Buffalo Game Space features a collection of artists, writers, musicians, coders and other creative people who want to pursue careers in the multi-billion dollar video game industry
Since its debut in 2014, Buffalo Game Space has opened its doors to artists, coders, writers, musicians, basically anyone creative who might be interested in creating their own video games.
Four years later, their space in the Buffalo Tri-Main Development Center is establishing itself as a hub for all of Western New York’s most creative people.
“The [gaming] the community succeeds when everyone involved succeeds,” said Chris Langford, Vice Chairman of the Buffalo Game Space Board of Directors. “So it’s beneficial to the community as a whole if more people interested in this subject come to meet others who are willing to teach it and share their experience and expertise.”
And the industry itself is booming at a record pace.
A SuperData report shows that 2017 marked a massive $108 billion revenue year for global video games, so the market is ripe for opportunity.
Just ask local Buffalo designer and cartoonist TJ Cordes, all you need is that first step through the door.
“I didn’t realize there was this kind of community of people making games that I heard about,” Cordes said.
2018 marked the second year that Cordes participated in the Global Game Jam, but it was his first year that really gave him a boost.
“To be honest, I got this new job that kind of broke me creatively,” Cordes said. “I had a bunch of these tiny little projects, and I just put them aside for a while.”
The Game Jam, however, forced Cordes and his fellow designers to work within a 48-hour window; Sometimes it’s restrictions like this, says Langford, that force the creative process to actually finish something.
“New product they’ve come up with, new portfolio items that they can actually walk away with and say, ‘Hey, I did that thing,'” Cordes laughed. show it to their family, they can show it to their colleagues or potential employers.”
Now, Cordes has tackled games that were once on the shelf. (And if you want to play any of them yourself, here’s the link!)
And he’s just one of dozens and dozens of people who consider Buffalo Game Space part of their creative process.
“It’s very exciting to see people who wouldn’t normally come to this stuff, or people we’ve never met before come meet us,” Langford said at the end of the 2018 Global Game Jam. We’re always looking for new people to introduce to the media, and people who are excited about making games that we’re excited to meet and encourage them to make more stuff.”
If you’d like to give Buffalo Game Space a shot, the next group meeting will be February 1 at 7:00 p.m. at the Tri Main Building, Suite #454; after that, they continue to meet every other Thursday.