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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 February, 2009

Preview: Exploit (Gregory Weir)

February 28, 2009 7:03 PM | Michael Rose

You may or may not know of Gregory Weir's 'A Game a Month' challenge to himself, but in any case, here is his February achievement entitled Exploit - although it's not fully ready yet. He does promise that it will be available in 'only a few days' though, so we'll let him off this time.

A description from the man himself:

Exploit is a game about totalitarianism, computer security, and terrorism. Players will solve puzzles to progress through the storyline, or create their own puzzles and trade them in comments or on forums. The game features a very cool soundtrack, which you can hear some of in the video, written by Evan Merz.

Sounding good already! Of course, we'll keep you informed about the impending release.

Freeware Game Pick: Opera Omnia (increpare)

February 28, 2009 12:12 AM | Paul Eres

Increpare's games are usually pretty interesting, but Opera Omnia really impressed me. In this game you play a state historian who is charged by his politician friend to come up with convenient theories about migration in the past (of their people and "the others").

The gameplay may be a bit hard to "get" at first. Basically, you have to think backwards: if people were in this city during a plague, and if plagues reduce population, that means that they had to have had a lot of people in order to survive that plague: thus, plagues actually increase population if you work backwards in time.

The challenge of each level is that you're given something to prove -- such as prove that 300,000 people lived in this city a long time ago -- and you adjust migration patterns that will show how 300,000 people could have lived in that city a long time ago.

Again, it's hard to "get", and a lot of the people I've recommended the game to had a hard time wrapping their mind around the concept, but if you do manage to do it you'll find it a clever gameplay mechanic and some interesting challenges unlike most other games. There's also a pretty well-written story over the span of its 20 levels.

- Windows Download (6.4MB)
- OSX 10.5+ Download (6.4MB)

Freeware Game Pick: Signifier (increpare)

February 27, 2009 10:45 AM | Michael Rose


Here's your dose of crazy for the day ahead. Signifier depicts the life of a guy growing up from a baby to an adult, walking through all the stages of his life, from first baby steps to getting his first job. Using a combination of the keyboard and (ironically) Black and White style mouse movements, it's all about growing up to be a polite individual.

Earlier levels see you learning the names of objects, with everything on the screen being represented as words rather than pictures. It all gets extremely odd after a few minutes and I couldn't help smiling at some of the dialogue. Give it a try and see what I mean.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of February 27

February 27, 2009 7:04 AM | Simon Carless

In this round-up, we highlight some of the notable jobs posted in big sister site Gamasutra's industry-leading game jobs section this week, including positions from Capcom, NetDevil, Realtime Worlds, PlayFirst, 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:

Freeware Game Pick: Ping Pong (cactus)

February 27, 2009 3:02 AM | Tim W.

Ping Pong is cactus' take on the popular table tennis game, although some rules were changed for a more arcade feel rather than an accurate simulation of the sporting pastime. Each player serves the ball twice before possession goes over to their opponent, and the first player to reach eleven points wins the set. It's a bit disorientating at first to see the ball pass through the net instead of bouncing off it, but after a few games this oddity will hardly be noticed as you struggle to keep up with the pace of the action.

A training module is included to assist new players with learning the controls, while the hotseat multiplayer feature allows two people to take on each other in a friendly match. Note also the super smash is only available to use in the original mode.

Name: Ping Pong
Developer: cactus
Category: Sports
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB

Ping Pong (Cactus Squid)
Ping Pong gameplay video

Competition: Imagine The Games Of 2020

February 27, 2009 2:14 AM | Simon Carless

[For anyone who hasn't got a Game Developers Conference ticket yet, this Green Label Games-supported competition is a definite chance to win an All-Access pass, which includes entry to the Indie Games Summit and IGF, just by inventing a game concept that represents (futuramavoice) the wooorld of tomorrrrrow (/futuramavoice).]

Gamasutra and its sister sites are presenting a new competition for future-oriented developers, with 20 All-Access GDC Passes (collectively worth over $40,000!) available for lucky winners who can envisage what video games might be like in the year 2020.

The prizes in this special competition are awarded thanks to Green Label Gaming. The Mountain Dew-backed gaming label is heavily supporting innovative gaming at GDC this year, and is committed to empowering the emerging talent – helping to shape the future of the industry.

In addition to the GDC All-Access passes, Green Label Gaming is adding $10,000 to the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the Independent Games Festival, to make the IGF's top prize $30,000 this year.

We know the kind of break-out games that are popular in 2009 - from World Of Goo to LittleBigPlanet and beyond. But how about in 2020? Can you predict what kind of games will be smash hits, how they will be delivered, and how we will consume games as an entertainment medium?

As you may know, there are people called futurists who get awarded to talk about what hasn't happened yet. So that's what we're letting competition entrants be for this test, with the winners being showcased in a special Gamasutra feature.

Browser Game Pick: Portal Defenders (BoMToons and Luis)

February 27, 2009 12:52 AM | Michael Rose


If you liked a bit of Castle Crashers, you're going to love this. Portal Defenders sees players taking control of the Newgrounds creator Tom Fulp (and a cast of other Newgrounds regulars after you've unlocked them) as wave upon wave of enemies are sent in your direction. Your mission? Button-bash them all to death.

If you know your indie developers you'll recognise a good few names here, including a certain Armor Games developer and a guy in need of Closure. There's plenty to do here, with lots of bosses and mini-games to fill out the time, plus achievements of course.

There's a whole page dedicated to explaining Portal Defenders here, but if you'd rather just jump straight in, give this link a click.

Browser Game Pick: Hey Wizard (Spelgrim)

February 26, 2009 6:57 PM | Michael Rose


Hey Wizard is a magic-orientated platformer with a unique look and interesting gameplay. Our little wizard friend has had his powers stolen, so obviously this means he must jump into a book and destroy everything in sight to get them back.

The game plays really well and everything seems to mould together rather nicely. Stringing attacks into a combo to both take the enemy out and boost yourself around the level is a charming experience and flows intriguingly.

Give it a spell over on Spelgrim.

Raycatcher: Let Your mp3s Catch a Few Rays

February 26, 2009 11:16 AM | Michael Rose

Now this looks interesting - Raycatcher from Thinking Studios takes your mp3s, turns them into rays and fires them at a ball - you must then in turn spin the ball to allow the correct colour rays to hit the ball in the correct spots.

If Audiosurf proved anything last year, it's that gamers love to incorporate their music into a slick-looking arcade game and it seems Raycatcher hopes to capitalize on that. A demo is available for now, with a full version coming very soon.

Zeno Clash Hailed ModDB 'Best Upcoming Indie 2008'

February 26, 2009 1:11 AM | Michael Rose


Zeno Clash, ACE Team's upcoming Source-powered action/fighting game has beaten off the competition to be crowned ModDB's Best Upcoming Indie game for 2008.

Up against the likes of Overgrowth and Infinity, the award should help boost Zeno Clash into the limelight and give it the attention it deserves.

Check out the full list of winners and runner-ups at ModDB.

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