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.
Webinars launch: April 2nd, 2020 and are hosted every Thursday until May 14th
Conference: May 14th, 2020
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.
Upcoming Webinar: Self-Care 101
April 2nd, 2020, 1-2pm ET / 5-6pm GMT
Dr. B, 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
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:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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 ).
- 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 ( firstname.lastname@example.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.
Government and Health Organization Resources
- World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Coverage
- European Commission Coronavirus Response
- USA Government Response to COVID-19
- CDC COVID-19 Information
- Bundesministerium für Gesundheit – Coronavirus
- Puget Sound COVID-19 Response Fund
- Rauschenberg Emergency Grants
- NYC HRA Cash Assistance
- NC Artist Relief Fund
- NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
- Coping with COVID-19 Workshop
- How To Prepare a Coronavirus Policy for Your Games Business
- Department of Play” How We Make Remote Working Work
- Take This Mental Health Resources and Tools
- Zippa – How the American Worker Can Survive Financially During the Next Three Months
- Handling the GDC Announcement
- 8 Tips to Make Working from Home Work for You
If you have any further resources or recommendations to add to this page, please Contact Us about them.