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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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Archive For April, 2011

Freeware Game Pick: Money (Nametake)

April 30, 2011 7:00 AM | Tim W.



By the Power of Money is a 2D platformer that encourages players to rebuild a stage as they play, buying and laying blocks with unique properties while trying to keep their spending budget under control. You start a level with 5000 credits in hand, and a certain amount is subtracted from that total whenever you decide to place a block in an empty area. Players are not allowed to replace existing tiles with one from their inventory, and you are always expected to beat a stage using just the five types of blocks available for that level.

The brown blocks are standard tiles that can be used to create platforms or bridges, and there are slightly cheaper versions of them in two other colours. Only one green block can be placed on the screen at any time, and the white blocks with numbers on them indicates how long they will stay around before vanishing into thin air. Purple blocks will start to move in the direction of their arrows when used, and the orange ones change direction whenever they bump into something.

Players who do well can earn up to five stars per stage, although getting a perfect completion doesn't really reward you with anything else other than the satisfaction of a personal achievement.

You can download Money by clicking here.

Freeware Game Pick: Oshiyoseru (Nametake)

April 30, 2011 5:00 AM | Tim W.



Oshiyoseru is a single-screen arena shooter with slight RPG elements, where the money gained from defeated enemies can be used to upgrade your ship's maneuverability, speed and weapon configuration. Collecting gold (the yellow squares) increases your ship's level gauge, and once that bar is full you will earn a couple of upgrade points to use on improvements to your ship.

I can't read Japanese, but through trial and error I do know that the first two upgrades deal with bullet speed and spread. Players can choose to upgrade their ship evenly in all departments, or spend all of their points on a single feature (which will end up costing more).

If the idea of upgrades in an arena shooter tickles your fancy, then you should grab Oshiyoseru from here.

Browser Game Pick: Zeitheist (Nguma)

April 29, 2011 11:54 PM | Cassandra Khaw

zeitheist.png

There is something almost unnervingly voyeuristic about Zeitheist, a Twitter-based game that asks you to predict the most recent trends within the system. Though the developers have been careful to omit the account names, it is still a panoply of personal lives being displayed to a random stranger. From time to time, arguments and accusations slip into the stream, an aching reminder that life could definitely be better for some.

At first glance, the concept behind Zeitheist seems easy enough. The system randomly generates a certain number for you to fulfill. You are then told to input five random words in an attempt to see whether they will, cumulatively speaking, reach the target that had been assigned to you. It's definitely easier said than done. I immediately resorted to the most obvious words and ended up watching as I overshot my goal by about hundred.

Zeitheist is, for the most part, free to play - you're restricted to 10 free games in an hour. For the most part, I'm still somewhat divided about my opinion of this. However, it's definitely worth at least a round or two simply for the experience Go here to play.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of April 29

April 29, 2011 11:30 PM | Tom Curtis

gamalogo.jpgIn 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 CCP, BioWare, Tencent, 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:

- CCP - North America: Senior Animation Programmer:
"CCP is looking for a senior animation programmer to lead our development of a state of the art animation system and pipeline for an upcoming MMOG. We are looking for a leader with a blend of strong programming and animation skills needed to help guide this team."

- BioWare: Senior Web Producer:
"BioWare Austin is searching for a senior web producer to lead the vision, strategy and total user experience for our website. The senior web producer position is based in Austin, Texas and will manage the creation and maintenance of Internet applications and the development of highly interactive and customized web experiences while creating programming that will be compelling and interactive in enticing people to explore our game and strengthen our customer relationships."

- Tencent Boston: Systems Designer:
" Tencent Boston is a premier game development studio led by industry veterans that are driving the creation of world class online games for a global audience. We are a division of Tencent Inc., one of the largest Internet companies in China. If you're an inspired, driven individual who is ready to take game development to the next level then Tencent Boston is your new home."


AGS Engine Source Code Released

April 29, 2011 7:23 PM | Cassandra Khaw

ags.png

Though unlikely to be of interest to the general public, developers may be pleased to know that the Adventure Game Studio Engine Source Code has been released

That's right, folks. Those familiar with C++ can now delve into the heart of the well-known engine to investigate its inner workings and do whatever else they might wish with the data. The curious have also been advised to use Visual C++ Express 2008, a free download from Microsoft, as opposed to the 2010 version. Having been a PHP sort of girl all my life, I'm not really certain as to what else can be said about this.

However, those interested in getting their hands on this can head down to the forums here and check out the full details.

Indie Game Pick: Ball on a Wall (SmallGreenHill)

April 29, 2011 6:00 PM | Tim W.



