Game developers across the Valley will have a new place to meet up and get productive when GameCoLab opens next month in downtown Phoenix.
Co-founders Ben Reichert and Joseph Darnell have designed GameCoLab as a co-working space for game developers that will foster inspiration and innovative ideas by giving programmers a new, refreshing work environment.
"Do your sleeping and relaxing at home," Reichert says, "but come out to a place where you can be productive with your work."
More than 200 people have signed up for e-mail updates on the project at Gamecolab.org, and the first official member paid his membership fees last week.
Reichert said GameCoLab should open in early May at Levine Machine, a renovated warehouse on Grant Street. He envisions it appealing to anyone involved in game design, including programmers, artists, marketing personnel, and more.
There's a surprising number of game developers in the area, Reichert said, and he and Darnell decided to offer a place for them to get together, network and program collaboratively.
"They're coming out of the woodwork," Reichert says.
GameCoLab will offer multiple membership tiers, including a top tier that will allow access into the building at any time of day. As it grows, GameCoLab founders plan to offer events, exhibitions, and workshops for both members and the general public.
GameCoLab won't supply computers at first, but Reichert says in most cases developers would prefer to bring their own anyway. He added that the company is in talks with a studio to set up some in-house computers in the future.
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Reichert says he wants GameCoLab to become a community staple in the area and draw a diverse membership from across the Valley.
"This isn't just for people making games," he says. "Anyone interested in gaming is welcome here."