//2011 Festival: Big Games

Big games are played outdoors throughout IndieCade in real space and real time. "We are thrilled to take it out into the streets of Culver City this year for more big games at IndieCade! Over the course of the festival, invited games and IndieCade finalists will in and around the city center taking it out of the box and into the street!"

Big Games @ IndieCade 2011 are Chaired by Gnarwhal Studios, the masterminds behind the IndieCade 2011 Kids' Choice award winning game, Humans vs. Zombies. HvZ will be played throughout IndieCade. In celebration, the first 500 individuals to register for festival wristbands will receive a collectible Humans vs. Zombies @ IndieCade 2011 bandana.

IndieCade's Big Games program runs Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9 and includes the unique and super-fun Night Games.

Big Games @ IndieCade are headquartered at the IndieCade Village. The Big Games are free of charge, but require on-site sign up.

//Big Game Schedule Overview: Friday, October 7

IndieCade Opening Party: 8:00 PM - 10:00 pm
• Flatland ARG!, Eddo Stern

//Big Game Schedule Overview: Saturday, October 8

Throughout the day (Pervasive)
• Humans vs. Zombies, Gnarwhal Studios
• Ninja, a modern folkgame
• Alphabet City, Gigantic Mechanic
• Meatspace Invasion, C4M, Mekensleep / France

Big Game Session I: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
• Gargoyles, Jamie Woo

Note: A Pinata Construction Workshop will be held as part of the Festival Sessions from 10:00 am - 11:00 am. These Pinatas will be used in the finale game Pigeon Pinata Pummel on Sunday, October 9.

Big Game Session II: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
• Ninja Training Session

Big Game Session III: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
• Cards Against Humanity, Cards Against Humanity Team
• Reality, USC School of Cinematic Arts

Night Games: 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm. (Night Games require a festival wristband or conference pass.)
• Johann Sebastian Joust, Doug Wilson
• Shadowplay, Gigantic Mechanic
• superHYPERCUBE, Kokoromi, Ploytron
• pxlpshr, Ryan Challinor, Matt Boch

//Big Game Schedule Overview: Sunday, October 9

Throughout the day (Pervasive)
• Humans vs. Zombies, Gnarwhal Studios
• Ninja, a modern folkgame
• Alphabet City, Gigantic Mechanic
• Meatspace Invasion, C4M, Mekensleep / France

Big Game Session I: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
• Twistianopolis 500, The Wise Guys
• Inevitable, Dystopian Holdings
• Escort Quest, Robert Meyer

Big Game Session II: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
• The Hatter's Table, Sean Bouchard, Logan Olson, Elizabeth Swensen
• Pigeon Pinata Pummel, Joshua DeBonis, Nik Mikros

Closing Party: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
• Metagame, Local No. 12

//Big Game & Demo Descriptions

Alphabet City
Gigantic Mechanic, USA

When? Pervasive. October 8 and Sunday October 9, throughout the day

Alphabet City is a location-aware word game. Designed by Gigantic Mechanic, it is Foursquare meets Boggle. Players select the name of a local bar or restaurant and then make as many anagrams as possible. Players use power-ups like word and letter chaining to increase their scores. Start looking at the sign at your local pizza place and start mentally rearranging the letters, bringing a small element of play to your daily life.

Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity LLC, USA

When? Saturday, October 8 from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Cards Against Humanity is party game for horrible people. Unlike most of the party games you've played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends. The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a Black Card, and the other players answer with their funniest White Card. A DIY version of Cards Against Humanity is available for free under a Creative Commons license, and there is also a best-selling printed version available on Amazon.com.

Eddo Stern, USA

When? Saturday, October 7 from 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

FLATLAND ARG!, created by Eddo Stern, is a carnivalesque game played simultaneously on a soccer sized field and in virtual space using a mobile device. Played by two 5-player teams, FLATLAND ARG! is an Augmented Reality Real Time Strategy (“ARRTS”) game based on Edward Abbot’s victorian dimension bending novel Flatland. Each team must come up with a strategy for the best use of their time – actions involve revealing invisible structures and player identity, building and destroying structures, collecting and transporting resources, chasing opposing players, surveying the physical field for suspicious actions, and performing "dane" rituals using synchronized group gestures.

Jamie Woo, Canada

When? Saturday, October 8 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Gargoyles is a turn-based physical game that plays with comfortable distances. Created by Jaime Woo, players must jump, stick the landing, and freeze "like stone" in place. If they touch rival players, they lose. People become comfortable with freezing in funny and awkward positions, adding to the game's sense of whimsy and fun..

