New indie space in Seattle pic.twitter.com/HaSg21pHpe
— Christopher Figueroa (@kinifi) March 27, 2017
Christopher Floyd views Seattle as the “sort of” video game capital of the U.S. — it’s got to be ranked high anyway, he said. But he was surprised how disconnected the video game community was, and decided to do something about it.
This past weekend, Floyd’s game industry-focused coworking space, Indies Workshop moved onto Capitol Hill after a year in SoDo.
In October, Indies Workshop’s landlords in SoDo wanted to hike Floyd’s rent, and after having renovated the space, Floyd wasn’t OK with that. He was deciding whether or not to step away from Indies Workshop, currently a passion project he doesn’t make a profit from. His “real job” is getting developers together and helping them show their games at conventions.
Serendipitously, John Krajewski, with Strange Loop Games, contacted Floyd about a space above E Pike at Broadway coming available.
“It was just such a great opportunity that it seemed crazy to let it die,” Floyd said.
To make the move to the more expensive Capitol Hill location possible, Floyd partnered with Krajewski and Dan Dixon, with Giant Army. Dixon is the only one from his international team that works out of the space, while about 80% of Krajewski’s team members work there. Fourteen different studios are represented at Indies Workshop and make use of each other’s brains and experiences from time-to-time.
“Having people being able to collaborate and connect and hash stuff out together is good,” Floyd said, pointing to one member who enlisted a developer with a design background from another studio to improve the visuals of a game as an example.
While the SoDo location was about four times bigger than the Capitol Hill space, it wasn’t been Floyd’s first choice for a location and he said it was difficult to get people down there, so the move has been mostly positive.
“I feel like Capitol Hill really kind of matches the vibe of indie games,” Krajewski said.
More than half of Indies Workshop members were Capitol Hill residents before the move. While Indies Workshop has a few Eastside members who are uncertain about the move due to a lack of parking, Floyd said he received a flood of emails from potential new members after announcing the move about a month ago. Don’t worry, there’s still more space for interested developers and designers.
The partners said they might hold events for members and the community in the future, but haven’t yet decided the details of any potential events.
Meanwhile, The Riveter, a coworking space focused on women and wellness, is coming to Capitol Hill and has plans to open multiple locations on the West Coast. Maybe a trend of coworking spaces aimed at specific groups is emerging.
Floyd’s plans for Indies Workshop aren’t quite as ambitious. A “pie-in-the-sky goal” for Floyd is to fill the building with people from the gaming industry, not necessarily all under the Indies Workshop’s umbrella, though.
Indies Workshop is located at 911 E Pike. You can learn more at indiesworkshop.com.