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: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jabbermask/jabbermask.
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFR98koYIWo.
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: https://twitter.com/sawdustbear/status/1331702686085828608.
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: https://twitter.com/verge/status/1326902603603644419.
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4ptJGIJhi8.
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 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLKn4d8BPSs&list=UUu3Kt–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, HomeTeamGameDev.com, 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9zk1FTSVfg.
Did you join 800,000 people in picking up the bundle for racial justice and equality on itch.io at https://itch.io/b/520/bundle-for-racial-justice-and-equality? 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on the Discord!