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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 June, 2011

Cow Trouble is Free for Today Only

June 28, 2011 7:00 AM | Tim W.

Cosmind and Blue's debut physics-based puzzle game for the iOS was very well-received when it was released earlier this year, and for today only Cow Trouble is available to download from the App Store at the cost of nothing (originally priced at $1.99). The cows are trying to jump to the moon and leave us humans with no milk to drink, so it's up to you to knock them off the clouds and bring them back down to earth with the help of a pair of beach balls. Later levels introduce more and more cows into each area, but you'll have gained a set of new balls with different sizes and properties to use as well.

If you didn't get a chance to win the free codes we gave away back in March, then here's another opportunity to download it completely gratis. Cow Trouble can be found in the App Store by clicking here.

Browser Game Pick: Snailiad (Auriplane)

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

Don't be fooled by the simplistic nature of the graphics: Snailiad is a Metroid-like platformer that features an extensive map to explore, tons of upgrades and items to collect, plus a host of hidden locations and secret passages to discover. Playing as a snail means that you can stick to walls and ceilings as you move around, and as you get further in the game you'll discover everything from pea shooters to weapons that can be used to break weakened tiles. Should you find yourself lost in the maze of rooms, there's also a handy auto-map system you can bring up to screen with just the press of a button.

A speedrun achievement is awarded to players who can beat the game in under thirty minutes or less, but considering that Snailiad has a number of optional shells to gather, a series of boss fights to defeat, alternate gameplay modes and multiple endings to arrive at, it could be a while before you can really say you've seen everything that it has to offer. Not to worry if you can't beat it in one sitting - checkpoint saving flags have been generously placed in spots where they are needed the most, so if you lose all of your health at any time you won't need to replay a large chunk of an area to arrive at the last attempted room.

You can find Snailiad hosted at Newgrounds (the soundtrack is available to download from here).

Browser Game Pick: Luftrauser (Vlambeer)

June 27, 2011 5:00 PM | Tim W.

Luftrauser (or Airhound 2) is a Time Pilot-inspired game with simplistic controls and scoring rules, where the objective is to destroy as many enemy planes and ships as you can for points - the bigger the enemy craft, the higher the bonus. Your plane can take a couple of direct hits, but repairs are automatically carried out if you stop shooting for a couple of seconds (flying is still permitted).

Your best scores can be submitted online and compared with other players from around the world. Sponsors passed on Luftrauser when it was up for Flash game bidding a while back, and it was probably for a good reason too. I'm a Time Pilot fan, but I do feel that Vlambeer's take on the classic could have offered more in terms of gameplay (instead of just the quick score-based system that they've implemented).

There's still quite a bit to like here, so if Luftrauser sounds like your thing then you can play it at Vlambeer's site.

Indie Game Links: Door, Crate, Chair

June 27, 2011 3:00 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.

Ian Bogost: A Slow Year Limited Edition
"For the last year I've been working on the limited edition of A Slow Year, a signed, numbered set meant to be an art object as much as a game or a book. And it's finally, finally done. There are 25 of these total, and there will never be any more than that. They cost $500 each."

indiePub Games: Rodain Joubert discusses Desktop Dungeons
"Desktop Dungeons was originally created early 2010 as a prototype for the South African development community Game.Dev but, after winning the Excellence in Design award at the 2011 Independent Games Festival and growing fan support, the QCF team soon realized it need a bit more development attention."

GameSetWatch: Bloody Checkers is Everything You Want From a Game
"Bloody Checkers is an adventure game with some resemblance to the King's Field series -- in between games of checkers, players must wander a labyrinthine castle, find treasure, and solve puzzles."

Gamasutra: Fire Hose Games On Slam Bolt Scrappers' Failures, Successes
"Speaking at local dev gathering Boston Post Mortem -- attended by Gamasutra -- Fire Hose Games shared the challenges it faced with releasing Slam Bolt Scrappers, and how the PSN outage hit really hard."

Trailer: BasketBelle (Michael Molinari)

June 25, 2011 11:09 AM | Cassandra Khaw

Created by Michael Molinari, the chap responsible for ".. But That Was [Yesterday]", Basketbelle is an unusual marriage of platforming elements and basketball. You heard me. Basketball. However, your opponents will not be lanky, well-built giants but a myriad of peculiar critters. I'm not really sure what the connection is here. Alien abduction? A visit into her subconscious? Basket-ball loving demons from hell?As it stands, all we know right now is that it has something to do with the rescue of your little sister, Belle.

Sadly, no release date has been announced yet in regards to the upcoming Flash-based experimental game.

Official website can be found here.

