This year's IndieCade Festival of Independent Games featured a special Experimental Gameplay session. Our annual GDC session typically focuses on rapid-fire demonstrations of digital games. In contrast, the IndieCade session is designed to give creators an opportunity for a more involved discussion about the processes and inspiration behind experimental work. This particular gathering brought together several experimental duos, to discuss their work and how it is influenced by the act of collaboration.
Eric Zimmerman and Nathalie Pozzi talked about their collaboration Starry Heavens, in the context of several projects they have been working on for festivals and museums. In addition, the panel discussed how Nathalie's background in architecture both compliments and challenges Eric's sense of game design & design process.
Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn who comprise Tale of Tales (participating in the session over Skype) introduced their in-progress work CnCnTrC. Because this experiment explores intellectual and physical intimacy, Auriea and Michael each created half of it individually, and then combined the parts later.
Heather Kelley and Damien DiFede explored their long-standing relationship as collaborators - first as part of the Kokoromi collective, and later on Body Heat (now OhMiBod app) project that allows users to use an iPod touch to control the OMiBod vibrator.Heather reflected upon her experiences as a travelling designer, touching on more recent museum installations, as well as her work with DareDroid. In closing, Damien was then joined by his most recent collaborator Matt Piersall, to demonstrate Noddables - their protoype of an iPad jam-session/DJ toy (now Cosmic DJ).
Overall, the session touched on several deep and meaningful themes related to collaboration - including authorship, communication, critique and the joy of mutual discovery. We look forward to further sessions exploring how the work of experimental game designers can be discussed/demonstrated in new ways.