Join the ranks of NYC’s most expansive gaming community

Gamers unite. A New York City business is offering a place for those who wish to make a name for themselves or their game, come together to collaborate and learn.

Playcrafting was created by graphic designer and gamer, Dan Butchko, who said the company  has become the largest and most diverse gaming community in New York. It now even has gaming communities in four other U.S. cities.

“Unlike other organizations that try to build a community around their company, we started as a community and built a company based on what the community needed,” he said.

It’s no surprise that there’s such an expansive gaming community in New York City alone, as gaming seems to continue to grow each year. Games can now be played on all kinds of devices, like phones, computers, gaming systems, and televisions, so there’s a huge market for games. According to SuperData, the global gaming market reached a revenue of $91 billion in 2016, making it the biggest year in the digital games market.

Butchko said their in person and very hands-on classes are what set them apart from other similar companies in the industry. Each of the Playcrafting courses are taught by professionals who, themselves, are actively creating or working in games.

Playcrafting events include educational programs, networking opportunities, and classes to get you on the path to gaming success. That means over 100 industry events, 200 classes and 50 courses across various cities in the country, each year.

“From design to programming to business and beyond, developers rely on us to sharpen their skillsets and partner with companies that can help them succeed,” Butchko said.

If you want to level up your gaming skills, you can do so with their multiple class offerings. Maybe you’re just starting out and need to learn the ins and outs of the software, like Unreal and Unity, first. Or, if you’re looking to improve your knowledge and skills, courses like Into to Card Game Design, Narrative Game Design, Writing Immersive Worlds, and more can help. They even offer a unique option to suggest a course if they’ve missed something in their curriculum.

Students learning from a pro in the “Learn Unity in 8 Weeks” course (Photo: Playcrafting)

“Game creation tools are more approachable than ever before,” Butchko said. “Software like Unity and Unreal is free for personal use and goes to great lengths to allow you to get started without needing advanced coding experience.”

Butchko also believes learning tools and skills related to the gaming industry can transfer over into different careers and industries.

“From coding and engineering to art, music, design, business and more,” he adds. “Odds are you’ll find an area that is really interesting to you or may be something you’re already skilled at and can easily transfer into games.”

So what can you expect when taking a Playcrafting course? In something like the “Intro to Card Game Design,” you’ll learn how to design a game and the mechanics involved, how to prototype a game, while then testing it.

Or maybe you’re interested in learning how to create character plots or how to create a real life “world” in your game. You can learn everything you need to know to do this, with their “Writing Immersive Worlds” class.

Once you have mastered the tools to create and develop a game, it’s no good if you don’t know how to sell it. That’s why Playcrafting offers a unique course on “How to Pitch Your Game.” This two-day session gives gamers advice and information you need to successfully pitch your game to publishers or investors, or presenting at one of the company’s own demo nights. You’ll also learn how to generate market research and gain effective public speaking skills.

Hundreds of developers and players at one of the 4 annual Expos in NYC. (Photo: Playcrafting)

Classes can be taken in a shorter session (1-4 night classes) or in longer, more in depth sessions (4-8 week evening classes), depending on your schedule. With their classes, Playcrafting has basically covered every detail and tool you need to know to develop a top-of-the-line game and get your career started as a game developer.

Aside from their classes, Playcrafting has generated a large following for their annual Spring Expo events. These events bring in hundreds of games and players who turn out to hear from developers and get an inside look at some of the latest and greatest games. It also serves as a unique space for the biggest collection of games made in and around New York City.

“Whether you’re a gamer or already a developer, odds are you’ll have a blast in our courses, classes and events and meet a lot of like-minded people who are there to support you,” said Butchko. “We’ve even seen whole studios form from students who met in class. We’d love to have you join us. Don’t just play games, make them!”