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Chapter Spotlight: IGDA Switzerland

9 Jan 2019

IGDA Switzerland

The size of Switzerland’s game development industry is comparable to some of IGDA Finland’s hubs! It’s small scale has the benefit of fostering a strong community spirit that can be felt at local and overseas events. Another contributing factor to the tight-knit community is that the majority of Swiss studios are small to medium-sized indies that are mainly concentrated in Zurich, Lausanne and Geneva. Notable names include GIANTS SoftwareTourmaline StudioapelabStray Fawn StudioPlayablesDisney ResearchArtanimCtrlMovie and Okomotive.

The IGDA Switzerland Chapter regularly supports the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia, and increasingly collaborates with the Swiss Game Developers Association (SGDA). The team’s contributions to the IGDA and local Swiss scene have included the Business Sustainability Guidelines white paper (PDF); the establishment of processes to assist Swiss developers with cases of harassment, discrimination and business malpractice; workshops on game design, production, pitching and publishing; and the development of a “micro-conference” format that hosts international special guests participating remotely alongside local developers around topical themes that have included death and consequence, empathy and diversity, and LGBQT characters in game design.

The latter, micro-conference format, is similar in spirit to the IGDA’s Mentor Cafés. The inspiration that such events generate is invaluable—enabling participants to connect with industry veterans while overcoming accessibility issues, since Switzerland is located somewhat aside from game studio hotspots like the UK, France and US. We’re honored to have remotely hosted the likes of Masaya Matsuura (PaRappa the Rapper, et al.), Jenova Chen and Mike Laidlaw.

Our main social media channels are Facebook and Twitter. Twitter is perhaps the best place to check in on what’s going on countrywide, since everybody uses the #swissgames hashtag to share their events, activities and successes. If you happen to be in the vicinity of Zurich towards the end of January then please be sure to attend Ludicious Zurich Game Festival (31 January to 3 February, 2019), which will feature talks by Richard Lemarchand, Anita Sarkeesian and Robin Hunicke, among many others, as well as an official IGDA party. Ludicious has kindly given IGDA members a 15% discount. Visit the IGDA member benefits details page (requires log in) to access discount information.

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