I have returned to NYC from Indiecade, and I am happy to report that Nathalie Pozzi and I won the Developers Choice Award for our physical game Sixteen Tons. The endearingly dorky robot pictured above is the actual trophy.

The Developers Choice Award is given at the end of the festival, and is voted on by all of the creators of the games that were exhibited as finalists. Being chosen by such a select set of indie game dev peers is an excellent feeling. At the awards ceremony two nights earlier, we had received honorable mentions for Aesthetics and Gameplay Innovation, as well as a “special” honorary mention for the Jury Award – so it is something of a relief that in the end we finally received an actual award.

The festival as a whole was excellent. More than any other game event, Indiecade feels less like a conference and more like a film festival, full of chance encounters and improvised play. The conference content (organized by John Sharp and Richard LeMarchand) was fantastic, and the games themselves get better each year. And I’m not just saying that as self-serving commentary. Days were full of California tacos and evenings featured huge, spontaneous games of Ninja – a real-world turn-based fake fighting game that may be my new favorite game.

The session I organized – Iron Game Designer –  came off well, as three teams of three designers created real-world games on a brainstormed theme (Birth) using the secret ingredient (band-aids). Special thanks to my sidekick co-host Jane Pincard and the winning Team California – Tracy Fullerton, Catherine Herdlick, and Jenova Chen.

Congrats to Indiecade organizers Stephanie Barish, Celia Pearce, and Sam Roberts. And to me and Nathalie for our award!