Seattle Indies Town Hall: February 2019
Written and Photos by Anthony Ritchey
Edited by Tim Cullings and Josh Curry
“Our focus is transparency and accountability,” was how Seattle Indies board member Thomas O’Connor summarized the Seattle Indies’s Town Hall, hosted at Capitol Hill’s Optimism earlier this week. During the hour-long talk, O’Connor, along with fellow board members Alex Schearer, Tim Cullings, and recently-appointed Ty Taylor discussed everything from logistics to finances with an open forum of about two dozen Seattle Indies’s community members and interested visitors before the February Social.
Here were some highlights:
- SIX [Seattle Indies Expo] will again be hosted by Motif Seattle during PAX weekend.
- The next Seattle Indies game jam is tentatively scheduled for May, in collaboration with the University of Washington and Pacific Science Center, similar to last year’s Earth Games game jam.
- The board members discussed the financial costs involved with running events, from SIX, to quarterly game jams at Pacific Science Center, and the weekly Indie Support Group meet-ups.
- The Indie Support Group (located in the Seattle Center Armory building, on the fourth floor) is now open an extra hour from 1PM to 7PM on every Saturday.
- The board members spoke on the Code of Conduct to reinforce safe event practices for all those involved.
Next, some of the many Seattle Indies volunteers introduced themselves and their roles:
- Indie Support Group: Chris Dougherty and Robert Ackley spoke about how the space is a collaborative environment for playtesting and bug-fixes.
- Video Journalism: Bilgem Çakır spoke about his video summary of the Global Game Jam hosted the Seattle Indies’s YouTube channel and asked everyone to watch check out the YouTube channel.
- Text Journalism: Anthony Ritchey asked the audience to reach out to him if they had any ideas for upcoming articles.
- The Diversity Collective+: Sarah Belhumeur spoke about The Diversity Collective+’s first event’s success towards supporting diversity and how discussing issues and solutions for minority figures helps in the gaming community.
- SQUIDs, or Seattle Queer Indie Devs: Dee Del Rosario spoke about the Seattle Queer Indie Devs events run every month for LGBTQ+ game devs and encouraged anyone new to stop by and say hello!
- The Serious and Social Impact Games Meetup: Jakub Kasztalski spoke about the Creative Coffee Coworking event he runs every other week as a hang-out for writers and people interested in collaborating on projects.
The board members encouraged anyone to get involved. They explained that if anyone in the audience or community have ideas or suggestions for new meet-ups, events, or anything else, to either talk to any of the board members or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
After discussing housekeeping items, the board members passed around the microphone to any audience members with questions or concerns, with a page of printed questions as prompters. Çakır commented that he was inspired to volunteer more after attending the previous Town Hall and said: “The Town Hall gives that kind of perspective, like: “This is how it’s run!”” There were also questions about how Seattle Indies as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization uses its Patreon budget, especially alongside larger budgets from sponsoring organizations, and how to encourage patron growth with brainstorming ideas like a yearly Patreon-exclusive shirt or discounts to certain events like the Holiday Party.
One of the final questions asked from the audience was about whether the change to a non-profit organization helped out Seattle Indies. Cullings responded that the change significantly helped the financial growth of Seattle Indies, and said: “The organization has grown, and the need for volunteers has grown.” Since the audience was particularly curious in the finances, treasurer O’Connor joked that next time he will bring in pie charts, but at least with Seattle Indies’s long-standing commitment to bringing in snacks, there will be at least something for Seattle Indies community members to munch on later on this year at the next Town Hall, if not pie charts.