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Indie Games

Indie Game: The Movie is a feature length documentary from Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky about indie game developers. The film follows several of the dramatic stories of these creators as they craft their games, and the pressure they have of releasing these projects out in to the world.

Indie Game: The Movie Trailer »


For more information on Indie Game: The Movie, check out the documentary's website IndieGameTheMovie.com.

Game Jam

Down the hallway past the old movie posters of stars long gone and empty sets waiting for their next moment of inspiration, the future of videogames is being created behind wooden doors and warm computers. This wasn’t the secret basement of EA’s campus or a Microsoft war room I was walking into. Instead, it was the first IndieCade Mobile 3D Game Jam session where new developers and indie legends would get a chance to develop a game in the span of two days. From concept to playable demo, groups of eager designers would get the first crack at LG’s new Real3D mobile phone. For a company looking towards the future, they were in no better hands than the group that sat before me in that classroom.

Chris Bell, from thatgamecompany, said it best when he was asked what piece of advice he had for the budding developers – "Go deeper." Challenge what other people know about games. Move past the notions of gaming conventions. Don’t be afraid of failure. In other words, go deeper with the understanding of how 3D works, go deeper with how we perceive games, and challenge yourself above all else. Talk to a couple of the developers and you’ll understand what an exciting time it is right now to be in indie games. As Celia Pearce, the IndieCade Festival Chair, pointed out, it’s all about innovation. More companies like LG will and should follow suit by using indie games as a way to create content and push the technology forward. In that classroom on USC campus, I witnessed the future and indie games were leading the way.

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Behind nearly every great indie game is a story of sacrifice. Long hours and little rewards are practically the mantra of indie developers. Computers don’t come cheap – neither does advertisement, coding, artists, and Starbucks isn’t exactly handing out free cups of coffee. Imagine working for months on a project as your funds slowly dwindle to next to nothing as you keep hoping to hit the magical number of games that you need to sell just to break even. Now imagine going into debt for your project. It’s the fear that strikes the heart of every game maker and perhaps the one issue that keeps many great minds from entering the field.

Kickstarter might not be the magic bullet to this problem, but it’s another tool in the box for developers looking to garner a little cash (and interest) before diving into a project. The website combines some rather ingenious ideas while keeping hands off of the process between developer and donor. Each page comes with a short video or pictures of the project along with a description of where the money goes once you hit send. There’s a goal and a time limit that goes with each of the projects. Most Kickstarter projects last for only a couple of weeks instead of lingering in cyberspace. You can donate past the goal but all projects must meet their goals in order for money to exchange hands.

If they don’t reach the goal, you don’t have to pay. Not reaching a set goal helps developers by giving them a chance to rework their proposal or maybe re-tweak their game. This is their audience after all.

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Of Queens and Pimps: Redefining the Indie Game

When she’s not burning the midnight oil toiling over history papers, Alyssa Campanella spends her late nights reading through the Game of Thrones books. She knows the difference between R2-D2 and R5-D4. To pass the time, she been known to play a videogame or two. By all accounts, even her own, she’s a nerd. But there’s a twist to this story - Alyssa Campanella also happens to be Miss America 2011. The woman who wears the crown also gets giddy over Star Wars and can’t wait to see Tyrion Lannister again next year. But for some people, that just doesn’t define their idea of what it means to be a nerd.

It wasn’t that long ago that the word “nerd” came rolling off the tongue like a four-letter slur. The word used to conjure up visions of dark basements, miniature figurines, and taped glasses. Times have changed and with it, we need to re-evaluate what makes a nerd a nerd. With so much science fiction, video games, and technology permeating our world, I say that it’s no wonder that we crowned a nerd or put one in the White House. Zombie walks, pub trivia nights, videog ames on practically every device; being a nerd didn’t just become the cool thing to do. People have just realized that it’s really the fun to do.

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With Carmageddon happening for real in Los Angeles this weekend, there’s nothing better than spending the whole day kicking back, staying inside and playing some great games. Well, of course things could be better if those games were free. Better still, not having to be stuck in a cubicle when it’s beautiful outside. Okay, I can only do so much. If you’re like me and stuck in the middle of three fake walls, then here are ten great flash games you can play to make the day move just a little faster.

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PAX 10 Winners Announced -- Top Indie GamesThe PAX 10 winners have been announced. Over 100 indie games were submitted but only the best of the best were crowned the "PAX 10." The caps lock proves how important this honor is. The 10 indie games that have been chosen will receive free booth space at PAX Prime in Seattle. PAX Prime begins on August 26 and end on August 28th. Keep reading to see this year's PAX 10.

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There’s nothing better than spending the whole day kicking back and playing some great games. Well, things could be better if those games were for free. Better still, not having to be stuck in a cubical when it’s beautiful outside. Okay, I can only do so much. If you’re like me and stuck in the middle of three fake walls, then here are ten great flash games you can play to make the day move just a little faster.

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Limbo Walkthrough

Limbo, the creepy Xbox Live Arcade puzzle platformer monster hit from last year, is coming to the PlayStation Network. The Korean Rating Board leaked the news, citing that Sony has rated the game. Other XBLA classics like Braid and Castle Crashers also made the jump from XBLA to the PSN, so this isn't too out of the box. There's no release date set for the game yet, but when we hear more we'll let you know.

