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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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Archive For January, 2009

Indie Game Pick: lockOn 2 (Jph Wacheski)

January 31, 2009 11:49 PM | Tim W.

lockOn 2 is a score-based arena shooter with simple abstract graphics, where players gain shields for their ships by gathering items called PowUps. These PowUps will only appear once you've filled up the blue bar at the bottom left of the screen with the green and blue pods collected from defeated enemies. Any pods left out in the open space for too long will turn into an enemy craft after a while, so grab these pods as soon as you can if any of them are in your ship's proximity.

The primary and secondary shots are fired using the J and K key. Pressing the L key uses up one of your shields, indicated by a counter next to the same blue gauge at the bottom left corner. You can have a maximum of three shields at any time. (source: the2bears)

Name: lockOn 2
Developer: Jph Wacheski
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 100KB

Freeware Game Pick: Annie Android (Ben Chandler)

January 31, 2009 11:36 PM | Tim W.

Annie Android is a short 2D adventure game created by Ben Chandler (developer of Man Boy vs Doctor Sock), featuring art drawn entirely with a six-colour palette as a self-imposed artistic limitation. The story centers around a female Robot named Annie Android, who is thinking of asking her good-looking Mailbot friend out on a date. (hints)

Name: Annie Android
Developer: Ben Chandler
Category: Adventure
Type: Freeware
Size: 10MB
Direct download link: Click here

Freeware App Pick: wonderfl

January 31, 2009 11:24 PM | Tim W.

wonderfl is an excellent service which allows users to input ActionScript 3 code in the textarea to the left, then compiling the code on the server side and running it for immediate results inside the window on the right. The term 'fork' refers to modifying the original code (either by the author or other users), then saving it under your profile name so that anyone can view it or change it even further.

A Google account of Yahoo! ID can be used to register for the free service.

Kei Mesuda had recreated his excellent Nomltest FS shooter using wonderfl (under the new name Tiny Cannon ML), while the legendary Kenta Cho designed a couple of originals such as CircleCycle, Ascii Art Ship and BallBlast with the versatile application as well. There is even a simple shooter with red pixels which propagate around the screen based on Conway's Game of Life theory. If those don't interest you, then there are always classics such as Tetris and the cave flier game. (source: the2bears)

wonderfl: build flash online

Free Games for the Weekend

January 31, 2009 11:15 PM | Tim W.

Here is a list of recommended Flash games compiled by the clysm himself, developer of the fan-favorite 2D platformer Seiklus. The selection is alphabetically ordered, as all good lists should be.

(clysm is currently working on the exploration game Avaus and putting the finishing touches on Velella, his collaborative project with darthlupi.)

Another list of recommended indie games can be found in this forum thread on CAG, where the current discussion is centered around a couple of free and commercial releases that anyone can download to get a feel of how much indie games have improved over the years.

Flash Games (
General Indie Gaming Thread (CAG)

Road To The IGF: Tale of Tales' The Graveyard

January 31, 2009 5:19 AM | Simon Carless

[We're talking to this year's Independent Games Festival finalists, and this time, Eric Caoili interviews Tale of Tales' Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn about The Graveyard, a very short but thought-provoking interactive experience about old age and death, nominated for the Innovation Award.]

Though some would argue that it's far from an actual "game," The Graveyard is certainly a noteworthy, introspective title, presenting the idea of death not as something trivial like in most games, nor as depressing or dramatic as many would expect, but as a part of our existence -- death of old age.

In the trial version of the short PC/OSX game, players slowly guide a hobbling elderly lady through a cemetery, towards a bench. Alone and without ever saying a word, the woman sits on the bench while a poignant song, sung in Flemish but presented with English subtitles, plays.

The full, paid release is nearly identical except for one feature -- the possibility of death for the aged woman.

We spoke with Tales of Tales' designers Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn about The Graveyard, nominated for the Innovation award at this year's Independent Games Festival (part of Think Services, as is this website).

The two discuss how death is currently represented in video games, their response to critics who refuse to classify The Graveyard as a video game, and why they feel the independent games community is in a state of transition:

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of January 30

January 30, 2009 5:11 AM | Simon Carless

In this round-up, we highlight some of the notable jobs posted in sister site Gamasutra's industry-leading game jobs section this week, including positions from Warner Bros Games, Other Ocean Interactive, Midway Games, and more.

