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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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Kickstarter Pick: Starr Mazer by Imagos to fuse adventure games and shmups

January 23, 2015 5:15 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Besides sporting some absolutely stunning pixel-art and what seems to be the most appropriately silly voice-overs ever recorded, Starr Mazer has also reminded me of the real point of Kickstarter: funding wild ideas. Allowing for talented teams to try all sorts of new things and, in this case, even enabling them to attempt to fuse traditional point-and-click adventures with action heavy shoot-'em-ups.

Yes, Starr Mazer does sound like something 16-years old me would fantasize about and something way older me would definitely love to see happen, if only to see just how seamless this ambitious blending of the genres can be. It already looks pretty amazing and very clever if you have to know.

Starr Mazer is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter and $15 pledge will earn you a copy upon release.

PC Pick: care&control (Slimekat)

January 22, 2015 8:56 PM | Chloi Rad

carecontrol1.pngcare&control is about creation and cultivation, but it also seems to be about destruction.

You play as the caretaker of a deteriorating world, and must travel across it planting flowers, harvesting seeds, and distributing them around dark chasms located on the planet.

The entire process, from the controls, visual effects, and sounds, is at first very soothing, but there are a few jarring moments once you begin to experiment.

2015 Independent Games Festival announces Student Showcase winners

January 22, 2015 12:00 PM | Tim

The Independent Games Festival is pleased to announce the winners for the ninth annual Student Showcase, which celebrates the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year, in advance of the 17th annual presentation of its prestigious awards.

This year's showcase of top student talent include the fast-paced "five minutes or less" real-time strategy game Interloper from Dutch student development team Monogon Games, the stark, fast-paced falling action game Downwell from a student developer at Tokyo's University of the Arts, and strikingly topical arcade-style experience Rooftop Cop, a game from NYU Tisch School of the Arts student Stephen Lawrence Clark, which challenges people to play through a collection of five vignettes about a police force that has forgotten who they are meant to police -- and why.

PWYW Pick: The Static Speaks My Name

January 22, 2015 7:40 AM | Lena LeRay

SCREEN3new2.jpgThe Static Speaks My Name is short first-person exploration game which is really quite disturbing. The environment makes it clear that the player's character is obsessed with this one painting, the given objectives start mundane but get creepy, and the audio cues do a fantastic job of setting the mood. It only takes about ten minutes to play, and although it doesn't currently support inverted mouse look, developer Jesse Barksdale is looking into adding that functionality.

iOS Pick: Minimalistic puzzle game Tile Enigma

January 22, 2015 3:25 AM | Lena LeRay

tileenigma.pngTile Enigma is a puzzle game that tests the player's ability to visualize changing board states in advance. The player can slide a tile, flipping it over as the tile moves to an adjacent space, or tap a row with two fingers to flip all the tiles in the row over without moving them. Using only those mechanics, and later some special tiles, the player must make all the tiles in every row and column match at least once. The early levels are easy, but it isn't long before the player needs to bend their brain to solve the puzzles.

Kickstarter Pick: Sidescrolling 2D action game Steel Assault

January 20, 2015 6:30 PM | Lena LeRay

steelassault.gifDevelopment for Steel Assault is inspired by retro and arcade style action games. The art takes inspiration from late NES games like Shatterhand and Batman, the music is being composed in software that produces actual NES music (as in, the music will be playable on an NES), and one of their backer rewards is going to be an NES rom with all their backers' names in it. But the developers state that they are "not trying to sell you some tired rhetoric about 'the good old days'. [They] just want to make a kickass 2D action game."

Trailer Roundup for January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015 7:45 AM | Lena LeRay

Gameplay1.gifThis week's trailer roundup is quite colorful and includes four free games that are available now.

Alt.Ctrl.GDC alternative input exhibit reveals GDC game lineup

January 19, 2015 5:00 AM | Tim

Game Developers Conference 2015 organizers have chosen 15 teams for the return of alt.ctrl.GDC, an on-site exhibit of alternative control schemes and interactions.

This time, attendees will wear a snail controller in Snail Run, disable a bomb while wearing Oculus VR in Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, chef with finesse in Robo Mama's Cooking Kitchen, stick their hands inside Ferdinand Laboite's controllable head, and more.

alt.ctrl.GDC is open to all attendees and will make its second showcase on GDC's Career Center Floor from Wed-Fri, March 4th-6th. Out of over 100 submissions, organizers have chosen 15 teams and 18 indie-centric, one-of-a-kind game peripherals and unique tech pairings that challenge commonly accepted forms of input.

Just a few of the other unique interactions will include Space Beagles' pug simulator, Sam Sheffield's collection of playable masks, and SuperSoul's live racing and sumo-wrestling of rumble-triggered Xbox 360 controllers.

The entire roster of 18, which includes winning entries from the first ever ALT CTRL Game Jam sponsored by GDC, is as follows:

Racy Steam Pick: Goscurry (Demigiant)

January 19, 2015 2:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

goscurry.pngEver wanted to speed across a skyroad that's building itself in real time right in front of you? To race over lovely procedurally generated cities? To show off your twitch arcade skills on a brilliantly colourful racer? Well, you are in luck. Demigiant's Goscurry is the game you've been looking for and it's finally made its psychedelic self available as an all singing all dancing Steam release for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Freeware Pick: The Bear, the Cat, and the Rabbit (Rostok)

January 17, 2015 7:50 PM | Chloi Rad

bcr.pngThe Bear, the Cat, and the Rabbit is an odd one. It has the look and feel of old, isometric PC games and is as unforgiving in its challenge as classic point-and-click adventures.

In a world overcome by dust, you take control of the three eponymous characters, anthropomorphic animals each stranded in a separate part of the game's "map."

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