This year saw the 9th Annual Festival at the University of Southern California.
Miller, creator of Myst recognized with the 2016 Trailblazer Award for his
accomplishments and contributions to gaming.
IndieCade, the premier international festival of independent
games, honored the winners of the 2016 IndieCade Awards at an event last night at
the Norris Theater on the campus of the University of Southern California.
IndieCade Festival has distinguished itself for
providing a platform for identifying the best, brightest and most inspired
independent games in the world. This year’s festival was held on the campus of
The School of Cinematic Arts at USC in downtown Los Angeles.
“The IndieCade Festival is
a celebration of the innovation and creativity that distinguishes the world of
indie gaming,” said Stephanie Barish, Indiecade’s chief executive officer, “Independent developers are essential for the progress and advances
of the larger game industry and we’re proud to provide a home that celebrates
and honors their talent, dedication and important works.”
Winners in each category
Rand Miller co-founded Cyan with brother
Robyn about 30 years ago with the release of The Manhole – an award-winning
world for kids. Since then he’s managed to create everything from small mobile
apps to massively multiplayer online games, including the bestsellers Myst and
Riven. His passion is discovery, and when he’s not exploring the real world
with his wife he concocts ideas of strange places that can only be explored
virtually. His latest project Obduction was released this year to wonderful
Game Changer Award
An honorary prize given to a working
game creator who is emerging in their career, setting an example of true
independence while helping change the discussion around games and play. This
year’s recipient is Toni Rocca. Toni is the President
and founder of GaymerX and a principal at Midboss.
The Grand Jury Award
1979 Revolution: Black Friday
Developer – INK Stories
1979 Revolution: Black Friday
is a choice driven, narrative adventure game that brings players into the
brooding world of a nation on the verge of collapse. This game is based on real
stories, real events, and real people.
The Visual Design Award
Developer – Corazon del Sol
Infinite-O is a video game that will be on display as part of the exhibition, Let
Power Take A Female Form. The video game is a conceptual portrait on the
life & influence of three generations of women artists, Eugenia Butler,
Eugenia P. Butler, Corazon Del Sol. The central character is a pair of three
legs that navigates a series of planetary vignettes, with theme elements that
oscillate between absurd dreaminess and narrative vehicles that explore the
archetypes of woman-hood.
The Audio Design Award
Developer – Logan Olson
SoundStage is a VR music creation and
performance sandbox built especially for room-scale, motion-tracked virtual
reality. Whether you are a musician or just want to bang on virtual drums,
SoundStage has the tools to express yourself.
The Game Design Award
Developer – Capital W
Hamlet-Mobile is an immersive experience
that explores grief through an interactive adaptation of Hamlet staged in a
cargo van. Hamlet-Mobile is comprised of eight short segments inspired by
Shakespeare’s play, each performed for audiences of 1 to 2 people.
The Story/World Design Award
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor
Developer – Sundae Month
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor is an
anti-adventure game about cleaning up trash at a vibrant alien bazaar. Every
night, return to your small apartment (located above a very strange smut shop),
collect your meager earnings, and write in your diary. Every morning, wake up
and do it again. Live a life of tedium and monotony- on the very threshold of
The Technology Award
Developer – Disney Research Pittsburgh
Threadsteading is a two-player,
territorial control strategy game played on a Singer CE-200 Sewing Machine with
embroidery attachment and a custom-mounted controller. Players act as competing
commanders of a team of royal scouts tasked with exploring a hex-gridded domain
of varying terrain difficulty. Players
must scheme and strategize to find the best path to take over the terrain to
maximize the territory they each control.
The Impact Award
Developer – Somi (Individual)
Replica is an interactive novel game
played through a cellphone and social media. You are given a cellphone of an
unknown owner. You must look for evidence of terrorism by hacking into the
cellphone owner’s account, under governmental coercion, then inspecting the
cellphone usage history and social media activity records. The insane
experience of peeping into someone’s private life through a cellphone will
transform you into the state’s greatest patriot.
The Interaction Award
Order of the Oven Mitt
Developer – Inquisiment
The Order of the Oven Mitt is a
tabletop, completely edible game for all ages that will get you laughing and
strategizing while you satisfy your sweet tooth. You and another Initiate
Knight move about the game board in a chess-knight style movements. Land on a
Sacred Square to eat it according to the Sacred Ritual. Stop the other
Knight from getting your favorite Sacred
Square, or compromise and share together.
The Jury Choice Award
Hyper Light Drifter
Developer – Heart Machine
Echoes of a dark and violent past
resonate throughout a savage land, steeped in treasure and blood. Hyper Light
Drifter is an action adventure RPG in the vein of the best 16bit classics,
with modernized mechanics and designs on a much grander scale.
bestows three “Choice Awards” which are
voted on by the attending media, developers and festival attendees. Winners in
these categories include:
The Audience Choice Award
Developer – Expressive Intelligence Studio
Bad News is an installation-based game
that combines procedural generation, deep simulation and live performance. Set
in the summer of 1979, gameplay takes place in a procedurally generated
American small town with over a century of simulated history.
The Developer Choice Award
We Are Chicago
Developer – Culture Shock Games
We Are Chicago is a first person
narrative-driven adventure game that strives to portray the harsh realities of
growing up on the south side of Chicago.
The Media Choice Award
You Must Be 18 or Older to Enter
Developer – Seemingly Pointless
You Must be 18 or Older to Enter
recreates the feeling of being a prepubescent kid looking at porn for the first
time. Through interactive fiction elements combined with ASCII styled art, ‘You
Must be 18 or Older to Enter’ blurs several genres together to create an
anxious but compelling experience.
Additional details on the
award winning games and festival nominees can be found online on the IndieCade