Hi there, Ian here, currently Chair of Games Wales.

A little history…

Five years ago I helped to kick off a gathering of games developers in a pub in Cardiff. There were eight of us then – now there are regularly 40 or more every month in Cardiff, meetups in Swansea and Wrexham, packed out lectures, game jams and all sorts of other things.

Not long after, a group of companies and organisations interested in the development of the games industry in Wales started to get together to talk about things – to share information, to try and provoke more interest in the industry, and to generally encourage and push for more awareness of the industry in Wales. This was led by Hannah Raybould as Chair.

Around the same time, GamesLab held its Game Development Showcase, and through the good work of Dai Banner and Richard Pring (who later formed Wales Interactive) and their volunteers that turned into the Wales Games Development Show that is now in its fifth year.

All three of those things are now under the banner of Games Wales and this website. We’ve laid out the mission pretty plainly – to do all we can to champion game development in Wales.

The Group

Almost everyone involved in the group is a volunteer, giving up their time to get involved in meetings and running events for free. We only have one permanent paid member of staff – an admin assistant, who works 16 hours a month. We hire a bit more help for the yearly games show, thanks to the Welsh Government, who’ve been backing the show all the way. But, fundamentally, Games Wales is a collaboration of people doing what they can in their spare time. As anyone who’s attended one of our games shows will attest, there’s a hive of activity where there was virtually nothing only a few years ago. Of course the group can’t and won’t take all the credit for that, but I’m strongly of the opinion that without the community of developers that’s grown up here though the social meetups, the games show, the social media forums, the lectures, we’d be in a very different place right now. And that’s thanks to universities, companies, organisations, individual volunteers and everyone else who pitches in to help out.

The Chair

Unfortunately, I’ve now run out of hours in the day. I no longer feel that I have enough time to do the role of Chair justice. There’s lots of things that Games Wales should be doing, and at the moment my own company and my own private life need to come first. The group deserves someone in place who can push the agenda forward. I intend to step down at the start of March 2016.

I’m also well aware that I’ve not been good at delegation; finding the time to delegate being part of the issue. So we’ve undergone a process of identifying exactly what Games Wales is doing right now, we’ve broken that into roles and activities, and are asking for help. Your help. Everyone’s help. We’d like anyone who feels they can help to take on some of those activities, so that everyone is giving a little bit of time, rather than a small number of people giving lots of time. It’s the only sensible way to push things forward.

Can you help?

Immediately, we’re looking for:
– A Chair for the group to take over from me. This will be for a year.
– A new (paid) admin assistant to work 16 hours a month. Sarah Millman has been in the role for more than a year and has taken a lot of the weight, particularly around last year’s show – sadly for us but happily for her, her freelance career has taken off and she’s now too busy to help us out.
– Someone to help coordinate and distribute Welsh industry information via our newsletters and social media.

But we’re also looking for help with any of the other things we do. Please take a look at the Roles & Activity page to see if you can help out with anything else!

So long…

It’s been an amazing few years, and I’m sorry I can’t continue – but it needs someone who can do the role justice.

Thanks for everything, and see you at the social meetups,