The beautiful thing about the indie gaming scene is that, by and large, it looks after its own. Somehow, through the osmosis of just being near each other for long enough, relationships form and great games get the nurturing they need. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s kind of heart-warming. It is a message to the rest of the industry. You know, talent matters.
So yes, the Indie Fund, a sort of benevolent alternative venture capital fund set up by Jonathan Blow, Kyle Gabler and others, has parked its spotlight on Antichamber. The game, a weird, brilliant offbeat puzzler by lone coder Alexander Bruce, will be provided with funds to help it across the finishing line of development.
I first met Alexander a couple of years ago when he bought his game to the indie pit at E3. Even then, Antichamber, or Hazard: The Journey of Life as it was then known, was something special – a Portal-like freeplay on the idea of the first-person puzzler. The game is a series of reality-testing puzzles, bending the laws of physics, and the laws of immersion, in a variety of philosophically challenging ways. It’s a comment on the idea of being inside a virtual space. It is about games.
And now it has Indie Fund backing. It is going to be at Pax East, and I think Alexander Bruce is going to be something of an indie gaming star. This is all really good. Antichamber is a game that asks questions about interactive entertainment, and about gamers. In an age where retro titles can find themselves pushed through Kickstarter on a tide of goodwill, it is wonderful that a new game battling its way into life for over two years without a chirpy old school brand attached, can get help for those testing final months.
Hurray for Antichamber, hurray for Indie Fund. Hurray for games that ask questions about games and get a constructive answer.