Play the best games you’ve never heard of!
iFEST indie games festival is back for 2014 to showcase the work of Australia’s most promising independent game developers. This free festival, now in its fourth year, provides the opportunity to game developers working without major studio support to show their work to the wider development community and the general public.
iFEST is running in Canberra on 29th November in the Canberra Technology Park. Unfortunately Melbourne has to wait until 29th March 2015 and Sydney has to wait for 3rd May 2015 for iFEST.
iFEST encourages the participation of entrants from students to start-ups, as well as established studios. The only criterion applied is that games must have been in development in the last 12 months leading up to the festival. Developers showing their work have the opportunity to win a range of prizes that are decided by a public vote.
A key feature of iFEST is the industry speaker sessions. There is a strong emphasis on the sharing of knowledge and ideas amongst the group and this is led by thought provoking presentations from a variety of current developers. Previous speakers include Luke Muscat (Halfbrick), Morgan Jaffit (Defiant Development), Trip Hawkins (EA & Digital Chocolate) as well as Andrew James and Ed Orman (Uppercut Games)
Registrations for developers to showcase their game are now open at www.ifest.com.au
What: iFEST Independent Games Festival
Where: Canberra Technology Park
When: November 29
Who: The best emerging and established independent games developers
This is a great video created by Pixel Bokeh. Since iFEST is a non-profit, Pixel Bokeh volunteered their services (free of charge) to help bring awareness to the Indie scene. They really know what they are doing, and this video proves it! Thanks again Einar Johnson, and Antonella Fragapane from Pixel Bokeh!
iFest from Pixel Bokeh on Vimeo.
Better late than never…
Here are the winners from our May 2nd iFEST at the Seattle Center Armory:
1st Place – People’s Choice Award was given to Ariadne’s Thread from Ellipsis games. ellipsisgames.com
2nd Place – People’s Choice Award was given to Sportsball from Too DX. www.toodx.com
3rd Place – People’s Choice Award was given to Tumblestone from The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild. www.tumblestonegame.com
On the scene at iFEST
“You have died of dysentery!”
John Krajewski Studio Head of Strange Loop Games, is convinced that games will revolutionize education. He cites the Oregon Trail game of the 1980’s as an exemplar of games that give students the experience of being a pioneer making the choices of what to stock in their covered wagon and then living (or dying) with their choices as they move over the oxen trail to Oregon Territory.
Some serious games are not as successful, for example those that force the player to complete math problems in order to play a game, or “stealthy” games that push information at players rather than letting them “pull” it. The award-winning game “Papers Please,” where the player has to decide whether or not to approve entry, is cited as an example of a game that makes the player care about the subject, not just practice recognizing documents.
Krajewski feels that textbooks are going away, so this is an opportunity for indies and other makers of serious games to redefine the goal of supplemental materials: learning is the tool, not the goal. Games should not push, but let the player pull. Create the need for the player to seek information. Dynamic systems are best. Let the player be part of it; allow dry subjects to become rich by creating curiosity.
The reward of developing a serious game is illustrated by the middle-schooler who was playing SimCell at the Strange Loop Games table on the iFEST floor who turned to his father to ask, “Is all this stuff really in me?” Arousing this curiosity is the real reward.