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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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Road to the IGF: Terry Cavanagh's Super Hexagon

March 9, 2013 4:00 PM | Staff

superhexagon small.jpgAs part of our Road to the IGF series, Gamasutra is speaking to each of the finalists in the 2013 Independent Games Festival to find out the story behind the games.

Today we speak to Terry Cavanagh, whose Super Hexagon is nominated for the Excellence in Design award this year.

What is your team's game development background, if any?

Well, the team is just me (made the game), Chipzel (wrote the music) and Jenn (did the voice acting). Jenn's a videogame journalist, Chipzel is a musician, and I make games. We don't work together usually, we're not a company.

What game development tools are you using?

At the moment, C++ and a library called openFrameworks. I also use Flash.

Cave Story dev's next game revealed at Japanese indie games event BitSummit

March 9, 2013 11:55 AM | John Polson

Cave Story developer Studio Pixel's next game is not Rockfish, but Gero Blaster, an action platformer heading to iPhone in Spring 2013. The footage surfaced in the above collage of Japanese indie games shown at the first BitSummit event held in Japan today.

Nintendo Life found a tweet from Nicalis' Tyrone Rodriguez showing off Gero Blaster running on a Nintendo 3DS XL (without the big virtual buttons, too), suggesting the game will see other ports. There was no mention of a PC release, yet.

Spelltower Now Available for Android

March 8, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

The wait is over! Zach Gage's hit iOS word game Spelltower is out now for Android devices via Google Play. A Kindle version is also available.

The Android version of Spelltower offers all the features found in the latest iOS update, including four single-player gameplay variants. Spelltower also features ScoreLoop support for high score saving, along with a local multiplayer mode playable over Wi-Fi.

Spelltower is priced at $1.99.

Time for Local Multiplayer to Get Physical

March 8, 2013 3:00 PM | Staff

alistair a.jpg

[Local multiplayer games are increasingly pushing the envelope, providing experiences only possible with real-world human interaction. Indie developer Alistair Aitcheson looks into the opportunities shared physical play offers, especially on tablets.]

In the current gaming climate we're used to the idea that "multiplayer" is typically an online affair. The days of playing Micro Machines and Goldeneye on a shared screen are a remnant of a bygone age, and gathering around a shared screen isn't seen as the exciting attraction that it used to be. 

Indeed, online multiplayer has numerous benefits. You don't need to gather a group of friends whenever you want to play against real people. You can fill an arena with 16 competitors at the drop of a hat. You can make sure you're pitted against people of the same standard, and there's always a tougher opponent online for you to strive to beat.

But sharing a screen is still a rich proposition - the laughter and joy of a shared game experience with friends is unique and special. So, with online multiplayer as a counterpoint, there's encouragement to push the envelope when it comes to local multiplayer design. The proliferation of touch screens and motion sensing allows us to explore shared physical experiences in a way that wasn't possible before.

To get the most out of local multiplayer, designers can use the physical presence of players to do what cannot be done over a network. 

iOS Game Pick: Nightmerica (Voltic Games)

March 7, 2013 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Brisbane-based developer Voltic Games has released Nightmerica, a retro-styled, side-scrolling action game for iOS devices.

Described as the "insane baby" spawned by the unholy union of Super Crate Box and Borderlands, Nightmerica equips players with randomly dropped weaponry in a battle against endless waves of enemy critters. The game offers three different arena backdrops, and includes Game Center leaderboards and achievements, so you can test your survival skills among friends.

Nightmerica is priced at 99 cents.

Road to the IGF: Mahdi Bahrami's Farsh

March 7, 2013 2:55 PM | John Polson

At the age of 17, Mahdi Bahrami entered the 2011 IGF competition and received an honorable mention in the Excellence in Design category for Bo. Now in college, Bahrami has become a finalist for the 2013 IGF student competition with his carpet rolling puzzler, Farsh, for Mac and Windows.

