UC Santa Cruz student games win awards at IndieCade

Bad News developers James Ryan, Adam Summerville, and Ben Samuel accepted the Audience Choice Award at the 2016 IndieCade Festival.
Date: 
Monday, October 17, 2016
<p>Two games developed by UC Santa Cruz students won awards at the <a href="http://www.indiecade.com/2016">2016 IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games</a>, which celebrates the best independent games of the year.</p> <p>The winning games were <a href="http://www.badnewsgame.com/"><em>Bad News</em></a>, which won the Audience Choice Award, and <a href="https://www.disneyresearch.com/project/threadsteading/"><em>Threadsteading</em></a>, which won the Technology Award.</p> <p>"There are only nine awards given out to games, so this is an amazing percentage," said Noah Wardrip-Fruin, professor of computational media at UC Santa Cruz.</p> <p><em>Bad News</em>, developed by graduate students Ben Samuel, James Ryan, and Adam Summerville, uses artificial intelligence to simulate the history of a fictional small town and combines gameplay with improvisational theater. The player must accomplish a task by interacting with townspeople in a live performance, with actors playing the townspeople and using the simulation to guide their improvisations.</p> <p>Graduate student April Grow was a core member of the team that developed <em>Threadsteading</em> at <a href="https://www.disneyresearch.com/">Disney Research</a> in Pittsburgh, where she was an intern. UCSC alumna Gillian Smith was also on the team, and Grow and Smith both represented the game at IndieCade. <em>Threadsteading</em> is a two-player game played entirely on a modified quilting machine, and each round of the game results in a permanent physical artifact: a quilt.</p> <p>The winning games were among four UCSC games that were <a href="http://news.ucsc.edu/2016/09/indiecade-games.html">official nominees</a> for IndieCade awards.</p>