Today marks a very important occasion—it’s International Women’s Day, a global day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women everywhere. While there are countless women whose achievements inspire us on a daily basis (hi, Mom!), we thought this would be a great opportunity to highlight the contributions of the female members of the Proletariat team—both past and present—who have helped to shape our studio and our games.
We are also proud to be hosting a charity live stream on our Twitch channel from 10:00am-6:00pm Eastern Time today with all donations benefiting local women’s shelter, Rosie’s Place. Rosie’s Place was founded in 1974 as the first women’s shelter in the United States. Their mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment that helps poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity, and find security in their lives. Whether or not you are able to offer a donation, we hope you’ll show your support by attending our live stream and spreading the word to others!
The Women of Proletariat
Former Player Support Representative at Proletariat; Current Developer at Contigo Games
While I worked at Proletariat I was a player support representative. I helped players who were experiencing technical difficulties and also logged the general feedback and bug reports we received from our community through various communication channels. This was my first job in the games industry after graduating from college and I immediately felt welcomed and supported by the other women in the office, many of whom I considered mentors and admired a great deal, which was a tremendously positive influence for me. I’m currently a full-time independent game developer at Contigo Games and am working on a cooperative multiplayer game with a strong femme aesthetic and LGBT+ themes. I also work as a camp coordinator for Girls Make Games, teaching girls ages 8-15 about coding and creating games. My goal with my work is to empower those who don’t often see themselves represented in games and encourage them to learn, create, and express themselves! Thank you, Proletariat, for believing in me and pushing me to be my best self!
Senior Character Artist
My journey into the games industry was a comparatively long one. I grew up in love with art, especially with strong female characters, and was always drawing and making up stories. While getting my BFA at the University of Central Florida, I did a crazy thing and joined Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Witnessing what women can accomplish together changed how I would view limitations. With hard work and a strong team, there simply are none. I went on to teach 3D character creation for eight years at Full Sail University, then left teaching to become a character artist at Proletariat. As Senior Character Artist, I aim to take on any challenge—I concept, model, texture, rig, and maybe even animate. I voice that female character design needs to be diverse, and I push to represent that in our games.
Former Artist at Proletariat; Current Artist at ustwo games
I was an artist at Proletariat, but I really started with several members of the team as a junior artist fresh out of college at Zynga. Since leaving Boston, I’ve gone on to being a senior and a lead artist, given GDC talks, and acted as a mentor with several youth arts organizations. I look back now on the really excellent mentorship I got early in my career from people like Damon, Proletariat’s Art Director, and I’m incredibly grateful. On that note:
<soapbox>Hiring managers: please make diversity a priority in your junior positions! You have the power to change the demographics of the game industry of tomorrow!</soapbox>
Love you Proletariat—thank you for helping me start my journey. <3
Just like many other nerdy kids across the globe, I didn’t have many real life friends, and had trouble socializing and interacting with normal people. In order to help alleviate some of those anxieties, my mom decided to get me a Nintendo 64 in hopes of helping me overcome some of those challenges. Little did she know that she had just kickstarted a lifelong hobby-turned-career. Of course like most genders that didn’t identify as male, I knew that many fellow players were quick to gender stereotype me into the “gamer girl” role that simply “got carried” by my male friends. Sometimes the comments made were far more nefarious. It is pretty ridiculous to think that it was up to us to build up a thick skin, or that we were the ones that had the choice to leave if we couldn’t “handle the stress of competitive gaming.” Despite all this sh*t, like most people I know, if you’re passionate about something, you’re going to try to make it better. Whether people like it or not, games is a huge portion of my life, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. While I took a few turns in my career within the tech industry, I somehow landed back where I started, doing the sh*t I’m truly passionate about.
Benefits and Office Manager
After starting at Proletariat, a community member deemed me a “game dev by association” and I was glad to take the title. I like to tell people that my job is to make the work experience of those who make the games better. Being in a small, but growing studio means covering a lot of bases, in that respect. My days can go from negotiating better benefits, improving on or creating office policies, implementing new HR systems, helping to keep office culture intact, to organizing office parties and company outings. Having been a gamer since the day my parents brought home a NES for my sister and I to fight over, I’ve always had an appreciation for how games are made. Working at Proletariat has given me a new level of appreciation for this and I am especially impressed by the diversity of roles the women in our office hold.
At Proletariat, I have been the Producer on both World Zombination and Streamline. This means managing the individual features that make up each project and ensuring they are up to the standards we set and delivered in a timely manner for a number of milestones, including updates to live games. My main contribution is being a facilitator and a resource for artists and engineers to help individuals do their best work while hitting goals as a team. Producers need to keep the short term and long term goals of a project in view at all times, which means balancing many—sometimes conflicting—priorities. This role has been a welcome challenge for me and has taught me to rely on my own history of success and experience to be decisive and stand firm on my own decisions. Being so close to features in development also means I’ve gotten to name characters in WZ (Shocktor Zombiwatts is my favorite), spec out my own feature ideas (anyone remember the mystery crate in guilds?), and provide a lot of feedback on the early development stages of Streamline gameplay features. I also recently oversaw the musical direction for Streamline and worked with musicians to release an original soundtrack I am very proud of.
Former Broadcaster Development Manager at Proletariat; Twitch Partner
From a young age I have been into gaming, as I was hooked when my parents bought me my first Gameboy and Nintendo 64. PC gaming was also a huge favorite for me, and at a young age of 7 I already knew that I wanted to work in the game industry when I grew up. For almost three years now I have been a partnered broadcaster on Twitch, and I have seen a lot of things come my way about women in games. You do see that it’s more accepted these days, although I did notice that it wasn’t as common yet in the United States as compared to the Netherlands (where I’m from). While streaming the Streamline demo at PAX East of 2016, I met the team of Proletariat and went to work for them in September of that year as a Broadcaster Development Manager. Being a broadcaster had brought me to this amazing company that gave me the chance to come work in the United States, which was a huge step for me. I was so glad that I got the chance to work for Proletariat and I was happy that our CEO Seth didn’t mind the fact that I was from the Netherlands. I really hope that developers keep hiring women (and men) from all over the world!
I first fell in love with video games while battling my siblings for play time on our Super Nintendo. Growing up, I desperately wanted to be a game dev but felt discouraged by the lack of female representation in the industry. I saw this gender disparity further reflected in my programming and computer science courses. I’m happy to see a slow-but-hopefully-steady shift in the industry—I have the pleasure of working with several amazing women and many supportive men at Proletariat, and we share office space with Harmonix, a studio which prides itself on its diverse team. As the Community Manager, my main contributions are to our community engagement, player support, live streaming, and social media efforts, as well as acting as the general link between the Proletariat team and our player base. My greatest hope is that the work I do here will help inspire other girls and women looking to break into the industry.