cgd sMALL GROUPS
What are CGD Small Groups?
A CGD small group is up to five people meeting once or twice a month whose purpose is:
Encouragement: Celebrating each bit of progress each member makes throughout the year
Support: Providing feedback, insight, or direct support from members
Accountability: Expecting each member to show up, show off their progress, and keep up with the homework
Prayer: Share prayers and praises, whether game development-related or otherwise
Growth: Reading books and watching videos that provide knowledge, insight, motivation, and practical help that will help you become better in your game development journey
Small groups are open to all game-related disciplines, such as developers, artists, musicians, and writers, as well as circumstances, whether you’re just getting started, actively working on your own indie project, or freelancing or employed at a game development company.
The small group season begins enrollment in July, then runs from September to June.
Why Should I Join a CGD Small Group?
The Christian Game Developers Conference is an amazing experience, enabling you to meet an fellowship with other Christians in the game industry and be equipped and gain new perspectives from a variety of talks. However, being three days once a year, it is a mountain top experience; when you go back home, you will more than likely need something more to maintain your excitement and motivation as life will make sure you get as little done as possible. There are also CGD Facebook groups, forums, and Discord channels, which are great places to be a part of a Christian game developer community throughout the year, though it can be hard to create deeper connections with others from those sources alone.
Enter CGD small groups. These groups are tailored towards helping you build meaningful relationships with other Christians in the game industry and sustainably make progress and grow in your game development journey.
“From being in the small group, it pushed me to take a fledgling idea to a tangible and playable state in less than a year. It made me want to have something to show even if it was a small change. Then going from having no believers in my life in this industry to having a group that I can bounce ideas off of and pray with makes a huge difference going forward.”
What is Expected of a CGD Small Group Member?
The CGD small group is designed for developers, artists, musicians, writers, and others working on a game-related project they plan to release publicly, and so each member will set goals at the beginning of the season and is expected to make progress steadily towards them between meetings. If you are a freelancer or employee at a game development company and don’t have your own project, your goals can be focused on how you can perform with excellence in the company’s project you are working on beyond meeting expectations. Also, each meeting small group members will discuss a book or video from the curriculum that aims to help them grow as they progress in their game development journey, and so it is expected that each member has read or watched the homework so that they can discuss what they learned with the group. Because of this, small groups are more like college study groups than social clubs. If someone is not working towards their goals or doing the homework between each meeting, they are not able to contribute to the group beyond unfounded options; they are a “tour guide to a place they’ve never been.” This means that expectations are set high, but that is only so that the impact that a small group can make in your game development journey can be just as high.
However, is not important is where you are in the creative process, whether you’re ramping up to release, deep in production, still in pre-production putting the plan together, or starting from scratch, and it is not expected that you complete your project by the end of the year, just that you try to achieve the goals you set at the beginning of the year for the project. Also, previous game-related experience is not necessary; the CGD 101 curriculum is designed with first-timers in mind!
Interested in Leading a CGD Small Group?
Leading a CGD small group is a very fulfilling experience, and is easier than you may think. As a small group leader, you do not have to teach the other members; the curriculum is designed to be the source of knowledge for each group. Instead, the primary responsibilities for a small group leader are to:
Clearly set the expectation that are common across all small groups
Model meeting the expectations
Hold others accountable to meeting the expectations to maintain the integrity of the group
Facilitate the discussions each meeting
Nurture an environment where small group members can connect and feel included
In most ways, you will be participating in the small group experience just as much as the other members! If you would like more information about leading a CGD small group, send an email with your questions to matthew.j.colon -at- gmail -dot- com.