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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

Browser Game Pick: itty 8bitty (Matt Grimm)

April 27, 2012 7:30 AM | Steve Cook

8bit.png Sometimes the simplest of concepts can be enjoyable, providing that the execution is just right, as is the case with Ludum Dare entry, itty 8bitty. It all boils down to a basic memory game: memorize the directional key presses to get from the blue square to the green square before the screen turns white and then put them into practice. After a few simple levels, the game will start to put your memory to the test.

Its soundtrack, sound effects and graphical appearance literally ooze Matt Grimm's love for the NES and work well with an idea that could have very easily been less than captivating.

If you're looking for some simple, bare-bones enjoyment, play it here.

In-house Tech Lays Foundation for Mesmerizing Reset Teaser Trailer

April 27, 2012 2:00 AM | John Polson

There's a certain game trailer doing the rounds at the moment, and few are really very sure where it has come from.

Quite out of the blue, a new start-up called Theory Interactive has posted a teaser trailer for Reset online, and it is quite spectacular, both in visuals and in cinematic direction.

Gamasutra delved deeper, and found that Theory Interactive consists of writer and artist Alpo Oksaharju and musician Mikko Kallinen. The duo has previously worked at Futuremark on first-person shooter Shattered Horizon, and both share the game design work on Reset.

The studio's first game focuses on story and atmosphere, with the main goal to travel back in time and co-operatively help yourself out -- a "single player co-op" title, as it is described.

Get a job: Retro Studios and others hiring now on the Gamasutra jobs board

April 27, 2012 1:00 AM | Eric Caoili

In the latest postings over the last seven days, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles in every major discipline, including opportunities at Retro Studios, Nickelodeon Games Group, and others.

Each position posted by employers will appear on the main Gamasutra job board, and appear in the site's daily and weekly newsletters, reaching our readers directly.

It will also be cross-posted for free across Gamasutra's network of submarket sites, which includes content sites focused on independent games and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

Retro Studios: Retro Studios Character Artist (Level 1, 2, or 3):
"Retro Studios, founded in 1998, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nintendo Company, Ltd. Retro is a state of the art game development studio working in conjunction with Nintendo to bring cutting-edge games to Nintendo hardware systems."

Nickelodeon Games Group: Managing Producer / Product Director, Monkey Quest (MMO):
"Nickelodeon Games Group develops and operates leading game experiences for kids and family audiences across platforms, including over 50 mobile games and multiple online virtual worlds.

Nickelodeon Games includes recent releases like Monkey Quest, the leading action adventure online MMO; SpongeBob Super Bouncy Fun Time for mobile; and the highly-successful Team Umizoomi Math educational app."

The Mystery of the Missing PlayStation Net Yaroze Games

April 27, 2012 12:00 AM | John Polson

TerraIncognita01.jpgAs part of a new Gamasutra feature about Sony's Net Yaroze project, John Szczepaniak discovers how there were thousands of projects created through the initiative, yet only a handful were seen by the public.

The platform, which allowed hobbyists, amateurs, and early indies to develop games for the PlayStation platform, was launched globally by Sony in 1997.

Paul Holman, currently vice president of R&D at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and previously head of the UK Yaroze division, reveals, "We certainly sold around 1,000 Net Yarozes [in Europe], with more being sold in Japan. U.S. was similar to our numbers."

He continues, "Although they were as cheap as we could make them, they were relatively expensive, and so people bought them specifically to work on projects -- so probably thousands of projects!"

David Johnston, who developed TimeSlip as part of the project, and went on to form Smudged Cat Games, adds, "I don't think we'll ever know exactly how many Net Yaroze games there were."

New Gameplay Video: Retro/Grade (24 Caret Games)

April 26, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan

In the video above, 24 Caret Games' Matt Gilgenbach offers some insightful commentary over five minutes' worth of new gameplay footage from the upcoming rhythmic shoot-'em-up Retro/Grade.

In development for over three years, Retro/Grade won the Audience Choice Award at IndieCade 2010, and was recently featured at PAX East's Indie Megabooth.

Retro/Grade's reversed, low-scoring gameplay is optimized for Guitar Hero and Rock Band guitar peripherals, though standard controllers are also supported. The difficulty level gets pretty wild later on in the video -- try to keep up!

Retro/Grade is set to launch this summer as a downloadable title for the PlayStation 3.

[via @mommysbestgames]

La-Mulana Dev Talks PC Release, Has "No Idea" When WiiWare Version Will Launch

April 26, 2012 7:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Developer Nigoro broke a months-long silence today, revealing that a PC version of its La-Mulana remake has entered testing, and that development is almost complete.

