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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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Ka-Bloom Announced For iOS & Android, Published By BBC Worldwide

March 5, 2012 12:00 PM | Lewie Procter

Ka-Bloom Screen 7.png Here's a bold step for the BBC. BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British public broadcasting behemoth, are publishing a game based on creator owned IP (rather than BBC properties) for the first time in the mobile space. Step up Ka-Bloom.

Originally released as a free flash game in 2010, it was always designed with touchscreen in mind, but it's taken the backing from the BBC to rebuild it for iOS and Android, and it's gained new artwork, remixed music and 56 new levels in the process.

Strongman Games' Creative Director Erlend Grefsrud said this:

"I'm Exceptionally pleased and more than just a little surprised that a behemoth such as BBC Worldwide would take interest in and commercially back a game about a gem-eating space flower that blooms explosively when his consciousness has sufficiently expanded. It's not the sort of thing I would expect anyone to throw money at, and is a testament to BBC Worldwide's daring and creative approach to new IP."

No release date yet, so keep an eye on Strongman Games' website for updates.

iPhone Game Pick: Zombie Panic in Wonderland (Akaoni)

March 3, 2012 2:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

We first took a gander at the iOS port of Zombie Panic in Wonderland sometime back in November. Developed by Spanish indie studio Akaoni, Zombie Panic in Wonderland is the silly story of how amorous zombies have plunged a world populated by fairly tale characters into, well, panic. A third-person on-rails shooter that was originally intended for the WiiWare, Zombie Panic in Wonderland is almost unreasonably fun for something so simple. Asides from blowing up zombies, you'll get to indulge in the large-scale destruction of local infrastructure, the

The controls are fairly decent. You'll be making use of the iPhone's in-built accelerometer to steer your character from side to side. To shoot, you just have to tap and hold and your on-screen avatar will do the rest. Fair warning, however, Zombie Panic in Wonderland is heavy on the anime-inspired visuals. If you're not the sort who enjoys such aesthetics, this absurd little adventure is not for you. Otherwise, why not give it download? The game is free to check out but it will cost approximately $3.99 to acquire the full story mode.

Acquire the game here.

Tobe & Friends Hookshot Escape Hits App Store

March 2, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

This week brings the release of Tobe & Friends Hookshot Escape, an expanded iOS version of Secret Base's browser and mobile title Tobe's Hookshot Escape.

Hookshot Escape is an endless vertically scrolling platformer in which Tobe must collect gems and climb as high as possible using an upgradable hookshot. The iOS edition adds three new characters, all of whom have unique abilities that put a new spin on the game -- Nana wields a block-breaking hammer, Blitz can jump higher by using Dragon Punch, and Aero ascends using a feather cape.

Players can unlock 20 pieces of equipment during gameplay, which can boost character stats and abilities. The game also includes four different world themes and Game Center leaderboards for each character.

Tobe & Friends Hookshot Escape is priced at $2.99. A free Flash version of the original game is also available.

Spiceworx Reveals iOS Bullet-Dodger Pig And Bullet

March 2, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Indie supergroup Spiceworx (RE: Get To Schol On Time) has completed work on its second iOS project: the bullet hell non-shooter Pig and Bullet.

Originally released as a free Flash game in 2010, Pig and Bullet pits an unarmed swine against a terrifying rain of bullets. The pig is able to become temporarily invincible to plow through tough patterns (though this drains your score), and black bullets can be collected to increase the score multiplier. Three gameplay modes are included, one of which challenges players to collect bullets.

Incredibly, the game boasts a soundtrack by former Capcom/Takumi musician Yasushi Kaminishi, composer of the Dreamcast-era shoot-'em-ups Giga Wing and Mars Matrix. Hopefully Pig and Bullet won't be as difficult as Mars Matrix, though, because jeez.

Pig and Bullet has been submitted to Apple, and should appear in the App Store shortly.

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

March 2, 2012 3:00 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 Kojima Productions, Demiurge Studios, Respawn Entertainment, 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:

Demiurge Studios, Inc.: Senior UI Artist:
"Demiurge Studios is an independent, bootstrapped video game development house. We've shipped games on all current-gen consoles and worked with some of the most notable developers in the industry on titles like Bioshock, Borderlands, Mass Effect, and Rock Band. From AAA console titles to iOS apps - we've done it. We even have our own game in the works. Shoot Many Robots is a quirky, 4-player run-n-gun labor of love, built from the ground up on our own tech."

Playdead Aps: Platform Programmer:
"Playdead is an independent game studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was founded by Arnt Jensen and Dino Patti in 2006. Limbo is Playdead’s first production with Arnt Jensen as Game Director. Playdead is currently in production of a new IP."

Experimental Gameplay Sessions return for 10-year anniversary at GDC 2012

March 2, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

egs.jpgWith just days remaining before the Game Developers Conference 2012, show organizers have chosen to detail a special workshop dubbed "Experimental Gameplay Sessions," which returns to GDC for its 10-year anniversary.

