IndieCade East 2013 Recap

For the uninitiated, the idea of making a game is daunting; impossible, in fact, for most. Coming up with a concept, making a working prototype, fleshing it out, and then showing it to a room of strangers must be the most anxiety-ridden thing I can think of. This is the road many developers travel, and how many of the games you’ve come to know and love have been made. Budding game-makers in the independent space go to conferences like IndieCade to meet other devs and have their ideas shown to new audiences, many times for the first time.

I travelled out to Astoria, Queens to the Museum of the Moving Image this past weekend to check out  the first ever IndieCade East, and meet and talk to some of these brave individuals. IndieCade was a part of E3 before starting its own independent event on the west coast in 2009. Since then, it has gradually expanded, and this was the event’s first time on the east coast.

The first IndieCade East included some of the west coast event’s core components: dozens of exhibitor booths scattered around the museum, speaker sessions and game demos, Game Slam (like a poetry slam for game devs), and GameJam (a turbo-dev session where devs start making a game on site and compete in rounds to win a prize).  The event wasn’t as big as say PAX, but was pretty well-trafficked by folks from the east coast gaming scene, and seems like it has potential to grow.

Besides the actual Game Jams and discussion panels there were really cool exhibits with old school game cabinets, retro consoles and even some current gen setups. My favorites of these were seeing a working Virtual Boy and Portal 2 played on a huge screen. Seeing families game together was a blissful moment, as well, one that I will hopefully be able to experience and share with my future children.

The games and concepts I saw from game-makers there were exciting and gave just a glimpse of what a dedicated, imaginative developer can do if inspired to make the games and experiences they love.

Huge thanks goes out to the folks at IndieCade East for letting us crash their party last minute. Massive Kudos to Matt Parker, Nick Fortugno and their staff for putting together an awesome con.

Many humbled thanks for my friend Jeff for coming through in a pinch and being my camera/sound bro.

And lastly, thank you to all those folks featured in this IndieCade recap. I am amazed by your beautiful and inspired work. It really makes me appreciate the hard work and long hours that you’ve all put to make thoughtful and fun entertainment.

Kahlief Adams

Kahlief was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. As an avid technophile and lover of all things video games. He set his career path in the direction of a life making games until he found out his arch nemesis, “Math,” had other plans in store. So instead of making the next Tetris he found himself writing and talking about games on his website The Spawn Point Blog and Spawn On Me. Check out what I'm blabbering about over @kahjahkins on Twitter. PSN = KAHJAH1 XBL=KAHJAHKINS

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