The week-long Calgary Underground Film Festival wants to get patrons plugged in to the local video game development scene.
Running until April 17, CUFFcade is in its second year at the festival, with no signs of slowing down.
The five-game exhibit offers visitors the chance to play some new games from Calgary-area developers.
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“There’s just so many great games being made in this city, I was looking all over, and the ones that really stuck and resonated with me were being made right here,” Mike Lohaus said.
Lohaus is the curator of CUFFcade, and selected the five local games on display to feature.
“There definitely were some hard decisions, but I think that in the end, the Calgary games really have a quality and some variety that’s pretty amazing,” Lohaus said.
The exhibit has been received positively since it was introduced last year; Lohaus believes the excitement this year stems from people rallying behind local talent.
Radu Murasan is among the local developers being showcased, and loves seeing the public enjoy his creation, Semispheres.
“Personally just seeing people play my game–it’s really fulfilling. It’s great to see the reaction of people while playing the game,” Murasan said.
Murasan started creating Semispheres a year and a half ago, building a weekend project into a elaborate puzzle game involving controlling two characters in connected worlds.
Because game development tools are so easy to come by and learn these days, exposure is a struggle for an independent developer.
“Many people are getting into games, and that means there’s a lot more competition,” Murasan said.
While the development scene in Calgary is very self-taught and grassroots, they all come together through the Calgary Game Developers association to help build each other up.
“Everybody is welcome to come out, you can get to talk to people actually making games. We’re a pretty friendly group,” Murasan said.