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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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AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! F=ma Premieres For iOS March 1st

February 23, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Dejobaan Games announced that an iOS version of its wildly colorful BASE jumping sim AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity will arrive in the App Store March 1st.

The iOS edition, titled AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! (Force = Mass x Acceleration), features tilt-controlled skydiving, along with all of the hugging, kissing, flipping-off action of the original PC release. The port was developed in cooperation with Owlchemy Labs, of Snuggle Truck (formerly Smuggle Truck) fame.

F=ma will be priced at $2.99 when it launches as a universal app next week.

Browser, Freeware, and iOS Pick: Ms. Particle-Man (Michael Falk)

February 23, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

Michael Falk's (aka Picobots) Ms. Particle-Man is a retro-style arcade game for iOS, Silverlight, Windows, and Xbox 360. On her journey to discover the Higgs boson, Ms. Particle-Man faces a retro mash-up of gameplay inspired by such titles as Pong, Breakout, Asteroids, Ms. Pac-Man, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Pitfall!, and Super Mario Bros.

The developer notes that the $0.99 iOS and browser versions are simplified versions of the game. The trailer footage is from the Windows version of the game.

In addition to those digitally accessible platforms, there is an arcade version of the game housed in a one-of-a-kind custom tabletop cabinet. I can only imagine how much more fun, or at least authentic, the trackball makes it.

In video games, I am attracted to shiny things. My swift deaths in Ms. Particle-Man's first stage each time I go back for more tells me to be otherwise. With that admonition, go ahead and try Ms. Particle-Man or request the superior Windows build via Facebook.

Trailer: Momonga Pinball Adventures

February 22, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Video pinball has seen a resurgence in popularity recently with the success of Zen Studios' Pinball FX and the Farsight's classic table compilation Pinball Arcade. Despite early efforts like Pinball Quest and the Devil's Crush series, however, few video pinball titles attempt to add depth that goes beyond simple mode progression and score-based gameplay.

This Spring, the Netherlands-based Paladin Studios plans to self-publish its own unique take on the genre, Momonga Pinball Adventures, for iOS and Android devices.

Momonga Pinball Adventures features traditional pinball objectives mixed with level-based gameplay -- the result is somewhat like a pinball platformer. The gameplay clips shown above bring to mind Sony's super-bizarre (but awesome!) Flipnic for the PlayStation 2, which is definitely a good thing.

Vince Webb Invites Devs to Step into His Indie Loop Garden

February 22, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

pixel rock.jpgIndie Loop Garden is a sort of match-making site for developers to add custom sound in their indie games. The site was created by Vince Webb and has a pretty strong lineup of audio talent behind it, with such soundtracks as Fez (Rich Vreeland), Hydorah (G87), Soulcaster(Ian Stocker) and Aiko Island (Sean Beeson).

The website seeks to offer a service to developers who prefer to invest in high quality custom sound for their projects. "Our site is aimed at connecting them with these composers of different musical styles to save them the trouble of trawling through forums as well as equipping them with some useful resources along the way," says Webb. "We strongly believe that original tailored sound is integral in creating a special gameplay experience."

I spoke with Rich Vreeland (Disasterpeace) briefly about the new site. He says that he can't yet speak about any experiences with jobs from the website, given the site is only a few days old. While I recognized some of the audio developers on the list, I wondered if any more would or could join. Vreeland replied, "I don't believe we're looking for more members at this point. We're all focusing on certain styles of music so as to not over-compete with each other. If we had more members that would make things more difficult to manage."

The site appeared a little bare-bones, so I asked what he thought could help improve its current state. "Word of mouth, feedback from composers and developers, regular content, a professional layout, these are some things that could help improve the site over time."

Vreeland also clarified what Indie Loop Garden offers that other audio dev forums or portals do not. "Indie Loop Garden is a direct connection to some pretty good composers who are expecting to be contacted. Forums and portals are great too, but Vince is trying to appeal to folks who might be prone to buying 'ready made' music, or folks who might be looking for a go-to place."

Jeff Minter Readies Updated Gridrunner For iOS

February 22, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Following up on the recent App Store launch of Caverns of Minos, tireless veteran developer Jeff Minter has completed work on an iOS update for his classic shooter Gridrunner, which should see release soon, pending Apple's approval.

Originally released in 1982 for a variety of PC platforms, Gridrunner is a frantic shooter that expands on core gameplay elements from arcade titles like Centipede and Tempest. It saw sequels in 2002's shareware release Gridrunner++ and in 2010's Gridrunner Revolution.

