The Indie Megabooth at PAX Prime this year will feature a team of 30 independent developers with over 30 playable games.
With a unified effort organized by the independent games development community, the Indie Megabooth at PAX Prime 2012 will feature a lineup of 30 independent developers with over 30 playable games corralled in a central location to present and support indie games.
The Megabooth concept began on the sixth floor of PAX Prime 2011, where many indie developers had rented small booths two floors above and away from the main show floor.
"It was like being at the kiddie table at Thanksgiving," Eitan Glinert, Fire Hose Games' president, told Polygon. "Except it wasn't the kiddie table where it's more fun. It's the kiddie table where there's no food, and everyone stares longingly at [Minecraft developer] Mojang's chicken."
"Basically, it's communism."
Glinert and the team at Fire Hose Games began to think about the possibility of indie developers pooling their resources to collectively rent a bigger space at a more centralized location on the show floor. After PAX Prime 2011, he began to reach out to his fellow attendees and to other developers through various indie developer mailing lists to gauge interest.
"Before you knew it, it was like a landslide," he said of the positive responses he received.
With interest high, Fire Hose contacted the Penny Arcade organizers about renting out a few "islands" that they wanted to connect together with an indie theme. They put a call out to potential attendees to volunteer and help with organization.
"Basically, it's communism," he said with a laugh.
"Everybody has to chip in with the booth and do something. We had all these things we wanted to do with the booth — we had signs made, we wanted to get shirts — so everyone just takes on this little task that they have to work on, and it gets done. It works out pretty well."
The Megabooth exists in large part because its participants are willing to come together in a series of acts that are more than pure self-interest.
"Every time things just keep improving because of the combined experience of everybody."
"Thirty companies getting along for a common goal doesn't happen a lot of the time in the industry, where it's like, 'Hey! Cool! Let's all put our egos aside and just make something awesome!'" Fire Hose's Sean Baptiste said.
"I think it's really awesome when you see that in any community," Glinert said.
The Indie Megabooth saw its first incarnation in at PAX East earlier this year with 16 developers. At PAX Prime later this month, it will feature nearly double that number.
Fire Hose and the other organizers have been planning for the PAX Prime incarnation since immediately following PAX East by taking requests for where each developer would like to be in the greater Megabooth space, seeking sponsorships for equipment, and designing the booth based on feedback from developers and attendees. A major design decision this year, for example, includes carpeting that they hope serves as a visual brand within PAX.
Fire Hose thinks of Megabooth as an experiment made better by experience and feedback, and they hope that its success will make Megabooth a fixture of PAXes — both Prime and East — to come.
"Every time things just keep improving because of the combined experience of everybody," Glinert said.
The Megabooth on the fourth floor at PAX Prime 2012 will have floorspace to rival first-party booths, including spaces for the games in the trailer above and the list below:
- A Valley Without Wind
- A Virus Named Tom
- Card Hunter
- Charlie Murder
- Chasing Aurora
- Code Hero
- Delvers Drop
- Dragon Fantasy Book II
- Drop That Beat Like An Ugly Baby
- Drunken Robot Pornography
- Dungeons Of Dredmor
- Go Home Dinosaurs
- Mark Of The Ninja
- Monster Loves You
- Octodad Dadliest Catch
- Quadrilateral Cowboy
- Runner2 Future Legend Of Rhythm Alien
- Skulls Of The Shogun
- Steambirds 2
- Super Time Force
- Toki Tori 2
PAX Prime will run from August 31st through September 2nd in Seattle, and Polygon will be on the floor to bring you all the news.