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Official logo of the IndieCade festival
Indiecade or IndieCade is an international juried festival of independent games. IndieCade is known as "the video game industry's Sundance". At IndieCade independent video game developers are selected to screen and promote their work at the annual IndieCade festival and showcase events. In 2009, IndieCade launched a conference track featuring classes, panels, workshops, and keynotes. The conference has since become a major attraction for indie developers and others in the industry.
IndieCade is focused on innovation and artistry in interactive media, helping to create a public perception of games as rich, diverse, artistic, and culturally significant. It was formed by Creative Media Collaborative, an alliance of industry producers and leaders founded in 2005. IndieCade's board of advisors includes (among others) Seamus Blackley, Tracy Fullerton, Megan Gaiser, Andy Gavin, Carl Goodman, John Hight, Robin Hunicke, Henry Jenkins, Richard Lemarchand, Frans Mayra, Jamil Moledina, Janet Murray, Robert Nashak, Carolyn Rauch, Kellee Santiago, Keita Takahashi, Will Wright (game designer), and Eric Zimmerman. IndieCade founder is Stephanie Barish, Festival Chair is Celia Pearce, and Festival Director is Sam Roberts.
The festival started as part of E3 before being spun off as an independent event in Bellevue, Washington. In 2009 the festival moved to Culver City, where a Twitter game and an "urban" scavenger hunt were part of the festivities.
The Indiecade festival is the only stand-alone festival for independent games in the United States, and open to the public. Games are submitted for consideration to the IndieCade festival jury in the early spring and a selection of finalists for the culminating annual IndieCade festival is determined and announced by the fall. Additional games from the pool of IndieCade submissions are showcased at a variety of events each year around the world. 2009 IndieCade showcase events included E3, the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) partnered with the IndieCade organization "that focuses on independent games and works to cultivate innovation and artistry in interactive media" in 2009, and an independent video gaming ("IndieCade Europe") festival has been held annually in the United Kingdom in 2009 at Gamecity after being established in 2007.
In 2009, IndieCade moved its flagship stand-alone festival from Bellevue, Washington to Culver City (Los Angeles), California. Each year, IndieCade "invades" downtown Culver City to create a "city-sized arcade". The festival transforms a central blacktop parking lot on Main Street, leveraging the open space by building temporary structures that host parties, individual games, and planned and spontaneous Big Games. The previous IndieCade festivals took place October 1–4, 2009, October 8–10, 2010, October 6–9, 2011, October 5–7, 2012, IndieCade 2013 took place on October 3-6 and between October 9 and 12 for 2014.
GameWalk is the heart of the IndieCade festival and consists of approximately 40 finalist games selected for their creativity, unique vision, and technological innovation. The games are exhibited in several locations in downtown Culver City: the Fire Station, NextSpace coworking offices, and the Gregg Fleishman Studio, which are turned into temporary galleries for the festival. It is free and open to the public.
The IndieCade GameSlam, in the vein of a poetry slam, invites developers to the stage and provide a brief (90 second) showcase of their game, including the idea behind its creation and development. This presents an opportunity for developers to share their work via short presentations within a communal creative environment.
The Big Games program serves as an extension to IndieCade's mission to promote games of all kinds. Big Games are large, multi-player games played outside and involving physical activity, and range to include technology, tactics, and personal interaction. Big Games are curated by on-site docents, and presents projects such as Ninja (a turn based game of tag), Reality (an Alternate Reality game), and Meatspace Invasion (a mixed virtual/real-world tag/shooting style game). It is free and open to the public.
The Night Games are an evening event centered around showing and playing multiple games. These games can be single player experiences played on a giant screen in front of an audience (superHYPERCUBE); multiplayer games that use only glowing wands (Johann Sebastian Joust); or large performance pieces, involving many players (Humanoid Asteroids). IndieCade promotes the Night Games to feature the beauty and innovation of modern game design which is beyond what the audience currently conceives as a traditional game.
The first IndieCade Mobile 3D Game Jam was hosted in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California's Interactive Media Division on August 6 - 7, 2011. During the two-day event, 12 teams began the process of creating a fully functional 3D mobile game for the LG Thrill 4G. 6 finalists were chosen to go on to the next round of refining their games in order to compete for the LG Mobile 3D Award at the Red Carpet Award Ceremonies.
The first annual IndieCade Holiday Party took place at Riot Games (League of Legends) headquarters in Santa Monica on December 14, 2011. The fundraiser featured postcard art sent in by the community, available for sale by silent auction. The art show was curated by Glitch Lab. Notable art contributors were Pendleton Ward (creator of Adventure Time), Jason Torchinsky, as well as Amanda Williams and Katherine Rubenstein.
IndieCade Awards Ceremony
Approximately 40 games each year are selected to exhibit at GameWalk. The finalists are eligible to compete in IndieCade's Red Carpet Awards. Audience Choice and Developer Choice Awards are announced separately during the festival's Closing Party.