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 its network of submarket sites, which includes content sites focused on online worlds, cellphone games, 'serious games', independent games and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted in each market area this week include:

Articles on Indie Games

January 27, 2009 10:51 PM | Tim W.

Daffodils Wander Lonely as a Cloud in Flower (video)
Jenova Chen attempting to explain what the upcoming PSN release is all about. The game is expected to be available from the Playstation Network starting this 12th of February 2009, and will retail for $9.99. (source: Wired)

UGO's IGF Innovation Award Finalists 2009: Our Take (text)
Chris Plante picks apart this year's IGF nominees in the Innovation Award category.

New York Magazine's The New Art Form: If Jackson Pollock Were a Gamer (text)
Flower, World of Goo and De Blob lauded by New York Magazine in this recent article.

The Reticule: Analyzing the IGF (text)
The Reticule is currently running a weekly feature in which each IGF nominated game is scrutinized in detail. So far, they've written about Mightier, Musaic Box, Between and Dyson.

Big Download: IGF Finalist Showcase (text)
Joystiq's sister site is also taking a look at finalists in each IGF category, with articles about games from the Technical Excellence and Innovation Award already posted up.

5 Unorthodox PC Games to Watch in 2009 (text)
Machinarium briefly mentioned in this article about five upcoming games to keep an eye on.

GameTunnel: January 2009 Indie Game Round-Up (text)
Ten new games reviewed by by the panelists for this month's edition.

The Escapist: Mod & Blade (text)
A three-page article on some of the better mods that you can find for TaleWorlds' sandbox RPG, Mount & Blade. (Indie Developer Showcase)

Four Freaky Half-Life 2 Mods (text)
Darren Gladstone takes the IGF Student Showcase winners as a jumping-off point and picks out and expands upon the slightly inspired DADIU titles. (source: GameSetWatch)

Free Indie Rapid Fire: Flash Cat, Walkie Tonky, Death Vegas

January 27, 2009 9:53 PM | Tim W.

Games featured on this week's Free Indie Rapid Fire: Nitrome's Flash Cat, Pieces Interactive's Walkie Tonky and Spiritonin Media's Death Vegas. Results will be announced tomorrow, so get those votes in quick. (YouTube video)

Free Indie Rapid Fire 01/26/2009

Road To The IGF: Kranx's Musaic Box

January 27, 2009 8:22 PM | Simon Carless

[We're talking to this year's Independent Games Festival finalists, and this time Eric Caoili interviews KranX Productions' Alexander Porechnov about Musaic Box, a hidden object game featuring puzzles that have players arranging blocks to complete music arrangements -- nominated for the Excellence in Design and Audio awards.]

At a glance, Musaic Box's casual "hidden object" gameplay might not seem noteworthy, but closer inspection reveals a fascinating music-based puzzle component unlike anything else in the genre.

In the game, players comb their dead grandfather's home for compositions to play with his "musaic box" left behind. To render the song, however, they have to listen to and assemble its pieces on a puzzle screen.

Presented as tetrimino-esque block groups, each piece contains a snippet of a song with up to four instruments. Players have to properly arrange the pieces on the board to form the whole tune. A basic version of each song is available to guide players, as are symbols on each block corresponding to the melody's instruments and bars.

We spoke with KranX's Alexander Porechnov about Musaic Box, nominated for both Excellence in Design and Excellence in Audio awards at this year's Independent Games Festival (part of Think Services, as is this website).

Porechnov discusses how he devised the music puzzle game's mechanics, why he chose to pair that component with hidden object gameplay, and KranX's plans to produce handheld ports for Musaic Box:

Browser Game Pick: 4bidden Fruit (Simon Hayles)

January 27, 2009 11:19 AM | Tim W.


4bidden Fruit is a stripped-down remake of Q Games' Pixeljunk Eden, coded with Java and measuring only a measly 4K in size. In it, you control a white Grimp which has the ability to jump and tether itself to plants of all shapes and sizes. The objective of the game is to collect all twenty golden crescents floating around the garden, using only the left mouse button and the cursor to direct your jumps and direction of travel. You may need to burst a couple of pollenballs as well, just to fertilize seeds and grow new plants that will help you reach crescents floating high above the ground and out of your reach.

No music or sound effects are included, but you can play any track from your mp3 collection in the background as a substitute. The game contains only one single garden to beat.

Name: 4bidden Fruit (alternate mirror)
Developer: Simon Hayles
Category: Action
Type: Browser

Left 4k Dead (Markus Persson)

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