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Indie Games

The Indie Games Challenge at DICE 2010 was a big deal. Why? Because it took time to recognize the little guys in gaming, those who tirelessly slave over lines of code and characters designs not because someone tells them to, but because they want to turn their passion into a career.

G4 is proud that we could be a part of this year's Indie Games Challenge where our very own Adam Sessler hosted the proceedings and introduced the world to twelve very awesome indie games.

Watch our extended web-only cut of the awards ceremony below and acquaint yourselves with the videogame icons of tomorrow.

 

DICE 2010: Indie Game Challenge with Adam Sessler »


 

 

Every year G4 covers tons of gaming conventions all over the country and across the globe. Most of the time it's a lot of fun, and every convention has it's own style, but the one that stands out for Adam Sessler is DICE. Having just returned from Vegas, this year's DICE is fresh on his mind, so Adam decided to sit down and explain to you why he loves this particular event. So take a listen and get a unique, insider's view on an insider's gaming convention in this week's episode of Sessler's Soapbox.

To see what Adam is talking about, check out all our coverage from the 2010 DICE Summit at G4tv.com/DICE

Sessler's Soapbox: Creativity vs. Big Business »



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Cogs, Gear The Big Winners at DICE 2010's First Indie Game Challenge

It's a good time to be an indie in video games. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick announced a $500,000 indie contest at DICE 2010 and the event itself got in the action with the first annual Indie Game Challenge. G4's Adam Sessler was on-hand to host the event, where beautiful puzzler Cogs and inventive action game Gears were the big winners, with each developer being awarded $100,000.

The Lazy 8 Studios-developed Cogs won the grand prize in the "professional" category, while Team 3's Gears took the "non-professional" prize. Each prized earned them $100,000, though. Not bad.

DICE has already confirmed the Indie Game Challenge is coming back next year. Submissions will be accepted starting sometime in May, with the entry window closing in September.

For more details on Cogs, visit the official website. The game was also recently released on iPhone. Gears, developed through the DigiPen program, is available for free through the school's site.

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.




Indie Game You Should Play: One Button Bob

As much as I love my massive, big-budget epics like Mass Effect 2 and Heavy Rain, there's something about the indie movement that clicks on a different level. Often, the indie movement embraces gaming's roots, our basic instincts as gamers and throws them for a loop.

One Button Bob underscores that philosophy to a t, and it's something you need to play. Play it here!

The name acutely describes the game. One Button Bob will only take you five or 10 minutes to finish. It's absurdly and wonderfully short. The whole adventure involves nothing more than clicking a mouse button over and over again, but the design changes the function of that button press across every screen. Sometimes, holding the button down moves Bob forward. Sometimes, your movement is automatic and tapping the button causes Bob to jump. Every screen keeps you on your toes.

It helps that One Button Bob is loaded with a killer chiptune soundtrack.

Once you've finished it, come back. How many clicks did it take you to finish One Button Bob?

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.


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The latest homegrown game to make the leap to Xbox Live Arcade is The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom. 2K Play picked up the undeniably unique puzzler, originally a student thesis graduate thesis project at the University of Southern California. X-Play recently had a chance to check out The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom -- take a look.

The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom Hands On Preview »


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Indie Games: Obechi

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Posted February 1, 2010 - By Donell Tucker

In this version of Indie Games, Kevin Pereira shares with us an obsessive game that will enslave your gaming life for free. Danny Miller, the developer of Boom Shine, gives us yet another flash game that is overwhelmingly addictive. Collecting and wrapping those colorful dots into a nucleus in the center of the screen can be a bit frustrating.

If you are off by one colorful ball you will have to start the whole level again, but if you succeed you are awarded with an internal sense of joy.

 

Indie Games: Obechi »


 

Tags: Indie Games

Indie Game Challenge Finalists Announced, Prices To Be Awarded At DICE With GDC on the horizon, it can be difficult to keep a handle on all of the independent gaming competitions going on. The latest, however, involves G4 itself -- specifically, Mr. Adam Sessler. The Indie Game Challenge finalists were announced today and Adam will be on-hand at this month's DICE Summit on Feb. 19 to hand out the awards.

In total, more than $350,000 is up for grabs.

The Indie Game Challenge is co-sponsored by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, GameStop, and The Guildhall department at Southern Methodist University.

The finalists are divided into two categories: professional and non-professional. All finalists will have a chance to meet with a publisher while at DICE, including Sony, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Microsoft, Namco Bandai, THQ, Ubisoft and others.

And the winners are...

Non-Professional Category (Game/Team)

  • Climb to the Top of the Castle – Two Bros. Games
  • Dreamside Maroon – Terraced
  • Galactic Arms Race – Galactic Arms Race
  • Gear – Joshua Maiche
  • Waker – Poof Productions
  • Zeit2 – Brightside Games

Read More »

According to its creator, indie game Gnilley was originally supposed to be "a game about pitch and colour, instead it became all about yelling at everything."

I THINK I WOULD BE REALLY GOOD AT THIS GAME! ARRRGGH!!!

Official Site


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I Died 705 Times Playing The Mind Bending Platformer That Is VVVVVV

VVVVVV is the actual name of a platformer I've been playing the past week and 705 is the actual number of times I've died trying to complete VVVVVV. The game happily tracks it for you.

As an unabashed lover of almost all things platforming, VVVVVV caught my eye when it began making the rounds on the indie game blogs a few weeks back. I don't have any experience with previous works of Irish game designer Terry Cavanagh, but I'll give him this: he passed "The Mega Man Test." What's "The Mega Man Test"? It's the answer to the immortal question: what's the best Mega Man?

