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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 April, 2013

Tha Javier Cabrera Interview

April 26, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

JavierInterview.jpgJavier Cabrera, 50% of the Cabrera Borthers and one of the staunchest supporters of indie gaming I have ever met speaks about the indie community, developing games, The Free Bundle, Cypher and much more. Oh, and he does also mention some interesting plans on the future while never forgetting the past.

So, set aside 30 minutes, make yourself a nice cup of tea and read on:

1. Let's start off with the big one. You exploded into the indie scene with an utterly unique game that took a novel approach to a more or less commercially dead genre: Cypher. How'd you do it?

Hi! Thanks for having me! Indiegames feels like a home for us indies! Cypher did great for us. Me and Carlos [Cabrera] couldn't be more happy about it; we truly are. Thanks to this little project we are now able to make another game, and while we haven't been able to go full time, it certainly takes a big weight off our shoulders. We could say Cypher was a "small kickstarter" for us. Everyone keeps saying the text adventure genre is dead but we think its far from dead. It's not only alive and kicking, but it will evolve with time; there's a huge IF (Interactive Fiction) community working day and night to make this happen and rest assured Cypher was only the beginning of a new age for commercial text adventures.

Browser Pick: Goscurry will unleash your inner speedfreak

April 25, 2013 10:30 PM | Paul Hack

goscurry.jpgSpeeding along the skyroad in your rocket car and watching the road assemble itself in front of you is exhilarating--until you miss a hairpin turn and plummet to the lovely cityscape below. This is Goscurry, Holoville Games' (Stackout) entry into the Edge Get Into Games Challenge 2013. It's an alpha demo release, but the game is fully playable and ready to satisfy your need for speed (and for precision handling).

Tempest 2000 designer to release follow-up TxK on PS Vita

April 25, 2013 7:34 PM | John Polson

TxK-llamasoft.jpgWay before Space Giraffe and Super Ox Wars, Jeff Minter of Llamasoft created Tempest 2000 (T2K), a remake of Atari arcade game Tempest. Twenty years have passed since Tempest 2000's release, and now Llamasoft has announced a follow-up, entitled TxK, for the PlayStation Vita to release in 2013. As written on the PlayStation blog, Jeff aims to do for TxK "what T2K itself did for its ancient arcade ancestor."

Freeware Pick: shatter enemies in sci-fi, first person stealth game Fragment

April 25, 2013 5:21 PM | John Polson

fragment.jpgA team of Vancouver Film School students has recently released the 2013 game project, Fragment, a sci-fi, first person stealth action game built in Unity. Trapped in a space station, players have the ability to "assimilate" (shatter) the opposition with supernatural powers. Advanced tactics involve deploying a clone that can distract, be remotely controlled, or act as a teleportation point.

The genius of the game design in Monaco: What's Yours is Mine

April 25, 2013 2:20 PM | Staff

[Written by Robert Boyd]

Let's discuss the design of Monaco: What's Yours is Mine for a bit, shall we?

You start with the basic structure of Pac-Man. The key feature of Pac-Man is that the game is bipolar - it frequently switches back and forth between placing you in predator mode (kill everything!) and prey mode (run away!). Monaco's first stroke of genius is to take this basic bipolar two-mode gameplay and seamlessly adds a third mode - puzzle mode - where you need to avoid detection and solve puzzles (none of which have one set answer). Having these three very different but related modes and having to switch between them, often very quickly, makes for a very compelling game that really rewards skill & mastery. And once the player realizes that the game isn't really a stealth game (where your goal is to stay hidden at all costs) but is a time-attack arcade game (where your goal is to complete your objectives in the most efficient manner possible), then the whole design space really opens up.

PSN Pick: puzzle-platforming with Thomas Was Alone + Benjamin's Flight DLC

April 25, 2013 12:08 PM | Anthony Swinnich

Sony's Spring Fever promotion is currently in its penultimate week, which means Thomas Was Alone has come out on Playstation Network. Puzzle-platformer fans should take note -- This thoughtful little gem is deeper than its simplistic graphics first imply.

IndieGoGo Project: The BitJackers (DedHedZed)

April 25, 2013 8:10 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Twin-stick shooters aren't a rare sighting in our world of indie gaming, I'll give you that. Procedurally generated ones, on the other hand, are both still considered rather unique and are pretty hard to pull off. Especially those created by people who are good and actually funny writers/designers like DedHedZed, who, to finally get to the point, is busy working on The BitJackers. A randomly generated and thus infinite arena shmup for the PC, that will impressively also offer a proper story mode. Provided of course enough people are generous enough to support its IndieGoGo campaign; a modest $10 contribution will get you the complete game upon release.

Lineup for the fourth No Quarter exhibition revealed

April 25, 2013 4:30 AM | Staff

noquarter2013.jpegThe fourth annual No Quarter Exhibition will take place in New York next week, and feature four new games from a selection of notable indie developers.

For the past several years, the NYU Game Center has commissioned work from established and emerging indie devs, with the aim to create experiences that work in a social, gallery setting. Last year's No Quarter included work from people like Zach Gage and Jan Willem Nijman.

This year, new games from Bennett Foddy, Sophie Houlden, Matthew LoPresti, Nik Mikros, and Josh DeBonis will be displayed on May 3 at the Tisch School of the Arts.

The event is free to attend. Those hoping to visit can find more details on the official website.

[Mike Rose wrote this newsbrief originally for sister site Gamasutra]

Freeware Pick: What dark secrets are hidden on Lumber Island?

April 24, 2013 11:44 PM | Paul Hack

lumber.jpgLumber Island, from one-man studio DeanForge, has been causing a bit of a stir since images began appearing earlier this year. Screenshots promised a terrifying horror-adventure with high-quality 3-D graphics on the order of Amnesia. Now the first chapter of Lumber Island has been released, and Let's Plays are already cropping up on YouTube. Honestly, the game has some issues, many of which will hopefully be addressed in updates, but Lumber Island is so good-looking and so effective at being creepy that I have no choice but to recommend it--just with minor reservations.

Video: Making a game while struggling with obsessive compulsiveness

April 24, 2013 6:07 PM | John Polson

retro-grade.jpgIn this GDC 2013 video, 24 Caret Games co-founder Matt Gilgenbach delivers a personal postmortem on how his obsessive-compulsive behavior led to a crunch-heavy, four-year development cycle for the PlayStation Network and PC rhythm reverse-shooter Retro/Grade.

Courtesy of the GDC Vault, this free lecture reflects on the 750,000 lines of code in the game and the personal sacrifices Gilgenbach made to maintain 80-hour work weeks to handle such code. But one lesson learned, he says to question the extra time spent on features, to debate if they will increase sales or at least impact the player's experience meaningfully.

The video begins after the jump.

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