Indie game news, reviews, previews and everything else concerning indie game development.

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IndieCade 2012 Nominees Announced

Every year, those in the indie community convene for a celebration of indie gaming known as IndieCade. Thus far, the convention’s home is in the artsy LA neighborhood of Culver City. Games and events are set up in different halls, lodges, theatres, and even a fire department station, with keynote speeches and panel discussions sprinkled about the area. Indie developers, keen on showing off whatever project they have been pouring their hearts into, come together to discuss methods, mechanics, and marketing. All of this leads up to the award ceremony, which showcases 36 innovative finalists and potential gaming gems. Oh and on that note, this year it will be hosted by Felicia Day!

For 2012, there are a variety of interesting nominees: board games, “big” games, Flash games, card games, etc. Some of them are playable now, but others require specific materials. In any case, they are games we want to play and games you (probably) want to play. So, without dragging this out any longer, here are the finalists for IndieCade 2012:

A Closed World – MIT GAMBIT Game Lab

Analogue: A Hate Story – Christine Love

Armada d6 - Eric Zimmerman and John Sharp

Beat Sneak Bandit - Simogo

BlindSide – Blacktorch Games

Bloop – Rusty Moyher

Botanicula – Amanita Designs

Cart Life – Richard Hofmeier

Chroma Shuffle – Sifteo

Contre Jour – Maksym Hryniv

Dreams of Your Life – Hide & Seek

Dyad – RSBLSB

Find Me a Good One – Andy Wallace

FTL: Faster Than Light - Subset Games

Gorogoa – Jason Roberts

Guacamelee! – DrinkBox Studios

Hidden in Plain Sight – Adam Spragg

Hit Me! – Kaho Abe

Hokra – Ramiro Corbetta

INTERFERENCE - Eric Zimmerman & Nathalie Pozzi

International Racing Squirrels – Playniac

Open Source – Super Soul

POP: Methodology Experiment One – Rob Lach

Prom Week - Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz

Qasir al-Wasat: A Night in-Between – Aduge

Reality Ends Here – Jeff Watson, Simon Wiscombe, & Tracy Fullerton

Renga – wallFour

Splice – Cipher Prime

Staccato – NYU Game Center

Super Space – Alexander Baard & David Scamehorn

Tengami – Nyamyam

The Stanley Parable – Davey Wreden

Unmanned – molleindustria

Vornheim – Zak S.

Wooden Sen’SeY – Upper Byte

Yamove – NYU-Poly/NYU

For all the info on these games, including screens and previews, check out the official IndieCade Nominees page.

Compromised

In Compromised you’re left to fight through an enormous alien fleet across the dark and grimy wastelands of Se-Da. It’s a game with all of the earmarks of a typical shmup; moments of bullet hell, huge bosses and waves and waves of enemies, yet the game’s presentation carries a certain appeal with its style.

Dark overtones and a responsive feel carry throughout the game and it’s got plenty of challenge to accompany that eerie look. Luckily you have your twinsticks to deal with most things, but missiles and gravity bombs can be unleashed for more devastating blows once enough energy has been collected. As you travel through Compromised, it’s as though you’re passing through an alien womb, laced with dangerous mechanical structure. The soundtrack is the weakest part of the game for sure, but it does its job, just not as well as the other features.

You can now purchase Compromised for XBLIG for 240 MSP ($3) and it’s worth every penny, truly. Head over to the Xbox Live Marketplace or find it via your console.

More information on Compromised can be found over on the game’s official website.


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Indies Fare Well In ‘Develop Awards 2012′ Finalist Nominations

Develop Awards

The finalists of the Develop Awards 2012 have been announced and as they aren’t all indie studios or games, we’ve picked out those that are in our stubborn little way. Indie studios that have hit it big in the nominations this year are the BAFTA award winning Bossa Studios, the chineseroom have also picked up a couple as a studio and specifically for Dear Esther, Big Bit and ShortRound Games have also been recognised more than once.

Other than that, there’s actually quite a good mix of indie games appearing in the lists: Frozen Synapse, Trine 2 and Okabu for instance. The lists can be viewed in a more concise form below – oh and if you’re wondering why we’ve left out the list for Independent Studio, it’s because we’re here for the small guys and those are much bigger studios. Winners will be awarded on stage at a gala ceremony on the evening of Wednesday, July 11th hosted at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Brighton.

CATEGORY: CREATIVITY

NEW IP

USE OF NARRATIVE

VISUAL ARTS

AUDIO ACCOMPLISHMENT

PUBLISHING HERO

CATEGORY: STUDIOS

NEW STUDIO

MICRO STUDIO

You can see the entire list of finalists for the Develop Awards 2012 over on Develop-Online.