"I'm not sure, but I think the second one?" he told me over e-mail, while finalizing the first patch for VVVVVV and prepping a Linux port of his latest work. "The one with quick man and that air man stage - but really that's only because I haven't actually played the others, I didn't have a NES..."

Cavanagh's excused for not having an NES because he answered correctly: Mega Man 2.

It's an important answer because regardless of whether Cavanagh has actually invested much time in The Greatest Platformer Ever Made, VVVVVV follows in Mega Man 2's footsteps. Besides the inventive boss battles and clever weapons, Mega Man 2 epitomized smart, quirky level design based on precise physics that rewarded careful and deliberate manipulation of your character. VVVVVV does, too, requiring players to calculate every step forward, knowing death is right around the corner.

Read More »

Indie Game Challenge Judges Chosen

It's award-season, folks, and today the judging panel was announced for the Indie Game Challenge sponsored by Southern Methodist University, The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, and GameStop. The judges will honor outstanding indie games by choosing 12 finalists for the prize.  Overall, more than $350,000 in cash and scholarships will be awarded, as will a chance to meet with industry professionals at the D.I.C.E. conference in February.

The 40 member volunteer panel is made up up of professionals from all corners of the game industry, including Danny Bilson, executive vice president Core Games, THQ; Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago, co-founders of thatgamecompany and creators of Flow and FlowerKyle Gabler, co-founder and creative director of 2D Boy, Rod Ferguson, executive producer, Epic Games, Alex Seropian, vice president creative development, Disney Interactive, Mike Hogan, GameStop’s senior vice president of marketing, Mathew Lee Johnson, senior producer for PopCap Games, Roger Hector, senior vice president product development, Namco Bandai, Tina Kowalewski, director of external development, Sony Computer Entertainment America, as well as representatives from publishers and developers including Microsoft, Capcom, Harmonix, Volition, Insomniac, id Software, Zipper Interactive and Vigil Games. 

In short: heavy hitters.

Over 250 games were submitted to the contest, and will be culled down to 12 finalists to be announced on January 25th. Winners will be picked at D.I.C.E 2010, on Feb. 19, and each finalist team will receive the chance to pitch game ideas to top publishers like EA, Capcom, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and more.

Check out the official site for more details.

Independent Game Festival 2010 Finalists Announced

After a slew of judges (including yours truly) played through more than 300 selections of indie games, the finalists for the 2010 Independent Games Festival have been announced.

One of my favorite parts of the Game Developers Conference every year is perusing the Independent Game Festival finalists. There's more innovation in that booth than several years worth of big-budget video games combined. That's not to say I don't love those big-budget extravaganzas, but the IGF finalists aren't (usually) in it for the money -- it's the love of game.

Here are your finalists, complete with links with images and descriptions:

Seumas McNally Grand Prize:
Joe Danger (Hello Games)
Monaco (Pocketwatch Games)
Rocketbirds: Revolution! (Ratloop Asia)
Trauma (Krystian Majewski)
Super Meat Boy! (Team Meat)

Read More »

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An Indie Game You Must Play: Every Day The Same Dream

I didn't play many video games over the holidays (that's part of a separate post coming later), but I did carve out time to check out an independent art game my friends were raving about: Every Day The Same Dream. It's a short gem that left a lasting impression and I felt compelled to share with all of you.

You can play the game here.

Even though Stephen Johnson already mentioned it a week or so ago, I'm guessing many G4 readers weren't checking the Internet during their time off, so it makes sense to bring it up again.

Every Day The Same Dream is best played without knowing very much. The premise is simple: you play a man with a routine, a very strict routine. Wake up, get dressed, say hello to the wife, drive to work, sit in a cubicle amongst a million other cubicles and eventually go home. To "win" Every Day The Same Dream (if you can call it that), you must try to break the cycle.

It'll take most players less than 20 minutes to see Every Day The Same Dream from start to finish, but that's part of its brilliance, too. It makes a meaningful statement during its time with you, something that can't really be said for most of the games we spend dozens of hours with. I became stuck at one point involving a, um, cow, but other than that, it's an enjoyable breeze.

Please, let me know what you think of it.

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Kevin Pereira is back with this edition of Indie Games, and, this time, he's got a game called Type or Die, from the good people at Truth, which challenges you to type phrases in under six seconds, before you die. Don't worry, you won't be dying in real life. The dying is metaphorical. Think about it as dying of embarrassment from not being able to type quick enough.

Check it out.

 

Indie Games: Type Or Die »




 

Kevin Pereira is back to talk to you about the latest in Indie Games. This time he's talking about Leadership, a game where you must navigate your ship through the perils of line charts. To the passerby this games look like research and with the click of your space bar the ship disappears leaving your boss none the wiser.

Check it out.

 

Indie Games: Leadership »


 

Tags: Indie Games

Written by: Rob Manuel, X-Play

Five Ways To Stretch Your Gaming Dollar

Let’s face it: Running a Ponzi Scheme is a bitch. Sure, gobs of money pass through your bank account, but you have to constantly make up ridiculous excuses for not being able to pay out the twenty percent on a 30-day contract. And do you know who is going to replace those mahogany doors? Not the FBI agents who kicked them down while you had all the shredders going at full capacity. What a bunch of jerks.

So while you’re in Club Fed trying to come up with enough cash to sway the judge and have a little extra time on your hands, here are Five Ways to Stretch Your Gaming Dollar.

Number 5: Hot Flashes
Typical cost: Free

Werewolf

Stop rolling your eyes. Flash games have come a long way since Snood -- not that I couldn’t still kill half a day playing it again. Developers in the making and even some of the pros tinker with these quick-fix games that you can play just about anywhere. These games range from the very popular tower defense titles, to point-and-click games, and practically everything else under the sun. Honestly ask yourself, "when was the last time I played a good werewolf hunting game?"

Read More »

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