Like any good name, Shadegrown Games has several meanings.
For one, the Seattle area, where we’re based, is known for its enthusiasm for coffee, of which there is the shadegrown variety. And the Puget Sound region is often under the shade of cloud cover, giving us a good argument that our games are developed, more often than not, in the shade.
Shadegrown has a deeper meaning, too, informed by our years in the game industry working on high-budget, deadline-sensitive titles.
Coffee growers know that while production can be boosted greatly by using newly developed sun-tolerant crop varieties packed into an open field, plants grown in an environment that more closely resembles coffee’s original habitat– in the shade beneath a canopy of trees– supports more wildlife and reduces the need for chemicals.
In the game industry, too, we often cut down the forest of our creative power in order to sow and reap the maximum possible yield of our well-established cash crops. By doing this we can enjoy quick material rewards. But this process can also exhaust the soil from which new things grow and drive away the diverse species of our invention. Perhaps, then, it is possible to practice a more sustainable form of game development.