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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 March, 2011

Browser Game Pick: From Beyond (The Super Flash Bros)

March 29, 2011 4:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw


Less a game and more a five minute study in gleefully malevolent omnipotence, From Beyond reminds us that that the all-powerful being residing outside our understanding of the universe might not be a very nice entity at all. Consisting of five rounds, From Beyond will have you flinging everything from black holes to extraterrestrial vehicles at an unsuspecting earth. It's short, slightly unnerving, likely to cause more than its fair share of sniggering and apparently was designed over the course of a weekend as part of the Global Game Jam 2011.

Curious as to what life as a comic horror might be like? If so, I invite you to check out the game over at their website here.

Browser Game Pick: GIRP (Ben Foddy)

March 28, 2011 1:33 PM | Michael Rose

From the twisted mind that brought us QWOP comes GIRP, yet another game that is near impossible to play, and yet... why can't I stop? Because I need to get higher, damn it, that's why.

GIRP demands you press your keyboard letters to grab rings and pull your guy up, but you'll also need to hold either Shift or Ctrl to pull yourself up to. Fingers everywhere, which ring to pick, brain hurting, meltdown - this is roughly the order in which your first few games will take. Eventually you'll work out how to climb higher, and all the while it is utterly hilarious.

Do not delay - play this now.

Amanita Design Reveals Next Three Games, Machinarium Coming to PS3

March 28, 2011 11:52 AM | Michael Rose

Point-and-click adventure master Amanita Design has revealed what its currently working on - and it turns out that the guys are rather busy. In an interview with the lovely people at PC Gamer, details regarding three new games are divulged.

Osada is an interactive music video that is looking rather psychedelic, and will be landing in your web browser in the next couple of weeks for free. Next up is Botanicula, a more traditional point-and-clicker featuring five creatures who set out to save their home land from evil. That's due out by the end of the year.

But here's the big one - Samorost 3 is also on the way, and is promised to be bigger and more polished than the previous releases. There are no screenshots or release date as of yet, although it's believed that the game is at least two whole years away from release. Yikes.

The final chunk of Amanita Design news is regarding 2009's robot adventure game Machinarium. The devs have confirmed that the game is currently being ported over to PlayStation 3, after originally being rejected by Microsoft for Xbox 360. Read up on our review to see why you should care.

Jump below the cut for screenshots from Osada and Botanicula.

Java4K 2011 Competition Results Announced

March 28, 2011 5:00 AM | Tim W.

Results for the annual Java4K competition are finally out, with five remakes (one of which is a 4K reconstruction of Adam Saltsman's Canabalt, pictured) making up the top five games in the contest. You can play all of the forty-five submissions now, or read the judges' reviews here to find out what they think of each entry.

All games are still under 4KB (4096 bytes, which is smaller than most of your documents and text files) each, but the one welcome change to the competition format is that entries should now be launched as Applets. That means there's nothing to uninstall once you're done playing an entry, which is a common problem that Webstart applications had always burdened their users with.

Some of my personal favorites outside of the top five are the 4K remakes of Jungle Hunt (placed 10th), Demon Attack (19th), and Tetris Attack (12th). A complete listing of all Java4K 2011 competition entries can be found here.

Trailer: Skinny (Thomas Brush)

March 28, 2011 3:00 AM | Tim W.

Skinny is a game that tells the story of a robot with the same name, tasked with recovering a set of batteries to power the life support system that's keeping a mother's child alive, although according to Thomas Brush (developer of Skinny and Coma) not everything in his world is as they seemed to be and not everyone can be trusted in this game. His mechanical arms can be extended and used as a grappling hook, thrown at obstacles to break them, or even flung at items that are a bit out of our protagonist's reach to grab them.

This 2D platformer was selected as the winner in the Best Audio category at the recent 2011 Independent Propeller Awards, an indie game development competition organized by South by Southwest and Zoo Entertainment. Skinny will be out for the PSP, Android, iOS, PSN and PC sometime later this year.

Indie Game Links: Infected by Addiction

March 28, 2011 2:00 AM | Tim W.

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

PC Gamer: Amanita Design Interview
"Jakub Dvorsky and his team at Amanita Design are having a busy year. They’ve been a little quiet since the release of Machinarium in 2009, but we can finally reveal not just one, not two, but three great looking games currently in development."

Frictional Games: Some Industry Reflections
"One thing I have been thinking about recently, is the direction in which the indie game scene seems to be heading. Quickly summed up, there is a strong design trend of making games by iterating and extending a fun core gameplay mechanic. What troubles me is that this kind of development is seen by most as THE way to design a game."

GameSetWatch: IGF Winner Max & the Magic Marker Ported To iOS
"Press Play wants to make sure everyone gets a chance to play/buy Max & the Magic Marker, its physics-based puzzle-platormer that took home the D2D Vision Award at the Independent Games Festival last year, so it's expanded the game's support platforms to include WiiWare, Windows, Mac, WP7, and now iOS."

