Cart Life

Cart Life exits Steam, goes open source

Omri Petitte at

Want to play a game about the tumultuous life of a street shop vendor? Well, you can't right now, as the website hosting it is currently drowning under heavy bandwidth load. But when it returns, you'll find Cart Life, the indie small business simulation from Richard Hofmeier, available free of charge and completely open source for tinkerers to slot in custom characters and stall types.

Valve and the IGF team up again to bring 2014's finalists to Steam

Phil Savage at

The Independent Games Festival has renewed its deal with Valve to give shortlisted finalists of the 2014 IGF Awards an automagical Golden Ticket onto Steam. All main competition finalists will be offered a distribution deal, whether they're nominated in the individual Excellence categories, the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, or the Nuovo Award. "Nuovo" being IGF speak for "kinda weird".

GDC 2013: IGF and GDC Award winners revealed

Phil Savage at

This year's GDC has been the source of many interesting industry tidbits. But forget them for now, because it also hosted two award shows last night. Shiny, slightly crass and easily digestible in a handy list format - we've got all the winners from the Independent Games Festival Awards and Game Developers Choice Awards right here. Did Hotline Miami's masked protagonist beat the living snot out of the FTL crew for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize? Did Incredipede's creepy-crawly monstrosities scare away the other Visual Art nominees? Did any game not called Journey win a GDC Award? Read on to find out.

GDC 2013: all the stories in one place

PC Gamer at

The annual Game Developers Conference is underway in San Francisco. What can we expect? Candid retrospectives? Shock reveals? Will David Cage's Giant Floating Man Face do battle with Nvidia's Giant Floating Man Face above a flaming pit?

We'll be bringing you all the latest from the frontlines and keeping this page updated with all the stories so far.

GDC 2013: Your guide to the IGF grand finalists

Tom Senior at

The IGF winners will be announced on Wednesday alongside the GDC awards in San Francisco. The Independent Games Festival has turned out another strong field of nominees, some of which you can play entirely for free right now. Here's your guide to the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the IGF awards 2013, with interviews and details on the five finalists, Cart Life, FTL, Little Inferno, Hotline Miami and Kentucky Route Zero.

2013 Independent Games Festival main competition finalists announced

Marsh Davies at

The shortlist for the 15th IGF award finalists has been revealed. There were more than 580 entries this year, across an incredibly diverse range of genres, requiring the attention of some 200 judges to help pare down the games into seven award categories, with five nominees apiece.

Sim-plicity: I am a working single mom

Christopher Livingston at

Having retired from world-saving heroics, Christopher Livingston is living the simple life in video games by playing a series of down-to-earth simulations. This week he’s managing a new coffee stand business while trying to maintain a healthy relationship with his simulated daughter.

In Cart Life, a "retail simulation" game, I've been busy all week trying to get my new coffee stand up and running. It's been a real chore: the woman who is going to build my coffee stand told me on Monday that I needed to get a business permit first. I wasted Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning just waiting in the permit office for the chance to buy the permit. Tuesday afternoon I revisited the coffee stand builder, who then told me I needed to buy an espresso maker before she could build the stand, since the espresso maker needed to be part of the stand construction.

Now it's Wednesday morning, and I'm shopping for the espresso maker, as well as beverage supplies: coffee, tea, milk, chocolate, flavoring, sugar, and cups. In the midst of my shopping trip, my cell phone bleeps a reminder: I have to attend a custody hearing. I drop what I'm doing and rush over to the courthouse in a cab to meet with a judge and my ex-husband. We're going to discuss the custody of my young daughter, Laura, who is currently living with me in my sister's house, since I lost my job and my home when I divorced my husband.

Maybe it's now clear why I put "retail simulation" in quotes earlier. Cart Life does present you with a retail simulation, but it has plenty, plenty more.

This week's best free PC games

Lewis Denby at

This week, I've mainly been wowed by wonderful Half-Life 2 mod The Stanley Parable, which I finally got round to playing. Since it's a mod, and it's not from the past seven days, I figured it'd be a bit unreasonable to spend these column inches on that, which is why this week you get a wholly irrelevant introduction. However, read on, and you'll find such riches as: a rabbit that's been turned into a were-bunny, a tin man with one leg, a claustrophobic triangle and a game about setting up a business. Also: play The Stanley Parable.