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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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Trailer: Dungeon Crawlers (Ayopa Games & Drowning Monkeys)

January 16, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw



Nothing says a good afternoon like pop-culture references, satire and dungeon crawling, right? If that sounds like your idea of a good time, rejoice in a moderate fashion! On the off-chance that you've grown bored with Dungeons of Dredmor and Frayed Knights, here's something to look forward to.

Created by Ayopa Games and Drowning Monkeys, the appropriately titled Dungeon Crawlers is, well, exactly what it sounds like: a game about dungeon crawling heroes. To be precise, it's the story of four dysfunctional adventurers and their quest for 'loot, women and monsters to crush'. The game will apparently feature tactical turn-based combat, four chapters to investigate, four characters, Saturday Morning Cartoon-esque visuals, a ton of loot and even the dreaded Death Knight Shyamalan. Most importantly, however, Dungeon Crawlers will be available for the Android, iOS, PC and Mac.

The game is scheduled to launch on January 26, 2012. You can find out more here.

Indie Game Links: Weekend Edition

January 14, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

swift switch.pngToday's collection of independent game links includes news, interviews, and developer announcements from around the 'net. (image source)

TIGSource: Swift Stitch
"The slick mathematical aesthetic, the palette of black, white, and bright flickering neons, and the bare-minimum control method may seem otherworldly amongst today's fare. On deeper examination however, you may discover that Swift Stitch is a game firmly rooted in the present, taking a unique approach in addressing several modern game design paradigms."

DIY Gamer: 16-Bit Killer - RetroBlazer Demo Offers 2.5d FPS Nostlagia With A Twist
"Early 2.5d FPS gameplay (Wolfenstein, Rise of The Triad, etc) with an aesthetic very heavily inspired by the MegaMan X series, and running on the Darkplaces engine, a very powerful modern variant of the software behind Quake."

Over00: From indies to indies: James Niesewand from Illyriad
"Writing the game isn't the problem - making it compelling and monetised is the harder task. And it seems to me that if you get the "compulsion" right (with a sensible, non-fleecing monetisation strategy), then the game will market itself via the legions of happy and satisfied players."

Joystiq: Competing in the indie world is fun and games for IGF entrant Zarzecki
"He was a one-man team and had absolutely no budget, so Zarzecki could see how, out of the 300 games submitted to the IGF student competition, he may have been out-performed."

Indie Game Mag: Hostile Takeover - When Project Zomboid Met Hitman
"If you were to take the Hitman games, make them isometric and then add in the attention to detail and realism that Project Zomboid boasts, you would have Hostile Takeover. You play as an assassin who is often assigned to takedown CEOs and shoot up entire offices in a near-future world in which corporations literally go to war with each other."

Joystiq: Mojang working on three new games, two of which will be announced before Q3
"Notch is now free to focus on his new project that, according to Mojang CEO Carl Manneh, is still a complete mystery."

DIY Gamer: Battle Out Of Hell: Party Of Sin
"It's a co-op title for up to four players and is being marketed as a platform-puzzler. Weaponry and magic is available, teamwork is encouraged and multiple methods of overcoming obstacles are said to be the norm."

Blip Tokyo Q&A: Nullsleep Interviews Manabu Namiki

January 13, 2012 11:30 PM | jeriaska

For the past two years, Blip Festival Tokyo at Koenji High has served as a powerful argument in favor of the undying appeal of chiptune music.

The annual party's audio-visual performances excel at bringing rock concert intensity to old school game aesthetics. Few spectacles on earth go quite as far to extol the appeal of the Famicom, Game Boy and other endearing machines of yesteryear.

In this discussion, we hear from four chiptune artists and Blip participants. Nullsleep has contributed music to such independently developed game titles as PongVaders for iOS. Here, he talks game audio with Manabu Namiki, series composer of Deathsmiles and DoDonPachi.

They are joined by Hally, founder of the influential chiptune label VORC and arranger on various Mega Man remix albums. Chibi-Tech works in music and sound design for games created in Tokyo and can be heard on the album Chiptuned Rockman.

The conversation between the game-inspired artists offers several perspectives on the independent spirit of the Tokyo event, as Blip Festival Australia gears up for its debut on February 17 and 18.

blip-australia.jpg
Photo by Marjorie Becker of Chiptography.com

Round-Up: Gamasutra network jobs, week of January 13

January 13, 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 PopCap, Wooga, Adbesive Games 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:

Adhesive Games: Unreal FX Artist:
"Adhesive Games is a new, rapidly growing game studio with locations in Alhambra, CA and Seattle, WA."

Wooga: UI & Graphics Pro for Mobile Games:
"Wooga is a leading European social games developer, based in Berlin. With currently over 7 mn DAU wooga has - in just a few months - become the third largest game developer on Facebook! With colleagues from over 25 nations we are truly international. All work is done in English, our games are built for the world to enjoy!"

Rhythm-Puzzler Zpulse Debuts In App Store

January 13, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

App Store newcomer Ludiz has released Zpulse, a unique rhythm-based puzzler bolstered by an electro soundtrack.

While the screen setup and visual style first brings to mind the iOS classic Drop7, the mechanics are quite different. In Zpulse, players tap specific colors to the beat of the background music track. Synced and chained hits score bonus points, while tapping the wrong color will cause the screen to fill up with new pieces.

Rhythm games require a solid soundtrack to succeed, and judging from the trailer above, the in-game tracks seem especially well-suited for Zpulse's core gameplay. Zpulse is currently priced at 99 cents, and will increase in price to $1.99 after Ludiz' launch sale concludes on the 22nd. A free Lite version is also available.

