Does this club meet in-person?
We used to meet weekly in Beverly Hills. Now that many of our active members are around the world we've adjusted our club's weekly official update meetings to instead take place entirely online.
How is this not just a meetup or forum?
Meetups and most gamedev forums are about people catching up on their outside projects. The focus here is on games started within the club, developed by people who met through the club, and (in part) promoted by the club upon release.
How is this different from a game jam?
These projects span over a longer period of time, 1-5 months. Contributions are spread over the project's cycle – not while at update meetings – in small, cumulative efforts toward weekly goals, instead of being crammed into 48 sleepless hours as we see in jams. This makes our game development practice a sustainable activity year-round.
What's the time commitment?
The time needed per member is totally flexible. Project leads typically put in 1-2 evenings per week to keep the game they're leading progressing steadily along, but among contributors time involvement varies considerably.
There's never pressure to take on more than someone's comfortable with. We understand that family, classes, and career take priority. Learn and practice at the pace you're comfortable with.
Do I need to live in Los Angeles?
Not at all. That was the case for our first few months, but now many of our project leads and collaborators are around the world. You can live virtually anywhere and participate. We've had club members collaborate on projects from 13 time zones.
Our weekly meetings now happen live online as group video chat. Collaboration between update meetings takes place on our club Slack forum, Github, and other online tools like Trello, Dropbox, Hangouts, and Skype.
What if I don't know how to make games?
As long as you're willing to learn and get involved we'll help you learn as you go. You don't have to be or become a programmer, either; many of our members contribute sounds, digital art, original music, levels, logos, and so on.
Can I be an "idea person" and have others make my game for me?
No, sorry, that's not what this is about. If you'd like to join in, we can help you pick up some basic practical skills so that you can lend a hand in bringing your ideas to life, too.
What if I want to make a type of game the club isn't currently developing?
As long as you have the skills to lead it and pull together the core of the gameplay, you can pitch and start a team to create whichever kind of game interests you. If you don't yet have all of the required skills to lead its development then it's also an option to Joint Pitch, where you can pair up with the club's founder or another willing member who can fill in the gaps then lead the project together.
Is it too late to join?
It's never too late to get involved! All game teams are flexible to new people joining on any given week. We frequently have new projects starting, and members get access to a video archive of all past meetings in case they wish to catch up on what's been happening.
Are the games sold?
No, all games produced in the club are non-commercial: no in-app purchases, no price tag, no integrated ads, and so on. This is important because the projects serve as a practice role for many people involved. Keeping the games non-commercial greatly lowers the barrier for involvement and keeps pressure down.
Who owns the rights to the work?
Members retain complete copyright to the intellectual property they produce (i.e. they are welcome to reuse, share, or even sell their specific contributed parts). We ask, for the good of peers, only two exceptions as a condition for membership: (1.) that once your work is included in a game released for free by the club you'll allow it to remain in that game, and will not attempt to interrupt the game's availability in the future, and (2.) that screenshots, videos, released download files, detailed description, and other depictions of projects you worked on in the club on may be used by peers or the club for portfolios and club promotional purposes without seeking your specific permission.
What if I'm already a professional?
Join us to get non-commercial side project ideas out of your system. Several of our members are professional game developers. This club is where they have a creative outlet to make smaller projects, take bigger chances, or go outside their expert skill areas.
Club participation empowers a level of creative freedom and total flexibility that can be extremely tough to find, even for someone working on a successful franchise or fully funded professional project. This is about bringing people together to practice skills we feel like practicing to develop games we feel like making.