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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 August, 2012

If You Don't Have Passion for Your Work, Why Bother?

August 30, 2012 2:00 AM | Staff

hotlinemiami.pngThe name Devolver Digital is slowly becoming a term that numerous indie developers want to be involved with. While the publisher initially began life focused on publishing a barrage of Serious Sam titles, more recently it has expanded its sights to great effect.

The publisher is now working with the likes of Dennaton Games (Jonatan "Cactus" Soderstrom and Dennis Wedin) on Hotline Miami and Vlambeer on Luftrausers, drumming up a serious amount of interest from the press and players alike, and all thanks to the contacts the company made through its work on the Serious Sam Indie Series last year.

"Devolver Digital started partly because our friends at Croteam wanted a partner for Serious Sam 3: BFE, and our team wanted to start a game label that still knew how to make the games industry fun for everyone," says Nigel Lowrie of Devolver in an interview with sister site Gamasutra. "One of the more unique elements in promoting Serious Sam 3: BFE was to tie the series back to its indie roots by working with top independent developers to make the three games in the Serious Sam Indie Series."

Through the initiative, Devolver began working more with the likes of Vlambeer and Mommy's Best Games, eventually also picking up Dennaton Games and Dungeon Hearts studio Cube Roots.

"The reason we are doing this is because these are the folks with the genuinely fresh and unique ideas in gaming," adds Lowrie. "Titles like Hotline Miami and Luftrausers were born out of love -- not some marketing spreadsheet or focus group."

Video: XNA Bullet Engine (Abraham Morales)

August 29, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Vorpal developer Abraham Morales has released a preview video for his in-progress bullet pattern-generation engine, which he hopes to release to the public following the completion of Vorpal 2.

The work he's put into it so far is impressive, and it could end up being a valuable resource for developers of bullet-hell shooters. It's also a nice surprise to hear that Vorpal 2 is in development -- the original game was a lot of fun, and the sequel will hopefully be even better.

[via @shmups]

Indie Royale Profile: Shattered Horizon

August 29, 2012 9:00 PM | Staff

[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each game in The Getaway Bundle, now available at IndieGames' co-created site: Indie Royale.]

Shattered Horizon is an orbital multiplayer FPS with a lot of big ideas yet a tragically small community. Hopefully their Indie Royale debut can help out with the low population problem because this is a really neat, science focused FPS that does something entirely different from every other multiplayer shooter on the market. It's atypical zero gravity design is bizarre, unwieldy and takes a lot to get used to, but when you get into the groove it sets the stage for some pretty ridiculous firefights.

Q&A: Leonard J. Paul on Retro City Chiptunes and Vessel Audio

August 29, 2012 6:40 PM | jeriaska

leonardpaulgdc_478.jpgPresenting on sound design for Vessel at GDC 2012

Leonard J. Paul is the lead composer on Vblank Entertainment's Retro City Rampage chiptune score and has designed and implemented the dynamic audio found in Strange Loop Games' Vessel. He will be performing at a pre-PAX showcase in Seattle on August 30 and speaking at the Gamercamp festival in Toronto this November.

We caught up with the audio engineer and musician to hear about his contributions to independently developed titles.

When you are creating a pastiche of '80s sounds, evoking NES games like Paperboy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, how do you find an appropriate balance between emulating a classic game soundtrack while creating something unique to Retro City Rampage?

Leonard J. Paul: I grew up with the Commodore, not the NES. So when listening to Virt's FX3, I do not hear the references. It's like kids that were listening to rap music and adults going, "That's rare groove and funk. That's Parliament, Funkadelic and James Brown." I think for Matt (Norrin Radd), he will often study existing NES music and try to duplicate the sounds and notes as a reference. But for me, I go for the feel, which is how I avoid that issue of imitation.

We have also done the modern thing of having other indie games make appearances. I actually looked at the score for Super Meat Boy and did a chiptune cover, while for Bit.Trip Runner I duplicated the feel. I am really quite happy with that particular track, the "Bit Happy Song."

