2016 IndieCade Awards Honors the Year’s Most Innovative Indie Games
2016 IndieCade Awards honors the year’s most innovative indie games at 9th annual festival at USC.
The premiere international festival of indie games, IndieCade, honored the winners of the 2016 IndieCade Awards last night at the Norris Theater on USC’s Campus. IndieCade Festival has distinguished itself for providing a platform for identifying the best, brightest and most inspired indie games in the world. This year’s IndieCade Festival took place at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
“The IndieCade Festival is a celebration of the innovation and creativity that distinguishes the world of indie gaming,” said Stephanie Barish, Indiecade’s chief executive officer, “Independent developers are essential for the progress and advances of the larger game industry and we’re proud to provide a home that celebrates and honors their talent, dedication and important works.”
Here are the winners for the 2016 IndieCade Awards:
Rand Miller co-founded Cyan with brother Robyn about 30 years ago with the release of The Manhole – an award-winning world for kids. Since then he’s managed to create everything from small mobile apps to massively multiplayer online games, including the bestsellers Myst and Riven. His passion is discovery, and when he’s not exploring the real world with his wife he concocts ideas of strange places that can only be explored virtually. His latest project Obduction was released this year to wonderful reviews.
Game Changer Award
An honorary prize given to a working game creator who is emerging in their career, setting an example of true independence while helping change the discussion around games and play. This year’s recipient is Toni Rocca. Toni is the President and founder of GaymerX and a principal at Midboss.
The Grand Jury Award
1979 Revolution: Black Friday
Developer – INK Stories
1979 Revolution: Black Friday is a choice driven, narrative adventure game that brings players into the brooding world of a nation on the verge of collapse. This game is based on real stories, real events, and real people.
The Visual Design Award
Developer – Corazon del Sol
Infinite-O is a video game that will be on display as part of the exhibition, Let Power Take A Female Form. The video game is a conceptual portrait on the life & influence of three generations of women artists, Eugenia Butler, Eugenia P. Butler, Corazon Del Sol. The central character is a pair of three legs that navigates a series of planetary vignettes, with theme elements that oscillate between absurd dreaminess and narrative vehicles that explore the archetypes of woman-hood.
The Audio Design Award
Developer – Logan Olson
SoundStage is a VR music creation and performance sandbox built especially for room-scale, motion-tracked virtual reality. Whether you are a musician or just want to bang on virtual drums, SoundStage has the tools to express yourself.
The Game Design Award
Developer – Capital W
Hamlet-Mobile is an immersive experience that explores grief through an interactive adaptation of Hamlet staged in a cargo van. Hamlet-Mobile is comprised of eight short segments inspired by Shakespeare’s play, each performed for audiences of 1 to 2 people.
The Story/World Design Award
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor
Developer – Sundae Month
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor is an anti-adventure game about cleaning up trash at a vibrant alien bazaar. Every night, return to your small apartment (located above a very strange smut shop), collect your meager earnings, and write in your diary. Every morning, wake up and do it again. Live a life of tedium and monotony- on the very threshold of adventure.
The Technology Award
Developer – Disney Research Pittsburgh
Threadsteading is a two-player, territorial control strategy game played on a Singer CE-200 Sewing Machine with embroidery attachment and a custom-mounted controller. Players act as competing commanders of a team of royal scouts tasked with exploring a hex-gridded domain of varying terrain difficulty. Players must scheme and strategize to find the best path to take over the terrain to maximize the territory they each control.
The Impact Award
Developer – Somi (Individual)
Replica is an interactive novel game played through a cellphone and social media. You are given a cellphone of an unknown owner. You must look for evidence of terrorism by hacking into the cellphone owner’s account, under governmental coercion, then inspecting the cellphone usage history and social media activity records. The insane experience of peeping into someone’s private life through a cellphone will transform you into the state’s greatest patriot.
The Interaction Award
The Order of the Oven Mitt
Developer – Inquisiment
The Order of the Oven Mitt is a tabletop, completely edible game for all ages that will get you laughing and strategizing while you satisfy your sweet tooth. You and another Initiate Knight move about the game board in a chess-knight style movements. Land on a Sacred Square to eat it according to the Sacred Ritual. Stop the other Knight from getting your favorite Sacred Square, or compromise and share together.
The Jury Choice Award
Hyper Light Drifter
Developer – Heart Machine
Echoes of a dark and violent past resonate throughout a savage land, steeped in treasure and blood. Hyper Light Drifter is an action adventure RPG in the vein of the best 16bit classics, with modernized mechanics and designs on a much grander scale.
Additionally, IndieCade bestows three “Choice Awards” which are voted on by the attending media, developers and festival attendees. Winners in these categories include:
The Audience Choice Award
Developer – Expressive Intelligence Studio
Bad News is an installation-based game that combines procedural generation, deep simulation and live performance. Set in the summer of 1979, gameplay takes place in a procedurally generated American small town with over a century of simulated history.
The Developer Choice Award
We Are Chicago
Developer – Culture Shock Games
We Are Chicago is a first person narrative-driven adventure game that strives to portray the harsh realities of growing up on the south side of Chicago.
The Media Choice Award
You Must Be 18 or Older to Enter
Developer – Seemingly Pointless
You Must be 18 or Older to Enter recreates the feeling of being a prepubescent kid looking at porn for the first time. Through interactive fiction elements combined with ASCII styled art, You Must be 18 or Older to Enter blurs several genres together to create an anxious but compelling experience.
More details on the award-winning games and festival nominees can be found online on the IndieCade website at
Also stay tuned for our coverage of IndieCade! We had a blast, and can’t wait to share what games to look out for.
Applauded as the “Sundance of the videogame industry,” IndieCade supports independent game development globally through a series of international events highlighting the rich, diverse, artistic and culturally significant contributions of indie game developers. IndieCade’s programs are designed to bring visibility to and facilitate the production of new works within the emerging independent game community. Annual events include IndieCade East, IndieCade Europe, IndieCade’s Showcase @ E3, and IndieCade Festival, the largest gathering of independent game creators in the nation. For more information, visit indiecade.com.