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About The IGF 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, 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 February, 2012

Announced: Redshirt

February 29, 2012 11:00 PM | Lewie Procter

redshirt.png Redshirt is a freshly announced social networking themed Sci fi comedy, developed by The Tiniest Shark, with Positech Games publishing. The goal in Redshirt is to explore strange new interpersonal relationships, to seek out new career opportunities, to boldy get as many likes on Spacebook as you can.

Head over to the game's website here for details of the premise. You could look at the game's facebook site too, but that's a little to meta for my liking.

Sounds like a clever little concept to me. It's due out for PC and Mac sometime this year.

Nintendo Rejects Proposed 3DS The Binding Of Isaac Port

February 29, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan


In the aftermath of "a long internal debate" between Nintendo and an unnamed publisher, Team Meat's Edmund McMillen revealed that Nintendo will not allow a downloadable 3DS eShop release for his action-roguelike The Binding of Isaac.

McMillen cites "questionable religious content" as the official reason for the game's rejection. The Binding of Isaac's storyline involves a young child fleeing from his murderous mother after the voice of God commands her to kill her children. Religious references pepper the gory gameplay that follows.

The news is disappointing, but on the other hand, it's difficult to imagine a game about disfigured fetuses joining Nintendo's mostly-cheery downloadable lineup (save for a handful of M-rated outliers, none of which come close to approaching Isaac's over-the-top offensiveness). I was really looking forward to a version with official d-pad support, too!

[via Joystiq]

Ponycorn Developer Reveals Upcoming Word Puzzle/Adventure Game Spellirium

February 29, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Untold Entertainment, creator of the delightful Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure, announced that it is currently working on Spellirium, a "graphic adventure / word puzzle mash-up" inspired by well-regarded titles like Puzzle Quest and Bookworm Adventures.

In Spellirium, players spell specific words on a word grid in order to accomplish certain tasks; a sheep can be sheared by spelling CUT or TRIM, for instance. Each word spelled will be added to an interactive dictionary, which promises over 50,000 collectibles -- a completist's dream (or nightmare?), for sure.

Spellirium is targeted for release this year as a downloadable title for Windows and Mac.

Q&A: Jessica Curry's Dear Esther Soundtrack

February 29, 2012 7:00 PM | jeriaska

dear-esther-200.jpgA running theme of composer Jessica Curry's visual media projects is the experience of a hidden story being uncovered. One such hidden story is the self-contradictory narrative of Dear Esther.

Writer Dan Pinchbeck of Thechineseroom and artist Robert Briscoe have described the game's plotline as intentionally mysterious. Clues point you in conflicting directions while you search to uncover the secrets of your bleak surroundings.

The game's score is currently nominated for a 2012 Independent Games Festival award in the category of excellence in audio. We caught up with the composer to hear about her background in literature and music composition, both of which have added nuance and intention to the design of Dear Esther.

What led to the idea of remaking Dear Esther?

Composer Jessica Curry: It was an opportunity to make it the kind of game we always wanted it to be, but previously didn't have the time or the budget. It's not often that you get the opportunity to redo something that you had worked on. The sound was there, and the feel was there. It was just a matter of working with these amazing musicians to get that tonal quality that had always been in my head, but couldn't afford to create.

I've been asked why I didn't write new tracks. It was something that Dan and I had a really long talk about. We felt that the reaction to the music had been so strong, that people wanted the music to sound similar but better. Writing something new would have felt very jarring, I think. Getting the opportunity to have a proper budget to record with wonderful musicians was just so exciting.

Video: IGF 2012 Preview

February 29, 2012 6:00 PM | jeriaska

In this video filmed during the 2011 Independent Games Festival, two finalists in the excellence in audio category relate their experiences attending the Game Developers Conference.

Danny Baranowsky was nominated for his music score for Super Meat Boy, and has since published the soundtrack to The Binding of Isaac. He will be joining a panel this year titled "The Indie Composer Speaks." Mattias Häggström Gerdt was selected as an IGF Awards finalist for the music of Cobalt, and has previously scored the Xbox Live Indie Game Kaleidoscope.

This year several indie summit talks on audio are scheduled to take place. They include The Dynamic Audio of Vessel" by Leonard J. Paul, "Build That Wall" by Darren Korb and "Music is Storytelling" by Austin Wintory. Further details can be found on the GDC schedule builder.

