COVID-19 Resources

The effects of COVID-19 evolve by the hour, and the health and well-being of our members, partners, and game developers everywhere is the IGDA’s top priority. As a leader in the game industry, we are working hard to support developers and studios in these uncertain times.

We have created this page to host all of the more relevant information and resources to game developers working to navigate the sudden changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. These include recommendations, advice, health resources, and financial relief. 

Game Development Crisis Conference

IGDA and Take This are partnering to host an online webinar series and conference focused around equipping game developers and studio leadership with the knowledge and tools they need to sustain successful development in times of crisis. It will include talks and panels dedicated to skills and tools for working from home, studio leadership in times of change, and mental health considerations and resources for game developers. 

Webinars will focus on self-care considerations and personal management. The conference will focus on technical tools for continuing development under stress and change, leadership and management of teams during crises, and ongoing coping tools for long-term isolation.

The Game Development Crisis Conference and webinars will be hosted on Twitch and be free for all to watch. All talks will be later available on YouTube. 

Date:
Webinars launch: April 2nd, 2020 and are hosted every Thursday until May 14th

Conference: May 14th, 2020

Location: https://www.twitch.tv/igda 

Language: English

Donations: All donations received during the event’s stream will be given to Take This to support gamers and game developers in this time of mental crisis. 

Sponsorships: IGDA and Take This are offering sponsorship packages for the Game Development During Crisis Conference to support the event and our own missions to help game developers. If you are interesting in sponsoring this event or one of the webinars, please contact us. This is a great opportunity to connect with decision makers and others within in the industry, all while supporting game developers and our industry during this crisis. 

May 14th – Game Development Crisis Conference

Location: https://www.twitch.tv/igda 

Language: English 

Date:
May 14th, 2020, 9am-4pm PDT / 12-7pm ET / 4-11pm GMT

Keynote

9-10am PDT / 12-1pm ET / 4-5pm GMT

Featuring:
Eve Crevoshay, Executive Director, Take This
Renee Gittins, Executive Director, IGDA

The Good of Games

10-11am PDT / 1-2pm ET / 5-6pm GMT

Featuring:
Arana Shapiro, Managing Director, Games for Change
Dr. Rachel Kowert, Research Director, Take This
Hans ten Cate, Ambassador, Game2Give
Travis Eriksen, Executive Director, Child’s Play
Kelli Dunlap, Program Manager, Take This

Current Network Environment & Gaming Future Vision

11am-12pm PDT / 2-3pm ET / 6-7pm GMT

Featuring:
Steve Glennon, Distinguished Technologist, CableLabs
Dean Avgiris, Senior Director Strategy and Planning, Comcast
Asher Kagan, Co-Founder, Blade
Sandesh Mouli, Founder, Vistara Growth Partners

Good Community Design for Crisis Periods

12-1pm PDT / 3-4pm ET / 7-8pm GMT

Featuring:
Rodrigo Tamellini, CEO, GamerSafer
Rich Weil, Senior Vice President, Global Operations, ModSquad
Ziba Scott, Founder, Popcannibal
Raffael “Dr. B” Boccamazzo, Clinical Director, Take This

Expats in Isolation

1-2pm PDT / 4-5pm ET / 8-9pm GMT

Featuring:
Milena Koljensic, Marketing & Business Development in Games
Tara Brannigan, Director of Community & Player Support, Behaviour Interactive
Nikita Zatsepin, Global Business Development, Unity
Eve Crevoshay, Executive Director, Take This

Mitigation Strategies for Technical Challenges

2-3pm PDT /5-6pm ET / 9-10pm GMT

Featuring:
Dr. Kimberly Voll, Co-Founder, Stray Bombay
Andy Moore, Lead Techromancer, absurd:joy
Renee Gittins, Executive Director, IGDA

Inclusive LiveOps

3-4pm PDT / 6-7pm ET / 10-11pm GMT

Featuring:
James Gwertzman, GM, PlayFab

Closing Words

4pm PDT / 7pm ET / 10pm GMT

Featuring:
Eve Crevoshay, Executive Director, Take This
Renee Gittins, Executive Director, IGDA

