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igda

The Main Event – Battlesnake Sneak Peek

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Thanks so much to Noah Warder, People Operations Manager at Sendwithus, for coming out to tell us all about Battlesnake and how it grew from a tiny hackathon at UVic to the 350 participant behemoth it was last year. Noah was kind enough to share his slides so those of you who couldn’t make it to his talk because of Snowpocalypse ’17 can still read about Battlesnake.

Be sure to check out the docs if you’re interested in coming to Battlesnake this year, there’s a lot of great info there including code for starter snakes in a wide variety of languages and even the code for last year’s winning snake, Traitor Snake!

Thanks again to Noah for coming out to talk to us, and we hope to see you all at Battlesnake 2017!

The Main Event – “Demo-Cember” Night

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IGDA Victoria is the latest organization to join the Indie Prize Scholarship Program as a Nomination Partner for the International Indie Prize Showcase.

Victoria, BC, Canada is a growing presence in Canada’s rich topography of game developers and studios. With over 20 game studios in Victoria employing over 250 developers full time, IGDA Victoria is honoured to have the opportunity to collaborate with Indie Prize to expose this talent on the global stage.

IGDA Victoria’s first Nomination Event, “Demo-Cember Night” took place Monday December 5th 2016 at Swan’s Brewpub, and was a true holiday celebration of a year of hard work for the Victoria community.

"Crowds Gather for Holiday Demo Night"

“Crowds Gather for Holiday Demo Night”

Among those in the running to win the Indie Prize USA nomination was Wonderful Lasers, the studio behind the early access release of Super Impossible Road, a racing game that defies physics. Hololabs exhibited their soon to be released mobile title Floor Kids, a gorgeously animated break-dancing game. Red Nexus Games’, whom were nominated for a Canadian Video Game Award, showcased Friday Night Bullet Arena, a chaotic local multiplayer shoot-a-thon.

With full capacity and a flurry of votes the games were in close running, but ultimately Wizard Games with their Steam VR release Cowbots and Aliens took home the Indie Prize USA nomination package, including full access to Casual Connect USA, and spot in the Indie Prize showcase.

report2

Matthew Paxman (left), CEO of Wizard Games & Chapter Leader of IGDA Victoria Chris Lefebvre

Victoria’s gaming community is exceptionally proud to send one of their own to the leading international independent game developers event, and could not have done so without the dedication of its sponsors, including Viatec, Codename Entertainment, DoubleJump Games, Metalhead Software, Eastside Games, KanoApps and more.

September Main Event featuring Mike Wozniewski of Hololabs

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Mike is a game creator and a man with a gaze as intense as a thousand suns.

Mike is a game creator and a man with a gaze as intense as a thousand suns.

Hi everyone! Chris here to give you the lowdown about our next monthly meet-up at Swans. This September, we’re happy to have as our feature presenter Mike Wozniewski. Mike is the founder and president of Hololabs (www.hololabs.org), an award-winning indie development studio making games, mobile apps, VR experiences and art installations. He has recently relocated to Victoria from Montreal, where he spent over 15 years building interactive media of all sorts.

His Master’s degree (from the Centre for Intelligent Machines at McGill University) focused on authoring tools for intelligent environments, human-computer interaction, motion tracking, and virtual reality. After that, Mike joined the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT], where he developed software for immersive audiovisual environments. After founding Hololabs in 2011, Mike has worked with many artists, designers and developers to build creative, experimental, and somewhat wacky games and art projects.

Mike will be discussing the recent boom of game making apps, level editors, and the promise of user-generated games as a form of social media. From LittleBigPlanet, to Minecraft, Project Spark, Super Mario Maker, Pixel Press, and Hololabs’ own Papercade, Mike will discuss the world of consumer-focused game creators. With a long-term obsession for creative tools, this talk will explore the affordances necessary for successful game-making systems, and will also serve as a postmortem for Papercade. Along the way, Mike will introduce Hololabs, provide some of the history about the studio, and will give a sneak peek of Hololabs’ next game that will be developed here in Victoria.

After the talk we will be holding the usual open stage and social time. We have a private room with a projector and a ton of space. Show off your current projects; do some play-testing; or just relax and enjoy the awesome local food and craft-brewed beer. Let’s all come out and give Mike a warm welcome to Victoria!

Schedule:

  • 4:30pm: Doors open (room is locked earlier)
  • 5:10pm: Opening announcements by group organizers
  • 5:15pm: Featured presentation
  • 5:45pm: Open stage for show-and-tell, networking and socializing
  • 7:30pm: Venue closes (We are free to move to the main bar if we wish)

See you there!

