Tuesday, October 14, 2014

IndieCade 2014: Size, Sony and Indy Devs

Continuing our look at IndieCade 2014

In size and scale, not a indie title, but sounds like one, IndieCade has grown big enough to fully inhabit the parking lot its been held at year after year in Culver City. The firehouse down the block holding the digital nominees is so filled it's like a tiny E3 is going on inside with no elbow room, Elbow Room was a game title. Changes of some sort must be made in time allotment, and space for game play. Simply having tents and tables outside isn't letting people see a game for what it's worth. 
Negative connotations with being indie might make there way in. We never saw any pushing, the whitest of nerdy dancing yes, but no pushing. For so many smart people wanting to show off what they can do with so little simple management of booths needs to be reconsidered. In our opinion, maybe just spending money on a big top circus tent instead of individual booths is needed.

The other focus on criticism is on cost, we were stopped by those who were unhappy paying $40 for one festival day, it was $20 last year, a few times. Saturday still sold out. With only a new stage and perhaps some new booths we have to wonder what the money went to.


Sony's Booth was filled with titles that we had seen before. Many of what Sony is getting are tweaked our newer versions of games already played before. 

Jamestown+ was a shump shooter very much like R-Type, it's a neo-classical top-down shooter. With up to four players, only two were playable at the booth, we blasted away enemies over the screen. The game has a very odd choice of setting, a17th-century British Colonial Mars. All tech looked steampunk mixed with some strange plant life on mars.

EarthNight is set after the Dragon Apocalypse the Dragpocalypse, not a drag queen apocalypse. In this runner game you play as a survivor who falls back to Earth on top of dragons. You must dodge and collect cool stuff before stabbing a dragon above the eye and starting all over again. Only two buttons, one to anchor yourself to stop you from your constant running and one for jumping. The characters cartoon look had us watching the game and seeing how far someone could get.

We played BroForce, a game amazingly not sued after parodying every 80's and 90's actino star and putting them into a metal slug like shooter.

A title we never a got a chance on was, N++. It was also playable as a digital nominee. People like the old school minimalistic platform style of the original and were hooked on it's newest incarnation.

Sony had so many titles packed in for PSN and Vita it was hard to choose what not to play. We're happy Sony is letting the flood gates open on more games going to their console.

We'll have more on Sony's booth in our Things To Do In Gaming episode at IndieCade.

Independent Titles

We had a chance to talk to Alex Preston for Hyper Light Drifter. We were told the game is sadly not coming out until 2015. We look forward to playing as the nameless drifter next year.

Toto Temple Deluxe has you trying to hold onto a goat the longest. As strange as it sounds, it's very addictive. You can power-up and dash into up to three friends in different motifs on ancient cultures that resemble the Temple of Doom from Indiana Jones. Exclusive to OUYA right now. Power-ups can take out 80% of the screen.

We were looking forward to Crawl, a local dungeon co-op game. One plays as the hero, three others inhabit the surrounding foes and attack the hero. Too often, as the foe, we were bored. We had to wait for our hero so much that gameplay got slow. Enemies in the game can choose different vested evil races to choose from to kill the hero and can evolve them after inflicting enough damage and collecting enough blood and xp.

Hoot Patooter from Wise Guy events was another ridiculous time at IndieCade. From the commands of someone with the voice of the Swedish Chef from The Muppets you must make certain dishes. You do this by throwing vegetables around and getting them into a pot. This is done by four sets of two people with an apron, not by hand.

A card game you could play on a communal toilet, Poop. Poop plays like Uno, but the loser has to flush. Gross enough for the whole family.

Night Games

The festival ended for many with the DJ rockin' Night Games. When stranger, more adult themed-games come out, that's waht Night Games is all bout. Sportsball and Runbow ran contests, while Bloop, an easy to instantly play tile tapping game was played on a single tablet near the the mosh pit of bad dancing.

Heart Beat Amplifier wasn't that far from Light Fight. Both strange games to see in the setting. Amplify your hearts beat and see it on a blinking lamp above you with HBA. Light Flight looked like someone lost a contact lens. You tag each other with flash lights around a box board.

Too many strange sounds and chip tune music would make and one from 1960 think it was the future they were told they would have.

Game Slam, so Game Slam
Game Slam

Showing indie at what indie is, not very professional, was Game Slam, a short showcase of indie titles with only a 100 seconds to inform us of what they were. The Internet famous @ PeterMolyduex gave us a rousing speech on a game set within a game. A game inside a calculator factory that let's you unlock what's actually going on in the calculator factory, he ended his speech with, "That's one equation you don't know." , calculated humor.

The Game Slam showed us indie by how unprepared it's speakers and hosts were. It was like watching a college or high school  talent show with just a little bit more substance. The hosts, who put it together, were probably the same as the dancers at night, good at making games, bad at looking cool at social interactions.

IndieCade's growth only shows there's so many people getting their games out there or having a shot for them to be seen by others. For the fan, when else are you going to play games in such a social environment and outside with a chance to meet those who made it?