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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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Launch Trailer: Extraction: Project Outbreak (ShortRound Games)

November 21, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson

I figured the blog could use some heavy artillery action, and ShortRound Games' Extraction: Project Outbreak for iOS may fit the bill. As evident from the trailer, the recently released Extraction is a top-down 3D shooter that has lots of weapons and fast combo-based gameplay.

The team of four developers honed their basic skills working on racing and action games such as Burnout, Army of Two and Split/Second before embarking on their first indie project. For Extraction, ShortRound Games aims to build upon the fun and inspiration provided not by recent triple AAA titles, but by classics such as Cannon Fodder.

Yes, Chillingo eventually got involved in publishing Extraction, but that doesn't automatically discredit the developer, right? Extraction: Project Outbreak is a universal app for 3GS or above and iPad 1 or 2 and is available now via iTunes for $0.99.

For those who want to hear more from ShortRound Games, click ahead.

Kickstarter Projects: Auro, The Golden Prince

November 20, 2011 3:00 AM | Tim W.

Auro: The Golden Prince is an intriguing dungeon crawl project that Dinofarm Games (of 100 Rogues fame) is currently developing for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android devices. Just like QCF Design's Desktop Dungeons, the game will feature procedural-generated challenge rooms, multiple gameplay modes, plus a 'Discipline' skill tree that allows players to pick which skills they'd want to specialize in.

The story is about a young prince named Auro who's sent into the sewers by his father to fulfill a quest, but our young royalty accidentally awakens an ancient evil during his adventures even when a guiding scholar warns him not to. Dinofarm Games and Ido Yehieli (Cardinal Quest) are collaborating on the production of this roguelike, and together they've initiated a Kickstarter page to drum up some funds for the project.

More information about Auro: The Golden Prince can be found here.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of November 18

November 18, 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 Microsoft, Sucker Punch Productions, and Digital Extremes.

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:

Microsoft: Design Director:
"Microsoft Studios group is looking for a dynamic and experienced designer who has passion to create the world's greatest family focused gaming experiences. The Sr. Designer position focuses on partnering and supporting creative visionaries, solving creative issues, helping establish and emphasize core design pillars, and evangelizing published products from a game design perspective. Sr. Designers push innovation and partner with world class developers to launch new high quality titles worthy of 1st Party development."

Robotic Arm Software: Software Engineer:
"Robotic Arm Software brings a variety of tool development services to game companies. We focus on the asset pipeline, helping game companies create, build and manage their data. We are experts in areas of game development and tools technologies, including C++, C#, .NET, WPF, XML, VB, Maya, 3DS MAX, Photoshop, Perforce, Alienbrian, and much more."

Rebuild for iPad 2 Released; Ask Sarah Northway Anything

November 18, 2011 8:59 AM | John Polson


Sarah Northway of Northway Games recently released an iPad 2 only version of her turn-based survival-simulation, Rebuild. The browser-based version of the post zombie apocalypse sim was previewed last month, so today will be about the updates.

Northway states on her blog that new content has been developed for the iPad 2 version, which she considers the "complete" version. She feels that she didn't really have time to put all the features into Rebuild 2 that she wanted to, so this was her chance.

The blog states there are two new buildings, and one is linked to a new branch of tech. There are also some new events, with a new story arc and ending written by her husband, Colin Northway.

Rebuild for iPad 2 is available now on iTunes for $2.99. Those who want to try before they buy can play the browser-based Rebuild 2 first. Now how about an iPad to iPad 2 trade-in service, since some great indie games are iPad 2 only!

Sarah Northway said she would be happy to stop by and talk to everyone about Rebuild. However, there may be lapse at odd hours, since she is presently in Philippines' time zone (GMT + 8).

Now Android Gamers Can Die Alone In The Graveyard Too

November 18, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

Divisive Belgian indie studio Tale of Tales (The Path, Fatale) had announced that its 2009 IGF Nuovo/Innovation award finalist PC game The Graveyard is now available for Android devices.

Like the original title released in 2008 and last year's iOS edition, the Android games comes with both free and paid ($1.99) versions. In both, you play as an old woman visiting a cemetery who can walk around, sit on a bench, and listen to a song.

The only difference between the free and paid versions is that in the latter, after you listen to the song (a reflective tune by Gerry De Mol) and attempt to get up to leave, there's a chance that your character will die.

"As artists, we choose to use video games as an expressive medium," says Tale of Tales' Michael Samyn & Auriea Harvey. "To achieve subtlety and variety in this expression, we feel it is necessary to abandon conventions of traditional game design."

The couple adds, "The Graveyard was designed to be an interactive expression of a certain mood, allowing the player to contemplate certain themes. It does not contain any puzzles or rewards because we feel that would have diminished its emotional impact."

[Originally posted on sister site GameSetWatch.]

