FAQ — Game Incubator

Frequently asked questions

Questions about the Game Incubator
Questions about applications

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Questions about the Game Incubator:

What is the game incubator?
The game incubator is a free, eight-week workshop series designed to help twelve gender-marginalized people make their first game with the support of our coordinators, their peers and guest mentors. As of 2022, this is the 10th edition. More information on the Pixelles Game Incubator.

Isn’t it too difficult to make a game in just 8 weeks?
Don’t worry about that! As of 2022, it will be the 10th year of the Incubator, and all the participants that came before managed to achieve making a game in time. It is a completely possible goal, and you will be surrounded by mentors who will assist you and answer all your questions. It is most definitely a challenge, but you will succeed without a doubt!!

How much does this cost?
Other than your time, it’s free! You can choose to use paid tools, but rest assured that mentors and coordinators will also be able to recommend free game-making tools.

Do I need to have any programming, art, or sound skills?
No, but you should know how to use a computer (Mac or PC). If you have some experience with a content creation software, it would be useful to create and manipulate assets. However, if you don’t, mentors will be there to support you in learning these new tools.

What kind of game am I expected to make?
Each of the participants will be making their own individual games. You won’t be making the next Half-Life. You’ll be making a prototype of your game. To get an idea of what’s exactly feasible check out the games from previous incubators.

Will we be making our games in teams?
No, each participant will be making their own game. You will be able to support each other and you will also get some help from our mentors.

Does Pixelles own my game or make money off of it once the workshop is complete?
No, your game is 100% yours to do whatever you want with! This is not an incubator like you see trending in startups where there are investors and we take money if you decide to sell your game.

Do I need to have a computer?
Since you will be working on your game outside of our sessions, you will need a computer. If that is the only reason you could not participate, please still apply and let us know. We cannot guarantee we can find a computer to lend you, but we will try to help.

Do we need to pay for game engines or other tools? No, there are plenty of free tools available that will be more than sufficient for your needs in making your first game. We will help you choose the correct tool for the job!

What’s the difference between the Wednesday and Saturday sessions? During the Wednesday sessions, you will get to hear mentors’ presentations about the main game-making subjects. The Saturday sessions will be divided between hands-on workshops and work sessions. This will be the time to ask your questions specifically about your game.

Will I be able to get a job in the games industry after this? Well, really, that’s up to you! The incubator has been used as a stepping stone to a career in games before, however, it is not designed to be industry-focused or to have specific industry goals. Our mission is to help you teach yourself (among like people) how to make a whole game from start-to-finish, learn some skills and broaden your accomplishments, and to have fun and meet some friends while doing it. Whether you decide to use what you make as a portfolio piece or decide game-making isn’t for you after all, it’s all good by us!

Can I attend 100% remotely? Not at this time. The Wednesday sessions (if all goes well) will be back in person in Montreal for this edition. It will not be possible to attend them remotely, and they will not be recorded. The follow-along program is currently being reworked to offer a more complete experience remotely in the coming years. In the meantime, we encourage you to use all the material for the past editions that has been shared through our blogs to make games at your own pace.

Can I attend the Saturday sessions only? Not at this time. The Wednesday and Saturday sessions are part of the same program. It was possible in the past for Follow Along participants. However, the Follow Along program is currently being reworked and will not take place in 2022. It should be back in 2023 with a brand new curriculum.

Questions about applications:

I applied last year but wasn’t accepted. Can I apply again this year?
Yes, of course! Just because you weren’t chosen last year doesn’t mean that you won’t be accepted into the program this year. Lots of variables go into selecting our participants and this year you just might be the perfect fit! We choose a cohort that we feel is likely to have a balanced and harmonious group dynamic. So, yes, do it! Apply. In fact, we encourage you to write a lot in your application, and really introduce us to who you are. :D

Is there an age restriction?
Yes, you must be over 18.

Can I apply from anywhere in the world?
Since the Wednesday sessions will be in-person (unless the situation prevents it), you will need to be in Montreal to attend. We understand that many people located elsewhere in the world would like to participate. However, the magnitude of the task of an international program is too important for our all-volunteer team. We encourage you to join the Follow Along program which is open to everyone.

When will we know which candidates are selected?
We will inform you by the end of August 2022. The first session will be on September 7th, 2022.

Do I need to have a personal goal?
Whether you want to accomplish this challenge for personal or other reasons, it is entirely up to you. There are as many different experiences as there are different people, so just be yourself.

Do I need to present a video game I made or have game-making experience to apply?
No, not at all. This program supports participants making their first video game. You should however know how to use a computer.

Are you looking for a certain kind of applicant?
We’re looking for people who are enthusiastic about making games, never had the chance to make a game, and/or definitely committed to seeing the workshop through. What we’re really looking for is a well-rounded spread among many disciplines, so we can’t say exactly what will/will not include you, especially before all the applications are in. The most important take-away note is: Be yourself! Do not be afraid to write a whole lot about yourself! We want to get to know you through your application!

I do not identify as a woman, can I participate?
In the past, the incubator has been addressed to women. We want to support more gender-marginalized people which is why we have changed this focus. If you say you are a marginalized gender, we believe and trust you.

Are feminine or femme-presenting people preferred?
No, all gender expressions are valid and welcomed. There will be no tests to pass or intrusive questions to answer. If you say you are a marginalized gender, we believe and trust you.

What is cisgender?
If you identify as the gender that corresponds to the sex you were assigned at birth, you are cisgender.

How does Pixelles feel about me being transgender or my sexual orientation?
All of our programs are LGBTQ-friendly! :D The same goes for any other aspect of your background, such as race, disability, language, etc. Pixelles is dedicated to creating a comfortable environment of inclusion, and we have an ever-evolving Safer Space policy to help. We’d love to have you apply!

I’m a cisgender guy and I want to participate!
Sorry, the incubator is only open to applicants who identify as gender-marginalized. The evidence of existing success and opportunities in the world indicate that cisgender men already receive the lion’s share of help currently, so we’d like this program to address other needs. That being said, you are welcome to attend any of our monthly skill workshops. If you’re interested in helping out, playtesting, mentoring, or in any other way send us an email to gameincubator@pixelles.ca.

I have a question that wasn’t answered in the FAQ!
No problem! Send us an email to gameincubator@pixelles.ca.


About Pixelles
Pixelles is a non-profit initiative committed to helping more people make and change games. We're based in Montreal, and have already succeeded in building a supportive community of game creators, both hobbyist and professional.

E-mail: info@pixelles.ca
Twitter: @pixellesmtl
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