Indiecade East Brings Gamers, Developers, and Jams to Astoria, Queens
This past weekend, the folks at Indiecade held the inaugural Indiecade East convention in Astoria, Queens. The event was held at the Museum of the Moving Image and was all about indie developers coming together to share the ideas, their latest titles, game jam their way into all new video game experiences, and discuss some hot topics in indie video gamedom with fans of indie development. Here’s a glimpse of some of the stuff we saw at the show. If you missed out on Indiecade East, don’t worry, because if this year’s show was any indication, Indiecade East has a long, illustrious run ahead of it. As they would say, “Why should the Left coast have all the fun?”
While not part of the Indiecade show, up on the 3rd floor of the museum was this beauty: a fully functioning pitching and rotating Galaxy Force machine. This was one of my favorite arcade machines growing up. Not necessarily because the game was all that great, but because it made you feel like something out of the Last Star Fighter.
One of the first things we saw at the show, these little cubes communicate with a base unit and interact with one another. The result is a modular system of open source cubes that can be used to create a multitude of different games or applications. And the coolest part: the cubes can talk to one another, know where they are positionally, and even do different things when placed on top of each other. Crazy, huh?
THE SHOW FLOOR
This is where Indiecade lives. This is it’s base. Inside this hall is where the indie developers, games, and the industry as a whole hung out together, gamed together, and shared in the awesome that is the indie video game scene. And you could tell from the beginning the turn out was quite good as this room was never very empty for long, especially after one of the many talks broke from the main theater. So, what was there you ask? Good question.
THE OUYA (DEV KIT)
There’s been a lot of buzz around the Ouya and the GameStick over the last few months. Promising open source hardware with a robust marketplace designed to bring indie development to the couch, the little box that could seemed to fit right in at Indiecade. And yet the most stunning part of the system isn’t how big it’s ambition is, but how small its foot print is. I mean, it’s like 1/4 the size of a Gamecube (and a lot more popular).
No longer named like a strange RPG from a bygone era, the Oculus VR is what older gamers thought VR should have been back in the 90′s, instead of the blocky, confused mess that it was. Not only is the tech functional, it’s actually mesmerizing (and a bit nauseating). First time I put the headset on, my brain totally freaked and my stomach right behind it. I believe Brian mentioned that the nausea is caused the body assuming that you’ve been poisoned since you’re moving with out moving…so it must be a hallucination. Whether it is or it isn’t, Oculus VR could seriously change immersion in games forever. Check out my full preview of Oculus VR for more thoughts on the system and how to get your hands on a dev kit.
INDIECADE EAST #1 GETS THE JOB DONE
If there’s one thing that Indiecade East pulls off head and shoulders above any other video game gathering, it’s the constant sense of fun and play. It really is a show for people who love games of all shapes and sizes. And because of the fact it’s by indies for indies, there’s a great sense that games are fun and that the fun should be shared, passed around, mulled over, and made better by including more people in the process. Every developer wants to make a living doing what they’re currently doing. But they also want people to play and enjoy (or at the very least have a response) to their games. And this show really did give the little guys the big stage in a way that almost no other video game show has been able to do. If this year’s show is any indication, I expect we’ll be seeing many more Indicade East’s in the future…and that’s a great thing.
To find out more about Indiecade East and West be sure to head to The Indiecade Website.