E3 is well under way, and as excited as I am for some of the titles shown, a lot of things looked very same-y this year from the main press events. Gaming is so vast, and even last year’s E3 seemed to have a wider variety of game genres shown.
Here’s a list of a few smaller festivals and expos, where you can find the types of games not normally shown in a large industry event.
IndieBits is a small expo in the Southeast United States showcasing local developers. They have a strong focus on small, unique titles that diverge from traditional game mechanics, and have a category for “humanities” games with a a message. Last year they set out craft paper and markers as tablerunners on all of the booths so players could leave messages for the game developers about their games.
Formerly OGDE (Ohio Game Dev Expo), GDEX is a growing expo site in Columbus Ohio. They have an “Indie, Student, Experimental” booth that is a shared space for a number of small developers showing games you wouldn’t normally see at an event like this. This year they rebranded and are broadening their scope, reaching out to more than just the Ohio area.
Fantastic Arcade is a hand-picked collection of quirky, genre-defying games by independent developers, held during Fantastic Fest and curated by Juegos Rancheros – an Austin, Texas based games incubator.
Wordplay is a curated selection of games which use word and writing in innovative ways. It’s a free event held in Toronto, and contains an exhibition of interesting games, as well as panel discussions on narrative and language in games.
Alterconf is a series of industry conferences across the globe that aim to bring inclusion and diversity into gaming and tech spaces. They work with local developers to provide a space and speakers for conferences in areas that may not often see such events, and for marginalized people who don’t get much representation elsewhere.