The IndieCade 2019 Official Award Winners
On October 11th, the IndieCade awards were held at Santa Monica College – right where the show itself was taking place – for the first time. It was a nice change. Under a practically full moon and a warm but beautiful night sky, the crowd of attendees was almost completely made up of developers and nominees.
The smell of buttery popcorn wafted through the air as the pared-back but mercifully efficient award ceremony was done by returning MCs Sarah Elmaleh and Asher Vollmer.
Here are the 2019 official winners. The people’s and media choice awards were announced the final day, following Night Games:
Cooperative Design Award:
Tick Tock: A Tale For Two by Other Tales Interactive
Collaboration and communication skills are a must in this clockwork-inspired narrative adventure.
Procedural Design Award:
Blabyrinth by Sleeping Beast Games
Another cooperative game involving escape, this mobile offering’s labyrinthine levels are randomly designed.
Inhuman Conditions by Tommy Maranges, Cory O’Brien, and Mackenzie Schubert
A quick game of interrogation, this tabletop game draws on the Turing Test for artificial intelligence as well as the Voight-Kampff test of Bladerunner fame.
Describe – in single words – only the good things that come into your mind about your mother. Then check out the official trailer for Inhuman Condition below:
Location Based And Live Play Award:
Ama’s Momento by Momento
This multi-media piece incorporates virtual reality as well as physical objects to create a museum for project lead Awu Chen’s grandmother.
When Rivers Were Trails by Indian Land Tenure Foundation and Michigan State University’s Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab
Inspired by previous IndieCade offering Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, this game subverts the mechanics of Oregon Trail to tell a story about the displacement of indigenous peoples.
Narrative Design Award:
Neo Cab by Chance Agency/Fellow Traveller
Touching on contemporary issues like automation and the gig economy, this video game uses its unique premise – the protagonist is one of the last human drivers-for-hire in a near future – to introduce a variety of all-too-human characters.
The Occupation by White Paper Games
Brilliant voice acting and direction set this tense tale of espionage in an alternate reality Great Britain apart from typical adventure games.
Indiecade Jury Prix Award:
Grace Bruxner Presents: The Haunted Island, A Frog Detective Game by Grace Bruxner, Thomas Bowker, Dan Golding
Awarded for “excellence in craftsmanship, innovation and design,” this adventure game creates understated but hilarious comedy through its use and subversion of typical detective tropes and directorial techniques that recall the classic film adaptations of Agatha Christie stories.
Innovation In Experience Design Award:
Moncage by Dong Zhou & Yijia Chen
This game’s rotatable cube diorama mechanic earned it the award “honoring craft or design of games that provide a unique, curated experience.”
Watch a demonstration of Moncage below:
Innovation In Interaction Design Award:
HOT SWAP: All Hands On Deck by Peter Gyory & Clement Zheng
We were impressed by the frantic yet smooth action of the specially designed, switchable input devices in this cooperative ship simulator. A well-earned award for an ingenious control mechanic!
Check out the trailer for HOT SWAP: All Hands on Deck below:
Indiecade Grand Jury:
Dicey Dungeons by Team Dicey Dungeons
Check out our Dicey Dungeons review from earlier this year.
Terry Cavanagh’s exploration of the interaction between RNG mechanics and strategy – all set within a humorous, dice-themed dungeon – earned his latest game the festival’s top honors.
The Bernie De Koven Big Fun Award:
The organizers of the Come Out & Play festival
Come Out & Play’s street games events take Bernie De Koven’s seminal contributions to the New Games movement to a new level by turning entire neighborhoods into giant playgrounds for all ages.
The Game Changer Award:
The organizers of the Game Devs of Color Expo: Chris Algoo, Shawn Allen, Brian Carr, Brian S. Chung, G.J. Lee & Catt Small
The Game Devs of Color Expo is a conference “creating a new normal in games by putting creators of color at the forefront.”
The Trailblazer Award:
This UK artists’ collective has won multiple awards for its massive interactive art pieces using audience participation and mixed media to explore socio-political questions.
Developers Choice Award:
Patrick’s Parabox by Patrick Traynor
Wheels within wheels? No, boxes within boxes in this recursion-based puzzle game that forces you to think…outside the box.
Audience Choice Award:
Kroma by Carol Mertz, Kai Karhu, Francesca Carletto-Leon, Temitope Olujobi
Attendees gave the top vote to this tabletop game, which sees players layering transparent colored tiles to compete for territory – and create a collaborative abstract art piece in the process – over a special backlit game board.
Night Games Award:
Nightmare Temptation Academy by Lena NW & Costcodreamgurl
Combining multiple genres and multiple references, from dating simulator to anime to RPG to musical theater, this project is both an embodiment of and commentary on the experience of media over-saturation.