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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 February, 2012

Playdead Hints At Limbo Ports For iOS, Android, WP8

February 28, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

limbo.jpg

A recent job posting at IndieGames.com sister site Gamasutra suggests that indie studio Playdead intends to bring its games to various mobile platforms, including iOS and Android.

The posting calls for programmers to port the company's games to new platforms, and names iOS, Windows Phone 8, Android, and NACL (Google Native Client) as targets of interest. Playdead's downloadable hit Limbo is a likely porting project for any new hires.

Playdead released its debut game Limbo for the Xbox 360 in 2010, with PlayStation 3 and PC versions following in 2011. The studio is currently working on an unnamed follow-up title.

Hanging in Limbo

February 28, 2012 5:01 AM | John Polson

limbo.jpg

Playdead was a studio that was founded organically, says CEO Dino Patti. His original goal was just to help Arnt Jensen, his co-founder and the game director of Limbo, get his creative vision into the wild. The game studio just grew from nothing, as the vision expanded.

What's important to Patti is shepherding Jensen's creative vision. What's important to Jensen is creating a game filled with ambiguity -- one that people can enjoy artistically and also discuss and interpret in their own way. And he isn't happy when they get to close to the truth, he says.

As the studio moves forward with its second project, having thrown off the shackles of the investors who originally put up the funds to develop Limbo, Gamasutra traveled to Copenhagen to visit the studio and talk to Jensen and Patti about how Limbo was developed, what lessons learned during that process will inform the company's next project, and what we can expect from its next title.

You have that expectation now built in. It's kind of like you want to avoid the sophomore slump, right?

Arnt Jensen: Yeah.

Like, bands releasing their second album. When their first album hits so hard, everyone starts to have really high expectations for the second album. It's kind of like that with you guys.

Dino Patti: Our thing is because it's a while yet... We want to talk about it when we're satisfied.

AJ: Yeah. we have to be proud about it. That's a long way. It'll take a long time.

You're still developing the concepts?

AJ: Yeah. We're working in kind of a special way, because we haven't planned what it's going to be like, so it's more like working with some themes, and then do a lot of prototyping on those themes, and then we put it all together. There's no design document or anything...

Did you have a similar process with Limbo?

AJ: Yes, it was exactly the same. It never ended. We put in new stuff two months before we finished it [laughs]. We never ended it -- just came up with ideas and moved it around all the way through. If we came up with something better than we had, than we just changed it. So, it was very important to have it flexible all the way.

DP: And it was deliberately kept open until very, very late to be able to move things around.

AJ: Yeah. [laughs] Our producer... We were pretty anxious at the end.

DP: He was anxious. [both laugh]

AJ: We came every day with a new idea. It was just becoming too late at the end.

Road to the IGF: Mario Castaneda's and Ty Taylor's The Bridge

February 28, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

thebridge IGF.jpg[Continuing our Road to the IGF interviews, Gamasutra chats with Ty Taylor about his Student Showcase finalist, The Bridge, a 2D puzzle platformer set in an Escherian world.]

"The world is much larger when every wall is a floor..." beings The Bridge's trailer. The thoughtful, M. C. Escher-inspired 2D puzzle platformer makes a poignant first impression and has been turning judges' heads since it entered competitions in 2011. It has received an honorable mention for innovation in Microsoft's Dream.Build.Play Competition and was an Indiecade finalist and nominee for best visuals. The Bridge also has begun 2012 strongly as both an Indie Game Challenge and IGF Student Showcase finalist.

Part of the puzzle platformer's appeal is in its peculiarities; it has done away with the oft-used jumping mechanic to emphasize its puzzles. The developers also highly regard The Bridge's design with the claim that it brings into question the boundaries of reality.

The Bridge's designer and programmer, Ty Taylor, was happy to participate in the following interview about his and Mario Castaneda's student project turned professional indie game.

What served as inspiration for The Bridge?

Overall, the works of the artist M. C. Escher served as a primary inspiration, as both the gameplay and art style are intended to immerse the player into an Escherian world. In terms of other games, Braid was an influence on the more subtle design concepts.

OnLive offering free trials of select IGF 2012 nominees

February 28, 2012 12:57 AM | John Polson

IGF2012.jpgCloud gaming company OnLive announced Monday that it has partnered with the Independent Games Festival to offer a two-week online event in which users can play many of the titles featured at the upcoming IGF 2012.

From February 27 through March 11, OnLive users across the U.S. and UK can play 16 of the current IGF nominees and honorable mentions via the company's game-streaming service on PC, Mac, television, and mobile devices.

Each game is available as a 30-minute free trial on the Onlive Facebook page, allowing users to check out many of the titles in the show's varied lineup, including nominees Dear Esther, English Country Tune and Frozen Synapse.

