A junior at WVU, Conner Rush is the founder and sole permanent member of FYRE Games, an independent video game studio that specializes in narrative experiences. Starting in 2014 when Conner was roughly 12 years old, FYRE Games has found success in numerous games, including their contribution to the Dread X Collection 5 anthology with “We Never Left“, The interactive album companion of The Colossus Is Coming: The Interactive Experience, and most importantly the free-to-play hit walking simulator Summerland. With a dedicated fanbase and a mission to create a positive environment for both players and developers, Conner and FYRE Games show no signs of slowing down with a new horror-focused project currently in the works.
Mon River Games was founded in the Fall of 2021 by Heather Cole, a faculty member of West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media and the College of Creative Arts shared program- Game Design and Interactive Media. It is located in Monongalia County, West Virginia although many meetings are held remotely. Membership is composed of adult community members with a passion for game-making as well as students, faculty, and alumni from nearby universities. Its primary goals are to promote independent large group work, share and improve member knowledge in game design and development, and support travel opportunities to large game conferences.
It operates three sessions annually: Fall (August-November), Spring(January-April), and Summer (May-August). At the start of each session, a review of former projects is given along with ‘tasks’ that need to be accomplished on each. Then, members are invited to make a pitch for a game. Pitches are voted on and the best pitch that wins the vote is what is developed. Some sessions are highly productive with multiple short games produced, and others are more complex with a project that involves much additional learning by the group members. For these sessions, it’s likely to have only one prototype by the end of the session that can be picked up by future sessions.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the studio, then please come to an introductory/open pitch day at the start of one of the sessions. These are often announced about a month ahead of time. You can learn more about MonRiverGames at http://www.monrivergames.com/
I wanted to bring attention to two bundles full of games for different charities to support on the indie platform Itch.io.
The first is one to raise money to help during the war in Ukraine. 736 creators are offering up 998 table-top RPGs, computer games, music, game development tools, comics, books, and more for a donation as low as $10. The money raised will be split between International Medical Corps and Voices of Children.
Two days left to help them reach their goal of $6,000,000. They are already over $5 million.
The other one is smaller, with 493 items from 300 creators, but still a good cause. A fundraiser to fight for trans rights in Texas. Proceeds will be split between Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) and Organizacion Latina de Trans en Texas (OLTT). This one is all table-top RPGs. They have also partnered with Hit Point Press, Solarian Games, and Monte Cook Games where if you send them a screenshot of your reciept you get more games from them.
They are running 19 more days to raise $420,000.
Lots of great games in either bundle. Maybe something new that could be played at the con. Both good causes to support.