San Francisco, Calif. – GameSpy Technology, a division of IGN Entertainment, Inc., this week opened its doors to the first five game development teams selected for Indie Open House, a company-wide initiative designed to help independent game developers realize their creative vision and make their mark on the $20 billion game industry. The program leverages GameSpy Technology and IGN Entertainment’s resources to provide free office space, technology, peer support and consultation to help the selected teams design, craft and execute on their project plans. The first five program participants are Cryptic Sea, Team Ethereal, Evanatiks, Runt, Inc., and Interabang Entertainment. The five development teams began to move in to IGN Entertainment’s offices in San Francisco this week and will remain in residency for six months. Further information on the program can be found at the official website: http://www.ign.com/indieopenhouse/.
“Our view at GameSpy is that the future of video games and interactive entertainment is being shaped by independent developers working to create new and unique experiences,” said Todd Northcutt, VP of GameSpy Technology. “We see this program as a great way for all involved to do one thing – make great games while helping further evolve video games as a whole.”
The first class of the Indie Open House program represents a diverse mix of developers and a variety of game designs:
Team Ethereal is composed of Carnegie Mellon students from the school’s Entertainment Technology Center creating a medieval combat game.
Evanatiks is a team currently based in Pasadena, CA, working on a game that combines elements of strategy, role playing and trading card game genres.
Runt, Inc., founded in San Francisco, is crafting an action platformer with a steam punk aesthetic and fluid freestyle Parkour mechanics.
Interabang Studios, from San Diego, CA, is working on a title that combines action, adventure, beat-em-ups and… mullets.
Cryptic Sea, from Santa Cruz, is working on The Balls, a cooperative platformer for up to 100 players who control furry alien balls bent on world domination.
“It's been said that ‘iron sharpens iron’, and that's exactly why we are here,” said Tobias Batton, the president and CEO of Runt, Inc. “We are excited to participate in the Indie Open house for the valuable feedback we will receive as we develop our game. It's our goal to provide a compelling product to our fans, and Indie Open House is going to increase that potential exponentially.”
These up-and-coming developers were chosen after carefully vetting the goals and needs of their projects in a selection process led by key members of the IGN.com editorial and executive teams, as well as by Eddy Boxerman, winner of the first D2D Vision Award at the 2009 Independent Games Festival and founder of Hemisphere Games, creator of the best-selling downloadable iOS title, Osmos. All five teams will be hosted by GameSpy Technology for six months in the San Francisco offices of IGN Entertainment, where they will have free office space, internet connectivity and support from the GameSpy Technology staff.
“This opportunity provided by IGN has given our team a real fighting chance in pursuing what we hold as a dream job,” Said Dan Driscoll, lead designer on Team Ethereal. “So many indie projects start off with great concepts but fall victim to the realities of the business, not least of which is getting recognition. With free access to such important support and technologies, we now have a shot at the real thing.”
Beyond the benefits of the IGN facilities, each of the participating teams has been granted no-cost licenses for GameSpy Technology’s online gaming development services as part of the on-going GameSpy Open initiative. Indie Open House is strictly a support and residency program, meaning IGN maintains no interest in owning any content or binding participating teams to prohibitive contracts. Instead, the goal of the Indie Open House project is to lend valuable resources and support during challenging financial times and to encourage innovation within the game development community. The first games from the Indie Open House teams will be showcased at the GameSpy Technology booth on the expo floor of the Game Developers Conference 2011 in San Francisco’s Moscone Center from March 2 to March 4, 2011.
The Indie Open House program will continue to consider new applicants for the next round of the program. The second group of teams will be selected and announced in the latter half of 2011. To learn more about the Indie Open House project, please visit www.ign.com/indieopenhouse.