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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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Fishing Cactus' Shifting World Coming to 3DS Next Year

December 6, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson

Shifting World.jpgToday Aksys Games announced Fishing Cactus' puzzle platformer Shifting World will be a Spring 2012 Nintendo 3DS retail release. The 3DS version introduces a new art direction, level editor, 3D functionality, and a level generator that works by taking pictures of DataMatrix bar codes with the 3DS camera.

In Shifting World, players can swap the world from black to white to overcome the game's obstacles and escape each of the 60 rooms. There is also an added dimension of puzzles; players can switch from 3D to 2D with one button.

No doubt Aksys and Cactus are hoping to convert the 16 million players of the web-based original. While gameplay is not ready to be shown yet, interested gamers can play the first iteration of Shift on Armor Games.

Don't Run With A Plasma Sword: Good Advice, Also An iOS Platformer

December 6, 2011 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Don't Run With a Plasma Sword. Really, you shouldn't. It's also the name of a new App Store platformer in the vein of Canabalt, Jetpack Joyride, and other titles that seem to be especially popular on iOS devices.

All levels in Don't Run With a Plasma Sword scroll automatically, and players must jump and slide to avoid obstacles. The plasma sword itself adds a new wrinkle to the otherwise standard gameplay formula; robots, aliens, and other enemies must be sliced mid-run, and projectiles can be deflected with proper timing.

The trailer above shows that the game also includes a series of boss battles, which offer an interesting variation on the challenges players usually face in these sorts of games. Don't Run With a Plasma Sword is available in the App Store for 99 cents.

12 Indie Apps for Christmas

December 5, 2011 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw


Depending on who you ask, Christmas could be anything from the season for commercialism to altruism to 'that day when an omniscient dude in a white beard breaks in your house'. For twelve independent iOS developers, Christmas appears to be the time to pledge themselves to the promise that 25% of their revenue (after Apple tax) would go to a charity of their choice (either Child's Play or Doctors Without Borders). So, if you've been thinking about picking one of the games on that list, now may be the perfect time to do so.

Check out the details here.

The Fourth Wall has Eyez: Having the Same Mechanic Part 2

December 5, 2011 3:00 AM | John Polson


As discussed last week, IGF 2012 entries The Fourth Wall and Eyez have the same screen-wrapping mechanic in their 2D games, which is also visually represented practically the same with a blue aura around the screen borders.

This time around, we talk to Eyez developer Hua Chen, who's taking another stab at the IGF after being part of 2009 IGF Student Showcase project Kid the World Saver.

Windows Phone 7 title Eyez was actually a prototype submitted to the IGF 2010 competition. Chen shares that based on feedback he received from the IGF and thesis advisor Kim Swift (Portal designer), he pushed forward with the game to what it is today.

Daniel Ponce Creates a Type Set Tutorial Just for Us

December 4, 2011 12:00 PM | John Polson

Daniel Ponce is working on iPad title Type Set, a game that is literally about moving a conversation along. The goal of each "level" is to collect either all of the angry tone-changers or all of the nice tone-changers, by overlapping the words with the icons on the screen. The angry tone-changers are represented by red exclamation mark icons, and nice tone-changers are represented by blue period icons.

From a narrative stand point, by collecting all of the angry tone-changers the player is responding in a angry way while collecting all of the nice tone-changers means that the player will respond in a nice way. Just like a normal conversation, depending on which words are emphasized, it can change the tone and direction of the conversation. Emphasis is placed on certain words by changing their size or rotating them.

Click on to read about the narrative structure of Type Set and about creator Daniel Ponce.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of December 2

December 2, 2011 10:00 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 Crytek, Avalanche Studios, Capcom, 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 alternative gaming news, independent games, and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

Crytek: Art Director:
"Crytek is always looking for the best talent in the industry. If you are passionate about great games and want to work with a highly talented and creative team on cutting edge technology and tools, then look no further. For the recently unveiled Ryse, we're looking to fill various positions in our Crytek Frankfurt studio, a very experienced and passionate group of people; working together to create a brand-new IP."

