West Virginia has a small number of game developers working within the state. Through my research and networking at the West Virginia Game Developers Expo, these are all the companies I have found.
WV Game Development Studios
During my term as President of the WVU Game Developers Club, I struggled to find game developers in the state of West Virginia and because of that, I wanted to put together this short post to help others who are interested or may be looking for networking opportunites. The following list includes registered businesses within the state of West Virginia, along with a few groups that aren’t registered yet but do all their work within the state.
As seen on the map above, I have identified seven “studios” within the state. Below I will highlight each one individually, along with general info about them and games they have developed and/or published.
Lasso Games is based in Huntington, WV with a team of six members. As seen above, they have created five games and released them on platforms including Itch.io and Steam.
Based in Huntington, WV, their current game project is Falling Embers, a 2D rogue-like game. Their founders include Alex Clay and Eric Lloyd. A demo of Falling Embers can be downloaded here.
Based in Hurricane, WV, Parable Studios is working on Young Son for iOS and Android platforms and anticipates a 2018 release date. Their team includes Elliott Iannello, Jesse Lewis, and Brian Buffon.
Working in Morgantown, WV, Acheron Studios is developing 2D RPG Embers of Solace. The team is being led by Barry Martin and was founded in 2014. You can play their latest game jam game Forerunner here and see more about Embers of Solace at the links below.
Proud Mom Games
Based in Morgantown, WV, Proud Mom Games is focused on their game Perspectrum, which is a side-scrolling puzzle platformer. Their team includes programmer Connor Haynes and artist Gabby Dumire. You can download the demo for PC here.
Based in Morgantown, WV, Vandalia Softworks is currently focused on developing game-based learning software for forensic crime scene training and testing at the high school, undergraduate, and professional levels. It was founded by Jordan Hallow and the current software was developed with help from lead engineer Connor Haynes, programmer Ahmed Mian, artist Jack Fechino, and subject matter expert Kelly Ayers.
Based in Shepherdstown, WV, they ran a successful Kickstarter in November 2014 to raise over $25k for the development of Animal Gods. Their team includes programmer Kara Myren and designer Peter Harmon. Animal Gods is available on PC, Mac, Linux, and Nintendo Wii U.
WV Game Development Groups
West Virginia University Game Developers Club
This group is an official campus student organization at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV and is also a student/academic chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). The group is for WVU students interested in game development and meets weekly to discuss the industry and organizes game jams to participate in on a monthly basis during academic semesters. You can play many of the past club-made games here.
Appalachian Game Creators Association (AGCA)
The main goals of AGCA are:
1. Community outreach and renovation regarding game/software development – ex. Hosting events like game jams, expos, and partnering with existing events, building and spreading marketing materials for gamedev related jobs and opportunities in Appalachia
2. Working with institutions and other education programs to help them secure funding for game development programs – ex. Helping pitch for grants and endowments to bring guest speakers and programs to schools
3. Working with small businesses in Appalachia to help broaden their reach – ex. Marketing products for members, providing an outlet for internship, and incubating business development
Individuals / Other Studios
Are you a developer in West Virginia that I didn’t mention above? If that is the case, please reach out to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to add you to this list!