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An Overview of the IGF Finalists 62

Gamespy has a great piece looking at this year's finalists for the Independent Games Festival. Awards for the festival will be given out next week at the Game Developer's Conference. From the article: "From the title, you'd guess that Dad 'N Me was a charming interactive tale about a father's love for his child. That's exactly the kind of wholesome headline-grabber that this industry needs. Right? Sure. Except this is not that game. No, Dad 'N Me is all about beating up children on a playground. I'm not kidding you. You're a purple wrecking machine, and your job is to smack the crap out of little weeble-wobble-shaped children using your head, hands, feet ... garbage cans, lawn mowers, propane tanks ... even other children."
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An Overview of the IGF Finalists

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  • by thatoneguy_jm ( 917104 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @09:00PM (#14929391)
    Oh yeah, this is just going to bring *miles* of credibility to indie games...

    Also, one of my friends showed a disturbing amount of glee when I told him about this game. He's a 3rd grade teacher. Go figure.

  • Too bad (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Hearing about Dad'n'Me is the first time I've ever regretted that Macs lag behind PCs, gaming-wise.
  • Dad 'N Me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bwthomas ( 796211 ) <bwthomas@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @09:05PM (#14929414)
    Reminds me of a cardgame called 'catholic school girls'; I think it could be interesting.

    I have to say though that i was kindof disappointed in the amount of innovation. I would hope that at a festival like this games featuring interesting (original) gameplay and innovative controls, design, story lines, &c. would rise to the top. Those mentioned in the article, though novel, don't really inspire me. Though, it reminded me how much fun it would be to work for a game design house.
    • sure reminds me of the pocket game Globbo that I playtested for Steve Jackson Games ... except it was an alien babysitter and the little ones tried to bite you or explode.
    • My dad probably hasn't yet forgiven me for recommending he watch A Boy and His Dog [imdb.com]*

      At least in 1976, titles had physical covers to convey content ... with exploding nukes being a spoiler.

      * Don Johnson "communicates telepathically with his dog as they scavenge for food and sex" in this post apocalyptic tale

    • Re:Dad 'N Me (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sj0 ( 472011 )
      This sounds good on the surface, but the truth of the matter is that the best kind of innovation takes something old and tired and breathes new life into it. For example, Half life was terribly innovative because of it's implementation of the plot, but it was still just a first person shooter.

      The major problem with gaming intellectuals who demand innovation in all arenas is that true innovation doesn't come from a vacuum; it arrives either because the ingredients for the idea have accumulated, as was the ca
      • But to me that's the point of the IGF; to present games that might not make it in the mainstream. It's the perfect channel to present that kind of innovation -- the kind that might not necessarily go anywhere commercially, but is interesting and helps build a healthy industry nonetheless.

        Otherwise, how will gaming evolve? Will it evolve? Or will we continue to see an industry dominated by FPS titles that succeed or fail based on how interesting and involving the plot is?
        • You're ignoring my point: Innovation isn't just doing random stuff! Innovation COMES from somewhere, and demanding that games be "innovative" is to demand that games sacrifice themselves on the altar of innovation by ignoring whether such games are actually fun -- or indeed, made any more fun, by the very innovations that these people are spending months of their lives implementing.

  • Disgusting. Sad. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Announcer ( 816755 )
    That is just plain sick. I think it adds fuel to the fires of the anti-videogame crowd when something like this actually gets an "award"... not only that, it's really odd-looking.
    • Did you try the game? The worst it did was stealing my time due to all those stupid slow flash animations (and slow flash gameplay). The music brings a light tone to it all anyway, not really aiming at making you aggressive and all (depending on what you get aggressive from of course).
    • You never heard of weebles did you? "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down" was the tag line. A kids toy you repeatedly knocked over only to see it stand up again.

      In the 80s toys like Action man/GI Joe was popular. These ran around with guns and tries to kill each other. Movies like Die hard (still awesome but proves the point) were made full of people shooting each other. Games often involved people running around shooting aliens or people. Bionic commando and such.

      In the 90s we had Ninja turtles who kic
    • Maybe the game is just plain entertainment without all the blood and gore being assumed by everyone here.
    • My other post [slashdot.org] on the subject of...

    • The anti-videogame crowd are the same idiots who think that colleges are nothing but drunken orgies -- idiots in a moral panic with no facts to speak of.

      Sadly, people who actually want to graduate with a useful degree can't got to the bisexual orgie beer binges. Similarly, indie games aren't made by raving mad corporations intent on making kids into killing machines, but by

      Their attitude towards anyone who isn't themselves is disgusting and assumes the worst at every possible turn. Their behaviour and attit
  • Come On... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @09:26PM (#14929509)
    Come on, this is a whole event. Can we talk about something other than the most violent game there?

    What about Darwinia http://www.darwinia.co.uk/ [darwinia.co.uk]? How about Tribal Trouble http://tribaltrouble.com/ [tribaltrouble.com]? Crazy Ball http://www.atomicelbow.com/ [atomicelbow.com]?

    let the entire competition shine, not just the one crappy flash game that gets media attention!
  • ...specifically, the miscreants who developed this game?

  • Hmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by those.numbers ( 960432 ) * on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @09:31PM (#14929534)
    I admit that I found this game entertaining. It's very addictive, and I played more than my share. Still, when I stop long enough to think about the actual setting of the game, it sickens me.

    This type of game is not what the industry needs right now. Beating up bad guys is a part of the flash game stereotype. That said, beating up children wasn't necessary for the game's success. I would have just as much fun fighting ninjas, aliens, or evil robots bent on world domination.

    I'd have to assume the only reason the game designer chose thise setting was for shock value (and thus more public interest). Either that, or he's got some issues to work out.
  • ... before Jack Thompson files some frivolous lawsuit? "Think of the children!" :P
  • ... and bully (http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/03/14 /1622258 [slashdot.org]) gets shat on by the school board?
  • Ah, come on you people, the main post gives only the most flamebaitable side of it all, which isn't even very bad.

    Instead of starting the reflexive games and violence discussions all over again, just go the article and look for example at the cool games on page 2 [gamespy.com]

    I played an online game similar to the strange attractors game, I was playing for hours launching things into orbit, waiting to see where they would end up, very addictive!

    The rumble box game looks even more freaking out, reminds me of the IKE

  • by Taulin ( 569009 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @11:18PM (#14930031) Homepage Journal
    The term 'Independant Game Company' has forever changed. When I hear it, I think of un-funded, garage types. Dad N Me was made by the Hominid group, who now have a PS2 title. Doesn't that put them in the professional rankings outside of independant?
    • Is it? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @01:03AM (#14930458) Journal
      Is having a PS2 title the same as working for EA/Valve/Microsoft/id/Rockstar?

      Or, is getting "published" by Sony the same as getting published by Activision/Sierra?

      Or, is getting "funded" through a game you made yourself the same thing as getting "funded" by EA, Activision, Tony Hawk, or even venture capitalists?

      From the Alien Hominid website:

      "Our development is 100% self-funded with support from fans who buy our quality merchandise!"

      And the group's name is: The Behemoth [thebehemoth.com]

      They seem to actually be a corporation, but entirely self-funded and non-mainstream. That's good enough for me.

      And yes, it is possible for an "independent developer", like id, to become mainstream, like id, at which point I'd no longer call them "independent". But I don't see how being "independent" necessarily means being "amateur" or "not professional" -- to me, it just means without mainstream funding or advertising, until they themselves are the new "mainstream".

      Anyone want to correct me on that? Surely these indy game awards/competitions have rules...
      • The point is, they have money coming in from a published title. Money that can fund full time developers for an entry into the contest. Money that most independant developers don't have, whatever 'independant' means now.

        Between titles, id has 0 funding from outside sources except income, just like the hominid team, so what is stopping id from being considered independant and entering this contest?

      • Surely these indy game awards/competitions have rules...

        They do. From the IGF website: http://www.igf.com/guidelines.htm [igf.com]
    • Independant does not imply Amateur.

      Independant would mean a company who publishes and sells games outside of big distribution companies/labels. Just like independant music, or independant film. They are not amateurs (they are trying to sell you something), but they are independant.
  • Be careful with that stuff. One "browser" game forces a Shockwave install (which tries to install a Yahoo toolbar), and then tries to install some little-known third-party Shockwave plugin.
  • by Sir Pallas ( 696783 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @08:32AM (#14931850) Homepage
    From TFA:
    This game started out as an experiment in creating games for disabled people. The idea was, "Could you create a fun title that required only one button to play?" Sometimes, creativity thrives when it's constrained.

    I played that game when it was called Diablo II. Not that I didn't like Diablo II, I just had to buy a new mouse afterwards.

  • Purple, eh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by splutty ( 43475 )
    You're a purple wrecking machine, and your job is to smack the crap out of little weeble-wobble-shaped children

    Go Barney!

    But seriously. How is this different from playing a game where you have to kill 1000's of asians? Or where you get bonus points for hitting old grannies? Or for that matter showing pictures of dismembered bombing victims on TV? Oh well.. I guess there's a hypocrit in all of you. (Uhm. US! Of course I meant us!)
  • darwinia demo... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kisrael ( 134664 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @09:43AM (#14932213) Homepage
    I was psyched, I got a new job and a powerful laptop from it, so I thought I'd finally be able to handle some modernish games...my 2002 $700 PC and 2004 $850 laptop couldn't even handle Vice City, so I tend to stick with consoles..

    So I download the Darwinia demo....and it crashes almost immediately. Awesome. Reminds me of why I stick to consoles for my gaming. PCs just have too many wildcards hardware wise.
  • At what point did we become obliged to address critics of the video game industry?

    I refuse. As long as there is a pulse through these veins, I will continue to make the games I want to make, rather than the games it's in the best interest of the public relations side of the entire independant game industry to make.

    Freedom doesn't only exist so Danish people can make fun of Muslum terrorists.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI