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Alumni Successes

Celebrate the accomplishments of our IndieCade family!

Bright Spots in 2020:

Though 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, it had its bright spots too!  We were grateful to have been able to meet so many past and new alumni through the “Anywhere & Everywhere” online format of this year’s festival. Throughout the industry, a number of longtime alumni of IndieCade had some really awesome game launches and milestones.
The team at Young Horses, who showed OctoDad at a couple of IndieCade events back in 2014, launched the charming game BugSnax to great fanfare as a PS5 launch title!
Blaseball, created under the leadership of Sam Rosenthal, became a new online pastime for many of us. Sam was one of IndieCade’s first interns when he was starting out, and it’s been awesome to see the team’s success and reach. Blaseball players may have even spotted an IndieCade tie-in item to help prevent burnout.
Tyler Glaiel, who won the Gameplay Innovation award at IndieCade 2009 for Closure (with Jon Schubbe), successfully kickstarted The Jabbermask, a customizable animated LED mask:
Brenda and John Romero‘s team launched Empire of Sin. Brenda won IndieCade’s Vanguard award in 2009 for Train. John was a speaker and interviewed a number of fellow industry legends at IndieCade between 2012-2014.
Two Walking Dead VR games came out this year, Walking Dead Onslaught by Survios and Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners by Skybound. Both Skybound and Survios have been great industry partners of IndieCade, sharing E3 booths!
Speaking of VR, a recent Humble VR Bundle included Skybound’s Saints and Sinners, as well as Raw Data by Survios (shown at IndieCade’s E3 showcase 2016), plus I Expect You to Die by Schell Games which was a 2015 IndieCade selection.
Xalavier Nelson Jr., who presented It’s Fulfillment! A Massively Multiplayer Collaborative Storytelling Game at Night Games in the 2019 Festival, has had tons of exciting updates this year on games on which he’s been a core part of the team, especially around the much anticipated Airport for Aliens Run by Dogs (it was in the Xbox showcase!), Hypnospace Outlaw launched on Switch, and the news that he’s writing for SkateBIRD.

The Los Angeles Times 10 best games of 2020 included several IndieCade alumni games and developers: Blaseball (led by Sam Rosenthal), Arcana (2020 IndieCade nominee), The Under Presents: Tempest (by Tender Claws, who showcased Tendar at the IndieCade’s E3 booth and LA festival in 2018, Virtual Virtual Reality at IndieCade 2017, PRY at IndieCade East 2015, and Tumball at the 2014 festival).

We also want to congratulate Rand Miller, Trailblazer award winner from 2016 who also showed Obduction at IndieCade E3 showcase 2016, for launching  his 1993 hit Myst on Oculus Quest for its first time in VR.

Jose Pablo Monge, who in addition to other IndieCade involvement helped co-organize IndieXchange this year, this month announced his studio, Headless Chicken Games, is working with Sega and Atlus on creating a bonus content app for Persona 5 Strikers on all platforms (PS4, Switch, Steam).

Teddy Dief, co-designer of Heart Machine’s Hyper Light Drifter, which you’ll remember from IndieCade Festival 2014, is part of the new “interactive making-of-the-band series” We Are OFK, which was revealed recently as part of The Game Awards.

Superliminal, which Pillow Castle showed at IndieCade 2015 as Museum of Simulation Technology, was ported to Switch, XBox, PlayStation, and Steam. At launch last year the game was an Epic exclusive.

Yuting Su, who showed Octobo with the Thinker-Tinker team at IndieCade 2016, has been awarded a patent for their Interactive Plush Character System.

Sam Barlow of IndieCade 2015 Grand Jury Award winner Her Story released Telling Lies to Switch in April. We interviewed him late last year:
Kentucky Route Zero, winners of the 2013 IndieCade award for Visuals & Story/World Design, after around a decade of development has released in its final form this year!
Shing Yin Khor, of The Gentle Oracle Bird (IndieCade Night Games 2019), created Four Seasons Landscaping shirts, raising $172k for voting rights charities! See more here:
IndieCade Trailblazer awardee Derek Yu released Spelunky 2.
Brett Taylor’s Linelight, showed at IndieCade 2016, launched on Nintendo Switch!

Photo of Brett Taylor talking about Linelight at IndieCade 2016

David Nottingham, IndieCade speaker in 2010 and part of the Dynamighty team behind IndieCade E3 2014’s showcase CounterSpy, served as Creative Director for Valorant, Riot’s new hero shooter.

Dicey Dungeons, by Terry Cavanagh (IndieCade 2010 for VVVVVV, 2011 for At A Distance, 2012 for Super Hexagon) and artist Marlowe Dobbe (IndieCade E3 Showcase 2019 with Dicey Dungeons), was just released on Switch this month.

At IndieCade 2008 Ian Dallas showed Unfinished Swan. Over the years, Ian became creative director of Giant Sparrow, creators of What Remains of Edith Finch, which recently shared its assets free for use with the Unreal engine:
Twelve Minutes by Luis Antonio gained a ton of well-earned attention this year. Here is our 2015 interview with him about the project in its earlier stages:
Outer Wilds, a 2013 finalist at IndieCade, won Best Game at the 2020 BAFTA Games Awards.
The developers at Supergiant Games, who gave a 2013 IndieCade talk on the making of Bastion  ––CWKvP1wCIMrqRnjQ&index=97 -had remarkable success with their game Hades this year.
Sarah Elmaleh, long time IndieCade red carpet award show co-host, starred as one of the playable characters’s selectable voices in Star Wars Squadrons, in addition to numerous other roles in The Last of Us: Part II and Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Brian Handy of Disco Bear at IndieCade E3 2017 released Wild Honesty this year, a highly polished conversational game that evolved from his graduate studies.
Chris DeLeon, IndieCade’s Alumni Chair (volunteer in 2007, finalist and speaker in 2010, speaker co-organizer for several years), achieved a number of significant milestones for his online game development training community,, in its 5th year: 100th remote team project released, 100K YouTube subscribers, 100K podcast downloads, second training community operating for a full year, and is on track to surpass 300K students taking their introductory online video courses by the end of 2020.
We also want to congratulate Victoria Tran, who in 2019 showcased Boyfriend Dungeon with IndieCade’s E3 Showcase as the Community Developer of Kitfox Games. Victoria has since become the Community Director with Innersloth on Among Us! Here was our interview with her in 2019:
Did you join 800,000 people in picking up the bundle for racial justice and equality on at Although IndieCade was not involved in the fundraiser, if you donated for access to the collection then we’re proud to say you have access to more than 40 games that were either IndieCade selections, part of IndieCade Showcase at E3, or developed with IndieCade alumni as core parts of the team, including:
Overland, Night in the Woods, Walden, 2064: Read Only Memories, Wheels of Aurelia, Nuclear Throne, Quadrilateral Cowboy, The Night Journey, Luna, Octodad, Glittermitten Grove, Dominique Pamplemousse, Old Man’s Journey, Joggernauts, Super Hexagon, And Yet It Moves, Rakete, Witchball, Soft Body, Code 7, A Normal Lost Phone, Four Sided Fantasy, GNOG, Vignettes, Anarcute, Oxenfree, Hero Generations, TorqueL, Toto Temple Deluxe, Another Lost Phone, Badblood, Beglitched, BIT RAT, Choice Chamber, Little Bug, BOTOLO, LAZA KNITEZ, Loot Rascals, Metamorphabet, Oikospiel Book I, PARTICLE MACE, LYNE, Mendel.
Are you IndieCade alumni and would like to see a 2020 update about you and your team’s work mentioned here, or would you like to inform us of any corrections? If so, fill out our tip form or reach us at
See you on the Discord!

Alumni Interviews

Interview with Dr. Jennifer Hazel

We would like to congratulate Dr. Jennifer Hazel for being accepted to the primary psychiatry congress of Australia and New Zealand!  Dr. Hazel spoke at the IndieCade Game U Keynote in 2016.  Her work on mental health and developers has been exemplary. 

