In the fourth part of this week's five-part series on some of the top news from this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, NY1's Technology reporter Adam Balkin looks at how some of the coolest video games at the convention were created by the smallest developers.
Giant booths, giant screens and giant crowds accurately describes most of the E3 floor. But one corner of the Los Angeles Convention Center floor each year houses a few dozen games with development teams that do not have massive budgets and may consist of just a single person. These are independent games which are shown at Indiecade.
"Indiecade is an international showcase of independent games. Think Sundance for the gaming industry," says Stephanie Barish, the founder of Indiecade. "We're an annual event, once a year, in October in Los Angeles, Culver City. We take over the streets of downtown Culver City with independent games."
Many of the games are more experiences rather than goal-oriented, like "Space Maestro," which has gamers use their hands to create a musical universe.
"You just make musical stars and feel how they react, what types of music it makes and what type of environment and galaxy it creates," says Junghwa Kim of the USC Interactive Media Division.
"Spin The Bottle," a game that is coming to the WiiU, uses just the gamepad. Players sit around it, spin the virtual bottle and then are given G-rated tasks designed to force people into awkward physical challenges with one another.
"Some of them are just weird and silly. So one of them you have to hug each other and jump to the beat of the music or do weird physical challenges where you look at each other or touch each other," says Lau Korsgaard of Knapnok Games.
For the game "Joust," players just use a PlayStation move controller, with an end lit up like a candle, and no TV. Players walk around trying to keep their move sensor as upright and still as possible while trying to jostle, even just a bit, everyone else's in order to extinguish their lights.
"You play to the music and the faster the music, the faster you can move. The slower the music, the slower you can move," says Barish.
Because there is no screen, "Joust" can accommodate more players than a typical screen-based game. The minimum number to play is two and the maximum is seven.