2016 is the year for Galway games development

Keith Killilea

Keith Killilea

The Galway games community is raring to go, and garnering support from every corner - large corporates, to local founders. It’s an incredible time to be around this community, and this week, Steven Kelly gave me some background into the work that’s coming to the fore this year.

SK — Each day when talking to people about the Galway Game development scene I'm met with either of two responses

a ). “Galway has a game dev community?” or

b ). “Oh yeah, I was aware there were a few around alright, but I didn't realise there were quite so many!”.

As a Galway-based developer myself this has always come as something of a surprise to me that people feel this way, I have always considered the scene to be fairly visible, though I say this as an insider looking out. The fact is, there is a sizeable and growing community in Galway and with colleges like Pulse College and GTI offering Game Development Courses as a staple of their prospecti, the number of local developers is set to soar even further this year and with it, the community as a whole.

However, the question of visibility remains “How visible are we as a group?” and with that, how can we make ourselves and our efforts more known? I believe that with awesome games such as T.E.R.R.A. from Starcave Entertainment and Boxman Begins by Peripheral Labs (to name only two ) set to come out of Galway, it's time to make some noise about the talent that this city has to offer.

As Keith Killilea, (CEO of Starcave Entertainment ) stated at a recent game development panel:“If you look at PC/console developers and ask “Why are they not here?” well, they're not here because they can't see the skill set; there's no spotlight and that's where the community like this, and what we're doing, trying to support and get more teams up and running, helps that!

”2015 saw Galway's gamedev scene grow steadily and bubble up from the surface, with game developers like ourselves, Howling Hamster demo-ing for the very first time at events such as Synapse Galway held in NUIG last September. The atmosphere at these events has always been fantastic, allowing developers to demo their games to the public and sense, first hand, the enthusiasm people can have for what they are doing; taking from this a greater motivation to succeed.

I speak from experience when I say that such events are invaluable to a game developer as it is often hard, at first when working alone (as a team or individual ) whether anyone will like or have interest in what you are working on. Last year saw some more excellent game developers join the community and with it shed some extra light on the level of talent and skill that's coming from Galway, but this was just the jumping off point to where the local scene is heading.

With some very solid foundations being laid in 2015 and early 2016, Galway is set to see some exciting movements towards being Ireland's gaming capital. All this being said, this can only be achieved through a strong community effort and through fellow devs coming together and making it happen.

The stage is now set in 2016 for some interesting developments in the local scene and all going well, there may be one or two promising announcements in the coming months. In addition to all of this there is an expo of all things Galway games set to take place at the end of April, the details of which will be posted on galwaygames.comin the coming weeks.

They are well on the road to finalising the plans of the games hub. A physical space where we can tour and learn and help the games community. This will lay some strong foundations for further growth of each of the companies. A meeting is taking place in McSwiggans, on April 1 at 7pm, if you’re up for being a part of something great, come along.

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