Fantastic Arcade

Jonathan Blow

Jonathan Blow

Jonathan Blow is a California based game developer who made Braid, which was released in 2008 for XBLA. Blow has hosted the Experimental Gameplay Workshop since 2002, and has been an advocate of exploring new ways to think about games and approach game design.

Jon was a standout speaker at the 2010 Fantastic Arcade, when he spoke with filmmaker/game critic Nacho Vigalondo about the power of games and cinema. 

His next game project, The Witness, is currently in development. 

Phil Fish

Phil Fish

Fantastic Arcade is like there’s a party in my mouth and everybody’s a game developer!

Phil Fish spent five years making his art-puzzler homage to videogames of yore, Fez. In the process he came close to the brink, was the subject of a documentary, and made one of the most engaging and amazing game experiences of our time. We were very proud to get a candid first sneak peak of the game with Phil in person last year.

Zach Gage

Zach Gage

It’s kind of all in the name.

Zach Gage is an indie game powerhouse (Bit Pilot, Spelltower, Ridiculous Fishing ) a designer, programmer, educator, and internationally exhibited studio artist. We got to not only play his excellent games at the 2011 Fantastic Arcade, but we got to tour a history of some of his amazing tech/art conceptual art, like Lose/Lose- a game in which every enemy killed deletes a file on the players computer and a player death results in the game deleting itself. 

Jim Munroe

Jim Munroe

“Pop culture provocateur” according to the Austin Chronicle, and an “independent press icon” to Time Out Chicago. After leaving HarperCollins for political reasons, he founded No Media Kings and published five books, the most recent one a post-Rapture graphic novel called Therefore Repent! He also started The Perpetual Motion Roadshow, an indie touring circuit that sent 100 artists on the road between 2003-2007, and currently he is running the Artsy Games Incubator, a writer’s-circle style group helping creators without programming skills make videogames. He lives in Toronto with a crafty ladyscientist and their bafflingly attractive baby.

Paolo Pedercini (Molleindustria)

Paolo Pedercini (Molleindustria)

Fantastic Arcade single-handedly overturned my prejudices against the state of Texas.

Paolo Pedercini is an Italian game designer living in Pittsburg, where he teaches game design Carnegie Mellon's School of Art. His existential groundhog's day nightmare Every Day the Same Dream was a standout title at Fantastic Arcade 2010.

Petri Purho

Petri Purho

It’s the best gaming event that nobody knows about. And I want to keep it that way. So don’t go.

Grapefrukt  and 7-day game jammer Petri Purho's game Jesus Vs Dinosaurs was subjected to a heated tournament session at Fantastic Arcade 2011.

Cactus

Cactus

Fantastic Arcade was great! Good people, nice beer, cool venue, greasy food, crazy temperature and lots of fun. I had a wonderful time there.

An epicenter of sheer, undiluted madness making games in Gothenburg, Sweden, Cactus is responsible for titles like Keyboard Drumset Fucking Werewolf. We were thrilled to go hunting with him in his dark ode to Swedish rednecks, Norrland.

Steph Thirion

Steph Thirion

No! I won’t say a word about the best kept secret in videogames!

Steph Thirion is the developer of the gorgeous minimalist iOS game Eliss. His elegant game of cosmic Cat's-Cradle, Faraway won best of show at the 2011 Fantastic Arcade. 

Philip Tibitoski

Philip Tibitoski

For a developer looking to showcase their work and talk with other like-minded developers there’s no place better than Fantastic Arcade. The difference between FA and other festivals or conferences is that its’ joyous relaxed atmosphere is rivaled by no other. You can set your game up and generally just walk away from it or watch from afar while the general public can come in to just enjoy it or come by to chat. Being able to talk with people one on one without the hustle and bustle of a conference like GDC was so incredibly refreshing. FA isn’t a fan convention and it isn’t a business conference. It feels much more like friends just hanging out at a rad bar with some of their favorite works. I plan to try and make it out every year even if a game of mine isn’t featured or mentioned. I love(d) FA.

Philip Tibitoski is the creator of much-loved Fantastic Arcade fave Octodad (recap here).

Vlambeer

Vlambeer

fantastic arcade sucks balls jk i want to go there every year

- Jan Willem Nijman

A game-related event in which the atmosphere breathes love and games and love for games instead of dude.

- Rami Ismail

Vlambeer was founded in 2010 by Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman, after they dropped out of game design university. They teamed up to fully develop the 'Crates from Hell' prototype Jan Willem had created. With no resources, space or money, they created Radical Fishing to earn a starting capital to rent an office and food other than noodles. Crates from Hell was renamed Super Crate Box and released subsequently. Super Crate Box was an overwhelming success, eventually earning them recognition in the form of a Independent Games Festival Finalist spot in the Excellence in Design category.

Jan and Rami show off the very first glimpse of Yeti Hunter at FA2011 and talk a little more about having Radical Fishing in a Fantastic Arcade custom cabinet on their website- that game was of course reborn as the runaway smash hit Ridiculous Fishing on iOS. We're excited to see where their 2012 Fantastic Arcade title Luftrausers takes them. 

Derek Yu

Derek Yu

An independent game developer and illustrator. He also runs The Independent Gaming Source, a community website for indie games. Creator of cult favorite Spelunky.