Humans vs Zombies
Gnarwhal Studios, USA

When? Pervasive. Saturday, October 8 and Sunday October 9, throughout the day

Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) is a game of moderated tag played at schools, camps, neighborhoods, military bases, and conventions across the world. Human players must remain vigilant and defend themselves with socks and dart blasters to avoid being tagged by a growing zombie horde. Since beginning at Goucher College in 2005, Humans vs. Zombies has developed an international fan base and received prominent press coverage from people like Stephen Colbert, who named it the "number one threat to America." HvZ is played on six continents, with games in diverse locations such as Australia, Namibia, Spain, and Denmark. This is the second annual IndieCade game of Humans vs. Zombies run by the games' creators from Gnarwhal Studios. Humans vs. Zombies won the "Audience Choice Award" at Come Out and Play 2010 and the "Kids' Choice Award" at IndieCade 2010.

Dystopian Holdings, USA

When? Sunday October 9, from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm.

Inevitable is a satirical board game by Jeremy Bushnell set in a slapstick dystopian future. It represents a successful hybrid of the chance-based pleasures of roll-and-move games, the wheeling and dealing of negotiation-based games, the drama and tension of collaborative beat-the-system games, and the narrative richness of character-driven role-playing games. In Inevitable, you play the chosen representative of a group running a political campaign against HappyCOM-9, the all-seeing, all-knowing computer that serves as the Exalted Decider in the world of the game.

Johann Sebastian Joust
** Festival Finalist Selection
Douglas Wilson and Friends / Denmark

When? Saturday October 8, Night Games 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Night Games require a festival wristband or conference pass.

Johann Sebastian Joust is a music-based physical jousting game for two to six players, designed for motion controllers and smart phones. This particular version uses the PlayStation Move controllers. The goal is to keep your accelerometer sufficiently still. Try to jostle your opponents’ controllers while protecting your own! The game’s music, a remix of one of J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, plays an integral role (hence the cheeky title). When the music plays in slow-motion, the controllers are extremely sensitive to changes in acceleration. When the music speeds up for, this threshold becomes less strict, giving the players a small window to dash at their opponents. If the player’s controller is ever moved beyond the allowable threshold, that player loses.

Johann Sebastian Joust is all about enjoying physical play and public performance. The game is deliberately no-graphics in order to allow players to look at each other, rather than at a screen. Watching each other's facial expressions adds an exciting new dimension to motion-controlled gameplay. Inspired by playground games and folk games, J.S. Joust attempts to open up a space for player performance and improvised “house rules.” In some rounds, players might agree to keep the controller on their heads, or in their pockets. Other rounds, they might decide to play crawling on their knees. In that regard, J.S. Joust a toy-centric approach to game design where players are tasked with elaborating their own rules around a playful object – in this case, a simple acceleration-sensitive device that dynamically adjusts to the music. Our aim was not to design a readily consumable, stable game “system,” but rather to “deputize” the players to interpret, enforce, and even modify the rules we prescribe. In other words, the bulk of our design work resided not in engineering systems of rules, but rather in successfully rallying the players to approach the game with sufficient silliness and self-irony. To this end, the music in J.S. Joust plays an essential role in setting the tone. Listening to a whimsical remix of J.S. Bach’s work at such comically slow and fast tempos becomes all the more absurd given that the music is so renowned and so “high culture.” In some sense, J.S. Joust is as much a piece of dance choreography as it is a “game.” Moving along to music in slow-motion becomes a kind of freeform play, deeply enjoyable in it of itself.

Johann Sebastian Joust was chosen to highlight the way it encourages players to play as they see fit in a curated and designed space, without elaborately designing rules.

Meatspace Invastion
C4M, Mekensleep, France

When? Pervasive. Saturday, October 8 and Sunday October 9, throughout the day

Meatspace Invasion, created by C4M and Mekensleep, is a fast paced, synchronous outdoors GPS game for small groups played with iPhone (3GS or 4). Hordes of (virtual) creatures that start converging towards an "attractor" placed by the players. Players must run around and shout a lot to destroy all the creatures before they reach and destroy the attractor. Take a peak at the demo video.

Local No. 12, USA

When? Sunday, October 9 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm (during closing party)

Do you love games? Do you love arguing with your gamer friends about them? Then the Metagame is for you. The Metagame is a card game about videogames. It is simple to learn and fun to play. It can be played by a small group of game fans, a classroom of students, or by thousands at a conference.

You play the game by combining game cards - videogame trading cards - with comparison cards that say things like "Which game tells a better story" or "Which game is more of a work of art?"

a modern folkgame, USA

When? Pervasive. Saturday, October 8 and Sunday October 9, throughout the day

Ninja is a theatrical turn-based combat party game. Players begin in a circle, standing at arms-length, and then take turns striking ninja poses and engaging each other in ultimate ninja combat. The goal is to eliminate other players by slapping their hands. During your turn, you can move your entire body in one fluid motion to attack or position yourself defensively.

