Hi, I'm Blake. My first game was '89 Doors', a rage game where you escape mazes whilst being pursued by an insatiable creature of hunger, and now I'm working on a tower defence game called 'Forgive Me My Henchman', where you play as a typical head 'bad guy', deploying henchman and sabotaging a building in an effort to stop a one man army action hero.
Recently, I was in Melbourne – a city in Australia. Melbourne is the ‘arts-capital’ of Australia, and a great city to visit.
A few months ago, I had read about a place in Melbourne called The Arcade (to read the article I read, click here). To describe The Arcade succinctly, I have taken the description from their website:
“The Arcade is Australia’s first not-for-profit, collaborative workspace created specifically for game developers and creative companies using game methodologies and technologies”
In other words – it is a space for indie game developers and indie developer studios. There are roughly around 24 different indie developer studios in the same building. This includes ‘Loveshack Studios’ who created the game ‘Framed’, and also the creators of ‘Crossy Road’.
Up until this point, my game development experience has been solo or virtual. The help I have got has been from forums and youtube videos. With the exception of my brother (and about two others), I have not been able to test out my game on others.
It was really cool for me to see a space such as The Arcade where people with similar interests in the same field could ‘hang out’ and work. Despite there being ‘competing’ studios in the same building, there was a really collaborative and friendly environment. People from different studios would eat lunch together and I heard that – on Fridays – it was possible to get feedback from whoever is around about your game. Furthermore, I heard that it was also possible for a developer to ask for help/advice if he or she ever got stuck.
It made me think how awesome it would be to be surrounded by people who have similar dreams and interests. I also thought how good it would be for one’s game – being in that atmosphere would encourage someone to work hard, dream big, and get high quality feedback. Places like this are so good for the game development community and it got me thinking: wouldn’t it be great if every city across the world had a place like The Arcade?
The games industry is such a unique one: for the most part, its entire workforce is comprised of people who love what they do. I think when you put people like that together in the same building, it is a recipe for magic to happen. I would like to commend the initiators of The Arcade for making it happen. I would also like to thank those who took some time to show me around the building – what a place!
Check out The Arcade's website by clicking here.