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Submit Your Game To The ‘Unity Awards 2012′ Before June 15th

Unity 3D

Back for the fifth year, the Unity Awards 2012 has just been opened up for submissions so if you have a promising game from the last year then now is the time to put the best foot forward.

Looking to reward the best games made using the Unity Engine and Tools, the Unity Awards can be fierce in competition but they always highlight some interesting games, either for their innovations, clever use of the engine or luring presentation – hopefully all three.

The rules for submission are that your game must be made in Unity (obviously), the project must be released before June 30th 2012 unless it’s a student project, in which case it must have been made during the 2011-2012 school year, and lastly is no projects that were nominated for last year’s awards may be re-submitted, unless it’s a student project that has since become a commercial project.

You have until June 15th to submit your game for the Awards over on the official submissions page. The awards will be rewarded to the winners at the Unite 12 conference in Amsterdam on August 23rd.

The categories for the awards are as follows:

  • Best Student Project
  • Best Technical Achievement
  • Best Visual Experience
  • Best Gameplay
  • Best Serious Game
  • Best Non-Game
  • Community Choice
  • Golden Cube

Last years big indie winners were Spiderling with GLiD and Recoil with Rochard, so we’re hoping to see the winners improve upon the standard they set for last year. Make us proud!

More information on the Unity Awards 2012 can be found over on the official website.


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‘Gemini Rue’ Wins Big At AGS Awards

Gemini Rue

The scorecards are in. The judges have spoken. And your winner by unanimous decision and still undisputed champion: Gemini Rue.

That’s the verdict of the 2011 Adventure Game Studio Awards panel, anyway. Wadjet Eye’s sci-fi point-and-click romp picked up no fewer than six awards at the ceremony, which celebrated the best gaming creations developed via the Adventure Game Studio software over the course of 2011. Gemini Rue came up trumps in the prestigious ‘Best Game Created With AGS’ award, along with the gongs for ‘Best Original Story’, ‘Best Player Character’, ‘Best Background Art’, ‘Best Character Art’ and ‘Best Sound Effects’.

Also enjoying success were Dave Gilbert’s Blackwell Deception, which picked up the awards for ‘Best Dialogue Writing’ and ‘Best Voice Work’, and Richard Hofmeier’s Cart Life, winner of the ‘Best Non-Adventure Game’ and ‘Best Programming’ prizes.

But, needless to say, the event truly belonged to Gemini Rue, whose gritty film noir ambiance and futuristic pizzazz won over critics and players alike upon its release. To most analysts, the game’s multiple successes should come as no real surprise, but its developers will undoubtedly be gratified to receive yet more well-deserved praise for their efforts.

For the full rundown of the winners and nominees across each and every award category, check out the official Adventure Game Studio Awards webpage.


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‘Sword & Sworcery EP’ Wins Big At 2012 Canadian Videogame Awards

CVA - Jim Guthrie & Kris Piotrowski

Capybara Games hit it huge at the Canadian Videogame Awards, leaving with five awards for their adventure title, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (S:SS).

Nominated for no less than nine awards at the 2012 Canadian Videogame Awards, S:SS managed to pick up five of them for developers Capybara Games. The game (as if you didn’t know) is an adventure title released for iOS devices originally but has since transitioned to PC via Steam, we reviewed that version just last week in fact. The game has been widely praised for its simplicity, suitability for the touchscreen (which we slightly criticised about the PC version), Twitter integration and Jim Gunthries poignant soundtrack.

The CVA’s, as they’re known, exist to celebrate the Canadian video game industry and the many gems that they have produced – the big winners this year being S:SS and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, for example. Given that, it’s not entirely surprising that S:SS ran away with so many awards as it’s considered one of the best iOS games out there and now a Canadian national treasure.

Which five awards did it win though? Well, you can place the word ‘Best’ in front of the following:

  • Game On The Go
  • Downloadable Game
  • Indie Game
  • Original Music
  • Innovation

Not bad going and well deserved, certainly. If you haven’t played S:SS already then you can purchase it on the App Store for your iOS device and on Steam for your PC.

You can find out more information about Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP over on the official website.


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Nominations Revealed For Nordic Game Awards 2012

Nordic Game Awards 2012

The organizers behind the Nordic Game Awards have announced the long list of nominations for this year’s show, as usual we highlight the indie titles who made the line-up.

