IndieCade Panels and Workshops: take a break from the games to gain insight and knowledge from their creators.
Learn about games and gaming inside and out, at inspiring discussions featuring world-class developers, industry executives, and creative minds.
Click here for the complete list of speakers
Thursday, October 3, 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Laird Malamed, Chief Operating Officer at Oculus VR and faculty at the University of Southern California speaks about lessons he's learned through years of experience managing both large and small teams in the game industry.
Speakers: Laird Malamed
Thursday, October 3, 9:00 am - 10:00 am
The founders of RUST LTD. talk about how they won the Unity DirectX 11 competition with four people working in their spare time for only one month. They cover topics such as scope, ideation, and getting the most bang for your buck out of rapid development.
Speakers: Anton Hand, Adam Liszkiewicz, & Luke Noonan (RUST LTD.)
Thursday, October 3, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Nintendo has enabled indies to self-publish their games for over 5 years now, but to some, the process to release games on Nintendo eShop on the Wii U console and Nintendo 3DS portable system appears shrouded in mystery. This session will walk you through the process step-by-step and review high level business policies.
Speakers: Dan Adelman
Thursday, October 3, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Robert Nashak, Executive VP of Digital Entertainment at the BBC, speaks about how to approach starting a company and what kind of corporate structure works best for various kinds of developers.
Speakers: Robert Nashak
Thursday, October 3, 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Marketing experts from lvl UP Marketing and Fatdroid share their strategies for marketing your indie game and getting noticed.
Speakers: Amy Allison & Josh Bartos (Fatdroid), Ami Blaire & Chloe Rothwell (lvl UP Marketing)
Thursday, October 3, 2:45 pm - 3::45 pm
Sue Bohle, CEO of the Bohle Company and Executive Director of the Serious Games Association, gives an updated verison of her fantastic talk on how to manage public relations as a small team with limited budget.
Speakers: Sue Bohle
Thursday, October 3, 2:45 pm - 3::45 pm
A diverse panel of experts speaks about different funding opportunities for your games including everything from traditional pitching to publishers to crowdfunding and even grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Speakers: Salyce Myatt (NEA), Henry Lowenfels (Scopely), John Murphy (Young Horses)
Thursday, October 3, 4 pm - 5 pm
Microsoft has a heritage of enabling developers to do great things and that support continues today. The independent development scene has matured and changed a ton in the past couple of years, so we are acting on that to meet the needs of the development community. We’re really proud to offer this new path onto Xbox One. We’re excited to see what independent developers will build and looking forward to meeting with you at IndieCade this year.
Speakers: Chris Charla
Thursday, October 3, 5 pm - 6:30 pm
Meet with fellow developers to discuss how we can work together to increase diversity in the indie game scene and the game industry overall.
Speakers: Jane Friedhoff
Thursday, October 3, 4 pm - 5 pm
The popular Game Tasting event from last IXC returns with a vengeance. This is a fantastic opportunity to get your game seen and played by your peers. Games will be set up in a makeshift gallery on several tables throughout the rotunda, but space is limited, so sign up as early as you can. Sign up sheets will be available starting at 8:30a in the IXC lobby.
Speakers: Jeremy Gibson Bond, Scott Stephan, Colin Horgan
Friday, October 4, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
The global audience for gaming continues to grow increasingly larger and more diverse. With so many games on the market and such wildly divergent tastes to please, how can an independent creator ever hope to sync up with the true tastemakers? At PlayStation, we’ve spent the last 15+ years cultivating those relationships with core gamers and game creators, and we love leveraging that expertise to help independent titles break out into massive hits. Come hear how PlayStation works with independent developers in every step of the process, from development to marketing, to ensure that the very best gaming experiences rise to the top...
