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Preview: Comments on: GDC & SXSWI: Thoughts on Indie Game Festivals

Comments on: GDC & SXSWI: Thoughts on Indie Game Festivals

Last Build Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 15:55:23 +0000


By: Borut

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 01:03:46 +0000

Also, something that was probably lost in my ramblings was that I was trying to point out the benefit of seeing work that was *more* in progress (than even the rules of the IGF as it stands allows, or other festivals). Considering the 2-3 year pre-release press time on Braid, as a big indie success, worthwhile games still need a lot of encouragement as far as festival press goes.

By: Borut

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 21:41:29 +0000

Wow, that is a damn lot of judges, fair enough - I was just kind of half-assed theorizing there. On my point about the unfinished vs. finished tho - I realize there's no way to really concretely define it, I just meant to delineate them *more*. For a small number of judges, it's not a problem, because everybody can more easily get on the same page about what doesn't make the cut in terms of a definition of completeness, but with 160 judges that seems like a pretty tough communication challenge - more stringent rules seem like the clearest way to avoid the natural haphazardness of it.


Sat, 27 Mar 2010 21:24:47 +0000

FWIW, I don't think 'known' creators are honored particularly. We have over 160 judges in the IGF and the majority of them are not even in the indie 'in crowd'. If you look at some of the finalists and winners this year - games like Star Guard and Limbo - they aren't really made by the usual suspects. (And often, people are known in the indie scene just because they make good titles reliably!) I disagree with a number of other points in here, of course - I don't think a hard line on 'finished' vs. 'unfinished' is every going to work, for one. But I appreciate the thoughts about it.

By: Borut

Sat, 20 Mar 2010 22:34:55 +0000

I didn't go to the award ceremony itself, but I heard the same thing from a number of people. There's inevitably going to be in-crowd for these kinds of things, but I do think the large number of entries skews judges' perception to favor known folks. i f you have to play a ton of games in a short amount of free time to judge them, and if all the games are decent, you'll probably prefer someone you know of. I totally agree on the uniqueness (or lack thereof) of the spectrum of games. I always think of the South Park episode where all the goths are trying so hard to not conform by all wearing the same thing. :) Ideally the festivals are meant to separate the more unique games out - I guess with film festivals usually a successful person moves on to do more established work, but the economic situation with even the successful indie game makers is that they can just barely keep making their games. Hopefully that'll naturally change over time as the market grows.

By: Phil Carlisle

Sat, 20 Mar 2010 20:51:24 +0000

Personally, I found the whole IGF awards event rather disturbing. I appreciate the goal is to get the word out on indie titles, but it appears to me like all it does is serve as a press machine for some very well established players or as a means to create a cult of celebrity for specific designers. It feels to me that the whole thing has become so successful that it is more a parody of itself with the presenters reading hollywood style from a teleprompter in front of a huge telivised audience. What exactly is indie about that? It also feels to me like the whole thing is about the popularity of the creators and not about the games themselves, although of course nobody wants to say that. I'm just not that impressed with the number of "unique" games that are unique in such a way as to be fairly similar. Its almost like alternative lifestyle choice where the alternative is exactly the same as everyone else. But I suppose it serves its purpose enough and I really don't have any alternative, so maybe I should just keep quiet.