In August 2021, the International Game Developer Association Foundation, or IGDA-F, brought together its second all-digital cohort of scholars to participate in an intensive six week mentorship program. Before the month was out, the wheels were in motion for what would become Running Out of Ink, a collective narrative anthology created by early career game developers. The impetus was clear: getting into the games industry is notoriously difficult, particularly so if one does not live in a game industry hub like Los Angeles or London. Add to that barriers like low-income instability, systemic racism, and gender discrimination and many of the diverse participants in the IGDA-F’s Scholars program felt frustrated at the doors closing in their faces. A group of these developers came together to create something larger than any one of them could produce alone – an anthology of games that would amplify their voices.
Inspired by anthologies like Cartomancy, the group set out to produce, execute, and market their games as a collective, working on stories inspired by the theme ‘limited spaces’. Each of the games takes place in one primary location, though all explore very different topics, ranging from generational trauma to a meta exploration of storytelling.