Indiecade Festival Nominees Announced, Are Great

Indiecade

People often throw around the term “indie.” To some it just means anything that doesn’t have a budget of umpteen million dollars, but for others it describes a certain passion or dedication to a project that you don’t see every day. Regardless of definition, Indiecade is an annual conference that celebrates just about everything that could ever conceivably be hit with the “indie” label.

Held in Culver City, California, Indiecade tries to highlight a few of the most promising games every year. The nominees for this year’s festival (running Oct. 23-25) include some pretty wacky, inventive projects.

I’ve had a chance to play a few of them myself at various conferences. Line Wobbler is probably the strangest, because it’s the first and only game I’ve ever seen that takes place in one dimension. And it’s a dungeon crawler. That you play with a doorstop. You had to be there.

There’s also some more traditional games like the cuddly, almost kid-friendly video game version of Game of Thrones, Armello. Squad’s Kerbal Space Program also got a nod, as did everyone’s favorite investigation simulator Her Story.

Not all of these games are available for PC, and some, like Line Wobbler, can only be played on a purpose-built machine. Either way, all of these games are at least worth a gander if you can spare it. The ideas that they toy with are fascinating on their own, and it’s always good to know what the next generation of developers are busy hammering out.

&MAYBETHEYWON’TKILLYOU [official site]
60 Seconds [official site]
Aboard the Looking Glass [official site]
Armello [official site]
Codex Bash [official site]
Consentacle [official site]
Darknet [official site]
Donut County [official site]
Eleanor of Ayer [official site]
Engare [official site]
Fabulous Beasts [official site]
Find Maria Rivera [official site]
Her Story [official site]
Home Improvisation [official site]
Kerbal Space Program [official site]
Kwaan [official site]
Line Wobbler [official site]
Memory of a Broken Dimension [official site]
Monarch [official site]
Museum of Simulation Technology [official site]
Myriad [official site]
Nevermind [official site]
Plug & Play [official site]
Prune [official site]
Puzzlets [official site]
Red & Pleasant Land [official site]
SCALE [official site]
Seltani [official site]
Sentree [official site]
Seven Day Band [official site]
Story Warriors: Fairy Tales [official site]
The Meadow [official site]
Throw Trucks With Your Mind [official site]
Tribal & Error [official site]
Walden, a game [official site]
Wonderland: A Solvitur Ambulando Mystery [official site]

4 Comments

  1. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I like that all the nominations are bundled together in one big category, my biggest criticism of the IGF is the games are bundled into ridiculous categories that they then have to shoehorn games they like into which also leads to a lot of duplication across the categories which defeats the purpose of the festival: to highlight less visible great games.

  2. Lachlan1 says:

    Doesn’t indie just mean independent? I guess meaning can change if a lot of people don’t know something.

    • Bugamn says:

      Words acquire new meanings. Terrific doesn’t cause terror anymore either.

    • Sam says:

      “Independent” as in independent of publishers? That prescriptivist definition does a poor job of capturing what speakers typically mean when they talk about “indie games” in everyday language.

      Valve funds all their own games, so are independent of publishers, so are indie? Not many people would consider Half Life 3 an indie hit.
      No Man’s Sky is made by a team of 10 people, but is getting some support from Sony (as are many small games that happen not to be coming out on XBox), so isn’t indie?
      Armello, Her Story, Fract OSC, Mushroom 11, The Swapper, and loads others are funded by Indie Fund. They’re pretty hands-off but their function is similar to publisher funding, so are those games still indie? Just how like a publisher does your funder need to be before you stop being indie?
      Crowdfunded games are in theory answerable to their funders very much as if they were funded by a publisher, so are they indie?
      If a game is funded by a publisher but doesn’t tell anyone, is it indie?

      I would argue that when a typical person is discussing games, they don’t think in terms of funding models. They look at the game’s design, it’s style, how it’s presented, perhaps what they can discern about team size and budget, and decide from there if it’s “indie”. It’s entirely understandable for people to call Grow Home an indie game.