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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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Playdead Hints At Limbo Ports For iOS, Android, WP8

February 28, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan


A recent job posting at sister site Gamasutra suggests that indie studio Playdead intends to bring its games to various mobile platforms, including iOS and Android.

The posting calls for programmers to port the company's games to new platforms, and names iOS, Windows Phone 8, Android, and NACL (Google Native Client) as targets of interest. Playdead's downloadable hit Limbo is a likely porting project for any new hires.

Playdead released its debut game Limbo for the Xbox 360 in 2010, with PlayStation 3 and PC versions following in 2011. The studio is currently working on an unnamed follow-up title.

OnLive offering free trials of select IGF 2012 nominees

February 28, 2012 12:57 AM | John Polson

IGF2012.jpgCloud gaming company OnLive announced Monday that it has partnered with the Independent Games Festival to offer a two-week online event in which users can play many of the titles featured at the upcoming IGF 2012.

From February 27 through March 11, OnLive users across the U.S. and UK can play 16 of the current IGF nominees and honorable mentions via the company's game-streaming service on PC, Mac, television, and mobile devices.

Each game is available as a 30-minute free trial on the Onlive Facebook page, allowing users to check out many of the titles in the show's varied lineup, including nominees Dear Esther, English Country Tune and Frozen Synapse.

The OnLive Indie Showcase will conclude on March 11, when OnLive will tally both the number of Likes and the total number of game sessions played for each game. The top games will be announced online on Monday, March 12.

In addition, starting March 5th, OnLive, which is a Gold Sponsor of this year's event, will also be placing previously honored IGF games on sale for 75% off, with free instant demos available for all.

The 2012 Independent Games Festival (part of the UBM TechWeb Game Network, as is this website) will take place alongside this year's Game Developers Conference, which will be held next week, from March 5 through March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

IceBurgers: Wub Wub

February 27, 2012 9:30 PM | Lewie Procter

In a bold move that will no doubt send ripples throughout marketing departments and PR staff employed by all of the major publishers in the video games entertainment industry, IceBurgers has got a dubstep trailer.

What's IceBurgers you say? Beats me, I just came here for the phat drops.

Go on then, I'll look into it a bit further. It appears to be a collaboration between Radial Games, Underscore Discovery & Infinite Ammo, and it's some kind of antarctic themed word matching game for iPhone & iPad. Looks neat.

Coming soon. Be ready.

Road to the IGF: Powerhead's Async Corp.

February 26, 2012 5:07 PM | John Polson

sync IGG.jpgThe last time Powerhead Games was up for an Independent Games Festival award, the New York City-based developer won IGF Mobile's Best Mobile Game Design category for its unique DSiWare puzzler Glow Artisan (now available on iOS/WP7).

It's up for IGF's Best Mobile Game award this year for another puzzler: Async Corp., a saccharine title featuring a catchy single-song chiptune soundtrack by FearofDark, and a simple but addictive puzzle gimmick.

As new employees of Async Corporation's packet handling facilities, players are tasked with sorting through blocks on two separate grids, swapping pieces from one side to the other to create bigger squares, or Packets.

Players earn promotions as they fulfill Packet quotas in Async Corporation's various modes, unlocking themes and receiving emails from their unseen overlords in management.

We talked with several current and former Powerhead developers -- designer Matt LoPresti, artist Chris Makris, programmer Randall Li, and CEO and creative director Jason Schreiber -- about the metagame behind Async, its musical inspiration, and how the studio is coming back this year after major layoffs in 2011.

What development tools did you use for Async?

Jason Schreiber: We used the native SDK and tools offered by Apple. Namely the UIKit framework, as well as interface builder. We used Corel Image to tint the various themes. Also Photoshop.

How long had your team been working on the game?

JS: In terms of actual iOS production, the game was completed in about four or so months, but Matt LoPresti and another programmer, Ed Pereira (Hi Ed!), had been prototyping an early version of Async on-and-off for more than a year before that, with each session lasting only a few weeks.

The overall design was something Matt had been working on for several years with other PHG'ers whenever he had the free time. Internally we spent a lot of time working on what would be the follow-up to Glow Artisan.


February 26, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

US AND THE GAME INDUSTRY, the documentary which explores several experimental indie games and their developers, has launched its $20,000 Kickstarter campaign. The perks currently aren't too thrilling, but $15 will net the donor an HD digital download and $25 will net a shipped DVD when releases later in 2012.

In addition to the film's subjects of thatgamecompany, Spry Fox, and Jason Rohrer, the Kickstarter page reveals that Douglas Wilson of Die Gute Fabrik will be included, too. Poking around the documentary's page, I spotted a photo of Crayon Physics Deluxe developer Petri Purho chatting with the director. Hopefully this is an indication of the caliber of the "and more" developers to make an appearance.

