IndieCade 2015 was hosted in Culver City, CA this past weekend (October 23-25, 2015), celebrating the newest works by developers and creators of independent games. This event is unique because it brings the newest game ideas to the forefront, while also offering training and learning sessions to cultivate future developers.
The IndieCade event allows developers to present to a larger audience than most Indie developers have access to typically. The exposure is positive for even the non-winners, in hopes that the IndieCade Jury Panel can give valuable critiques and feedback to advance and focus their skill set. This year, women were inadvertently highlighted with Brenda Laurel winning the trailblazer award and Her Story, a P.O.V narrative game with a female as a main character, winning the grand jury award.
A large amount of new games with sexualized themes were highlighted this year as well, bringing about games with a more mature content that has yet to be explored as a main theme in any mainstream game as of yet. An example of this trend was the impact award being won by Consentacle by Naomi Clark; a game which focuses on a human and an alien in a random sexual encounter as the main theme. The movement towards overtly sexual games is a departure from the mild nature of sexual themes in some past games and will likely force adults to keep certain game titles out of less mature audiences’ hands if it continues to evolve in popularity as a theme. Nevertheless, the diverse categories throughout IndieCade encompass many different gaming aspects and give developers an area to focus their efforts towards the fans reactions with the themes and allow for creativity to be explored.
New technology also seems to be a large theme with virtual reality, leap motion and many other hands-on video game platforms changing the way many gamers are interacting with their games.
The games that were nominated this year are a good illustration of the multi-platform appearances.
The games nominated this year were-
- &maybetheywontkillyou (LARP)
- 60 seconds (PC)
- Aboard the Looking Glass (Oculus Rift, Leap Motion)
- Armello (PC)
- Codex Bash (PC)
- Consentacle (Card Game)
- Darknet (Oculus Rift, PC)
- Donut County (PC)
- Eleanor of Ayer (ARG)
- Engare (PC)
- Fabulous Beasts (augmented reality)
- Find Maria Rivera (Installation)
- Her Story (PC, iOS)
- Home Improvisation (PC)
- Kerbal Space Program (PC)
- Kwaan (PC)
- Line Wobbler (Unique Hardware)
- Memory of a Broken Dimension (PC)
- Monarch (Board Game)
- Museum of Simulation Technology (PC)
- Myriad (PC)
- Nevermind (PC/MAC, IOMPE biofeedback sensor)
- Plug & Play (PC, iOS, Android) – read our review HERE
- Prune (iOS)
- Puzzlets (augmented reality)
- Red & Pleasant Land (Board Game)
- SCALE (PC)
- Seltani (PC)
- Sentree (iOS)
- Seven Day Band (PC)
- Story Warriors: Fairy Tales (iOS)
- The Meadow (Installation, Virtual Reality)
- Throw Trucks With Your Mind (PC w/ Neurosky Mindset)
- Tribal & Error (PC)
- Walden, a game (PC)
- Wonderland: A Solvitur Ambulando Mystery (iOS)
The Award Winners-
- Impact Award: Consentacle
- Visual Design Award: Memory of a Broken Dimension
- Audio Design Award: Memory of a Broken Dimension
- Technology Award: Fabulous Beasts
- Game Design Award: Line Wobbler
- Interaction Award: Fabulous Beasts
- Story / World Design Award: Donut County
- Trailblazer Award: Brenda Laurel
- Grand Jury Award: Her Story
The game, Her Story is a P.O.V viewpoint where the player works an emotional story line from the physical perspective of the detective analyzing an interviewee telling her story of a thrilling crime. The viewer is able to take a standpoint of complete impartiality to the detective in his pursuit of solving the crime, instead focusing on the feeling the emotion first hand with the character and the objective is hear her story. The emotion focus of the game highlights the growth of the gaming audience as maturing audience with more complex content being appreciated.
The Her Story game was a winner due to the unique emotional and psychological thriller which was hinted at in the trailer:
Overall, the games highlighted this year were from many various categories, but the overall theme seems to be the new advances in technology, the future of women developers and their unique perspectives. Augmented reality, Oculus Rift, Neurosky Mindset and many other virtual reality (VR) platforms were highlighted in a much larger scales, proving that this technology will soon be entering a larger audience despite past delays.