Moving Creative Culture Forward!
After participating in the first Betacon  and running our annual Drink N’ Draw , it’s time to reflect on our big community events as we roll into Summer Slow Jams  (AKA, it’s game jam season!)

The Portland Indie Game Squad board has been chatting a lot about where things are going, how we can do our best to foster a positive community & creative culture, and how we can best field feedback / be transparent with that culture. Some of our conversations have been focusing on continuing to improve our events, how to help developers better share via our channels and Twitch, how to best engage newer technologies like VR, and how to sustain PIGSquad through funding and volunteers. Still lots to do on that front, but we’ve been discovering lots of resources as of late:

Betacon and Drink N’ Draw were great experiences: Betacon was by far the biggest showcase-within-an-expo we’ve ever worked with. Drink N’ Draw gave us another awesome excuse to hang out with our friends at Patreon to talk shop and experiment on working with them on an event of our very own.

Over the past six years I’ve spent organizing PIGSquad, one huge takeaway I’ve learned is that it is entirely possible to create your own mini-culture, and that one of the most effective ways to do that is by fostering shared spaces & collective memory. It has, of course, been so rewarding to welcome (and welcome back) so many creatives as they share their art, skills, practice, and ideas - but our ability to connect and form relationships has also been quite a ride. This year has been huge for mingling “old school” PIGSquad members with people who just found out about us last month, and creating those meetings and memories is part of what our mini-culture is all about!

That’s really why it’s so important to us that our friends and community members are coming out to events, sharing what they’ve learned with friends, chipping in on the Patreon page, and cheering us on. If you want to see what that looks like, check out all of the awesome photos and art from Drink N’ Draw (and note that Corey scanned over 100 pieces of artwork to help make this possible :P):
http://pigsquad.com/drink-n-draw-2017-photos 

Based on some of our conversations with Patreon, we’re also looking into how we can best share some of the inner workings behind PIGSquad, which will help us keep more of an open conversation with the community about our needs, adding to that collective memory! One example is that we want to appropriately appreciate our volunteers by letting everyone know exactly how much time they put in to make things like Drink N’ Draw possible, but creating transparency around things like event costs, our event planning processes, and our projections for how we can best grow are best shared and on everyone’s radar. Corey and I clocked about 40 hours of volunteer work for Drink N’ Draw, not including being on site, for example ;D

I’m super excited about what’s in store for all of us. As we continue having these conversations, you’ll start to notice us sharing a bit more both online and at events. Our Patreon page will of course be the easiest way to catch up, as it’s our favored platform for blogging, but don’t be surprised if we post about some new event types, streams, and community feedback forums as well!

And heads up! Coming events include:

  • Tonight’s Social/Mixer/Speed Meet
  • The Northwest Animation Festival this weekend
  • Our next Blender 3d Workshop at the end of the month, the topic of which was voted on by Patreon supporters :D
  • Summer Slow Jams starting in June! Announcements next week

Thanks again for helping make Drink N’ Draw possible, and we’ll see you very soon!
_Will