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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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Sticking the Landing: Fran Bow and the Appeal of the Ambiguous Ending

September 4, 2015 6:00 AM | Joel Couture


Having an ambiguous or metaphorical ending can be risky business. A well-made metaphorical ending can give players something else to toy with when the game's not even on, giving it new life online as people from all over the world come up with theories and ideas on what happened. Without just the right amount of clues, though, this kind of ending can feel confused and thrown-together, as if the writer just didn't know how to wrap up. The line between mysterious and cobbled nonsense is very, very thin, but if it's done just right, players will be talking about your game for decades. Killmonday Games' Natalia Figueroa took such a risk with Fran Bow, delivering a surreal, dream-like finish to its narrative that left more questions than answers, and even now, its forums are already alive with fan theories and discussions.

Satellite Reign: cyberpunk corporate battles à la Syndicate

September 4, 2015 5:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

SatelliteReign.pngFollowing a successful Kickstarter campaign filled with promises of a modern Syndicate and an early access period that helped iron out all sorts of tiny problems, Satellite Reign has finally been released and has turned out to be way more than a great re-imagining of one of my all-time favourite games. It's an excellent, beautiful, impressively ambitious and subtly innovative RTS that might just end up being my dearest 2015 game.

Assault Android Cactus release date, new trailer revealed

September 3, 2015 6:40 PM | Lena LeRay

aac.pngWitch Beam's Assault Android Cactus is currently in early access, but will launch into official release status on September 23, 2015. The game is a twin-stick shooter designed to be frantic and encourage the players to get out into the fray instead of turtling in a corner through use of an energy mechanic rather than a life mechanic.

Painter's Guild - A Masterpiece of History

September 3, 2015 11:30 AM | John Bridgman

What is often overlooked in the management sim genre is the ability to inspire learning. Being able to teach us about times and experiences outside of our usual scope of interest is a powerful thing, and it's rare to see a game leverage that ability. History teacher Lucas Molina has taken his knowledge and research and turned them into a fun and approachable management game about running an art academy in Renaissance Italy called Painter's Guild.

A House of Many Doors and a single parasitic dimension

September 3, 2015 8:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Despite being unashamedly in love with the Sunless Sea there are a couple things I'd happily change: the combat and its rogue-like nature. Apparently, Harry Tuffs had the same ideas and, inspired by the excellent Sunless Sea, decided to create an equally text heavy game set in another wondrous universe, that would eventually become a proper RPG with some FTL inspired combat bits. And quite a bit of procedural poetry. And a parasite dimension stealing from other worlds called The House.

Said game will be none other than A House of Many Doors, provided that it reaches its incredibly humble Kickstarter funding goal. A mere £5 will secure you a copy upon launch; most probably next July. Oh, and here's a very early tech-demo/prototype.

Ludum Dare 33: More games to check out

September 3, 2015 4:00 AM | Lena LeRay

trolltoll2.pngJudging for Ludum Dare 33 (theme: You are the Monster) is still going on. Here's a second batch of games I recommend. If you missed the first, you can find it here.

Cross Fate - Mecha Visual Novel Kickstarter

September 2, 2015 9:15 AM | John Bridgman

In order to gain attention, most crowdfunded games need some sort of hook. A particular stylistic decision, a gameplay element, or unique mechanics are often used to pull people in to backing. Cross Fate, the 3D tactical action game with visual novel storytelling by Studio XF8, whose Kickstarter campaign has recently started, is offering up their blend of narrative mechanics along with one of the more simple truths - that giant robots are really cool.

A New Trailer for Poi on the Last Day of its Kickstarter

September 2, 2015 5:30 AM | Joel Couture

poi (8).jpg

A new trailer was released for Poi during the final days of its Kickstarter (which ends today). It gives a little bit more information on what makes the game different from its inspirations, showing off some of the exploring tools and co-op mode. Digging and catching butterflies hint that the exploration angle will mean a little more than jumping around, and those mechanics look to add a bit more depth and variety to the title. Will it be enough for that final big push? We'll have to wait and see.

Bounty Train - Explore the Wild West in Your Custom Steam Train

September 1, 2015 7:47 PM | Sean Flint


When I first came across Bounty Train a month or so back, I was immediately reminded of my time with FTL. While the comparisons between the two games are easy to make, there is more than enough to set the games apart other than the clear thematic differences. I'll admit to never having been much of a fan of the Train Simulator games, or even a fan of trains in general, but Bounty Train drew me in with accessible controls and a surprising amount of depth.

Chase Foolish Dreams as You Journey to the Center of the Sun

September 1, 2015 5:30 AM | Joel Couture


Sometimes, you wake from a dream with new purpose. Foolish or not, you feel compelled to follow that meaning wherever it takes you, chasing after your life's new direction no matter where it takes you. From the dizzying heights of city rooftops to the depths of its turtle-infested sewers, you have no choice but to see where this dream will lead your life. Dumb or not, these thoughts compels you through the bleak, yet hopeful Journey to the Center of the Sun, a contemplation on following your dreams and talking to martial arts amphibians.

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