Details:

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Buckerfields aka The Collard Room – Swans Hotel and Brewpub

506 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC

Doors open at 4:30pm

Please RSVP via the Meetup event

June Main Event featuring Randall Thompson of Caper Games

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Randall Thompson - Game Maker and Nature Enthusiast.

Randall Thompson – Game Maker and Nature Enthusiast.

Hi everyone! Chris here to give you the lowdown about our next monthly meet-up at Swans. This month, we’re happy to have as our feature presenter Randall Thompson. Randall is the founder of Caper Games, a local board game studio that’s been releasing games since 2001.

Randall suffered an eye injury in 1998 at the Ministry of Health, and since then has been very light sensitive (Photophobia). He was raising his children at the time, and because he could no longer watch TV, he began to read books, listen to the radio and play games with his kids. This lead to the creation of his first game – CrunchTime – a basketball board game released in 2001. Before his injury, he enjoyed playing video games like Super Mario with his kids, but it became problematic afterwards.

Caper games have invented about 10 games in total. Their latest games are SHOOTERZ Hockey Card Game, NUGGETS Word Game, and Get ADLER! (A Deduction Card Game). They have a couple of other games designed and waiting  to be produced. Caper Games is also now looking to produce mobile games based on NUGGETS and a couple of other games.

Randall will be giving a talk about his experience developing board games including a history of Caper Games, his approach to designing a game, the process of having the physical game made, and the future direction of Caper Games. He will be bringing some copies of his games to try out afterwards. If you’re interested in how tabletop games get made, you won’t want to miss this talk.

After the talk we will be holding the usual open stage and social time. We have a private room with a projector and a ton of space. Show off your current projects; do some play-testing; or just relax and enjoy the awesome local food and craft-brewed beer.

Schedule:

  • 4:30pm: Doors open (room is locked earlier)
  • 5:10pm: Opening announcements by group organizers
  • 5:15pm: Featured presentation
  • 5:45pm: Open stage for show-and-tell, networking and socializing
  • 7:30pm: Venue closes (We are free to move to the main bar if we wish)

See you there!

Details:

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Buckerfields aka The Collard Room – Swans Hotel and Brewpub

506 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC

Doors open at 4:30pm

Please RSVP via the Meetup event

April Main Event featuring Scott Drader from Metalhead Games

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Scott Drader inventing new "-mortem" talks so you don't have to.

Scott Drader: inventing new “-mortem” talks so you don’t have to.

Hi everyone! Chris here. I want to take a minute to tell you about our next monthly meet-up at Swans. This month’s feature presenter is Scott Drader. Scott co-founded Metalhead Software, a local game and software development studio, in 2009. Last year he came out to give a “pre-mortem” talk about the game that Metalhead had been putting in long hours to finish, Super Mega Baseball (formerly known as Big Fly Baseball). Now, after the recent release of Super Mega Baseball, Scott is triumphantly returning to give a “mid-mortem” talk, where he will be talking about the stress, exhilaration, and lessons learned in shipping Metalhead’s first title. This will be an event that you won’t want to miss!

After the talk we will be holding the usual open stage and social time. We have a private room with a projector and a ton of space. Show off your current projects; do some play-testing; or just relax and enjoy the awesome local food and craft-brewed beer.

Schedule:

  • 4:30pm: Doors open (room is locked earlier)
  • 5:10pm: Opening announcements by group organizers
  • 5:15pm: Featured presentation
  • 5:45pm: Open stage for show-and-tell, networking and socializing
  • 7:30pm: Venue closes (We are free to move to the main bar if we wish)

See you there!

Details:

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Buckerfields aka The Collard Room – Swans Hotel and Brewpub

506 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC

Doors open at 4:30pm

Please RSVP via the Meetup event

October Monthly Meeting featuring Graham Stark from LoadingReadyRun

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We're not here to judge.

Remember, we’re not here to judge.

This is a reminder of our monthly meeting for October taking place on Monday, October 6th. This month’s feature guest is Graham Stark from LoadingReadyRun!

Graham is the co-founder of LoadingReadyRun, one of the internet’s longest running and most beloved video content foundries. He has worked as a producer, director, writer and editor for clients including Penny Arcade, Cards Against Humanity, Wizards of the Coast and The Escapist. On top of all that, Graham is also one of the organizers of Desert Bus for Hope, one of the most successful online charity fundraisers in the world. In the two to three minutes of spare time he has a day, he enjoys sleeping, video games and his cats. He can be found on Twitter at @Graham_LRR and on Twitch. He’ll be joining us for a fireside chat and discussing his projects, the importance of public engagement and how to manage a businesses’ social profile, along with much fun and frivolity!