Game Development Crisis Webinar Series

Self Care 101

Participants:
Raffael “Dr. B” Boccamazzo, Clinical Director, Take This
Renee Gittins, Executive Director, IGDA
Kelsey Wesley, Diversity, Inclusion & Learning Lead, Bungie
Pat Kemp, Game Designer, Spry Fox
Moderator: Eve Crevoshay, Executive Director, Take This

Maintaining Good Studio Culture & Empathy

Participants:
Justin Britch, Head of Development, Obsidian Entertainment
Joshua Howard, Executive Producer, Turn 10 Studios
Moderator: Eve Crevoshay, Executive Director, Take This

Online Moderation & Crisis Community Support

Participants:
Victoria Tran, Communications Director, Kitfox Games
Rubi Bayer, Content Marketing Manager, ArenaNet
Linda “Brasse” Carlson, Owner, Mythos CEX
Moderator: Raffael “Dr. B” Boccamazzo, Clinical Director, Take This

Technical Solutions for Remote Development

Participants:
John Comes, Design Director, Utopos Games
Kris Kwilas, Operations Engineer, Oxide Games
Moderator: Renee Gittins, Executive Director, IGDA

Communication Skills in the Studio and Remotely

Participants:
Cherry Thompson, Accessibility Project Manager, Ubisoft
Kareem Shuman, Technical Dialogue Designer, Bungie
Katie Golden, Senior Producer, Turn 10
Sarah Spiers, Producer, Filament Games
Holly Harrison, Communications and Marketing Specialist

Supporting Remote Teams at Small Studios

Participants:
Eve Crevoshay, Executive Director, Take This
Chandana Ekanayake, Creative Director, Outerloop Games
John Krajewski, CEO, Strange Loop Games

Personal Health and Safety

Your personal health and safety, and that of your family, should be your top priority during this time. Follow all recommendations of your local government and health organizations, and take extra precautions with high-risk people. Consider both physical and mental health in your evaluations. 

Working from Home

Many studios and developers have chosen to move to working from home to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. This can be a sudden change to those not used to working from home and may have detrimental effects if not handled with care. The IGDA recommends the following approaches to improve quality of life and work when working from home: 

  1. Maintain a regular work schedule – While working from home allows for greater flexibility in hours worked, keeping a consistent schedule helps separate work time from home time
  2. Work in a separate space – If possible designate an area for work separate from the area you would relax or sleep within your home, this will also help separate work from relaxation and rest 
  3. Observe normal workday habits – While you may be able to work in your pajamas all day when working from home, maintaining your regular routine will help you get into a more productive mode– shower, get dressed, eat your breakfast, and observe your normal practices before starting your workday 
  4. Focus on clear communication – Many subtleties are fleshed out more easily in-person than online. Ensure all tasks, decisions, and other communications are both clearly stated and fully understood. 
  5. Socialize – Offices have countless small social interactions. When working from home, you may need more social interactions to maintain a good mental state. These can be achieved during work hours through casual, chat-based communications with coworkers or even allowing small-talk at the start or end of meetings. Additionally, look to add more social interactions outside of work as well, whether that is spending more quality time with your family or playing more online games with friends. You can also talk with other developers in the IGDA Discord ( https://discord.gg/igda ). 
  6. Support good habits – In times of stress, people are likely to fall behind on good habits such as eating well, exercising, and self-care. However, these are all extremely important during times of high stress and change. Your mental health can be negatively affected by poor diet, lack of exercise, and lack of recovery time. Try to maintain or add to these good habits. 

Game Developer Meet-Ups

With the spread of COVID-19, many game development community leaders are wondering whether or not to host their regular conferences, events, and meet-ups. The IGDA recommends that you listen to the advice of your local government and health organizations and use your best judgement when deciding whether or not to run in-person events. 

We also want to highlight the IGDA Twitch channel (  https://www.twitch.tv/igda ) which runs regular webinars and hosts IGDA Chapter and SIG streams. If you decide to move your events online, you can reach out to our social team ( social@igda.org ) to have your Twitch stream hosted on the IGDA main Twitch channel or directly streaming to our Twitch account.  

Please stay safe and make the best choices for yourselves and your community. 

Additional Resources

IGDA Resources

Government and Health Organization Resources

Financial Support 

General 

Europe

United States

Professional Advice

Businesses

Freelancers 

Individual Developers 

If you have any further resources or recommendations to add to this page, please Contact Us about them.