Do you believe that a great game industry is sustained by a great game community? This is how game developer community can give positive impact on your career, and how you should act to grow it further!
Community is a very vital factor in every industry, especially in creative industries. Communities bring creative minds together, and produce more knowledge and creativity more than the sum of its part.
BEKRAF Game Prime, the biggest game industry event in Indonesia, was also pioneered from community events, which was Game Dev Gathering (GDG). From a small gathering in restaurants, to gathering and seminars in campuses, and ultimately in the last two years backed by the government and big names in the industry bringing ten thousands of audience.
As for Frida Dwi or Ube, as people from the Indonesian game developer community call him, told gameprime.asia that community abled him to reach his current career step. He is also one of the community leaders in Indonesian game developers.
Formerly worked in Agate Jogja, a subsidiary company of Agate, now he is working on his own game studio called Noobzilla.
So let’s have a little chat with him about how the community can give positive impact in his career, and how to grow the community further.
Can you tell me how the Indonesian game developer community started?
What I know from the community elders (Exavolt and HeapCleaner) the community started as a mailing list which was made by Dien Wong in the year 2000. It was in a Yahoo! group. Then Exavolt built a forum with gamedevid.org as the address.
I myself knew the Indonesian game developer community in 2006 in the gamedevid.org forum. When I joined there were already many members and seniors.
There were a few gatherings, first time was in Jakarta in 2006 (Kumpul-kumpul Gamedev/Gamedev Gathering), then continued in Bandung (GDI Bandung), Yogyakarta (GDI Gathering 2009), Bandung (GDI Gathering 2010). This gathering routine then continued in a bigger platform, Game Dev Gathering (GDG), which was initiated by fellow develoepers from Toge Productions.
(GDG is the previous form of Game Prime, before changing its name in 2016, red)
Back then, forum is the coziest place for sharing our works. There was a gallery system that make us proud if we were able to submit our games there and being commented by our colleagues. There were also a few challenges which was sponsored by the members of the forum.
As time goes by, forum started to be abandoned, even more when the members started to move to Facebook Group. The gamedevid.org site eventually cease to operate. Right now, we have many communities with diverse segments. There are communities based on game engines, cities, and role in development. Besides Facebook there are also groups in Discord and Whatsapp.
Nowadays, there are many regional communities that are making offline meetup to share their knowledge and games. At least there are now eleven active game developer communities in Palembang, Jakarta, Bandung, Bekasi, Solo, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Salatiga, Surabaya, Malang, Denpasar.
How much impact does game dev community gives to the local industry?
Both past and present, the community has been one of the important knowledge centers for game developers, which I the benefits I feel myself. Community is also a source of talent. Many job vacancies spread quicker if you share it in the community.
Personally, how does the community affect your career as a game developer?
Since the beginning of my career, it started from the community. The first ebook that I learned was written by Wandah (Wibawanto) who is also a member. Some of my games that able to make money were collaborated with community members. My first friends, colleagues, and networks in game developer came from the community. Recently, our community members together dominated an apps and games competition (Samsung Indonesia Next Apps 4.0, red).
Until now, if I pull back to the past, everything that happened is because I chose to be active in the community.
Do you think the community can give more positive impact? If yes, how?
Of course, community can give more positive impact if the members are active. Active here can be in various forms:
- Actively share knowledge. One thing that needs to be noted, we don’t need to be more expert than others to start sharing. We can share anything anything we know. Often times it may seem insignificant to us, but there many developers out there who do not know it yet. Thus, it would be very valuable for them.
- Actively ask. This is the easiest thing to do as a member of the community. Be active in asking questions so there will be more knowledge that you can learn. Even if it is a question that is off-topic, feel free to ask. Don’t be shy.
- Actively correct and add. Often times community members are reluctant to share because they are scared to be wrong. This got to change. Don’t be afraid to be wring because it is an obligation for the ones who know to correct if there are anything wrong with your statement. So we can learn together, the one who is sharing can gain knowledge from the audience.
- Actively share information. By sharing pieces of information regarding community activities, it will help other members to be informed and participate. Thus, there is more chance that more people will join the activity.
Anything you want to add about game dev community?
I want to say many thanks for every activist in Indonesian game community. Taking care of the community is not an easy task, I’m sure that they have to spend their spare time in between their main activity to keep the community rolling. Spending their energy to prepare every events or activities, and using their mind to think about the future of the community. And because of them, there many people who find friends in the game development world.
For you, game developers who do not have a game developers community yet, let’s find fellow game developers and build community. Believe me, there will be many advantages that you can receive and also give.
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Edited by Devi