What are SAGE Groups?
SAGE groups (stands for “Support, Accountability, Growth, and Encouragement,” previously known as “Small groups”) are tailored towards helping you build meaningful relationships with other Christians who develop games and sustainably make progress and grow in your game development journey. These groups bring around five people together through a video conference over 10 months, and its purpose is:
- Support: Providing feedback, insight, or direct support from members and praying for each other, whether game development-related or otherwise
- Accountability: Expecting each member to show up, show off their progress, and keep up with the homework
- Growth: Reading books and watching videos that provide knowledge, insight, motivation, and practical help that will help you become better in your game development journey
- Encouragement: Celebrating each bit of progress each member makes throughout the year
SAGE groups are open to all game-related disciplines, such as developers, artists, musicians, and writers, as well as circumstances, whether you’re just getting started, actively working on your own indie project, or freelancing or employed at a game development company.
Why Should I Join a SAGE Group?
The Christian Game Developers Conference is an amazing experience, enabling you to meet an fellowship with other Christians in the game industry and be equipped and gain new perspectives from a variety of talks and workshops. However, being three days once a year, it is a mountain top experience; when you go back home, you will more than likely need something more to maintain your excitement and motivation as life will make sure you get as little done as possible. There are also CGDC Facebook groups and Discord server, which are great places to be a part of a community throughout the year with other Christians who develop games, though it can be hard to create deeper connections with others from those sources alone.
Enter SAGE groups, which are tailored towards helping you build meaningful relationships with other Christians in the game industry and sustainably make progress and grow in your game development journey. Some reasons you may want to join a SAGE group are:
- You have difficulty getting started and/or keeping committed to working on a game-related project and need the accountability of others to keep you moving forward
- You feel lonely working on your own without other game developers who are Christian to share the experience with, even if they are not working directly on the same project
- You want that little bit of encouragement regularly to help you get through the difficult and frustrating parts of game development
- You want to grow as a game developer by learning disciplines and gaining wisdom that will help you be even better at your craft
If any of these sound like something you’ve experienced in the past, a SAGE group may be a great way to help you get to the next level of your game development journey!
What is Expected of a SAGE Group Member?
The SAGE group is designed for developers, artists, musicians, writers, and others working on a game-related project they plan to release publicly, and so each member will set goals at the beginning of the season and is expected to make progress steadily towards them between meetings. If you are a freelancer or employee at a game development company and don’t have your own project, your goals can be focused on how you can perform with excellence in the company’s project you are working on beyond meeting expectations. Also, each meeting SAGE group members will discuss a book or video from the curriculum that aims to help them grow as they progress in their game development journey, and so it is expected that each member has read or watched the homework so that they can discuss what they learned with the group.
However, is not important is where you are in the creative process, whether you’re ramping up to release, deep in production, still in pre-production putting the plan together, or starting from scratch, and it is not expected that you complete your project by the end of the year, just that you try to achieve the goals you set at the beginning of the year for the project. Also, previous game-related experience is not necessary.
Interested in Facilitating a SAGE Group?
Facilitating a SAGE group is a very fulfilling experience, and is easier than you may think. As a SAGE group facilitator, it is not expected that you be the most experienced person in the group to facilitate; everyone will get encouragement, support, and accountability from each other and the curriculum will be the “sage” that the group members learn from. In most ways, you will be participating in the SAGE group experience just as much as the other members!
Instead, the primary responsibilities for a SAGE group facilitator are to:
- Communicate the expectations that are common across all SAGE groups when the group first meets
- Facilitate the meeting agenda (discussion questions will be provided to you)
- Model meeting the expectations by having progress to share and having done the homework each meeting
- Check in with your group between meetings and facilitate rescheduling meetings when needed
In most ways, you will be participating in the SAGE group experience just as much as the other members! If you would like more information about facilitating a SAGE group, send an email with your questions to Matthew Colon.