Here is how you build institutional credibility (or so I've heard). Notice the second affiliation.
From Figure 3 in the paper (drawings courtesy of Dr. Richard Huskey).
Screen shot of the first-person video game stimulus "Tactical Ops: assault on terror". Screenshot courtesy of Top Full Games and Software.
Orthogonal Lab was also recently mentioned in a preprint on scientific ecosystems  from members of the Ronin Institute. In the paper, Orthogonal Lab was described as a lab focusing on more specific research questions than a larger institute focused on enabling basic science initiatives (such as Neurolinx). This new scientific ecosystem paradigm proposed in the paper is focused on how to enable collaboration and open science outside of the formal University structure.
One way to enable Alt-research Programs is to embrace low carbon and location-free modes of doing and disseminating research. One such proposal (by Dr. Angel Goni-Moreno) has been made to provide low-carbon and researcher-accessible conferencing options to the annual ALife conference. In particular, distributed sessions would enable participation and collaboration across continents and research groups that would otherwise not interact.
The new research ecosystem paradigm path to field-specific and interdisciplinary community-building?
 See a previous Synthetic Daisies post on hosting theory hackathons through such as organization.
 While I find the prefix "alt-" to be a shallow marketing term (sometimes nefariously so), it does fit into existing descriptions of academic activity outside of or in parallel with Universities.
 The two main collaborators were the Media Neuroscience Laboratory at UCSB and the Cognitive Communication Science Laboratory at OSU.
 Here are the essential materials: Paper, Supplemental Materials, Open Dataset, Video Game Stimulus.
 Lancaster, A.K., Thessen, A.E., Virapongse, A. (2018). A new paradigm for science: nurturing the ecosystem. doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.26885v2.
 Typically, the community period is an opportunity for students to get acquainted with the community resources (open datasets, open codebase, community members) of their chosen open source/science organization. For more information on the Google Summer of Code community period, here are a few blog posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).