jere7my (jere7my) wrote,

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I just got back from attending MIT's first annual Boston Festival of Indie Games with kdsorceress. It was, first of all, free, and a bargain at twice the price!

There were two large rooms of indie video games for mobile / PC / console gaming (packed to crushing), two medium-sized rooms of board and card games (less packed), a small art show (mostly Photoshop), an auditorium where they were screening game-themed documentaries, and a few other bits and bobs scattered about. I played an elegant card game called Maelstrom that would be easy to simulate with a deck of playing cards, an adorably illustrated side-scrolling iPad game about a cloud that needs help raining on the right things, a Sokoban-style game based on particle physics, an 8-bit cellular automata-based game of destruction called Conway's inferno, and a 50th-anniversary replica of Spacewar! (one of the first video games). It was built by MIT students using the same memory limitations as the original (half of the processing power went to computing the accurate scrolling starfield), and controlled with metal toggle switches poking out of aluminum boxes. As we were leaving, we were accosted by a giant roving ball of paper that cried when we said we were going to get some dinner instead of playing its game.

The amount of polish on display varied considerably from game to game, but there was a lot of enthusiasm and creativity (and humanity) packed into a small space. Watch for the return of the FIG next year!

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