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An in depth look at the IndieCade 2010 Winners (Part 3)

In our third and final visit to the winners of Indiecade 2010 we'll take a look at the 'Wild Card', 'Virtuoso', 'Vanguard', and 'Jury' awards. If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 be sure to check them out as well.

Wild Card Award

Copenhagen Game Collective's B.U.T.T.O.N. is a two to eight player party game that has been designed to use a single button on your controller.

The name stands for 'Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally OK Now' and relies as much on physical interaction between the players as it does on pressing it's one button. Sounds intriguing? Let us explain more...

The game is played out over a series of short rounds. At the start of each round the game instructs players to place their controllers down and walk away from them. It then gives everyone a short instruction, such as "lie down" followed by a win condition.

Now this is where it gets interesting, the win condition might be something like "Last person to press their button wins". You're all lying on the floor, and somehow you have to get up, get to your controller and protect it, while simultaneously trying to press everyone else's buttons. You can check out some of the raucous game play that can ensue in the games trailer:

The developer hopes that players will create their own 'House Rules' for what is and is not allowed while playing the game.

“Rules are made for the convenience of those who are playing. What is fair at one time or in one game may be inhibiting later on. It’s not the game that’s sacred, it’s the people who are playing.”Bernie DeKoven

Personally, we foresee fatalities once the game is finally released! Talking of which, it seems they are still trying to figure out the best way of releasing the game. If you've got any ideas you can email them via their website.

Virtuoso Award
Vanguard Award
So good it won two awards! According to the developer's site, "A Slow Year is a collection of four games, one for each season, about the experience of observing things. These games are neither action nor strategy: each of them requires a different kind of sedate observation and methodical input.

The game attempts to embrace maximum expressive constraint and representational condensation. I want to call them game poems. The set comprises a little collection, a kind of videogame chapbook."

The game was previously nominated for this year's IGF Nouvo Award so it's no stranger on the indie scene this year, but we're still fairly unclear of exactly how it plays... you should definitely check out the trailer though!

We think the whole premise sounds fantastic - and the video only adds to our intrigue. Clearly the game isn't going to be to everyone's tastes, but Ian Bogost should definitely be applauded for creating such a unique experience and for helping to push video gaming into new and uncharted territory.

A Slow Year will be released in autumn 2010, as a book of poetry with software for PC and Mac in a custom Atari emulator, and for Atari as a limited edition cartridge and poetry set. We'll be standing in line for a copy.


Jury Award
Groping in the Dark was developed in Seoul by Team Arex and follows the story of a kidnapped girl as she attempts to escape from her captors. The game is the first in what is hoped to be a four part series of games. Similar to A Slow Year, this game is aiming to be a form of interactive poetry.

According to the developer: "In the beginning, a girl wakes in the dark, realizing that she's been kidnapped. The game is about her decision to escape and her progress toward that goal. The user can only use a mouse to proceed through the story, with kinetic typography connecting the narrative to the user's actions. Turning letters into images and then these images into meanings was one of the aims of this game.

We wanted to explore new avenues for computer games to be a means of expression. Although serious games have been discussed as an alternative among game developers, attempts to bring this possibility into the realm of art haven't really been about the games themselves; they were about thinking of games as a new medium for artistic work. We strived to make the game of foremost importance, not as an auxiliary for the exhibition or theatrical art."

The premise and imagery sound and look fantastic and the footage we've seen of it so far looks intriguing. For it to have won the Jury Award speaks volumes about it, but further details are definitely still thin on the ground!

MonsterVine have a great article on the game that describes more about what it's like to play here and you can check out the developers' previous work on their website here: Unfortunately we've got no details of when or where the game will be available, but we're certainly looking forward to finding out!

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