Please enjoy our interview with Dr. Hazel below. 

Bio: Jennifer is a fully qualified medical doctor who has practised in both the UK and Australia. As a passionate advocate for the use of game technology in a therapeutic setting, she founded CheckPoint, a registered charity, to connect mental health care with video game technology.

Our interview with Dr. Jennifer Hazel:

1.  What inspired your interest in examining mental health needs among game developers?
When I began working with the games community initially it was very consumer focused. I attended industry events to try to evaluate how to best reach a gaming audience, and in doing so networked with a lot of developers. Through our conversations, I became aware that mental health issues were an unspoken burden that many devs seemed to be bearing, and that indeed the structure of the industry itself might actually be contributing to or feeding that in some way.

2.  What are some mental health challenges either unique to game developers as compared to other cohorts of people?
No matter where you are or what size the studio, there seem to be pervasive issues in game dev. They’re difficult to challenge or address, because they’re often acknowledged as “normal”; things such as crunch culture, increasingly untenable competition, and a lack of external support. Because it’s a relatively young industry, there’s a lack of knowledge about the risks of letting these things go unchecked, and a great lack of understanding from the wider community about what game dev really is, leaving those individuals further isolated. 

3.  What more do you think the developer community can do to make the industry a healthier workplace for individuals?
Talk about this! Evaluate studio culture, protocols and structure to see whether there’s anything that could be contributing to burnout and other mental health issues amongst employees. Request consultation from outside sources (like CheckPoint!) to assist implementing mental health policies. Most importantly, acknowledge this really is a thing that needs addressing, and that all studios’ productivity and outputs would benefit from actually doing so.

4.  How can games themselves be engines for improvements in health?   How can developers harness that power?
There’s strong evidence to suggest that games have numerous benefits for mental health and wellbeing, including improving mood, emotional regulation, reducing stress, increasing resilience, and contributing to social wellbeing. There’s even studies linking specific games – both bespoke and off-the-shelf commercial games can be effective at improving symptoms of depression and anxiety. We’re not fully sure the exact mechanisms underpinning this but there are some good hypotheses that revolve around a sense of autonomy, competence and relatedness, as well as immersion and flow state.

More info:

5.  What are some good resources for developers with questions about mental health?

CheckPoint contains a wealth of information that is developer focussed and personalised to their needs. There’s everything from generalised information to specific mental health model (the aptly named AAA model) which teaches and reinforces a cycle of being aware of one’s inner mental state, and acting to improve it, dynamically throughout the day. It’s designed to be effective even in heavy crunch times. 

Dr. Hazel’s session at IndieCade Festival 2016:

Interview with Jenova Chen

“That was 2005 […] and if I didn’t go to that festival; I would not have met my co-founders of thatgamecompany – and I probably would not found a company – and there would be no flOw, Flower, Journey, and Sky today.”

~ Jenova Chen | Founder, thatgamecompany (Journey, Flower, Flow, & Sky)

Apple Arcade

More than 1-in-4 of the launch titles on the New Apple Arcade are courtesy of IndieCade alumni developers and games. Congratulations to all!! We are proud to be a part of the journey! 

Beyond Blue – E-Line Media
Coming soon to Apple Arcade
Alumni E-Line Media nominees for Never Alone (IndieCade 2014).

Card of Darkness – Zach Gage
Available now on Apple Arcade
Alumni Zach Gage created IndieCade nominee Halcyon (IndieCade 2011), nominee Spelltower (IndieCade East 2013), and Pendleton Ward has been an alumni speaker many times over and collaborator.

Cricket Through the Ages – Devolver and Free Lives
Available now on Apple Arcade
Alumni creator of BroForce (IndieCade 2014).

Dear Reader – Local No. 12
Available now on Apple Arcade
Dear Reader is the new iteration of Alumni game Losswords (IndieCade 2018). From long time alumni speakers and IndieCade organizers and creators of nominated and featured games The Metagame (2011) and Backchatter.

