Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Girls Make Games 2016!

I'm about a week late on writing this post due to happy holiday times (my Ivana is here - I'm so happy!), but I felt that I really wanted to write a post about it to hopefully spread word about such a great project, and to also hopefully share inspiration for anyone thinking about helping out next year. :)

So to get started, Girls Make Games is a yearly camp based (mostly) in America in which girls get together in cities all across the country and create games. They're given talks by industry guests (Tim Schafer of Double Fine in particular is a big supporter of GMG) and are given a tonne of inspiration to help encourage them get into games. They then get into groups and create games of their own, which are eligible for a prize awarded by Microsoft at the end of the camp.

That's just a suuuper brief description of part of what the camp entails, though, and I would strongly urge you go and check out their website to find out more info! It's a really great company with a wonderful cause, and it's an honour to have been able to be a part of it for the past 2 years. <3

Now I'm sure you're thinking "That sounds great!", but what is it I would actually do if I helped out? 

Well, my friend, I'm going to tell you!

I helped out as an artist, so I can only really talk about what an artist helper does. I imagine it would be the same for programmers, etc, though! Just replacing the art side with that specialism instead. :)

So it begins with doing a Skype call to one of the camps. I had a call with a lovely group of about 20 girls from the Los Angeles camp. During the call I talked about what it is I do, what kind of artwork I make, the games I like... and then the girls all got into their groups and told me about their game ideas, inspirations, and what it is that they'd like their game to look like.

There was A LOT of groups who wanted their games to look like Undertale, so I think it's clear which game is still taking over. I guess devs better take note. ;)

After the Skype call I had to wait a few days before being given a group to make artwork for. Unfortunately I wasn't assigned to one of the LA teams I spoke to, however I did get paired up with a lovely group of girls from Boston instead. Here is some sketches of the backgrounds I created for them:

I won't show any more of the art I created as I know the girls want to continue with the game after this year's GMG is finished, so I wouldn't wanna post too much without their permission. :)

After creating the art, it is put into a Google Drive folder for the girls to use as assets in game - simple! 

Being able to be a part of this project is such an incredible honour. It feels amazing knowing that you're helping in a project to inspire kids all over the US who want to get into games, and being a part of something like this is absolutely priceless - I'm so thankful to Laila and everyone at Girls Make Games for the opportunity. <3

I have no doubt that they'll be looking for more artists for Girls Make Games '17, so if you're interested in helping out (which I can't recommend enough!) then I'd definitely suggest keeping an eye on their website, or following them @GirlsMakeGames. :)

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