Adventure Gamers: Following Freeware, February 2011 releases
"This month you can become an incompetent magician, an independent radio DJ or an emergency repair drone. Alternatively, you might choose to fly high in a balloon, struggle to survive in the depths of the ocean, or simply try to combat a raging hangover. All these await you in February’s round-up of freeware releases."

DIYgamer: Sean Flinn Discusses Indie Open House Developments
"During a GDC 2011 chat, Sean Flinn (Senior Product Manager for GameSpy Technology) spoke very highly of the indie teams selected for the first round of the Indie Open House. This comprehensive interview explains how the Open House came to be, how its shaping to become a regular institution, and what 'special sauce' GameSpy would look for in future candidates."

Desktop Dungeons: Design Analysis, Part 2
"In part one of Desktop Dungeons: Design Analysis, we looked at the core game play, interconnected choices, and tension of Desktop Dungeons. In this part, we continue looking at what lies beneath this award-winning game and how choices are given meaning not only through their complexity, but also through the role they play in structuring an experience."

Quote Unquote: Ben Chandler Interview
"Ben Chandler seems to be an unstoppable force in the Adventure Game Studio community, having racked up a variety of quirky award-winning adventure games. His efforts are well known for their beautiful pixel art and have received positive coverage from numerous sources. His works include Shifter’s Box, Eternally Us, Annie Android and Featherweight."

Preview: Octodad Kinect (DePaul University)

March 28, 2011 1:00 AM | Tim W.

A Kinect version of Octodad had been in development for a while now, and the students from DePaul University were at GDC to showcase an early prototype build for attendees who stopped by their IGF student showcase booth last month. Bytejacker host and IGF awards ceremony presenter Anthony Carboni sent Jackie Talbott to pay the development team a visit and interview them about their future plans for a motion-controlled port of Octodad.

Like any good interviewer, Jackie also decided to try out the prototype of Octodad Kinect for herself. Arms were waved back and forth, swimming motions were mimicked, and we have the camera operator to thank for capturing most of the tomfoolery on tape for our amusement.

Trailer: Solar 2 (Murudai)

March 26, 2011 11:00 PM | Tim W.

Originally submitted to the IGF main competition last year, Solar 2 is an open-universe sandbox game that allows players build their own planetary system using other planets and asteroids which are floating freely in space. Any object that comes close to your planet will automatically start to orbit around it, provided that its mass is smaller than yours and it doesn't already belong to another system. You can absorb orbiting planets to gain mass at the push of a button, although it's recommended that you keep a few planets around to encourage the growth of civilization and advancement of military and defensive mechanisms.

The universe (being as infinite as it is) does have a few other inhabited systems as well, and you'll encounter quite a number of them as you move your system around to explore the far reaches of space. Some of them will turn aggressive when approached, sending attack ships and firing lasers at whatever that threatens their peace or supremacy. It's extremely fun to watch how these intergalactic wars play out, plus enslaving planets and aliens from the losing side is pretty satisfying in its own way too.

Solar 2 will be out for the PC in June 2011, and the Xbox Live Indie Games version will be released a little later after that.

Browser Game Pick: Beneath the Waves (Gregory Weir)

March 26, 2011 9:40 PM | Michael Rose


Beneath the Waves tells the story of the relationship between the Sun and the Sea. The Sun gives the Sea eight great idols as a gift, but after the two grow apart, the Sea decides to convert the idols into evil demon beasts.

Now the Sun has sent a follower to collect the idols together and take them back. Each area requires you dive deep beneath the waves, grab the idols and swim back up to place it on a pedestal. However, the moment you grab an idol, all the surrounding fish will immediately because hostile, and may chase you. The Sea will also show up every now and again to provide backstory.

An interesting experience, and rather different to Gregory's usual releases. Give it a try over at Armor Games.

iPhone Game Pick: Forget-Me-Not (Nyarlu Labs)

March 25, 2011 5:00 PM | Tim W.

Forget-Me-Not is a retro-style arcade game in which you get to control a blocky avatar inside procedurally-generated levels, eating pellets (or flowers, as they are known as here) for points and collecting a gold key to unlock the exit which appears after you've acquired all of the flowers on screen. Monsters will try and shoot or hurt you through contact if you allow them to, and the game will end if you lose all of your lives as indicated by the red counter on the top right corner of your display. Fortunately you can shoot back at them with your own weapon, but try to avoid contact with your own projectiles because they do not differentiate between damaging a friend or a foe.

Similar to Pac-Man, corridor exits that trail off the edge of a screen can be used to travel from one end of a map to another quickly. Health can be restored by collecting green potions, while the red ones double your firepower when acquired. A special bonus is awarded to the player if they manage to collect flowers in an unbroken sequence, but do be quick with clearing every maze because a ghost will chase after you whenever too much time is spent idling in an easy area scavenging for points or extra lives.

Having a key in tow protects you from shots coming from behind, and you can also grind against the wall by trying to turn before reaching the next corner in a maze. Grinding rewards you with a speed boost and limited invincibility against the enemies, although too much grinding will cause our hero to spontaneously combust from excessive storage of grind power.

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