Following on from the lecture topic on “Festivals”, I was tasked with reviewing the content within:

  • IndieCade: A History (Chapter 1 by Celia Pearce, 2009)
  • Now Play This — Among Ripples : Shallow Waters (Eat Create Sleep studios)
  • One game of my choice: Shelter 1 (Might and Delight studios, 2013)

This was an interesting read as it told the story of how IndieCade came to be and it’s rapid success from its initial start within E3 in 2007 with just 20 games to 2014’s showcase of 130 titles! It seems almost unfathomable to imagine that the original festival was planned and devised by one woman, Stephanie Barish in the beginning. Through building a team of strong industry veterans, Stephanie was able to achieve her dream of exhibiting an indie showcase at E3.

It also highlights the importance of indie culture to the associated community and thats what they continue to drive within the core theme of IndieCade festival. This inspired the 2015 coined slogan of “Inspire, Create, Play”. The festival also prides itself on being inclusive and diverse towards all creators and participants.

Among Ripples: Shallow Waters

This was a demo that was released to the public through the Now Play This festival. The title is an upcoming exo tycoon sim game by Eat Create Sleep studios which involves the user needing to help sustain a pond habitat in order for the fish and plant life to survive and breed. By maintaining a “perfect” environment, it generates stars and rewards such as green and gold currency which are used to unlock new items. Gold is used for purchasing environmental items and green is used for unlocking new organisms to produce.

Although this normally isn’t my type of game, it was a relaxing and enjoyable experience which provided further information about pond habitats and species of fish.

Shelter

Shelter is an indie survival adventure game by Might and Delight studios produced in 2013. The gameplay focuses on the player assuming the role of a mother badger that needs to protect her cubs from dangers such as birds of prey, starvation and forest fires.

The title was funded through the Steam Greenlight system. This system helps to support up and coming developers to release titles by providing help with funding and marketed on the popular platform of Steam. It was replaced with Steam Direct as of 2017 which instead places products directly on Steam’s shopfront. They made this change in order to remove the boundary between developers and their audience; more transparent development process.

I cannot find a specific age range or rating listed but from my experience, I believe it to be suitable for all due to the absence of violence, bad language and difficult imagery or text.

Sound is important in this type of game as it is used to signal the birds arrival and position, the fire spreading , as well as audio feedback for the cubs receiving being fed.

It features a unique aesthetic as shown within the images. The developers chose this because they “wanted to do something different… wanted to do something they hadn’t done before”. The interview then continues to state that “we decided fairly early that it would have be something like a fable or that we wanted animals to have a crucial role”. It was also designed to be slower paced to allow for the player to be able to fully absorb the emotional aspect.

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