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Chapter News

The Main Event – Indie Game Funding

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Time is running out to apply for funding from the Canada Media Fund! Fortunately Mike Wozniewski of Hololabs and Eric Jordan of Codename Entertainment put together an awesome slide deck packed with information about applying for funding from Canada Media Fund, SRED, IRAP, and more!

Whether you’re polishing your application(s) for funding this year or getting ready to apply next year, those slides will be super helpful!

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

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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

Big Honkin' Victoria Global Game Jam Post

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Be here.

Be here.

Victoria Global Game Jam                  

24-26 January 2014

VIATeC Accelerate Tectoria

2659 Douglas Street, 2nd Floor, Victoria, BC

This here is a massive information post for LevelUp – IGDA Victoria’s first Global Game Jam event. It’s going to be a crazy weekend, and it’ll be great to have you involved. This post should contain all the information you’ll need to prepare for the jam itself. Please read it carefully. There will be further details at the start of the jam.

Contact Details:

If you have any questions about the jam, or problems leading up to or during the event, please contact: igdavictoria<at>gmail.com

The organizing committee reserves the right to remove people not acting in the spirit of the event, so play nice and respect people and property.

How long is the event?

Registrations open at 5:00pm on Friday 24th of January, with the opening presentations starting at 6:00pm Please allow enough time after you arrive to bring any equipment you’re supplying yourself into the building and register.

Games are due to commence upload by 3pm on Sunday 26th of January. Visitors are invited to check out the results of the jam from 4pm – 6pm. After that it’s pack up, clean up and head out for home or perhaps a quick after-beverage with some of your fellow jammers. The venue will be closed by 7pm.

Please note: Jammers are expected to be in attendance for the majority of the jam. Regular escapes for fresh air or food are just fine. And of course a good night’s sleep is encouraged. There are formal proceedings at the beginning and, to a lesser extent, the end of the jam, and all participants are required for both of these events.  All jammers need to wear the ID given to them when they register whilst jamming.

See the timetable later in this document for full details on what happens when during the event.

Who will be there?

We are expecting anywhere from about 30 – 60 people to take part in the Jam. Jammers are from a range of backgrounds with a varying degree of experience from ‘professional developers’ to students.

There may also be industry and media guests visiting during the jam. They would be walking around the labs, and will observe and talk to the teams, eager to find out what you’re making and how it’s going. Please note that these visits can happen at any time day or night, so be aware of people in the labs, and your own conduct through the weekend.

Where is the Jam?

Victoria Global Game Jam is being held at VIATeC Accelerate Tectoria in the Scott building at the corner of Douglas and Hillside, 2659 Douglas Street, 2nd Floor, Victoria, BC

[googlemaps https://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=2659+Douglas+Street,+2nd+Floor,+Victoria,+BC&aq=&sll=49.891235,-97.15369&sspn=34.28914,86.572266&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=2659+Douglas+St,+Victoria,+British+Columbia+V8T+5M2&t=m&z=14&ll=48.438317,-123.366129&output=embed&w=425&h=350]

Parking is available in the attached lot, but is limited. You can help out with this by car-pooling or using public transport. Get in touch with organisers if you would like assistance organising a car pool or jump onto the Level-Up – IGDA Victoria Facebook group and see who’s travelling from your area.

Public Transport

To get to VIATeC Accelerate Tectoria, catch any bus from downtown that runs up Douglas and get off at the Times Colonist building then walk up the block. Check out the Victoria Transit site to plan your journey

What do I need to bring?

Because the Game Jam is a closed event, it is important that people bring the right equipment to last them the entire weekend. Please note, we will be taking security precautions for those bringing their own computer equipment, but in the end it is each jammer’s responsibility to be aware of their equipment.

