Indie Fund Backs Event[0]

What would you say to a computer if your life depended on it? Event[0] explores this question by introducing you to an uncomfortably realized artificial intelligence, alone in space, on a ship where something has gone terribly wrong. The seemingly sentient software displays a troubling range of human emotions, and what story unfolds depends on how you choose to respond. But unlike how most narrative games work, these conversations aren’t some multiple choice quiz. Players are free to type in whatever they want, and must live with the ambiguous consequences of those words. Event[0] is an entirely unique experience that Indie Fund is proud to support.



Event[0] is the first game by Ocelot Society, a Paris-based team that began working on this ambitious project in 2013 as graduate students at the National School of Video Game and Interactive Media. The project has been recognized for innovation and narrative at numerous international festivals, and is also being supported by the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC).

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“Event[0] takes me back to the kind of magic I felt playing Zork as a kid,” said Indie Fund co-founder Ron Carmel. “There are moments where I can suspend disbelief and feel like I’m actually having a conversation with an advanced AI, probing its inner workings with words.”

Event[0] is coming to PC and Mac in September, 2016. You can learn more about the game at their site or follow them on Twitter.

Indie Fund backs Miegakure.

(by Jonathan Blow)

I am happy to announce that Indie Fund, continuing our tradition of backing interesting and innovative games, is funding Miegakure by Marc ten Bosch.

“Miegakure” is a Japanese term meaning “hide-and-reveal”, and refers to an art of garden design that creates an illusion of a larger garden within a smaller space.

Miegakure, the game itself, is a puzzle adventure that takes place in four spatial dimensions. Our everyday world has only three spatial dimensions, but there’s no limit to the number of dimensions we can simulate on a computer. Miegakure simulates a higher-dimensional space and invites you to solve puzzles inside that space. The hiding-and-revealing happens because, though Miegakure’s world is 4D, we can only see three dimensions at once; as we play the game, we are finding different vantage points from which to see the four-dimensional world, revealing something new each time.

This makes for very interesting puzzles. But it’s also just mind-expanding and trippy.

Here’s a video showing the way the game handles movement and visibility:

This video goes deeper into the technical foundations:

I am deeply interested in games that help us see the world in new ways, and that make new mental states available to us. Miegakure is the best example I know of such a game. By the time you finish playing, you may feel your mind has changed, and that you now understand 4D in a new way, a way that is intimate but difficult to fully grasp.

Also, the puzzles are very cool. They are fun to play.

I first saw Miegakure years ago when Marc demoed it at the Experimental Gameplay Workshop in 2009. Back then, the game was very new; though only a few months of work had been done so far, Marc had already put together the basic gameplay. He could have released the game then, but instead he’s worked on it for years, making it as beautiful and as interesting as possible. You’ll feel all this effort when you play the game.

Ron Carmel, one of the chief instigators of Indie Fund, has also played Miegakure. He says, “When i play the game I feel like my mind is at the cusp of understanding something profound about the 4th spatial dimension, even though it never quite gets there.” It’s a very interesting feeling!

For more information about Miegakure, you can visit the game’s site.

Indie Fund backs Burly Men At Sea

Burly Men at Sea offers up a whimsical world where players shape the narrative not just through their choices, but where they point the camera. It’s a beautiful game with a Scandinavian-inspired storybook aesthetic and high degree of replayability.  Indie Fund is pleased to play a part in helping this game (and story!) come to life.

Burly Men at Sea is the second “quiet adventure” from Brooke and David Condolera of Brain&Brain. The wife and husband team already won critical acclaim for their first attempt, Doggins, but the introduction of a widely branching storyline and unique control scheme where players move the game’s viewport rather than characters within it, make Burly Men at Sea even more ambitious. Not unlike the wandering bearded brothers that star in the game, Brain&Brain kept costs low during development by living and working on farms across America through WWOOF.

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“I first met Brooke and David in person when they were showing Burly Men At Sea at the Indie Mini Booth at PAX Prime — they are really a charming team and have a wonderful way of telling stories with games in a way I don’t see very often”, said Aaron Isaksen, one of the Indie Fund partners.

Burly Men at Sea is coming to PC and iOS later this year, and is 20% off on pre-order in the Humble Store. You can learn more about the game by charting a course to their site, or following Brain&Brain on twitter.

Indie Fund Backs Duskers – Available for Early Access Now!

Alone in the dark, isolated, surrounded by old gritty tech that can only give you a partial picture about what’s going on around you – a motion sensor that goes off, but doesn’t tell you exactly what’s out there. Duskers, launching today on Steam Early Access, is a deep dive into the feeling of complete dependence on technology in a (somewhat) fictional era in which tech can limit you almost as much as it empowers.

Developed by Misfits Attic (a studio led by Tim Keenan, who also made A Virus Named TOM), Duskers is a game in which you pilot drones into derelict spaceships to find the means to survive and piece together how the universe became a giant graveyard.You are a drone operator, surrounded by technology that acts as your only eyes and ears to the outside world. What you hear comes through a remote microphone. What you see is how each drone sees the world. Motion sensors tell you something’s out there, but not what. And when you issue commands, you do it through a command line interface.

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Cliff Harris, head of Positech Games and Indie Fund investor says, “The minute I read the pitch for Duskers I knew it was a game I was going to love, before I even saw a screenshot. As someone who grew up with the Aliens movies, the idea of replicating that claustrophobic ‘can’t see whats going on’ feeling in a game really appealed to me. And for once there would be a tense action/strategy game where my ability to type fast might actually give me an advantage. Misfits Attic have done an amazing job in producing an innovative game that has tension and
atmosphere, as well as a truly original art style.”

Intrigued as much as we are? You can check out Duskers starting today on Steam Early Access (Windows to start, Mac and Linux coming shortly).