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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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Kickstarter Projects: Star Command is X-Com, Game Dev Story and The Sims All Rolled Into One

September 9, 2011 10:33 PM | Cassandra Khaw



Can we please have this, Internet? Pretty please? With a cherry on top? I might have a bit of an addiction to Kairosoft but don't you think Star Command looks like it'd be a kick ass addition to the mobile platform?

In a nutshell, Star Command is X-Com, Game Dev Story and the Sims all rolled into one. It has aliens. It also will give you the ability to build your own ship and by build, I don't mean just outfit it with guns. Building here, it seems, will include the ability to do anything from creating facilities for research and exploration to designing entertainment areas for visiting emissaries. You can even have cross-cultural exchanges and hire little green men for your crew.

I'm utterly smitten with the idea behind this. The Kickstarter project is at $15, 675 out of the $20, 000 that they need so it's likely that they will succeed but hey, if you have a dollar to spare towards increasing the certainty of things, do feel free to throw it at them!

Kickstarter site can be found here.

Machinarium Now On iPad 2

September 9, 2011 10:00 AM | Michael Rose

machinarium.jpg

The wonderful, beautiful adventure game Machinarium is now available for a mobile device! A very specific one, in fact - the game can now be picked up for the iPad 2. I do wonder how many IndieGames readers own iPad 2s, and also why the game isn't compatible with the original iPad. I know it's a highly detailed game, but is it really that processor-heavy?

Whatever the reason, if you happen to own an iPad the second, and you still haven't got around to helping Josef save the day, now is a most excellent time to do so. It's available from the App Store for £2.99, $4.99, which is half the price of the PC/Mac version. A steal, basically. You can always read our review of the game if you're sitting on the fence.

Android Game Pick: Pocket League Story (Kairosoft)

September 8, 2011 3:00 PM | Michael Rose

pocket league story.jpg

Everyone stop everything! You, at the back! I said stop! It doesn't matter what you are doing, or were planning to do today. It's all over. Everything is just... over. There's a new Kairosoft game, and it's available on Android. Oh, you don't own an Android? Sorry, false alarm. You can go back over there. Please don't hurt me.

Pocket League Story is like all the other Kairosoft Story games, but it has something in it called football, or 'soccer' if you're a funny fellow. It most resembles Grand Prix Story, in that you look after a team, bumping up their stats, building up your headquarters, entering tournaments, and then watch as your team completely bottles it, and you look very silly indeed. As with every other Kairosoft game, you'll start off thinking hey, this isn't bad, I guess I'm enjoying myself. Then it's 4am, and you realise you have work tomorrow, but perhaps you'll call in sick, because you need just one more go.

Now if you don't mind, I have a game to play. Grab it from the Android Marketplace.

Trailer: Battle Group (Bane Games)

September 8, 2011 9:00 AM | Michael Rose

Battle Group is an upcoming naval combat title for PC, Mac, iPhone and Android. You control a variety of gunships in the midst of modern day warfare on the high seas, shooting down fighter planes and blasting patrol boats out of the water.

There's a full story mode complete with "professionally voice acted dialogue", a leveling system with oodles of unlocks, and multiple expansions planned after release. Apparently former serving naval personnel have been putting their experience across to the developers, to give the game that little extra authenticity.

Looks seaworthy! We can expect to see Battle Group launching sometime around Christmas. Check out the official site for more details.

Best of GameSetWatch: From Fox News To Theater Of The Arcade

September 7, 2011 11:00 PM | Eric Caoili

[Every week GameSetWatch editor-in-chief Eric Caoili rounds up the latest news/media for obscure and offbeat games from IndieGames.com's sister site and alternative video game blog.]

Over at our alt video game blog GameSetWatch, we shared a number of fun stories during the past week, including a comical segment on green/indie/educational games by Fox News, a review of NYCFringe's Theater Of The Arcade performances, and more.

GameSetWatch's highlights from the last week:

Fox News Takes On Green/Indie Games: 'Is This Promoting Education Or Just A Liberal Agenda?' - I'm sure no one expected to see video of Thatgamecompany's Flower or mentions of Molleindustria's McDonald's Video Game on Fox News of all places, but that's exactly what appeared on the cable channel earlier this week in a segment titled "Video Games Go Green"!

Chinese Theme Park, Arcade Games Knock Off Angry Birds - Window of the World Park, an amusement park in Changsha, China, is putting the popularity of Rovio's Angry Birds franchise to use in its attractions by featuring cut-out-boards (for photographs), a real-life game based on the puzzler, and more -- all unauthorized, of course.

Survey: Why Go Indie?

September 7, 2011 12:00 PM | Michael Rose

daniel fedor.jpgA new game developer focused survey by Daniel Fedor, a former BioWare producer and now full-time indie, has been looking into the reasons why devs decided to go indie, as well as why devs would choose not to go indie. The results were posted on sister site Gamasutra, and prove rather interesting.

