Community Studio

Jammers at TOJam 4

Jammers at TOJam 4

When I was in university and spent more time doing studio art, I was introduced to the idea of public studios. The basic idea is you pay a cheap membership to take advantage of a community space and tools. If you’ve ever tried to do large-scale art, it’s very easy to understand the benefit of such a space to store projects and work, but the real value of such a space is having regular access to your peers in what can otherwise be a very isolated lifestyle.

In the past few years that I’ve been attending Gaming events, it occurred to me that I don’t get to spend a whole lot of time with my peers. Especially when I’m doing independent and contract work, when I spend almost all of my time at home. And I know my situation isn’t terribly unique.

Game Jams and other local industry events help to bring Toronto’s Game Dev community together, but only on occasion. So I was thinking about how we could change that, and it comes back to the idea of emulating a public art studio, but for game development.

Before I go any further in discussing the idea, I want to mention that I’m looking for input — you can help out by filling out a super quick survey.

A studio like this wouldn’t have to be a very complicated place. I imagine it of something between a art studio, an internet cafe and a coffee shop; my inspiration and two places people already drag their laptops.  At it’s most basic, it would need to have table space, comfortable seating, and internet connectivity.

But I feel we could do more than just that for game developers. We could keep equipment on hand like spare monitors, game controllers, tablets and sound equipment for people to use. We could have white boards and projectors for public use. We could have small concessions, or even a fully featured cafe on site to meet the sugar and caffeine needs of your typical computer-bound developer.

This is all possible, if there is interest and enough demand. Toronto’s game development community is growing, and quickly, with a host of studios, indies, students and hobbyists.  And if we could start a place like this that meets the needs of that community and encourages a day-to-day place where peers can meet, it can act as a hub to allow the community to grow and interact.

I really like the idea of a place like this, and I’m looking in to starting one if only because I want to have a place like this to go to.

So once again, I’m looking for your help — I need to know how other people feel about this sort of project. What you would want and what you would need to make it a place you would want to be. This is just the first step — we’ll figure out things like costs and location once we know there’s sufficient interest. So go fill out the short survey, and feel free to drop comments here to discuss it further!


One Response to “Community Studio”

  1. Studio Space for Game Developers in Toronto | addChild(blog) Says:

    […] just read this post by Greg Beaton on his Art of Game blog from back in February. Late last year I was talking to Alex […]

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