I'd recommend the Kickstarter share almost if not all the indie developers making an appearance. Especially, they might want to enlist in those developers' social media support to help raise awareness of the $20,000 Kickstarter project.

Road to the IGF: Game Oven's Fingle

February 25, 2012 4:43 AM | John Polson

fingle IGF.jpgNominated for the Independent Games Festival's Nuovo Award for innovative and often offbeat titles this year, Fingle is a two-player cooperative iPad game that explores "the thrills of touching each others' hands."

In the game, players drag blocks on the tablet's multitouch screen with their fingers to solve puzzles. Fingle's stages are set up in a way that it's impossible for players to avoid contact, and their fingers are often pushed against each other and into awkward, sometimes suggestive positions.

The intimate iPad title was the first release out of Game Oven, yet another Dutch developer that's popped up recently and made a name for itself with a quirky release, following in footsteps of other studios like Vlambeer (Super Crate Box) and Ronimo Games (Swords & Soldiers).

We talked with the Game Oven's Adriaan de Jongh and Bojan Endrovski about how it came up with the concept for Fingle, their thoughts on the iPad as a co-op gaming device, and the Netherlands' thriving indie scene.

What background do you have making games?

Bojan worked on army simulators and Prison Break: The Conspiracy at Zoofly, a game studio in Slovenia. Adriaan designed some levels for Gatling Gears by Amsterdam-based Vanguard.

The first time we worked together was at the HKU (Utrecht School of the Arts), where we worked on a student game for a big multi-touch table with a couple of fellow students.

Before that, Adriaan co-created the rehabilitation game Vogels! (Birds!), which won a bunch of Dutch prizes, but we both still feel complete novices when it comes to experience in creating commercial titles.

Denki's Quarrel Nominated For BAFTA

February 24, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Publisher UTV Ignition Games announced that Denki's popular anagram game Quarrel has been nominated as a finalist title in GAME's British Academy Video Games Awards 2012, part of the yearly British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards.

The iOS edition of Quarrel received the nod in BAFTA's "Mobile & Handheld" category. Quarrel previously took top honors in the "Best Game" category of the British Academy Scotland Awards 2011.

Quarrel competes with fellow mobile nominees Dead Space (Iron Monkey Studios, iOS), Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint (Pickford Bros, iOS), Peggle HD (PopCap Games, iOS), The Nightjar (Somethin' Else, iOS), and Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo, 3DS). Winning titles will be announced in a ceremony at the London Hilton on Friday, March 16th.

Bullet Hell Shooter Shogun: Rise of the Renegade Hits Android

February 24, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

After debuting for iOS platforms last month, developer int13's vertically scrolling shooter Shogun: Rise of the Renegade is now available in the Android Market.

Patterened after Cave's lineup of arcade-ported iOS shooters, Shogun uses a simple touch-and-drag control method that has proven to be a good fit for the genre. In Shogun, players are also able to tap the screen to trigger power-ups, including the ability to reflect enemy fire back at attacking ships.

Shogun: Rise of the Renegade is priced at $2.49. A free trial version is also available.

Release Trailer: Neoteria (Orange Pixel)

February 24, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

Developer Orange Pixel expands its genre repertoire from platformers Meganoid and GameBoy-inspired Stardust to horizontal shmups with Neoteria.

As in Stardust, Orange Pixel has opted for two directional inputs instead of a full virtual pad. In removing the left and right inputs, Neoteria has also removed the thrilling and strategic option to rush forward and lay on rapid-fire. With what seems to balance this missing thrill, players cannot retreat backward when the action gets heated.

Neoteria has multiple difficulty levels to play through and alternate paths to uncover. While Neoteria boasts old-school action, it graciously offers an energy bar instead of punishing players with one-hit deaths and partial stage resets. The power-up progression of the ship's weapon seems linear, but that won't necessarily make for a bad experience.

Neoteria is aiming for a launch today on Android (free and paid) and iOS (not yet) devices. The developer stated that a BlackBerry Playbook version may come later, as well. Once the developer reaches 20,000 downloads across all devices (including free and paid versions), it will add new content.

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

February 24, 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 Electronic Arts, SCEA Santa Monica, Playdom, 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:

Gas Powered Games: Level Designer:
"Creator of Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander, and Demigod, Gas Powered Games is an award-winning independent game developer, located in the Pacific Northwest. GPG is looking for the most talented artists, engineers, and designers to join our team."

Playdom: Server Programmer:
"Playdom produces a diverse portfolio of casual games for the rapidly growing platform of social networks, including Facebook and MySpace. With over 47 million monthly users and #1 rated games, Playdom is one of the fastest-growing social game developers, offering high quality community entertainment experiences."

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