Ball on a Wall is a Unity-based arcade game in which the player has to guide a ball towards randomly-appearing pickups, using only a limited number of blocks that can be pulled out of the wall to prevent said ball from falling off the screen. You can only place a maximum of fourteen cubes at any time, and if the limit has been reached then you'll have to slide a few blocks back into the wall before you can pull out any more of them. The ball turns around automatically when it hits a protruding block, and clicking on it also causes it to jump upwards and forwards.

The game is available to play in your browser for free. A full version can be purchased for Windows and Mac, and the iPad version will be released as well in the coming weeks.

Indie Game Links: Remake of a Remake

April 29, 2011 5:00 PM | 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)

GameSetWatch: Herbert's Day Out
"Pixelartist Caleb Hystad has released a fun looking iPhone story game called Herbert's Day Out. The interactive short story follows Herbert the pig as he escapes his farm to quest for delicious tuffles, all the while keeping one step ahead of the farmer's dog."

GameSetWatch: Avadon Releases For Windows On Monday
"Seattle-based indie developer Spiderweb Software has announced that Avadon: The Black Fortress, its 40-hour fantasy RPG that debuted for Mac systems last month, will release for Windows PCs on Monday."

Gamasutra: Kickstarter Reports Over $1M In Pledges Towards Games
"Project funding site Kickstarter has revealed, exactly two years after first launching, that over $1million has been pledged towards game projects on the site."

NIS America, Inc.: Cave Story 3D release date and package art revealed
"We are happy to announce that the release date for Cave Story 3D is set for August 9th, 2011. The PAL release will follow shortly after in September, 2011."

Browser Game Pick: Brain Breaker (Summerhouse)

April 29, 2011 12:30 PM | Tim W.

Brain Breaker is perhaps one of the oddest Tetris variation I've played in years. In it, the player basically has to remove red blocks to cause damage to the man in the inset window. His health gradually decreases as you hurt him, and you will win the round if you can reduce his HP count to zero.

Occasionally a needle will appear from the top of the screen, and once it has been placed all of the white blocks the needle is pointing at will turn red. Any empty holes will be filled with red boxes as well, but only for a single column or row per needle.

There are three rounds to play through in this game. You can find Brain Breaker at Mogera.jp.

Browser Game Pick: Warlock Card (Yoko)

April 29, 2011 10:00 AM | Tim W.



Warlock Card is an unorthodox defense game that mixes RPG and card-based strategy elements together, featuring thirty short waves to play through as you attempt to defend your kingdom from an invasion of orcs and trolls. You assume the role of a powerful wizard who has the capacity to remember just four spells in his mind, standing firm against whatever adversities that the enemy force decides to send your way.

The player is rewarded with a new spell for every wave of enemies defeated, although you'd have to choose them from a random set of three spell cards with varying properties. The green overlay marks the range of the spell, and the alphabets (S and M) indicate whether only one or multiple targets will be damaged when the spell is cast.

The numbers at the bottom right corner of every scroll show the damage and cooldown period for a spell. Though most spells can be cast without any cost, some will require one or more magic points when conjured by the wizard.

If your card slots are full, then the oldest card will always be replaced with the newest one. Spells are divided into three categories: fire, lightning and ice. The more often you use a spell, the more powerful it becomes.

Warlock Card can be found here.

iPhone Game Pick: Puzzle Planets (Runaway)

April 29, 2011 1:00 AM | Tim W.



Puzzle Planets is an iOS arcade game made by Runaway in collaboration with the National Geographic Channel. You play as a god-like character who must help terraform planets and aid the evolution of new species of life, going through three separate rounds of gameplay until a planet is completely formed and self-sustainable.

Your first task at the start of each level is to place tectonic plates of different shapes and sizes over the surface of a planet, covering it completely before proceeding to the next phase. The next objective involves creating volcanoes, mountains and earthquakes to shape the planet using three sets of touchscreen controls: pinching, double-tap and stretching. You then have to move a cloud over the ocean to gather water, then distribute rain over each land tile so that life can miraculously sprout out of the ground.

The gameplay varies very little between levels, and much of the challenge is focused on using rain to prevent volcanoes from erupting and covering the planet with life before time runs out (which is displayed by a clock on the upper-right hand side of the screen). There are fifteen levels to play through, with each planet taking just a couple of minutes to beat at most.

Many reviewers on the App Store have reported crashes, and though it's priced at only a dollar we'd suggest waiting for a lite version to find out if Puzzle Planets is a game you'd enjoy or not.

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