How to Win a Festival

Posted by on January 31st, 2007

I discovered the college podcast “thunderbird six” recently.

In Episode 43, the guys from Log2N, who won at last year's FuturePlay festival for Innovation, discuss what they learned about how to make a festival award-winning game.

After our various experiences with making games for festivals, I think these guys are spot-on, and this podcast is definitely worth a listening for those interested in developing festival submissions in the future.

Categories: Philosophy Comments: 3


flOw made IGN's Top 10 Most Anticipated List

Posted by on January 23rd, 2007

Well, it made Chris's list.

Thank you, readers, and forum members, for making this happen. Because of you, we are on this list, instead of the “Top 10 games that we don't care about this year” list.

And that rules.

Okay, back to finishing it up!

Categories: General Comments: 1


flOw won't be at Slamdance after all.

Posted by on January 8th, 2007

We write to announce that now flOw, along with Braid, has decided to pull out of the Guerilla Gamemaker Competition at the 2007 Slamdance Festival. This has been a difficult decision, and our thoughts echo much of what has already been said by Jonathan Blow who was one of the other participants this year, as well as Ian Bogost, a previous participant of the festival.

The Slamdance Guerilla Gamemakers Festival was a great home for Cloud last year, and we consider the festival organizers our friends. It was a place where some of the best independent game makers gathered and were able to share ideas and engage in thought-provoking conversation; Slamdance allowed for time to really get to know your fellow indie game designers.

And this year we were honored to see flOw listed among games by many of the leaders in independent game design. This list included one designer, who had developed a game called Super Columbine Massacre, RPG.

To hear that the game had been pulled was deeply discouraging. As a group, our opinions on the quality of the game itself range, but we can all agree on one thing: it deserved to be there.

We also agree that the act of pulling SCMRPG is one we cannot condone. But how best to protest this action? Going to the festival, at which prizes are awarded, only to criticize its organizers seemed unfair at best, and hypocritical at worst. Therefore, we have decided to withdraw flOw from the competition. We agree with Jonathan Blow:

If left unchallenged, the expulsion of the Columbine game sets a precedent in the wrong direction. Dropping Braid out of the competition, while not a huge act, is the strongest protest I have the power to make.

As game designers, each project we have done so far, and plan on doing in the future, aims at showing games as a serious and expressive medium. We cannot help but wonder, if SCMRPG were a film, if the reaction by the Slamdance organizers would have been the same. Removing it from the festival is discouraging, because it implies that games are still not to be taken seriously, that games are only for mindless fun. If we are trying to work against this stigma as artists, then we also have to fight against this stigma as entrants in the festival as well.

At best, we hope that our act, in solidarity with Jonathan Blow and SCMRPG, might encourage Peter Baxter, President of Slamdance, to re-admit SCMRPG, in which case we will return. At a minimum, our act can only serve to demonstrate how strongly we disagree with this decision, and all that it implies about what we consider to be our art.

Jenova Chen
Nick Clark
Kellee Santiago
Austin Wintory

Categories: General Comments: 43