Awards categories include:
- Best In Show
- Best Story/World Design
- Best Technology
- Best Gameplay Design
- Best Visuals
- Best Sound
- Best Interaction
- Community Impact
- Special Recognition
Finalists and Awards
- Indiecade 2013 Finalists
- 99 Tiny Games
- Cube & Star: A Love Story
- Dog Eat Dog - Impact Award
- Edgar Rice Soirée
- Gone Home - Audio Award
- Gunpoint (video game)
- Hermit Crab in Space
- Kentucky Route Zero - Visuals Story & World Design Award
- Luxuria Superbia
- NIDHOGG - Game Design Award
- Perfect Woman
- Porpentine's Twine Compilation - Special Recognition
- Quadrilateral Cowboy - Grand Jury Award
- Rogue Legacy
- Rollers of the Realm
- Save the Date
- Spaceteam - Interaction Award
- Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party - Technology Award
- Starseed Pilgrim
- Super Time Force
- That Dragon, Cancer
- TowerFall - Media Choice Award
- Upgrade Soul
- Movers and Shakers
- Indiecade 2012 Finalists
- A Closed World
- Analogue: A Hate Story
- Armada d6 - Game Design Award
- Beat Sneak Bandit
- Botanicula - Story / World Design Award
- Cart Life
- Chroma Shuffle
- Contre Jour
- Dreams of Your Life
- Dyad (video game) - Audio Design Award
- Find Me A Good One
- FTL: Faster Than Light
- Gorogoa - Visual Design Award
- Hidden in Plain Sight
- Hit Me!
- INTERFERENCE - Interaction Award
- International Racing Squirrels
- Open Source
- POP: Methodology Experiment One
- Prom Week
- Qasir al-Wasat: A Night in-Between
- Reality Ends Here - Impact Award
- Super Space ____
- The Stanley Parable - Special Recognition Award
- Unmanned - Grand Jury Award
- Vornheim: The Complete City Kit - Technology Award
- Wooden Sen'SeY
- Indiecade 2011 Finalists
- At a distance
- Bistro Boulevard
- BIT.TRIP FLUX
- Black Bottom Parade
- Deepak Fights Robots
- Desktop Dungeons
- Gamestar Mechanic
- Hero Generations
- Johann Sebastian Joust
- Kiss Controller
- Loop Raccord
- Papa Sangre
- Application Crunch (Pathfinder)
- Kaleidoplay (Play Kalei)
- Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure
- Skulls of the Shogun
- Solar 2
- Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
- The Bridge
- The Depths to Which I Sink
- The Dream Machine
- The Swapper
- The Witch
- Indiecade 2010 finalists
- 1066 - The Game
- A Slow Year Awardee: Virtuoso & Vanguard
- B.U.T.T.O.N. Awardee: Wildcard
- BIT.TRIP RUNNER
- Blue Lacuna
- Cargo Delivery
- Castle Vox
- Continuity Awardee: Gameplay Innovation
- Creaky Old Memory
- Every Day The Same Dream
- Faraway Awardee: Sublime Experience
- Gentlemen of the South Sandwiche Islands
- Groping in the Dark Awardee: Jury Recognition
- Humans vs. Zombies Awardee: Kid's Choice
- LIMBO Awardee: Sound
- Miegakure Awardee: Amazing
- Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess!
- Retro/Grade Awardee: Audience Choice
- Sixteen Tons Awardee: Developer's Choice & Jury Recognition Honorable Mention
- Socks, Inc.
- Spirits Awardee: Aesthetics
- The Cat And The Coup Awardee: Documentary
- The Games of Nonchalance Awardee: World/Story
- VVVVVV Awardee: Fun/Compelling
- Indiecade 2009 finalists
- Aether Honorable Mention
- Classic Night
- Closure Awardee: Gameplay Innovation
- Dear Esther
- Eliss Awardee: Auteur
- Everybody Dies
- Global Conflicts: Latin America
- Minor Battle Awardee: Finalist Choice/Audience Choice
- Modal Kombat
- Moon Stories Awardee: Jury Selection
- Osmos Awardee: Fun & Best in Show
- Papermint Honorable Mention
- Radio Flare
- Ruben & Lullaby
- Shadow Physics
- Spectre Honorable Mention
- The Deep Sleep Initiative Runner Up: Finalist Choice/Audience Choice
- The Maw
- The Path
- Train Awardee: Vanguard
- Tuning Awardee: Sublime Experience
- You Get Me
- Zeno Clash
- IndieCade 2008 Finalists
- And Yet It Moves
- Cactus Arcade
- Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble
- Dark Room Sex Game Awardee: Fun
- Democracy 2
- Flywrench Honorable Mention
- Global Conflicts: Palestine
- Gravitation Awardee: Jury Selection
- ibb and obb Awardee: Design Innovation
- levelHead Awardee: Technical Innovation
- Machinarium Awardee: Aesthetics
- Miss Management
- Ruckblende Awardee: Finalist Choice
- Rider Spoke
- Sociable Tetris 360
- Standard Bits
- Tank Universal
- The Graveyard
- The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom Awardee: World/Story
- The Night Journey Awardee: Sublime Experience
- The Unfinished Swan Honorable Mention
- IndieCade 2007 Finalists
- Can You See Me Now?
- Democracy 2
- Cute X Doom
- Escape From Woomera
- Everyday Shooter
- Steam Brigade
- Endless Forest
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