Of reasons to become an indie dev over working for a AAA company, 73 percent of those surveyed cited "creative freedom", while 58 percent said it was down to "sharing one's ideas with the world". 49 percent said being an indie dev was good for the "improved working hours." 47 percent also said it was due to "the chance to earn more than a salary and/or benefits", although it is questionable exactly what this means - indeed, a couple of commenters on Gama have left notes to this effect.

Now onto the cons of going indie. 54 percent of participants cited "inability to go without pay long enough to ship a game", while "lack of business acumen" was noted by 37 percent of those surveyed. Other reasons cited included "family depends on income", "liking coworkers" and "liking current project."

This is just a basic break-down of what the survey found - it's worth checking it out in full if you're interested. It's also worth noting that 121 people took part in total, and 56 percent of those were devs who are considering becoming indie, while only 27 percent were actually indie. Read the full survey at Gamasutra. You can also see the results directly here.

iPhone Game Pick: Bug Hunt (Dom n' Tom)

September 6, 2011 5:00 AM | Tim W.


Bug Hunt 8-bit is the iOS port of Lazy Brain Games' freeware release from a couple months back, featuring the same type of gameplay found in the original but with a new touch screen input replacing the old mouse controls. Bongo is the hero in this story, stuck in a jungle with a hungry tummy to fill. Fortunately there are plenty of insects flying around, so all he has to do is lash out his tongue to capture the bugs and put them in his mouth.

There's no lite version of Bug Hunt to download from the App Store at the moment, but the Windows build is still available to play at Lazy Brain Games' site. The iPhone and iPad version costs $0.99 to purchase.

Sense of Wonder Night 2011 Presenters Announced

September 5, 2011 12:00 PM | Michael Rose

sown_2011.jpgOrganisers of the Sense of Wonder Night 2011 event have announced the ten titles that will be presented on the show floor at the Tokyo Game Show later this month.

Now in its fourth year running, SOWN is an annual event that aims to discover new and unconventional game concepts that "catch people by surprise and give them a Sense of Wonder -- a sense that something will change in their world -- right at the instant of seeing or hearing the concept."

The developers of the chosen games will be asked to demonstrated their games on the show floor, with Japanese-English and English-Japanese translations available.

The selected presenters for the event are as follows:

Eufloria (PSN) - Rudolf Kremers, Alex May and Brian Grainger
I'm Gonna Be God of the Forest - Isao
Inside a Star-filled Sky - Jason Rohrer
KuraKuraMaze - Yoshimi Kurihara
Leedmees - Orihara Nagayo
Q.U.B.E. - Daniel Da Rocha
Reflow - Frederik Maucksch and Matthias Wolff
Solstice - Jordan Hemenway
Spruzel - Sprouts Colin Northway
Taplib - Yanagihara Takayuki

SOWN's presentations are based on the Game Developers Conference's Experimental Gameplay Workshop format, allowing each developer to take the stage, demonstrate and explain the project, and answer questions for around ten minutes.

The SOWN presentations will take place on September 16 from 17:30-20:00 in Room 201, Makuhari Messe of the International Conference Hall. The Tokyo Game Show itself will occur September 15-18, as the annual expo aims to become "The World's Largest Event."

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

September 2, 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 Big Fish Games, Ready At Dawn Studios, Row Sham Bow, 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:

Ready At Dawn Studios: Animator:
"Ready At Dawn is a game development studio with a single mission: making fun games a lot of people want to play. We know it sounds trite and basic, but reality sometimes is much simpler than we pretend it to be. Be part of the Ready At Dawn team as we staff up to work on an exciting new IP for the home console."

Big Fish Games: Senior Server Programmer:
"At Big Fish Games, we offer thousands of easily accessible games that allow our customers to relax, have fun, and feel good. The Big Fish platform now includes Mac, PC, online, mobile, social, and console games, developed both in house and in partnership with more than 700 game developers around the world. Our team is located throughout the world, including our headquarters in Seattle, and our offices in Vancouver, Canada and in Cork, Ireland."

Mobile Game Pick: Bloo Kid (Eiswuxe)

September 2, 2011 9:00 AM | Michael Rose

It's time for some retro-styled platform puzzling on iPhone and Android! Bloo Kid is the standard 'boy meets girl, girl gets kidnapped by flying cloaked bird thing, boy chases bird thing' story, and it has a great pick up and play feel to it.

On each level, you need to jump on the heads of all the enemies, and then grab the star that appears. This starts off pretty simple as the bad guys simply toddle around, unaware of your pounce of death. Soon, however, they'll start jumping, and then honing in on you, and it gets pretty difficult.

There's an underlying puzzle element to it as well. Enemies don't just spawn randomly, and you'll find that later on it's essential to plan ahead and consider where you're going to land after taking a baddie out, as you may find yourself boxed in otherwise.

Throw in tons of levels, with the promise of more to come, and you've got yourself a pretty neat game. It's $0.99 via the App Store, and free with ads on Android.

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