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Attention indies both local and global: this is your two week warning that the deadline for submissions for the 2012 Fantastic Arcade is May 31st, so submit your games now for the third annual festival, taking place here in Austin, TX from September 20th-27th.

Who should submit? With actual converted cabinets and a field of laptops loaded with multiple games & an audience (typically already one or [many] more drinks in) that mills around like a traditional arcade, Fantastic Arcade tends to focus more on shorter-form, highly approachable single- and multi-player games that people can get easily pick up and get attached to, rather than longer-form games that require deeper attention. See the 2011 spotlight and showcase lineups to get a better sense of what that means.

To help entice you to submit, we asked some former Fantastic Arcade attendees to take the time to tell you why you should submit & visit in September, and this is what they had to say:


For a developer looking to showcase their work and talk with other like-minded developers there’s no place better than Fantastic Arcade. The difference between FA and other festivals or conferences is that its’ joyous relaxed atmosphere is rivaled by no other. You can set your game up and generally just walk away from it or watch from afar while the general public can come in to just enjoy it or come by to chat. Being able to talk with people one on one without the hustle and bustle of a conference like GDC was so incredibly refreshing. FA isn’t a fan convention and it isn’t a business conference. It feels much more like friends just hanging out at a rad bar with some of their favorite works. I plan to try and make it out every year even if a game of mine isn’t featured or mentioned. I love(d) FA.

– Philip Tibitoski, Young Horses (Octodad, official FA2011 team recap here)

Radical Fishing

fantastic arcade sucks balls jk i want to go there every year

– Jan Willem Nijman, Vlambeer (Radical Fishing)

A game-related event in which the atmosphere breathes love and games and love for games instead of dude.

– Rami Ismail, Vlambeer (Radical Fishing)


fantastic arcade is like there’s a party in my mouth and everybody’s a game developer!

– Phil Fish, Polytron (Fez)


Fantastic Arcade single-handedly overturned my prejudices against the state of Texas.

– Paolo Pedercini, Molleindustria (Every day the same dream)


No! I won’t say a word about the best kept secret in videogames!

– Steph Thirion, Little–eyes (Faraway)


Fantastic Arcade was great! Good people, nice beer, cool venue, greasy food, crazy temperature and lots of fun. I had a wonderful time there.

– Cactus (Norrland)

Jesus vs. Dinosaurs

It’s the best gaming event that nobody knows about. And I want to keep it that way. So don’t go.

– Petri Purho (Jesus vs. Dinosaurs)

Bit Pilot

It’s kind of all in the name.

– Zach Gage (Bit Pilot, Spelltower)

Skulls of the Shogun

Fantastic Arcade isn’t your grandpappy’s game industry event. It’s both an event and a place to recharge. It overflows with good vibes, amazing games in custom arcade cabinets, talks by their makers, food and drinks in a laid-back atmosphere, and easy access to everything and everyone. It’s too good.

– Ben Vance, 17BIT (Skulls of the Shogun)

Selected games will proceed to the second round of submissions and will be asked to provide a playable version of the game for Fantastic Arcade festival programmers. Official selections for the Arcade will be made based on each game’s art, story, characters, gameplay and, most importantly, connection with the character of Fantastic Fest.

Submit your game by May 31st to be a part of this year’s festivities by clicking here!

[photo at top by Indie Game: The Movie creators BlinkWorks!]