August 2021 Update
Things are thankfully starting to cool down a little, and this month is looking up to be a lot less crazy than the last. That being said, our community is staying busy making and releasing awesome games, so check out the updates below!
July was quite a month for Seattle Indies with the fun and excitement of finally holding our first in person Social since February of 2020 followed immediately by learning that two vaccinated attendees tested positive for COVID the next day.
Thankfully we haven’t heard of anyone who was at the Social that has since tested positive as a result of exposure but it shows that we’re still learning how to adapt to a world where COVID exists and can be dangerous even to people who are vaccinated. Thankfully as well the people who tested positive have recovered after only experiencing relatively mild symptoms. We weren’t the only ones affected by this as many local bars and restaurants had to close down again due to outbreaks among their staff and patrons and are now requiring proof of vaccination and masks for entry.
Optimism is among those venues with updated policies so we do plan to return there for the August social on 8/17/21 but will be helping to abide by and enforce their new rules for everyone’s safety. Make sure you are masked up while not drinking and have a vaccine card or negative test result (within 48 hrs) if you plan to buy and consume drinks there. Testing sites can be found around the area and vaccine information can be found here.
There was also more unfortunate and disturbing news of abusive behavior towards women in the industry. As always Seattle Indies strives to be an inclusive and welcoming community for everyone who wishes to pursue game development as a hobby or profession regardless of race, religion or gender identity. We believe the victims and stand with the workers at Activision/Blizzard who walked out demanding that management address these issues and make changes to prevent them from happening in the future. Here is a list of resources provided by the walkout organizers that you can contribute to or get involved with to help the cause.
This type of behavior has no place in Seattle Indies or the industry at large. It is up to all of us who have the ability to work to eliminate it. If you know of or witness any such behavior at our events, on our online platforms or involving members of the community outside of our events please report it to email@example.com and we will take immediate action.
We’re wrapping up the Seattle Indies Expo jury process, so keep your eyes peeled for announcement about the selected games soon!. Check out https://six.seattleindies.org for all of the details thus far.
Hype Jam is happening NOW, running for a whole week July 31st to August 6th. Saturday to Saturday and you can watch Andrew explain it right here. Check it out here: https://itch.io/jam/hype-jam-2021
The Smithsonian American Art Museum and IGDA-DC are putting on an Arcade Jam with submissions opening August 2nd. Check out all the details here.
GamesCom, one of the biggest consumer gaming events, is coming back this year between August 25-27. Like last year, it’s happening entirely online, with a lot of events, dev track, virtual expo, Indie showcases, and more. Learn all about it on the official website.
Join us on Tuesday August 2, 2021 for our Jackbox Social to celebrate passing the 2,000 member mark on our Discord!
This month’s Game Club will focus on Essay on Empathy on August 18 at 4pm! What a book club is to a discussion of literature, this event is to a discussion of game design. Every month, we agree to play a game, then meet to discuss and analyze its design and presentation. Click here to find out more info and sign up.
As mentioned above the Seattle Indies Social will be back in person again at Optimism Brewing on Tuesday 8/17/21 @ 7 PM and we will be following their new safety guidelines which require masks for all guests and vaccination cards or negative COVID test results for anyone wishing to purchase and consume drinks. We hope to see everyone there but use your judgement and discretion to determine what is right for you, we will still be hosting online socials on our Discord for those who don’t wish to or are unable to attend the in person events.
Are you a composer? We are still looking for compositions to add to our Seattle Indies YouTube playlist! We will be playing the playlist on our Discord 24/7 for everyone to hear! If you want to be included on the playlist, please fill out this short form. We just need your name and your YouTube link. We are currently limiting it to one piece/YouTube link per composer.
In case you missed it, Indie Support Group has been rebranded to Coffee Break and is happening weekly as well! Tune in every Saturday from 1pm on our Discord in the #isg-voice channel, Curious how to start learning something? Want to chat with someone of another discipline? Need a place to work on a project and share it with others? ISG is a social, game development focused work group that encourages people of all skill levels and disciplines to come together and collaborate for the benefit of all.
