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DID YOU READ

IndieCade: What I’ll Be Doing This Weekend

IndieCade: What I’ll Be Doing This Weekend (photo)

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The premier international celebration of indie game design kicks off today. As I type, I’m in the air, wending my way to lovely Culver City to take in three days of what promises to be awesome hands-on and panel talks. Here’s what I’m looking forward to from the programming:


Punk Rock M*****F*****
Brandon Boyer, Frank Lantz, Richard Lemarchand, John Sharp

Game culture is often thought of as naive, disposable and operating in a cultural vacuum, isolated from everything other than genre fiction and Japanese pop culture. Brandon Boyer, Frank Lantz, Richard Lemarchand and John Sharp beg to differ, and offer punk rock as a case in point. Punk demonstrates the ways in which pop culture can be simultaneously exuberant, naive, primal, critical, disposable and savvy, sophisticated, intellectual, and culturally self-aware, and is therefore a wonderful inspiration for videogames. These four old school punks will talk about the overt and hidden connections between games, punk rock, and the arts.
[Boyer’s the recently appointed head of the Independent Games Festival. Lantz runs NYC dev studio Area/Code and is the acting chair of New York University’s Game Center. I love that they’re tackling the idea of the naïf game designer and can’t wait to see how punk rock this talk gets.]

Discovering Multiplayer Dynamics in Journey
Jenova Chen and Robin Hunicke

In ThatGameCompany’s upcoming title Journey, players meet and travel with strangers through a vast landscape. Players cannot speak to each other via voice or chat… which means that they must communicate in other ways. In this talk we will share some of the early prototypes that inspired our decision, discuss challenges we’ve encountered, and demonstrate the resulting dynamics in Journey itself.
[Jenova Chen’s the design heart of ThatGameCompany and the man responsible for the touching, brilliant Flower, while Hunicke’s brought her sharp game sensibilities to fun, simple game like “Boom Blox”. I’ve been waiting to see “Journey” for months, so this should be great.]

Project Next
Jonathan Blow, Ian Bogost, Alex Neuse, Paolo Pedercini, Chris Hecker, and moderated by John Sharp

Want a sneak peak at the next wave of indie games? To see how finalists and ground-breaking indies are following up their successes? Project Next is a series of quick previews of unreleased games by a wide range of indie developers. Confirmed speakers include Jonathan Blow (Braid), Ian Bogost (A Slow Year), Chris Hecker (Spy Party), Alex Neuse (BIT.TRIP RUNNER) and Paolo Pedercini (Every Day the Same Dream).

[This one speaks for itself. New games from top designers, at their most unfiltered.]

Interactive Storytelling Goes Indie
Erik Loyer, Jamie Antonisse, and more, moderated by Dan Pinchbeck

When you think of story and games, the first things that might come to mind are big-budget AAA titles and their reliance on cinematic conventions, genre and fancy graphics. The indie scene is also quietly working away at the enigmatic story-game problem, but in ways that differ from the mainstream industry. Erik Loyer (Ruben & Lullaby, Blue Velvet) and Dan Pinchbeck of the Chinese Room (Korsakovia, Dear Esther) will discuss their work and opinions about melding game and story, the tensions and connections between the two, and why the indie scene is likely to pave the way for great interactive storytelling.

[Indie games don’t have to worry about pandering to the middle and it’s paid off in the stark immersion of titles like Limbo. Hopefully, this talk will show that more risks are to come.]

If you’re in the LA area, come out and check out IndieCade. Find info about getting tickets at the official site.

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…