We kicked off Friday morning with a visit from Justin Smith, an alum from the very first year of Fantastic Arcade, where he took home the first 'Most Fantastic' award for Enviro Bear 2000. That game was of course then immediately bought by Hollywood and turned into the smash blockbuster movie of the summer:
Justin remembered his roots though, and returned this year to Fantastic Arcade with a game that he let us take a peek at way back then- No Brakes Valet, now exclusively on the Ouya, got a multiplayer spotlight Cabinet this year, and also a fantastic arcade exclusive all-text interactive fiction interpretation on one of Jerry Belich's adorable Choosatrons.
After we nursed away our hangovers crashing the prime minister's car into a concrete wall a few times, we visited with Ted Martins, co-creator of Crypt of the NecroDancer. This visit involved removing shoes and hopping madly on a dance dance revolution mat in order to explore a dungeon filled with disco dancing skeletons and slimes.
Starwhal: Just the tip was the second game to be graced with both a Spotlight Cabinet and a Choosatron interpretation, and developers Breakfall were gracious enough to sit and explain to us exactly how they came to make a game about neon narwals skewering each other in space. As we've seen many times now before, what originated as a jam game under artificial constraints blossomed into a nicely pure and focused game with an incredibly fun mechanic.
Starwhal unexpectedly sequed nicely into a highlight of the day: Stephen Ascher and his talk on breakdancing sausage sandbox game Q.E.D. He took us on a trip through the crazy streets of a sausage-inhabited boogaloo park of unending floppy grooving. And then we were treated to some inspirational clips, starting with this classic training montage from Breakin':
We also got an amazing curation of clips from ultra-realistic (but ultra-brilliantly-glitchy) Skate sandbox game Skate3.
Afterwards we got a great cozy talk with Nick Suttner and Zach Wood from Sony about the tremendous year they've had for indie games and what it takes to get a game on the Playstation network. Day two of the Fantastic Arcade Spelunky Daily Challenges was intense (at one point the crowd actually started chanting "DEATH" again and again), but the tournament of the night was absolutely Starwhal, with 5 sets of 4 player flops and jabs, replete with bullet-time skewerings galore.
heck out The Austin Chronicle's Screens blog and it's ongoing coverage of Fantastic Arcade.