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Indie Games

Indie Game Lessons in a Flash: Open Worlds

Open world games have been around since the days of pen, paper, and a couple of dice. It’s a way to truly create and immerse a player into a world through exploration and a feeling of freedom. Of course, freedom doesn’t come without a price. By giving the player the ability to do whatever they want, you’re also giving them the ability to completely ignore any story elements or directions you’ve set within the world. How then do you get players to follow your quests or move in any sort of direction? With good old-fashioned trickery, of course. 

For me, it started after I got lost in the woods. It's the kind of place where the ten feet behind you looks exactly like the ten feet in front of you. Alone, young, and scared; I found a strange opening inside one of the trees. A man was waiting for me there with a sword and a simple message: I needed to find her. A girl who I've never seen but her survival rested in my hands. As the doors parted and sunlight blinded my eyes, I found myself once again lost but now with a purpose. For me that was my first open world game, The Legend of Zelda. With only 8-bits and a handful of colors, Miyamoto created a world both terrifying and wondrous.

Keep reading to enter the exciting, and scary, realm of open worlds that exist indie games.

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IGF / GDC Awards

Pop your popcorn, open your sodas, and kick back. The Game Developer's Choice Awards, and the Independent Games Festival Awards are about to kickoff, and you can watch them both live right here. Want to know who's going to pull in the most awards? Wondering what indie devs might make waves like Monaco did last year? There's a video livestream that's been put up, just for our audience here at G4, courtesy of the fine folks at Gamespot. And for the rest of our coverage from San Francisco, keep things pointed right at our GDC page. Enjoy the show, and check G4tv.com afterwards for a list of all the winners!

Independent Games Festival

There’s a big celebration about to happen. Awards will be given. Corks will be popped. People who have worked long and hard on their dreams will finally get a little recognition. Of course, I’m talking about the Oscars of hard-working indie game developers. The Independent Games Festival started this week and there are some big awards to give away. You can keep your shiny gold little men. Give me something that says I made an awesome game. With some big games hitting the stage this year, it’s going to be a tough fight just to win any award.

Of course, we here at G4TV.com know that you have a gambling problem. You keep losing. If you kept winning, it wouldn’t be a problem. So how about some help?

We've picked out some of the best bets in each of the categories ranging from audio all the way up to the big prize: the Seumas McNally award. And just to cover all the bases, we’ve even thrown in a dark horse contender in the competition just to cover our butts. Of course, each one of these games beat out hundreds of other titles just to make it this far. When all is said and done, we are all winners to have so many great games in the competition this year. Just remember that if you happen to win any real money by betting on these titles, you’re required  to give us 10% off the top. Or else. Read on for our Best Bets for the Independent Games Festival Awards this year.

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Independent Games Festival

There’s a big celebration about to happen. Awards will be given. Corks will be popped. People who have worked long and hard on their dreams will finally get a little recognition. Of course, I’m talking about the Oscars of hard-working indie game developers. The Independent Games Festival started this week and there are some big awards to give away. You can keep your shiny gold little men. Give me something that says I made an awesome game. With some big games hitting the stage this year, it’s going to be a tough fight just to win any award.

Of course, we here at G4TV.com know that you have a gambling problem. You keep losing. If you kept winning, it wouldn’t be a problem. So how about some help?

We've picked out some of the best bets in each of the categories ranging from audio all the way up to the big prize: the Seumas McNally award. And just to cover all the bases, we’ve even thrown in a dark horse contender in the competition just to cover our butts. Of course, each one of these games beat out hundreds of other titles just to make it this far. When all is said and done, we are all winners to have so many great games in the competition this year. Just remember that if you happen to win any real money by betting on these titles, you’re required  to give us 10% off the top. Or else. Read on for our Best Bets for the Independent Games Festival Awards this year.

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Independent Games Festival

There’s a big celebration about to happen. Awards will be given. Corks will be popped. People who have worked long and hard on their dreams will finally get a little recognition. Of course, I’m talking about the Oscars of hard-working indie game developers. The Independent Games Festival starts next week and there are some big awards to give away. You can keep your shiny gold little men. Give me something that says I made an awesome game. With some big games hitting the stage this year, it’s going to be a tough fight just to win any award.

Of course, we here at G4TV.com know that you have a gambling problem. You keep losing. If you kept winning, it wouldn’t be a problem. So how about some help?

We've picked out some of the best bets in each of the categories ranging from audio all the way up to the big prize: the Seumas McNally award. And just to cover all the bases, we’ve even thrown in a dark horse contender in the competition just to cover our butts. Of course, each one of these games beat out hundreds of other titles just to make it this far. When all is said and done, we are all winners to have so many great games in the competition this year. Just remember that if you happen to win any real money by betting on these titles, you’re required  to give us 10% off the top. Or else. Read on for our Best Bets for the Independent Games Festival Awards this year.

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NEStalgia is an MORPG(not massive) that takes a page from the classic RPGs from gaming's early days. Unlike the video games of the 80s you won't be going on this adventure alone. The "multiplayer online" part of NEStalgia means you are not playing by yourself, nor are you playing with a group of anonymous players. It has small servers with a "close-knit" community of gamers.

Keep reading for more details.

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Independent Games Challenge

The glasses of champagne are in the dishwasher, some confetti still lingers in the red carpet, and they’re still trying to mop up the blood from the floor. Whatever the case, The Indie Game Challenge has come to a triumphant conclusion with two games taking home most of the big prizes. Again, I highly encourage everyone with thumbs and the love of games to try to get their hands on these titles as soon as possible. While you won’t see some until later on this year, many of these great games can be yours with little to no cost. And without further ado, here the winners of this year’s Indie Game Challenge, and why they brought home the bacon.

