Preview: BitBash’s Fabricade Aims to Give Gamers Experiences They Can’t Get at Home 

Bit Bash was founded back in 2014 with the goal of “furthering the culture of independent game development in Chicago by hosting larger, public faced events.” For years, the biggest example of this was their annual eponymous summer event, BitBash. We’ve brought you coverage from these events for years now—they represent some of the most interesting, diverse, welcoming spaces in the video game community and always showcase the best of what video games are and could be with titles and experiences like no other from every part of the world.  

This year, instead of the standard format BitBash, the folks at BitBash have collaborated to bring together Fabricade. Fabricade, set for this Friday, September 14th  at mHUB Chicago, is unique in that it aims particularly to bring gamers experiences they literally cannot get at home, and emphasizes creating and building. The majority of the show centers around custom electronic games that are hardware-centric, with a stated goal that Fabricade will “culminate in a myriad of artfully curated experiences that literally cannot be had anywhere else.”  

There will be alternative controllers, large multiplayer setups and some truly unique games on hand, including the premiere of Killer Queen Black, which was developed right here in Chicago. The title is a follow-up to Killer Queen, a dynamic 5v5 cooperative arcade experience that had everyone including the New York Times’ attention. Fabricade will be one of the first places to experience Killer Queen Black. After a sneak peek at PAX West that had many in the industry raving, we can’t wait to get our hands on it ahead of its release for Nintendo Switch and PC “this winter.” 

Photo via

Other games we’ve heard will be on hand include NOUR, which is a “virtual ramen simulator” or “experimental food art game” by St. Louis artist TJ Hughes that has you playing with your food. The hardware you play on is as unique as the concept itself, as you’ll be flinging boba pearls and tossing noodles with a multi-colored controller originally intended for DJs called a Midi Fighter 64, which is an intriguing mix of colors, buttons and lights that includes gyroscopic sensors you’ll use to properly agitate your edibles. 

Your experience won’t just include experimental video games though, as we’ll also be privy to a project out of France. Studio ICAN’s Gaze, is a party game of observation using a geometric 3D board and the players’ own smartphones. 2 to 4 players download the Gaze app, then indicate they’re ready. When it’s time to get playing, each person is given 3 images, representing an anamorphosis appearing on the board. When you find the location where the geometric figures match up to create the image, you capture and submit it on your phone, and whomever gets to 4 validated anamorphoses first is the winner.  

As always, this is just a taste of what to expect at Fabricade. According to BitBash’s twitter, there will also be Ossia Glow, a room scale rhythm game played on a custom built turntable, a “really slow racing game” called Chalo Chalo that you’ll play on your phone, a custom built “palm-based combat” game called Hi-5 Heroes developed right here in Chicago, and Belette Hell, an arcade style shoot ‘em up where you fight a boss that’s operated by a friend on their smartphone. You can check out some videos of gameplay and keep track of new announcements for Friday’s event by following BitBash’s Twitter, but it’s always a bit liquid, as the BitBash crew likes to fit the games to the venue and the vibe. 

BitBash 2017 brings art and videogames and in videogames to the festival scene. Photo Courtesy BitBash

BitBash events just keep getting better, with the last big bash, Initiation, being our favorite yet, so we’re really excited about what’s coming with Fabricade. We expect it’ll be a great time with food, drinks and a variety of unique experiences for those with an open mind and in interest in games. If you’d like to attend this one-of-a-kind gaming experience, make sure to get tickets ahead of time by clicking the link here 

Marielle Bokor
Marielle Bokor