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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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Azarashi: Studio Pixel's Leap to iOS

January 25, 2012 10:30 PM | jeriaska

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Tatsuma Murase (Q-Games), Daisuke Amaya (Studio Pixel) and Rowan Parker (Q-Games) playing 2-player TwinBee at Kyoto's Cafe la Siesta

Over the course of five years, Daisuke Amaya created an ambitious PC adventure game in his spare time. The vividly drawn characters and fluid gameplay of Cave Story, not to mention its catchy melodies, attracted a dedicated following.

Amaya's solo efforts at Studio Pixel attained mainstream recognition last year when Cave Story was the subject of a Game Developers Conference lecture in March. Following its release on Nintendo's digital services WiiWare and DSiWare, Amaya entered into an agreement that would produce a Nintendo 3DS remake, published by NIS America.

For the new iPhone port of casual game Azarashi, the early Pixel publication has been redesigned using contemporary software tools like PxTone Collage. As Amaya focuses his efforts on developing the iOS action game Rockfish in Kyoto, the latest release represents both a nostalgic look back and a teaser for things to come.

Azarashi iPhone play movie

Zynga Readies Tiny Tower Clone Following NimbleBit Acquisition Bid

January 25, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

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NimbleBit's Ian Marsh revealed that Zynga has developed an iOS title very similar to NimbleBit's popular business sim Tiny Tower, pointing out numerous design similarities in the image above (click for full size).

Marsh notes that Zynga once attempted to acquire NimbleBit, presumably to earn the exclusive rights to publish Tiny Tower and earn revenue from microtransaction sales. Zynga previously purchased App Store developers Area/Code Entertainment and Newtoy, acquiring the rights to publish the popular iOS titles Drop7 and Words With Friends.

Zynga's Dream Heights is available for download from the App Store in Canada. A worldwide release date has not yet been announced.

Gorilla Gondola Set To Launch For iOS, WP7 In February

January 25, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Electric Pixel Factory's debut title Gorilla Gondola has been submitted to Apple and Microsoft for review, and will premiere for iOS and Windows Phone 7 platforms early next month.

Gorilla Gondola is an autoscrolling title starring an unlikely protagonist who rides an even more unlikely method of transport. Players tap, flick, and shake the gondola-riding gorilla in order to dodge incoming obstacles and collect a steady stream of delicious bananas.

It's the lavishly colorful presentation that sets this one apart -- the bouncy gameplay is also weirdly hypnotic. Gorilla Gondola is set to debut February 2nd.

[via Touch Arcade]

Trailer: rComplex (Roger Hicks and Brian Terwilliger)

January 25, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson


Coming in February, Roger Hicks's and Brian Terwilliger's rComplex will receive a gameplay and cosmetic face lift when it debuts on iOS devices. Since the game has defined levels, I'm not sure if I can call it a Canabalt-like, but by watching the trailer or having played the earlier freeware version, you understand the basic, auto-running platforming mechanics.

The upcoming rComplex boasts seven unique environments with different level designs, such as motorbike sections on devastated highways and tense close-quarter factory runs. The background and music overall are top-notch, and Roger Hicks guarantees such quality for the final release.

I felt the tentacles didn't look as fluid as the freeware title in this trailer, but Hicks shared there was a trade-off to allow "a ton of interaction going on" with them. The player is now equipped with a scythe at the end of the gun, so I expect those tentacles to be sliced up and stored away to feed many a starving runner.

rComplex, being published now by Interwave Studios, uses Unity3D, making it easy for future planned releases on Android, Windows and Mac.

Eufloria Coming to iPad in February

January 23, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Following up on the release of a PlayStation 3 port last October, Omni Systems announced that it will bring "the most comprehensive and enjoyable release of Eufloria to date" to Apple's iPad in February.

Omni notes that the iPad version of Eufloria will feature a new interface optimized for touch screens. The game will include all of the enhancements added to last year's PSN edition, along with new music tracks and "a whole raft of additional tweaks and features."

Omni Systems plans to support the iPad version of Eufloria with additional content following February's launch, including an Ambient Mode that offers unique terraforming-focused gameplay.

Award-winning Record Tripping Coming Soon to iOS (Bell Brothers)

January 23, 2012 9:00 PM | John Polson

The multi-talented Bell Brothers will debut on the iOS market in style with their re-envisioning of Record Tripping this spring. A Webby, FWA, and South by Southwest award winner and also a finalist in the 2010 Sense of Wonder Night Japan event, Record Tripping has been impressing the masses for quite some time.

Finally, the Bell Brothers' wonderful scratch-based gameplay is going portable, and it seems a natural fit for the iPhone's touch-based interface. I suppose they could have opted for tilt controls, but they may be saving that for the (not happening) sequel: Record Tipping.

Hopefully you recognize the voice in the trailer. "The Brothers Bell" scored a license deal for Jim Dale's audiobook recording of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for the game. Dale was also the narrator for the TV Show Pushing Daisies and all the Harry Potter audiobooks.

Unfamiliar with the stylish grace that is Record Tripping? Try the shorter browser version here.

