The organizers of IndieCade East, the New York incarnation of the nation’s largest gathering of independent game designers, are apparently are not shy about over-hyping. In advance of the Iron Game Design Challenge, a live competition roughly modeled on cooking show Iron Chef, they raised expectations fairly high.
“Ohio State vs. Michigan,” the official description of the event begins on the website of the conference’s home, The Museum of the Moving Image. “North Carolina vs. Duke. Harvard vs Yale. IndieCade East introduces the next great university rivalry, NYU Game Center vs. Parsons The New School for Design. Whose design will reign supreme?”
As if the result was ever in doubt. The team from Parsons’ School of Art, Media, and Technology trounced NYU in the event. Each team was given a theme, materials, and a secret ingredient and had to come up with a real-world game on the spot. The winning entry from Parsons involved participants crawling around the stage attempting to pilfer silk flowers from other participants’ back pockets. It was a smash.
Held February 15 – 18 in New York, IndieCade East was the second east-coast incarnation of popular California game developer conference IndieCade, called “the video game industry’s Sundance” by The Los Angeles Times. In addition to the Iron Game Design Challenge, teams for Parsons also won in the invite-only Playstation Mobile Jam. Team Golden Ruby, made up of DT student Jane Friedhoff and Golden Ruby Games (Andy Wallace, Parsons MFADT 2012; Nick Cinquegrani, Parsons MFADT 2012; and Mike Christatos) won for their unconventional space shooter Hermit Crab in Space. They now move to the Game Jam finals at the Game Developers Conference in late March in San Francisco. DT grads Kaho Abe and Ramsey Nasser were on a separate team, which also advances to the finals.