Please make sure you bring the following with you

  • Photo Identification for registering on the first day
  • Any computer equipment you need (nothing is provided by the venue)
    • Note that for security, please label all computer equipment you bring with your name and a contact number/email.
    • No speakers will be available, bring your own headphones.
    • There will be sufficient power bars for powering equipment and wired network/internet access.
    • Reasonable use restrictions apply to internet access. If you want to listen to music during the jam, firstly bring headphones, and secondly bring MP3s or CDs, rather than streaming music from the web.
  • Food and Drink
    • No meals will be provided. There are some stores and restaurants nearby if you don’t feel like packing any food yourself.
    • Feel free to bring any favourite drinks and snacks, although be aware that there’s only so much room in the fridge.
    • There will be a constant stream of tea and coffee available, please bring a sealable water bottle.
    • No Alcohol – Please note this is not a licensed event – you can hit the bar at the end of it all.

When does stuff happen?

The Global Game Jam will be run to approximately the following timetable:

Friday:

5:00pm            Registrations open

6:00pm            Official GGJ Keynote Address Unveil the “secret theme” of the jam

6:30pm            Team forming, game pitching

7:00pm            Teams finalize their spaces and… The Jam begins in earnest!

Saturday:                                 

All day Saturday is dedicated to working on the games.

We expect visitors may come and check out the jam, so be ready to say hello and answer any questions.

Sunday:

3:00pm        Time to start submitting games to the GGJ website.

4:00pm            Show off what you’ve made, and you can check out what others have made.

6:00pm            Clean up, pack up, leave the place how you found it and then head out for a celebratory beverage or home once organizers are happy with the state of the labs.

7:00pm            End of jam – venue closed.

Global Game Jam Deadlines

Note that there are some specific deadlines for the GGJ that must be met with regard to creating your team and game profile, and submitting your game at the end of the jam. This will be covered and you will be reminded of this at the Jam.

Please read the following very carefully.

Register on the GGJ Site (do this before the jam):

Please register to the Victoria Global Game Jam site via http://globalgamejam.org. The GGJ site has heaps of useful information and ideas, so we suggest having a browse before the event.

Register on the LevelUp – IGDA Victoria Meetup Site (do this before the jam):

Everyone should register here too via http://www.meetup.com/levelup/events/155820252/.

Game Profile (Due 11am, Saturday Jan 25):

One member from each team must login in to the Global Game Jam website and create a game project. This is also where other team members can be added to the game, given that they already have a profile on the Global Game Jam website.

Game Submission (Due 3pm, Sunday Jan 26):

All games must be completed and the upload of game content must have started by 3 PM on Sunday afternoon. Again, if you log in to the GGJ site, and browse to your game page, you will see an option for uploading game content to the site. Browse to your game content and press Upload before the deadline runs out and you are safe.

What needs to be submitted?

See the details at http://globalgamejam.org/wiki/hand-procedure for guidelines on exactly what needs to be submitted and in what form. The golden rule is that all source code and game assets must be submitted. If you use UDK, Flash, etc. to make your game, use the appropriate project file instead. Your game should be able to be compiled by anyone else based on the files you submit. It is preferable that you also include all original files used in creating art assets (e.g. 3DS Max models, photoshop PSD’s, etc.)

If you have purchased a license for a game engine, you can still use it. Just mention that you are using it, and anyone else who already has that engine (or pays for access to it) can then use your source to run your game. If you are using your own game engine or framework, all the source code for components used in your game must also be submitted.

One Final Note

Once again the amount of interest and excitement that has been raised in preparing this event for you all has been fantastic. The levels of enthusiasm from industry and individuals wanting to help, and the sheer numbers professional, independent and student devs wanting to be a part of it have been phenomenal.

We are very grateful to VIATeC for offering their venue for us to use, as well as their AV and network equipment. Accelerate Tectoria will be your home for the weekend, and we’d like you all to treat it as your home. Be mindful of the people you’re sharing these cramped quarters with, and be respectful to the rooms and facilities that have been donated for our use. The organising committee reserves the right to remove people not acting in the spirit of the event.

We can’t wait to see what you all put together during the weekend!

Please be sure to thank the sponsors and volunteers for all their efforts in putting together this great weekend.

Happy Jammin’!

January Monthly Meeting – The Road Ahead

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Hopefully we can avoid the goblins this time.

Hopefully we can avoid the goblins this time.