EarthNight – Shifty Eye Games and Cleaversoft
Available now on Apple Arcade
IndieCade has been an invaluable experience for the entire lifecycle of EarthNight. We first showed at a Show & Tell (IndieCade 2014) where we got noticed by the industry for the first time. We then showed and gained incredibly valuable feedback at multiple IndieCade festivals. Right near our release we got to show with IndieCade at E3 in 2019 which set a series of events into place that have set us up to launch successfully. We love Indiecade and forever owe the organization a deep gratitude.”    – Rich Siegel, EarthNight”

Exit the Gungeon – Devolver
Available now on Apple Arcade
This is a sequel to Alumni Enter the Gungeon (IndieCade 2015).

A Fold Apart – Lightning Rod Games
Coming soon to Apple Arcade
Created by the team from IndieCade Nominee Henchmen! (IndieCade East 2014)

Grindstone – Capybara Games
Available now on Apple Arcade
Indiecade Nominee and Award winner Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (IndieCade 2011).

Hot Lava – Klei Entertainment
Available now on Apple Arcade
IndieCade alumni creator of Invisible, Inc. (IndieCade E3 2015)

Lifelike – Kunabi Brother
Coming soon to Apple Arcade
Alumni creator of Blek (IndieCade East 2015).

Manifold Garden – William Chyr
Coming soon to Apple Arcade
Alumni and Member showcased at IndieCade E3 2019 and IndieCade 2016 and IndieCade East!

Mini Motorways – Dinosaur Polo Club
Available now on Apple Arcade
IndieCade Alumni Mini Metro (IndieCade 2014).

Mutazione – Die Gute Fabrik
Available now on Apple Arcade
Die Gute Fabrik are the ultimate alumni, they formed as a collaboration, while meeting at the first Indiecade (2008) and showed Johann Sebastian Joust (IndieCade 2011).

Neo Cab – Chance Agency
Available now on Apple Arcade
Alumni game featured at IndieCade E3 2019.

Overland – Finji
Available now on Apple Arcade
Alumni creator showcased Overland (IndieCade 2015) and Panoramical (IndieCade East 2017).

The Pathless – Annapurna and Giant Squid
Coming soon to Apple Arcade
From IndieCade alumni Giant Squid and creators of Abzu (IndieCade 2015).

Proxi – Will Wright and Gallium Artists
Coming soon to Apple Arcade
IndieCade alumni first keynote (IndieCade 2009) and original board of advisor Will Wright.

Punch Planet – Block Zero
Available now on Apple Arcade
Alumni as Sector-K Games, showcased Punch Planet (IndieCade East 2018).

Sayonara Wild Hearts – Annapurna Interactive and Simogo
Available now on Apple Arcade
Alumni game creators of Beat Sneak Bandit (IndieCade 2012).

Shantae and the Seven Sirens – WayForward
Available now on Apple Arcade
Sequel to Alumni game Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (IndieCade 2014).

Sneaky Sasquatch – RAC7 Games
Available now on Apple Arcade
Creator of alumni game Dark Echo (IndieCade 2015).

Spek – RAC7 Games
Coming soon to Apple Arcade
Creator of alumni game Dark Echo (IndieCade 2015).

Spidersaurs – WayForward
Available now on Apple Arcade
Alumni creator of Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (IndieCade 2014).

Stellar Commanders – Blindflug Studios
Available now on Apple Arcade
Alumni creator of Cloud Chasers (IndieCade E3 2015).

What the Golf? – Triband
Available now on Apple Arcade
IndieCade longtime alumni Triband: Keyboard Sports (IndieCade 2017, Europe 2017, East 2018) and What the Golf (Grand Prix Award Winners of IndieCade Europe 2018, IndieCade 2018).

