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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 April, 2012

Kickstarter Update: Shadowrun Returns Wraps Up With $1.8 Million In Pledges

April 30, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Exceeding its initial funding goal of $400,000 many times over, Harebrained Schemes concluded its Kickstarter campaign for Shadowrun Returns with a total of $1,836,447 in pledges.

Backed by original series designer Jordan Weisman, Shadowrun Returns seeks to revive the franchise with "a graphically rich 2D turn-based single player game with deep story interaction, meaningful character development, and highly-contextual tactical combat."

Having met its stretch goals, the game will also be ported to Mac and Linux, and will feature a second explorable city, a mission editor, and a collaborative soundtrack by SNES Shadowrun composer Marshall Parker and Sam Powell, who created the music for the Sega Genesis version.

Nicalis Cancels North American, European Releases For WiiWare La-Mulana

April 30, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Nicalis confirmed today that it has dropped its plans to publish Nigoro's WiiWare remake of La-Mulana in North America and Europe.

The announcement follows up on Nigoro's recent claim that it had received no response from Nicalis after its last master data submission, and that it had "no idea" when a localized version would be released.

Speaking to GoNintendo, Nicalis' Tyrone Rodriguez blames the cancellation on shifting marketplace conditions and Nigoro's alleged inability to produce a version of the game that passed Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe's submission process.

"The decision to cancel publishing of La-Mulana was a tough call, but waiting two years for NIGORO to finish development has made it near impossible to sell sufficient units on Wii," Rodriguez explains. "The WiiWare market has a fraction of the players from 2008. The window for release and success of software on the platform ended in 2009 and took a very steep decline. Players have moved onto other digital download platforms."

Discussing Sci-Fi Arcade Style Vektropolis With Frank Travaini

April 30, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

The above two-month old trailer of Dark Computer Enterainment's Vektropolis made the rounds this month thanks to Pixel Prospector originally, charming gamers with its classy 80s arcade vector style. IndieGames caught up with developer Frank Travaini to find out the latest on his team's retro rescue game/first person shooter.

"[The above] video shows us playing around with just some of the features, but it's still very much a tech demo at that point. Andrew Crawshaw's been working on fine tuning the challenge of the game, and trying to tie together as much of our feature set as we can in a way that make sense but most of all is going to be fun. The video might make it look like an out and out shooter, but there's going to be a strategic element, too."

Lead Vektropolis developer Daniel Gallagher is no stranger to 80s vector graphics, seeing as he co-founded Vektor Grafix, which ported the 1983 Star Wars arcade game to several platforms.

Kickstarter Projects: Gubble 3D (Actual Entertainment)

April 30, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

A talented team of Atari-era industry veterans has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Gubble 3D, a proposed sequel to the PC, iOS, and PlayStation maze game Gubble.

The studio is headed up by Franz Lanzinger, developer of the classic arcade maze game Crystal Castles. 1997's release of Gubble for PC platforms expanded on the concepts introduced in Crystal Castles, and Gubble 3D will further plumb the depths of maze-based gameplay with the addition of a real-time 3D engine, a story mode, and destructible environments.

Gubble 3D will be released for Windows, Mac, and the iPad if its funding goal of $80,000 is met by May 23rd. Pledge prizes include DRM-free digital copies of the game ($15), a downloadable soundtrack album ($30), limited-edition Gubble plush toys ($75), and Kickstarter-exclusive t-shirts ($100).

VVVVVV Coming To European Nintendo 3DS eShop May 10th

April 30, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan


Nicalis revealed that its downloadable Nintendo 3DS port of Terry Cavanagh's VVVVVV has passed Nintendo of Europe's approval process, and will premiere in the European 3DS eShop "MMMMMMay 10th."

The DSiWare version of Cave Story will also premiere soon in Europe, Nicalis noted in a follow-up tweet. A 3DS release for Night Sky is next up on Nicalis' schedule, pending a final round of 3D adjustments.