This meeting we’re going to do something a little different. Along with our regular announcements, and discussion of the upcoming Global Game Jam, we’re going to have a casual discussion about the future of the group, and we want to hear your ideas. From the ideas gathered from the meeting, we’ll create a survey to be sent out to everyone, the result being an accurate idea of what you, the member, are looking for from LevelUp – IGDA Victoria. So please come out if you wish to put in your two cents, or if you can’t make it on Monday, keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming survey. Together we can make this group as awesome as humanly possible.

Schedule:

  • 4:30pm: Doors open (room is locked earlier)
  • 5:10pm: Opening announcements by group organizers
  • 5:15pm: Discussion begins
  • 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, January 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

Join Us at GottaCon – Get a Sweet Member Discount.

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gc2014logowebfinal

Update: Due to a lack of response, the offer of discounted passes has been ended. Regular priced passes are still available through the GottaCon website. Also, the available volunteer positions have been filled. Thank you for your attention and see you at GottaCon!

You may have heard the recent announcement that GottaCon, Victoria’s premier gaming convention, is moving downtown to the Victoria Conference Centre this year. This means that there will be more space, more events and more fun. It also means that Victoria video game companies will be participating for the first time and in a big way. In fact, our own organization, LevelUp – IGDA Victoria, will be there in our own booth for the first time as well!

To celebrate this exciting new chapter in the GottaCon saga, we’ve made a special deal with the organizers of the convention for our members to get discounted passes. The discounts break down as follows:

Pass Types
Price
Price with GST included
FW (Full Weekend Advance Pass)
$38.10
$40.00
Discounted from $45
FRI (Friday Only Pass)
$9.52
$10.00
Discounted from $15
SAT (Saturday Only Pass)
$19.05
$20.00
Discounted from $25
SUN (Sunday Only Pass)
$9.52
$10.00
Discounted from $15
SP2 (Full Weekend Pass + BYOC Reservation)
$57.14
$60.00
Discounted from $65
AO2 (T-Shirt & Dice Package – weekend pass NOT included) GST and PST
$22.32
$25.00
Discounted from $30
AO3 (BYOC Seat Reservation – weekend pass NOT included)
$19.05
$20.00
Discounted from $25

To get this discounted price, we need at least 15 people to sign up for it, and the passes need to be purchased in advance. If you are interested in purchasing a pass and/or an add-on, please enter in your information in the form at the bottom of this post or contact myself or Graham Davis directly. This offer is only available to current members of LevelUp – IGDA Victoria. Please contact us as soon as possible to ensure that you can take advantage of this offer.

Alternatively, if you’re short on cash or just feeling community minded, you can volunteer to help out at our booth for the weekend and receive an exhibitor pass for free. That’s right, free! You will need to help out for a minimum number of shifts to qualify however. Contact myself or Graham for more details and thanks for helping out our group!

 

OrcaJam 4 is Coming to Victoria!

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All jammed up and ready to 'splode!

All jammed up and ready to ‘splode!

They said that it couldn’t be done, (they were kind of jerks anyways) but OrcaJam is hitting Victoria for the 4th time in a row!  This year, we’re teaming up with VIATeC and a number of great sponsors to be part of the Thinklandia festival of imagination! The Thinklandia festival aims to celebrate the arts, creativity, discovery, innovation and/or imagination with great events throughout Victoria. And what’s more creative than making games? Thinklandia starts with OrcaJam on September 6th and lasts for more than a week culminating with the massive Rifflandia music festival on September 12-15th. Rawk!

We’ve got some exciting plans for OrcaJam this year that we will be revealing as the day approaches, so keep your eyes peeled on the OrcaJam homepage for updates. In the meantime, feel free to register and be the envy of your friends.

Game Dev News: Just Like a Beautiful Flower

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Now if only it would stop staring at me...

Now if only it would stop staring at me…

Wow. After a long winter of hibernation (and possibly discontent), spring has come to our corner of the globe, and like a flower bursting from the icy soil, many game-related things are blooming around here (and not just my poetry).

