Pixelles had a full year in 2016! We held our 4th annual six-week game incubator, but also finished up a writing incubator, held nine workshops, three mentorship events, a dozen new 1-on-1 mentor pairings, took our first batch of 20 minority-gender devs to GDC (Pixelles Ensemble), and two big socials: a cozy Cookies & Cocoa event in wintertime and the spooky Teacade: Spiritum Fabula. If you attended those events, you probably saw our little arcades, showing games we felt were important to play, which we hoped might influence future creations by our community.
Since our community is now much larger than just Montreal, we thought we would highlight our top picks as a canon, or a mixtape. Most are from marginalized creators, but that’s not why they were selected — we selected them because we felt they added something new and interesting to the human experience. Some (most?) weren’t created in 2016, but they made that difficult year more bearable.
Without further adieu, the winners…
Pixelles Presents: Top Spectator Sport: BADBLOOD
BADBLOOD is a local split-screen hide & seek between two players, with a deadly consequence. Find your unique style of murder in this intimate and visceral local multiplayer, and outwit your neighbor. Same bloody field, different bloody perspective. Hide, seek, kill. Jennifer Sunihara writes: “It was greatly entertaining and satisfying to watch people play it while I was guarding the door and handing out game passports.”
Pixelles Presents: Best Rivalry: Beglitched
Beglitched is a game about insecurity, in our computers and ourselves. In a pastel world of networks where nobody truly knows what they’re doing, hacking is a magical art and the notorious Glitch Witch is the most premium archmagi of the net. By random circumstance, YOU are her new apprentice. You must use your wits and cunning to unravel the mechanisms of an alien computer and survive amongst a veritable web of clowns, leftclickers, and filedraggers. Tanya writes: “I hope game designers will be inspired by the friendly yet menacing nature of your ‘mentor’ and her taunts.”
Pixelles Present: Storyteller Prize: Beneath Floes
Beneath Floes: Qikiqtaaluk, 1962. The sun falls below the horizon and won’t return for months. You wander the broken shoreline, wary of your mother’s stories about the qalupalik. Fish woman, stealer of wayward children: she dwells beneath the ice. Tanya writes: “More narrative designers should experiment with deliberate methods of collaboration with their audience.”
Story Kevin Snow
Artwork Patrick Bonaduce
Sound Priscilla White
Design Mike LeMieux
Pixelles Presents: Coming of Age Excellence: We Know the Devil
We Know The Devil: Anyone can kill the devil; that’s why they always make teens the vampire slayers, the magical girls. But some kids can’t even get that right. Before they can leave the summer scouts, three teens have to spend twelve hours in the loneliest cabin in the woods and wait for the devil to come and live through the night–or not. You know. Tanya writes: “I went to Jesus summer camp a few times as a pre-teen, and no other game has quite evoked the many layers of guilt from that time of my life.”