This guest post is by local game developer Andy Saia of Indie City Games and WMS Gaming.
Call it nostalgia if you must, but there are few memories in a game developer’s life as visceral as the feeling of standing at an arcade cabinet, surrounded by a group of your friends, frantically hammering buttons to save your life and destroy your enemies. We all have experienced the camaraderie of sharing a quarter so our friend can help us beat the boss of our favorite beat ‘em up, or have felt the sense of accomplishment when we’ve sunk that last minute half-court shot in NBA Jam.
These feelings are what the Indie City Games group is hoping to capture by building Chicago’s first indie game powered arcade cabinet. In a similar vein to the Winnitronand the Torontron, the arcade cabinet will act as a showcase of local indie games and will tour to different venues across the Chicagoland area so everyone gets a chance to experience it.
In its current iteration the Indie City Arcade consists of a wooden cabinet, a control panel complete with two joysticks, over twelve buttons, and a trackball. It’s powered by a partially rebuilt computer and we are working on a custom game launcher application written in Unity3D. There is still a lot of work to be done, both on the software and hardware side of things, but all the major pieces are falling into place.
We’re currently pushing this project along with nothing but true indie grit, money from our own personal stashes, and donations from friends. If you wish to help bring this dream to life we are always in need of people to assist with traveling expenses and hardware/software problems, or who have ideas for interesting venue locations. You can reach the Indie City Arcade dream team on our publicly available google group at indie–city–firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can contact me directly at email@example.com.