Between gigantic monoliths like PAX East, big names like Harmonix and Irrational, and dozens upon dozens of studios working on that next big thing, Boston has become a mecca for gaming. In recognition, MIT and Boston Indies are hosting the Boston Festival for Indie Games, a gathering of some of the greatest minds in the burgeoning industry, and their biggest fans.
Want to play free games, play free games, watch a movie about games, and then play MORE free games on September 22? Here are some things to look out for.
Films | Indie Game: The Movie
Now, there are those out there that contend that video games are not art (looking at you, Roger Ebert) and for evidence to the contrary, there is Indie Game: the Movie, a documentary that follows the lives of three independent game artists. These guys aren’t exactly making Pong. They’re visionaries, working to exist in this competitive world with one crazy idea and a lot of dedication. Making a game takes a lot of work, but by yourself? That’s a story worthy of Sundance. Whether you’re a fan of games or drama, you’ll enjoy watching Jonathan Blow, the guy behind Braid, consider a follow-up. Yes, I said Braid.
It’s like watching Picasso look at a canvas. Now you have no choice.
PC Games | Go Home Dinosaurs
Cambridge-based studio Fire Hose Games has made some pretty cute games, and their new title Go Home Dinosaurs is no exception. Their games defy logic, creating cartoons that are adorable, but by no means childish. Dinosaurs takes the dinosaur extinction myth and turns it upside-down by adding chipmunks. According to the dinosaur experts at Fire Hose, chipmunks were having a barbecue when the dinosaurs came and tried to steal all of the food! And that’s what caused the dinosaurs to go extinct.
Don’t fuck with chipmunks.
These are the ideas that make tower defense games a popular genre among indie developers and keep the fans coming back. Plus, it’s really cute. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that already.
Mobile Games | Fieldrunners 2
Fieldrunners 2 is the game that stole the sales in the iPad app store and the hearts of many tower defense fans. The original Fieldrunners was a challenging and fun title, but its sequel made it look outdated. The weapons are bigger, the worlds are larger, and the attention to detail is insane. Apps are games, too, and just because something exists on a weaker platform (hardware wise) doesn’t mean that it deserves any less attention. Besides—and as much as some hardcore gamers are loathe to admit it—smartphones and tablets are some of the most popular platforms, and are only becoming more popular for casual gamers.
High-quality indie titles like Fieldrunners 2 make the truth easier to handle.
Live Action Games | Silver Twilight Lounge
The year is 1927. The Silver Twilight Lounge is one of the most bustling speakeasies in Boston, and it’s attracting all sorts of attention from the Cthulhu-worshipping crowd … not to mention some gamers looking for a break from the digital world.
See, the festival welcomes all types of gamers, so while you can get the ‘video’ part of your video game fix with the main events, you can also LARP to your heart’s content.
This one-shot encourages pre-registration through the festival’s website in order to pick the right character—and more importantly, the outfit. The fun of role-playing is that you can be whomever you want, so you might as well take advantage of fun that comes with no strings attached. Minus going to the actual festival, of course.
BOSTON FESTIVAL FOR INDIE GAMES
EG&G EDUCATION CENTER, BLDG. 34
50 VASSAR ST.