Speakers: Adam Boyes - Vice President of Publisher and Developer Relations at SCEA
Friday, October 4, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm, Festival Sessions B
In this session, Havok’s industry experts will walk through the features available in Project Anarchy that empower developers to make exciting, graphically rich games for mobile platforms. They will discuss some of the common challenges in mobile game development and how the Havok toolset helps solve them using features like the asset management system, LUA scripting, remote input system, file serving, and so much more. You’ll also take a deep dive into the tech and learn how you can rapidly prototype games using Lua. Creating games can be hard, but they will show you how Project Anarchy makes it easy and even fun!
Speakers: Ryan Monday, Technical Art Director
Friday, October 4, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Created by a small team of six indie game developers in 12 months, the seminal first person shooter game DOOM was released December 10, 1993. Before they shipped their game, id Software issued a news release in which they promised that DOOM would “push back the boundaries of what was thought possible” on computers. They were right. But that’s not the whole story. DOOM was not just a technical breakthrough. It also introduced a new economy for the production of games and changed the conversation about games in our culture. Come hear a short lecture about the impact of DOOM by Stanford game historian Henry Lowood, followed by the recollections of DOOM’s co-designer John Romero and Q&A with John and Henry.
Speakers: John Romero, Henry Lowood,
Friday, October 4, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm, Tent A
Carl Callewaert, Unity’s Sr. Product Evangelist, will present Unity Pro software for beginners, intermediate, and advanced use cases. This session will build a Unity Pro project from scratch and present new and important features in Unity’s popular software tools. Carl will deploy the session project to cross-platform hardware as well as host Q&A from attendees. Unity representatives will be in attendance to handle engineering, product, and licensing questions.
Speakers: Carl Callewaert, Senior Unity Evangelist
Friday, October 4, 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, Ivy Theater
From early on in the careers, three-star Michelin chefs - a rarified 106 in the world at present - have a nearly tyrannical hold on their kitchens. They insist on perfection in every ingredient, in temperature, in presentation and in accompaniment. From the first to the lasting impression, every part of a perfect culinary experience is an obsession so many chase and so few achieve. Interestingly enough, it is something they do because they are driven to, not for money or fame, but because of the pursuit of perfection itself. It is a passion many of us share and struggle to achieve in a world where shipping a game often means compromising on our ideal vision. Brenda Romero explores this world and takes from it lessons for every designer at every level.
Speaker: Brenda Romero
Friday, October 4, 3 pm to 4pm, Festival Sessions A
This panel brings together some of the most important voices in contemporary game journalism to take a close look at the state of game criticism. What are the best and worst features of contemporary game writing, and what is its impact on the indie game scene? Do great games require great critics or vice versa? Are we lacking the criticism we need, or are we getting the criticism we deserve?
Speakers: Frank Lantz, Mattie Brice, Tim Rogers, Ian Bogost
Friday, October 4, 4:30pm to 5:30pm, Foshay
Does your tiny prototype feel like it has the potential to be something much bigger? That's the challenge designer Andy Schatz faced with Monaco, after it won the 2010 IGF. How do you add depth and complexity to systems like narrative, character design, and level design without sacrificing the simplicity and completeness of the tightly polished prototype? Is it worth it to expand at all? How do you take something small and perfect and make it big and awe-inspiring without totally fucking everything up?
Speaker: Andy Schatz
Saturday, October 4, 10 am to 11 am, Festival Sessions A
One way we recognize quality works of story is by the author's use of interiority, the inner life of the characters. In this panel, Emily Short and Nick Fortugno discuss the way games have explored this technique, looking at games that investigate the perspectives and thoughts of their protagonists through their mechanics. Drawing from examples of narrative games they've chosen and others suggested by the audience, Emily and Nick contrast various interactive approaches to interiority: creating a deep character that the player is forced to play properly to win (a la God of War), creating an open character with fixed actions in whom the player can inject her own interiority (a la Walking Dead), inviting the player to articulate a motivation of her own choosing (as in Fallen London).
