Highlights: Dames 4 Games – June 13, 2023

Women supporting women.

7 mins read
The key art for Dames 4 Games. A purple-skinned, blue-haired woman in a space suit is sitting cross-legged. Her cat companion is floating to the upper left.

It’s time for the inaugural Dames 4 Games! It includes interviews with women in the games industry, women who love gaming, women you aspire to make a change. It was created to created to give women a chance to share their stories, contributions, and games. And trust me, there’s a lot of love here, which I love to see. Love all around!

Featured games/interviews

Game: Wrestle Story / Interview: Zoe

Wrestle Story is developed by Tictoc Games. Enter a world of pro wrestling in this turn-based RPG adventure where you create your wrestler, build your tag team, and slam your way through the world to change wrestling history. And yes, I did in fact say this a a turn-based wrestling game. I love it. It’s a different spin on a common theme. The music really brings the game to love.

The showcase turns to an interview with Tictoc Games’ art director, Zoe. She’s always loved games and art, and her parents were both artists who supported her interests. Her mom suggested animation. Serbin went to USC for interactive game design, but like many, struggled to find work post-graduation. She did some freelance work while working on her portfolio. She then got a job at an education games company, where she stayed eight months.

An old classmate reached out, and that’s how Zoe ended up at Tictock Games. She worked her way up to art director. In her job, she figures out how the game will look and sets style parameters. For example, in Wrestle Story she had to figure out how different character proportions would function. As the team grows, her job is more about management and less about art.

A screenshot from Wrestle Story. Two the left is one woman and two men, ready to fight. To the right are two enemies wearing helmets. The options are pin, attack (highlighted), guard, special, item, and heat.

Game: Flawless Abbey

Flawless Abbey is developed by Bed Head Games. It is a lovingly hand-painted fairy tale. Players navigate the Labyrinth Tower using the Music Star-Keu to unveil the secrets of the Abbey and its inhabitants. The tower is almost a living thing: it moves and breathes to the beat of a melody made by a clock inside. The game features music puzzles… but be careful not to break the Star-Key!

A screenshot from Flawless Abbey. In a theatre, on-stage, there are four paper puppets: one dragon, one orange-haired person with a sword, a masked person with a sword, and someone with no weapon.

Game: Dead Pets Unleashed

Dead Pets Unleashed is developed by Triple Topping. It follows a struggling punk band who are still looking for their breakthrough song after ten years. Gordy had such big plans for the group, but once you’re 30 life begings to get in the way. Dead Pets Unleashed is a feminist narrative slice-of-life (slice-of-life is a super popular genre right now) and management-lite game. The player will decide where Gordy’s priorities lie and shape the future of the band. There are different endings, allowing Gordy to grow in different ways.

A screenshot from Dead Pets Unleashed. There are four characters on-screen, from left to right: a blue-skinned, blue-haired girl with a black t-shirt, a blue-skinned person with a U-shaped head and a yellow t-shirt, a yellow-skinned and red-haired person with horns, and a purple-skinned person with horns saying "We'll have to give Dead Pets one last chance."

Game: Sugar Shack

Sugar Shack is developed by MadLife Divertissment; it was also featured at Guerrilla Collective’s Publisher Spotlights 2023. It is a maple syrup management and world-crafter game that is already near and dear to my heart, as its set in a cozy, magical village inspired by Quebec lore and art. In the game, you seem to be stuck in the middle of an eternal spring. Fire up the oven, strike the earth, tap some maple, and revive the land around the shack. Keep hungry customers happy. And try out world-building by customizing tiles and placing items around the world.

A screenshot from Sugar Shack. In the woods, there is snow on the ground and a cabin alight. It's dark out. A person is carrying what appears to be a log.

Interview: Corina from Wings

Corina joined Wings in 2020 when it was still just a concept; she works in communication. The Elevate program is an incubator for gender-marginalized devs to refine their pitch. It is currently sponsored by Netflix so the focus is on mobile games. The program takes ten teams and gives them $10,000 each plus mentor support. This is similar to what goes on at Wings.

There’s a brief conversation about how mobile games are, in fact, games. They’re in an accessible and portable format. I’ve always been a huge supporter of mobile games so I’m thrilled there are people out there who see things the same way.

Wings seeks out partners who share their values and can make real things happen for marginalized developers. Developers who want their pitch to stand out need to be organized, have the fundamentals down (there’s an article on the Wings website about this), and most importantly, have a plan to make the best use from the money. And it all needs to be clearly presented.

The Wings logo, with purple text and a cyan shadow.

Game: This Bed We Made / Interview: Chloe

This Bed We Made is developed by Lowbirth Games. It is a third-person mystery game where players take on the role of a maid in a 1950s hotel. She’ll snoop around strangers’ rooms to uncover their deadly secrets… but will anyone even believe her if she tells them? Discover what links the guests together. The concept started small but the scope exploded, and began with the idea that in the ’50s, people had hidden lives. It’s got a retro vibe. The player’s input influences how the story unfolds. As such, there are multiple endings. The actual cleaning of the hotel is optional, but there may be consequences if it’s not done well.

Chloe studied video game development, and graduated in 2019. She actually made her first game in RPG Maker at the age of 11. She initially struggled to find her place in the industry. Lowbirth Games was founded by Chlote, her sister, her cousin, and her friend. This Bed We Made has been in development for four years and there are 15 people working on it.

A screenshot from This Bed We Made. We see the back of a hotel maid standing in a hotel room. The bed is made, the television is on, but there is nobody else there. A suitcase lies on a bench and something book-like appears to be on the floor in front of the 1950's television set.

The full list of games (via Steam)

  • Sugar Shack
  • Space Boat
  • Dead Pets Unleashed
  • Hill Agency: Purity Decay
  • The Spirit Lift
  • Innchanted
  • Homeseek
  • This Bed We Made
  • CraftCraft
  • Everholm
  • The Wandering Village
  • Romancelvania
  • Wrestle Story
  • Catizens
  • Sanya
  • Flawless Abbey
  • Grimoire Groves
  • Star Stuff
  • Echoes of the Plum Grove
  • Fishbowl
  • Super Dungeon Maker

The full showcase


Lindsay picked up an NES controller for the first time at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love. She began reviewing GBA games 20 years ago and quickly branched out from her Nintendo comfort zone. She has has developed a great love of life sims and FMV titles. For her, accessibility is one of the most important parts of any game (but she also really appreciates good UI).

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