As an indie developer, your local video game community can be a great ally in your quest for discovery. Why? Because local organizations have a vested interest in your success as a “local” developer, as well as established industry connections. (Not too shabby for a free resource you can leverage). Of course, it takes more than attending a meet-up to get the full help of the community–you have to get noticed. Here are three steps to get you noticed by your local video game community.
3 Steps to Get Noticed by Your Local Video Game Community
Awareness is the first step in becoming active in your community. (Without knowing what your options are, it’s impossible to begin getting involved). And the easiest way to become aware is online research.
Start by searching for local game events and organizations. You’ll find a mix of smaller, independent events and organizations, as well as local chapters of larger organizations in your area. (If you’re having trouble finding events on Google, search the local chapter directories of organizations like the International Game Developers Association, Unity 3D Meet-up Groups, etc.).
Keep a list of the interesting events and organizations you find. Record each organization’s name, URL and contact information for its president, chapter leader, etc. This information will help you stay organized and reach out to get involved.
For many indies, getting involved translates to sporadically attending meet-ups and collecting a fat stack of business cards. This is NOT getting involved. In fact, it’s not even networking. Getting involved is much more…well…”involved.”
To be truly involved with your local video game community, you need to do three things:
- Regularly attend meet-ups and events. This will afford you the opportunity to get to know others and become known yourself.
- Build relationships with game developers and other key members (president, chapter leader, etc.) of organizations. This may start with business cards, but doesn’t end there. Building relationships involves following up and maintaining regular on- and off-line communication.
- Participate in meet-ups and events. Go beyond just attending. Volunteer to help organize an event or secure a guest lecturer.
With enough involvement in your local video game community, you’ll start to get noticed. Much of this happens organically as you build relationships, allowing the community to become familiar with you, your work and see you as a subject matter expert. You’ll start to get requests for high-profile involvement: presentations at meet-ups, participation at trade shows/events, interviews, etc. At this point, the local video game community is helping you with your discovery.