Speakers: Emily Short and Nick Fortugno
Game: Gone Home created by The Fullbright Company
Gone Home is a Story Exploration Video Game. It takes place in an American household in 1995. You return home from a year abroad expecting your family to be there to meet you, but something's not right. Where is everybody, and what happened here? Gone Home is a pure exploration experience with no combat or puzzles. Investigate clues woven throughout a deeply interactive house to discover the story of the people who lived there. Dig deeper. Go home again. Gone Home is meant to give the player complete freedom to explore a mysterious environment at their own pace, discovering and piecing together the story entirely from the notes and artifacts they find. By uncovering what the family has left behind, the player gets to know who they are and what lives they lead. Though no characters are ever onscreen, the player forms an empathetic connection with the people who lived here. The game has received accolades for its progressive themes and sophisticated storytelling. Gone Home illustrates that the adventure game genre is alive and well and continuing to evolve at the hands of indie developers.
Presentor: Porpentine with creator Steve Gaynor
Saturday, October 5, 11:30 am to 12:30pm, Ivy Theater Theater
Myst is a game that needs no introduction. But in case you were lost in another age, let me read you a wondrous tale. Released in 1993, Myst rose in popularity to become the de-facto reason to have the latest technological gadget, the CD-Rom drive. It went on to became the all time best-selling videogame, long before the term had any fixed meaning for many of the people who were playing. Discover the ways this impact is still being felt. Myst is a series of games that kept its heart, evolving along with technology and creating a cult following. Take a walk on a deserted island filled of mystery with Myst designer and director Rand Miller. Auriea, from indie game studio Tale of Tales, will unlock the puzzle of what made this quiet adventure so compelling during a formative moment in the games industry. Afterwards, link deeper into Myst during a Q&A with Rand.
Speakers: Rand Miller Auriea Harvey,
Game: Kentucky Route Zero created by Cardboard Computer
Kentucky Route Zero is a magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky, and the mysterious folks who travel it. Gameplay is inspired by point-and-click adventure games, but focused on characterization, atmosphere and storytelling rather than clever puzzles or challenges of skill. Kentucky Route Zero leverages its environment and aesthetics to tell an affecting and compelling story in a way unlike other games.
Presentor: Simon Ferrari wtih creators Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy
Game: Dog Eat Dog created by Liwanag Press
Dog Eat Dog is a tabletop roleplaying game of colonialism and its consequences. As a group, you work together to describe one of the hundreds of small islands in the Pacific Ocean, defining the customs of the natives and the mores of the outsiders arriving to claim it. One player then assumes the role of the Occupation force, while the others play individual Natives. Dog Eat Dog imaginatively uses social play and storytelling rules to explore unequal power relationships and the exercise of colonial power.
Presentor: Naomi Clark wtih creator Liam Liwanag Burke
Saturday, October 5, 1:30pm to 2:30pm, Ivy Theater
Supergiant Games is the small San Francisco-based studio best known for the hit 2011 action RPG, Bastion. While the process of creating and shipping the game had its challenges, dealing with the question of "well, what now?" after that cathartic experience proved to be a tricky process in its own right. In this talk, the studio's writer/creative director Greg Kasavin will speak to life after Bastion, from the initial excitement and existential dread around launch, to making the decision to build something new, all while supporting the studio's first game and sticking together as a team.
Speaker: Greg Kasavin
Saturday, October 5, 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, Foshay
Being true to ourselves as individuals and as game designers is a struggle, especially for those in the commercial sphere. Our desire to create beautiful works, to follow our own path, to create playable objects we are deeply proud of, sometimes comes into conflict with the demands of publishers, platforms and players who expect something different which, in our minds, results in something less. Other times, we create our own conflict, trading our truth for dreams of a financial windfall. In this panel, four game developers discuss this divide, talk about the choices they made and how it affected them.