Are you a PSN owner who has been dying to try out Limbo? Let us know below.

Source: GameSetWatch

The Indie Games Of Summer: Summertime And The Livin's Indie

Yes, it’s officially Summer - a time to enjoy the heat of the sun, wading out into the ocean, or just spending the day doing nothing. For me, it’s just a time to turn up the AC. But if I manage to turn off my air conditioner and just open up a window – ack, the burning sunlight – then maybe I can save eleven bucks to buy five games. Like these great indie titles from Xbox Live. Even if you're looking for RPG adventure, hardcore platforming, or just want to chill out; there’s something for everyone and it won’t cost you that well-earned ice cream money. As with all of these titles, you can try before you buy. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to apply another coat of SPF 100 before opening my window again.

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Download This Now

Right now, three amazing indie games are just waiting for you to download them. The summer time has always marked a slow period for those triple-A titles as developers get ready for the holiday season. Gamers tend to moan about the dearth of games for them to play while looking towards older titles to glean what few achievement points they have left.

Snap out of it. Get up off the floor. I’m giving you not only three great indie titles just waiting for you right now, but three amazing games that would impress the most harden gamer. It’s time you start playing like a real gamer for a change this summer.

Forget achievements. An amazing experience may just be the best thing you’ve gotten out of a game in awhile.

Resonance

That’s it. I refuse to dip back into the golden age LucasArt games when talking about point-and-click adventures. With games like Gemini Rue, Blackwell Deception, and Puzzle Bots; Wadjet Eye Games deserves a place along side other adventuring greats when it comes to these style of games, immersing the playing in story, characters, and more puzzles than you can shake a mouse at. This is not only a publisher you should know about, but anticipate when they put out a new game. And thanks to Wadjet Eye Games and xii games, Resonance only cements this fact with their high standard of quality and amazing story woven within the game.

A mysterious attack will hit every nation in the world in a little less than three days from now. You cannot stop it. Now, your task is to understand what’s behind the attacks as well as stay alive. Resonance puts you in control of four different characters; a scientist searching for answers, a ER doctor trying to escape a horrible past, a cop charging in head-first into every situation, and journalist getting too close to the truth. Though intertwining stories, each character finds their own path and tangle with their own problems.

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Occasionally I’ll run into an older indie game while looking for the best games for you – because I’m always thinking about you guys. Always. The Void came to my attention just recently when the developers, Ice-Pick Lodge, put out their third game on Steam, Cargo: The Quest For Gravity. Located in Russia, this little team creates some of the most bizarre and unusual games around. While Cargo has its charms, The Void took me by surprise. If you want to see what a whole lot of creativity gets you, then look no further than this first person nightmare. Read on to see why.

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Independent Games Challenge

Many people play bad games and think, "I could make a better game than that!" Now is the chance to prove your brash statement. The 2012 Indie Game Challenge is looking for entrants, and is offering a quarter million bucks in prize money for the best Indie games.

Sponsored by The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, The Guildhall at SMU, and GameStop, the third Indie game challenge is open for entries now through Oct. 3, 2011. Finalists will be announced in January 2012. The Academy's carefully selected judges panel will decide which games split the $250,000 in prize money and scholarships, including a $100,000 grand prize award to the winning game in the form of an oversize novelty check (see photo above from last year). All the finalists will benefit from the  exposure and fame that will comes with a good showing in the contest.

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The Hidden Indie Gems of E3 2011

Lights flashing, people running into each other, the floor shaking with the rumbling bass from twenty different booths; E3 is best described as a dozen rock concerts going on at once. Giant marquees and statues for all the big games appear nearly everywhere you turn. You can probably guess that a game with little fanfare on a single screen would require quite a bit of hunting to find.

So at this year's E3, I went on the hunt to find the best indie titles. A couple of them were only playable on one screen behind a booth which was often hidden by a bigger booth. But, I was able to complete my quest. A big special thanks to IndieCade for having such a great presence at the show! Here are just a few of the hidden treasures I found in my search for the best indie games at E3.

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Absolutely Accurate 110% Scientifically-Proven Indie E3 2011 Predictions

E3 2011. It’s that time of year when all the game companies sweat and toil for weeks on end to deliver that one golden moment of gaming greatness to the ravenous public known. Yes, Virginia – this truly is a nerd’s Christmas. It just so happens to also be that time of the year when gaming journalist get to pander to a rabid public ready to digest any morsel of sensationalism. So to keep indie games in the spotlight, I have decided to create my own unfair and off-balanced predictions for the coming E3. Just like the professionals, I’m taking a kernel of truth and twisting it so hard that the screenshots come out with stretch marks. Read on for my full list of E3 Indie Prognostications.

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Cissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure

Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure is a point-and-click adventure game created by five-year-old Cassie. It has won my heart. I'm ready to call it Game of the Year already. Seriously, if you like Indie games, you won't find many more indie than one made someone who is too young to read.

(I caught all the Ponycorns.)

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