Browser Game Pick: Astro Break (hulahulahest)

April 30, 2012 7:30 AM | Steve Cook

astro break.png Ludum Dare entry Astro Break plays like something that came straight out of an arcade cabinet. It's a little bit like a game called Super Obliteration, which in turn was a mixture of Asteroids and Pang. Run around the edge of a tiny planet, dodging and shooting asteroids, which split in two and keep doing so until they are small enough to be destroyed. Sometimes asteroids will drop fruit, shields or power-ups.

It gets the arcade feel just right but it lacks variety. There only two power-ups available: the spread gun and the auto cannon. Furthermore, although each successive wave becomes more difficult, you may find the lack of reward off-putting.

You can play the game here.

Browser Game Pick: Intense Staring Simulator (DedHedZed)

April 30, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

intense staring simulator.pngNothing compares to the experience of stepping into the shoes of a misanthropic sociopath with a burning hatred for other people, and we would had frankly never discovered said truth if it weren't for the magic of the modern video game. Or the magic of the Intense Staring Simulator to be precise. It's a short, smart, actually funny and joyfully silly offering with sharp writing and colorful enough graphics to lift the spirits of the average sociopath. And all you have to do is point, click and stare intensely.

Best of Indie Games: From Depths of Peril to This Precious Land

April 30, 2012 3:00 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 handful of notable entries from the Ludum Dare 23 competition, a browser pick about unlocking achievements, a highlight from Indie Royale's Spring Bundle, plus a new release from popular Flash game developer Nitrome.

Here's some recent highlights from

Game Pick: 'Tiny Island Adventure' (Jussi Simpanen, browser)
"Tiny Island Adventure is a Ludum Dare 23 entry, in which you are tasked with helping Lydia escape the tiny floating island that she inhabits. You must search for scrap metal and fuel in an attempt to build a rocket."

Game Pick: 'Achievement Unlocked 3' (jmtb02 Studios, browser)
"Achievement Unlocked 3 introduces a story mode in which the series' elephant protagonist finds itself trapped in a maze ruled by a gluttonous hamster. Players have plenty of collectible items to find and new areas to discover in their quest to unlock a ridiculous set of 400 achievements."

Game Pick: 'Depths of Peril' (Soldak Entertainment, commercial indie)
"Depths of Peril is a hack and slash action RPG that will feel right at home for longtime Diablo players and World of Warcraft fans. You've got your attacks, you've got your abilities, you've got your health and mana, you've got your clicking and you've got a bit of mindless looting fun."

Freeware Game Pick: The Desolate Hope (Scott Cawthon)

April 30, 2012 12:00 AM | John Polson

Scott Games' latest Windows freeware title, The Desolate Hope, isn't great just because of its stunning artwork, its gripping sci-fi story, and its coffee pot protagonist. It also packs a triple punch with three distinct gameplay types, each skillfully woven together. The side scrolling action has different platforming elements for each section, the overhead adventure distills fun elements of a classic Zelda (including walls you can walk through or destroy) and the turn-based, RPG-style boss battles are visually mesmerizing and tough.

The Desolate Hope is pretty non-linear and offers hours of gaming. The leveling system is interesting in that there are no experience points. The game also has a day-and-night system that mixes up the game more and adds a sense of urgency to completing it. Finally, the rich story should keep you guessing until the very end.

The trailer is after the jump, but if you want to keep a lot of the visual experience a surprise, go ahead and download The Desolate Hope now.

Browser Game Pick: Dude, Where's My Planet (Alexander Batsis / Teo Mathlein / Martin Petrini)

April 29, 2012 7:30 PM | Steve Cook

dude where my planet.png There have been a number of games in recent years where the mechanics revolve around using gravity to leap from planet to planet, including Frozzd and Space Hopper.

In Ludum Dare entry Dude, Where's My Planet, the mechanics differ from the usual 'use the jump button to launch yourself toward the next planet'. Instead, you take a run-up so that you automatically launch when enough speed is built up. The trick is to try and get your trajectory at the correct angle to land on the next habitable planet. Avoid planets with spikes and get to the cannon, which will launch you toward the next batch of planets to navigate.

The game has a refreshing art style all of its own and solid physics to boot. Give it a play here.
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