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Independent Games Summit: Four-Day Workweek: We Did It! What now?

John Cooney  (CEO, Armor Games)

Saleem Dabbous  (Studio Director, KO_OP)

Tanya X. Short  (Captain, Kitfox Games)

Chris Chancey  (CEO, ManaVoid Entertainment)

Location: Room 2005, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 21

Time: 10:50 am - 11:50 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Independent Games

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Yes

This remote panel will bring together several indie studios who have implemented a four-day week to discuss the challenges, advantages and practical outcomes of doing so, in order to equip other indies to advocate for and transition to more humane and sustainable work practices, to help them ship games, and to be more competitive in recruiting new team members.
Convened by John Cooney of Armor Games (a U.S.-based indie publisher) - who moved to a four-day week in 2021 - the panel will examine:
* Motivations for moving to a four-day week,
* Other related strategies for mental health, wellbeing and productivity that the companies also employ,
* Research and advocacy which enabled them to confidently move to a four-day week,
* How they made the transition,
* Challenges they faced as both devs and publishers,
* Any data collection/evaluation methods they’re using,
* What it means to work with external partners/systems which still work 5 day weeks.

The panel will also feature:

Saleem Dabbous, Studio Director at Canadian worker-owned co-op studio KO_OP (Gnog, Winding Worlds), who have been running a 4-day studio since 2020.
Tanya X Short, co-founder of Canadian indie studio Kitfox Games (Boyfriend Dungeon, Dwarf Fortress), who have been running a 4-day week since June 2021.
Chris Chancey, with many roles, but here particularly as CEO of Montréal-based ManaVoid Entertainment (Rainbow Billy, Epic Manager), who have been running a 4-day week for several years.
The panel will be a live remote structured conversation, offering time for each question to be considered from several points of view, and finishing up by answering questions collected from the audience via the GDC viewing portal.


This session will explore the experiences of four indie studios/publishers who transitioned to a four-day week, taking in the reasons behind their decision, challenges they faced, and how they implemented it. The session will offer attendees experience-based recommendations for how to advocate for and implement a four-day work week.

Intended Audience

This panel is aimed at all indie games professionals, whether in publishing, development, or freelance, and requires no previous knowledge of the subject matter. It is aimed at any indie worker (especially leadership) who wish to learn from others' experiences in adapting to a new model for a working week.