Besides being a cool acronym (ICE or ICEcubed) Indies Crash E3 is a movement to get a stronger indie game presence at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo. The organizers have procured a number of coveted E3 tickets, and are essentially raffling them off to the highest bidder…except you bid with votes, and simply by submitting a vote, you are entered to win as well. People can visit the Indies Crash E3 website, to read the official rules and get to voting right away. The game which sees the best representation will receive travel and hotel accommodations for the developers as well as the nominator. A 500 word limit is in place when writing out the nomination submission, so choose your words carefully…because they just might win you a trip to E3!
I was able to chat with Indie Crash E3 event organizer Ian Kinsey about the process, and what the whole deal entails.
IGM -Do you feel that E3 purposefully deters indie devs from attending?
Ian – E3 is an event for the industry, but the ESA is also out to make money. I don’t think their intention is to deter indie developers, but by so staunchly seeking out money at every turn, they end up doing that indirectly. Indies are a big part of the industry; I think it’s just a matter of making it clear to E3 that, while we may not have big bucks, we do have a lot of clout in mass and we are just as important as the big guys. After all, indies are where most of the innovation in the industry comes from.
IGM – Are you getting any outside support, financially, for Indies Crash E3?
Ian – Absolutely. Being a small indie ourselves, E3 would be impossible without support. We have a local investor here in Fresno who supports what we’re doing. Despite having over $100,000 invested in our E3 efforts by this supporter, we still have to bargain hunt for our booth, the whole team has to save up and chip in, and in all likelihood, I’ll have to sell my car for some extra cash. We think this is absolutely ridiculous.
IGM – How will the winners be able to showcase/represent their game, at E3?
Ian – A big portion of what we’re offering is simply attendance. It may not seem like much, but without help most indies can’t even get in the doors. At the expo, the teams will be able to hand out business cards, talk to others in the industry, meet media, and possibly find investors. We’re also arranging coverage and interviews for the indies we send.
IGM – Why the decision to go through all this extra trouble, when you could have simply sold the tickets to local devs for a discount?
Ian – The costs of running the Indies Crash E3 campaign have been fairly substantial. It is a risk though; if we don’t get the word out to enough people and explode the movement, it’s possible that we won’t accomplish much for our investment other than getting a few indies in the door. We’re putting all of our weight behind it though, and working around the clock because it’s all for a bigger cause.
Before there were AAAs and multi-million dollar budgets, there were tiny one and two-man teams building games on 5-and-a-quarter-inch floppies to sell at their local computer shop. Indies started this industry and it’s time our drive and dedication was once again acknowledged. Picking a few indies and giving out passes or selling them at a discount would have been more pragmatic and significantly cheaper, but our larger goal of uniting indies and making E3 more accessible to them can only be accomplished with dedication, sacrifice, and some help.
IGM – How are you deciding which nominees get the ticket? And how does that work?
Ian – While we’d love to just pick out some awesome indies ourselves, we aren’t arrogant enough to think we know best, so we’re crowdsourcing it. With our booth, we were given a large number of passes, and that’s what we’ll be using to get other indies in. To determine who to send, we’re letting fans nominate their favorite indies on our site: indiescrashe3.com. The campaign will be open April 22nd until May 15th for the public to nominate their favorite indie game developers.
The top 10 nominations (as determined by votes) will receive 4 E3 passes: 2 for the nominator and 2 for the indie team. The top nomination will receive flight and hotel for the 4 attendees. We’re also in talks with a couple of media outlets, big and small, to give the winning indies some coverage.