IndieCade, the International Festival of Independent Games is usually held in downtown Culver City, but this year decided to host it at USC, at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. This year was all about Virtual Reality with over 25 games showcased throughout the the festival, including titles from Playstation VR. I had the chance to try out Psychonauts: In the Rhombus of Ruin and it blew my mind. Hopefully Double Fine will make a VR version of their next installment to the series Psychonauts 2. Other VR games that are worth checking out are Floor Plan, Giant Cop, and Cosmic Trip.
When arriving on Day 1 of IndieCade, I noticed a positive change in the attendees that differed from previous years. A large group young students and girls were interested in creating and programming video games. That was my highlight of this year.
In the SCI building, Intel Gaming for Everyone Pavilion embraces diversity in games with developers and organizations like the AbleGamers Charity (who helps make gaming controls accessible for people with disabilities), Code Liberation and Girls Make Games (women/non binary support groups for females in technology), and Game for Change (a movement to promote games with social commentary and education). One of the huge presentations at the pavilion was We Are Chicago. This year’s award ceremony was held at the Norris Theater with major wins from Hyper Lift Drifter, who walked away with The Jury Choice Award, Myst creator Rand Miller with the Trailblazer Award, and 1979 Revolution: Black Friday from iNK Stories with The Grand Jury Award.