Our first meetup happened last week, this is a short rundown of what we talked about and most importantly our plans for the future.
We discussed our answers to the 7 questions, finding out more about each other, what we do and the games we love. We also discussed our experiences of the games industry, the emphasis on speed when turning around a game or project and thinking about he we could create short, experimental pieces that fit into this ethos. There was also a general consensus that it would be nice to create something that takes time, without the pressure and we will hopefully be developing a joint project with this in mind.
We also talked about what’s getting us excited at the moment; augmented reality and immersive gaming, the positive and negatives of the Xbox One, haptics, avatar creation, the oculus rift (At this point, I had to include this video of a 90 year old grandmother trying it out:)
Sue, who attended the game making workshop alongside myself, Lisa and Constance talked to us about her work as an Research Associate at Bristol University, building haptic displays that are more natural than, for example, your phone vibrating as a reaction. Haptic feedback is a key element of future developments in immersive gaming and we are glad to have someone on board who is so knowledgable on the topic.
Short term: Our next meetup will be happening on the 12th September and will focus on narrative design and text adventure. More details will be announced soon, including our speaker and plans for the workshop. As part of this, I personally want to start investigating online tools which can be used to make games, in particular ones that don’t rely on an in depth knowledge of coding. Although a long term aim is to encourage women into programming and development, short term, I don’t think it should be a barrier to making your own games and entering games jams if you aren’t able to… So watch this space! Lastly, as an addition to our meetups, we’re going to introduce a show and tell; either sharing what you’re working on at the moment, or just telling us about something cool within the industry.
Long term: As we’ve mentioned on this site already,we want to hold public talks and invite some special guests to our meetups. There were some big questions that came out of the evening which we will hope to tackle at upcoming events;
How to get into the industry?
How do you set up your own studio?
How do you deal with competition and rejection?
How to best develop your portfolio?
Other areas we’re going to explore in future meetups/ workshops/ talks will be the possibility of hosting another all-female games jam, sound design within games, future design (beyond the console) and character design.
Lastly, I’d just like to draw your attention to this Jezebel article which provides a great rundown of ‘Every Misogynistic Argument You’ve Ever Heard About Video Games‘ which not only includes this awesome gif (pictured left) but a cracking opener which I hope will encourage you to read the rest: “Hi there, ladies! Have I got a fun hobby for you! It’s called video gaming, and it’s kind of a big deal.
What’s that? You say you’re already playing video games, but you have an issue because you don’t feel welcome in the gaming community? Whyever not? There are hordes of angry, permanently-adolescent ragebeasts who can’t psychologically handle the fact that a woman likes the thing they like, you say? Why would anyone be such a turd zeppelin?!”
I’ll leave you there, mulling over how you can next use the phrase ‘turd-zeppelin’.