Note: There will be a Ninja training session on Saturday from 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Pigeon Pinata Pummel
Joshua DeBonis, Nik Mikros, USA

When? Pervasive. Sunday October 9 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Team up with your friends and grab some wiffleball bats to pummel player-made piñatas to oblivion on a basketball court. Smashing open the piñatas will release ping pong and bouncy balls and sweet, sweet candy. Created by Josh DeBonis and Nik Mikros, the strategy in Pigeon Pinata Pummel is to determine when to wait for a pinata, when to run, and how to most effectively use your upgrades.

Pxl Pshr
Ryan Challinor, Matt Boch / USA

When? Pervasive. Saturday, October 8 and Sunday October 9, throughout the day

In Pxl Pushr, one player places dots on an iPad, while another player attempts to catch as many dots as possible by using the contortions of their body (via Kinect). The player contorting their body is scored on how many pixels he/she is able to "push" versus the ones they miss. Pxl Pusher looks like what would've happened if Kinect technology had existed in the Coleco Vision days, or something akin to a full-bodied theremin blended with a puzzle game.

USC School of Cinematic Arts

When? Saturday October 8 from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Reality is a collaborative production game driven by a card-based "procedural prompting system": by sharing, trading, and combining collectible playing cards, players generate creative prompts. These prompts then function somewhat like Fluxus "event scores", guiding actual DIY creative production by specifying the kinds of media to be used and the range of ideas, physical objects or places, and narrative or figural elements that players must incorporate into a given project. By completing a project, players earn the point value of the project's prompt and unlock new game powers, advancing on an online leaderboard and triggering special real-world encounters with members of "The Reality Committee," the shadowy (yet benevolent) organization behind the game.

Reality@IndieCade will present a "speed" version of the full game, allowing players to experience the full collaborative media-making experience all in less than an hour

Gigantic Mechanic, USA

When? Saturday October 8, Night Games 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Cast yourself into the game with Shadowplay, a large-scale game by Gigantic Mechanic projected directly onto the walls of the city. Players jump, dash, stretch and contort their shadows in a bid to score points by eclipsing objects floating through the game, while dodging enemies. Play alone or collaboratively. The game plays like a cross between dance, tai chi and Twister.

** Festival Finalist SelectionKokoromi, Polytron. Canada

When? Saturday October 8, Night Games 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Night Games require a festival wristband or conference pass.

Enter a world of pure cubes. Enter superHYPERCUBE. Clusters of cubes, walls of cubes, cubes in the sky, Oh my! Can you make the shape fit in the hole? That is the question the hypercube asks of you. Will you rise to his challenge and be victorious, or will you fail, and be doomed to obscurity? superHYPERCUBE is a game about holes, and the cubes that love them. It explores the vast, mostly unexplored TRON-like tundra of stereoscopy and head tracking in games.
superHYPERCUBE was originally produced for GAMMA 3D in Montreal. Like all Gamma games, it is designed for public gameplay, and sticks with Gamma's 5 minute, pick-up and play format. The original version appropriated Johnny Lee's Wiimote hack to track a pair of custom 3D glasses worn by the player. The latest version of the game dispenses with custom headgear, instead using the Kinect for player head tracking (regular paper 3D glasses not required, but recommended for optimal experience). By using visual perspective, stereoscopy, and head tracking, superHYPERCUBE incorporates three distinct types of 3D into the game experience. Although on the surface resembling the classic game Tetris, the feeling of materiality crafted by sHC creates a fundamentally different game experience that mandates players reconcile multiple visual and phenomenological position cues. Special thanks are due to Concordia University's Centre for Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) for porting the original version of the game to the Kinect.
superHYPERCUBE was chosen to highlight the very well designed 3D mechanics, which are leveraged to create unique and inventive puzzles.

The Escort Quest
Robert Meyer,Grant Reid. USA

When? Sunday October 9 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

The Escort Quest, designed by Robert Meyer and Grant Reid is a game where blindfolded players are directed by their partners through crowded public areas in order to pickup certain objects and return to the starting point. The teams of two consist of a Director who cannot move of his own will, and an Actor, who is blindfolded and must navigate the space and collect certain objects using only the Director’s auditory direction. The game strives to establish a sense of immediate trust for the player’s partner, especially if a player’s partner is a stranger.

The Hatter's Table
Sean Bouchard, Logan Olson, Elizabeth Swensen / USA

When? Sunday October 9 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

You’re invited to sit at the Mad Hatter’s table
With chaos and crumpets for brains less than stable.
The rules are a puzzle, but you mustn’t fret.
See, nobody’s worked them all out as of yet!
Inspired by Carrol’s great logical puzzles,
We aim to delight, confound, and confuzzle.
Want to think with your head and move with your feet?
Come join us to play, run, riddle, and eat!

Twistianopolis 500
The Wise Guys, USA

When? Sunday October 9 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Twistianopolis is a game played on a custom-made, giant, 20' x 8' Twister mat. The object of the game is to be the first to reach the finish line, moving down the track using only the combinations announced by the caller (eg, "Left foot blue"). This is a re-imagining of Hasbro's classic party game of dots, knots, and body parts, with one big twist.