As you may be aware from last meeting’s announcements, our friends at Full Indie in Vancouver are holding the first Full Indie Summit on April 20th, 2013 from 11AM to 4PM at the Rio Theater @ Commercial and Broadway. The Summit is planned to be a day of lectures by leading independent game developers that will teach and inspire, and at $10 a ticket it won’t be breaking any indie budgets. And it seems like a few gaming news sites are picking up on the buzz about it already. Should be great time for all.

Because the Full Indie Summit shares the same day as our scheduled mid-month Casual Gathering at Moon Under Water (and because so many of us are keen to attend), we’ve decided to move the meetup to the following weekend. It’s already been updated on the meetup site, but you may want to check your own calendar so you don’t end up alone at a local brew-pub with nothing to do.

Speaking of meetups, we’ve been asked by our new hosts at Christie’s Carriage House to provide them with an estimate of attendees before each Main Event meeting so that they can serve us better, and so we’d like to ask everyone who’s planning on attending to RSVP via the meetup event for every meeting we hold there. Please remember to do so. Thanks!

Last but not least, we would like to welcome aboard a new member of the organizing team: Melissa Reams! Mel will be well known to most of you as a long-time regular member of the group and she has graciously accepted the position of Sponsorship Coordinator. Please join me in welcoming her.

The Triumphant Return of LevelUp Radio

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Sweet logo!

Tune In, Turn On, Drop Bears (It’s an Australian thing)

A new year has begun and with it begins another episode of LevelUp Radio. If you’ve not heard of it before, LevelUp Radio is a monthly podcast run by the LevelUp – IGDA Victoria group and hosted by erstwhile members Jordan Reed and Matt Cowlrick. The show focuses on happenings in the local game development community and the industry in general. This episode, Jordan and Matt are joined by yours truly and we discuss what’s new with the group and then follow with an in-depth discussion of productivity and accountability in your work as a game creator.

You can find more details at the LevelUp Radio homepage, including links to the podcast and the latest episodes. Check it out and let us know what you think.

New Venue for the Main Event: Christie's Pub

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The new Casa LevelUp.

The new second home of LevelUp – IGDA Victoria. Don’t it look cozy? (photo: Russell Ovans)

As you may have already seen on the meetup.com site, we have found a new venue for our Main Event monthly meeting. After weeks of research, contacting venues, comparing notes, backbreaking work, and intensive soul-searching, we are happy to announce the result: Christie’s Carriage House Pub.

Here’s some of the great things about holding our meetings at Christie’s:

  • More space: we can fit up to 45 members comfortably
  • Longer hours: we can have the space until close at 11pm
  • Multiple screens: members can plug into any of a number of television sets to show off their projects
  • More beer: over 30 taps featuring local and microbrew
  • Accessible: Even though Christie’s is not downtown, it is on several major bus routes (2, 8, 11, 14, 15, 33, etc.) and there is ample free parking in the area for those who would rather drive (and if you do, please remember to drink responsibly).

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get everything that we wanted in a venue. One major problem is that Christie’s liquor license does not allow minors to attend our meetings. I’m not sure how many of our members are minors, but if you are, please contact me. I’m planning on holding a separate meetup for those who are underage (and anyone else who wants to join in), to make sure that no one misses out on the fun.

One of the side benefits of researching new venues is that we’ve found a number of places that aren’t appropriate for holding monthly meetings, but could be great for hosting workshops, game jams, and other special events. If you’re considering running a special event for the group, let me know and I can forward the info on to you.

See you at the February meeting at Christie’s!

Member Survey

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Survey says… more cowbell!

Hi everyone,

Recently, we created a survey about Level UpIGDA Victoria in order to better focus our group and adjust it to the needs and preferences of our members. If you have a spare few minutes, please fill out the survey as completely as you can and submit it back to us soon. We’ll be reviewing the results of the survey in the next few weeks and be looking into making changes accordingly. We’d love to get everyone’s input so that we can make this into the kind of group that we can all be excited about and that best serves its members.

Member Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XRT9VY8

Thanks for your feedback!

Regards,

Chris Tihor (on behalf of the Level UpIGDA Victoria organization team)