Hey there Blerdy Tribe! Today is International Women’s Day, the day when we spotlight the achievements of women and femme identifying individuals past and present. I’m sure many of you are or know some phenomenal and inspiring creators who are out there everyday shining their light on the world.
Everyday here on Blerdy Otome, I strive to spotlight members of the wonderfully diverse gaming community whether that’s with my reviews, lists, or through exclusive interviews. And today, I wanted to spotlight some of my favorite women and femme identifying creators within the indie games community! Each of these amazing creators is dedicated to creating a more inclusive community, by sharing their own unique stories and characters through their games and I want to shine a light on the fantastic work that they do!
There will never be a time that I don’t hype up Jellyfish Parade, because I am in love with this dev and everything they do! Black woman led and operated, Jellyfish Parade is one of my absolute favorite creators, because they are one of the few indie devs dedicated to creating romance games with Black and brown heroines and love interests—and as a Black gamer, their work gives me so much life and joy! But, as if I needed more reasons to love Jellyfish Parade, each of their games is a one of a kind immersive experience exploring themes and stories that’ll have your imagination running wild!
I discovered Lovely Inc. last year with their mobile game My Love For You Is Evermore and that was all she wrote. Not only is the game super fun, but Kayla and Kiyana, the dynamic duo behind the studio have been active in the otome community online, turning their platform into an open space for communication among otome lovers! If you haven’t seen their tweets, you’re missing out because they have been in front of some amazing conversations!
Nanoreno is an amazing place to discover hidden gems of the indie VN world, and just last year during the 2021 Jam, I stumbled upon, Snow Angel and I fell in love with the heartwarming story. Then, Galen Games hit us with Deliver Us From Evil (DUFE) and Keldran and that was all she wrote! This team is dedicated to creating fun and engaging stories and characters and it is clear from reading their devlogs that their team puts their whole heart into everything they do! Creating inclusive experiences is at the forefront of their projects and if that’s not enough of a reason to shower them with love—do it for more poly and bi representation in games!
- Official Site: www.galengames.com
- Twitter: @teamgalens
- Tumblr: galengames.tumblr.com
- itch.io Page: galengames.itch.io
- Play the Game: itch.io | Steam
Anna of LegendEx Games is one of my favorite people on the interwebs, her passion for games and dedication in bring her stories and characters to life is inspiring! LegendEX Games has had a hand in creating several amazing games that’ll appeal to just about every gamer, from mystery to slice-of-life to supernatural, this team has a game for you!
Nochi Studios is another dev team that snuck up on me, but I am so glad that I’ve been able to connect with them and their fantastic games! When I first found them they were fresh off their first game release, Sifting Thyme and just a short time ago they released their second title, Somnium Eleven! What makes their games so unique is that the team are lovers of otome games and VNs just as much as they are creators, so they strive to create games that fans will love!
- Official Site: nochistudios.com
- Official Twitter: @nochistudios
- Official Tumblr: nochistudios.tumblr.com
- Official Facebook: www.facebook.com/nochigames
- itch.io Game Page: nochistudios.itch.io
- Interview with Nochi Studios
Great Gretuski came onto the scene with their hilarious debut indie otome, Love Spell: Written in the Stars, a fun fantasy rom-com that brought us one of the most relatable otome heroines ever! Luna is a riot and following her through the ups and downs of her life was one of the highlights of 2020! Now with their upcoming release, Peachleaf Valley, and it’s trio of muscly, shirtless hotties, I can’t wait to see what Great Gretuski has in store with us in the future.
- Official Website: gretuskigames.com
- Facebook: @gretuskigames
- Instagram: @gretuskigames
- itch.io Game Page: gretuskigames.itch.io
- Steam: store.steampowered.com/developer/gretuskigames
- Interview with Great Gretuski
While technically not a developer, the women led localization studio, Moonchime has been making a name for themselves with their work expanding the reach of joseimuke in the west by “connecting fans to Japanese creators”—regardless of size. And through Moonchime, I was able to discover two indie Japanese titles that I might not have otherwise had the opportunity to play! We need more localization studios willing to put their time and resources into elevating indie creators which makes the work that Moonchime does invaluable!
- Twitter: @MoonchimeL
- Official Website: moonchimeloc.com
- Games Available on itch.io and Steam
- Interview with Moonchime
Cats on a Lilypad Studios
It is no secret that I love BL media, so I always take notice when a new BL game dev makes an appearance and Cats on a Lilypad Studios definitely has my whole attention! The one woman Australian indie studio hit the ground running with the demo for their debut game, 18+ modern fantasy, The Inn Between and it’s already an impressive experience!
- Official Website: catsonalilypadstudios.com
- Twitter: @CatsLilypad
- Play the Demo: itch.io
- Facebook: @CatsonaLilypad
- Tumblr: catslilypad.tumblr.com
Wyrdren Games is a team that I recently discovered, but after checking them out they seem like the kind of folks who I’d definitely like to put my support behind. Founded by Sally Sheppard, the team has expanded to include some phenomenal talent that hopes to bring more inclusive and engaging stories to gamers and they’re well on their way with their upcoming title, Spellbound: The Magic Within. You don’t want to sleep on this team or their magical game!
And rounding out this list of talented creators is Synstoria, the team behind the upcoming medieval indie otome game, Imperial Grace. This is the team’s first title and they are making sure to leave an impression! While Imperial Grace is a romance game it is led by a dynamic heroine who isn’t afraid to step on a few toes to get what she wants. But what I most like about the team is that there is a strong emphasis on gender equality and inclusive storytelling.
Let’s Celebrate Women and Femme Identifying Developers EVERYDAY!
International Women’s Day is a day that puts women and femme identifying people in the forefront, spotlighting their phenomenal achievements. Throughout the day, while we reflect on the creators who have carved out spaces for themselves and others to flourish and thrive, lets remember that there is still a long way to go for women and femme identifying people in the gaming industry. These are just a few of the amazing women and femme identifying creators out there making games, there are so many others yet to be discovered! So today, I challenge you to uplift, share, and celebrate these creators and others all year round so that we can bridge the gap and create a much more inclusive community!