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IndieCade logo.png
Official logo of the IndieCade festival
Location(s)United States, United Kingdom
Founded2005; 16 years ago (2005)

IndieCade or Indiecade is an international juried festival of independent games. IndieCade is known as "the video game industry's Sundance."[1] At IndieCade, independent video game developers are selected to screen and promote their work at the annual IndieCade festival and showcase events.[2][3] 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.[4]


IndieCade 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.[5]

The festival started as part of E3 before being spun off as an independent event in Bellevue, Washington.[2] In 2009 the festival moved to Culver City, where a Twitter game and an "urban" scavenger hunt were part of the festivities.[6]

The Indiecade festival is the only stand-alone festival for independent games in the United States,[7] and open to the public. Games are submitted for consideration to the IndieCade festival jury[5] 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,[8] and an independent video gaming ("IndieCade Europe") festival has been held in the United Kingdom in 2007-2009 at Gamecity.[9] In 2016 IndieCade Europe was rebooted and took place in that year and 2017 in Paris, where it will return in 2018.[10]

Location and Dates[edit]

In 2009, IndieCade moved its flagship stand-alone festival from Bellevue, Washington to Culver City (Los Angeles), California. Each year, IndieCade "invades"[11] downtown Culver City to create a "city-sized arcade".[12] 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.

Year Dates Month Location
2008 10– 17 October Bellevue, Washington[13]
2009 1– 4 October Downtown Culver City
2010 8 –10 October Downtown Culver City
2011 6 – 9 October Downtown Culver City
2012 5 – 7 October Downtown Culver City
2013 3 – 6 October Downtown Culver City
2014 9 – 12 October Downtown Culver City
2015 22 – 25 October Downtown Culver City
2016 14 – 16 October USC School of Cinematic Arts[14]
2017 6 – 8 October Little Tokyo at the Japanese American National Museum[15]
2018 12 – 13 October Santa Monica College - Center of Media and Design[16]
2019 10 – 12 October Santa Monica College - Center of Media and Design
2020 23 – 24[17] October Santa Monica College - Center of Media and Design

Festival events[edit]

Game Walk

GameWalk is the heart of the IndieCade festival and consists of approximately 40 finalist games selected for their creativity, unique vision, and technological innovation.

Previously, 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.[18] It is free and open to the public.

Game Slam

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.[19]

Big Games

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.[20]

Night Games

Night Games are an evening event centered on 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 or laser pointers (Johann Sebastian Joust, Renga); 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.

Annual events[edit]

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.[21]

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.[22]

IndieCade awards ceremony[edit]

Approximately 40 games each year are selected to exhibit at GameWalk. The finalists are eligible to compete in IndieCade's Red Carpet Awards.[23] 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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fritz, Ben. "IndieCade, the video game industry's Sundance", Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2009, accessed July 21, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Leigh Alexander IndieCade Announces Call For Submissions March 7, 2008 Gamasutra
  3. ^ "press release". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
  4. ^ Brightman, James. "Will Wright keynoting IndieCade this weekend" Archived 2009-10-17 at the Wayback Machine, October 1, 2009, accessed July 21, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "IndieCade Official Site
  6. ^ [Gaming's got the indie spirit] "Culver City's Indiecase festival showcases low-budget, artful video games". Los Angeles Times. October 3, 2009
  7. ^ [1] - Indiecade 2009 Reveals Remaining 10 Finalist Games
  8. ^ LEGENDS OF ANIMATION COME TO OTTAWA FESTIVAL Archived 2011-07-15 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Indie gaming at city festival September 19, 2009 This is Nottingham
  10. ^ IndieCade Europe Recap IndieCade Website
  11. ^ "IndieCade 2011: Temporary Public Art".
  12. ^ "City-Sized Arcade No quarters needed at IndieCade". Archived from the original on 2011-10-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "IndieCade 2008 festival set for Oct 10-17 in Bellevue, WA". Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  14. ^ Lyublinsky, Ashley. "IndieCade Festival 2016 Happening at USC Oct. 14-16". Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  15. ^ Sulzberger, Courtney. "IndieCade Gaming Festival in Little Tokyo". Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  16. ^ "IndieCade 2018". Santa Monica, CA Patch. 2018-09-14. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  17. ^ "IndieCade – IndieCade or Indiecade is an international juried festival of independent games". Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  18. ^ "Where is IndieCade?".
  19. ^ "Top 5 Bits of Indiecade 2011".
  20. ^ "2011 Festival: Big Games".
  21. ^ "IndieCade Mobile 3D GameJam presented by LG Electronics".
  22. ^ "IndieCade & Glitch Lab LA: Holiday Party!".
  23. ^ Nelson, Noah J. "IndieCade's Red Carpet Awards". Archived from the original on 2011-10-15.

External links[edit]