IGS 2010
 CREATING + NURTURING
 YOUR INDIE GAME
 COMMUNITY
             Jeff Lindsay
              @progrium
SuperHappyDevHouse
Event



Hacker Dojo
Place



TIGSource / TIGJam
Online        Event
10
(SORT-OF-CHRONOLOGICAL)
       TIPS
 FOR   GROWING      A
C OM M U N IT Y
1   Hold events

1
1
2
Make purpose

2
3
Start small

3
400 people




3
20 people




3
3
"A complex system that works is
invariably found to have evolved
from a simple system that works."



      3
4
Repeat often

    4
SHDH 1




4
SHDH 1




4
SHDH 1




4
SHDH 7
    8 months later




4
SHDH 7
    8 months later




4
SHDH 7
    8 months later




4
4
"Release early, release often."




        4
5
Stay learning

    5
5
5
"Fail early, fail often."




        5
5
"Release early, release often,
 and listen to your customers."



            5
6
Be inclusive

     6
6
Quality control?


       6
7
Identify values

         7
8
Think experience

           8
8
8
9
Teach promotion

            9
9
10
 Help duplicate

                  10
‣Hold events
‣Make purpose




                    ☺
‣Start small
‣Repeat often
‣Stay learning
‣Be inclusive
‣Identify cul...
SuperHappyDevHouse 37
April 10, Palo Alto



Hacker Dojo
24/7, Mountain View



TIGJam 3
Fall, Hacker Dojo
THANK YOU.

YOU ARE ALL


RAD.
STAY INDIE.

@progrium
0
Validate online
Creating + Nurturing Your Indie Game Community
Creating + Nurturing Your Indie Game Community
Creating + Nurturing Your Indie Game Community
Creating + Nurturing Your Indie Game Community
Creating + Nurturing Your Indie Game Community
Creating + Nurturing Your Indie Game Community
Creating + Nurturing Your Indie Game Community
Creating + Nurturing Your Indie Game Community
Creating + Nurturing Your Indie Game Community
Creating + Nurturing Your Indie Game Community
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Creating + Nurturing Your Indie Game Community

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A talk I gave the Independent Games Summit of the Game Developers Conference 2010

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  • started devhouse, hacker dojo
    technical admin for tigsource, built tigdb
    helped start and influence tigjam
  • going to focus on superhappydevhouse.
    i called it “devhouse” for short.
  • “a party for hackers and thinkers”
    basically a hackathon, like a gamejam
    started in 2005
    about every 6 weeks... almost 40 so far
  • very open ended. no theme or focus. just come with your laptop.
  • featured in the mercury news, cnet, sfgate, but mostly word of mouth
  • we’ve done them in about 10 locations around the bay area.
    duplicated in over 20 cities around the world.
  • last about 12 hours.
    currently, events range from 200-400 attendees
  • full of discussions about things people are passionate about,
    sharing ideas...
    but its also about building cool stuff and working on projects.
  • lots of regulars, lots of newcomers. very healthy community that led to...
  • 24/7 physical manifestation of the spirit of devhouse. why community?
    free exchange of ideas/knowledge helps develop -- silicon valley.
    belonging, especially to things that stand for what you’re passionate about.
    “i found my people”

  • NOTHING beats this. they’re easy to do and you get a lot from very little.
    this is the basis of the rest of the tips.
  • really, you can build online communities, but nothing beats in-person.
    TIGJam shows this. GDC shows this.
    any excuse to get likeminded people together is awesome. parties, mixers...
    but great events happen when you:

  • stand for something. i don’t so much mean “have a purpose” ...
    gimmicks and “attractions” (speakers, contests) make it about THAT.
    make it about something more and cultivate intrinsic value of people together
    with common values and purpose from OUTSIDE the event
  • how do you start? start small.
    hardest part for people to do. indies know all about this.
    mvp: "if you're not embarassed by v1, you spent too long on it"
    remain light (we’ll come back to this)