Announcement Trailer: ORION: Dino Beatdown (Spiral Game Studios)

February 29, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

Got four friends who fancy wearing jet packs and placing dinosaurs back on the extinction list? Spiral Game Studios' ORION: Dino Beatdown is an open world, class-based cooperative survival sci-fi FPS. In ORION, five players explore huge, endless environments in which everyone must work together to survive the Dinosaur Horde. ORION: Dino Beatdown comes to PC on Steam and OnLive in March for $9.99. Their other game, ORION: Prelude, is aimed for XBLA and PSN.

CEO David Prassel tells IndieGames that Sprial Game Studios is "very much an indie development team. We are self-financed and a self-publishing studio that started only with an idea and a shared goal." The team is currently 22-members strong.

Equally strong was their support for their Kickstarter project, which reached 175% of its funding goal. In a very charitable move, going beyond the promised KickStarter perks, every backer will get a Steam key. Elaborated on the team's blog, "Whether you donated $1 or $1,000 we will see you on the battlefield and be fighting alongside you on day 1."

Nice move!

Trailer: Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment)

February 29, 2012 2:00 PM | Lewie Procter

Fresh off the back of the release of Shank 2, Klei Entertainment have dropped an initial trailer for their next release. Mark Of The Ninja is a "Stealth Ninja" game. It looks to me kind of like a sidescrolling Tenchu, with Klei Entertainment's trademark flair for high quality presentation, gorgeous 2D animation, and sprinkles of a bit of the old ultra-violence.

Revealed not with a boring press release, Klei released a free piece of interactive fiction which appears to set the tone of the game, and you get a look at this first trailer for finishing it. It's playable over here.

As is the way of the Ninja, Mark Of The Ninja seems to not focus on a direct assault, but using your Ninja skills, the environment and your equipment in clever ways to outfox your enemies without even being seen.

The trailer has an Xbox logo on it, no other platforms mentioned yet. It's due for a release in Summer of this year.

Kickstarter: Auditorium Duet (Cipher Prime)

February 29, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Auditorium developer Cipher Prime has set up a Kickstarter campaign for a multiplayer-focused sequel, Auditorium 2: Duet.

Auditorium 2 will feature the same particle-directing puzzle gameplay of the original title, though the developers promise new wrinkles to the formula such as multiple playing fields that interact with and influence one another. Much of the game's content will focus on cooperation between two players (either locally or via networked play), though a single-player mode is also included.

Donators of $20 or more will snag a copy of the game upon its release for Windows and Mac platforms, while higher pledges are eligible for rewards such as expanded content, beta access, and t-shirts.

Cipher Prime has also released a Steam version of Auditorium for Windows and Mac platforms, priced at $6.99.

Crescent Moon's Paper Monsters Coming To Mac App Store This Week

February 29, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Following up on a successful launch for iOS devices last month, Crescent Moon Games is bringing its stylish 2D platformer Paper Monsters to the Mac App Store this Thursday.

Named as Apple's iPad Game of the Week after its launch, Paper Monsters boasts a pleasant art style in which in-game characters appear to be made of felt, paper, and cardboard. The Mac App Store version gives the visuals an extra boost with the addition of special scene lightmapping, bloom effects, and anti-aliasing.

Paper Monsters includes 16 levels and a score-attack bonus mode.

Best of Indie Games: From Ms. Particle-Man to The Ultimate Celebration

February 29, 2012 6:00 AM | Tim W.

This week on "Best Of Indie Games," we take a look at some of the top independent PC Flash/downloadable titles released over this last week.

The delights in this edition include a new browser pick from Dino Run designers Pixeljam, a clever puzzle game by IGF 2012 Excellence in Design finalist increpare, a 2D platformer with a laid-back approach, plus an iOS release that pays tribute to Cave's excellent lineup of arcade cabinet shooters.

Here's some recent highlights from

Game Pick: 'Captain Commander' (Pixeljam, browser)
"Pixeljam's retro side-scroller has you assume the role of the titular Captain Commander who must make his way through an alien planet and rescue captured soldiers from an abundance of uncomfortable probing."

Game Pick: 'RE: Get To Schol On Time' (Spiceworx, commercial indie)
"RE: Get To Schol On Time includes a handful of wildly disparate levels, each of which features a strange objective. The game's opening level, for instance, asks players to sketch a portrait while being ridiculed by caricatures of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack Nicholson."

Game Pick: 'Promises' (Increpare, browser)
"Increpare's Promises is a simple-looking, single-room puzzle game that will ask you to do little except think hard and ponder the value of your word."

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