With 2015 coming to a swift end, it’s time for us to reflect on how our organisation has progressed over the past seven months. After establishing formally at the end of May, IGDANZ has made significant headway in creating a stronger network for the game development community by holding monthly meetings focused on showcasing local projects and creating a cemented presence on social media. With our Facebook group already at over 450 members in such a short time and a regular large attendance at our show & tell meetings, we’re extremely excited for what waits for us going forward and the potential growth into the future.
To this end, we’d love to share some of the achievements we’ve made in just a few months!
MINICADES & PUBLIC OUTREACH
One of IGDANZ’s bigger goals is to facilitate community outreach as well as create more promotional opportunities for local and grassroots developers. To this end, we’ve started organising ‘minicades’ (mini-arcades) at various conventions including creative & arts events and more. Thanks to sponsorship from Overload NZ, we set up a large arcade area at Overload 2015 as well as ran a produced show-reel which gave developers the opportunity to make thousands of impressions at the convention. We greatly value this partnership and will be at Overload again in 2016 with a game development workshop as well.
We were also present at Librarycon in Panmure, Auckland, which was a nice new area to break into, primarily attended by parents and children.
SHOW & TELL (LOCAL + REMOTE)
Since establishing, we’ve held six Show & Tell meetings in central Auckland that are also streamed live to the rest of New Zealand (and any internationals who are keen to watch). While being an umbrella chapter largely based in Auckland, we wanted to do our best with what resources we had to spread the net and the live-streaming on Twitch.tv has proved to be a successful method of getting those outside of Auckland involved with the meetings. At these showcases, we have a sizable number of games presented to the audience which has been a great promotional opportunity for developers as well as a fantastic chance for play-testing & feedback.
CASUAL GATHERINGS & PROFESSIONAL WORKSHOPS
We firmly believe in getting people together in casual situations to unwind and have a good yarn about games, and to this end we’ve organised two dinners of 60-70 developers this year, one to coincide with NZGDC and another to see out the year. We also feel that the proliferation of sharing professional expertise between us is incredibly important, and we’re currently supporting the fantastic ‘chat sessions’ initiative of Women in Games NZ led by Tara Brannigan of BoopSocial. The first of these was a very well attended discussion about entrepreneurship and the challenges of running a small business between Tara, Katie Stegs, Lauren Clinnick and Amy Potter. We look forward to continuing to support WiGNZ in the future, and branching out to network and support other community initiatives in games.
We’ve also held a Pecha Kucha night this year, where anyone could submit a talk about games or game development. There were talks given from elementary colour theory for game designers to balancing practices in AAA to international trip reports, and the night was a fantastic sharing experience. Pecha Kucha nights will definitely continue in the future and we hope to see an even wider range of knowledge being shared and presented with the community!
Aside from establishing a solid network on Facebook and Twitter, we’ve also helped to promote the Kiwi Game Developers Twitter List, an index on the platform of over 140 New Zealand-based developers put together by Tara.
The list can be accessed here.
From everyone on the IGDANZ board, we wish you all a safe & happy holiday season and we look forward to seeing you all and working together going into 2016! Thank you to everyone that has donated their time and support to help the organisation this year – especially our group of volunteers – and to all the developers that have made this community the amazing, inclusive place it is. Stay tuned for our AGM to take place in January announcing our plans and goals for the next year to come!