Friday, April 28, 2006

Indie's Unite!

Our fourth Utah Indie Night yesterday absolutely ROCKED! We basically doubled the numbers we had at our previous event. That was largely due to Mike Smith's help (Thanks Mike!), as he brought along about 8 friends from HeadGate Studios (who are doing projects on the side as well). We still would have set a new record even without that, but about all I can say about the turnout is -- WOW! We had 29 people there (and that's not counting about 3 spouses and 3-4 kids that also showed up). What a party!

There was so much going on, that my head is still spinning. It was cramped quarters with that many people there, and there were a bunch of demos going on at the same time (It would have been hard to do it all around one machine though). Also with that many people there, it meant that everyone missed out a little on what was going on. I personally feel I only took in about 1/4 of what was happening. We had seven demos (that I know of) being shown. I could of shown my demo of Maze Craze, but it really hasn't changed since our last one, and there wasn't much time left, so I didn't. (Hopefully I'll have made much more progress by our next meet.) The demos I'm aware of that were shown are:

Apocalypse Cow
Bug Warz
Caster
Vespas 3D (an interesting experiment into 3D Interactive Fiction)
WOG
D.R.O.D.
MMORPG kit for Torque (not sure if that's the actual name)

I came away both humbled and pumped at the same time. These events have always given me a lift up. I am also amazed at the variety of things being working on by the group. Not one of those demos was for a Match-3 clone, and there's quite a bit of innovation happening in the games. It's very clear that there's a lot of passion going on in this group. I'm also encouraged to know there are still studios out there like HeadGate and Ninja Bee/Wahoo that willing to let their people work on Indie projects on the side, and they don't "squash" their spirit and passion.

I am both humbled and grateful for having a part in "setting the ball rolling" for these get togethers. It's already exceeded my expectations. I sure hope they've been beneficial for all. I know they have been for me. Last night was great, despite some of the "chaos". Just some "growing pains" I guess. The future of this group is bright indeed.

Also I should point out that, Jay Barnson has done a fabulous write-up of the event here in his blog.