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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 January, 2012

Freeware Game Pick: Timeslip (Smudged Cat Games)

January 31, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

Smudged Cat Games knows temporal puzzle platformers! The Adventures of Shuggy was one of the cutest, funnest XBLA platformers I've ever played. Smudged Cat provides a great, free challenge here with Timeslip, which feels like a Shuggy prequel in terms of mechanics.

Timeslip is a time travelling 2D platform game where you are caught in a continual time loop, forever travelling back in time to encounter past echoes of yourself. While using past echoes is the key to opening doors and progressing through the levels, they must also be avoided to prevent causing a paradox.

Also worth avoiding are the pesky gnomes! In their defense, though, they seem to just doing their job of guarding the play area. One neat thing about the gnomes is that they, too, are caught in the temporal loop. Don't count on them staying dead. Fortunately, your past snail self should take care of them.

Not only does the player snail have to reach the exit, but it also has to grab a certain set of coins. A tiny complaint: the mid-air coins are a little too spastic for my tastes. That aside, Timeslip is hard (it quickly becomes harder than Shuggy) and fun.

Bonus history lesson: Timeslip was originally a Playstation One game developed with a Net Yaroze dev kit and released on an "Official Playstation Magazine UK" cover disk. Smudged Cat touts Timeslip as being the very first game to feature "self co-op" back in 1999. It was re-released for the XBLIG channel featuring updated HD graphics and a fresh sound track with the ability to switch back to the original version for that retro feeling.

Grab Timeslip for Windows for free. If you enjoy it even slightly or if you want something even more polished, be sure try out The Adventures of Shuggy on XBLA.

Pay What You Want For QUIMDUNG's Four Winds Fantasy DX Championship Edition

January 30, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan


An upgraded PC version of QUIMDUNG's weird and wonderful action-RPG Four Winds Fantasy DX has been released as a pay-what-you-want download.

A free Flash version is also available, and the iOS edition is being given away free of charge for a limited time.

Whatever price you choose to pay for it, Four Winds Fantasy is absolutely worth playing. The Xbox Live Indie Games version released last year was surprising and entertaining throughout, and the PC edition features a number of significant additions, including new areas, extra characters, and leaderboards at fwfdx.com.

GDC 2012 to host special Indie Game: The Movie screening, panel

January 30, 2012 9:28 PM | John Polson

igtm.jpgToday, organizers of the 2012 Game Developers Conference announced that the award-winning Indie Game: The Movie will receive its own special screening at this year's San Francisco show.

In fact, not only will attendees get to check out the film -- which took home a Best Editing award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival -- they will also get the chance to sit in on a special panel with the film's featured subjects and creators following the screening.

When the event begins, attendees will be able to watch the full film, which details the chronicles of indie developers and IGF nominees/winners Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes (Super Meat Boy), Phil Fish (Fez), and Jonathan Blow (Braid), exploring their dramatic journeys as they created and released their games to the world.

The subsequent panel, moderated by former IGF host, Revision 3's Anthony Carboni, will feature all four of the film's featured developers, as well as directors Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky, all of whom will offer new insight and personal stories from throughout the film's creation.

The event will take place Monday, March 5th at 6PM PT, and is free to all GDC pass holders on a first come, first served basis.

To register for a pass, please check out the show's official website -- early registration ends Thursday, February 2, and attendees can order soon to save up to 35 percent on full price passes.

For even more information on Game Developers Conference 2012, be sure to keep an eye on the official GDC news blog, which continues to showcase the show's newest announcements and additions.

To make sure you don't miss any of these announcements, please subscribe to updates from the GDC news page via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC 2012 will take place March 5 through March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and is owned and operated by Gamasutra parent company UBM TechWeb.

[This post originally appeared on Gamasutra.]

Be A Cat, Talk To Cats In Terry Cavanagh's ChatChat

January 30, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Terry Cavanagh (VVVVVV) has released ChatChat, a free multiplayer Flash game and chat client in which the player's only instruction is to "be a cat."

It's ridiculously cute and charming. Controls and actions are explained within the game world, and the scoring mechanics should become obvious after a few minutes of play. Sure, it's not the deepest game in the world, but it's certainly the most realistic cat simulator I've ever played.

Mobile Game Pick: Off The Leash

January 30, 2012 7:00 PM | Lewie Procter

Set in a dystopian future where Dogs have been "banned", Off The Leash is a game where you steer a pack of runaway dogs by tilting your iOS device left and right, dodging obstacles and grabbing collectables on your way. Reminiscent of Nathan Fouts' Shoot1up, you can recruit more dogs for your pack by guiding your dogs toward them. The more dogs in your pack, the easier it is to grab coins and such, but the more likely you are to steer one of your dogs straight into a bush.

