Technically T and I only attended IndieXchange Summit, which is an off-site (20 min walk) event that was held last Thursday 3rd October 2013. T didn’t have enough time off from work to attend the entire IndieCade event but made this one day really count. I went along because he didn’t want to leave me behind, it’s nicer to have someone on the 4 1/2hr drive to LA and I’m apparently “the one with the people skills” . Hahaha… I am really just a nosey parker and I do enjoy meeting new people.
We arrived in Culver City, California close to midnight on Wednesday and spent the night at a TravelLodge. While it cost us more than twice what we paid for a room in Motel6 in Carlsbad, it is also slightly cleaner and much bigger (2 king-sized bed was all they had).
IndieXchange was an eye-opener because video games aren’t my thing to begin with. We got there early because T was unfamiliar with this place and wanted to be sure he got there ahead of time just in case we got lost. I spent a lot of time people-watching and it was quite cool. All you had to do was make eye-contact, say hello and people would tell you all about the game they were making. There were your FarmVille types, your Neopets types, there were some crazy RTS games but I realised most people worked with a team or had at least one other partner. I spend virtually everyday waiting for T to finish his time with his coding – he goes to work to code, he comes home from work and codes some more. He is a one-man show who makes the artwork, creates the narrative, composes the music and… uhm, writes lines upon lines of code.
At the summit, T had several talks that he wanted to attend, questions that had to be answered, he also had one-on-one meetings with publishers and also demo-ed his game. On top of that, T was interviewed for GameLoading, a feature length documentary on indie game makers.
At some point in the afternoon, T set up his laptop and played his game. While people came by to ask questions, I gave out namecards. Some strangers played his game and gave him feedback, others asked if he was interested to collaborate – like musicians who were there to find a game to make music for.
The people in attendance also included those who work freelance on different game projects to make a living, those who work on their own games in their spare time while working in a completely different field for their day jobs and fresh graduates who are aspiring game developers but don’t know where to start.
Anyway, among the many interesting gamemakers we spoke to were:
- Christine Love whose game (inspired by ancient Korea) T has recently started playing and was really excited to meet
- Henry Fernandez who just spent 3 weeks in Japan for TGS and will return to Venezuela in about a week
- Spencer & Trish Yip who make educational games and has invited T to a press mixer in LA sometime in November
- Ryan Leonski who showed us this really cute “reverse Mario” game and is also working on 3 others right now
- Mathew Crooks and his brother who’re making a game set in the Gaul
And there was this one French guy whose PC game just got green-lit. I forgot his name and the name of his game, I just remembered that when I asked what kind of game it was he said it was a type of RTS but his partner said it was F.A.R.T.S.
T is one of the lucky ones with a full-time job as a GameDev in a company he enjoys working at and returns home to derive more pleasure from programming in his free time making Axiom Verge. It was interesting to have met so many other types at this conference and I certainly learnt a lot.
So that was my first IndieCade. Yup!