On May 3 the NYU Game Center celebrated its fourth annual No Quarter Exhibition, a gallery showcase featuring exclusive commissions from established and emerging independent game developers.  This year, we proudly featured:

– Bennett  Foddy’s Speed Chess by Bennett Foddy: A sixteen player real-time chess game. Check out a brief video about the game on Kotaku here.

– Killer Queen by Nikita Mikros and Josh DeBonis: A 10 player game arcade game where two teams, each lead by a queen, attempt to fill their base with nectar, race their snail home, or kill off the other team’s queen first. Check out Killer Queen’s Kotaku video here. Also check out Killer Queen’s facebook to get a glimpse into the development of the massive Killer Queen 10 player cabinet.

– There Shall Be Lancing by Sophie Holden: A two player spherical lancing game. Check out There Shall Be Lancing’s Kotaku piece here. Sophie also did an interesting write up on her blog detailing the speedy development process of the game which you can read here.

– Split Tree by Matthew LoPresti: A terraforming game for two players and one controller. Check out Spilt Tree on Kotaku here.

In addition to the games, we featured some beautiful illustrations of past No Quarter games as a part of our new partnership with Attract Mode. Attract Mode did an excellent write up of the event, including some shots of the illustrations, here. More photos of the evening can also be found on our  facebook.

And finally, the curators note from Charles Pratt can be found below.

[EXPAND Charles Pratt’s Curators Note]
As the fourth year of the No Quarter Exhibition this is the first year in which the show seems like less of an extraordinary experiment in gathering and funding independent and emerging game developers to create games for social space, and more like a tradition. Fittingly, tradition is something that, to a larger or lesser extent, is at play in all the games that are being presented in this year’s show.

Bennett Foddy’s Speed Chess is a take by the eponymous, legendary independent game designer of QWOP on what could be called the ur-game of western civilization. Foddy brings the elder game of Chess into the traditions of the New Arcade movement by expanding the number of players and greatly increasing the speed of the game. The result is a pell-mell; a beautiful chaos that shifts in and out of ordered play, bringing forward an aspect of the ancient art of war that even the world’s most famous war game doesn’t properly examine.

The long tradition of duelling is explored by Sophie Houlden’s There Shall Be Lancing. Putting players in the shoes of two rocket powered jousters locked in aerial combat, Houlden’s game is a duel of quick thinking and speedy counterplay. The short rounds aid in building understanding between the game’s combatants, with each trying to get into the head of the other and guess at their plans and sensibilities, bolstering a skill that is under-appreciated in most duels: empathy.

Matthew LoPresti is also exploring empathy with his game Split Tree, but with a strong emphasis on the interaction between players that comes through physical immediacy. While sharing a controller players work to solve a small puzzle game, whose unfolding patterns give life to a series of islands. The goal of this terraforming is to reflect not just the underlying system that LoPresti has designed, but the state of harmony or lack thereof between the players. For those that are looking there are hints of an argument being made by Tile Tree about the role of proximity and conversation in the worlds we create together.

Finally, Joshua DeBonis and Nikita Mikros have created not only an exciting and complex multiplayer game, Killer Queen, but also an actual monument to the traditions of games in social spaces. The enormous cabinet they have built to house their ten-player, multi-role, competitive action-platformer harkens back and honors the seemingly timeless form that has always defined the arcade, without slavishly duplicating it. That the game they have created is an impressive blend of classic game design elements with hints of the very contemporary genre of action-strategy speaks to the talent and literacy of these two veterans of the New York game scene.

The No Quarter Exhibition as a growing tradition is made possible by a group of exceptional people, such as Dylan McKenzie and Kevin Spain, the administrators who work the system of NYU to do amazing things it probably isn’t design to accomplish, and Rachel Morris, who has shaped the visual language of the NYU Game Center and the No Quarter Exhibition. Also worth commendation are the tireless Game Center faculty and Open Library librarians who make many of our events run smoothly. Finally, we are fortunate this year to be working with Matt Hawkins and Attract Mode to offer a selection of illustrations that celebrate the legacy of the No Quarter Exhibition.[/EXPAND]