The OnLive Indie Showcase will conclude on March 11, when OnLive will tally both the number of Likes and the total number of game sessions played for each game. The top games will be announced online on Monday, March 12.

In addition, starting March 5th, OnLive, which is a Gold Sponsor of this year's event, will also be placing previously honored IGF games on sale for 75% off, with free instant demos available for all.

The 2012 Independent Games Festival (part of the UBM TechWeb Game Network, as is this website) will take place alongside this year's Game Developers Conference, which will be held next week, from March 5 through March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

EvilQuest PC Version Debuts February 29th, Preorders Available Now

February 27, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Chaosoft Games announced that its Xbox Live Indie Games action-RPG EvilQuest will hit Windows platforms on February 29th exclusively through Desura.

In EvilQuest, the monstrously evil (comically so, really) dark knight Galvis seeks world domination after being betrayed by his once-loyal followers. Gameplay is largely inspired by SNK's underappreciated NES action-RPG Crystalis, and players have access to a variety of magic spells in addition to an arsenal of melee weaponry.

EvilQuest is currently available for preorder for $1.99.

IceBurgers: Wub Wub

February 27, 2012 9:30 PM | Lewie Procter



In a bold move that will no doubt send ripples throughout marketing departments and PR staff employed by all of the major publishers in the video games entertainment industry, IceBurgers has got a dubstep trailer.

What's IceBurgers you say? Beats me, I just came here for the phat drops.

Go on then, I'll look into it a bit further. It appears to be a collaboration between Radial Games, Underscore Discovery & Infinite Ammo, and it's some kind of antarctic themed word matching game for iPhone & iPad. Looks neat.

Coming soon. Be ready.

Browser Game Pick: All Against One (Leon Arnott)

February 27, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Leon Arnott has released All Against One, an HTML5 boss rush shoot-'em-up inspired by Ciel Gris and other genre classics.

Also available for Windows as part Pirate Kart V, All Against One differs from other boss rush-styled shooters in that the boss remains the same in each level. Rather, the player's equipment changes after each boss is defeated, with later levels challenging players to win using cumbersome and unconventional weaponry.

The game also features a shuffle mode in which weapon order is randomized.

[Thanks, Alexey!]

Browser Game Pick: The Old Tree (Red Dwarf Games)

February 27, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

theoldtree.jpg The Old Tree is creepy and odd and, in its own ways, rather beautiful. In this point & click adventure of sorts from Red Dwarf Games, you'll be in charge of helping a tiny, seed-like thing wriggle slowly towards some distant goal. Most of the adventure will consist of you wandering through the innards of the titular piece of vegetation, an experience that will have you doing everything from redirecting the flight of fireflies to waiting in an elevator. Gameplay-wise, The Old Tree is neither very long nor very deep. Unless you're completely new to the genre, you probably won't spend all that much time with the puzzles.

More a piece of interactive art than anything else, Red Dwarf Games' moody little production is a pleasant way to wile away ten minutes or so. Check out the game here.

Trailer: Flatland - Fallen Angle (SeeThrough Studios)

February 27, 2012 3:18 PM | Cassandra Khaw



Built in ninety-six hours over the span of three weeks, Flatland: Fallen Angle is, uh, a new angle on the whole detective-noir thing. Inspired by the 1884 novella Flatland, Fallen Angle will have you traversing a place called Polygonometropolis as you slice, splinch and shatter towards revenge.

It's an odd little concept but one that works well enough. The 'curiosity version' is free to download while the 'Appreciation Version' functions on a 'pay-what-you-will' model. Check out the game here.

escapeVektor Flees WiiWare, Seeks Refuge on 3DS and Vita

February 27, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson


Five-man indie team Nnooo is bringing its retro styled arcade game escapeVektor to PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS late this year. Players control Vektor, an entity trapped inside the console's CPU. The gameplay that ensues is a bit like Qix if you and your enemies were only skirting along the edges of the play area.

The team released escapeVektor: Chapter 1 for WiiWare last year. Although the game was met with critical acclaim, the developers decided to roll all four chapters together into one game and bring it out on these new consoles to reach a wider audience.

"Playing the game in 3D on the Nintendo 3DS is really cool," said Nic Watt, Nnooo's Creative Director. "With the background to each level pulsing in time to the cool chip-tune soundtrack you really get drawn into game's environment. For PlayStation Vita players we hope to make use of Near and location based leaderboards. We'll also be experimenting with the front and rear touchscreen controls."

I followed up with Nnooo about possible PC and Mac ports. "It's definitely something we're considering, but you'll appreciate with only 5 staff it may take a while!"

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