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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 November, 2011

IndieVisibility Awards Coming to London

November 29, 2011 9:00 AM | John Polson


The first ever IndieVisibility End of Year Awards will be given on December 10 at the Camel & Artichoke in Waterloo, starting at 6PM. Attendance is free, but spaces are limited and require advance registration.

The fine people of Rock, Paper, Shotgun and our own Mike Rose, along with some top developers, have crafted interesting awards such as "Best Minecraft" and "Best Placeholder Art" to be given at the event. If free booze is your idea of winning, then just by attending, you will have won!

There are so many awesome London indies, such as Curve Studios (recent Stealth Bastard fame), Omni Systems (Eufloria), Hello Games (Joe Danger), Hand Circus (Rolando) and, of course, Size Five (BAFTA award winner for Privates). I envision the event to be like a Hollywood affair; while not guaranteed, you are bound to grope run into one of these teams.

For more information and updates to the event, follow @danthat on Twitter. As spaces are limited, email Dan at Size Five Games for a free ticket only if you intend to come to the event.

Army of Trolls, Indie Newcomer Zut Reveal Pushcat

November 29, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

Here's another promising project from a UK indie: Pushcat, a "retro arcade puzzler" and the first title from Zut. Check out the art by Gary J. Lucken, a.k.a. Army of Trolls, who you will know for producing lots of the awesome pixelart we've posted here.

The Bejeweled-meets-Boulder-Dash concept here is you play as the eponymous purple Pushcat, moving blocks and matching gems to collect silver while avoiding angry ghosts, rockslime, and exploding Aztec death heads. There's some great, cheerful music here, too.

Zut was looking for betatesters for Pushcat a couple weeks ago -- if you'd like to try the game out early, hit up Zut's website and drop the studio a line.

[Originally posted on sister site GameSetWatch.]

Browser Game Pick: Nitrome Must Die (Nitrome)

November 28, 2011 9:31 PM | Cassandra Khaw


There are plenty of reasons to like Nitrome Must Die - the abundance of levels, the saccharine-sweet graphics, the enraged adolescent protagonists. Most of all, however, Nitrome Must Die is likable is because, well, it's a game about two emo kids who have decided to rampage through Nitrome's fictional headquarters in an attempt to take revenge for the in-game frustration that the developer has caused.

As far as I can tell, there aren't too many people out there who are willing to point a gun at their own heads. Outside of the novel premise, though, Nitrome Must Die is largely your average Nitrome platformer which isn't a bad thing, per se. There are guns, upgrades, the option to play with a friend and a few other things to poke around with.

Curious? You can check out the game here.

Trailer: The Missing Ink (RedBedlam)

November 28, 2011 5:58 PM | Cassandra Khaw

In spite of what I've said about indie MMOs over the last year or so, the truth is that I secretly want them to succeed. The ideas that they harbor? Spectacular. Most of them, at any rate. The Missing Ink is a work-in-progress captained by a Brighton-based team. Designed to be a multi-platform delight (your Android friends will be able to take on your PC cousins). The Missing Ink is a nice twist on the traditional concept of fantasy and fairy tales. The Emperor's new clothes are quite missing. The damsel in distress is not particularly distressed and the big bad wolf may soon find himself with a case of indigestion.

For the most part, it reminds me a lot of your traditional MMO. There are quests to pursue and dungeons to explore. In addition to that, however, there's also virtual environments and worlds to create and share with your friends. How this is going to pan out is still a mystery but you can certain we'll keep you informed.Scheduled for beta in early 2012, the game will enter open alpha sometime in Mid-December.

Official website here.

(Source: DIYgamer)

The Fourth Wall has Eyez: Having the Same Mechanic Part 1

November 28, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson


IGF 2012 entries The Fourth Wall and Eyez have the same mechanic, which is also visually represented practically the same. Players in both games create a blue aura around the borders of the screen, during which time their character can warp from one side of the screen to the other.

Screen wrapping is by no means innovative. The original Mario Bros did it in the early 80s, and there are games that probably precede this instance. However, as scrolling platformers continue to pour out in droves, screen wrapping hasn't been used all that much recently.

And so, it is no surprise that developers Logan Fieth of The Fourth Wall and Hua Chen of Eyez decided to dip back into the game mechanics pool and put a twist on screen wrapping. Little did they know that they both created a mechanic with the same look and feel. After taking a look at both games beyond the jump, hear Digipen Institute of Technology Junior Logan Fieth talk about The Fourth Wall and how he feels it is different than Eyez.

Indie Game Links: Bundle Du Jour

November 28, 2011 6:00 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).

Mersey Remakes: Release
"Imagine you've got a game and it's ready to go. You want to maximise coverage for that game, so you want to pick the very best date you can to release on. But there is no perfect time. There is no absolute right time to release your game."

Games for Change: 'Passing the Ball' of Online Safety, Part One
"Passing the Ball debuted in early October on the GDC Online website and in part one of our interviews to learn more about this project, we spoke with game designer Gregory Weir. We hear more about his previous work, his design style, and how he came to work on this unique project."

PopGamer: Interview With Logan Cunningham, Narrator Of Bastion
"Bastion's most talked about and unique feature is the constant narrative that sucks you in and tells a story in a new way. Pop-Gamer.com got a chance to sit down and talk turkey with Logan Cunningham who plays Rucks, the voice behind Bastion."

Dinofarm Games: Why Bundles and Steam Sales Aren't Good for Indies
"Don't we all love crazy Steam sales, the Humble Bundles and their newer ilk? Players get games for cheap, and developers get loads of money! A straight up win-win situation, right? Well, it could be right - but only if you are one of the chosen ones that gets picked by the gate-keepers."