Video: Navigate Creator's Mind in Bad Trip

August 29, 2012 5:00 PM | John Polson

Hong Kong media artist Alan Kwan has created game art project Bad Trip, which is an immersive interactive system which enables people to navigate his mind. Since November 2011, Kwan has logged every moment of his life by a video camera mounted on his eyeglasses, producing a database of digitalized visual memories.

Using a custom virtual reality software, Kwan designed a "virtual mindscape" people could navigate with a controller. "The mindscape grows continually as fresh memories and dreams in," Kwan says on his Vimeo page. I hope I get to explore some game worlds such as Bad Trip made by Kwan soon.

[Thanks for the email, Alan Kwan!]

Kickstarter Project: Two Brothers (AckkStudios)

August 29, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

AckkStudios has just launched a modest $6,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund their action-adventure RPG Two Brothers for Windows, OSX, and Xbox 360. This RPG begins monochromatic and gradually changes as the brothers seek out new colors in their world and the afterlife.

Two Brothers seemed quite popular earlier this month. The team no doubt hopes that popularity will translate to financial support, so they may purchase the tools and licenses needed to bring Two Brothers to as many platforms as possible in January 2013.

Steam Best Of British Indie Bundle Offers Seven Games For $9.99

August 29, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan


A collective of British indie developers has teamed up to deliver the Best of British Indie Bundle, a seven-game compilation available via Steam for $9.99.

Included in the pack are Introversion Software's strategy title DEFCON, Rudolf Kremers and Alex May's ambient RTS Eufloria, Mode 7's tactics game Frozen Synapse, Positech Games' science fiction-themed Gratuitous Space Battles, Puppygames' tower defense title Revenge of the Titans, and a pair of adventure games from Size Five Games: Time Gentlemen, Please! and Ben There, Dan That!

Bundle buyers also receive an additional copy of Frozen Synapse, to give away to a friend. Given that purchasing each game separately would normally cost you $79.94, this is quite a deal!

Trailer: Fuel Overdose (I-Friqiya)

August 29, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Developer I-Friqiya aims to bring tactical action elements to the racing genre in Fuel Overdose, an upcoming downloadable title for Windows and the PlayStation 3.

Fuel Overdose is an overhead-view racer in which vehicles are equipped with an arsenal of weaponry, in addition to grappling hooks that can be attached to rival racers. Success still largely hinges on the player's driving ability, however, and if the action elements don't appeal to you, Fuel Overdose will also include a series of weapon-free challenges and time attack modes.

A release date for Fuel Overdose has not been announced.

Demo & Release: The Trouble With Robots (Digital Chestnut)

August 29, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

trouble robots.pngI'm not exactly sure whether the hand-drawn graphics or the promise of a new card-game drew me in, but I do know that, at the end of the day, The Trouble With Robots cost me said day. Interestingly though it's much more than a merely addictive game, which, as Zynga has proven, is something that can be cheaply achieved. It's an actually great game.

Sporting some sharp writing The Trouble With Robots goes on to tell the often hilarious tale of the corporate, real-estate loving but not particularly nasty robot invasion of a quasi-feudal traditional fantasy setting. Centaurs, trolls, dwarfs, peasants and elves are pitted against all sorts of robots, including a huge 8-bit CPUed brute. Battles are fought à la Magic The Gathering only (uniquely and wisely) in real-time and with a smaller deck of cards. Most importantly, they work brilliantly.

Better though to find out for yourselves. The game has been released for Windows PCs and it even comes with a lovely demo.

Browser Game Pick: Oneway (azurenimbus)

August 29, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

I must admit that Oneway was the first Ludum Dare 24 game I tried, as I've frankly grown incredibly fond of the work of azurenimbus. Happily, I was not disappointed. This simple and elegant game about evolution is both tough and, as expected, innovative in its mechanics. And it most definitely will hone your pattern-recognition skills while taxing your patience. Oh, and yes, it is very enjoyable indeed and I will be keeping an eye on its post-jam updates.

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