Many of you partially know the story behind Melbourne Game Developers Meetup. For those who don’t, or want to know the details, I’m going to tell a short story.
Back in 2014, when I attended PAX Australia at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on the 1st of November, I was moved by the indie scene. The passion, the sacrifices, the love… it all went into my head. I wanted to be a part of it. But there was a problem.
A long time ago, I made peace to myself and stopped trying to make games. I was just lacking the talent and eventually it became clear to me that I was wasting time. I was passionate about it, but not passionate enough. There were other things that excited me more.
The indie scene that I saw on that glorious day, revived the fire under the ashes. I decided to be a part of the scene even though I was sure I was never going to be a professional game developer. I thought I could just be a hobbyist. That would still make me very happy.
Being involved in the IT community in Melbourne, first thing that popped into my head was to find similar groups for indie game developers in Melbourne and just go and start socialising and see what they were up to. So, I started looking, and to my surprise, I could not find any. Blame Google, but IGDA Melbourne never came up!
I saw a gap and made the decision to fill it. I decided to create the group, fail-fast style, and see what sort of feedback I will get. I thought if the group attracts 100 members in 3 months, I’ll keep the meetup and hand it over to someone more suitable. If not, I’ll just move on. And that, kids, is how on the 5th of November 2014, Melbourne Game Developers was born.
Two months later, we reached the 100 members milestone and the rest is history. Today we have close to 600 members. Talents ranging from game designers to programmers to graphic artists to animators to music composers.
I cannot be more proud of what we’ve achieved so far. Just to give you a brief idea:
- Jennifer Nguyen, Paediatric Speech Pathologist, self-funding an educational project for kids with speech disorders,
- Jerram Watters, and good folks of Virtual Reality Ventures showcasing their VR equipment,
- Trent, running a very well received Unity workshop,
- Warwick Molloy of Lokel Digital getting offered a lecturer position at Monash University after his presentation,
- Open-mic sessions where we discussed early game ideas and gave feedback to work-in-progress and nearly finished games, with Ken Dawber, Danny Robson, Ricky, Stew Trezise, and Behnam (Ben), Trent,
- Playtesting session
where we played the games that our members have been
- Inverse, by Tristan Dowell and Matthew Balshaw,
- A woodsman, by August Junkala,
- Save Us by Marco Ryan,
- Many Apple Watch games by Rui Alho.
- The list goes on and on, and I cannot be more proud of members for their endeavours and what they are achieving.
None of the above would be possible without the help and support of our friends, Sahand Bagheri of York Butter Factory, Sean Qian of Queens Collective, and last but not least, my employer, Odecee.
The only thing that I planned to do but have not done yet, is handing over the meetup to the community. My idea from the very beginning was to create a self-regulated and community-driven group. There is no better time than now.
What from Here?
It’s time for a change. But I am not going anywhere. I will continue to financially, logistically, and morally support the group, but we need you as part of the group to step in and help run this community. Therefore, I am stepping down as the sole organiser of the meetup.
You’re up! Here’s an opportunity for you to lead the future of this group. Get in touch with me to discuss.
Feedback and suggestions of any sort are very welcome. Tell me what you want to do or see happen within the group, and I promise to use all I have in my power to make it happen.
Once things are more clear, I will make another announcement.
Back in 2014, I went to PAX Australia. I was moved by the indie scene. Blame Google, but I couldn’t find any regularly active communities back then! Saw the gap and decided to fill it and see what happens. After one year, we have close to 600 members.
2015 was a good year. 2016 will be better. Here’s what will change:
- I am opening the doors to the community to run the group the way they want to,
- I will continue to financially, logistically, and morally support the group,
- I am stepping down as the sole organiser of the group,
- This will be a community-driven group, so here’s an opportunity for you to lead the future of this meetup,
- Get in touch with me to discuss. Feedback and suggestions are most welcome,
- Another update will follow once things are more clear.