Interview: Vlambeer on the iOS launch of Super Crate Box

January 13, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

super_crate_box.png[The following Made by Pixelate interview is reposted with permission from its author, Spaces of Play developer Andreas Zecher.]

When Super Crate Box came out for the Mac in 2010, I was astonished by it's instant play- and replayability. Released for free and acting as a 'business card' for Vlambeer, it became clear that it would be worth to keep an eye on the dutch indie studio.

With Vlambeer being one of Promoter's first customers, I was happy to see that they managed to organize a successful iOS launch of the game, not an easy task in today's super competitive market. I asked Rami Ismail how they did it.

Super Crate Box has received coverage on major gaming and iOS sites such as TouchArcade, TUAW, Joystiq and PocketGamer within 48 hours after release. How many of these sites did you contact and how did you approach them?

We use a different approach for most games, but one thing we do is to get to know the people we're requesting to write about us. It's a common (and rather insulting) misunderstanding that the press are corporate, evil, money-sucking mindless drones. They're almost without exception passionate and helpful people that care about the medium. In that sense, they're not so different from developers like us, they just contribute in a different way than we do.

With that in mind, we always contact people we like working with first with what we call a focused mailing. These are personal e-mails to known fans and some people critical of Vlambeer in which we point out we're releasing something and offering them a look. After that, we wait a few days and check Twitter, Google and Promoter to see who picks up on the story and reach out to them. After that second round has had their go at the story, we usually 'shotgun' the rest - we release a press release and send it to every outlet we can find.

Contra-Like Run-And-Gun Star Marine: Infinite Ammo Premieres For iOS

January 12, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Destructopus developer GlitchSoft tries its hand at the 2D run-and-gun shooter genre with Star Marine: Infinite Ammo, which launched today in the iTunes App Store.

GlitchSoft cites inspiration from genre classics like Contra and Metal Slug, and a couple of scenes in the trailer above are direct take-offs on boss encounters from Contra III, in particular. Not a bad first impression!

The issue of touchscreen controls looms large, however, as this is a genre that historically requires quick and precise player input. The floaty jumps and unique twin-stick setup should hopefully minimize any potential control hiccups.

Star Marine: Infinite Ammo is priced at $2.99.

Release Trailer: Fingle (Game Oven Studios)

January 12, 2012 7:00 PM | John Polson


The finger intertwining puzzle game Fingle for iPad is now available from Game Oven Studios' Adriaan de Jongh and Bojan Endrovski. Fingle takes clear advantage of the iPad's wide touch screen, giving players' hands a large space within which to solve each of the 51 puzzles.

"The best thing about Fingle is not what happens on the screen but what happens off-screen. People that have touched have stayed in touch since," shares the developers. "We'd like to think of Fingle as the Barry White of games."

Fingle is up for IGF's Nuovo Award and received an honorable mention in the Best Mobile Games category. To celebrate being in the IGF, Fingle is on sale for only $0.99 for a limited time.

I'll have a full review of Fingle soon. While the game can be played with one or two players with one or two hands, the funnest, most challenging combination seems to be the one suggested: two players each using one hand. Set to some rather suggestive 70s style music and sound effects, Fingle feels equal parts awkward and intimate, just as the Game Oven Studios intended.

Indie Game Links: Unexpected Learning

January 12, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

dog1.pngToday's collection of independent game links includes news, interviews, and developer announcements from around the 'net. (image source)

Shank 2: The Official Blog: An Unexpected Learning
"Immediately, we saw a huge improvement: players were much less likely to simply mash their way into a fight, and started experimenting with different moves and strategies. We would never have figured this out just by thinking and theorizing about the problem."

Randomnine: DOG [Cardinal Quest 2]
"Yup. I have added a dog to this game. It has created an EMOTIONAL CONNECTION. I am now Peter Molyneux."

IndieWire: Meet the 2012 Sundance Filmmakers #26: Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky, 'Indie Game: The Movie' "The film is about what it's like to create in a digital age. What it's like [to] create under the Internet microscope. How [it] feels [to] put yourself out there and expose yourself to the real-time social media feedback."

True PC Gaming: Dustforce Preview: Sublime Housekeeping
"The beautiful thing at work in this game is the balanced level of challenge that Super Meat Boy simply did not have; players are eased into the trials of the game in a challenging, yet comfortable learning curve."

DIY Gamer: Osmos Hits Android on Tuesday
"Hemisphere Games passes along word that their award-winning ambient title Osmos will arrive on the Android Market on Tuesday, January 17th for $4.99."

Armless Octopus: The Top 10 Xbox Live Indie Games of 2011
"You won't find any spurious Minecraft rip-offs or something that is impressive merely because it's like some other game, only not nearly as cool. This list represents everything that is distinctive about Xbox Live Indie games."

Minecraft: Pocket Edition Update Set For February

January 12, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

120111_minecraftpocket.jpg

Mojang's Daniel Kaplan announced that the iOS and Android Minecraft adaptation Minecraft: Pocket Edition will see an update in February that will lay the groundwork for significant gameplay improvements and additions.

Minecraft: Pocket Edition launched in November with few of the features that defined later builds of Minecraft, and lacked major elements like crafting, enemies, and a day/night cycle. While Kaplan notes that the game's more in-depth survival aspects won't be available initially, the forthcoming update will add foundation elements like new blocks, doors, fences, and animals.

Mojang plans to submit the update to the Android Market and the App Store on February 8th. Pending approval, the update should go live soon after.

[via Joystiq]

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