**Writer's note: I'm super busy right now so this post is rife with... errors. I'll come by and clean things up when I can, but I mostly wanted to get this out before much more time pasted. -MW
A few weeks ago I attended Vector for the first time, and lemme tell you, this is one of the best video game events I have ever been to. The speakers were amazing, the talks were amazing, finish it off with perfectly timed interludes and you've got pure conference magic. I still haven't fully digested everything :-P Do yourself a favor and go next year if you can!
While I was looking over the games in the student showcase, something struck me that also struck me at GDC earlier this year. It seems like smaller indie scenes are more likely to produce innovative games than indie scenes that are huge and saturated. It could just be that the part of my brain that holds all of my biology knowledge is leaking, but this very much reminds me of peripheral isolate speciation and how evolution is more likely to happen in peripheral communities.
Here's just a few examples off the top of my head: Nour, That Dragon Cancer, Witcher, Samorost...
List is not exhaustive and I need more data points to say anything definitive, so if there are any dear readers out there who could leave game title and city that the lead dev lives in the comments section (or tweet them at Meredith) I'd be most obliged. Right now my theory is based off of my personal anecdotal speculation, but if we had more data points I could whip up a nifty graph and see what's what :-D