- [Well, bit of a 'Happy Xmas' while also revealing the line-up here, I guess - this looks like it's going to be a blast, and with the IGF Finalists in both Main Competition and Student Showcase also invited to attend in the audience, it should be a good mix of indie and pro developers for the first two days of GDC.]

The organizers of the 2008 Independent Games Summit have announced the majority of the line-up for the February 2008 event, with postmortems of N+ and Schizoid alongside talks from notable creators at Introversion, Queasy Games, Kongregate, WayForward, ThatGameCompany, and more.

The 2008 Independent Games Summit (operated by CMP, as is Gamasutra) seeks to highlight the brightest and the best of indie development, with discussions ranging from indie game distribution methods through game design topics, detailed postmortems of independent titles, digital distribution-centric business concepts, and much more.

Once again, the IGS is a sister event to the 2008 Independent Games Festival. Taking place on the Monday and Tuesday of Game Developers Conference 2008, February 18th and 19th, the event follows the successful Independent Games Summit in 2007, for which multiple videos have been posted on Gamasutra in the last few months.

While speakers representing IGF Grand Prize winner Aquaria, World Of Goo, PixelJunk Racers, fl0w/The Night Journey and more already confirmed, the new set of confirmed 2008 Independent Games Summit lectures include:

Spreading Your Message As An Indie Developer
Speaker(s): Thomas Arundel, Mark Morris, Chris Delay (Introversion)
Session Description: UK-based Introversion, the creators of Defcon and the multiple IGF award-winning Darwinia, are notable in their use of effective branding and positioning to become one of the few indie developers making inroads towards entering mainstream gamer consciousness. But how? Explanations will ensue!

Innovating In The Casual Market
Speaker(s): Arthur Humphrey (Last Day Of Work)
Session Description: To some independent developers, "casual" can be a bad word - connoting gameplay roteness, perhaps. But why does financial success, being on a certain portal, or the arbitrarily assigned label "casual" make you a sellout? Humphrey (Virtual Villagers) has created sophisticated independently-developed titles that are hits in the casual market, and explains his views on the surprisingly large indie/casual intersection.

Contracting Vs. Indie: The Showdown
Speaker(s): Brent Fox, Steve Taylor (Ninjabee/Wahoo)
Brent 'Indie Core' Fox and Steve 'We Need Money to Eat' Taylor square off in a battle of wits and whimsy over a question facing many indies: to contract or not to contract? If your company can’t survive, you can’t the games you want. If you can’t make the games you want, why make games at all? Find out how Wahoo/Ninja Bee strike a balance between Outpost Kaloki, Band Of Bugs, and Disney's Trivia Time in this battle of ‘Contracting vs. Indie.’

Ninja Ways: An N+ Postmortem
Speaker(s): Mare Sheppard, Raigan Burns (Metanet Software)
Following the success of addictive ninja-themed platform action title IGF Audience Award-winner N, which is debuting both on Xbox Live Arcade and on the Nintendo DS/Sony PSP as N+, the creators of the original title explain how they moved their property onto consoles, with details on financials, technical issues and solutions, and a plethora of other specifics for indies aspiring to console/handheld.

Making Better Games: An Independent Game Manifesto
Speaker(s): Kellee Santiago (ThatGameCompany), Jon Mak (Queasy Games), TBD
If a game is fun, it’s considered a good game leading players and reviewers to laud its “gorgeous graphics”, “awesome music”, or “intuitive controls”. Unfortunately, none of this is useful in understanding how to create better games. Come see the creators of indie hits Everyday Shooter, fl0w, and more obsess over games in ways only a game designer would - as they delve deep into an illuminating critical analysis of games they find exciting, inspiring, and influential.

An Indie Reality Check
Speaker(s) N'Gai Croal (Newsweek), Stephen Totilo (MTV News)
How does the world at large really sees indies? Prominent game critics Stephen Totilo of MTV and N’Gai Croal of Newsweek take an objective look at the current state of indie games from the perspective of news, media, and entertainment in general. How are independent games doing in terms of mindshare relative to games as a whole, how could we be doing better, and what can we do today to make indie games more prominent? N’Gai and Stephen debate the answers.

The Web Game Renaissance
Speaker(s): Chris Pasley (Kongregate), TBA
Small web games have become a viable creative form and business model, with sites like Kongregate, Newgrounds, Instant Action, and Arcadetown pulling down huge monthly incomes and attracting millions of visitors per year. Including representatives from the major players in this emerging game space, this panel will candidly discuss the eye-popping financials behind today’s most successful web games. From Desktop Tower Defense to a host of others, see how tiny in-browser games can be innovative, lucrative, and indie.

A Jonathan Blow Lecture
Speaker(s): Jonathan Blow (Number-None)
Session Description: The former Game Developer magazine columnist and creator of the IGF award-winning Braid, due out soon for Xbox Live Arcade, delivered one of the highlights of the 2007 Independent Games Summit, and has since keynoted the Montreal Game Summit. He's promised to deliver something special for IGS this year - more details soon.

Juggling Licensed, Original Indie Game Development
Speaker(s): John Beck, Matt Bozon (WayForward Technologies)
Session Description: How do you make the game great, especially when working on a licensed game, while also keeping the lights on? What are the realities of working as a long-time independent developer? WayForward (Contra 4, Shantae) has weathered the storm for longer than many, making acclaimed licensed and original games alike, and the business and creative minds behind the cult favorite company explain how to juggle priorities smartly.

Postmortem: Torpex's Schizoid
Speaker(s): Bill Dugan (Torpex)
As the first XBLA game to use Microsoft's XNA framework, and the first title from independent start-up Torpex, Schizoid is interesting from a multitude of perspectives. But what went right and wrong during the console downloadable title's development? Torpex's Dugan presents plenty of practical tips and specifics on the creation of the title.

Unique Knobs For Indie Games
Speaker(s): Raigan Burns (Metanet Software)
Session Description: With so many options for middleware and freeware, isn’t writing your own physics or graphics engine just technological masturbation? Raigin Burns of Metanet Software makes the case that creating your own unique technologies from scratch allows freedom of expression impossible with middleware and canned solutions. If Metanet’s hit game N is “just a regular platformer with novel collision detection”, could creating unique technology lead to innovation?

The Indie Lifestyle
Speaker(s): Noel Llopis (Power Of Two Games), Jacob Van Wingen (Gastronaut Studios), TBA
Hear from full-time indies. How do they manage their time, their projects, and their lives? This in-depth panel presents practical tips on working from home, with teams of friends, remote teams, motivation, and everything else indies typically have to face.

The 2008 Independent Games Summit is available to attend by purchasing a GDC 2008 Summits Pass. In addition, other passes such as the GDC 2008 All Access Pass also allow entry to the Summit. More information on the line-up for the summit is available the official IGS website.