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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, 2011

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of January 28

January 28, 2011 11:12 AM | Tom Curtis

In a busy week for new job postings, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles across the world and in every major discipline, including opportunities at Activision, Arkane Studios, Turbine, Inc., 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 this week include:

- Sony Computer Entertainment America: Senior Game Console Systems Engineer:
"Be a part of the most exciting and innovating computer entertainment in North America. Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets, and distributes software for the PS one console, the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems and the PlayStation Portable (PSP)."

- Monolith Productions: Senior Software Engineer, Network:
"As a senior engineer for networking you will work closely with the lead engineer and the rest of your peers to develop state-of-the-art networking technology for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. Your domain will cover the networking components of the engine and your responsibilities will include both optimizations of current-gen systems and design and implementation of pivotal new technology."

Freeware Game Pick: Nega Kon (Mahdi Bahrami)

January 28, 2011 10:00 AM | Tim W.

Nega Kon is an Experimental Gameplay Project submission with a rather clever idea - somewhere in each level is an object that you need to fix, so that you can collect a star before proceeding to the next stage. This object appears flat at first, but pressing the X key while viewing it from a specific angle will turn the object into a solid shape. Players can then utilize this new entity to grab the prize and finish the currect level.

There are also only a handful of levels to play through, so most of us would make short work of it in just a couple of minutes. The download links for Nega Kon are available here. (Windows, 6.10MB)

Trailer: Anomaly - Warzone Earth (11 Bit Studios)

January 28, 2011 8:00 AM | Tim W.

Anomaly: Warzone Earth is sort of a 'reverse' tower defense game in which you play as the commander of a elite squad, sent on a mission to investigate an alien invasion taking place in Baghdad. Being the leader means having to pick which roads or paths to take in order to reach your objective, when to deploy special abilities like quick repairs and smoke screens for fooling your enemies, and even decide on which vehicle upgrades to purchase and improve your team's chances of surviving combat skirmishes. Like most tower defense games, the enemies will stay rooted in one place and unlikely to give chase, but they will be ferocious in their attacks the moment you wander into their range or line of sight.

11 Bit Studios is currently developing Anomaly: Warzone Earth for the PC, iPad, iPhone and Mac platforms. There's no release date for the game yet, but the team is looking at putting it out sometime in early 2011.

Q&A: Radiangames' Strategy for Monthly Innovations

January 27, 2011 11:30 PM | jeriaska

Multitalented game designer Luke Schneider has been releasing a new title every month on Microsoft's Xbox Live Indie Games channel as part of his Radiangames series.

The independently financed game creator handles all aspects of development, from gameplay implementation and art design to music composition. When it comes to the distinctive look of the games, he says he gets a lot of inspiration from viewing abstract art.

At the Game Developers Conference taking place in San Francisco next month, the game maker will share a panel with Brian Provinciano of Vblank Entertainment, Dajana Dimovska of Copenhagen Game Productions, and Jeff Hull of Nonchalance. Titled "The Next Steps of Indie: Four Perspectives," the Radiangames portion of the session will serve as a brief postmortem, offering full sales numbers and a breakdown of what aspects of prior titles might have been improved upon.

The panel will also cover key points of Radiangames' strategy of monthly releases, centering on strict scope control, reusing code, and finding an overall art style that's distinct but not too time-consuming to create. We caught up with the designer of Radiangames Ballistic, out this week, to hear about the requirements of the studio's prodigious output.

Browser Game Pick: Hack Slash Crawl (Hatched Games)

January 27, 2011 7:53 PM | Michael Rose

Hack Slash Crawl is a roguelike dungeon crawler that doesn't really do anything we haven't seen before... but you know, sometimes you just want to play something new but familiar, right?

Everything is controlled via your mouse, including movement, attacking, spells and messing with your inventory. Dungeons are randomly generated, and on each floor there is a boss enemy that will drop lots of lovely loot. Once you've died, you'll unlock a new title that can then be applied to your next playthrough, making it slightly easier. There are plenty of different classes to choose from and titles to unlock, although you'll probably have gotten bored long before you see them all.

If you're looking to burn 20 minutes, Hack Slash Crawl is a decent way to do it. Play over at Armor Games.

Last Fish is Free for a Limited Time

January 27, 2011 7:00 PM | Tim W.

Last Fish is a challenge-based arcade game that plays a bit like a monochromatic version of thatgamecompany's flOw, where you get to control a fish that has to gather food for survival while avoiding black goo and enemy fishes from hurting you. There are two gameplay modes and forty-five levels to play through, with objectives ranging from collecting a specific number of rings to staying alive for a certain amount of time.

You can't change the accelerator settings in Last Fish, but the tilt controls worked surprisingly well even when you're trying to squeeze through a tight spot between two dangerous balls of black goo. My only issue with the game is that it will start to lag a bit on older iOS devices when there are a lot of objects displayed on screen (e.g. during levels where players are required to collect a sequence of rings quickly).

Last Fish was originally priced at $0.99, but it is now available as a free download from the App Store for a limited time only.

Freeware Game Pick: Tiny Barbarian (Michael Stearns)

January 27, 2011 1:54 PM | Michael Rose

If I were a barbarian, I'd want to be a Tiny Barbarian - they have all the fun. This particular Tiny Barbarian is on a casual stroll through the ice lands when a mysterious, floating woman appears, bringing hordes of zombies, archers and wolves to life.

Our hero doesn't care about any of that, however, as he's feeling rather love-struck. Inspired by the R.E.Howard Conan story "The Frost Giant's Daughter", the barbarian attempts to catch up to her and win her over.

Make sure you try this one out - it's short but very sweet. Download from the StarQuail Games site.

Indie Game Links: Shark Week

January 27, 2011 3:00 AM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

Gamasutra: Road To The IGF - B.U.T.T.O.N.
"Douglas Wilson of the Copenhagen Game Collective wants to make games that make players uncomfortable, and talking IGF Nuovo nominee B.U.T.T.O.N. to Gamasutra, he details the surprising, poignant philosophy behind abusive games."

Nigoro: Cinderella - The Other Side Story
"If you can't make advance from original game, you should not copy it. Cinderella - The Other Side Story is an example of a bad copy (of Nigoro's Rose and Camellia)."

7DRL Challenge 2011: Date is Chosen
"The 7DRL Challenge is an annual event in which all the world is challenged to create a roguelike in a one-week span. Within the week of March 5th to March 13th, you are hereby challenged to write a roguelike in 168 hours."

Infinite Ammo Podcast: Andy Moore
"Andy Moore is the game designer of Steambirds fame. We talked about how online communities work, the benefits of tracking stats in your games, the free-to-play business model and many other topics."

Lively Ivy: Indie Game Sprint
"Chicago's Columbia College created an ambitious new course for their game design students. The students were to create an entire game after just eight days of class, five hours a day. They called it the Indie Game Sprint. And they put me in charge."

DIYgamer: Indie and Freeware Metadump Edition
"It's a lazy afternoon and you want something new to play. Well, here's a handy bundle of useful videos from around the internet, giving you a vast plethora of indie, freeware or otherwise expense-free games to pick up and play right now."

The Adrenaline Vault: Top Casual PC Games of 2010
"While many other game sites focus their attention exclusively on conventional retail offerings, we unearth for your playing pleasure the very best hidden computer treasures that casual gaming has to offer."

Big Download: IGF 2011 Finalists - Audio Excellence
"Audio is perhaps the most underappreciated section of a game. Many gamers turn off their sound effects to talk to their friends, or turn off the music to turn on their own. The games in the IGF's Audio Excellence category, however, fit solidly into the camp of games that you should never ever do that for. These are stellar games that manage to take audio and turn it into an essential part of the experience."

Zero Punctuation on Minecraft

January 26, 2011 6:31 PM | Michael Rose

The wonderfully bad-mouthed Yahtzee Croshaw has turned his Zero Punctuation attention to Minecraft, with quite hilarious results. Of course, there are plenty of naughty jokes and images, so this is a bit NSFW. You can also head over to the Escapist to watch the video there.

Demo: Football Live (Neogen2 Creations)

January 26, 2011 5:24 PM | Michael Rose

It's Football... LIVE! Or Soccer perhaps, depending on your country of preference. Inspired by classic foot-to-ball games such as Sensible Soccer and Kick Off, Football Live throws all those real names and realistic graphics in the bin, opting for simple yet deep gameplay that ultimately translates to fun, or so the developer hopes.

A demo is available to download, while the full version is $9.99. I found it pretty difficult to win a match, although having said that, the AI only managed to score via corners. How do you stop those corners! I do not know. Maybe you can work it out. There's an aftertouch system, career mode, tournaments and a team/player editor (to correct all those funny name alterations).

No multiplayer mode though. What! Seriously? This is what I cried when I realised. Feel free to check it out over on the Football Live site.

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