2019 was a year of change for the Let’s Make Games committee. Most of the Ordinary Committee and Executive are new to their selected roles, and we have had less than the usual amount of time to settle into those roles after 2018’s AGM took place just earlier this year. But with fresh new faces comes a fresh outlook on how the organisation should be managed, and I believe the committee has done an excellent job in the last 9 months defining how we want to move forward over the next 12.
In this report, I wanted to highlight to the community just what the Let’s Make Games Committee has been up to over the last few months, and other events in the game development space in WA to be aware of. This will be the start of ongoing reporting from the Committee for the benefit of informing the community of actions we’ve been taking in the past and what we’re planning in the future!
Perth Games Festival
Cancelling Perth Games Festival for 2019 was a difficult decision for the committee to make, and not a choice we took lightly. We were simply too far behind schedule with organisation and had not guaranteed enough in the way of sponsorships to be able to run the event without great financial risk to Let’s Make Games on the whole.
However, we are fully intending to run Perth Games Festival in 2020, and will spend the next 9 months we have available to us working to secure a location and gather sponsorships in order to run the sort of event the West Australian game development community really deserves.
As such right now there’s not a whole lot to report on, but we’ll be keeping everyone updated on how we’re progressing through the year.
Constitution & By-Laws
We’ve made substantial strides organisationally with the writing of an entirely new constitution and by-laws that I believe are a major step forward as an organisation. These act to provide guidance for committee and organisational members in line with Let’s Make Games’ core values, with clear and actionable responses to unacceptable behaviour. In the wake of conversations about abuse and harassment in the games industry in the past few months, it is our intent that these new rules will position Let’s Make Games as an entity better able to support the community through a far more enforceable code of conduct than we’ve had in the past.
The by-laws are a new addition to the Let’s Make Games constitutional structure, and their purpose is for rules not covered by the constitution that dictate how we operate in more specific ways, such as how we handle finances, what our code of conduct is, or how events are expected to be organised and run.
Advocacy & Purpose
As part of writing our new Constitution and By-Laws, we also set out to distill and define Let’s Make Games’ purpose. It has always been about providing value and benefit to the West Australian community through education, advocacy and community, but now we have a specific and concise description of this purpose.
In particular, we have always excelled at pulling the community together as an organisation. But with recent feedback we’ve received from government organisations, we need to do more to show that we are advocates and representatives of the local community. There’s a few ways we are working on improving this, and it forms part of our plan going into 2020. Namely:
- Improve our delivery of educational and informative content to the local community through an expansion of Let’s Talk Games, including an archive of recorded talks and improvement of the Resources page of the LMG website.
- Better communicate to government bodies and organisations what we do and who we are.
- Work on a rebranding for the organisation that better communicates our mission for discussion and approval at the next Annual General Meeting.
- Continue to support and signal boost community initiatives such as the Game Dev Meetup, Potluck, The Page, and Loading Space, and extend said support where at all possible.
- Investigate and propose changes to membership structure (if any) at the next Annual General Meeting.
At the Annual General Meeting last year, we had a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of changing the membership structure. The main reason this has become a discussion is due to the impression the local government seems to have that Let’s Make Games is not representative of the West Australian game development community at large.
As such, the clearest way to better show we are advocates for the broader game development community is by expanding our membership and encouraging membership to Let’s Make Games. At present, this is not something we tend to push on due to the implications on our ability to hold annual general meetings and keep a quorum (the minimum number of members required to be present for decision making to take place).
We are discussing multiple avenues for membership, and have formed a sub-committee for the investigation of membership matters to help inform the committee and current general members at the 2020 AGM, where a decision will be made whether or not we change our membership structure moving forward – and if so, how. I expect that we will be providing updates and sourcing feedback and submissions from the community to help inform this process.
We are currently in the process of organising the Global Game Jam for 2020, which you should hear news about very soon. Several ideas about increasing engagement and encouraging non-programmers to participate have been pitched that should make this year’s global game jam one to remember. Mark it on your calendars, as it takes place from the 31st of January through the 2nd of February.
Otherwise, expect more information and communication from the committee throughout 2020!
Good luck in the coming year, we will continue to keep you updated!
Chairperson, Let’s Make Games