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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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Freeware Mobile Pick: First Times (Alex Warren)

March 15, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

firsttimes.pngProvided you actually have one, your imagination can conjure the only images that can truly and deeply scare you and that is exactly why horror literature works so much better than your average movie. Also why scary text-adventures can do wonderfully nasty things to your brain and why you should give First Times a go. It's a piece of interactive fiction set in a morgue that features sound, new ideas, a touch-optimized interface and, importantly, good writing. You can grab it for your Android or iOS tablet/phone for free.

$18K to be awarded in first ever game jam for cats

March 15, 2013 12:00 AM | Staff

tonygame.jpgThere's a game jam happening in Los Angeles the weekend before GDC which we're pretty sure is the first of its kind.

Friskies maker Purina is sponsoring what it is calling the "Games for Cats Hackathon," a weekend-long jam where aspiring developers will compete to create games (or apps) for cats to play with.

The grand prize-winning team will take home $15,000, with $3,000 and $2,000 awards for the runners-up.

Thinking of entering, but don't know where to start? Gamasutra's got you covered: check out 5 tips for making video games your cat wants to play.

Event registration is open here.

[Frank Cifaldi wrote this originally for sister site Gamasutra.]

Release: Ridiculous Fishing (Vlambeer)

March 14, 2013 3:10 PM | John Polson

Vlambeer (Super Crate Box), Zach Gage (Spelltower), and Greg Wohlwend (Hundreds) have released what is sure to inspire the next great past-time with Ridiculous Fishing for iOS. The $2.99 universal app is more than a follow up to Vlambeer's 2010 browser game Radical Fishing; it's a testament to games as underwater art. Don't submerge your iOS device, though; Vlambeer and Co. will drown you with enough gallons of twitch-reflex gameplay as it is.

This underwater fish'em up feels like a racing game during the descent (dodging all the aquatic traffic), a destruction derby game during the ascent (smashing into every creature to hook them in), and a manic version of Dunk Hunt during the "harvest" mode (shooting everything in sight but the penalizing jelly fish). The gameplay extends with a deep and iAP-free upgrade system that includes longer fishing cord, GQ high-seas hat wear, hook-drilling oil to blast through dense sections, bazookas and a toaster.

Fun Infused Games Begins Work on Hypership Out of Control 2

March 13, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Fun Infused Games revealed that a sequel to its hit iOS/XBLIG autoscrolling shoot-'em-up Hypership Out of Control is currently in development for iOS and Android platforms.

"For Hypership 2 I still plan on keeping the same bright graphics but no longer will we be using upscaled, pixelated graphics," creator Kris Steele notes. "Additionally each of the 10 waves won't be simple a color swap but rather have their own unique look and style. Because I'm looking for a lot of artwork (which I contract out for) I will do a Kickstarter campaign to try and help finance this once I've got something more solid to show off."

Steele also reveals that PC and Ouya versions of Hypership 2 might also be in the cards, once the iOS and Android editions are completed.

[via @shmups]

Freeware iOS Pick: The Silent Age Episode One (House on Fire)

March 13, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

silent age.pngPoint-and-click adventures can be excellent on iOS and, well, they usually are. Then again, finding quality freeware offerings can be rather tricky and, predictable intro aside, here's an unpredictably great iOS freebie: The Silent Age ep.1. It is indeed a more or less traditional point-and-clicker built around a terrific time-travel mechanic and one featuring stylish graphics, an intriguing plot and smart puzzles. The Silent Age runs beautifully on both iPhones and iPads.

Oh, and if you'd like to see a second, equally freeware episode you'd better get donating, as apparently the developers have to eat.

iOS/Android Game Pick: Jones on Fire (Glass Bottom Games)

March 12, 2013 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Indie studio Glass Bottom Games makes its mobile debut this week with the release of the autoscrolling, kitten-saving platformer Jones on Fire for iOS and Android.

Jones on Fire includes 10 levels, and the bouncy aesthetic makes it instantly likeable. Interestingly, Glass Bottom Games has tweaked the game significantly following an "abysmal" launch weekend, and has since decided to sell it as a paid app, rather than saddle it with in-app purchase content. Its creators explain that if the resulting product still fails, "it'll at least fail as a fun, honest, ethically­-balanced game."

"Free­-to-­play (F2P) didn't work at all for us," Glass Bottom's Megan Fox noted in a recent press release. "We thought we'd ticked off all the necessary boxes to lead to a successful F2P game, but it would seem right now, we're only a critical success. The numbers aren't good at all. The only way we could turn it into a F2P success, is if we had the ~$25k to advertise our way into the top grossing charts."

Fox continues: "The idea with switching to $1.99, and removing all IAPs, is that if the conventional wisdom with respect to F2P being the way to go doesn't apply to indies -­ then what else doesn't apply? Most will happily tell you that Android users don't monetize, that they don't pay for games, and yet indies recently have consistently reported higher income from Android, often substantially higher, and with fixed single­-price games. I'm inclined to believe their experience applies more to us than the rest of the conventional wisdom, so, we're going to try it."

50 nifty, united devs to wave the Indie MEGABOOTH flags at PAX East 2013

March 12, 2013 1:20 PM | John Polson

PAX East 2013 will play host to 50 indie developers and over 60 games from March 22-24 by means of the Indie Megabooth. It's like 60 Vine trailers were all sewn together by Gorgeous Robot to create the above video, showing most games can get make a statement about themselves succinctly.

Those attending PAX East 2013 will want to see the list of the 60+ games that will gladly devour your weekend. I decided to make a game out of selecting what titles to highlight. You can see the results of the experiment and some ramblings about "what is indie?" after the jump.

iOS Game Pick: Sela the Space Pirate (Feili Chen)

March 12, 2013 11:05 AM | Danny Cowan

Artist, programmer, and musician Feili Chen has partnered with App Store publisher The Game Atelier to release Sela the Space Pirate, a great-looking vertically scrolling bullet hell shoot-'em-up for iOS devices.

Sela the Space Pirate includes 30 levels, throughout which players can earn multiple unlockable weapon upgrades. The story of the game's release is an inspiring one, too; Chen created every aspect of the game (including art, design, and audio) on his own using a free version of Unity, then quickly earned approval and publishing assistance from The Game Atelier when he showed them his work. It's great stuff, especially considering that it's a one-man production!

Sela the Space Pirate is priced at $2.99.

Veteran Japanese devs make a game on fighting terrorists with a wrecking ball

March 11, 2013 6:42 PM | John Polson

Don't let Team Grand Slam's Monken, or its addictive and cute jingle fool you. Monken in real life was what locals called the wrecking ball used in 1972 in Japan by the police to stop United Red Army radicals who had taken over a mountain lodge. This became known Asama-Sansō incident.

The developers do not think the footage from the original event convey its shocking essence well enough. Instead, they are using this video game, discovered at Japan's first BitSummit event, as a way to "construct real incidents and facts" and allow for a new way to "describe history."

PC/Mobile Pick: Sling It! (Greg Lobanov)

March 10, 2013 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Indie developer Greg Lobanov (Cowboy Killa, Escape from the Underworld) has released Sling It! (aka Pollushot 2), a shoot-'em-up with inventive slingshot mechanics for iOS, Android, and Windows.

In Sling It!, you must carefully pick apart large enemy ships piece-by-piece, and collect their debris afterward in order to keep your ammo supplies stocked. @shmups observes that the game superficially resembles Psikyo's overlooked arcade shoot-'em-up Space Bomber, which isn't a bad thing at all. Hooray for shooters with unique gameplay mechanics!

Sling It! is priced at $1.99.

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