Around the world, there are local groups who encourage each other to be active in their community while making games. I’d like to highlight one of them today: PIGSquad.
What is PIGSquad?
PIGSquad, or Portland Indie Game Squad, is a non-profit organization based in Portland, Oregon that was founded in 2011. Their purpose is to encourage game developers to continue, or learn, the craft and invite the public to participate. They do mixers and meetups, allowing people to share their interests. They participate in game jams throughout the year. Their biggest ones being the Summer Slow jams where each month of the summer has a different theme. The jam in June had 42 entries! Be sure to check them out here. For those wanting to get in on the action, you can find the upcoming one for July here.
What do they do?
When not participating in game jams, the group holds workshops to share what they’re learning and how a person can get started with those same tools. Perhaps one of the coolest sounding events they have is feedback night. Members bring their games, and the community playtests them, providing insight that can be difficult to see as the developer.
The group also works with their community through events like Design Portland. The festival highlights the brilliance and importance that is design in a multitude of mediums. PIGSquad hosts an event tied to this known as Drink ‘n Draw. Attendees make game inspired art all while playing both video and board games. It sounds like an awesome event to both celebrate the beauty of games and create new works.
Why should I care?
If you’re in the Portland area and are interested in game development, this sounds like an amazing opportunity. It allows people to join a community that represents themselves without the pressure and deadlines often associated with that field. Outside of that, they engage with other groups, sharing the work, fun, and challenges that game development holds. Having organizations like this create safe spaces for people to learn and hone their craft. They are encouraging and friendly and help people grow to be the best they can in the field they want. This can range from going AAA or starting their own indie studio or keeping game development as a hobby. There is something for everyone, and that’s what makes them great!
Community Highlight is a monthly segment where Kati learns about a local developer community. The goal of these pieces are to help people find each other and showcase what’s possible to create! If you have a community that you want highlighting, please reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.