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The Indie Game Challenge Finalists: Solace, Limbo, Symon, and Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix & Her Nightmare

Along with the high-profile annual Interactive Achievement Awards, DICE also hosts the Indie Game Challenge, a scrappier contest for smaller, more esoteric indie titles. Think of the IGC as the Spirit Award to the the IAA's Oscar.  Indie Game Challenge awards are given in two main categories -- Pro and Non-Pro.

... And the winner of the Indie Game Challenge are...

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The Indie Game Challenge Finalists; Spirits, Inertia, Hazard: The Journey of Life, Monaco

Welcome back to the last leg of our journey to the Indie Game Challenge. We've seen some great games, but we have four more before we finish. Again, you have a chance to give an award to your favorite indie game with the Audience Choice Award. One will be crowded in glory and laurel wreaths. The rest shall hang their heads in shame. Their children shall hang their heads in shame. Crops will wither and their milk shall sour. And you, casting the winning vote, shall hoist the winner high upon your shoulders shouting “Glory! Glory!”

Or they’ll probably get a little well deserved recognition and maybe a nice dinner. I would bet on that second thing. Think, play, and vote for your favorite indie game.

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The Indie Game Challenge Finalists: Subsonic, Q.U.B.E., Confetti Carnival, and Fortix 2
 
As we continue our journey to the Indie Game Challenge at DICE 2011, we serve up four more piping hot indie titles for you to cast your ever-judging eyes upon. Remember, you hold the power to award one of these games the Audience Choice awards at this year’s celebration. The rest of the developers will receive cucumber sandwiches and flat soda. So needless to say, they’re really counting on your vote. In case you’ve already forgotten who else is in the running, you can check out last week’s article which is conveniently located around here. Again, all of these games deserve recognition for being simply amazing. Much like Highlanders, however, there can be only one.
 
So vote smart. Vote S Mart.

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The Indie Game Challenge Finalists: Solace, Limbo, Symon, and Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix & Her Nightmare
 
In a couple of weeks, some of the biggest names in game development will be gathering at DICE to recognize the best among them – and you can be a part of it. The Indie Game Challenge picks out twelve of the best indie games from last year and lets you reward one with the illustrious Audience Choice award. This isn’t Florida, so your vote actually counts in this election. In the next couple of weeks, we’re going to introduce you to the twelve finalists and try to convince you why they should garner your vote. Each of these games deserves your vote but you can only pick one. So choose wisely, Grasshopper.
 
We'll be focusing on four of the twelve finalists for each of the next three weeks leading up to the IGC awards at DICE on February 11. Head on beyond the break where you can check out Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix & Her Nightmare, Solace, Limbo, and Symon. Once you've heard about all of them, make up your mind and vote!

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Indie Game Challenge Finalists Announced, Prices To Be Awarded At
DICE The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences has announced the finalists for their annual Indie Game Challenge finalists have been revealed, and include some very awesome, non-traditional games, including Limbo, Q.U.B.E., Monaco and more.

The winners will be revealed on February 11th at the D.I.C.E. Summit at Las Vegas' Red Rock Resort in a ceremony hosted by G4's own Adam Sessler.  You'll be learn the winners as soon as their announced on our D.I.C.E. 2011 page, where we'll be covering all the action of D.I.C.E. 2011 as it happens.

RATING: Limbo Review

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The Indie Games of 2011
 
Let’s face it – 2010 was a great year for indie games. With titles like Minecraft and LIMBO breaking away from the pack and finally getting mainstream attention, gamers and journalists alike are finally turning their interests towards these creative, unique, and often under appreciated games. And I am happy to say that this year is turning out to be an even bigger year for indie titles with some big named developers releasing games and a couple of highly anticipated titles finally hitting your local download emporium. 
 
This list only represents a small fraction of the games coming out this year. I apologize if I leave your game out. I’ve killed a number of virtual trees to make these pages and I would need a virtual Amazon rainforest to take care of the rest. Still, these are all titles you should be keeping your itchy little gamer fingers ready for when they finally hit. And the next time you happen to be at one of those swank videogame parties, don’t be afraid to drop some of these names and watch the girls swoon. What can I say; the ladies love indie games. 

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Shooting Models is a game from Silver Dollar Games that is currently available as an Xbox Live Indie Game. Imagine a game where you're an up and coming fashion photographer learning the ropes and climbing the occupational ladder in the cut-throat entertainment industry. This isn't that. Instead you take pictures of unsuspecting women as they walk by. You're basically a stalker who works for a magazine. 

"There's a fashion show in town next week. I want these models photographed before the show. Deliver me some shots that aren't complete garbage and I may consider keeping you around."

 

Silver Dollar Games' previous contributions to gaming include Don’t Be Nervous Talking 2 Girls and the Old Spice sponsored The Perfect Pickup Line. If you're as intrigued as I am you'll be pleased to know Shooting Models costs 240 MS points and only 24% of your soul.

 

Source: Siliconera

Xbox Indie games just don't get enough love in the world. It's not that there aren't any good ones, it's just that there are so many bad ones, it's hard to spot a diamond in the mine. Today, though, I've got a gem that will surely sparkle brightly: Cthulhu Saves the World.

The game is an old-school, Lovecraftian turn-based RPG where you play as the Great Old One Cthulhu, adventuring to get your evil powers back. I'm totally in, and for only 240 Points, it's a bargain, too. Check out the trailer:

 

Cthulhu Saves the World Exclusive Trailer »


And if you're wanting to do some Cthulu-based rocking out, head beyond the break for their awesome Cthulu Saves The World music video. It's amazing.

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