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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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Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of December 16

December 16, 2011 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 Games, Playdead Aps, Gree International, 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:

Playdead Aps: Gameplay Designer:
"Playdead is an independent game studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was founded by Arnt Jensen and Dino Patti in 2006. Limbo is Playdead's first production with Arnt Jensen as Game Director. Playdead is currently in production of a new IP."

Riot Games: Community Manager:
"With League of Legends, one of the most played and critically acclaimed PC games today, Riot Games is a leading innovator in its mission to be the most player-focused game company in the world. At Riot you will work among the most gifted and passionate people in the industry as we hire only the most talented and collaborative people in their discipline.

We believe the core reason for Riot's success is people and we are committed to helping employees grow their abilities and careers, as we all continually focus on improvement. We are serious professionals who don't take ourselves too seriously. Named a Top 30 Developer by Game Developer Magazine, Riot Games is aggressively expanding, growing the company five-fold over the past two years, and still continuing the search for top talent."

Mobile Starfleet Sim Star Command To Premiere In 2012

December 16, 2011 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Warballoon, developer of the successfully Kickstarted iOS/Android adventure title Star Command, announced that the game will miss its intended 2011 release date, and will instead make its debut in 2012.

Described as a science fiction-infused take on Kairosoft's company management sim Game Dev Story (with bonus creative influence from The Sims and X-Com), Star Command tasks players with building a spacefaring ship, assembling a crew, and seeking out new life and new civilizations. Combat also plays a major role, for cases in which new life does not take kindly to being discovered.

Warballoon tells Joystiq that it has now acquired musicians for the project, and notes that it's currently working on an update for the game's interface. The game will conclude its alpha phase by the end of December.

[via Joystiq]

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2011

December 16, 2011 4:00 PM | Michael Rose

dredmorbig.jpgWe don't need to tell you that the gaming industry is currently experiencing an 'indie boom' -- the evidence has been piling up throughout 2011, with numerous developers at AAA studios leaving their jobs behind to work on exactly the kind of games they want to make.

You only have to look at the Independent Games Festival record number of entries to know indies mean business this year. This time around, nearly 570 games were entered into the competition, marking an increase of more than 45 percent compared to the previous year.

We say this every year, but we genuinely mean it -- having to choose just ten titles from the incredible batch of indie titles this year was not only next-to-impossible, but also excruciatingly heart-breaking, as we had to knock favorite after favorite off until there were only ten remaining.

But never fear, as a good number of those titles that we close, but just missed out on a top spot, have been compiled below the main list as honorable mentions.

Indie Game Links: Women Are from Venus (Patrol)

December 16, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson

venus patrol.jpgToday's collection of independent game links includes more indie game news, previews, and developer announcements from around the 'net. (image source)

Joystiq: Vlambeer and Adam Atomic's Venus Patrol-exclusive games revealed
"Capsule and Gun Godz are likely due by the end of the year -- when they are released, of course, it'll be only to those who supported the Venus Patrol Kickstarter campaign."

Destructoid: Action Adventure World: The Game will stomp your bawls
"AAW is a "Nintendo hard" platformer that incorporates elements from various games such as Mario, Sonic, Mega Man, Chip 'n Dale, and more. The game is split across multiple episodes, with each new installment introducing new mechanics and surprises."

DIY Gamer: Indie Game Bundles Need to Take a Break, And Why I Don't Want Them To
"There is also the adverse affect of the bundle where it trains gamers to feel 'cheated' or 'saddened' when they see a bundle appear that already has games they own... This, I can tell you right now, is not a sustainable model for any industry."

Mobigame's Edge Now Free For A Limited Time

December 16, 2011 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Mobigame is currently running a catalog-wide sale for its iOS apps, and is giving away its standout action-puzzler Edge for free during the holiday season.

Though it may be widely known for the extended legal battle over its title, Edge is a great little game that earned a top spot in many "app of the year" lists for 2009 (including my own). It's a simple concept -- navigate tricky isometric level layouts, collect glowing cubes -- that's executed very well, and the 48 included levels offer plenty of unique challenges.

Mobigame's dissection puzzler Cross Fingers is also free for the duration of the sale.

