A Collaborative Effort: Fargo Game Makers Talk About Making Masterpieces
FARGO, N.D. – The next Fortnite, Minecraft, or Call of Duty may come from this group of game developers, and they are right here in Fargo.
They meet once a month at Replay Games, in the basement of the Exchange Building in Downtown Fargo.
Kyle Weik and a few of his friends started Fargo Game Makers nearly five years ago, and have helped members turn ideas into fully developed games that are ready to be put on the market.
“It’s really been great to see a lot of the great stories that have come out of this group in the last four-and-a-half years,” Beach Interactive owner Kyle Weik said.
The group started in 2014 with two intentions: to keep its creators accountable and to keep them motivated.
“We know how hard it is to make games, and we’re all trying to make games, and when we are doing it by ourselves, and we think we are alone and we don’t have that person to person connection, it can be really difficult to follow through,” Weik explained.
For Davin Loegering, the meetup has helped him to improve as a game developer. Davin started working on his game roughly around the same time that Fargo Game Maker’s started and now he is finally approaching the date for releasing his first board game: Imagine Majesty. It’s a strategy game inspired by tabletop games such as Risk and Axis and Allies.
The Fargo Game Maker Community has helped shape his game, and make improvements in areas that would decrease from the game’s entertainment value.
“There was a time when there was logarithms in the game, and nobody likes doing math,” game designer Davin Loegering said. “Talking to people out loud and seeing how people react to it, even if they don’t say anything, it really helps.”
Cassidy Schnase has been part of the Fargo Game Maker’s almost as long as Davin, and can trace the foundation of his arcade, Replay Games, to a meetup.
“I knew exactly where I was going to pitch the idea, being a long time member of the Game Makers,” Replay Games owner Cassidy Schnase said. “I was able to write up a business plan, do the research, and present it to the game makers, and was able to get some good feedback.”
His goal has always been to build a stronger and more inclusive gaming community in Fargo.
Hosting the meetups for this group of game developers is one way he feels he can accomplish that goal
“Funneling that community idea is how can we engage the community, educate the community, and we can connect the community,” Schnase said.”You know It’s interesting to see random people that will show up that say ‘Hey, I’m interested in games, this is what I’ve worked on.’, and we get all walks of life.”
Over the last four and a half years, members of the group have created some truly unique and amazing projects, from virtual reality firefighting games, to a brand new game for the old-school NES.
And if you’re brand new to game making…
“All you have to do is really believe you can do it. Come to this meetup, talk to these people. These are people that are walking around Fargo, that are from Fargo, born and raised, and they are making games, opening shops, and teaching kids how to code and create their own games,” Weik said.
Regardless of experience or skill, the Fargo Game Makers will certainly be able to help, as long as you’re willing to talk
The group doesn’t have any membership fees, or any entrance requirements; all they ask is that you come ready to talk.
For more information on Replay Games, click here.
For more information on Beach Interactive, click here
For more information on Imagine Majesty, click here