Cambridge indie game developer wants to see Cambridge become a tech hub

Red Meat Games wants to see its offices in Cambridge grow and create more space for technology

Cambridge video game developer Red Meat Games wants to see the city grow its tech industry and plans to launch a new division as well as a few new games coming later this year.

Red Meat Games was founded in 2013 in Newfoundland. After almost 10 years in the game, they have offices in Nova Scotia and developers spread across Ontario.

Norma Rossler is a founding member of Red Meat Games and has lived in Cambridge for over 10 years.

She has worked in the gaming industry for over 20 years and when she came to Ontario she decided to start her own business.

Now Red Meat is set to launch a new division of their company called Giggling Piglets with their debut track “Finding Heidi”.

This division will focus on Wholesome Gaming, a community that began on Twitter when indie game developers began curating games based on their feelings of comfort, compassion, and friendliness.

“We create games for PC, mobile and console. We would actually consider ourselves more experimental,” Rossler said.

One of the games they recently released is called sentencing. A multiplayer game that takes place in a dystopian world controlled by a robot.

It’s a game of hide and seek where two teams fight against each other, one tries to blend in with the other’s artificial intelligence while the other has to detect counterfeits.

This game works great when players communicate with each other through platforms like Discord. This allows players to stay connected even when they can’t meet in person, Rossler said.

She believes many gamers, stuck at home during the pandemic, have been able to regain a sense of community through video games and virtual worlds.

But it has also prevented indie game developers and gamers from interacting in person at conventions and trade shows.

These are very important for the industry to showcase their upcoming games and meet the community, Rossler said.

“I think as game developers what we need is to hear what people really think and experience people playing our games,” Rossler said. “To be at these physical activities, these physical places and see the passion of a child or an adult who has just done VR for the first time is so meaningful.

Allister Scorgie agrees.

The Vice President of the Waterloo Region Esports Commission said his goal is to make Waterloo Region a powerful force in the world of esports.

“Whether it’s organizing events, youth programs, recreational programs, supporting the university sector with degrees in Esports or related to the creation of Esports jobs. We really want to take advantage of the esports and gaming to be something good for Waterloo Region and all of the communities within it,” Scorgie said.

He wants to see the region become a gaming destination, hosting developers, teams and live events.

Rossler praises the number of tech and industry companies in the region, but always felt Cambridge was lagging behind.

“A lot of our resources in our municipality go to Waterloo and Kitchener when it comes to technology and they don’t go to Cambridge. Cambridge is one of the most beautiful cities in Canada, full of smart people, but all the credit goes elsewhere,” she said.

She wants to see Cambridge be up there with her sister cities and create a thriving community for technology and wants to grow Red Meat Games with the goal of one day opening a main office here.

Looking to the future, Rossler is excited to show off his games in person and see people play them.

Another title they plan to release this summer is called “Project Dark”.

She doesn’t want to say too much about this experimental game, but said it’s an interactive and innovative title that uses viral sounds.

Being an independent game developer gives them the creative freedom to make the games they want, as long as they have the funds to do so.

They also compete with developers around the world. The only thing they can do to stand out is make great plays, Rossler said.

“Standing out comes with time. It’s now become a time where we’ve developed our personality and people are starting to say, hey, I heard about it,” Rossler said.

The indie game industry allows people to be as creative and experimental as they want. It becomes a breeding ground for new ideas without having to appease a board of shareholders, Rossler said.

“I think the heart of an indie game is the creative individuals, players and employees. It’s absolutely amazing how many creative, smart people there are in this world, and they’re focused on making make people happy or make them thoughtful or make them experience something new. We’re always trying to say, try something else and it’s risky because the video game industry is huge and we’re the little guys,” Rossler said.