Education was always a really big part of my life growing up, and its importance was reinforced in more than one way. Getting an education meant getting a chance at a better life, and my parents reinforced this belief through example. They laboured day and night to ensure their children, especially their daughters, stayed in school and they also encouraged us to give back to the community.
We launched Girls Make Games, a summer camp for teaching girls game development and offering them a home to express their shared love of playing and creating video games, and often the only place for some of the girls to feel like they’re not the only one.
We just wrapped up our 4th and biggest summer season. There were camps all over the country vying for a spot in Demo Day, an event that marks the culmination of GMG’s summer program.
Demo Day brought the top five teams from across the country together at PlayStation’s headquarters in San Mateo, California, to present their demos to a panel of industry leaders: Shawn Layden, President of Sony Interactive Entertainment America and Chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios; AJ Mendez, New York Times bestselling author and former wrestling champion; Maria Essig, Business Development with Google VR/AR; Tim Schafer, founder and CEO of Double Fine Productions; and Katie Stone Perez, Principal Program Management Lead for Xbox.
While at Demo Day each team would present and compete for the Grand Prize – having their game developed professionally and published!
This year’s Grand Prize winning team? Team Invenio with their original game, Find Me. In this artistically impressive game, a shadow gets separated from the person it belongs to and, through a series of puzzles and platform levels, begins the journey through a haunting cityscape to find its home alongside its human where it feels safe.
After the inspiring events of Demo Day, I got the chance to speak with Team Invenio about their original game, Find Me, and what it was like being surrounded by girls with a passion for games.
How was it collaborating with your team on Find Me?
What inspired you to create Find Me?
Team Invenio: “We came up with the idea after receiving a writing prompt in our camp journal, which was ‘Create a game where nobody dies’. That’s where the idea for the shadows came from!
“The whole team really liked that idea so we built off of it from there. Light is really interesting and there’s a lot you can do with it so it wasn’t hard. Then we started to figure out what the themes of our game were going to be as it was coming together, the main themes being loss of self, and the importance of things that go unnoticed.”
What did you enjoy the most about your experience with Girls Make Games?
Three years ago when I founded Girls Make Games I couldn’t have imagined spending an afternoon at PlayStation inspiring young girls to enter the field of game design by showcasing their own original games, and yet that’s exactly what we did and it’s just the beginning.
We will continue to provide girls a welcomed home to further their passion for gaming, inspire the next generation of great game designers, and show the world that girls make games!