Trust in Play community building strategies

Hello everyone!

I’m Natalia, an edgeryders oldtimer, Berlin-based nomad and a fan of urban games (I organized a massive Journey to the end of the night in Ljubljana, with over 1000 runners, I designed a small rural game for the festival IFAC in Covarrubias (called, ha-ha, Discovarriubias) in Spain some years ago, which turned out to be a surprising success, and I took part in Basilicata Border Games - Potenza Chapter, organized by the one and only @matteo_uguzzoni). For a couple of years, this interest went a bit underground, but I am excited to dig it out and work on this project with you. Brace with me - I need to brush a lot of knowledge and update myself a lot, but I will do my best to be a fun and smart partner of this community.

So, I’m here to help build a robust and fun community for the project. Based on the timeline and information I’ve gathered so far, I have a couple of ideas I’d like to share with you.

1. Baits

In the process, we have two major carrots, that will help us gain most traction of the community onboarding process: webinars and the call for teams.

I’d like to insist that both of these processes will be tightly connected to the requirement of signing up on the platform - instead of having a google doc or any other procedure, we ask people to submit their stories in the category Introduction as a requirement to join each of these opportunities. This is the best way to attract people to join a community. The application process might consist of a short story of a person + motivation + optionally - link to a CV or portfolio.

Before both calls are launched, we also need to prepare an introductory text that explains both the project and the purpose of the community. This part should be visible as the first thing on the platform’s main page for the duration of the call for participation - later we will adapt it to reflect better how the community has evolved.

We also need to describe the webinars before the call is launched - so that we have a whole package rolling at the moment we start posting the opportunities online. That strengthens the incentive.

2. Mapping the existing game design communities, NGOs and creative platforms/networks.

While we’re working on the descriptions and calls, we’re also collecting ideas about different spaces, organizations, initiatives, etc, which we can reach out to to promote our own community. I’d like to ask you here a question: What gap in the urban game design world can this community fill? I think that would be very important to have a compelling call for action here and an idea, or at least a suggestion, on what are we trying to achieve here. It can be a few things. We briefly touched upon it with @noemi and @matteo_uguzzoni, mentioning it to be a space where people can think strategically about their future creative projects.

I.e.: Trust in Play is an online community a laboratory of sustainable project ideas and game design, a space that allows for decentralized creation and execution of games and urban actions.

I will create and share with everyone here a document where we can gather ideas of entities we can contact to get relevant community members.

  1. Opportunities

We run and constantly update a space with various materials, opportunities calls for urban game designers/designer wannabes. This will help us craft interesting newsletters and create a unique offer for people interested in the topic.

  1. Community “maintenance”

Ok, so now we have people interested and registered for a few different reasons:

  • they want to design games for the project
  • and/or they want to take part in the webinars
  • they get ideas about opportunities for urban game design from us
  • they want to be part of a community that cares for urban game design and want to use it for various reasons - to collectively design, execute, look for opportunities, etc.

It will be important to develop ways in which all of these different sub-communities will be maintained and engaged for the months, or years, to come.

Here I have a couple of ideas:

  • have the process of all game designs here in the open, where the members who are not part of TIP can anyway learn from it and join in with their ideas
  • create a couple of study cases, showing different urban games that happen/happened across the world, and ask their creators/executioners to tell their stories. These will serve as starting points to a learning and creative process
  • identify a couple of strong members who are not part of TIP’s design teams, but have a strong potential and interest in seeing things happen in their cities - and support this process parallel to the project.
  1. Newsletters, social media, Instagram (do we have one?), snapchat (same?)

Let me know what you think - I guess a lot of these things will sound very basic to you or might be wrong, but as I was not part of the grant writing and the last meeting in Berlin, please pardon me:) This is a work in progress, I am aiming at finishing this part by Friday, 15th of February, so that we can start implementing it.


Hello @natalia_skoczylas and officially welcome!

the question that you are asking

What gap in the urban game design world can this community fill?

is pretty meaningful and I would love to listen to @sebquack and @MariaS view on this as creative director of the School.

From my personal perspective I see 3 points:
Nurture a new generation of designer better connected also outside (or in absence) of big urban games Festivals
Sharing knowledge about sustainability
Filling the gap between indie designer and big institution (similar to the Edgeryders model)*

*One of the thing that Edgeryders is very good at is being able to sit at the table with big institutional clients (UNDP, World Bank…) representing the community as a whole and then open the project to his own members. Which is a thing that a single small independent designer will not be able to do (both for size and horizon).

I agree with the first point on using the community as an entry point for everybody that will start to interact with Trust in Play, we will probably meet designer that are in very different moment of their career, in term of diversity the richness that this could bring is really valuable.

Thanks for sharing this thoughts!

I fully second that, can we include something like:

To be considered for the program, sign up on the community platform where we will connect teams, mentors, and other remote participants. “Discourse here!” (LINK!)

We should also add everyone to the mailinglist and ask them to share the summaries and live updates from the project. @natalia_skoczylas I thought we could do the3 headlines thingy on a weekly basis - to the whole mailinglist.