GDC 2013: Terry Cavanagh and Porpentine offer their top free indie games


At GDC’s Indie Game Summit Super Hexagon developer Terry Cavanagh and curator Porpentine (developer of Cyberqueen and Howling Dogs) took to the stage as representatives of the website, presenting a selection of games that they consider the cream of the crop.

The Republia Times

Developer Lucas Pope Website
“It is not didactic but mechanical; it doesn’t fall for the fallacy of evil individuals, but through its mechanics it criticises systems.” – Porpentine


Game Title: Lost Levels

Developer Michael Brough Website
“Game Title: Lost Levels uses a bug from Michael Brough’s previous game, Game Title – a glitch that leaves items on screen a second after you change the screen. It’s one of the most inspiring games I played last year. Most people would fix that bug or ignore it completely, very few people would have made a game about it.” – Terry Cavanagh


Goblet Grotto

Developer thecatamites, J Chastain Website
“This is what I call a pure exploration game … it reminds me of being a kid and having no critical sense whatsoever, grappling very sincerely with the system; it kind of recreates that.” – Porpentine



Developer Ivan Zanotti Website
“This Game occupies the same transgressive space as a virus; it does things to your hard drive, it leaves little messages for you, little pictures.” – Porpentine


Tape Dream

Developer gargonherd Website
“This is a game about a dream the creator had, there are lots of little details but it sets the player to inhabit a space and there is no goal. Some people would call this a non-game but it’s actually very interactive, as someone who hates hand-holding in games I find this very inspiring.” – Terry Cavanagh


At the Bonfire

Developer finny Website
“We must acknowledge Twine. You can make a game in five minutes, you can play the game if you can navigate a webpage. At The Bonfire is a personal game, a re-imagining of a real-life bonfire. This is a game that has a level of introspection that is as detailed as any mainstream game’s focus on bloodshed and gunplay.” – Porpentine

In closing, Porpentine offered a take away message: “Destroy everything.”

“Maybe a little more constructively,” she continued, “it isn’t that women and queers and people of colour aren’t making games, it’s that they aren’t being covered sufficiently and they are not being recognized.”

“Make games for yourself, make them for others like you, not for some hypothetical ‘other’.”