Also, we’re hoping that all you folks who made games at this year’s OrcaJam will bring them along to share with the rest of the group, especially those poor saps who weren’t able to make it to the game jam themselves.

We have a private room with a projector and a ton of space. Show off your current projects; do some play-testing; or just relax and enjoy the awesome local food and craft-brewed beer.

Schedule:

  • 4:30 pm: Doors open (room is locked earlier)
  • 5:10 pm: Opening announcements by group organizers
  • 5:15 pm: Featured presentation
  • 6:00 pm: Open stage for show-and-tell, networking and socializing
  • 7:30 pm: Venue closes (We are free to move to the main bar if we wish)

See you there!

Details:

Monday, October 6th

The Collard Room – Swans Hotel and Brewpub

506 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC

Doors open at 4:30pm

Please RSVP via the Meetup event: The Main Event

Survey Results – Raw and Uncensored!

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As I threatened at the last monthly meetup, I’m posting the results of the survey here on the internets. I have removed the names and contact info from those who provided it for national security purposes. I will be contacting those who have expressed an interest in giving a talk or organizing something in the near future. However, GDC is next week so that may put a crimp in my plans. Regardless… enjoy!

Summary

Which of the following best describes your current occupation?

Student 2 7%
Independent Game Developer 6 21%
Developer w/ Company/Organization 7 24%
Freelancer/Contractor 2 7%
Academic 2 7%
Game Journalist/Blogger 0 0%
Hobbyist/Gamer 4 14%
Not in Industry/Interested 3rd Party 3 10%
Other 3 10%

Areas of Interest

What area(s) of game development interest you?

Art – 2D Art 15 4%
Art – 3D Modeling 12 3%
Art – Animation 12 3%
Art – Character Modeling 8 2%
Art – Cinematics 6 2%
Art – Conceptual Art 7 2%
Art – Technical Artist 7 2%
Art – Texture Art 7 2%
Audio – Audio Implementation 5 1%
Audio – Audio Programming 5 1%
Audio – Dialogue / Voice Over 4 1%
Audio – Music 8 2%
Audio – Sound Effects 9 2%
Business – Company Management (VP, CEO, etc) 8 2%
Business – Finance 4 1%
Business – Human Resources (HR) 2 1%
Business – Marketing 11 3%
Business – Public Relations 5 1%
Business – The Business of Indie Games 14 4%
Design – Character 11 3%
Design – Dialogue 11 3%
Design – Gameplay 21 5%
Design – Level 15 4%
Design – Narrative (Quest/Story) 14 4%
Design – User Interface 16 4%
Journalism – News 3 1%
Journalism – Op/Ed 3 1%
Journalism – Reviews 4 1%
Production – Producer 6 2%
Production – Project Manager 8 2%
Production – Quality Assurance (QA) 4 1%
Production – Team Management 11 3%
Production – Technical Writing (Documentation, Manuals, etc) 5 1%
Programming – A.I. (Artifical Intelligence) 17 4%
Programming – Audio 7 2%
Programming – Engine 13 3%
Programming – Gameplay 18 5%
Programming – Graphics 11 3%
Programming – Physics 14 4%
Programming – Tools / Toolsets 12 3%
Programming – User Interface 13 3%
Other 2 1%

What game genre(s)/focus are you interested in learning more about?

AAA Titles 9 7%
Academic / Research 10 8%
Casual Games (Download) 14 11%
Casual Games (Web-based) 14 11%
Educational Games 9 7%
Independent Games 19 15%
iOS (iPod / iPhone / iPad) 11 9%
Mobile 14 11%
Serious Games 12 10%
Social Games 13 10%
Other 1 1%

Events/Meetings

What types of formats would you like to see in our monthly meetings?

