Indie studios often have many struggles in shipping their games. Lack of resources, funds, general frustration and crunch, tons of games never see the light of day or full release in a way that indie developers intend. Sometimes though, you get individuals who give back to the community in ways we often don't expect.
Take, for example, Kenney Vleugels, a well known digital asset creator who has created thousands of sprites, models and other assets in public domain. Along with digital artist and asset creator Kay Lousberg, the two men have started a unique dream project that will help out indie developers; a workspace where indie developers can share their expertise with each other.
Named Pixeland, the two Dutch developers purchased a building in the Netherlands in 2018, and have subsequently renovated the building for the past two years. Their goal was simple; make it a haven for indie video and board game creators. This would include work and learning sections, with a library and museum filled with indie game artifacts. Another concept proposed includes a homebrew arcade for developers to test out and play games on, and public workspaces for solo and small development teams, with plans for private workspaces in the future.
All of this is also wrapped in a cool sci-fi city theme this side of Blade Runner, filled with neon lights, dark corridors, and even built in easter eggs waiting to be found by anyone in Pixeland.
Pixeland will be opened in phases, with the first phase on track for 2021. About 1,400 square feet (130 m²) will be opened, and include a private office, public workspaces, a bartop workspace, and a sound recording studio.
What makes this story even more amazing is the motivations behind the formation of Pixeland. Vleugels succinctly put it nicely on his twitter feed after showing some progress on Pixeland:
Some common questions answered: Open when? When done, hopefully March 2021. Funding who? Just me, my money. Income how? No planned income from venue. For who? All indie gamedev. Where? Southern Netherlands, town of Eygelshoven. Why? I dunno, sounded like a cool idea.
It is a cool idea indeed, and one that indie developers will no doubt enjoy for themselves.