Indie video game developers from as far away as Seattle will showcase their work as part of Indie Game Play Test Night Friday, May 27, at Shoryuken League in downtown Eugene. Event coordinator Britt Brady says it’s crucial that game developers get their projects in front of a game playing audience as early as possible.
“Game developers are very close to their games,” Brady says. “Before their game is out, this is a way for indie developers to get the public playing it — see what’s fun, see what people like, find bugs and also promote it.”
In addition to planning the test night, Brady is one half of Eugene-based game development firm Cowboy Color, as well as a community facilitator for local art and video game collective The Kartridge Family.
Brady calls The Kartridge Family “a group of artists, programmers and musicians who make art and video games, as well as organize community events. We aim to engage the community, educate those who express an interest and, most of all, make good games.”
Gamers who attend test nights get the opportunity to play games before they’re released. Seattle-based developer of popular video game Dwarf Fortress will attend the event, along with several developers from Portland and Eugene.
“A lot of people who play games are pretty interested in the development process,” Brady explains. “They also like to provide feedback to the developers. I feel like the community has a role.”
Eugene is rapidly emerging as a tech-industry hub, and video-game development is a vital part of what the city has to offer. In addition to events like test nights and game jams (competitions in which games are taken from concept to finished product in only 48 hours), Lane Community College has a game development program and University of Oregon has its Think.Play video game design club.
“A lot of people are doing it for fun,” Brady says, though he notes that many local people also make money in game design.
Brady says he hopes the Game Play Test Night will be a good opportunity for those interested in working in the gaming industry to network. “If they are at all interested in game development and don’t know where to start,” Brady says, then “they can talk to a game developer and see what it’s like to get into that.”
“There are some bigger studios in town,” he says, noting that game-design tools are more accessible than ever. “You’ll see a lot of two- to four-man teams pop up,” Brady says. “There seems to be a growing community of indie developers.”
Indie Game Play Test Night starts 7 pm Friday, May 27, at Shoryuken League, 881 Willamette Street; FREE, 21-plus.