Today is the one year anniversary since we publicly launched Weird Ghosts! We can hardly believe how much has happened in just one year.
Over this last year, we’ve funded eleven studios across five provinces (BC, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Québec). Nine received the Baby Ghosts grant and two were invested in using our Shared Earnings model. You can read more about each of the studios on our studio page.
Every team we’ve funded has also received mentorship and studio development support from our partner, Gamma Space. This includes weekly community check-ins, tech support, studio structure coaching, connections to legal and accounting professionals, and other topic-specific mentorship on anything from time management to navigating a work/life balance.
With funding and mentorship, the studios have been working hard to establish their own unique structures and workflows while also developing their projects. They’ve also all been implementing social impact into the core of their teams.
Here’s just some of the impact they’ve had so far:
- Nate Tannis, founder of VIVIDBLUE LTD., spoke about his game Duskwitch and afrofuturism at the 2022 Game Devs of Color Expo
- Montréal based worker cooperative Lucid Tales won excellence in diversity, equity and inclusion at MEGAMIGS 2022 and launched their Kickstarter for their game Sally
- Studio Something We Love is also operating as a worker cooperative as they prepare a demo for their unannounced game
- Kai Little-White from BP Solarpunk Media gave a talk on representation and inclusion for the Reelworld Screen Institute
- daffodil from daffodil & friends is talking on a panel about making impactful games at the Games in Action conference as they work on their game STREET UNI X
- Samantha Ramsay from Cheekynauts was covered by the Regina Leader-Post
- Flying Carpets has their Steam page up for their Madagascar-based survival horror game
- Apocablyss hosted a studio launch event with poetry and live music focused on the theme of “finding bliss in the apocalypse”
- Ontario-based studio Something Magic is building Magic Labs, their program for diverse storytellers (queer, Trans, IBPOC, and neurodivergent artists) to explore and create new works in VR
- Orion Digital Innovations & Creations is building their own strong studio base to provide access and resources for IBPOC in Canadian XR
- Toronto-based studio Rocket Adrift had the demo for their game Psychroma featured in Steam Next Fest. Not only is Psychroma a haunting and beautiful exploration of trauma, it also focuses on LGBTQIA+ and IBPOC characters
We’ve heard so many incredible stories over this last year, including so many people’s dreams for better futures in games. We’ve worked with our teams to try and make these dreams possible, including helping them create more accessible, inclusive, and sustainable work environments. We’ve collaborated with them to establish safety, health, and care into the foundations of their studios as early as possible so that they can continue these practices as they grow. We’ve seen them take measures to care for themselves instead of crunching and burning out and we’ve watched our community come together to support one another in this journey, challenging the competition so ingrained in the industry.
In the next year, we hope to continue this work and strengthen our own impact. We hope to reach more founders and studios from other provinces and territories and more remote locations across Canada. We plan to share more of our internal operations such as our values and decision-making processes through our blog, Twitter, and newly-established TikTok so others can learn from our model.
And of course we hope to keep funding teams and fostering the supportive and strong community of Weird Ghosts out there. Stay weird!