Bahrami's Farsh (Persian for "carpet") is the kind of free game you can easily get wrapped up in. It's a puzzler where the player must twist, turn, roll, and unroll a magic carpet to get to the end of every level, using specially colored tiles to affect the path to the end zone.

Continuing the Road to the IGF series, Gamasutra speaks with the NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences student about his authentically Persian game, the changes he's made since its release, and the representation of Middle Eastern cultures and history in video games.

Why they're playing: Year Walk

March 6, 2013 11:58 PM | Staff

With Year Walk, mobile developer Simogo tried more than one tack not broadly proven on the crowded App Store. First, the studio wanted to make an atmospheric horror game based on the old lore of its native Sweden, probably a complex proposition in a market more accustomed to bright and friendly than unsettling and arresting.

On a saturated storefront where familiar touchstones jostle for a little bit of attention, Year Walk's quiet darkness takes the risk of being different.

It's a departure for the studio, too, which built its reputation on charming, musical and touchable games like Beat Sneak Bandit and Bumpy Road; the 1950's filmic feel that looks cartoonish and cute across the rest of its portfolio can be used to textured, haunting appeal with Year Walk. When name recognition and branding is essential in a busy marketplace, this left turn is also a brave choice.

Vlambeer, Kert Gartner on making a six-second Vine trailer for Ridiculous Fishing

March 6, 2013 3:43 PM | John Polson

Vlambeer recently announced via a six-second Vine video that its follow up to Radical Fishing for iOS, dubbed Ridiculous Fishing, will release March 14. In creating this micro-trailer, the developers also practiced distilling some of the most important parts of their game into a narrative of mere moments (thereby respecting its viewers' time), with the help of video editor king Kert Gartner.

The game is finally seeing a release, after two years of development by Vlambeer (Super Crate Box), Zach Gage (Spelltower, Bit Pilot, Unify) and Greg Wohlwend (Hundreds, Solipskier, Gasketball). Despite Vine not providing stats, the levels of coverage the video and game received this week suggests, at least in part, that the micro-trailer was a success.

I caught up with Rami Ismail of Vlambeer and Kert Gartner to find out the process behind creating one of, if not the first, six-second Vine video game trailer. The two provide insight into the design process and tips on how they dealt with a crucial, last-minute problem.

A history - and call - for German indie developers

March 6, 2013 3:00 AM | Staff

Because of the fact that most of us smaller developers face the problem of not getting enough attention I would like to take a closer look at my own country and its even more unknown indie game scene - Germany.
When it comes to games, Germany is foremost known for simulations (Demolition Simulator by Giants Software), engines (Cry Engine by Crytek) and board games (The Settlers of Catan by Klaus Teuber). In fact, we seem to consume more video games then we actually produce or sell outside of Germany.

Besides Crysis 1, 2 and 3, have you ever heard of the building game series Anno by Related Design, The Settlers series by Blue Byte, the beloved adventures from Daedalic Entertainment like Deponia or the RPG series Gothic and Risen by Piranha Bytes?

If none of the mentioned titles - which are known by every German interested in games - rings a bell you might get an idea of what kind of problems the German indie game scene must be facing. The purpose of this article is to introduce some of their specimen, to define some typical German qualities and their problems.

Humble Bundle with Android 5 includes Super Hexagon, NightSky HD, Solar 2

March 5, 2013 2:29 PM | John Polson

The latest Humble Bundle for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android has dropped, featuring 6 games so far. The pay what you want tier includes arcade shooter Beat Hazard Ultra, the top-down stealth action game Dynamite Jack, the open world intergalactic Solar 2, and physics puzzle platformer NightSky HD. The pay more than the average tier includes frenetic action game Super Hexagon and tower defense RPG Dungeon Defenders.

Soundtracks for every game except Dynamite Jack are included with the different bundle tiers, as well.

[Humble Bundle with Android 5.]

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