Quick Intro: Independent Games Festival
The following is a quick intro: Independent Games Festival. The Independent Games Festival is designed to showcase small game developers and encourage experimentation with new gameplay ideas. Think Services, the company which publishes "Game Developer" magazine and hosts the Gamasutra website, started the festival in 1998.
The best-known part of the Independent Games Festival is the awards. Every year the best new and independent developers, many of them students in game design programs at colleges like Digipen and Full Sail, showcase their best work.
Every year sees new innovative design ideas revealed at the Independent Games Festival. Examples of winners of the innovation awards include the time-traveling platformer Braid, available for Windows and Xbox 360, and the physics platformer Gish.
Student showcase winners at the festival include games like Narbacular Drop. This cartoony platformer about a princess trying to escape the dungeon of an evil demon using a magic wand that creates portals in walls, ceilings, and floors will instantly feel familiar to anyone who has played Valve’s game Portal. That’s because Valve saw the game at the festival and hired the Digipen graduates responsible to create their physics-based puzzle game with the same mechanic.
Other finalists in the Independent Games Festival include an Atari game based on the four seasons, a platformer in which only areas of the stage which are lit actually exist in the game world, and a complex sliding tile game in which players must slide tiles containing pipes, gears and other widgets in order to create surrealistic, steampunk-style machines.