Browser Game Pick: Test Subject Arena (Nitrome)

June 24, 2011 7:31 PM | Cassandra Khaw


Casual elbow brutality is, well, brutal. I learned this the hard way while playing Test Subject Arena on an 11-inch notebook. Recently released by Nitrome, Test Subject Arena is a 2-player deathmatch spin-off based on their popular Test Subject franchise. You and a friend can choose to control either Test Subject Green or Test Subject Blue. There's no actual plot here, this time. It's just a lot of cartoon-y violence in a controlled environment, one filled with a suspiciously large amount of switches, portals and everything in between.

Click here to play Test Subject Arena.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of June 24

June 24, 2011 6:00 PM | Eric Caoili

In the latest postings over the last seven days, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles in every major discipline, including opportunities at Sucker Punch, Tecmo Koei, and ZeniMax.

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 Gamasutra's 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:

- Sucker Punch Productions: Art Director:
"In 1997, we started Sucker Punch Productions to make great games, and we've spent the last 14 years doing just that. We produced three award-winning PS2 games starring the wily raccoon thief Sly Cooper, all of which met with critical acclaim, commercial success, and file cabinets full of fan mail. Some of it written in crayon. In May 2009, we released the open-world superhero game Infamous, which set the stage for Cole MacGrath's story and met with excellent reviews and solid footing at the top of the PS3 sales charts. June 7, 2011 marked the launch of Infamous 2 that furthered Cole's superhero action-adventure story. As for our next game... well, that's where you come in!"

- Tecmo Koei Canada: Experienced Game Programmer:
"Tecmo Koei Canada Inc. was established to develop universally appealing games content by mixing the best elements of both Eastern and Western philosophy and culture. We strive to welcome the world into our studio; our staff is composed of some of the most talented people from all over the world, and it is through embracing our differences and similarities that we hope to achieve our vision of developing interactive entertainment that can be appreciated, enjoyed, and loved beyond borders."

Freeware Game Pick: Iro-otoko (Nametake)

June 24, 2011 11:00 AM | Tim W.

Iro-otoko is a short puzzle platformer consisting of ten levels to play through, packaged as a handy .swf file that should run on just about any modern-day internet browser. You're a sword-wielding hero who has to go around collecting coins and gems for points; the weapon you carry is used to smash coloured blocks into pieces, and the type of block that can be destroyed is determined by the currently-selected colour shown at the top of the screen.

There are three shades of colour to cycle through - red, green and blue. Destroying blocks contribute to your score, which then determines the star rating you receive once you've collected the big yellow gem located at the end of each level. Five star ratings are harder to acquire, since they require breaking just about every single coloured-block on screen.

All ten levels can be beaten in just one sitting, but getting a perfect completion rate will require a bit more effort than running straight to the yellow gem. To download Iro-otoko, just click on the big green button on this page.

Browser Game Pick: Narrow (Maxim Schoemaker)

June 24, 2011 3:00 AM | Tim W.

Narrow is a short 2D platformer about a caring dad (seems to be a recurring theme lately) who goes into a dark cave in search of riches that will help pay for his son's medicine fees. Consisting of just one level to play through, you'll discover that subsequent adventures inside the cave become increasingly dangerous even when you're already familiar with the layout and there are a healthy number of checkpoints to utilize.

There's very little to the controls to learn about: arrow keys move you around, and standing on a glowing floor tile automatically saves your progress. The target to reach is marked by eight yellow squares at the bottom of the screen, and though it seems near you would have snaked around the length of the entire maze before arriving at your goal.

You can play Narrow at Maxim Schoemaker's site.

Indie Game Links: Internet Time

June 24, 2011 1:00 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)

DIYgamer: 5 for $5 Bundle
"The 5 for $5 Bundle is a bundle that is true to it's namesake. For $5 you get five DRM free games: Delve Deeper, Spring Up Harmony, Mactabilis, Steel Storm: Burning Retribution and Digitanks. I can personally attest to three of these games being a lot of fun and worth your time."

D-Pad Studio: Owlboy demo time
"We've been chugging along through crunch time on the Owlboy demo for about a month now. We've made some excellent progress, and we're almost ready to make a demo of the game available for public download."

Indie Games Searchlight: E3 2011 Part 1 (video)
"There's more indie love at E3 than you might think. Last week I was fortunate enough to see some of the awesome indie games that were coming out soon or are already released. I've learned this year that E3 is indeed indie as heck."

The Witness: How to program independent games
"On April 1, 2011, I was invited by UC Berkeley's Computer Science Undergraduate Association to give a speech. This was pretty interesting because that's where I went to school. I approached it this way: if I were going back to speak to my undergraduate self, what would I say to help him be most effective at making video games, programming-wise?"

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