[via Touch Arcade]

PS Vita Trailer: StarDrone Extreme (Beatshapers)

December 16, 2011 3:00 AM | John Polson

IndieCade 2011 finalist StarDrone gets an Extreme update in time for the PlayStation Vita launch in February for EU and US territories. Beatshapers is adding more extreme levels, new enemies and visual themes to the game's already acclaimed formula of arcade action, pinball, breakout, physics and collect-the-objects.

Beatshapers describes the core gameplay as controlling a drone that is constantly in motion, and the more stellar matter collected while in space, the faster it will travel "until you are moving at the speed of light." The speed seems to make it quite the challenge to follow sometimes, at least in the trailer.

Alexey Menshikov of Beatshapers confirmed that the game would use the front and rear touch panels, substituting touch controls for how one would use the Move motion controller. Menshikov explains that the gameplay is about making a point that acts as a beacon in order to force the drone to rotate around it. The developer says that using the rear panel is more interesting because one doesn't block the screen with fingers, but this style of play requires some getting used to it. Players can toggle between the two panels in the options menu.

All in all, StarDrone's trip hasn't been too bad from when Orb Games entered it in IGF back in 2008.

Indie Game Links: 100% Bundle Free

December 15, 2011 5:00 PM | John Polson

VVVVVV chevy.jpgToday's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and the usual round-up of interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

Rock Paper Shotgun: Indie Fund Talk Q.U.B.E. and Dear Esther
"[Esther]'s not one of those games where you get better by playing the game over and over, but instead have an experience more like reading a book, where you don't know how it's going to end, and the thrill is in finding out."

DIY Gamer: Freeware Game Pick - Epic Inventor, An RTS/Terraria-like
"Epic Inventor becomes less like a Terraria clone and more like a platforming RTS. You see the developers were not only inspired by Terraria, they were also hugely inspired by Age of Empires."

PlayStation Blog: Celebrating PSN's Top-Selling Indie Games of 2011
(This looks at the best selling SCEA-Published, Pub Funded, and Self-Published Indies on PSN for 2011.)

IGF 2012 Reveals Design, Technical Excellence, Nuovo Jury Panels

December 14, 2011 11:30 PM | John Polson

Organizers of the 2012 Independent Games Festival are pleased to announce the first discipline-specific jury panels that will determine the finalists and winner of its various awards.

The jury announcements for this year are beginning with the industry professionals, independent game notables and former IGF award winners that make up its Design award, Technical Excellence award, and Nuovo award juries.

The Excellence in Design Award

The Excellence in Design award is a category which seeks to highlight the innovation and quality of the underlying blueprint of each entered game -- component parts like its mechanic design, level design, and difficulty balancing.

Prior finalists and winners of the IGF Excellence in Design Award have included 2D Boy's cartoon construction puzzler World of Goo, KranX's music construction puzzler Musaic Box, Pocketwatch Games' abstracted multiplayer heist game Monaco and QCF's rogue-like puzzler Desktop Dungeons.

The jury consists of the following:

Trailer: LostWinds For iOS

December 14, 2011 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Frontier Developments' WiiWare launch title LostWinds is on its way to the App Store, and it's looking mighty fine, judging from the trailer above.

LostWinds is an exploration-based platformer in which players harness the power of wind in order to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Wind currents also control basic mechanics like jumping, making it central to the experience rather than a secondary gimmick.

I played through the WiiWare version when it was first released and thought that it was charming and engaging from start to finish. I'm optimistic that the iOS version will be equally fun -- platformers typically don't port too well to iOS devices, but the mechanics in LostWinds seem particularly well-suited for touch screens.

LostWinds will premiere in the App Store as a universal download "this holiday season," according to Frontier.

Bit of Alright - A Follow-up To World of Love

December 14, 2011 9:00 AM | Michael Rose

bit of alright.jpg
Remember World of Love, the indie gaming conference that took place not once, but twice in London, UK? There's a sort of semi-sequel happening soon, but with less yap and more do. Bit of Alright is set to be a mixture of talks, hands-on, game demonstrations and all other sorts of things that a bunch of indie developers can get up to in large rooms.

Due to take place on February 3rd, once again in London, it's being run by David Hayward, who helps put together pretty much every indie event that ever happened in the lower regions of the UK. Tickets for the event are currently on sale for £20, so if you're around on that date, you might want to reserve yourself a seat. Check out the official site for more details.

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