Giving the talk at Pixelpop 2018

Sustainable Game Dev Communities

Sustainable Game Dev Communities is a talk that I wrote and performed at multiple game conferences (Pixelpop Festival in St. Louis, Missouri and Different Games Conference in Worcester, Massachusetts). The talk details the trials, difficulties, and solutions for creating a sustainable game dev community in any city, at different scales from small to metropolitan.

Topics covered included:

  • internal organization and succession
  • fostering grassroots support
  • pursuing inclusion and diversity
  • event/location/resource options
  • pragmatism and responsibility
A key talk takeaway slide: "You are both responsible for what you create, and what you allow to happen."

Through my work with Dirty Rectangles, I have spent several years organizing local events and performing outreach and support for other communities. There were many recurring challenges faced by these communities: smaller scenes in smaller cities that are attempting to grow and establish themselves, larger cities with disparate game dev communities that have difficulty organizing events or finding a cohesive mandate.

I assembled the considerable insight that we've gained from a decade of working and interfacing with other communities (Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, and many more), with the hope of passing on the Rectangles ethos and helping communities become and continue to be sustainable.

Following my performance of this talk at Pixelpop Festival in 2018, I had a chance to meet members of many different communities around the US and discuss their individual challenges, and further refine my knowledge in this area.

At the Different Games Conference (also in 2018), I performed this talk alongside a similar one about Game Curious Montreal, an event helmed by Montreal and Toronto organizers. We followed it up with an extensive discussion about the challenges and responsibilities of being a community representative.


If you are trying to sustain a community in your area and want to discuss any of the topics covered, feel free to get in touch.

The talk, recorded at Pixelpop:
youtube.com/watch?v=Mm32WnzHgHk
The slides for the talk (useful as the video slightly washes them out):
docs.google.com/presentation/d/1rQ0xpPS8z50_qYWPcvNdOe7rEs-zxmgKvUnLXjnHxNc