Building Awareness of the AZ Video Game Industry

In my post last week, I wrote about three ways you can get started working on a video game if you've never done it before: modding your favorite games, playing educational games and participating in game jams. If you're interested to know more check out last week's post. And, if you want to jump in on a game jam, join us the last weekend of next January for the Phoenix Global Game Jam 2016.

Today, I'd like to highlight a few resources we've launched to introduce you to local video game developers making games right here in Arizona.

The Mission

Game CoLab's mission to empower and unite video game developers in Arizona and beyond has introduced us to an astounding amount of amazing developers. In fact, we quickly amassed the largest list of folks making games here and have since worked hard to build awareness of their presence to both fellow game makers and the general public.

When Joseph Darnell and I first started the Game CoLab we had the idea of creating a coworking location for game developers so that they might have a space to share knowledge and collaborate. We quickly realized that our minimum viable product of desks, chairs and wi-fi weren't enough and started to schedule regular workshops, networking events and showcases. This led us to create an incubator program to support local developers with a growing network of mentors and resources.

The incubator program has now run for two years. As incubator teams and other local developers wrap up their games and start to push them to players we wanted to increase our efforts to build awareness for their projects and have now launched two new resources to connect people with their work.

AZ Dev Directory

The AZ Developer Directory was launched this past summer as the most comprehensive list of video game developers in Arizona. It's a reality check on just how many there actually are and how big the community is with almost 70 developers listed.

We deliberated for quite some time about how we might capitalize on releasing our list of local developers. Finally, we decided that it didn't help the community for it to stay guarded, gated or proprietary and we hoped that making it freely available would "rise all ships" and give the industry here more legitimacy.

Buy AZ Games

The Buy Games page was launched last month to highlight individual local games. We understand that going through 70 developer websites isn't the easiest or quickest way to find cool Arizona games, so we're curating and pushing the best to one spot.

Starting with Game CoLab incubator teams' games and expanding regularly to highlight the best of the Grand Canyon State will keep the listing fresh. Make sure to visit the page regularly for awesome games to add to your library.

We hope that these resources will help you better understand and appreciate the creative industry that is the Arizona video game community. If you know of a video game developer or game that we're missing, please let us know so that we can include them. And, by all means, please spread the word and share the links so that we can build as much awareness as possible.

Interested in knowing more about our mission and the local video game community? Join us and local developers on December 18th at Fate Brewery South for our networking Happy Hour!

Cheers, Ben


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