Spilt Milk Studios Announce: Smash The Block

January 23, 2012 1:30 PM | Lewie Procter

Menu 01.PNG One of my favourite mobile games of 2011 was Hard Lines from Spilt Milk Studios, a modern update of the Snake formula, with pretty Tron-inspired neon graphics, great controls, and a decent sense of humour. Having recently broke 300k downloads on iOS with Hard Lines, it seems like like as good a time as any for them to announce their next release. Enter: Smash The Block.

In similar vein to Hard Lines, Spilt Milk Studios are again taking an existing game concept that hasn't been brought to the iOS market to their standards, although this time round it's Breakout/Arkanoid getting the revamp treatment.

I caught up with Spilt Milk head honcho Andrew Smith to see if I could find out a bit more about Smash The Block, and here's what he had to say for himself, including details of the upcoming beta:

Tower Defense, Cheesy Sci-Fi Collide In Futuremark's Unstoppable Gorg

January 22, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Shattered Horizon developer Futuremark Games Studio has released Unstoppable Gorg, a sci-fi themed tower defense title for Apple's iPad and PC platforms.

Inspired by science fiction films from the 1950s, Unstoppable Gorg challenges players to fend off alien invaders using an array of attack sattelites. In a clever twist, players must position their units by rotating the orbits of nearby planets, moons, and space stations -- a refreshing change from the genre's standard grid-based mechanics.

Between levels, players are treated to cutscenes that offer a suitably goofy mixture of live action, miniature models, and archive footage -- a teaser trailer released last year gives a good idea of the production values involved here. Good stuff!

The iPad edition of Unstoppable Gorg is available for $4.99. The PC version is priced at $8.99 until January 26th, after which it will cost $9.99. Futuremark notes that an Xbox Live Arcade port is set to launch later this year.

[via @werezompire]

Indie Game Links: Indie Bundle Debates

January 21, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

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Today's collection of independent game links includes news, features, and developer blog posts from around the 'net. (image source)

Pixels or Death: Are Indie Bundles Bad for Gaming?
"If retail games represent a dedicated, steady (if not a bit chilly) videogame monogamy, then surely the world of the indie bundle is an orgy of digital promiscuity and fleeting trysts with exciting strangers. The problem is, while I may not condemn this approach, I don't think it's what videogames need right now."

Gamasutra: Persuasive Games: What is a Game Bundle?
"[B]undles are also promotional campaigns in which a temporary reduction in price with a particularly desirable placement results in free marketing with considerable reach -- while also delivering substantial revenue thanks to volume. Bundles are the retail end caps of the indie game supermarket."

Kotaku: Protest Game Super SOPA Bros. Shows a Future Without Any Super [CENSORED] Tributes
Made as part of a protest game jam on rapid development site Ludum Dare, SSB strip out anything recognizable--and thus most of the charm--from World 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. I played it for about 10 minutes before I wanted to stop. That's ultimately the point, though."

Die Gute Fabrik: Simulating Simulations
"Reflecting on Mega-GIRP and Robo-QWOP, I would say that both installations thrive off the same comedic device - that of simulating simulations back out into the real world."

Gamasutra: Minecraft: Pocket Edition sells 700K copies
"These numbers bode quite well for the app, especially considering it currently bears a (relatively hefty) price tag of $6.99 on the Android Market."

Joystiq: A Diversity of Roguelikes
"There are three Roguelikes, two released last year, and one in public development, which illustrate the potential of the subgenre in very different fashions: The Binding Of Isaac, Dungeons Of Dredmor, and Desktop Dungeons. Each is well worth examining."

Carbon Games: Porting AirMech to Native Client
"[W]hen Native Client support was made available for the Chrome web browser, we decided to give it a try. This blog post is short description of the process of porting our game to support Native Client."

Get a job: Visceral, Retro, others hiring now on the Gamasutra jobs board

January 20, 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 Visceral Games, Retro Studios, Ubisoft Massive, 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:

Ubisoft Massive: Lead Online Programmer (MMO):
"Founded in 1997 and now fully owned by Ubisoft Entertainment, Massive is a premier producer of games and interactive entertainment software for a worldwide market. World in Conflict proved that aiming for excellence pays off, as it met high critical acclaim across the world and received multiple Game of the Year and Editor's Choice Awards. This was one of the reasons Massive was ranked as the 42nd best game studio in the world by Game Developers Research in 2008, making Massive the only Nordic game studio on the list. Massive was also ranked as the 8th best place to work in Sweden and received an award for "Best Integration and Multicultural Work" by the Great Place to Work Institute."

Visceral Games Redwood Shores: Sr. Audio Artist:
"Visceral Games Redwood Shores is the Electronic Arts studio responsible for such next-gen action games as Dead Space, Dead Space 2, Dante's Inferno, as well as past hits like Godfather, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and 007: Everything or Nothing. We have over a decade of experience at delivering a high-intensity action gaming experience. As an EA studio, we have the stability and backing of a large company combined with the agility and fun culture of a small studio and the mandate to make original IP. We have a great campus in sunny Redwood City, 40 minutes south of San Francisco, with on-campus gym, cafeterias, daycare, soccer-field, and more. Here at Visceral, we are focused on creativity, polish, and shipping games that millions love. We are looking for game developers who want to join a AAA-quality studio and make AAA-quality games!"

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