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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 October, 2012

Apotheon Makes Ancient Art Work in a Modern Game

October 30, 2012 8:00 PM | Staff

Apotheon looks nothing like the last game independent developer Alientrap put out, Capsized -- that title inhabited a verdant alien world, lush with detailed hand-drawn illustrations of the planet's exotic flora.

This newest project more resembles the rash of silhouetted sidescrollers that have popped up in recent years, like Limbo, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, and Outland. But Apotheon stands out from that style by adopting an aesthetic that's hardly been explored in games, the "Black Figure" paintings that adorn ancient Greek pottery.

Indie Royale Profile: MacGuffin's Curse

October 30, 2012 8:00 PM | Staff

[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each game in the Halloween Bundle from IndieGames' co-created site Indie Royale.]

So what exactly should you expect from Brawsome's latest title, the werewolf comedy puzzle adventure known as MacGuffin's Curse? Well, there's obviously a werewolf, there's certainly puzzles and I definitely laughed a few times. But what exactly makes this an adventure, aside from the point and click pedigree that Brawsome brings to the table? Allow me to explain.

Trailer: Soul Compass (Jesse Shepherd, Adrian Solis, Chris Emirzian, Kramlack)

October 30, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

How retro do you like your RPGs? Soul Compass, which was inspired by a variety of RPGs from the Gameboy era, is a turn-based offering that will likely have nostalgic hearts flutter a little faster. Though nothing has been said as of yet in regards to a release date, Soul Compass will apparently, upon completion, offer 'an engaging story, linear progression, 15 fixed normal encounters, 6 bosses, and possibly bonus challenge levels.

You can keep track of the progress of Soul Compass here.

Demo: Grimind (Paweł Mogiła)

October 30, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Pawel Mogila, who comes from a university with a name I won't even begin thinking about pronouncing, has been working on his creepy puzzle-platformer for a while now. With more than a hint of Limbo to its aesthetics, Grimind will apparently have players dealing with monsters, physics puzzles and the environmental hazards that are part and parcel of games like this. More importantly, however, the game now also has a demo. If you've been curious about how the game works and whether it merits a pre-purchase, now's an awesome time to have those questions answered.

Download the demo here.

Frog Fractions Developer's "Shameful Secret" and Like a Billion More Details

October 30, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

frog fractions.pngThe Twinbeard himself Jim Crawford's sensation Frog Fractions is a game more about metamorphosis than about math. Its subversion catches players by surprise, when what seems like a quirky Missile Command clone becomes something far more exotic.

For the moment players discover that exoticism, Crawford's friend and Jamestown developer Tim Ambrogi compared it to learning one could burn bushes with the candle in The Legend of Zelda. It's that kind of awakening that suggested Crawford was on to something big. But even after many played Frog Fractions, their responses suggested not knowing what that "something" was.

In this *SPOILER-FILLED* interview, Crawford sheds light on the meaning behind Frog Fractions, a shameful design secret that was ultimately cut, why not getting the game is part of the appeal, and how the game taught at least one person math. He discusses a possible iOS port, gives advice on how to tell people about Frog Fractions without giving away its surprises, and tries to explain Bartholomew Salience.

He also highlights the importance of having a Brandon Sheffield-like (well-known member of the gaming press) in his corner early. Even when a game doesn't pack a series of subverted punches behind a veil such as edutainment, having someone thoroughly understand and champion it is critical.

Freeware Horror Pick: Almond-Hill (SnowConeSolid)

October 30, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Just in time for Halloween, indie developer Samer Khatib (SnowConeSolid) has released Almond-Hill, a short, freeware horror game for Windows.

Inspired by Konami's Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Almond-Hill is a brief experience in which players must explore the deserted town of Almond-Hill in search of a runaway cat. You quickly discover that the cat is stuck in a tree, but successfully rescuing it is more complicated than you might expect.

Note: due to a bug, Khatib recommends setting the resolution to 640x480 and unchecking the Windowed option, if you intend to play in full-screen mode.

Get Lone Survivor, Shuggy, and More for Cheap During Steam Halloween Sale

October 30, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Now's your chance to stock up on horror-themed indie games in preparation for Halloween, as Steam is offering what retailers might call spooktacular savings on a wide variety of titles this week.

Some highlights:

- Frictional Games' Amnesia (regularly $9.99, now $4.99)
- Robot Entertainment's Orcs Must Die! ($9.99 -> $2.49) and its sequel ($14.99 -> $7.49)
- Jasper Byrne's Lone Survivor ($9.99 -> $4.99)
- Spooky Squid Games' They Bleed Pixels ($9.99 -> $3.39)
- Daedelic Entertainment's Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes ($19.99 -> $14.99)
- Smudged Cat Games' The Adventures of Shuggy ($4.99 -> $2.49; includes 40 new levels in a free update.)

The sale also features several bundles, including Elephant Games' RIP Trilogy ($4.99 -> $1.24), Zeboyd's Breath of Death VII / Cthulhu Saves the World combo pack ($2.99 -> $0.99), and the newly collected Halloween Adventure Bundle ($9.99).

Sale prices are in effect until November 1st.

(Bonus non-Steam Halloween sale: Nyu Media doujin shooter compilation The eXceed Collection is available for $4.99 until November 2nd.)

Indie Tools: Knytt Stories

October 30, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

knytt stories.pngI am pretty sure that everyone reading this blog is aware of Knytt Stories, the seminal indie classic by Nifflas and one of the best exploration platformers ever. Chances are most indie gamers have already played the thing too, but, as Anna Anthropy eloquently showcased in her book, the most important Knytt Stories bit might just be its level editor. It's simple, powerful and a perfect tool to get you into level design and, up to a point, game design.

The Knytt Stories editor, you see, comes with every copy of the handily freeware Knytt Stories game and, thus, also with a built-in community and audience to help you with your design ideas and world-building skills. Oh, and using said editor is almost as easy as drawing something up in MS Paint and requires virtually no scripting.

Browser Game Pick: Lord of Vandaria (TogeProductions)

October 30, 2012 5:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw

vandaria.jpg Toge Productions is probably most famous for their work with the horribly infectious Infectonator series, an arcadey collection of games that will have you attempting to zombify the world's populace. After some silence, they're back with a new title. Lord of Vandaria is a relatively meaty, campaign-driven tower defense/tower offense-like game that will have you building troops, upgrading them and engaging in familiar war-like activities.

Play the game here.

Terry Cavanagh and the Heart of Super Hexagon

October 30, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff

terry super.jpgAt England's independent game festival GameCity, Terry Cavanagh was introduced as "brilliant and unforgiving," and his popular iOS action game Super Hexagon is certainly an example of both.

Super Hexagon has three modes: Hexagon, Hexagoner and Hexagonest, and they're labeled "hard, harder and hardest."

"I like to think the first two modes are just practice," Cavanagh joked.

Of course, he's a master of his own game, in part because of his persistence -- it took him a few tries, but he was able to complete the game in full before a live audience, even through its final Hyperhexagonest mode unlocked after 60 seconds surviving the hardest difficulty. The prize is just a simple kill screen and a single word of praise: "Wonderful."

Behind him, the projector showed his folder of bright, offbeat and minimalist prototypes on his computer, from things made in jams (there's a game where you have to drive a speeding bus the wrong way down a cluttered highway) to popular VVVVVV. The folders are labeled simply by number, one through seven, and in the seventh is a prototype called Hexagon.

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