//2012 IndieCade Conference

IndieCade's annual conference runs concurrent to the festival and brings together some of the boldest and most interesting minds relevant to the independent game community. The 2012 Conference Co-Chairs are John Sharp (Local No. 12 & Georgia Tech), Tracy Fullerton (EA Chair USC Interactive Media Division) and Richard Lemarchand (Naughty Dog). The conference spans October 5 - 7, 2012.

Registration for the 2012 edition is now open! Click here to visit our Registration page and get started. Please note that the conference is limited in space and will sell out early.

//Keynote: A Conversation with Steve //Russell (creator of Spacewar!) &
// John Romero (creator of Doom)

Two developers who played instrumental roles in the development of game creation share their thoughts from two separate areas of gaming and technology.

Steve Russell is a computer scientist most noted for his creation of the famous Spacewar!, released in 1962. Developed on the PDP-1,Spacewar! was one of the earliest digital computer games, setting the foundation for nearly everything that was to come. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary for the legendary Spacewar!. Russell's ingenuity within his field led to this technical and creative success that is the root of the interactive software that spans the globe today.

John Romero, co-founder of id Software, is a designer and programmer known well for his creation of major titles such as Doom, Quake, andWolfenstein 3D. In the past two years, Romero has been working with his recently founded mobile and social development studio Loot Drop alongside veteran developer Brenda Brathwaite. His influence on the games industry extends far beyond the success of his titles, marking him as an intrinsic figure in modern gaming.

//A Session with Eric Zimmerman


In this talk, Eric Zimmerman engages with the idea of game design as practice. Eric is a game designer and a co-author of Rules of Play. He is currently a professor at NYU’s Game Center, a collaborator on museum installation games with architect Nathalie Pozzi and a member of the game design collective Local No. 12.

//Keynote: Mary Flanagan

Author, professor, designer, scholar, and artist, Mary Flanagan is a distinguished member of the indie community and is well-respected for her role in bridging the space between digital interaction and humanities. As founder and director of Tiltfactor Lab, Mary engages with a broad spectrum of media and continually creates works that alter one’s perception of society and the people within it.

//Crowdsourcing Panel

Panelists will discuss the use of crowdsourcing as a method to fund independent games. They will not only look to the success of previous projects such as DoubleFine’s adventure game using KickStarter, but will aim to also address the viability or shortcomings of other alternate methods for funding a project. Confirmed Speakers: Greg Rice (DoubleFine), Aaron Isaksen (Indie Fund)

//2011 IndieCade Conference

Some of the talks and panels from IndieCade 2011 were recorded by our Video Volunteer Squad. Take a look below. To find out more about volunteering or donating to help further this great project, check out our Volunteer Information page.



//Jonathan Blow & Marc Ten Boch:
//Designing the Universe

IndieCade 2011 Conference: Jonathan Blow & Marc Ten Boch
"Designing the Universe", October 7th, 2011
Video shot by Ida Bendentto
Conference Chairs: Colleen Macklin, John Sharp, Andy Nealen
Video Squad Producer: Scott Stephan

Any system of interactivity can of course be explored: If X happens, what are the consequences? What are all the ways in which pattern Y expresses itself, and to what do those expressions lead?

By inspecting the structure of a system in this way, we can find the core ideas of the system, and see how those ideas illustrate fundamental truths of our universe. We present a game design aesthetic that values looking for systems that express these truths in the cleanest possible way. We explain how this is different from more-traditional combinatoric design techniques; we show examples from our games and describe a method for applying the aesthetic in general.

//Richard Lemarchand:
//Beauty and Risk: Why I Love Indie Games

IndieCade 2011 Conference: Richard LeMarchand
"Beauty and Risk: Why I Love Indie Games", October 7th, 2011
Video shot by Ida Bendentto
Conference Chairs: Colleen Macklin, John Sharp, Andy Nealen
Video Squad Producer: Scott Stephan

"In my talk at IndieCade 2011, I’d like to tell you about some of the experiences I’ve had at Naughty Dog in my role as Lead Designer on the Uncharted series, and how profoundly the ideas about game design that I use every day have been affected by indie games.

"I love independent games, and I grew up playing them in the UK on the first generation of home computers. At that time, all games were indie games, in spirit at least. The ‘bedroom programmers’ of that generation were my first mentors when I joined the game industry, and I’ll talk about that DIY spirit of creating something from nothing, and how vital it still is today.

"The visionary creators of the indie games of 2011 have used the game-making tools of this generation to do amazing things - to give expression to emotions barely seen in videogames before, to develop new styles of play and even new genres of game, and to explore subject matter considered untouchable by the mainstream.

"The world is changing at an incredible rate; both indie and AAA game creation is changing too. I have a lot of strong opinions about good and bad ways to make games, about the nature of human minds and of creativity.

"The title of my talk is about gameplay - the beauty of systems and the risk introduced by random or complex elements at play. It’s also about creative risk-taking: so take a risk, and come to my talk!"

//Panel: Do Art Games Matter?

IndieCade 2011 Conference: "Do Art Games Matter?"
Daniel Benmergui, Brenda Brathwaite, Rod Humble and Eddo Stern
Video shot by Ida Bendentto
Conference Chairs: Colleen Macklin, John Sharp, Andy Nealen
Video Squad Producer: Scott Stephan

Now that we are a few years out from the artgame high water marks of Passage, Braid and The Marriage, it is time to reflect on the past, present and future of artgames. Panelists Daniel Benmergui, Brenda Brathwaite, Rod Humble and Eddo Stern will take on the importance of artgames, and games as an artform.

//Sword & Sworcery EP Post-Morterm

IndieCade 2011 Conference: Sword & Sworcery EP Post-Mortem
Kris Piotrowski & Nathan Vella
Video shot by Ida Bendentto
Conference Chairs: Colleen Macklin, John Sharp, Andy Nealen
Video Squad Producer: Scott Stephan

Kris Piotrowski & Nathan Vella from Capy will be joined by representatives from Superbrothers Inc. and a telegraphic representation of rockstar/composer Jim Guthrie to reflect upon this unusually collaborative art + music + videogame project and look ahead to the [REDACTED] still ahead for S:S&S EP in 2011.

//Well-Played III

IndieCade 2011 Conference: Well Played III
Nick Fortugno, Tracy Fullerton
Video shot by Ida Bendentto
Conference Chairs: Colleen Macklin, John Sharp, Andy Nealen
Video Squad Producer: Scott Stephan

What makes a game good? or bad? or better? Video games can be "well played" in two senses. On the one hand, well played is to games as well read is to books. On the other hand, well played as in well done. Building on the ETC Press book series, our speakers (to be announced soon) look at video games through both senses of "well played." The goal is to help develop and define a literacy of games as well as a sense of their value as an experience. Nick Fortugno and Tracy Fullerton present the third and final Well-Played session on "J.S. Joust" and "Halcyon."

//Experimental is Hard

IndieCade 2011 Conference: Experimental is Hard
Steve Swink
Video shot by Andy Wallacei
Conference Chairs: Colleen Macklin, John Sharp, Andy Nealen
Video Squad Producer: Scott Stephan

Steve Swink, co-creator of Shadow Physics and author of "Game Feel," will speak about the definition, constraints, ethics, and mercurial nature of experimental design.

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