Boston Festival of Indie Games (Boston FIG) 2014 took place on March 11, 2012 at the Johnson Athletic Center on the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA. This was Scarlet Rhapsody’s second year attending the Boston Festival of Indie Games (BostonFIG) the premiere independent video game expo in the New England area. This event features mostly local talent showing off their newest indie game titles both table top and digital. This year also included an expanded list of discussion panels and key note speakers.
Picking up your badge is very easy and quick. There are clear marked desks and signs leading to the little outdoor area where you can pick up your badge. The lines are not very long and the staff is efficient at getting badges out to attendees. After that it is a short walk to the sports center where the two main halls of the event are located.
The table top game hall is located on the first floor in the area that was used for digital games the previous year. A large amount of tables were set up promoting almost every type of table top game from regular styled board games to card games and miniature games. It was difficult to find an open seat at times due to how popular some of the games were. In some ways this room was more popular than the digital area as it attracted both college students looking for more interpersonal interactivity in their games and families looking for something fun and different they could all play.
The digital game room was upstairs and set around an indoor track with booths set around the perimeter of the track and blocks of tables set on the inner part of the track. This set up provided more space for walking and gave the booths facing the sides of the track room for all who wanted to see and play, however the inner booths could get very crowded. Interestingly they also had a booth giving demos and selling some of the table top games from the first floor, so if someone was tired of digital they could experience some table top as a break.
BostonFIG featured indie developers new and returning this year which provided for many different genres of gaming. From tactical games like World Zombination to stealth games like Children of Liberty. Easily the most popular genre was platformer games like Baconman, Super Rad Raygun, and Antihero. There were also some odd games like Sextadventure where the player had a choose your own adventure style story via dirty texting, which can be fun when you troll the AI. It was also surprising to see sports games like Big Bat a dice based baseball simulator and Football Mogul 2014. There was at least one game that would appeal to any style of gamer that attended.
One of the problems with BostonFIG is that the panel room was a ten or so minute walk away from the sports complex where the games were displayed. It was an inconvenience to get to panels, but if you did attend there were some interesting topics that were covered. We were able to catch panels on using games for social change, game marketing, and the lightening round panel where different developers talked about their goals or experiences. Lightening round topics included how best to test games, goals for educational games, and what mistakes to avoid when working on a game. The panels were great, I only wish the rooms were closer to the game halls.
BostonFIG is a great event that not only helps promote smaller titles, but also allows for developers to network and learn from each other. This is also one of the rare events where you will find families visiting in hopes of find new games for their kids that aren’t the usual fair you find on the main console systems. The growth of the table top section is a welcomed addition to the show and I wish we had more time to explore that area and play some of the games. Hopefully FIG will continue to grow and help these smaller developers get their games to a large market so they can influence the direction of the games industry for the better.
If you are looking for a video game or table top game event that is smaller and friendly you cannot go wrong with BostonFIG. It is easy to get to, it is very fun, and it is the kind of event that we need more of for all genres of nerdy things. Thanks go out to the staff of the event and the friends who hit the pub with us after the event. If you have comments or questions feel free to not e-mail me (Jared at Scearlet-rhapsody.com) and until next time give my love to the retro games.
Pictures are copyright by Scarlet Rhapsody . Feel free to use any photos of you, just link us back. If you want us to remove something, kindly email us. While you're here, do sign the guestbook. This site was brought to you by the font Anagram MF.