IndieCade East
Dates TBA
New York City
IndieCade MoMI

IndieCade brings forward lessons & insights from an incredibly broad range of practitioners – inside and outside games – that allow us to blaze forward in our thinking, change our minds about long-held assumptions, & do better work every day. Our 2016 Conference Tracks include:


Alternate Universe: Design Lessons from the Other Other Indies

How do independent creators from other creative industries and arts (film and video, music, literature, theatre and performance, etc.), make the best of cheap tools, minimal time and funding, and wide distribution to design projects that bridge the gulf between accessibility and value? What design lessons can we apply as indie games experience market saturation, slow audience growth, stiff competition and bootstraps snapping under the weight of expectations?


System Update: Communities, Commerce, Institutions

How do the systems that provide resources to game-makers shape the kinds of work we do? Should we continue to work within them or look for liberation in the transformative act of making on our own? We’ve rallied for more diverse game-makers, and new faces have appeared — but how are they receiving financial, emotional, practical and professional support to give them the best chance at making and changing the things they want to? How do we draw from and give back to communities and friendships, tune the commercial interests of distribution and publishing platforms to our needs, and get public and private funding bodies to speak our language?


Weird Science: Tools and Technology Changing Games

Making and breaking software tools, reimagining hardware, exploiting open-source, and inventing new rules of physics. How are game-makers breaking down technical walls, sidestepping limitations, and ignoring conventions to design games that are nothing like what’s come before? What tools, tricks, and theories will shape the form and experience of games in the coming post-indie-gold-rush years?


Letter from the Conference Co-Chairs


Dear game makers, artists, community builders, researchers and culture creators:

For us, Indiecade has represented the beating heart of games as powerful empathic and communal work, honoring the multidisciplinary design, system, and technical thinking that goes into what you do.

And what you do is hard. The end result is sometimes playful and uniting, sometimes soberly underscoring differences that are not meant to be othering entertainment. Your work reinvents itself even as its engaged with. It isn’t for consumption alone, but for you–the creators. Making games changes you, and you change the community.

In Toronto, we are deeply embedded within a community that has found its footing, grown and burst at the seams with energy for creating and engaging with this medium. We were tremendously fortunate to be welcomed by the people who make and change games here, and so honored to share our skills and resources to aid in the creation of spaces and platforms to support this growth.

Indiecade East is an exciting highlight of the year, a chance for players, makers, administrators, scholars and more to come together from across the East Coast–but it is by no means where the work begins and ends. It brings forward lessons and insights from an incredibly broad range of practitioners–inside and outside games–that allow us to blaze forward in our thinking, change our minds about long-held assumptions, and do better work every day.

Every day we are challenged by what we choose to make and play. Your decision to observe existing rules, support systems, and technical constraints or instead question and break them, will shape the long-term human impact of these cultural artifacts as much as your individual sustainability. We are very interested in the act of game-making as a tool for social welfare, a small part of a broader system that strives to make life better for everyone.

At Indiecade East 2016, we invite you to talk about how you do this every day. Your code library isn’t just fodder for another talk. Your Let’s Plays aren’t just another opportunity to establish social media credibility. Your design refinements aren’t only for the player’s benefit. Your research isn’t just rehashing old knowledge in a new context. We want to talk about your every day–how it has transformed you, why and how you do it.

We look forward to hearing your stories. We look forward to making this part of your every day.

Jennie Robinson Faber & Henry Faber
IndieCade East 2016 Conference Co-Chairs

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