KIXEYE: Senior Games Engineer:
"Founded in 2007, KIXEYE is an online gaming company that plays to win. Responsible for popular titles like Backyard Monsters, Battle Pirates and War Commander, KIXEYE is the first developer to deliver proper game play experiences on social networks. The company is based in San Francisco and backed by Trinity Ventures, JAFCO and Lightspeed Venture Partners."

These Robotic Hearts Of Mine: A Narrative-Infused Puzzler For Android And iOS

December 2, 2011 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Alan Hazelden has released These Robotic Hearts Of Mine, a Rubik's Cube-inspired puzzler for iOS and Android platforms.

Named as a finalist title in Eurogamer's Indie Arcade Expo, These Robotic Hearts Of Mine presents players with a series of puzzles in which all on-screen heart icons must be rotated until they are right-side-up. Between levels, the game reveals short snippets of a story involving a boy, a girl, and their newly discovered robot friend...though the stark aesthetic hints that their relationship may take a dark turn.

The preview video above shows that there's a great variety of puzzle solutions to be found throughout the game, and the difficulty appears to ramp up rather quickly. Or maybe it just seems that way because I'm really, really bad at games that involve rotating puzzle pieces. For hopeless cases like me, fortunately, These Robotic Hearts Of Mine includes a level skip feature, allowing you to see the whole story even if you're stuck on a particular level.

Cave Story Dev Daisuke Amaya on Rockfish and iOS Development

December 2, 2011 3:00 AM | John Polson

rockfish header.pngFrom Cave Story dev Daisuke Amaya (Pixel) comes IGF 2012 entry Rockfish, a mobile game where the player assumes the role of a small fish deep in the ocean. Rockfish combines elements from Cave Story and Ikachan into an underwater action-adventure. Like Cave Story, Pixel is creating everything himself, including the music.

Through an exchange of emails, Pixel answered various questions about what could become the iOS equivalent to Cave Story in epicness. While Rockfish is still far away from being finished, Pixel has shed some light on the game, its mechanics and some thoughts on iOS development.

As for the inspiration behind Rockfish, Pixel says that he thought first about creating a submarine action game. However, since he doesn't really know about submarines, he decided on a fish instead.

Indie Game: The Movie To Premiere At 2012 Sundance Film Festival

December 1, 2011 5:00 PM | John Polson

Indie Game The Movie Goes-to-Sundance2.jpg

Film creators Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky announced that their upcoming documentary on game development, Indie Game: The Movie, will premiere during the World Documentary Competition at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival early next year.

The film follows renowned indie game developers Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes (Super Meat Boy), Phil Fish (Fez), and Jonathan Blow (Braid), and offers a personal and in-depth look at how these games came to be.

Pajot and Swirsky began producing the film independently 18 months ago, traveling around North America to talk to the industry's most influential indie developers. Since then, the film has built up a strong following from both fans and the press alike.

"We are exceptionally thrilled, humbled and, actually, kind of numbed by this honor. It's surreal to think that Indie Game: The Movie has been invited to the same festival that introduced the world to the likes of Super Size Me, Born Into Brothels, Man on Wire, The Cove and Waiting for Superman... that's a heavy club to think about joining," Pajot and Swirsky said in a statement.

The pair added that the film's first post-Sundance showing will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba on February 3. More details are available at the film's official website. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival itself will take place January 19-29 in Park City, Utah.

[This article was originally posted on Gamastura.]

Game Connection Europe Selected Projects 2012 Shortlist

November 30, 2011 3:00 AM | John Polson

game connection.jpgThe shortlist for Game Connection Europe's Selected Projects 2012 has been revealed. The fifteen titles represent an international collection of talent, and the winners, including the grand prize of "Best Project 2012," will be decided at the event on December 6. The decision will follow presentations of each game to the panel of publishers, investors and industry experts.

The Game Connection jury selected as "Best Project 2012" will receive hardware and development support from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, including PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita development kits. Two runners up will be invited by Sony to their London offices for a training day (technical support, QA and PlayStation Network business).

The shortlist follows after the break:

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