Trailer: The Show Must Go On (Hide & Seek)

November 17, 2011 9:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Sickeningly cute visuals? Check. Slapstick premise? Check. Epic soundtrack consisting of things like 'The Marriage of Figaro', 'Swan Lake' and 'The Nutcracker'? Che - wait, what? The Show Must Go On is one of the more charming things I've stumbled over on the App Store. Comissioned by the Royal Opera House and created by Hide & Seek, The Show Must Go On is a comical look at life in the theatre. As the unfortunate stage manager, you're going to have to take on five mini-games in an attempt to 'catch' music, unearth props, dress your stars, build sets and light, well, lights. The show must go on, after all! One way or another.

Fail and silly things will happen. Having yet to purchase the game, I'm not too certain as to what those things are exactly but I have a feeling that, if the trailer's anything to go by, they'll probably drag at least a smile from you. Currently priced at $0.99 on the App Store, The Show Must Go On looks like it'd be a pretty entertaining diversion.

Official site here.

First Screenshots of Hero Academy

November 17, 2011 5:44 PM | Cassandra Khaw


In spite of Orcs Must Die's rather phenomenal success, it looks like Robot Entertainment isn't ready to rest on their laurels just yet. Hero Academy was announced on their Twitter today.

Due for release sometime this winter, Hero Academy is apparently a head-to-head strategy game for the iOS. Gameplay appears to be asyncronchronous, allowing players to take on multiple foes simultaneously. Set within a very friendly-looking fantasy world, Hero Academy looks like it might be an interesting distraction. I'm not quite as enthused about it as I was about Orcs Must Die but I'm still going to keep an eye on this one.

More screenshots below the break. Official website can be found here.

Free-iOS-ware Game Pick: Chickon (Phil Hassey)

November 17, 2011 3:54 PM | John Polson

Phil Hassey goes Pollo Loco releasing his gallus (pun) rendition of Galcon, Chickon, as a free universal iOS app. Chickon is a real time strategy game, where players move their chicken to powerup-filled battles against robot chicken and their robot factories, all the while rescuing rather handsome roosters from captivity.

Hassey shares Chickon's origins on his blog: "I had this crazy idea 'haha wouldn't it be funny if I made a version of Galcon with chickens in it cause everyone plays all those poultry oriented games, haha, I'll make it in a week.'" Six months later, the free-to-play game in the land of Chickontopia was born.

I haven't played long enough to figure out if the chicken feed is actually part of a microtransaction model, or the Chickbux is simply a humorous stab at the biz. The overhead map's music has been playing while I typed this, and it's just too plain groovy not to mention. I almost feel ashamed for having went to bed first before sharing this game, but not everyone has the luxury of being a robot chicken.

Go on and get the free Chickon for your iOS device now and remember to rate it for indie superstar Phil Hassey. How can you default a man that urges you to "make eggs, not war"?

Minecraft - Pocket Edition Invades iOS Devices Today

November 17, 2011 4:15 AM | John Polson

minecraft pocket.jpg

Mojang's Minecraft - Pocket Edition expands beyond Android devices today, invading iOS devices everywhere and giving fans more to celebrate during the Minecon event in Las Vegas this week. Minecon is known to coincide with the official release of Minecraft for Windows, Mac, and Linux. However, players can now drain their iOS devices while building when they are away from their desktops.

Minecraft - Pocket Edition runs on devices with iOS 4.3 or higher. The game boasts randomized worlds, allowing players to build anything they can imagine, within the confines of 36 different kinds of blocks. Players can invite friends to their world (via local wireless network) and save multi-player worlds on their phones.

Minecraft - Pocket Edition initially appeared on sale in the New Zealand iTunes store for $9.99. It has become more widespread and is now available on the US iTunes store for $6.99.

As I am still trying to get to know everyone's tastes, I am curious who's gearing up for more Minecraft? Who's attending MineCon?
[Pocket Gamer]

Bit Pilot, Halcyon Creator Unveils Spell Tower

November 17, 2011 3:00 AM | Tim W.

Zack Gage, maker of iOS gem Bit Pilot and 2011 IGF Mobile award finalist Halcyon, has a new game coming to iPad: Spell Tower, a word strategy game that tasks you with finding the biggest words you can on a 10x15 tile grid of letters.

As you clear out words on the grid, the tiles drop to the bottom of the screen. In the game's "no pressure" Tower Mode, all you have to worry about is trying to get the highest score possible -- seems like great practice for the other three more difficult options.

In Puzzle Mode an Extreme Puzzle Mode (increased minimum word length), every word you form creates a new row of letters, and like a lot of puzzlers, you have to manage the height of your columns so they don't eventually hit the ceiling.

And in Rush Mode, you have to find words as fast as you can while the game continuously pushes up all the tiles with new letters. Spell Tower features Game Center integration and should be hitting the App Store soon.

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