Always celebrating one of the most creative and interesting parts of the gaming industry, the Nordic Game Awards are creeping up on us yet again. The 2012 awards ceremony will be held on May 24th in Malmö of Sweden, which is where the winners of the six award categories will claim their victory and hopefully acknowledge the great competition they were lined up with. It’s not too late to be part of the Nordic Game Awards as you can register on the official site, do it before April 20th for the early bird discount.

Of course, the Nordic Game Awards don’t just acknowledge the indie games, titles like Battlefield 3 and Renegade Ops are part of this too. What we’ll do is list them but won’t provide links in a stubborn little way – it’s nice to see what the indie titles are going up against too! So here’s this year’s nominations – remember, if it’s linked then we consider it indie.

Best Nordic Game of the Year

  • Battlefield 3 (EA DICE, Sweden)
  • Renegade Ops (Avalanche, Sweden)
  • Where is my Heart? (Die Gute Fabrik, Denmark)
  • Minecraft (Mojang, Sweden)
  • Trine 2 (Frozenbyte, Finland)
  • Syndicate (Starbreeze, Sweden)
  • Battlestar Galactica (Artplant, Norway)

Best Nordic Children’s Game

Best Nordic Handheld Game

  • The Marbians (Progressive Media/Nordisk Film, Denmark)
  • Anthill (Image&Form, Sweden)
  • Sprinkle (Mediocre, Sweden)
  • Draw Race 2 (RedLynx, Finland)
  • Super Stardust Delta (Housemarque, Finland)
  • Death Rally (Remedy, Mountain Sheep, Cornfox Brothers, Finland)
  • Touchgrind BMX (Illusion Labs, Sweden)
  • Joining Hands (10tons, Finland)
  • Neon Zone (House on Fire, Denmark)

Best Artistic Achievement

Best Nordic Innovation Award

Nordic Indie Sensation Award

This award is a special public award. Visitors of the Nordic Game Indie Night (May 23rd) and the Nordic Game 2012 conference (May 24-25th) will be able to try all the nominated games and vote for their favorite. The nominees for this award, which is probably the one of most interest to us, will be announced shortly.

More information on the Nordic Game Awards can be found on the official website.


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Best Indie Game Finalists At The Canadian Videogame Awards 2012

Canadian Video Game Awards

The five finalists have been selected from the nominees for Best Indie Game at the Canadian Videogame Awards 2012. Is your favorite in there?

Once upon a time there was a long list of nominees for the Canadian Videogame Awards 2012. Then, suddenly, this list was chopped up and distributed into little bits and labelled as different types of awards. Those nominees were then renamed “finalists” and now we’re going to talk about the “finalists” of the Best Indie Game award. Alright?

Just in case you were in the need for more award ceremonies, the Canadian Videogame Awards pop up and are announced in between the many others, in Vancouver of good old British Columbia on April 21st 2012. There are many different games amongst the lineup – many of which suspiciously belong to a certain publisher – but forget publishers and things like that, we’re only here for the indie games, right?

Correct. So, who are the finalists for the Best Indie Game award of 2012? Well here’s a list:

Not a bad list really is it? Obviously the Canadian Videogame Awards operate a year behind game releases, or so it seems. It’s worth nothing that the last on that list, Sword & Sworcery is a finalist for 11 awards altogether. Yes 11! Capybara Games are owning this award ceremony so expect big things and rushed, excitable words from them on the other side of this.

There’s not much more to say really other than ask you who you would like to win out of these finalists? Well? Which game is your favorite from these pickings?!

More information on the Canadian Videogame Awards can be found over on the official website.


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Apparently Indie Game: The Movie Impressed All Those Hollywood Types

Great news for the duo who created the amazing (I’m assuming) documentary Indie Game: The Movie as they have officially been recognized by the Sundance film festival for “Best Editing.” While I think most of us always knew that the movie was going to be great, we obviously have a much different perspective than many others in the nation. This kind of news is huge for everybody out there who is an aspiring game developer.


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The Adventure Game Studio Award Winners

Adventure Game Studio Quite a few of the indie games released in 2009 were made with the help of a little program called Adventure Game Studio. The AGS awards for last year were voted on by members of the forum tied to the program, and the winners were announced last night.

Time Gentlemen, Please! was the big winner, taking the best game, gameplay, dialogue and npc awards. The Marionette and The McCarthy Chronicles also won four awards each. Shai-la of the Sith won for the best non-adventure game, and forum members thought Shifters’s Box – Outside In had the best puzzles.

The ceremony was hosted by forum member Bicilotti and broadcast on IRC. You can read the transcript here. For a list of winners, visit the award’s Wiki.

[via The AGS Blog]