UCSC Silicon Valley Indie Playtest Night was an opportunity for the Bay Area’s indie game development community to showcase their work. The event allowed gamers to try out works by students, small teams or solo devs doing it for fun. It was also a chance to mingle and get ready for GDC.

The playtest night saw a diverse collection of projects from ones inspired by classic works to those that offered a different experience. This was an opportunity for the developers to showcase their work and get some feedback from players. The event was hosted at the University of California, Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus (located in Santa Clara) on March 3rd, 2023. 

The Games I Played 

I got to try some amazing games during the UCSC Silicon Valley Indie Playtest Night. With so many interesting selections and a limited amount of time, these are the games I got the chance to learn about:

Minerva is a politically themed card game that has two factions trying to win seats in the newly established government of a space colony. The factions are Eco-Terrorist (represented by the green cards), Anarchists (represented by the red cards), Death Doctors (represented by the black cards), and the Chronologists (represented by the blue cards). Players will draw a card and whoever has the higher number (while factoring in the ability of the card) wins a seat. 

It’s A Snake Eat Snake World is a puzzle game that has been in development for last two years. Players have to figure out how to make a snake fit in a slot. It starts easy at first but quickly gets challenging as your critical thinking skills are put to the test. The game has also been showcased at GDC and MAG West. The plan is to launch it sometime in the next seven months. 

Crystal Slap is a multiplayer fighting game that has the vibes of an 80’s arcade game. Players pick one of three game modes with more to come in the future. They will then pick from a rooster of 8 characters, each with their special ability and talent. Players will then battle it out in different stages or select from 20 different levels. The game has been in development since early 2020 with plans to launch it sometime in 2023. 

Dippy and Chippy is a student project based on having two people needing to cooperate with each other. Two players take control of an oger with two heads using a single controller. Players will have to navigate a dungeon and work together to overcome the many challenges. The game has been in development since the Fall 2022 quarter and should be completed by the end of the Winter Quarter.   

Playtest Night

Besides playing some unique games, guests also got to mingle with each other over food and drinks. Many talked about their projects along with the feeling of having in-person events. With GDC being a few weeks away, many were also planning other opportunities to meet up. 

Did you get a chance to check out the UCSC Silicon Valley Indie Playtest Night? If so then share your story in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: This was a free event open to the public. 

8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides an insight into the gamer community of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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