Matt discusses a game with potential customers.
My favorite part of Gen Con isn’t the games. It isn’t feeding off the energy of the crowd. It isn’t all the cool stuff available in the expo hall. It’s seeing the small independent game companies trying to make a name for themselves. It’s not that I don’t love big name games. I do. It’s more of I have a deep respect for those who put everything they have into getting a game out into the world on their own.
That’s where the Indie Game Alliance comes in. With their network of publishers, designers, and volunteers, they help these small publishers pool resources and be less alone. They do things like have booths and demos at Gen Con and sponsor tournaments. Things which aren’t always possible for a game company just getting started. In return for helping run these events, volunteers (or minions) earn credits for games and other swag in the Alliance store.
I spoke with Executive Director Matt Holden (he doesn’t like the term founder, because it sounds pretentious) for a few moments at Gen Con about why the Indie Game Alliance is so important to him. “I know how it hurts to have a story to get out and you can’t, Matt says. “Everyone [studios in the alliance] has the same dream I do, and it feels good to help them get it out.”
Throughout my talk with him, this feeling of wanting to help was clear. He told me a story about a father-daughter team who created the game Dumpster Brawl as a way to bond. He told me about Code Monkey Island, a game designed to help teach kids the principals of computer programming. Matt punctuated every story with “how can you not want to support something like that.”
If you’re interested in joining the Indie Game Alliance as a publisher, minion, or observer (alerts for when there are events in your area) you can do so on their website. I encourage all of you to at least go check it out. This is a great resource in our community, and as Matt would say “how can you not want to support something like that.”