I’m not a game developer, but I like to think I could be one in some way, so a few weeks ago I attended an IGDA meetup in San Diego. It was the first official one in many months (efforts have been in effect to get the local chapter humming again). A nearby “barcade” — think small bar plus old coin-op games surrounding the tiny space — hosted and it was a blast.
As an introvert who cemented their friend group a while ago, and I finished schoolin’ a while back, I don’t really meet new people much anymore. Going to a meetup at a bar on a whim is a good way to get back into that mode, and meet new people I did. Besides the expected array of indie game developers packed into a place with music blaring and old video games doing their thing, there was also a large contingent of people from a nearby college. In effect, the night was filled with creative types, all who had either a project or school assignment involving games they were working on. When we weren’t discussing serious game development matters, we drank and (I) ate and played mega versions of Jenga and Connect-4.
I had several conversations with random people through the evening about their current obsession, and it’s hard not to be inspired by those with the talent and ambition to do something new and creative. Being a musician who has offered up my services to a game or two, I wasn’t completely out of my element, but there’s something about the effort and work that goes into making a game that I’ve yet to really experience firsthand (beyond a weekend gamejam).
Still, long-form projects that you keep attacking little by little, whittling down their defenses over time, until a new creation is born is not outside my wheelhouse. Maybe with my recent foray into Mac development (an upcoming post) I’ll turn my attention to a game one day. I play enough of them — why haven’t I made one yet? Oh, right. It’s incredibly difficult.
Side note: prior to the meetup, I stopped by to meet with a friend at a local game developer’s house. I won’t name drop, but he worked on a major XBLA release (maybe PC by now) that I’d played and enjoyed. He wasn’t alone, and I met several other game developers who were hanging out, too. I was a little starstruck :-}