Bit Bazaar Winter Market is a Wrap!

December 14, 2013

The day after the first Bit Bazaar this spring, we started excitedly plotting a winter edition.

On May 11, 2013, 24 gamemakers produced something physical—risographs, cassette tapes, art prints, t-shirts, bespoke Ponycorns—to sell in a craft/zine-fair-like setting, alongside a playable demo or released version of their game.

We held our breath a bit. Would anyone outside our wee community care about buying crafts and collectibles from gamemakers? How lost would patrons get looking for our secret hideout down the narrow walkway off Richmond Street?

It was a resounding success. People cared, and they found us! The game-makers were happy. The throngs of TCAF-goers—who made the trek to our space despite a comedy of errors, from TTC closures to an incorrect address printed in the program—were brimming with the excitement of discovery. We were floored by the unique items designed and crafted by primarily digital creators, and overwhelmed by the public turnout.

We had to do it again, and I didn't think we could wait a year.

On December 7, 33 game makers, 12 Web comics artists and six food and beverage vendors, set up shop in both of our coworking spaces for the Bit Bazaar Winter Market. We estimate over 2,000 people visited, stocking up on gifts, playing games and enjoying food and good company.

Highlights of the Winter Market

There was just too much good stuff going on to encapsulate neatly here, but here's a few of Saturday's highlights:

  • Vendors and shoppers trading Battle of the Bazaar cards
  • Christine Love and Nadine Lessio's Interstellar Selfie Station
  • The tasty and sustaining From Scratch pot pies and Urban Acorn's ginger + plum hot cider
  • The abundance of eye-popping art, illustration, and comics on display in cartoonists alley
  • Jim Zub popping by in the afternoon to sign Samurai Jack #1
  • Golden Gear Games' Fate Tectonics cartridges
  • The public debut of Babel and The Dezert and comics collective Das Hobak
  • Jonathan Guberman of Pianocade fame soldering Bwiips on demand
  • Damian Sommers' and Dom2D's Without Question card game selling out in 3 hours
  • Rocket 5 Studios' decked-out table and gorgeous Phantom P.I.
  • Robby Duguay's awesome 12GB of Christmas album of game music reimagined as carols
  • Dozens of games playable in the Arcade of the Bazaar and at exhibitors' tables including Bigpants' mesmerizing Endlight, FrostFire Games' Redshift: Afterlife and SpinDrift, Tay Bai-Woo's ridiculously fun and silly Chopsquares, Rokashi's new I'm Fine with Sagan Yee's new art, MK-ULTRA's kid-delighting Knight & Damsel prototype, Flash Forward Games' new release A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, Beat Patrol's Christmas level, Drinkbox Studios' wild Power Hat peripheral for Mutant Blobs Attack, Elliot Q. Pines' tiny Twines...
  • ...and probably a dozen more awesome things we're still not recovered enough to recollect!

Keep up with all of the exhibitors on Twitter (here's a handy list of most of them!) And if you're interested in taking part in the next Bit Bazaar on May 10, 2014, get on the mailing list to be notified when applications open.

Battle of the Bazaar + Attract Mode cards

Available for purchase online now

We have a limited number of Battle of the Bazaar complete decks available for purchase online now, as well as Attract Mode holiday cards featuring exclusive art by Babs Tarr, Kelly Smith, Kris Mukai and Kyle Fewell.


Photos from Bit Bazaar Winter Market on Flickr


Food at Bit Bazaar Winter Market (BlogTO)

Bit Bazaar unites indie games, comics and good eats (BlogTO)

Bit Bazaar Winter Market a show and tell for Toronto’s indie games community (National Post)

The game makers that saved Christmas (NOW Toronto)

Guys With Pencils Ep 140 - At the Bit Bazaar Winter Market!

Interview with Henry Faber about the Bit Bazaar @ Bento Miso (Video)

This Amazing Video Game Art Will Make You Wish You Were in Canada (Kotaku)

Attract Mode × Bit Bazaar Holiday Cards (Kotaku)

Battle of the Bazaar in Bento Miso’s Winter Market by Matthew Kirshenblatt

Meet Bit Bazaar, TCAF's Physical Digital Games Marketplace (Dork Shelf)

Comics Vs. Games at TCAF: Bit Bazaar Brings Gamers and Creators Together (Natalie Zed in Gameranx)

Massive Thanks to Volunteers!

Robby Duguay for... everything.

Samantha Fraser for being on top the details, coordinating volunteers, collating cards, and just being the coolest.

Adam Hines for being a great Arcade Master

Steph Goulet, Kim Koronya, Maggie McLean, Kenn Sinn, Karl Sevilla, Yifat Shaik, Shelly Faber, Paulina Cumming for helping make everything run so very smoothly.

Eric Emery and Cheyanne Turions for shaking up that delicious PINK BAZAAR cocktail at the opening party.

Steve Combes of Liberty Village Brewing Company for all the tasty beer, big smiles and constant support!

Lots of ♥ to Community Partners

Matt Hawkins @ Attract Mode for trekking north with zines, books, and other goodies and making the Attract Mode × Bit Bazaar Holiday Card Set happen

Miles Baker and Chris Butcher @ TCAF for encouragement and promotional support.

Troy Morrissey at Indie Game Audio

`·.¸¸.·´´¯`··._.· SEE YOU IN THE SPRING! ·._.··`¯´´·.¸¸.·`

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