Speaker 20 26%
Panel 23 30%
Round Table 12 16%
Workshop 20 26%
Other 2 3%

From the formats chosen above, are there any specific topics/details you would like to see covered?

andy moore Victoria Games Art Jam (Creative Commons?) ^^ similarly accessable but “usable” work shop events –> emphasis on fun I think it’d be interesting to talk about gender representation in games, or about the critical analysis of games. I think we covered them pretty well during the meetup in which we discussed the survey. Playtest-o-rama ARCADE: just a giant recurring informal focus group. Everyone take turns playtesting each other’s games. – I am particularly interested in hearing local speakers talk about their game projects, whether they be one-person / small team projects or larger game studio projects. – Workshops for getting started with different game-making tools, such as Unity, etc., would be cool. I’m not sure if something like that would be feasible though since volunteers would likely be required to run the workshops + it would be hard to appeal everyone’s interests (art, programming, etc.)Anything revolving around Unity and iOS development Source Code Purchasing Yay/Nay. Thoughts on Video Game Cloning Revenue Sharing Agreements… Good Call? Raising funds, business startup issues, games marketing Current and future trends in gaming Review of local gaming industry team/company collaboration

What type(s) of social events would you like to see the group hold?

Dinner at a Restaurant 6 8%
Game Nights 18 23%
Picnic 2 3%
Pub Night 17 21%
Socials with Other Groups/Chapters 12 15%
Game Jams 23 29%
Other 2 3%

Please tell us your preferred channel(s) to receive updates from the group.

Facebook (www.facebook.com/groups/LevelUpVictoria/) 17 26%
LinkedIn 3 5%
Mailing List 13 20%
Twitter (twitter.com/IGDAVictoria) 9 14%
Website (www.igdavictoria.com) 6 9%
Meetup.com (meetup.com/levelup/) 17 26%
Google+ (www.google.com/+Igdavictoria) 0 0%
Other 0 0%

Volunteering

Would you be willing to volunteer to help the group?

Yes 16 55%
No 13 45%

If you answered “Yes”, describe in what way you would be willing to help.

I am currently very limited as far as my availability goes, but I am a professional web developer, and would be willing to host and even work on a website for the group. I already volunteer to help organize the group 😉 Blog posts, meeting agendas, sitting at registration desk/convention booth and trying to look helpful I’ve been working in the industry for six years, and I came through a more academic route. I’m interested in all sorts of games from AAA to card games and in the critical analysis of games. I’d be more than willing to share my experiences. Alternatively, I’d also be willing to help out as a volunteer at the occasional event – assuming the timing works out for my home and work schedules. I’m willing to help with group events/game jams time permitting. I could man a booth, man the door, whatever is needed 🙂 But like I said, it would be time permitting…I’ve got quite a bit on my plate at the moment. Advanced warning would increase chances immensely. I don’t have any more time after of the time I already spend volunteering with the game indusry (our CEO dinners, serving on DigiBC Policy Group, etc). I could probably help with poster design – if needed. Or just general set up – take down at avents – time permitting. anything really Event setup/teardown, manning booths, etc. I’d be happy to continue helping out at game jams or representing IGDA at events. Absolutely any way I can. Not sure yet, as I’m new to the group. General IT skills, some programming; design for print & electronic formats, photoshop, sculpture in physical media; have run various small/medium events, workshops and projects and aspects of large festival events; volunteer training & coordination (but never above being a grunt myself). not sure don’t live in victoria, but I will do what I can I don’t have much actual game development experience. I do have a lot of development and organizational experience. I’m also willing to take on roles where you just need to have somebody there (“warm body”) such as technical support or registration. knowledge in design and educational titles

Would you be interested in running a group event?

Yes 5 17%
No 24 83%

If you answered “Yes” what kind of group event would you wish to organize?

A panel dealing with startup issues for game studios. um Possibly at a future date if I find myself getting involved in IGDA. Again, I’m new to the organization, so I don’t know yet. i would demo my ludology

Would you be interested in giving a presentation at one of our monthly meetings?

Yes 11 38%
No 18 62%

If you answered “Yes” what subject would you like to give a talk about?

Overview of 3D art to game pipeline on sample project. Educational design pitch docs and iteration design pre production on small titles the importance of qa customer and production management. (for comission titles) the importance of modular mechanic functionality on small titles i am not sure The business of video games. I recently finished my PhD studying computer poker and I could give a talk about state-of-the-art poker AI. I’m not sure if this fits the scope of the group, but I would be happy to fill a speaker slot if needed. I can talk about various aspects of design (I’ve done a lot of systems and open world mission design) and about prototyping and iteration. I could also give a talk about the history of games – an area that I have a growing interest in. Or a primer on the critical analysis/theory of games. Game Design Learning from Failure RPG in post secondary education UVic Computer Science Dept – connecting with students something, not sure what and not right away

Feedback

Do you have any additional comments or feedback you’d like to share with the chapter coordinators at this time?

