I have the same problem every year. When IndieCade finally comes around, no one (including me) knows what to do, where to start, or how to tackle so many games. They try going clockwise. They try going counter-clockwise. Sometimes they just look at the game, get intimidated, and move on. Gamers, I need you to get your hands dirty and play some of the best games around. My friends just won’t do it.
It’s times like these I turn to a higher power and ask, “What would Will Wright do?” He would make a game out of it. I welcome all Player 1s and Player 2s to the first ever IndieCade: The Game. All you need to do is to come down to IndieCade this weekend and have the drive to win. I will be your helpful quest giver for this event. Your assistance is needed. Experience, gold, and maybe some swag will be your virtual trophies.
Epic Quest: Tell me a Story
Remove the creative constraints from some of these gaming masterminds and you’ll never know what you’re gonna get. You don’t need high end graphics and cutscenes just to tell a story. Gameplay and visuals take you through a journey through the dark woods, on the ceiling, or even on the blacktop of your local basketball court. IndieCade seeks out these tales not told in most traditional games and presents them to you. Sure, you might need to spend a little extra time with some of these titles but the experience is well worth the wait. I need you to explore a world that you might not be familiar with and share that story with someone else.
BasketBelle – Never has basketball and fantasy collided like this since Michael Jordan played with a wascally wabbit. From the teaser trailer, the game seems to be composed of one part adventure and one part playing b-ball with something that looks like the blob. It’s got a great look and a hints of a deeper story than the typical 'rise to courtyard fame and glory'.
The Witch – Ever get caught up in a story that’s not your own? In this iPad game, you play as a girl playing as a witch. From the different conversations swirling around the town, you can either play into the rumors or play against them – changing the story either way. Only you can determine which witch you will be.
The Dream Machine – It takes everything to make a story – characters, a little bit of mystery, and sometimes a whole lot of clay and cardboard. The Dream Machine takes these basic components to create something that’s rather eerie and dream-like. Point, click, and solve a couple of puzzles; this may just be the one dream you never want to wake from.
- Bronze Award: Ask one of the developers for their favorite story.
- Silver: Award: Try to tell someone else the story and see if they can tell which game you’re describing.
- Gold Award: Tweet the main idea of the story. You can send them my way (@8bitwiz) and I will retweet the best ones during the event.
Epic Quest: Reach Out and Touch Someone
One of the first times you ever played a game was probably with another person. Tag, Hide And Go Seek, Rock-Paper-Scissors; the simplest games were often the ones where two people knew the rules and that’s all you needed. IndieCade embraces all types of games and forms of play. Take off that silly headset and listen up. I need you to go out and play with someone else for a change. With the foundation of many games focusing on play and how we interact with other people, everything from board games to co-op games provides a different experience every time you play with someone else.
Ordnungswissenschaft – Funny name. Serious game. You’ve always complained about moving boxes in games. Now, you get to play a game where all you do is move boxes. But there’s a reason to the madness. You have strict orders that are for you and you alone. You must follow your box moving orders to the letter to win the game. Plan your moves to make it to the end of your list the quickest.
Way – I can hardly communicate with the people around me. Imagine trying to tell someone about an invisible platform without any words. Way lets you and a stranger create your own language to work through a series of puzzles. It’s incredible to see the world just click between two people with using words.
Improviso – Much like Way, you and a stranger are trying to work together to accomplish a common goal. Instead of puzzles, you need to get through a story. It’s lights, camera, and action as one of you gets to act out while the other directs the story. This is Hollywood, after all. You should be used to this by now.
Kiss Controller – You bowl by sticking your tongue down someone else’s mouth. I always try to explain that it’s taking an intimate moment and using it to control a game. Most people don’t get past the kissing part. It's an intimate game, to be sure.
- Bronze Award: Try to pronounce “Ordnungswissenschaft” out loud. Just try.
- Silver Award: Make a friend. Or at least tweet out their twitter name to say that you were playing with another human.
- Gold Award: Play the same game with different people. For extra difficulty, try Kiss Controller.
Epic Quest: On The Pad
It’s not always about those angry birds. Portable devices are teaming with indie life with new games coming out all the time. Covering everything from simple puzzle games to something like Sword & Sworcery EP with a full story and amazing soundtrack, indie developers have been able to put their work at your finger tips. A couple of years ago, you probably never dreamed that some of the best gaming experiences could exist on a phone or on something thinner than a Kardashian biography. I need you to go out there and smudge some screens.
Halcyon – Little arrows can be terrifying when they move rapidly at each other. To get them to go away, you have to match similar colors with each other. Sounds easy but it can become monstrous quickly. Beware the triangles. Beware!
Loop Raccord – As someone who works on TV, editing is not easy. But now, it’s a game. Loop Raccord gives you a series of clips in motion. As the editor, you must keep this motion moving from clip to clip either up and down or side to side. Keep the motion going with a steady hand and a good eye.
Play Kalei – Imagine looking for Waldo if he were a series of shapes and colors instead of a guy with poor sense of fashion. This iPad game gives you a picture and a spot on the picture where a kaleidoscope effect was used. You just need to find that spot.
Black Bottom Parade – Okay, this one you can only play at IndieCade. Everyone loves a parade and that’s why you need to keep them safe. By using game pieces on a touch screen table, you move the members of the band around while trying to keep them balanced on a platform.
- Bronze Award: Bring enough hand sanitizer for everyone.
- Silver Award: Use your off-hand to play one of the games.
- Gold Award: Buy one of the games. It probably cost more in gas for you to drive there than most of these games.
Epic Quest: It’s Coming Right At You
Indie Games (and Micro Machines, more or less) have always been leading the way when it comes to technology. Developers love to stretch the limits and find new tricks with any new gadget. 3D happens to be the newest of the toy out there where developers can shape a world around the simple idea of adding an extra dimension to the experience. If it’s new and unique, indie developers will always find a way to put a spin on it.
Super Hyper Cube – There’s a show on TV where contestants have to position themselves to fit through a hole in the wall. This is a bit like that with the wall coming flying at your face.
The Depth to which I Sink – Psychologists say that falling is one of the greatest fears that we all share. I think that it’s about time you faced those fears and tried to earn some points along the way.
Papa Sangre – Okay, I cheated on this one. Instead of visual 3D, Papa Sangre depends of audio 3D to put you in the middle of Mardi Gras. You’ll need to use your ears and reflexes to keep you out of danger.
- Bronze Award: Don’t go cross-eyed.
- Silver Award: Try playing one of the games with only one eye opened.
- Gold Award: Check out the 3D games from the IndieCade Game Jam.
Epic Quest: Boss Battle
Every game needs a boss battle. And you’re not just facing any boss. You are going toe-to-toe with one of the greatest gamers to grace the digital scene – me. Okay, I might not be great but I’ll have free stuff to give away. During Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be playing all the games and tweeting out my high score. You have an hour after the tweet to beat my score and tweet me back your score. The highest score wins a prize. I would practice all of the scoring games like StarDrone, PewPewPew, Deepak Fights Robots, and Bit.Trip Flux. I might pick something completely different so you’ll just have to practice everything. Tough life, I know.
I encourage everyone with any sort of interest in gaming to come out this weekend to Culver City (Oct. 8 – 9) for fun, sun, and a whole lot of gaming.