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IndieCade’s Keynotes feature presenters and projects at the front end of emerging trends, including participatory theatre, indie eSports, and lessons of failure from game design and beyond.

Failing Better

A Peek into Failure-Positive Creativity

If you’ve ever played a game, it is likely that you’ve experienced failure. Lots of it. And if you’ve ever made a game, you’ve experienced a different kind of failure. In many ways, games and their play are the medium of failure, each with tried and true approaches to failure – iteration, or failing over and over again until you get it right. Or, paraphrasing Samuel Beckett, failing better. As effective as the traditional approaches to iteration are for game design, there are so many other great ways to fail, and thus too iterate. Over the last seven years, John Sharp and Colleen Macklin have interviewed creative practitioners—from chefs to skateboarders, filmmakers to winemakers, and toy designers to comedians to see how they manage the inevitable failures involved in their work. Join Sharp and Macklin as they share some of the lessons they’ve learned from other creative disciplines. Because while everyone fails, some do it better.

Colleen Macklin

John Sharp

Participant Agency in Immersive Experiences

Playing the Accessible Unknown

Immersive experiences are increasingly changing the landscape of entertainment, retail, dining, art and gaming. Immersive creators across a wide spectrum of scales, budgets and mediums are drawing audiences into rich story worlds where each participant is the protagonist of their own experience. These experiences can be powerful, transformative, playful and challenging, and offer the participant a unique opportunity to engage their empathy and sense of autonomy, as well as to rethink their relationship with society’s status quo.

Following a short presentation, Meow Wolf Executive Producer Jenny Weinbloom will be joined by No Proscenium Editor Kathryn Yu to discuss immersive gamification, Meow Wolf’s unique approach to interactive narrative, and the ethics of choose your own adventure storytelling in physical environments.

Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return

Meow Wolf Jenny Weinbloom

No Proscenium Editor Kathryn Yu

For more on Meow Wolf, please visit:

Killer Queen, Catan, and The Sopranos

Killer Queen changed the trajectory of our careers as game designers. Now we hope that it can be the spark that ignites a new golden age for arcades. We will reveal some of the secret sauce that defines BumbleBear’s style, as well as lessons learned along our five year journey into the exotic world of commercial arcades. Having discovered this blue ocean, we can envision a future where public play is ubiquitous and woven into the fabric of youth culture. We’re throwing down the gauntlet and challenging new developers to be our competition. We dare you to join us.

Joshua DeBonis

Nikita Mikros

For more on BumbleBear, please visit:

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