Nigoro also expresses uncertainty regarding the long-delayed WiiWare version of La-Mulana. Though it premiered as a downloadable Wii title in Japan almost a year ago, a localized version of La-Mulana has yet to appear in North America or Europe.

"The master data for NOA and NOE was handed to our publisher, Nicalis," Nigoro notes. "After that, we haven't received any reports. So, we have no idea when the release date is determined."

Nicalis previously published an upgraded WiiWare version of Cave Story after numerous delays, and recently announced that it will produce a Wii U remake for the XBLIG platformer Aban Hawkins & The 1000 Spikes.

Given that consumer demand for new Wii releases has cooled significantly since La-Mulana's initial announcement, Nicalis could be delaying the release to coincide with the Wii U's launch. Nicalis has not commented regarding its current publishing plans, however, nor has it issued a firm release date.

Nigoro itself plans to handle worldwide publishing duties for the PC version of La-Mulana, and assures that an overseas release is in the works.

[via @andore7, @VonRosceau]

Freeware Game Pick: Ok, This is Awkward! (Pierrec)

April 26, 2012 5:40 PM | Cassandra Khaw

okthisisawkward.png Pierrec's games may be a little less 'game' than they are 'story' but it's hard to deny the fact that they have a certain charm. Ok, This is Awkward! is Pierrec's contribution to Ludum Dare 23 and a rather unusual take on the theme. According to the description on the project's page, the phrase 'a small world' and 'a tiny world' are very similar in French, a fact that has been utilized rather well in the game itself. Here in Ok, This is Awkward!, you will play as the blonde-haired Amy, an attractive woman who has just been subjected to the attention of someone who claims to remember her. Is it true? Is it not? Who knows? One thing's for certain, not knowing someone's name can be an awkward experience.

Check out the game here.

Demo (?): Galaxy 55 (Twinoid)

April 26, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

galaxy55.jpg Hey, Mojang? I think someone might be out to steal your thunder on the science fiction front. Ludum Dare veteran deepnight is one of the people responsible for Galaxy 55, an upcoming 'Minecraft-esque' adventure set in the furthest reaches of space. According to the description on the website, Earthlings apparently unearthed a hyperspace portal that had been built by a race called the Ancient Ones, a gateway that permitted them access to a new world.

While still in the early stages of production, Galaxy 55 looks like it's building up into something rather awesome. Some of the planned features include the ability to travel to various planets, take on the role of hostile monsters, develop ships, explore ruins, become a space-bound Indiana Jones and more.

You can check out the demo of the game on the website itself. We're definitely going to keep a close eye on this one.

Browser Game Pick: Niña Nueve (Jonathan Whiting)

April 26, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

nina nueve.pngCute, exploding pixels, quick bursts of puzzles and a catchy piano loop occupy Jonathan Whiting's Ludum Dare 23 entry Niña Nueve. Whiting was in the top 10 for LD22 with Craequ, and he has a solid entry this compo, as well.

Whiting describes it as a "bit like a Zelda game trapped in a 9x9 box." The puzzler retains the classic Zelda, top-down view, and its goal is to choose or otherwise arrive at the correct arrow to advance to the next box-stage. Some choices will lead to inevitable death, but everything happens generally quickly, aside from baiting the pink blobs. Players later control a ball that can hit sensors and enemies.

As seen in Craequ and other Whiting titles, his games have a simple but effective palette selection. A user asked Whiting about his palette process, to which he replied, "I guess I pick palettes mostly by instinct. If anything the important bit is I pick my palette outright before I start pixelling, and force myself to stick to it."

The most interesting mechanic for me involved dying and respawning on the previous stage. Those curious can discover for themselves in Niña Nueve.

Indie Gala 4 Premieres With Nine Games

April 26, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

The fourth Indie Gala bundle has launched, offering a selection of nine games in a purchase package that benefits the Child's Play and Save The Child charities.

Sigma-Team's isometric action game Alien Shooter, EXTEND Interactive's 3D platformer A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda, and a "secret bonus game" are available for all buyers. The majority of the bundle's featured titles -- including Disciples II, Altitude, Wake, and three as-of-yet unnamed bonus games -- are available for buyers who pay more than a fluctuating minimum price (currently $5.31).

Seven of the bundle's nine games also include Steam keys with purchase. Additional bundle bonuses will be revealed as sales continue over the next three weeks.

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