Networking - IRL and Online!
Where to connect and grow your professional and personal community in games - a growing resource written and curated by Jean Leggett @jeanleggett
Podcast Episodes of Games, Grit, and Gratitude related:
Ep 9 | Friend, Foe, or Schmo How to network and make friends
Ep 6 | Mentors Good. Hucksters Bad.
Ep 3 | Business branding and social media best practices for growing engagement
Social Media & Online Communities 1
Best practices 2
Harassment Support Resources 2
Sites to connect with others 2
Offline Connections 4
Best practices 4
Local Meetups 4
Mentor Programs 5
Social Media & Online Communities
Maybe you're following a bunch of game devs and it seems like they all know each other and you feel left out. It took me 3 years to develop friendships on Twitter with folks then I got to meetup with some of them in real life in the before times. Friendships take time. Friendliness isn't the same as friendship, unfortunately. Just because we have a desired state of connection with someone doesn't mean they share it back.
Whether platonic or romantic, expecting connection from people will lead to disappointment.Give people space. This was from conversations of women friends in particular with overly familiar people trying to flag their attention in an entitled way.
We may all exist on Twitter but how we connect with people isn't all the same. You are not entitled to a relationship with people just because you engage with their social media posts.
You are not guaranteed friendship just because they answered a dm or several.Friendship is ongoing understanding and when consent is revoked, back off.
1. Follow people you’re interested in online
2. Be kind!
3. Respect people’s pronouns (she/her; he/him; they/them; she/they; he/they)
4. Comment on others’ posts in a meaningful way, mindful of your attitude, biases (⅓ of your posts)
5. Share interesting articles, videos with a line or two as to why you think they’re worth looking at (⅓ of your posts)
6. Amplify other people’s posts (⅓ of your posts)
1. Be overly clingy or show signs of hero worship - it makes folks uncomfortable
2. Do not comment on people’s bodies.
3. Comment excessively on others’ social media posts
4. Use hateful language, spam or harass users
5. Post your confidential info (phone number, email) in public
6. Jump into conversations between Twitter users unless you understand the context of the conversation and their relationship (they may know each other, have a shorthand)
Harassment Support Resources
If you are being sexually harassed in the workplace, you can find some resources here: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2021-08-06-resources-for-victims-of-sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace
Sites to connect with others
Discord is popular among game developers for: building engaged communities for their games, connecting with each other, and attending online events. This is an incomplete list.
I’ve created a spreadsheet here
* Find developers local to you, get the info on regional events, grants, etc
* Professional development (jobs, industry specific)
* Dev Communities
There are LOTS of game dev-related groups on Facebook for audio, writers, devs, community, etc. Use the search function to find groups applicable to your needs!
* THIS IS NOT A DATING SITE.
* DO NOT spam people.
* If you add folks you don’t know, leave a meaningful message to the connection invite. Don’t take it personally if they don’t accept the request - some folks only add people they know.
* Follow companies you like, engage as though you are a professional!
Twitter is a great place to find indie and AAA devs just doing their thing. Some folks keep it professional, some like to s#itpost as they call it. You can find devs by searching folks who post on games-related hashtags or follow some cool folks in games and see who interacts with them.
* Career: #IndieGameJobs | #GameDevPaidMe
* Resources: #GameDevResources #GameDevResource
* Promotion: #ScreenshotSaturday | #IndieGame | #IndieGames | #IndieGameDev | #GameDev
* Community: | #IndieGame | #IndieGames | #IndieGameDev | #GameDev |
* Art: #VisibleWomen | #PixelArt | #VoxelArt
A lot of the same hashtags listed in the Twitter section can be used to find content on TikTok. You can be a lurker here - you don’t have to create an account or post content.
I’m not on Reddit much but you can find gamedev communities here. A quick search for
Indie Game Dev | Game Developers | Game Audio etc will help you find your people!
Fantastic online community for games professionals (your primary income comes from a game-development field). You need to apply to be vetted for admittance. Weekly Friday meetups plus active Discord. https://games.industrygathering.com/
* Attend events with a friend if possible
* Be tidy in your appearance - (yes, I am talking about personal hygiene - showered, hair combed, teeth brushed)
* Wear business casual clothes appropriate for games (this isn’t a zoom call where you can attend in person in jammies)
* Compliments could be a nice entry point BUT sometimes folks are uncomfortable with strangers commenting on their bodies. If you know their work, cool to say so
* Be genuine in asking about who they work for, what they’re working on
* Talk AT people. If they’ve gone silent and aren’t showing body language of being interested, they may be silently contemplating how to leave the conversation. Say thanks, nice to meet you, and find someone else who seems interested in chatting
* Comment on people’s bodies
* Drink excessively and get mouthy
* Shove business cards into people’s hands
* Walk up to strangers and bust into their conversation
Find local developers
Regional Dev Discords | Game Dev Map | MeetUp
GIBiz List | InGameJobs Events
What’s this whole mentoring thing? In a nutshell, you want to grow in your career and you’re looking for someone to provide feedback, growth, direction. Here’s a 45 minute talk (I know, it’s long but it’s worth it!) on the purpose of mentorship, how to go about getting one, and the red flags you should be aware of.
I’m familiar with and wholeheartedly endorse these incubator/mentorship organizations:
Code Coven* | website | twitter *I am an active mentor
Pixelles | website | twitter
Gameheads | website | twitter
LimitBreak | website | twitter
IGDA Foundation | website | twitter
I am not familiar with these:
Indie Game Business Discord https://twitter.com/BusinessIndie
The Bard Commune https://twitter.com/BardCommune