Speakers: Brenda Romero, Eric Zimmerman, Frank Lantz, Robin Hunicke
Saturday, October 5, 3pm to 4pm, Foshay
A recent trend in independent and art games sees them subverting techniques from the cinematic arts for their own interactive and creative ends, just as AAA games have done over the course of their history. Join Brendon Chung (Quadrilateral Cowboy), Jake Elliot and Tamas Kemenczy (Kentucky Route Zero), Amy Hennig (Uncharted) and moderator Richard Lemarchand (USC Games) for a conversation about the creative techniques that these game makers use in their dramatic, interactive work, and for a look at some of the opportunities and pitfalls of blending cinematic techniques with interactivity.
Speakers: Jake Elliot, Brendon Chung, Amy Hennig, Tamas Kemenczy, Richard Lemarchand (moderator)
Saturday, October 5, 3pm to 4 pm, Ivy Theater Theater
For the past nine years Cas has designed tools for the imagination. Her designs are manipulable parts and pieces which inspire constructive play, imaginative forms, and cooperative interactions between players. Abstract in their identity, these tool/toys inspire children and adults to imagine the origin and story of the toy as well as it's function. Cas will talk about designing for child-directed, free play. "What is it?" and "What does it do?" are answered in intuitive details, play prompts, and semiotic clues, making the instructions implicit in the tool/toy. She'll elaborate on her company's motto "Good toys make good people" and the importance of good old fashioned building blocks.
Speaker: Cas Holman
Speaker: Colleen Macklin,
Sunday, October 6, 9:30am to 10am, Festival Sessions B
Show up early and meet other GameU attendees. This is a great time to network and share ideas!
Sunday, October 6, 10:00 am to 11 am, Festival Sessions B
Learn the fundamental theories of game design as well as how to network with developers in the game insdustry and make the most of your time at IndieCade.
Speakers: Speakers: Jeremy Gibson Bond,
Open source hardware and software are making physical tech more accessible to indies than ever: let's play with it! Join four experienced creators in exploring the possibilities and challenges of games that blend the digital and physical. We'll discuss spectacle, affordances, emergent interaction, the interstices of the real, and how games literally feel—in addition to how this genre can inform purely digital games.
Speakers: Henry Smith, Jane Tingley, Kaho Abe, Gabe Smedresman
Sunday, October 6, 11:00am to 11:30am, Ivy Theater
Enjoy Coffee and Breakfast courtesy of Microsoft.
Coffees: Rich, full blends. Breakfast food: The delicious variety.
Sunday, October 6, 11:30am to 12:30pm, Ivy Theater
Puzzle game designers talking about puzzles: What makes a good puzzle? Why do people want to solve them (and make them), what are they, and where are we hoping puzzles will eventually go - even if we have to take them there ourselves?
Speakers: Jon Blow, Marc ten Bosch, Droqen, TBA
Sunday, October 6, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, Festival Sessions B
Learn about the many fantastic tools available to independent developers. Team members from various tools companies will present information about their development environments and how you can get started using them.
Sunday, October 6, 11:30 am to 12:30pm, Festival Sessions A
Recent Twine work demonstrates a vast variety of interaction types, drawing on formal features from hypertext, interactive fiction, video games, blogs and web design, and sometimes introducing entirely new mechanics. Merritt Kopas, Kat Chastain, Porpentine, and Christine Love present selections of their work, as groundwork for a panel discussion about the mechanical and aesthetic sophistication possible in a medium often considered simple.
Speakers: Emily Short, Porpentine, Merritt Kopas, Kat Chastain, Christine Love
Sunday, October 6, 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm, Festival Sessions B
A spirited debate on this controversial question. Chris Hecker, long term skeptic of higher education will be arguing for, and Frank Lantz, Chair of the NYU Game Center will be arguing against.
Wait, what? Yeah that's not a typo. Chris and Frank will be reversing their expected positions in order to explore new ways of thinking about this important issue.
Come find out who will win this reverse psychology battle of wits!