It's due out on Thursday for small iThings, and it's going to be free. There's various different in app purchase based upgrades and cosmetic customisations you can buy for real money if you like, although it doesn't feel to me like spending money is required to enjoy the game at all, and it looks like you could unlock everything without spending a penny, if you're so inclined.

The graphics are kinda rad, and the character designs have got oodles of charm. It's not going to change the world, but it's definitely better than staring into empty space when you're waiting for a bus.

Aaron Steed's Red Rogue Receives Substantial Amount of Updates

January 30, 2012 6:37 PM | Cassandra Khaw


A few months ago, we took a look at the beautifully minimalistic Red Rogue, a browser-based platformer roguelike that enjoyed a fairly positive reception on the site. Since then, a fair number of updates have been heaped onto this slick little offering. According to the update that we received from the developer, Red Rogue now features the somewhat aptly named Dogmatic Mode. Dogmatic Mode's basically Red Rogue's nod towards traditional roguelikes - things will only pass when you're moving or holding down a button.

Asides from that, Red Rogue also now boasts of 'sweeping UI changes', an Overworld and an Underworld, new zones, new backgrounds, new musics, new traps, new spells and semi-persistent levels. That's the short version. For the full list of changes, you're going to want to head down to the devlog here.

As for everyone else, just play the latest build already.

Gameplay Trailer #3: Ittle Dew (Ludosity Interactive)

January 30, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

Approaching a year since editor Mike Rose spotted the first trailer, Ludosity Interactive teases us more with its episodic PC action-adventure, Ittle Dew. As shared on the team's IGF page, each episode will be an island with a big dungeon and a minor story arch. The team will implement a hub-like world where players buy new episodes as DLC. There is a "heavy focus on replayability with multiple paths and incentive for many playthroughs."

In this trailer, Ludosity shows more use of the stick, ice wand, and the ?!? weapon (as it was named in the first trailer). The devs show a rather gorgeous item shop, too. The end of the trailer introduces the fire sword without any demonstration. The lighting looks more dramatic now and many new characters seem just as fluidly animated and charming as the protagonist.

I like the design of fuzzy Tippsie, who seems to be living up to its name with a cute, half-alert expression. However, its dialogue still reads sharply. I'll hold off on gushing more until I get the game in my hands, which shouldn't be much longer despite the game missing its Christmas 2011 release.

[ Ludosity ]

Interview: Rob Hale Announces His New Co-Op Online Turn Based RPG

January 30, 2012 1:00 PM | Lewie Procter

Rob Hale, the one man powerhouse behind the beautiful and intoxicating Waves, has started work on his next project, and it's a bit of a change of pace from a frantic twin stick shooter.

It's currently codenamed "Blue Fire Dawn". Rather than arcade action, his new game is a turn based affair. Up to four players will be able to cooperatively take on randomly generated dungeons.

It's only at early stages, but I caught up with Rob for a chat to see what to expect from it.

Classic RTS Dark Reign Redux Launches For XBLIG, PC Version In Development

January 30, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Magnetar Games has released Dark Reign Redux, an upgraded Xbox Live Indie Games version of Auran's 1997 PC real-time strategy game Dark Reign: The Future of War.

A sprite-based RTS in the vein of Westwood's Command & Conquer series, Dark Reign features a story in which "humans have fled a toxic, dying Earth to live in newly established colonies spread out across the known galaxy." A PC release is also in the works.

The XBLIG version of Dark Reign Redux is priced at 400 Microsoft points ($5). A free browser-based trial version of Dark Reign Redux is available to play at Magnetar's website, though neither a price nor a release date has been announced for the upcoming PC edition.

IndieGoGo Project: The Starving Artists Kitchen Show

January 30, 2012 8:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw

Before you get too excited, this isn't a live-action, indie 'Cooking Mama' game. The Starving Artists Kitchen Show is actually a side project helmed by the Jonas and Verena Kyratzes, the good people responsible for The Book of Living Magic and Arcadia: A Pastoral Tale. Described as 'a low-budget cooking show for the 99%', it appears to be exactly what it sounds like: an attempt to demonstrate that you do not, in fact, have to live on ramen while waiting for your first big break. (Even if it is a delicious sin.)

Under normal circumstances, I probably wouldn't have written about The Starving Artists Kitchen Show but they're only $110 away from their goal. The money that they're trying to raise will apparently head straight towards web space, a better camera microphone and decent lighting. Have a few dollars that you feel like sharing? Check out their IndieGoGo site here.
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