Where Cards Fall – Snowman and The Game Band
Available now on Apple Arcade
A game from alumni Sam Rosenthal – one of our first official interns! (IndieCade 2009- 2010)

Winding Worlds – Ko_op
Coming soon to Apple Arcade
Alumni creator of nominated game GNOG (IndieCade E3 2015).

2019 Releases

Check out summer 2019 releases and news from our Alumni below.

Also, to go along with his new game, Telling Lies, we’re sharing an exclusive interview with developer Sam Barlow (shared with our community via the IndieCade Members Quarterly earlier this year and now available to a larger audience).

Here’s a quick look at some of the releases we’ve been seen from alumni the past few months:

Sky by Jenova Chen’s thatgamecompany
Now on App Store, coming soon to Android
Jenova showed Cloud at IndieCade 2005–before it existed as a standalone event–and won the student award. That’s where and when he met the cofounders of thatgamecompany! A few years later, he also showed Flower at IndieCade.

Telling Lies by Sam Barlow
Now on App Store, Steam, and GOG
His previous game, Her Story, won the Grand Jury award in 2015.

Dicey Dungeons by Terry Cavanagh
Now on Windows, macOS, and Linux
Terry’s VVVVVV was at IndieCade 2010, At A Distance at IndieCade 2011, and Super Hexagon at IndieCade 2012. Dicey Dungeons was among our games showcased at IndieCade’s E3 booth this year.

Gravity Ghost: Deluxe Edition by Erin Robinson Swink
Now on PS4
Erin, as a lead of Ivy Games, showed the original Gravity Ghost at IndieCade 2013 and as the head writer of the IndieCade Awards ceremony in 2016.

Quench by Axon Interactive (incl. Tabby Rose)
Now on Switch
Tabby Rose helped organize IndieCade’s GameU speakers as a speakers co-chair for 2016 and 2017. Quench was also exhibited at the IndieXChange Game Tasting for IndieCade West 2016-17. Tabby spoke at IndieCade East 2016 (“Myth of Bootstrapping: Learning from a LongStory” panel with Miriam Verburg and Jill Murray), moderated panels at IndieCade West 2016 (including “Gamedev as a Coping Strategy for Mental Health”), and a business talk for IndieCade West 2017 (“Finding Funding”).

Doom 1 & 2 (90’s classic FPS) by id incl. John Romero
Now on Switch
John Romero has been a speaker for multiple years, 2012-2014 pioneering the “Secret Histories of Indie Games” interview format.

Elsinore by Golden Glitch Studios incl. Katie Chironis Grossman
Now on Steam
Katie ( was a panelist at IndieCade last year. Full video of the panel she was with:

Lucah by Colin Horgan produced by Kevin Wong
Now on Switch
Colin Horgan, the main developer, worked on Virtual Virtual Reality (IndieCade 2017) with Tender Claws and EctoPlaza (IndieCade 2015) as part of Syndicate Atomic. Kevin Wong, the producer, currently working with Relativity (IndieCade E3 2019, developed by William Chyr), previously with Chambara (IndieCade 2015 as part of Team OK).

Anodyne 2 by Sean Hogan and Marina Kittaka
Now on Steam
Sean Hogan (then working with Jonathan Kittaka) showed Even The Ocean a IndieCade East 2014.

Joggernauts by Zach Johnson
Now on Switch
Zach met with Nintendo reps 4-5 years ago while showing his game at IndieCade, now the game is out on Switch.

Congratulations to these and all other IndieCade alumni releasing games lately!

IndieCade is proud to have spotlighted thousands of developers over the years, and although we’re keeping an eye out for alumni to cover, we know there are surely more great games being released lately by alumni that we haven’t included above. If you’re an IndieCade alumni, and have recent game release news we missed here, please let us know by emailing Even if it’s from before or after this summer, we’d really love to hear about it!

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Are you an IndieCade Alumnus? We want to know! If you've been a speaker, organizer, juror, or presented your game at IndieCade or any IndieCade-related showcase (ex. IndieCade @ E3, IndieCade @ SIGGRAPH, etc. - doesn't need to have been a finalist) we'd like to be in touch.