Welcome to Locked Down & Down-Loaded

The final degree show from the graduating students of Goldsmiths' MA Independent Games and Playable Experience Design (2019-20)

This show is captioned and BSL Interpreted

Streaming on YouTube

As a result of the global pandemic, the final term of our degree has been spent under lockdown conditions. It's resulted in a lot of uncertainty and upheaval in the work we do and our aspirations, and has resulted in a number of personal game-development challenges; not least in adjusting to the demands of remote working and in finding ways to cope with isolation.

It's been an unexpectedly turbulent end of the academic year but, that being said, we're immensely proud of the work we've done both before and during the pandemic, and are keen to take this opportunity to share what we've been working on. believe we've come a long way since the start of the year, both in our technical skills and in our theoretical understanding of how games create new avenues for creative and oftentimes personal expression.

We hope this show creates a platform for discussion about indie development: providing insight into both the work we've done and where we currently stand as developers. At the same time, we hope to acknowledge the situation we have all been faced with in a way that is, we hope, in good spirits.

A note from our course director: Federico Fasce

"Properly gaining control of the design process tends to feel like one is losing control of the design process" - Matthew Frederick

I thought a lot about this across these months. It has for sure been a strange, completely unexpected year. When we started the program, in October 2019, nobody would have imagined what was bound to happen.

And yet, here we are, losing control, or maybe just realising that we never had that much control in the first place. In many ways this looks a lot like design, and game design in particular. Play and games are experimental spaces, new languages we use to redefine identities, relationships, beliefs systems. And as game designers we are explorers of that space.

With this in mind, we present you our explorations across a very challenging year. We might not have control over everything, but we can still do a lot to understand, explore and experiment.

IGPED and the Pandemic

The global pandemic has had an undeniable impact on both the work we do and our lives as independent developers.

Previously, our course benefited immensely from face-to-face discussions and group work, even if the majority of what we develop are independent projects. For many of us, the lockdown restricted our ability to step away from our work and talk amongst ourselves; or even to go out and enjoy the things we normally enjoy. Our deadlines could become all-consuming if we struggled to balance out our lives, and as a result the remaining third of our degree has often been intense.

This, furthermore, has been against the background of numerous moves to and from our homes and home countries; differences in time-zones, technical difficulties, and challenges in terms of accessibility and communication in remote teaching.

Beyond this, it's meant a lot of uncertainty about the year to come and the long-term future. There will no doubt be repercussions we can't entirely predict; and we're uncertain as to how exactly the industry, and more specifically the independent games industry, will fare as a result of it.

While we don't want our show to dwell too much on these challenges and issues, we felt it only right that we acknowledge them outright in a statement like this. Our show's theme and format is designed to recognise this situation while, nonetheless, remaining constructive and optimistic.

We hope this offers a relaxed, encouraging space; in which to engage in discussions, to hear from ourselves and industry practitioners, as well as to watch and play with the games we've created.

Guest Speakers


5:00pm BST Opening Statement by Federico Fasce
5:15pm BST Shanique Thompson
5:40pm BST Russ Bittles
6:05pm BST Alexander J. Fordery
6:30pm BST Guest Speaker: Jade
7:00pm BST David R. Mincer
7:25pm BST Chantay St Louis
7:50pm BST Geordi Mason-Jones
8:15pm BST Closing Statement by David R. Mincer