As a part of Indie Support Group we have added Feedback Circle for you to get critical feedback on your game from our community of developers. Sign up on this form and ping the indie_support_group_isg channel on Discord when you are ready to have your game reviewed.
Local Dev News
Tom Orden’s short game Untitled Darkness pre-order just went live on Xbox!0 It’s a short game that shows how struggling with depression has been like for me and others. In it, you see how that darkness can trap you and distort how you feel about yourself.
Do you want to play a fun game full of unique mechanics and which will help you to boost your math learning fast and easy? Survival Math is here!
Kevin Tarchenski just shared that Unnatural Disaster is now available on Steam Early Access! Wreck cities with natural disasters to save the world from runaway sprawl. Buy it, like it, share it with your friends… anything helps!
Kasra just launched the Kickstarter for Republic of Jungle. Betray, bluff and banter with friends as furry advisors to President Puma. Back now and make history for the Republic!
Grey Instinct launched on Steam as well – cyberpunk 2D point-and-click adventure game where you play as Grey, an amateur detective.
JustJackie launched demo for Cricket: Jae’s Really Peculiar Game as part of PAX Online East. Go on an adventure to the moon and back with Jae and his friends!
Noelle also launched a Steam page for Somewhen – Fight, fish, build, cook, and invent your way through 8 chapters guaranteed with hours of play through a unique dungeon stage system, turn-based combat, and challenges. Wishlist today!
Erin S. – 1/3 of the jam team Juice Squad – Just released the first song of a new project! Check it out here.
Two Seattle Indies contributed to the Educative podcast this week, check the videos out:
“Curing Programmer’s Disease” with Randy Hayes of House Chaos Games
“Running a Game Studio” with Jakub Kasztalski of Unbound Creations
Vertical Shift is back with our Third Freeze Tag Tournament: DELTA WING. If you enjoy the fast paced action of Vertical Shift movement and want a team based format, then sign-up now for DELTA WING here: https://smash.gg/deltawing
Jakub just announced that they’re working on a Rain on Your Parade DLC and have merch available! Get your Cloudy t-shirts here.
Harassment Policy, AAPI, Black Lives Matter, and Resources
Seattle Indies stands with the AAPI community. We are here for our members who have been affected by the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes both locally and nationally. For further resources to educate yourself on the issue and how to take action, here is a useful link: https://anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co/
Seattle Indies hopes to start having in person meetups again soon. To that effect we need everyone to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus as soon as you are able. The Washington State Department of Health has this website for information on where you can get vaccinated in your area.
Seattle Indies believes the stories of the victims of sexual harassment and assault in the games industry that have been shared this past week and before. We strongly condemn the actions by people in power preying on the dreams of vulnerable people trying to make their way in the industry and strive to build an inclusive community that welcomes all minorities to provide a safe environment and a better vision for the game industry.
While our code of conduct states a zero-tolerance policy for harassment of any kind we are especially sensitive to the daily challenges faced by womxn due to the ingrained sexism that has existed in the structure of the games industry for far too long. We are actively working to build a better community of game developers and we all need to do better.
Additionally Board Member August Belhumeur has offered to be a personal resource for anyone who needs help, someone to talk to or some guidance on next steps if you have experienced harassment in the industry either at our events or elsewhere. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our friends at Take This Org have compiled valuable resources for anyone in immediate need of professional help for their situation.
Lastly, Seattle Indies and Diversity Collective+ support Black Lives Matter. Here are some resources compiled by Diversity Collective+ for how you can offer support, whether this is financial, contributing to petitions, preparing for protests, or getting informed. If you have additional resources, comment below and we will add them.
As always, keep an eye on our Discord for any last-minute news and discussion, and let us know about any projects you’re working on that you’d like shared on our Steam or Itch collections or tweeted about from @SeattleIndies!
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