Sunday, October 6, 1:30 pm to 2:30pm, Foshay
"The Jejune Institute. When it opened its doors in 2008, friends shared the experience with each other: “I can’t tell you anything about it. Just go.” For three years, over 10,000 players traveled to the 16th floor of an imposing building in downtown San Francisco to visit the offices of a pseudo-scientific cult straight from the 1970s. But that was just the beginning of a grand adventure through the streets and back alleys of the city. Players encountered pirate radio transmissions, secret maps, dancing cryptids, and installations embedded in the very fabric of the urban landscape. Before it closed its doors in 2011, The Jejune Institute had received numerous press accolades from publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bomb Magazine, and The San Francisco Chronicle. As one reviewer said, “The Jejune Institute blew my mind so hard that the top of my skull still flaps in the wind.” For IndieCade, Sara Thacher and Uriah Findley pull back the curtain for a behind-the-scenes examination of what made the experience tick. They’ll cover all aspects of the game â€“ from technical execution to designing interactions for the physical world â€“ and discuss how specific decisions impacted the game and their continued practice in the years since. This is the inside story of the creation and the creators. "
Speakers: Sara Thatcher & Uriah Findley
Sunday, October 6, 1:30 pm to 2:30pm, Ivy Theater Theater
Vander Caballero explores the implications, challenges and merits of taking players on emotional interactive journeys through minority characters. Originally from Colombia, and one of the few prominent game creators of Latin American origin, he explains how he transposed his personal life experiences into games like Army of Two and Papo & Yo.
Speaker: Vander Caballero
Sunday, October 6, 1:30 pm to 2:30pm, Festival Sessions A
We know it's out there, but we haven't found it yet. This group of researchers, academics and seekers are looking for the dark matter of games – trying to find answers to the hard problems in game design. Hear them describe what they've discovered over years of research and design in their laboratories of play on the margins of the game scene.
Speakers: Bart Simon, Tracy Fullerton, Michael Mateas, Colleen Macklin, Cecily Carver
Sunday, October 6, 1:40 pm to 2:45 pm, Festival Sessions B
Phoenix Perry speaks about Code Liberation, a new effort to bring more gender diversity to the game development community.
Speakers: Phoenix Perry
Sunday, October 6, 3:00 pm to 4:00pm
Irvine's re-imagined Adventure Playground was shaped by three community forces: the grassroots activists that brought the playground back from the dead, the community workshops that defined how kids will play and interact with the new playground, and the city staff that will care for the playground and its children.
This presentation takes us through a brief introduction to adventure playgrounds, the ecological and planning constraints that gave context to the redesigned playground and the collaborative design process that is giving form to a new kind of adventure play.
Speaker: Claire Latané
Sunday, October 6, 3:00 pm to 4:00pm, Festival Sessions A
A theme that pervades the indie games movement is how anyone can make games, yet, as is reflected in the "AAA" games industry, the new wave of smaller game development has a dearth of people from the black and Latino communities. Having created many forms of culture that have had worldwide influence you have to wonder why urban black and Latino people are nearly absent in the currently bustling and growing indie games scene. Could it be societal mores, apathy, lack of relatable success stories or something else that has created a barrier to seeing notable growth from these groups? This talk will be an exploration of culture both gaming related and beyond to address the possibilities of why some the indie scene is lacking in these voices as well as speaking to why it’s important that indies and surrounding establishments, such as games media and academia, can help turn the tide and create a more inclusive indie games scene.
Speaker: Shawn Alexander Allen
Sunday, October 6, 3:00 pm to 4:00pm, Ivy Theater
Want a sneak peak at the next wave of indie games? To see how finalists and ground-breaking indies are following up their successes? Project Next is a series of quick previews of unreleased games by a wide range of indie developers.
Sunday, October 6, 3:00 pm to 4:00pm, Festival Tent B
A little less than a year ago, Mattie made her first game. Before then, she was only a creative writer and culture critic, with many ideas about games but never any experience making them. Today, her first game has been showcased in a museum and is an Official Selection for IndieCade.
There is a dire need for new voices in the game making community. She will discuss how individual personal experiences of diverse individuals can help shape a broader, healthier community.
Speaker: Mattie Brice