I’ve been having a really fun time coming out to meetings and getting to know the other members of the indie community. Thank you so much for organizing this group! You are awesome. great job. great communication. great global game jam. focus on the fun and games and use creative solutions to make the IGDA feel like a big beautiful thing in Victoria BC. I previously provided feedback to Chris on the important strategic elements that I think IGDA in Victoria should consider. I can re-send if needed. You guys are awesome for making this such an active group! I appreciate what you guys do! I haven’t been able to make it to as many meetups lately, but hope to get out for the next one. Great work so far! Keep kicking ass!thanks for doing what you are doing. Great group Well organized/run Good job. The last talk was very good. I’m enjoying the monthly meetups and the other events that IGDA has organized recently. Thanks for putting them on! I’m attempting to clear up my Mondays, and I should be able to start attending the monthly meetings soon.

Number of daily responses

March Monthly Meeting – Survey Results and GottaCon

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gc2014logowebfinal

This is a reminder of our monthly meeting for March taking place on this Monday, March 3rd. This month we’ll be taking a look at the results of our annual survey and making plans for the year accordingly. Also, our meeting falls on the day after GottaCon, so we’ll be having an impromptu round table with the folks who attended to discuss the experience.

We have a private room with a projector and a ton of space. Show off your current projects; do some play-testing; or just relax and enjoy the awesome local food and craft-brewed beer.

Schedule:

  • 4:30pm: Doors open (room is locked earlier)
  • 5:10pm: Opening announcements by group organizers
  • 5:15pm: Featured presentation
  • 5:45pm: Open stage for show-and-tell, networking and socializing
  • 7:30pm: Venue closes (We are free to move to the main bar if we wish)

See you there!

Details:

Monday, March 3rd

The Collard Room – Swans Hotel and Brewpub

506 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC

Doors open at 4:30pm

Please RSVP via the Meetup event: The Main Event

What Time is it? It's Annual Survey Time!

By | Chapter News, General, News | No Comments
Fill out the survey or we will be forced to send this man to your home.

Fill out the survey or we will be forced to send this man to your home.

Every year around this time, we at LevelUp – IGDA Victoria headquarters start thinking about all the great times we had during the last year. I mean, last year was pretty stellar: OrcaJam was bigger and better than ever, we had a great showing at Discover Tectoria, a fun party at the newly opened Interactivity Board Game Cafe,  and we had nine(!) awesome presenters at our monthly Main Event, including Richard Vahrman who came all the way from Brighton, UK to be with us. This is when we start scratching our heads and asking ourselves: Well what the heck are we gonna do this year?

That’s where you all come in. We’re going to get you, our members, to fill out a handy survey that we meticulously constructed for the express purpose of gathering your collective brain juice to help us plan for the next year. Please fill out this survey as completely and thoroughly as you can. We want to know your ideas and opinions about what the group should be up to. After all, LevelUp – IGDA Victoria is your group too.

The survey will remain active for the next two weeks, and then we’ll close it down, review the results and present our findings at the Main Event for March. Following that, the results will be posted on this website. So get cracking on that survey, so that this year will be even more incredible than the last one!

LevelUp – IGDA Victoria Member Survey 2014

February Monthly Meeting with Scott Drader

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Scott's the one on the right-hand side with the juicy brain.

Scott’s the one on the right-hand side with the juicy brain.

This is a reminder of our monthly meeting for November taking place on this Monday, November 4th. This month’s feature presenter is Scott Drader from Metalhead Software.

Scott co-founded Metalhead Software, a local game and software development studio, in 2009. Metalhead is currently on the home stretch to launching its first major game IP this spring: BigFly Baseball.

Scott’s talk, “A BigFly Baseball Pre-Mortem” will cover the ups and downs of the game’s development process and discuss the upcoming challenges around launching a multi-platform game with a small team. Come join us for Scott’s presentation and hang around afterwards to socialize and check out some of the games made in Victoria last weekend at Global Game Jam.

We have a private room with a projector and a ton of space. Show off your current projects; do some play-testing; or just relax and enjoy the awesome local food and craft-brewed beer.

Schedule:

  • 4:30pm: Doors open (room is locked earlier)
  • 5:10pm: Opening announcements by group organizers
  • 5:15pm: Featured presentation
  • 5:45pm: Open stage for show-and-tell, networking and socializing
  • 7:30pm: Venue closes (We are free to move to the main bar if we wish)

See you there!

Details:

Monday, February 3rd

The Collard Room – Swans Hotel and Brewpub

506 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC

Doors open at 4:30pm

Please RSVP via the Meetup event: The Main Event