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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 October, 2011

Reminder: 2012 IGF Student Competition Submissions Close Today

October 31, 2011 6:34 PM | Full Administrator

IGF2012.jpgOrganizers are reminding that there are less than 24 hours until the Student Competition deadline for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, being held at the Game Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco next March 5-9.

The Independent Games Festival is the longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit, and showcase, and the deadline for the IGF 2012 Student Competition is Monday, October 31st at 11:59pm PT.

The IGF has already revealed record numbers of entrants for the Main Competition, with nearly 570 games competing, a more than forty five percent jump over 2011's total entries.

Student Competition finalists will be announced in January 2012, and will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor from March 7-9, 2012.

Notable former student game finalists include Narbacular Drop, the precursor to the acclaimed Portal, as well as Cloud from the embryonic Thatgamecompany team, recent cult hit Octodad, and more.

Newly submitted student titles will compete for $7,000 in prizes, which includes prizes for eight Student Showcase Winners and one prize for Best Student Game. 2012 Independent Games Festival prizes for both Main and Student Competitions total more than $50,000.

As noted above, submissions to the Student Competition are still open to all student game developers, with many entrants waiting until the last minute to polish versions of their game for more than 150 IGF judges. A full list of student entrants will be released on the IGF website in the days following the submission deadline, as also happened with the Main Competition.

Voxatron Debuts as Humble Bundle!

October 31, 2011 6:06 PM | Cassandra Khaw

It looks like there's a bit of friendly competition going on in the world of indie bundles.

First, it was Indie Royale making an appearance shortly after the last Humble Bundle and now, the Humble Bundle has made a comeback. With Voxatron. In a surprising move, Voxatron is actually debuting on the Humble Bundle. You can't get it anywhere else. Not yet, anyway. For two weeks, you're going to be forced to purchase it for any amount you want on the Humble Bundle page.

I tip my hats to you, sirs! Well-played, indeed.

But really, before you do anything else today, head down and pick up the Voxatron bundle already.

Official website is here.

Kickstarter Projects: Cognition - An Erica Reed Thriller

October 31, 2011 3:55 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Almost ten years ago, a number of stalwart adventure game fans came together with but one purpose in mind: to 'recapture and recreate the magic' of games from yesterday. They've kept their word. Since they first established themselves, Phoenix Online Studios have released three chapters of their non-commercial fangame The Silver Lining. Dedicated to the notorious King's Quest, the first three installments do a rather brilliant job at capturing the feel of the old Sierra classic.

Because of their track record, I'm more than ready to put my money on the possibility that they're going to deliver on their latest brain child. Entitled Cognition, the upcoming adventure game will star FBI agent Erica Reed, a woman with a tragic past, unusual powers and a sticky situation.

What makes this really exciting is the fact that it won't just be Phoenix Online Studios working on this. They're going to be developing this in tandem with Khaeon Gamestudio, Romano Molenaar and Jane Jensen. Talk about a dream team, eh?

Seriously, though. If you love adventure games and have a few dollars to spare, I highly recommend contributing to the cause. Given their collective track records, I doubt this could possibly go awry.

Official Kickstarter site can be found here.

Free Binding of Isaac Halloween Update

October 31, 2011 9:00 AM | Michael Rose

Anyone who has played The Binding Of Isaac knows that there's a serious amount of content packed in there. Developer Edmund McMillen still isn't satisfied, of course, and is today releasing a big update for the game that will add even more content. He craaazy.

So what do you get for free in this Halloween update? How about a whole new chapter (if you manage to kill mom 10 times (oh God I can't even kill her once)), 3+ new bosses to find, 4 new enemies, 20+ new items, a new unlockable character, a new ending, 6+ new achievements, 2 new music tracks, 4 new tarot cards and an updated collection viewer. Like I said, Edmund is crazy, and this content will no doubt tide many a person over for another good several hours.

The update is coming sometime later today, and is free to anyone who has bought the game or who buys the game in the future. You can still bag the game from Steam for $5.

Freeware Game Pick: 8-Bit Halloween (Lionsoft)

October 31, 2011 6:00 AM | Tim W.

8-Bit Halloween is a short but sweet platformer that's in the style of the Castlevania series, created by Darkleo just in time for the All Hallows' Eve celebration. You play as Jackie-Gun, a buffed-up grunt who happens to be stuck in a cemetery with the exit door mysteriously locked at the start of the game. A friendly apparition appears out of nowhere and offers to help our hero escape, but before it can do so Jackie must find and rescue five of his other ghostly friends (who somehow can't pass through the bars of the cages holding them in).

The game doesn't feature any sort of checkpoint system, so you'll have to play through the entire adventure in one go. Freeing ghosts also reward you with just one point of health, but you will lose it just as quickly if you don't watch your step when walking on a dead man's grave. One minor gripe here is that the developer had decided to use copyrighted music, and there's really no way to turn it off other than reducing the volume on your speakers and muting the sound effects at the same time.

8-Bit Halloween is available to download from YoYo Games.

Indie Game Links: Retro is Not the Answer

October 31, 2011 3:00 AM | Tim W.

