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The Fifth Annual Boston Festival of Indie Games is in the books

Boston Festival of Indie Games took over the MIT campus.

Boston Fig Crowd

The Boston Festival of Indie Games had its fifth annual gathering of independent game developers and retailers.


The Boston Festival of Indie Games had its fifth annual gathering of independent game developers and retailers.

On Saturday September 10th, gamers across Boston piled into the Johnson Athletic Center at MIT. Taking up space on both the first and third floors of the prestigious building, it was covered wall to wall. Game developers of both video and tabletop games were willing to exhibit their creations.

boston fig

Image: Polygon

In between the floors, the festival’s organizers displayed colorful t-shirts and an option to enter a raffle. The event also had sign-ups for the video game charity, Extra Life. Extra Life is a an organization which sponsors 24-marathons of playing video games where viewers and players can donate to a local children’s hospital.

The Festival of Indie Games is a showcase for unique video games

On the sweltering third floor of the Athletic Center, where students practice track, nearly a hundred independent video game developers were stationed. The companies attending were a mix of students and long-time game developers.

Virtual reality, or VR, was a big hit at the Boston Festival of Indie Games. Digital Precept, a Boston based company specializing in VR, had extended lines throughout the event. Their game, Kung Fu: Shadow Fist is a VR game based around hand-to-hand combat.

Kung Fu is inspired by the beat ’em ups of the 90s,” said Digital Precpt co-founder Craig Hedron. “We though, what if we made it VR?”

Players will engage in fights based on their own movement, making Kung Fu a more realistic take on most VR fighting games.

GUNGUNGUN is a 2D arena shooter that takes inspiration from the cult favorite Metal Slug games. It is also the type of game that is meant to be exceptionally challenging. GUNGUNGUN developed by Mystery Egg Games, a team of Southern New Hampshire University alumni. The game’s lead designer and programmer Takorn Sueksagan mentioned programming the enemies can be difficult.

“Hands down, [programming] AI is a nightmare,” Sueksagan says with a chuckle. “It’s tough because the AI can be so unpredictable. We ended up using player controls for the AI and found success.” “Game development is all smoke and mirrors,” he added to his experience working on the game.

Sueksagan and his team have released GUNGUNGUN on Steam Greelight. The team is optimistic about the game getting a full release, as the game gained an audience throughout the event.

Will Stallwood and Daine Saint are a two man team behind Cipher Prime, another independent company. Their game, Tailwind: Prologue is another retro throwback. Tailwind takes inspiration from shoot ‘em ups like Ikaruga. However, instead of shooting everything, the game is more about survival and direct combat. The two man team wants to solve problems with the bullet hell genre, as well as change it up and do something different.

“It has all the trappings of a bullet hell shooter,” said Saint. “But more of an emphasis on not shooting.”

The two men have a deep appreciation for shooters of all genres.

“Every game we make is based on either Ikaruga, Quake or both,” adds Stallwood.

The team is hoping to have some positive reception to the challenging demo and how gamers will react to playing a unique twist on shooters. Cipher Prime previously released Tailwind: Prologue as part of a bundle on Steam.

Boston Festival of Indie Games also focuses on the world of tabletop games

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Card and board games were also being brought out for attendees. Downstairs in a much cooler environment, everyone could play some humorous and engaging games that are destined to become party games or a new favorite among groups of friends.

Smack Talk Showdown is a card game which can be described as Cards Against Humanity meets professional wrestling. Players create their own wrestling personas and improvise wrestling promos.

Dennis Leing, a lifelong wrestling fan and self-proclaimed “commissioner” of the team behind Smack Talk Showdown wants the game to connect with the non-wrestling fans.

“We see the game as something you don’t have to be a wrestling fan to appreciate,” Leing said. “You’ll be surprised how people will get into it.”

“We’re still early in play testing, but we are looking to find people here at the festival,” Leing adds.

Fall of the Last City is an extensive strategy game set in a post-apocalyptic world where players must try and take over areas. “I originally created the game as something for Google Glass,” says lead designer Chris Barney. “The paper prototype was so interesting I decided to go ahead with development.”

“The game went through many iterations,” Barney adds. “It’s been developed over a year.”

Barney is hoping for his project will develop some interest, which will generate onto his upcoming KickStarter campaign.

The Boston Festival of Indie Games brings everyone together with a love for gaming

The Boston Festival of Indie Games brings in enough variety to the campus of MIT, where anyone can have fun and enjoy themselves. From fun party games, to challenging video games, everyone comes together for one love; the hobby of playing games.

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