  • actually less than 20
  • it’s important to remember:
    major events start from small events.
    gdc started in a living room with about as many people as devhouse.
    the key is to...
  • this builds momentum and leverages buzz from last event for the next.
    annual events require much more marketing...
    if you look at blogging, improve readership: blog often,
    more importantly: consistently.
  • let me show you. first devhouse.
    front room.
  • kitchen.
  • living room.
  • 8 months later, doubling in size several times over...
    living room.
  • kicthen
  • front room.
    another advantage of often is allows more people to experience the event.
    one might not be able to make one month, but can the next.
    later you can spread them out if you want.
  • experiment! challenge assumptions!
    which brings us to...
  • build this into your culture
  • how retrospectives work.
  • if you do events often, it’s cheap to experiment. it’s ok to make mistakes.
  • include whoever is around and wants to participate in retrospective
  • another key to growth. both for organizers and attendees.
    organizers: whoever joins in. give them responsibility.
    attendance: don’t turn people away. welcome those on the fence.

  • focus on what you DO want, not so much on what you DON’T want.
    positive reinforcement is more effective long term.
    have the “right” people from the beginning.
    always invite people that exemplify what you stand for.
  • understand what you’re about, and try to be explicit about it.
    stay true and remember what you stand for.
    indie games is pretty easy and the ongoing debate of “what is indie” is healthy.
  • ux, interaction design. creating spaces that influence desired experience...
    and behavior!
  • used to have sign
  • maximizing table usage. arranging chairs
  • grassroots movements rely on word of mouth. engineer it.
    in fact, straight out teach it
  • applied lessons from gdc keynote for shdh 30 to great success
  • mexico vs the world.
    mexico was the only case where WE went to help them start it.
    then they send ambassadors to new events
    nothing beats in-person knowledge sharing!
  • these are all the tips. feel free to ask me in person if you want more or have questions
  • also feel free to come to any of these


  • lots of communities are online, but this is about validating/bootstrapping.
    meetup.com kinda. all you need is a wiki. dojo started wiki, then google group.
    acts as a way to gather momentum.
    useful for massive things like dojo, but really you should just...
  • Creating + Nurturing Your Indie Game Community

    1. 1. IGS 2010 CREATING + NURTURING YOUR INDIE GAME COMMUNITY Jeff Lindsay @progrium
    2. 2. SuperHappyDevHouse Event Hacker Dojo Place TIGSource / TIGJam Online Event
    3. 3. 10 (SORT-OF-CHRONOLOGICAL) TIPS FOR GROWING A C OM M U N IT Y
    4. 4. 1 Hold events 1
    5. 5. 1
    6. 6. 2 Make purpose 2
    7. 7. 3 Start small 3
    8. 8. 400 people 3
    9. 9. 20 people 3
    10. 10. 3 "A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works." 3
    11. 11. 4 Repeat often 4
    12. 12. SHDH 1 4
    13. 13. SHDH 1 4
    14. 14. SHDH 1 4
    15. 15. SHDH 7 8 months later 4
    16. 16. SHDH 7 8 months later 4
    17. 17. SHDH 7 8 months later 4
    18. 18. 4 "Release early, release often." 4
    19. 19. 5 Stay learning 5
    20. 20. 5
    21. 21. 5 "Fail early, fail often." 5
    22. 22. 5 "Release early, release often, and listen to your customers." 5
    23. 23. 6 Be inclusive 6
    24. 24. 6 Quality control? 6
    25. 25. 7 Identify values 7
    26. 26. 8 Think experience 8
    27. 27. 8
    28. 28. 8
    29. 29. 9 Teach promotion 9
    30. 30. 9
    31. 31. 10 Help duplicate 10
    32. 32. ‣Hold events ‣Make purpose ☺ ‣Start small ‣Repeat often ‣Stay learning ‣Be inclusive ‣Identify culture ‣Think experience ‣Teach promotion ‣Help duplicate
    33. 33. SuperHappyDevHouse 37 April 10, Palo Alto Hacker Dojo 24/7, Mountain View TIGJam 3 Fall, Hacker Dojo
    34. 34. THANK YOU. YOU ARE ALL RAD. STAY INDIE. @progrium
    35. 35. 0 Validate online

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