IndieCade East (Day One)
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Redstone Theater and simulcast in the Bartos Screening Room)
Rami Ismail: Vlambeer—Everybody’s Medium (keynote)
Rami Ismail co-founded the Dutch indie studio Vlambeer in 2010 with Jan Willem Nijman. The studio garnered mainstream attention when its fishing-plus-guns game, Radical Fishing, was cloned by a competitor, and again when Vlambeer released its successful re-imagining, Ridiculous Fishing. Ismail talks about his hopes for independent games and the challenges we face to ensure that everybody has the opportunity to make games.
12:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. (Fox Amphitheater)
Games Business Workshop
Robert Nashak teaches the business and management of games at USC and recently served as Executive Vice President of Digital Entertainment & Games at BBC Worldwide. He and others share insights on building a lasting and successful games business, covering topics like market sizing, fundraising, management, marketing, and PR.
12:30–1:30 p.m. (Redstone Theater)
Tevis Thompson writes video game essays and fiction, including a monthly column at Grantland. He asks: In a community as enthusiastic and supportive as the indie scene, how do we criticize what we love? Thompson discusses the importance of strong criticism, and of emphasizing the individual experience of the player as its foundation.
Building a Better BitSummit—Reinventing Japan’s Indie Gathering
James Mielke was the Editor-in-Chief of Electronic Gaming Monthly and a producer at Q Entertainment and Q-Games in Kyoto before founding BitSummit, an indie game festival in Japan. He explains the challenges of getting developers, media, and sponsors to buy into his vision and improving it for a second iteration.
12:30–1:30 p.m. (Bartos Screening Room)
We Built a Community, So Can You
Cecily Carver is co-director of Dames Making Games, a community organization dedicated to supporting women interested in making games. She shares practical advice for anyone hoping to build a local game community, sharing challenges, program structures, fundraising methods, and guiding principles for inclusivity.
Rise Up: Overcoming the Toxicity and Inclusivity of our Industry
TJ Thomas is a 23-year-old African-American artist who specializes in pixel art animation, game design, and ambient music. He looks at the industry’s problems and issues with inclusivity of race and gender, analyzing and dismantling gathered statistics.
2:00–3:00 p.m. (Fox Amphitheater)
Games Marketing and PR Workshop
Ami M. Blaire is a brand marketing and business development executive who worked at Square Enix and Vivendi Games before becoming managing partner of lvl UP Marketing. She gives practical tips for audience acquisition, effective branding, guerilla marketing, and generally getting your games noticed.
3:00–4:00 p.m. (Redstone Theater)
Narrative on a Budget
Clara Fernandez Vara is an Associate Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center. Matthew Weise is a freelance game designer and writer. They argue that stories can help a game immeasurably, yet few indie developers think they can afford them. Fernandez-Vara and Weise explain why and how to include a story without going over budget.
LARP Is Indie: Live Action Game Design
Shoshana Kessock has been designing LARPs (Live Action Role Playing games) since 2006. She explains that LARP, like the indie game, has been a hotbed for personal and intense design for years. Emphasizing the overlooked connections between the two formats, Kessock illustrates how LARP tackles many of the same design challenges faced by digital indie designers.
3:00–4:00 p.m. (Bartos Screening Room)
Discovering Grim History through Games: Tales Told by Early American Board Games
Julia Keren-Detar is a game designer and developer who has made games at Arkadium and Untame. She looks back across more than 150 years of American board game design, discussing the historical circumstances which influenced the creation of key games, and the ways they have been reinterpreted and revised in decades since.
Video Games and the Spirit of Capitalism
Paolo Pedercini is an Italian game developer, artist, and educator whose projects as “Molleindustria” address issues of social and environmental justice, religion, and labor. He addresses the biases in all computer games towards efficiency, control, and an embrace of a corporatist view of real world systems and scenarios, offering strategies to counter these biases.
3:30–4:30 p.m. (Fox Amphitheater)
Games Legal Workshop
Chris Reid studied intellectual property and technology at Fordham Law School, working in patent litigation at Ropes & Gray LLP before starting his own law practice. Participants will create a hypothetical game studio and walk through legal issues they can expect to encounter, from founding a company to publishing titles.
4:30–5:00 p.m. (Redstone Theater)
Swords and Snails: The Killer Queen Story
Josh DeBonis and Nikita Mikros detail Killer Queen Arcade’s unique design process from capture-the-flag style field game to 10-player arcade cabinet. Joshua DeBonis is a game designer and Director of Sortasoft LLC. Nikita Mikros is the founder and creative director of SMASHWORX and Tiny Mantis Entertainment.
4:30–5:00 p.m. (Bartos Screening Room)
Paid to Crush Your Dreams: Behind the Curtain of Publisher Acquisitions
For over a decade, Caspar Gray worked in product acquisitions for Square Enix, Eidos, and SCi Games, meeting with developers and studios and evaluating thousands of pitches. He shares useful information on how to pitch your game to investors or the public, how publishers assess pitches from developers, how to approach them, and when you shouldn’t bother.
5:30–6:30 p.m. (Redstone Theater)
Meat, Booze, and Accordion Thieves: Eleven Years of Kingdom of Loathing
Zach Johnson and his team have maintained and updated the hand-drawn, free-to-play, browser-based massively multiplayer online (MMO) game The Kingdom of Loathing for more than eleven years. Conference co-chair Margaret Robertson interviews Johnson to discuss the creative, commercial, and community forces that have shaped the game’s evolution.
5:30–6:30 p.m. (Bartos Screening Room)
Costumes as Game Controllers: An Indie/Research Collaboration
Kaho Abe focuses on improving social and personal experiences through the use of technology, fashion, and games. Katherine Isbister directs the Game Innovation Lab at NYU and is a human computer interaction researcher, and designer. They discuss their collaboration on a game that explores using wearable technology and pop-up atmospheric elements to create unique emotional and social situations.
Players as Performers: Game Music and Music Games
Isaac Schankler is a composer, sound designer, and instructor at the University of Southern California and Chapman University. He looks at classical and experimental music as sources of inspiration, from Mozart’s musical dice game to John Zorn’s improvisational system Cobra, to propose the use of musical creativity and musical expression as game mechanics.
Exhibition: Indie Essentials: 25 Must-Play Video Games
On view through March 2, 2014
A playable exhibition of independent video games, including the IndieCade 2013 award winners alongside a selection of games from the last decade that have had great impact on game design and culture. Organized by Museum of the Moving Image and IndieCade. (Access to Indie Essentials is included with an IndieCade East pass or with Museum admission).
Play new independent titles for the PlayStation 4 and Vita, try on wearable virtual-reality technology Oculus Rift, experiment with some of Facebook’s recent releases, check out Ad Magic’s custom printed card games and board games, and learn about FastSpring’s e-commerce system.
3:00–6:00 p.m.: Coffee reception sponsored by OUYA.
Passes: $45 public / $35 students/seniors/Museum members. Order online or call 718 777 6800 during regular Museum hours to reserve passes. A full festival pass, allowing the holder access to all three days of IndieCade East, is available for $125 / $100. Free admission for Silver Screen members and above. Admission for children (ages 3–12) will be $10 per day. IndieCade East scheduled talks and workshops have limited capacity and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Pass holders are not guaranteed admission to all programs.