Craft Lake City has a game plan… literally. On Dec. 1 and 2, Utahans will find a delightful new addition to the Fifth Annual Craft Lake City Holiday Market Presented By Google Fiber with an underground Indie Game Arcade, featuring nine exceptionally creative games developed by local programmers and coders. The arcade will take place at the Ogden Union Station during the Holiday Market hours on Fri., Dec. 1 from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. As always, Utah-based artisans, craft food creators, food trucks and vintage vendors will be selling their wares, but this year’s market will include more entertainment options than ever before, including busking musicians and a thrilling game room.
Craft Lake City STEM Manager, Lyndi Perry, encourages everyone to plan for a night of shopping and fun. “I recommend bringing the family or a hot date, that way you can drop a hint about your favorite art pieces and sip cocktails while you play together.” Perry also notes that this Indie Game Arcade will give the community a chance to connect with the designers: “It might seem like it’s all fun and games, but as an educator I feel I have to inform you that you might accidentally learn some things from our crack team of motivated game developers.”
Craft Lake City’s STEM programming has been growing by connecting the Utah public to makers that use science, technology, engineering and mathematics as a creative medium and striving to elevate the do-it-yourself nature of a topic that is sometimes seen as too expensive and specialized to be accessible. The Indie Game Arcade will highlight how a little know-how and a lot of passion can open creative doors and build community connections. Businesses and brands interested in sponsoring the Indie Game Arcade at the Fifth Annual Craft Lake City Holiday Market Presented By Google Fiber should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dominic Ojeda, designer of Dino Mayhem, explains, “I was always an artist, but I hated computers growing up. Didn’t have one, could barely use one. But one day I decided to learn how to code and realized I loved being able to make my art come to life. [Dino Mayhem] started as the first project I created that wasn’t just based on a tutorial. However, it has become something much larger. Now I intend to fully develop it and release it for others to enjoy!”
Above: Screenshot from Ojeda’s Dino Mayhem
All games featured in the Indie Game Arcade will be free to play, but the public can purchase developers’ merch to show support. Game themes include speed challenges, ‘existential angst’, ‘total relaxation’, ‘universal enlightenment’ and music, to name a few. However, for game designer Joshua Watts, the skill development that happens during game play is enhanced by the unique storytelling that the format offers.
“I believe story and experience are the best teachers we’ve got and games are one of the best ways to harness them,” says Watts. “Great games teach people more about themselves and the world they live in. I want to create games like that, games that give you something you can bring back into the real world.” Watts’ game, Fish Combat Accelerated, harnesses the need for speed in telling a story about underdogs, tapping into players’ reflexes… as abstract fish that hunt for weaknesses against larger opponents.
Key artwork from Watts’s Fish Combat Accelerated.
Student-level work will be presented as well. The Games Division at the University of Utah studies how people interact with games and will be represented at the Holiday Market by students sharing their work, using alternative controllers for game play.
To enhance the indie game experience, The L.A.B., an Ogden bar and arcade, will also bring some of their classic collectible arcade games and pinball machines. So whether you’re into RPGs, vintage 8-bit classics or locally-made art experiences, you’ll find something to thrill you at this year’s Holiday Market and Indie Game Arcade. Come get your game on at Ogden’s Union Station on Dec. 1 & 2!
For more information about the event, contact Craft Lake City at email@example.com or call at 801-906-8521. For sponsorship inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Craft Lake City:
Founded in 2009 by Angela H. Brown, Executive Editor of SLUG (Salt Lake UnderGround) Magazine, Craft Lake City® is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with the mission to educate, promote and inspire local artisans while elevating the creative culture of the Utah arts community through science, technology and art. Craft Lake City strives to further define the term “Craft,” by modernizing the definition for handmade creativity.
Craft Lake City’s year-round programming is supported in part by the residents of Salt Lake County through the Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) Program, the Salt Lake Arts Council, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, the Stephen G. & Susan E. Denkers Family Foundation, and Utah Arts & Museums, with funding from the State of Utah and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Fifth Annual Craft Lake City Holiday Market Presented By Google Fiber is supported in part by George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, the Stephen G. & Susan E. Denkers Family Foundation, Ogden City Arts, Visit Ogden, Utah Arts & Museums, PCTV, SLUG Magazine and KRCL with funding from the State of Utah and the National Endowment for the Arts.