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

Dinofarm Games: Retro is Not the Answer
"What bothers me is that there are a lot of developers, particularly in the indie scene, who seem to think that the answer is to just copy an old game design. While older games definitely did a lot right, they also did a lot wrong."

Pixeltao: Wizorb Coming to PC November 7th
"The PC version of Wizorb is ready and will be coming out on November 7th via GamersGate. It supports gamepad, keyboard and mouse controls. A Mac and a Linux port are also in the works."

Eurogamer: Botanicula out around February 2012
"Enchanting point and click game Botanicula will launch around February 2012, Czech Republic independent developer Amanita Design has said. Jakub Dvorský also intends to launch Samorost 3 for PC, Mac, tablets and consoles."

AGS Forums: AGSteam, Steam integration simplified
"The AGSteam plugin serves as an intermediary step between the Steam API and the AGS runtime. In short, what that means for you is that if you're working on integrating an AGS game into Steam, you can now place Steam-related function calls directly in your AGS code."

New iPad App Allows For Coding, Prototyping Directly On The Tablet

October 31, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

For all the praise for iOS among many game developers, one criticism has centered on the inability to write and execute code on the device itself, as can be done on a PC. A new app called Codify (iTunes link) seeks to change that to some extent, letting iPad users code and prototype in a Lua-based environment directly on the iPad.

As shown in the introductory video, apps created in Codify can make use of built-in iOS functions like the touch screen and tilt sensor, as well as built-in sprite graphics and various sound effects. Codify's touch-centric interface offers context-specific shortcuts such as an in-line color selector, image selection menus and auto-completion for commonly typed functions. A built-in documentation viewer and navigation controls also help programmers get around complex code.

While there's currently no way to export a project made in Codify, Australian developer Two Lives Left promises such a feature is being planned for a pending update, as well as support for importing external graphics and more. As it stands, the $7.99 app seems to provide a nice environment for quick prototyping and testing of basic iPad game ideas when you're away from a workstation with an iOS SDK.

[Originally posted on sister site Gamasutra.]

Trailer: Borderline/Protocol (zamp)

October 30, 2011 4:51 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Hello, lesions and gentlemurderers! How's your Halloween plans coming along? On the off-chance you've decided to stay home tonight, here's something creepy to keep you company.

Borderline (or Protocol, depending on which video you check out - it doesn't look as though the developer has finalized a name just yet) is an upcoming topdown horror adventure game by zamp. Set within the 80s, it has all many of the familiar hallmarks of the genre and then some.

What I really like about this one is the way your character's field of vision is handled. I can forsee long, uncomfortable hours spent staring nervously around corners. Definitely curious as to how this one will pan out.

For a more in-depth look at the game, you can take a peek at the creator's devlog here.

Indie Royale's First Bundle Hits 30,000 Sales, Debuts New Bonuses

October 30, 2011 3:26 AM | Simon Carless

IndieGames.com and Desura, the two entities behind the just-debuted Indie Royale game bundle series, are announcing a series of milestones around the first-ever bundle, as follows:

- The bundle of four worthy independent PC games - Extend Interactive's A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda, Wadjet Eye Games' Gemini Rue, Coffee Stain Studios' Sanctum and Noumenon Games' Nimbus - has now surpassed 30,000 total sales in over 3 days -- with just under 2 days to go.

- Minecraft creator Notch has heeded the call of his fans and donated to 'Gold Star' level during the first couple of days of the bundle, topping the 'most paid' high score table, and kindly dropping the price $1 for everyone else along the way.

- The generosity of Gemini Rue publisher Wadjet Eye Games allowed keys for the just-launched Steam version of the futuristic adventure game - including Steam-exclusive achievements - to be added part way through the bundle. All four titles in the Launch Bundle now have redeemable Steam keys - as well as direct downloads and Desura keys where applicable.

- Thanks to Sanctum creator Coffee Stain Studios, organizers have made the Violator and Killing Floor DLC packs available for the addictive first-person tower defense title, after sales milestones were met. Individual Steam codes for these are now available on the Indie Royale bundle redeem page.

- Organizers are also planning to debut two further 'thank you' pieces of add-on bundled content, to be rolled out to all Indie Royale buyers before the end of the Launch Bundle. Watch the site's Twitter feed for more information on these extras as they appear.

The Indie Royale bundle series runs on a unique model where price will automatically increase as more people buy the bundle. Generous purchasers, however, can help lower the price for everyone else by choosing to pay more than the current minimum, earning a mention on the front page of the site in the process.

The Launch Bundle for Indie Royale now has just over one and a half days before it stops for ever, with plenty of price fluctuations and extras likely before it ends. Check it out now.

Trailer: Thomas Was Alone (Mike Bithell)

October 30, 2011 1:42 AM | Cassandra Khaw

Fellow editor Mike Rose wrote about Thomas Was Alone, a game Mike Bithell created in 24 hours, almost a year ago. Recently, we were informed that the Flash prototype has been made into a full-fledged game. Poised for release next April, this minimalist game about blocks, friendship and platforms will be a downloadable title for Windows and Mac.

Sadly, those curious about the title will have to wait for the completed version as the original was removed from Kongregate. Official website can be found here.
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