to her home, District 12. Adam Saltsman (Canabalt) served as lead developer for the project, which features art by Vlambeer's Paul Veer, programming by Doomlaser's Mark Johns and Kevin Coulton, and music from dB Soundworks' Danny Baranowsky.

Girl on Fire is available as a free universal app, and includes a selection of Game Center achievements.

Mobile Game Pick: Tiny Hawk (Polygon Toys)

March 23, 2012 11:00 AM | Lewie Procter

Originally released as a free flash game (playable here), skateboarding platformer Tiny Hawk is now available for 99c/69p on the iOS App Store.

It's got a simple control scheme, with just a few buttons and some good timing you can expertly navigate through 32 increasingly complex levels. all on the back of a tiny skateboard.

I've not tried the iOS version yet, but there's brand new art, and it looks like there's been some tweaks to the levels, controls, and a few other aspects of the design.

It's also available as a PSP Minis game, if you prefer using physical buttons. The developer is working on another, currently unnamed, PSP Minis game. So that's one to watch for.

Global Game Jam Title Fade Coming Soon to iPad

March 22, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

You can find games in almost every inch of GDC. I admit I had not known of Fade before spotting it on an iPad at the Rochester Institute of Technology booth a couple weeks ago. In this puzzle-platformer, Pete the mouse detective proceeds through stages with a single finger fading obstacles in and out of existence.

Having that kind of power at the tip of my finger was intriguing. I only had a few minutes to spare with Fade, so I caught up with developer Daniel Sternfeld after the show to talk more about the project, which should be released at the end of this month.

What was the inspiration for Fade?

The idea for Fade originated from the 2011 Global Game Jam. The theme for that year was to build a game based on "extinction." Many teams built games based around the idea of species extinction, but we wanted to try doing something different. We started by playing around with the actual definition of extinction to stretch what it could mean. We twisted the definition, "the condition of being extinct," into "the state of not existing," which became a springboard for all of our ideas.

Sword & Sworcery EP, LP On Sale For Today Only

March 21, 2012 7:00 PM | Danny Cowan


If you've been interested in checking out Capybara Games' sublime iOS adventure title Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP or its equally wonderful soundtrack, now is the time to hop on board, as both are on sale to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the game's release.

Sword & Sworcery is currently priced at $1.99, down from its regular price of $4.99. The S&S soundtrack "The Ballad of the Space Babies" is available as a pay-what-you-want download from composer Jim Guthrie's website for a limited time. Also available are limited-edition soundtracks on cassette ($12 CAD) and vinyl ($30 CAD), the latter of which includes a print by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward.

The sale ends tomorrow. Act swiftly!

[via IGM]

Gravity Fleet: Indie Dev Accidentally Invents Angry Birds Space

March 21, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Eight months ago, Rey Ordoñez and Diego Freijo at independent developer Coffee Powered Machine began work on Gravity Fleet, an iOS physics puzzler that saw players launching missiles into space and using the orbits of nearby planets to curve their shots toward enemy characters.

As the team was putting the finishing touches on the project earlier this month, Rovio announced the upcoming release of Angry Birds Space, which Freijo points out is very similar in premise and execution. Whoops.

In a cruel twist of fate, Gravity Fleet may end up competing directly with Angry Birds Space, which is set to launch March 22nd. Gravity Fleet has already been submitted to Apple, and should appear in the App Store soon.

"How [do] you compete with something like Angry Birds?" programmer Diego Freijo asks. "We are about to find out!" Good luck, guys!

Simogo Discusses Unreleased "Punk Retro Game" For iOS

March 21, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan


Beat Sneak Bandit developer Simogo details an unreleased game in its latest blog post, shedding light on an interesting concept that didn't quite make it to market.

"16GAMES was a pretty neat little 2 button punk thing that we sent in to the Nordic Game funding programme to try and score some fat cash," the developer explains. "But, as you might guess we didn't get any funding and we sort of fell out of love with it so we ended up making Beat Sneak Bandit instead (which seems like a pretty good thing, looking back)."

The compilation was to feature a variety of simple retro-styled games that could be controlled with two buttons. The twist: players would play multiple games simultaneously. The descriptions Simogo wrote up for each game are also amusingly succinct. Take Space Cats, for example: "Rotate a spaceship in 45 degrees. Giant enemy cat heads are masochists. Give them what they want."

Too bad this one never made it to the App Store -- it looks like it could've been fun! Simogo has also released a collection of music tracks that would have been featured in 16GAMES, all of which are available for download from the studio's blog.

[via Touch Arcade]

Indie Connect 2012 Confirmations, Last Call for Most Amazing Game

March 20, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

amaze indie connect.jpgThe international indie game festival A MAZE. Indie Connect 2012 has confirmed a list of speakers and exhibits and has put a last call out for independent developers to submit their Most Amazing Game. Once submitted, games will be reviewed by an international jury. Those selected as finalists will be available to play at the A MAZE. Indie Connect, which runs April 26 and 27, and will compete for a 5000€ prize.

The submission fee is 45€. The rules state that those who are "14 years or older at April 26th 2012" can apply. Games can be on any platform but must have at least one playable, completed level. The five games with the highest nominations from all jury members will constitute the finalists.

The event itself will have a key note speech by Jonatan Söderström/Cactusquid. Click through to see all the guests lined up so far.

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