Taco Fiction, Six Take Home Top IFComp 2011 Prizes

November 28, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

Organizers for IFComp 2011, the annual competition devoted to short and original interactive fiction games, announced the community-submitted scores from this year's contest, with Ryan Veeder's Taco Fiction ranking the highest out of the nearly 40 entries.

According to GameSetWatch columnist and interactive fiction developer/maven Emily Short, who wrote up reviews for the IFComp 2011 submissions, Taco Fiction is "a comedy about crime and being in the wrong part of town", with a distinctive voice and an enjoyable flow:

"[It's] not a deep work, not a work with important social issues to reflect on, not a work of penetrating characterization; but a very well crafted, light-hearted, and entertaining bit of IF, somewhat reminiscent of Gourmet in the way it builds increasingly ludicrous problems out of its initial premise. "

At second place is Wade Clarke's Six, a text adventure about a children's birthday party in Australia (in which you're one of a pair of twins playing hide and seek, and you have to find your six friends. Short says it's "beautifully implemented, with an over-the-top degree of polish".

Veeder and Clarke won $500 and $100, respectively, for their top scores. You can see how all of the IFComp 2011 games fared, and play them all for free here -- most of them are playable in your browser, but you may need to download an interpreter for a few of them.

[Originally posted on sister site GameSetWatch.]

Browser Game Pick: Bullet Audyssey (Cellar Door Games)

November 27, 2011 12:00 PM | John Polson

bullet audyssey.jpg

Brothers Teddy and Kenny Lee of Cellar Door Games are at it again, with an "indie coop rpg life pool music based rhythm shooter bullet hell with bullet time." That's how Teddy describes Bullet Audyssey. The team recently put the polish on its IGF 2012 entry and has made it available to play on Newgrounds.

Understated, Bullet Audyssey is a boss-rush shmup with an overhead map and RPG elements. Players absorb enemy fire to shoot or to slow time down in a fight. When players unlock the overcharge power, the game rewards using a turn-based strategy. If players absorb the maximum amount of bullets, the damage will multiply (and the shots literally grow larger) the longer one shoots a continuous stream. Players can also anticipate the length of the song and the bullet heavy portions of the stage with the visualizer below the boss's health.

Playing through stages builds the ship's bullet damage, overcharge ability, and hit points. Players can replay stages in which they have lost some of their stock (allies) to get it back for harder stages. Perfect runs in each stage seem to net bonus bullet damage (I've gotten a few so far). My first secret item, which I found on Cepheus 3, unlocked a two player mode! I can't guarantee that they will all be that momentous, but the items themselves add a layer of replayability.

Bullet Audyssey's controls are tight, the gameplay expands interestingly, and the music is high energy. The boss damage sound effects are a little suspect, but I think they were chosen to parody those old school SFX from turn-based RPGs. Overall, Cellar Door Games' new entry is an easy recommendation for me. Bullet Audyssey awaits those wanting a fun, meaningful shmup/RPG hybrid. Those who want to hear what Cellar Door has to say about its game can click to continue reading.

Bastion Q&A: Creating a Narrator's Voice

November 26, 2011 6:15 PM | jeriaska

Actor Logan Cunningham voices Rucks, the narrator of Supergiant Games' Bastion. Creating the character in collaboration with sound director Darren Korb and studio director Amir Rao added new dimensions to a long-standing friendship. The three first met on their neighborhood soccer field and in high school, growing up in San Jose.

The Supergiant sound team is in the running for three VGA awards, with votes currently being accepted on the Spike website. In this interview we hear about the creation of the voice of Rucks from the actor and sound director.

Logan Cunningham at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles

What was it that led you to pursue a career in acting?

Logan Cunningham: When I was in high school I had done some acting with Darren, but I didn't train as an actor while in college. I studied basically everything else. When it came time to graduate Fordham University at Lincoln Center as a journalism and communications student, also studying a lot of English, film and visual arts, I realized that everything I had been studying was leading me back to acting and the theater.

Acting was very difficult, and I liked that. In my life, acting and writing are the two things that I've done that have been the hardest and the most fun. I've been out of college for five years, and have spent a lot of time thinking about being an actor. While I don't go on a ton of auditions, I do whatever comes my way. That was, ironically, how Bastion happened.

Increpare's English Country Tune Available Now

November 26, 2011 1:25 AM | John Polson

Stephen Lavelle (aka Increpare), the creator behind many of IndieGames' browser and freeware game picks such as line bender, untris, and Home, has just released abstract 3D puzzler English Country Tune. The main goal of the first map, Larva, teaches the basics of the first world: flip a square across a 3D board to knock orange spheres (larvae) into incubators. Some stages also have end points to reach. The advanced larva map beings by adding 3D levels that move a bit with the player.

The larvae are special in that they simulate gravity and fall relative to how they are pushed. This becomes quite the challenge when the square must flip around various sides of the 3D stage to hit the larvae in the right direction. Players control the square with the directional arrows and can pan around the environment holding shift and using the arrows.

In my short time with English Country Tune on the PC and now on the iPad, I am already addicted to the spatial puzzles (of which I am no master). The full game seems to offer many different puzzles, as the world unlocked after Larva introduces pushing a whale character off the screen. Moving the whale is a great challenge; one almost herds it indirectly by moving along its different axes.

The game is available now for iPhone 3GS or above and iPad on iTunes for $4.99. Windows and Mac owners can purchase English Country Tunes for $9.99 using PayPal, Amazon, or Google payments. Those with trepidation can try a Windows or Mac demo first.

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