Game event in October with The Game Developers Guild

It dawned on me that I haven’t written about what I’m up to on my own blog! So in no particular order – let me list them up for you

1) Spillmakerlauget

Not “the” official picture but I love that they’re all cracking up! From the back left: Peter Wingaard Medahl, Ricki Sickenger, Espen Thomassen Sæverud. Infront from left Bjarte Sebastian Hansen and Stefan Svellingen.

I think the jury is still out on the direct translation of the wonderful name – either it’s Game Developer’s Guild or Game Maker’s Guild. Either one is pretty wonderful in my book. Basically they are a bunch of hard working game developers in Bergen, having a few beers and having a vision about making game development more accessible and open in Norway. The result has been a wonderful space where game developers can learn from each other, exchange ideas, exchange resources and of course – dreams. Their morals and goals are pure and sincere – and needless to say – I adore them!

The event – Console

I was introduced to the guild in february and when I learned that Indie Game: The Movie was being considered for The International Film Festival in Bergen (BIFF) I felt that I had to make my move. We HAD to make a gaming event worthy of the documentary and game developers in Norway. I got in touch with someone that I knew was on the board at the guild and he agreed to let me speak at their next board meeting. I remember being rather nervous. I have a lot of respect and admiration for game designers and I desperately wanted them to like me.  I got to make my case to the board of the six wise game developing men and I let my passion and enthusiasm have free flow – which is always a scary thing – but I just couldn’t help myself. I honestly had trouble catching my breathe at times. Thankfuly – they were in agreement! We should create an event in unison with BIFF and do something fun! I was also happy to hear that they were interested in making the games industry more available to the public. So we decided to make the event two-fold. One part for game developers and the other part for the public that may not know games as well as we do.

I’m sorry if I’m getting into too many details – but I’d really like to document the start of this!

Ever since then – it has been my number one mission to get this party started. BIFF is on board and loving our enthusiasm, VilVite (Bergen Science Center) has agreed to let us use their facilities from the 18th to the 20th of October, JoinGame, a well established computer games interest group, has agreed to have their workshop in Bergen on the 18th and we’ve started designing a game for the public about what game design and computer programing is all about. So many things are in place.

If you’re Norwegian you can read my project plan/proposal here: Konsoll – sorry – I can’t blog and still have time to translate! ;)

UPDATE! Of course the next day a possible sponsor asked for a translation right away. So here’s the project proposal in English: Console

My focus these days is all about raising money for the event and OMG! that can be challenging for the soul! We still don’t have one kroner – but I’m determined to get something! So please – if you have any ideas let me know! I’m getting rather tired of my voice mail and inbox being filled with rejection. Some one out there must love us, surely!!!

Lobying for more game development

I hate to sound arrogant – but I’m good at this! I think I’m good at it because it’s something that I truly believe in! I think that computer game development brings so much into society in form of IT skills, creativity and innovation. While applying for funds I’ve often been greeted by the business community with sneers and giggling telling me to go talk to the culture department. Now – I very rarely get provoked, at least I think that’s true. But these guys are just forcing the debater out of me – and I notice that it makes them listen. I really truly believe that I would be an excellent lobyist for the games industry in Norway – and I feel so privileged to be able to say that! Very thankful for the opportunity! Very thankful for the clearance to see it!

There’s a lot of stuff that I love about the Game Makers Guild board members – and the last couple of weeks I’ve gotten to know them well (or rather  – they’ve gotten to know me well). They’re all very unique in their own individual right and they’re somewhat all in different places in their game development careers and yet still collaborating and finding room and respect for each other. Their collective spirit in paving the way for game developers is admirable and honouralbe. The more I learn about them the more respect I have for them. Their diversity side by side with unity has me completely smitten. The bestest thing is that I see a room for big ole me here. I see that I can put my enthusiasm for game development to good use. I can talk corporate and I’m a good mingler (if I’m in the right mood, of course). I’m testing out my ability to unite good partnerships these days – but I’ll explain more of that in point 2.

My absolute proudest moment was last Friday. Me and two other guild members came to a Bergen Chamber of Commerce meeting that was about the IT industry in Bergen and its growth. We came to represent game development and the guild. The one thing I kept hearing was there aren’t enough qualified resources. Even IT-engineering at school is having a hard time finding students. I decided that this was my moment! I had to stand up – take the microphone and introduce these 100+ conservative IT industry folks that computer game developers were the answer to everything. Now – I generally don’t do well with microphones in my hand. I love talking to a crowd without a microphone – I love talking with a Britney Spears headset thing and I love talking into a microphone that’s standing. The minute I actually have to hold the fraker – I loose my breathe and my voice starts to shake. I knew this and I was extremely nervous when I raised my hand for the opportunity to speak. My whole body was shaking. I wanted to make a good impression – not only for me – but for The Game Makers Guild who were so lovely and generous in letting me speak for them. This time I wasn’t just making a fool of myself – but I was representing a group of people who I want to represent well and help them prosper!

I completely surprised myself with a smooth voice – a little joke about the sexyness of computer engineer studies – and a very clear voice on game development! I was so surprised and I have to admit – also very proud! I honestly don’t remember what I asked the panel – but it was something along the lines of “Maybe there should be put more resources into game development. Computer games are too often categorised as culture. They are culture – but it’s a cultural industry which also contributes to the sciences and that’s a very important attribute that should not be dismissed. In fact, computer games technology often overflows to other industries such as health services and the oil industry. Would it not be wise to invest in an industry where the smart IT engineers WANT to work and then reap from the overflow?  I loved that people came up to talk to us after and I love that the room wasn’t laughing at all when I mentioned computer games – instead they were nodding approvingly. This all makes me think that I’m doing what I’m supposed to do and I rather feel like I belong.

I’m so thankful for Spillmakerlauget being so open to my ideas and enthusiasm. I owe them a great deal and I’m extremely proud that they let me do these things in their name. I sincerely hope that we can make all these things happen!

Oi – I’ve been enjoying myself with a nice bottle of wine outside on my balcony while writing this – and am clearly becoming very SAPPY!  I think points 2, 3 and 4 will have to wait for another night! Enjoyed myself? Definitely!

Stay tuned for more – I’ll include some demo links to the wonderful games that are coming out of this community next! ;)

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9 thoughts on “Game event in October with The Game Developers Guild

  1. Fantastic to hear about your new plans, Linn! I am sure it will be a success and look forwards to more! I’m not an expert on funding, but Bergen kommune? If you make it educational, there are various school-related things. Norsk kulturråd? (But how are computer games funded, I should know this? Are they supposed to be purely commercial?)

  2. Thanks Jill! And there’s more to come! I’ve saved Bergen Kommune and Norsk Kulturråd to last as I was hoping to tap into some funds from the IT business community. Norsk Film Institutt is where most of the developers get their funds from, so I’m hoping for some support from them as well! ;)

    The event is from the 18th to the 20th of October!

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  4. Hi Linn,
    I have just come across your article and I got really exited to find out about the Game Maker’s Guild. Back in December 2011, we opened up the Game Developers Guild here in Miami,Fl, USA with what seem to be very similar goals. I was wondering if it would be possible for you to get me in contact with the members of the Game Maker’s Guild with the hopes that we can share ideas.

    Thanks in advance,
    Frank

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