Independent games hold a very dear place in my heart. I love games, and the quirkier and more experimental they are, the better. Large corporations can’t make quirky, experimental games as easily because of the risk that experimentation entails—with some of the larger blockbuster games requiring teams of hundreds of people and budgets of tens of millions of dollars, it’s no wonder that big publishers tend to stick to established franchises and proven formulas. If left unchecked, this can lead to stagnation and decay, and the industry suffers as a result. This is where the independent developers come in. Since independent developers aren’t tied to big publishers, they have more freedom to make riskier games on smaller budgets.
IndieCade is a festival celebrating independent games and the people who make them, held every year in downtown Culver City, Los Angeles. It’s been called “the Sundance of video games,” and in addition to having many independent games set up for attendees to play, there are talks, panels, activities, and “big games” that attendees can participate in. This year, I went to see the sights and try to meet new people and find new inspirations, and that’s exactly what happened. Continue reading