This jam-packed, two-hour session -- which takes place Friday, March 9 at 2.30pm in Room 3014 of West Hall -- will showcase an eclectic mix of unusual game prototypes that defy convention and explore new ideas and genres.

Led by Robin Hunicke (Journey) and Daniel Benmergui (Storyteller), it's an exciting opportunity for presenters and attendees alike to explore some brand new territory in game design.

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 industry. Some of these standout games include Katamari Damacy, flOw, Braid, Portal, World of Goo and Today I Die.

This year, the session aims to recapture that innovative spirit with 11 titles from some of the industry's most creative developers.

Among the presenters this year are Douglas Wilson (Johann Sebastian Joust) and Bennett Foddy (QWOP), who will demonstrate a special enhanced version of one of Foddy's acclaimed physics titles. WallFour's John Sear, meanwhile, will show off a particularly unusual large-scale cooperative game.

In addition, developers such as Vlambeer's Rami Ismail will take a moment to go over some seemingly broken game ideas in GlitchHiker, and Kurt Bieg from Simple Machine will detail his studio's new Twitter-powered golf game.

The session will even highlight a number of more well known titles, including Jenova Chen and Nick Clark showing thatgamecompany's much-anticipated Journey, and Daniel Benmergui showcasing his IGF Nuovo Award finalist Storyteller.

Other participants including Shadow Physics co-creator Steve Swink showing a new title, Pietro Righi Riva and Nicolo Tedeschi showcasing Mirror Moon, Alex Kerfoot, Anna Anthropy, and Mars Jokela displaying Keep Me Occupied, part of the OAK-U-TRON 201X, Mathias Nordvall showing Sightlence, and Robin Arnott exhibiting the claustrophobic Deep Sea.

Tiger Style Games Launches Waking Mars For iOS

March 1, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Tiger Style Games, creator of the IGF Award-winning Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, has released its awaited iOS follow-up title, Waking Mars.

Waking Mars is an exploration-based platformer in which a lone astronaut navigates a vast network of caverns beneath Mars's surface. Equipped with a jetpack, players must carefully observe the planet's ecosystem in order to sustain helpful lifeforms, eliminate infestations, and eventually escape.

Waking Mars is nominated for awards in the Excellence In Audio and Best Mobile Game categories of this year's Independent Games Festival. The game is priced at $4.99.

Trailer: Gun Man Clive (Bertil Hörberg)

March 1, 2012 6:00 PM | Lewie Procter

Here comes an new platformer for PC, iOS and Android devices. It's a sidescrolling cowboy themed shooter that seems somewhat reminiscent of Megaman, but with an almost hand drawn aesthetic.

The boss fights are straight from the 80s and 90s, but the graphics and animation are fantastic by today's standards. It's full of staples from the platforming genre, but it has an original artstyle, and looks quite polished and fun.

More information and some videos from earlier on the development process can be found over at the developers blog.

The only release time-frame is "Coming Soon", so I'll keep an eye out.

Final Fantasy to Snow White: Composer Kumi Tanioka's Independent Vision

March 1, 2012 5:00 PM | jeriaska


Our coverage of the Nubuwo Debut Bundle continues on the last day of the Kickstarter project.

Born in Hiroshima, musician Kumi Tanioka joined Square to write music for the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series. Late last year, on 11/11/11, she performed on stage at the Vana♪Con orchestral concert, featuring her compositions from Final Fantasy XI. She played solo piano and also accompanied the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Having gone freelance, Tanioka has founded her own company, named Riquisimo, and scored three independently developed interactive storybooks. Published by DICO, Snow White, The Ugly Duckling and Hansel and Gretel contain multiple translations of all text and narration, making them a cutting edge language tool for the young.

We had the chance to catch up with the musician to hear what draws one of Japan's leading game composers to the indie scene.

Insurgent Games' iOS Catalog Goes Free, Open Source

February 28, 2012 8:00 PM | Danny Cowan

iOS developer Insurgent Games is now giving away its entire iOS and Android app catalog for free, and is providing downloadable source code for all of the company's released projects.

Insurgent's offerings include the 2D platformer Aeropack, educational app Alphabet Blocks, and playable meme compilation teh internets, among other titles. iPad-specific code for the puzzler Skeleton Key is also available.

"Insurgent Games was founded in 2009 by Micah Lee and Crystal Mayer out of their San Francisco studio apartment," the company's founders explain. "For a couple of years they happily made iPhone and Android games. They quickly realized that unless you're incredibly lucky, it's hard to make enough money developing indie mobile games to pay San Francisco rent. So Micah got a full time job and Crystal moved on to other things."

Lee and Mayer, now working for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and as a freelance web designer, respectively, hope that their GNU General Public Licensed games "will thrive and be reborn as bigger and better things."

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