Designing for the New Arcade


Sunday September 30, 2018 - 1:00 pm to 1:45 pm

It's common wisdom that arcades went into the decline and mostly disappeared by the late 90s. However, just in the last ten years there has been a resurgence of arcades, in the form of the bar arcade, across the United States. Starting in Brooklyn, NY with Barcade, there are now several chains of bar arcades as well as countless independent bars and restaurants. Over the same years the world of independent game development re-discovered the art of non-networked multi-player game design, leading to the creation of popular 'local multiplayer' games like Nidhogg, Samurai Gunn, and Towerfall, among others. These two trends merged with the release of Killer Queen, a 10 player arcade game that has found devoted audiences in bar arcades in more than a dozen majors cities. Though bar arcades still mostly rely on the nostalgia felt for classic arcade games of the 80s and 90s, Killer Queen has pointed to a possible opening for new arcade games to be developed and find an audience. DESIGNING FOR THE NEW ARCADE will cover the history of the arcade, present new ideas about what caused their decline in light of the recent resurgence, and suggest design lessons that can be drawn from the merger of the bar arcades atmosphere with indie local multi-player design.