06 Sep Game Collective 101
In our previous blog post, we wrote about the Norwegian game industry. Today we’ll narrow it down further, to our very own Hamar Game Collective.
But what is a game collective?
In our case, a game collective is simply a hub of game development companies sharing an office space, helping each other out and doing fun stuff together.
Krillbite Studio is a member and co-founder of Hamar Game Collective (HGC). HGC was started in 2013, when the three entrepreneur companies Krillbite Studio, Sarepta Studio, and Moondrop realised they could be even stronger together, and benefit from each other. Today we are nine member companies and growing.
How does it work?
Hamar Game Collective is it’s own non-profit company that rents the entire space we all share, then forwards a lease to each individual company. HGC uses a Norwegian company structure that gives every official member a vote and voice in the board. Thus, every member participates in shaping the future for Hamar Game Collective.
Being a part of Hamar Game Collective lets us share knowledge about things like applications, funding, conferences, presentations, and other business development. It’s also easier to arrange travels together, to lower costs and ease logistics. The companies can also share experiences with everything from printers, partners, freelancers, tools, and technology.
At Hamar Game Collective we have our own kick-ass captain! Runa Haukland is in charge of Hamar Game Collective, and she makes sure the collective delivers reports and gets funding. She delegates work within the collective and is our face to the world. Recently we also hired someone to help us with marketing!
At the moment Hamar Game Collective receives funding from Innovation Norway, a state-owned company responsible for stimulating business growth in Norway. To get the funding we need to deliver reports each year that show that we are reaching the goals that were set in the previous period. We are in our last year of this funding, so things will change quite a bit from next year!
But why did this happen in the small Norwegian town Hamar?
There are various reasons for this. One is that the town inhabits a university college, with several courses for game production. The town itself has also been focusing on building and supporting technology businesses. Politicians have been more inclined to include game developers in projects, analyses, and make video games a part of their agenda. All of this comes together to make Hamar a very nice place for a game collective.
Several of the companies in Hamar Game Collective have also been part of incubators and received help with business development and other necessary aspects of getting a company up and running.
What does Hamar Game Collective do?
HGC is not just a collective, we also arrange several events, like game jams and our very own Testbonanza. Global Game Jam Hamar was in 2016 the 16th biggest jam site in the world, all arranged by the collective! HGC has also, together with Framverk, made a new tradition with Splash, a game jam taking place on a cruise ship travelling along the Norwegian coast! Splash was first arranged in 2016 and was a huge success. You can read about it on Eurogamer! We are looking forward to doing it again in 2017! A game jam is a time-limited arrangement where people get together and make something somewhat functional. Or fully functional. No pressure.
And what is a Testbonanza you may ask? As most game developers know, testing is critical for a well-working game (or anything working really). At the Testbonanza, everyone can join in and show a prototype, a build, or a finished game and get feedback from a lot of different people. This helps developers test their projects more often, with a varied range of people in an informal setting, and get immediate feedback.
Here in Norway we also have a great game collective in Bergen, and there have been movements in Oslo to set up a collective, so maybe there’ll be one there as well in the future.
Are you part of a game collective? Does your collective have any special events?