The new iOS version of Gridrunner recalls the look and feel of '80s arcade machines -- the attract mode is especially Namco-ish in its presentation. Gridrunner for iOS will feature iCade support when it arrives in the App Store this month.

Mobile Game Pick: Ziggurat (Action Button Entertainment)

February 21, 2012 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Action Button Entertainment, a reportedly vile outfit headed up by the infamous new games journalist Tim Rogers, has launched the iOS shooter Ziggurat, its first release for any platform.

Boasting 16-bit graphics, 8-bit music, and "immeasurable chaos," Ziggurat puts players in the role of "The Last Human on Earth, fighting to die as The Last Human in the Universe." Armed only with a laser rifle, players must fend off as many approaching enemies as possible before succumbing to the inevitable.

The controls are very well suited for touch screens, and the charge mechanic proves to be quite satisfying. I also enjoy the way explosions can be chained to take out surrounding enemies -- it gives the experience a crunchy, Missile Command-ish appeal that few games manage to replicate.

Ziggurat is priced at 99 cents. If you aren't yet sold on the concept, a trailer featuring a sales pitch from Rogers himself can be seen after the break below.

IndieGoGo: Game Jam The Documentary

February 21, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson


Game Jam The Documentary is the latest slice-of-indie film looking to gauge audience interest. The IndieGoGo slogan is "4 Teams 4 Games 48 Hours. An in depth look into game jams and the experience of creating a game under extreme pressure."

Troy Morrissey and Ryan Cox have less than 10 days to reach their $4,500 goal. The fundraiser is for the film team to travel to GDC to speak to jammers from around the world. Interviews with the following are planned if they can afford their trip: Matt Hammill-creator of Gesundheit!, Miguel Sternberg-Spooky Squid Games, Chris Hecker-Indie Game Jam, Gorm Lai-Global Game Jam, Ian Schreiber-Global Game Jam, Martin Jonasson-No More Sweden, and Mike Kasprzak-Ludum Dare/Sykhronics Entertainment.

I found a local session of the latest Global Game Jam I attended to be quite exciting. I hope this project has captured and can present those moments of "extreme pressure" to make for a truly compelling piece. Game Jam The Documentary asks for your financial support today.

Famicon, GHXYK2 Join Forces To Launch RE: Get To Schol On Time For iOS

February 21, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Spiceworx, a newly established venture that combines talent from the art collectives Famicon (Bart the General) and GHXYK2 (Swashbuckel Ur Seatbelts), has released an iOS port of its surreal Xbox Live Indie Games title RE: Get To Schol On Time.

RE: Get To Schol On Time includes a handful of wildly disparate levels, each of which features a strange objective. The game's opening level, for instance, asks players to sketch a portrait while being ridiculed by caricatures of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack Nicholson. You may not believe it at the time, but this proves to be the most coherent challenge in the game.

RE: Get To Schol On Time is available as a free download for a limited time.

Indie-Developed XBLIG Companion App For Windows Phone 7 Enters Beta

February 21, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Following up on a recent profile-boosting Xbox 360 dashboard update, Xbox Live Indie Games developers will soon receive another source of exposure courtesy of an independently-produced Windows Phone 7 app.

XBLIG Companion scrapes release data from xboxindies.com and compiles recommendations from XBLIG-centric sites, allowing users to easily access indie titles using a convenient, comprehensive search tool. Xbox Live Marketplace links can also be directly accessed, allowing users to purchase games and queue up downloads remotely.

The app is now being beta-tested, though a release date has not been announced. Developer Casey Young notes that iOS and Android ports are "not only doable, but most likely will happen."

[via Joystiq]

Crying Over Spilt Milk? Indie Dev Dispute

February 21, 2012 9:30 AM | Lewie Procter

milk.png It's always sad to see previous collaborators fall out, especially when it's over business matters. But that's what seems to have happened here. Spilt Milk, the indie studio behind the iOS and Android snake-a-like Hard Lines, are at the centre of a row over ownership of the game. In a statement to IndieGames.com, programmer Nicoll Hunt has alleged that Andrew Smith, Spilt Milk Managing Director, is withholding his share of the revenue unless he agrees to sign away his rights to the game.

Whilst Spilt Milk Studios is Smith's (one man) company, he isn't a coder, so he collaborates with other developers to make his games, although the exact division of labour on Hard Lines is one area where there seems to be disagreement.

We don't know exactly what has gone on during the development, release and subsequent dispute over Hard Lines, all we can do is present both sides of the story, and hope that the individuals concerned can find a resolution before ending up in court.

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