At this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, the Screenburn section dedicated to gaming played host to The Independent Propeller Award. Devised by independent online community IndiePub.com, and sponsored by publisher Zoo Entertainment Inc, the competition offered entrants the chance to win a share of $150,000 worth of cash prizes, plus the opportunity of being published by indiePub, via Zoo Publishing.
“Like SXSW, indiePub Games was founded to create a channel for artists where they can share their work and their ideas,” states Mark Seremet, CEO of Zoo Games. “We are thrilled to partner with SXSW Interactive to showcase the inspiring talent and innovation found within the independent gaming community through the inaugural Independent Propeller Awards” *
The awards were hosted by Adam Saltsman, of iPhone hit Canabalt fame and Meredith Molinari, host of Playstation Network’s The Tester. Narrowing down from 7 finalists, including french developer Uncanny Games’ Unite 2010 award winning ‘The Uncanny Fish Hunt’, the judges settled on UK based indie game GLiD as their overall winner, securing the $50,000 top prize.
The developers of GLiD, Marco Marino and Matthew Thomas Woolven are a true indie developer story, having quit their university courses in the UK to focus solely on the development of GLiD, thanks in part to their rapid development in Unity.
«We discovered Unity was free during the summer break, and made the first ever version of GLiD, after that we decided to quit uni, which was pretty risky as we hadn’t won anything or made any plans yet. We wanted to be indie game developers and we felt that with Unity we were doing that already» — Marco Marino.
Starting out in the mod scene, Marco and Matthew took their first steps into full game development with Unity in 2010. Aged just 19 and 20, the duo studied part of their university courses in computer animation and communications before deciding that they would prefer to work on game development, and used Unity to create GLiD, an ambient explorative 2D game, which the duo say has evolved over time as they have learned more and come up with new ideas. Check out the video below for a taste of GLiD, then read on for more on the game.
The developers are continuing to work on the game and are hopefully for release on a variety of platforms, stating a wish to adapt the control mechanism of their grappling protagonist to work for console pads, desktop computers and touch screen devices. Winning the prize of $50,000 at the propeller awards has given the fledgling team a massive boost, allowing them to buy new hardware, and keep some cash in the bank whilst they finish developing the title.
The duo first heard about the Independent Propeller Award via one of their favourite sites, IndieGames.com, and they were interviewed by IndiePub in person at the event —
Keep an eye on the Unity blog for more on GLiD, including an upcoming feature taking a look behind the scenes of how Marco and Matthew are creating the game in Unity.
For more on GLiD, visit the official site at http://www.glid.co.uk/