This last weekend I hit up IndieCade East, an “international festival of independent games.” Held at Queens’ Museum of the Moving Image, there’s an unspoken focus on video games — partially because of videogames’ better organization and industry cashflow, and partially because NYC is a booming center of videogame development, particularly mobile games. Organizations like Playcrafting NYC and the NYU Gamecenter also bolster this local community.
As a tabletop creator, first and foremost, I went in a little tentatively, despite having a significant number of friends within the videogame community (I consider myself tangent, rather than part of the community). This turned out to be almost entirely unnecessary. I went to interesting panels on teaching game design and coding to kids, on creating diversity in games, on cool free tools to make random digital things, and on breaking into voice acting. I played single and multi-player video games, board games, and some games that were at least as much technology experiments (One used an oculus rift with a leap motion controller glued to the outside).
Some of the tools for making things that really interested me (all discovered via Robert Yang’s clickbait titled talk, “We are Drugs”:
Some of the exhibited games that really caught my attention:
- Pry (iOS)
- Consentacle (Tabletop)
- Intergalactic Rescue Squad (Tabletop), pictured above
- Beta, the game
Despite an overwhelming leaning towards video games, the presence of NYU Game Center and their tabletop experiments being showcased and played there suggests to me that there’s a lot of space to help promote tabletop and live action games, and that we should endeavor to make games that push boundaries and show them off in these professional/academic settings and not limit ourselves to small-press publishing to sell at local conventions or on the internet. There’s a big games world out there that’s always itching for more.