March 21, 2013 6:23 PM | John Polson
The week-long 2013 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco's Moscone Center, which hosts both the Independent Games Festival and related Summit, begins Monday, March 25, and we're listing a thorough indie to-do list, highlighting some of the can't miss indie-related events happening every day.
The week begins with the two-day Indie Games Summit (Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26), which is packed with sessions on some of the latest and greatest titles released. Attendees will want to build their own GDC schedule to avoid missing any of these talks.
Postmortems of several hit indie games will include the fake-science puzzler SpaceChem, spacecraft crew sim and RTS FTL: Faster Than Light, the stealth-redefining action game Mark of the Ninja, and the reverse shmup and rhythm hybrid Retro/Grade.
Other notable lectures include crowdfunding tips for indies, designing the mystery behind the episodic Kentucky Route Zero, and the game idea-spawning Twitter account PeterMolydeux and its corresponding Molyjam.
Finally, the ever-popular Indie Soapbox session returns, allowing several devs 5 minutes to rant about indie game development. The lineup includes: Renaud Bedard (FEZ), Bennett Foddy (QWOP), Chris Hecker (SpyParty), Rami Ismail (Super Crate Box), Noel Llopis (Casey's Contraptions), Tim Rogers (Ziggurat), David Rosen (Lugaru), Emily Short (Galatea), Rich Vreeland (FEZ OST), and Matthew Wegner (Aztez).
This is just a sample of the full line-up of talks lined up for the Indie Games Summit, spanning Monday and Tuesday - All-Access Pass, Summits/Tutorials, and IGS passholders can get in, and all sessions are being recorded for GDC Vault, with select talks available for free later in the year.
Wednesday marks the beginning of the GDC Main Conference, and also marks the opening of the three-day Expo in the Moscone Center's South Hall, home of the expanded Independent Games Festival Pavilion, featuring 36 titles in a larger space than before. Previous attendees know this is where a lot of indies hang out to talk all day and play all the great games on display, and the Expo hall is accessible by any GDC pass holder.
Some of the main competition finalists on at the IGF Pavilion will be Drinkbox Studios' action platformer in a magical Mexican inspired world Guacamelee, Asteroid Base's co-op micro-platformer Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, and Droqen & Ryan Roth's symphonic garden tending and secret-laden Starseed Pilgrim.
Also worth noting are the games in the newly added Excellence in Narrative category, such as Auntie Pixelante's autobiographical game about undergoing hormone replacement therapy Dys4ia and The Fullbright Company's exploration and story discovery game Gone Home.
Joining the main competition finalists will be the eight Best Student Game finalists, including the game-within-a-game ATUM from NHTV IGAD, the MC Escher like game with a narcoleptic protagonist Back to Bed from the Danish Academy of Digital Interactive Entertainment, and the blind first-person adventure game Pulse from Vancouver Film School.
On the evening of Wednesday, March 27th, the Independent Games Festival Awards will commence at 6:30pm in the GDC Ballroom located in the West Hall, Street Level, with thousands expected to attend in person, and attendance open to both passholders and the public. The event - and the subsequent Game Developers Choice Awards, which also has a number of indie nominees - is also streaming live online over at GameSpot.
Those wanting a break from the lectures or expo intensity can get in the zone all week at the Wild Rumpus 'indie game world championships'. As previously announced, masterful twitch gamers and novices alike can hone their skills in this special Rumpus Royale, located on the Street Level of the West Hall and open to all GDC passholders.
Partnering with Wild Rumpus, the games to be showcased include Bennett Foddy's running 'simulator' QWOP (in a special new version!), Ramiro Corbetta's acclaimed multiplayer sports game Hokra, Terry Cavanagh's twitchy, twisty Super Hexagon and Beau Blyth's IGF 2013 nominated multiplayer fight to the death Samurai Gunn.
There will be ongoing open-to-all training sessions every day, plus official commentated championships featuring the game's developers and other special guests - from Monday to Thursday at 4pm. Wild Rumpus is just a tip of the event iceberg, with a bunch of playable exhibits located throughout GDC every day, and the GDC Play area sporting 70+ indie and emerging game kiosks from Tuesday to Thursday.
For more information on Game Developers Conference 2013, visit the show's official website - both conference and expo tickets are still available onsite next week in San Francisco, and we'll be updating with the results of the IGF Awards next week.IndieGames and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.