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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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XBLIG Pick - Magnetic By Nature: Awakening draws you in

April 30, 2013 7:40 PM | Anthony Swinnich

Magnetism is a cruelly underused game mechanic. There's something inherently cool about the ability to attract and repel objects, or walk along the ceiling a la The Legend of Zelda. These properties have been applied to every level in the remarkable Magnetic By Nature: Awakening.

Hurdle Turtle 2 running toward XBLIG, jumps from infinity to multiple levels

April 29, 2013 5:55 PM | Anthony Swinnich

hurdleturtle2_42913.pngHolmade Games considers the original Hurdle Turtle on XBLIG their most beloved game to date, so it's not surprising to see them return to the track with Hurdle Turtle 2. Don't expect a simple second lap, however, as there are big changes in store for our shell-backed friend.

November's GDC Next open for talk submissions

April 29, 2013 3:07 PM | John Polson

GDC Next.pngUBM Tech is announcing a call to present lectures, roundtables and panels at the inaugural Game Developers Conference Next (GDC Next) - with submissions open from now through Wednesday, May 29th.

Those who submit talks are being asked to present best practices across six tracks: Independent Games, The Future of Gaming, Next Generation Game Platforms, Free-to-Play & New Business Models, Smartphone and & Tablet Games, and Cloud Gaming.

GDC Next, which aims to highlight the 'state of the art' for the future of video games, is taking place simultaneously with the App Developers Conference on November 5th-7th, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Freeware Pick: a Halloween point-and-click-and-scare for Grandpa

April 28, 2013 9:55 PM | John Polson

grandpa.jpgGrandpa is a short point-and-click adventure game for Windows set on Halloween with the goal of getting an old man to see his grandson. Creator
Hadi Ghasem Zadeh uses colorful, cartoon-style graphics to show how far the player-ghost will go to help animate the old man.

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."

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.

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.

IGF China seeking pan-Pacific indie game submissions for 2013 event

April 24, 2013 12:22 PM | John Polson

The Independent Games Festival China - which will take place alongside this September's GDC China in Shanghai - has opened its call for submissions and is accepting indie game entries from the pan-Pacific area from now through July 19.

Following its success from previous years, GDC China will once again host all three main elements of IGF China, including the Independent Games Summit, the IGF Pavilion, and the prestigious IGF China Awards.

Now in its fifth year, the IGF Summit at GDC China will feature sessions from some of the world's top developers, while the IGF Pavilion will showcase some of the region's best independent and student games.

And of course the IGF China Awards - which are split into both Main and Student competitions - will honor the many talented developers in the pan-Pacific area.

Last year's event saw 159 high-quality entries from regions including Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Serbia, Montenegro, and more.

Last year's recipients included the Best Game winner, the retro-inspired puzzler Cubetractor, and abstract action Best Student Game winner, Fish - and other previously honored games (from 2011 and before) include acclaimed strategy title FTL: Faster Than Light and unconventional retro game Pixel May Cry.

When platform exclusivity is good for indies

April 24, 2013 3:01 AM | Staff

papoyyo_thumb.jpg"If you are an independent you have zero marketing money. [And] if someone asks you for exclusivity and it's going to help you to bring out your product into the market, I think that can be good. Sometimes, I think it's the only way to get something out."- Minority Media co-founder Vander Caballero

Minority Media's debut title Papo & Yo, telling the idiosyncratic story of a boy escaping into his imagination in a Brazilian favela, arrived on Steam last week after months spent as a PlayStation Network exclusive. Speaking with Kotaku, creative lead and studio co-founder Caballero remarked on exclusivity being good for one's game.

"The PS3 release was one of the top sellers on PSN," said Caballero. "[Papo & Yo] cost $1.5 million to make and we've already made part of our investment back. Hopefully, we are going to get the other part on Steam and make some profit."

Caballero remains gracious toward Sony, with whom Minority Media established an exclusive deal in exchange for funding. "Sony really helped us to push the game out and make people know about it," Caballero explained. "They really helped us in the development, too. It was an amazing relationship."

[Kris Ligman wrote this originally for sister site Gamasutra]

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