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Events

The Main Event featuring Brian Dempsey & the Victoria GGJ team.

By | Events, Meetings, Presentations | No Comments

Hi folks! Hope your Xmas/Solstice/Hannukah/Festivus hols are chugging along pleasantly! Scott here, with a reminder that 2015 rapidly approaches, and that means our monthly meeting for the January. Our venue, Swan’s, is hosting another event on our usual Monday evening, so please be aware that we are moving the Main Event into the future by 24 hours! The January meetup will be taking place on Tuesday, January 6th.

BryanDempseyThis month’s feature presenter is Bryan Dempsey, whose background and interests include electronics, jazz vocals, rhythm guitar, MIDI music, motion-capture, adult education and 3D simulations. Bryan’s studied multimedia production and programming for Virtual Reality applications at NBCC-Miramichi; co-developed a 3D simulator to teach industrial equipment procedures for ID Group-Montreal; developed a 3D simulator to remotely-control smart-home devices for Horizon Technologies here in Victoria.

Bryan will be demonstrating a 3D Rhythm Guitar Trainer simulation that he’s developed. This simulation is designed to provide a rhythm guitar student with a 3D avatar teacher that can demonstrate how play a sequence of chords on a 3D guitar. Chords and rhythm styles are selected by the user and entered into a lead sheet, and the simulator then uses the chord information and rhythm style rules to play the chord sequence. Bryan will also be speaking about the next steps he’ll be taking into accurate, affordable motion capture for his trainer (using ControlVR) which will…

  • quickly and accurately determine the guitar chord hand shapes for the chord database
  • stream guitar lessons (real-time, 2-way, 3D guitar playing) to/with one or more, on-line guitar students
  • record guitar lessons (or stand-alone performances) with synchronized Mo-Cap, MIDI guitar, and voice data.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPszKhewSec&w=560&h=315]

There will also be a short talk from Nathan Hessman of the UVic Game Development group. Nathan will be taking on the task of organizing the GGJ this year in partnership with IGDA Victoria.

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:

Tuesday, January 6th (Please note: this is not our regular meet-up night, but Swans is hosting another event on Monday)

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

LevelUp-IGDA Xmas Party… with Boardgames

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Hello! Scott Jones here. Yes, I’m new. Hi. Chris has brought me on to help out a bit and I am completely chuffed to have as one of my first duties the announcement of our Christmas Party. I mean, that’s as fantastic a way to introduce myself as any! “Hello! There’s a party! I’m inviting you! You should totally come.”

YES. CHRISTMAS.

It’s coming. You think you can stop it? You can’t. Better grinches have tried, man. (There’s a documentary about it.) And, really, why would you? So, whether you enjoy a mild celebratory season of family reconnection and quiet reflection upon the passing year … or jingle-balls-out Saturnalian madness with fellow revelers, there is surely a place in your nog-soaked heart for that enjoyed-year-round activity that nevertheless takes on an extra sheen of awesome during the holidays… BOARD GAMES.

To that end, please join us for exactly that on Monday 1 December at Victoria’s only all-boardgames-alla-time cafe and Santa Approved Fun Zone*: the Interactivity Boardgame Cafe on Yates. We’ve reserved the back half of the cafe from 7pm til close: that’s an available 35 seats, so please RSVP at the Meetup Event (linked below) and should your plans change, do let us know in good time. Yes, there will be snacks provided, and you can of course wet your wassailin’ whistle by purchasing beverages from our gracious host. And it’s an all-ages event, so bring ankle-biters if you’ve got some to bring!

the Pertinent Deets

Monday, December 1

Interactivity Boardgames Cafe
in beautiful downtown YYJ
723 Yates Street (corner block of Yates & Douglas)

Doors open at 7:00pm and we can stay until closing

Please RSVP via the Meetup event: LevelUp-IGDA Non-Denominational Holiday Extravaganza

*NOTE: we know that Krampusnacht is a mere 5 days away from this party and of course that’s super-exciting for a lot of us, BUT we’ve been informed that the Cafe is in fact a Krampus-Free Zone during this week, sadly. (Yes, it’s a little discriminatory, but whaddaya gonna do?) So, please leave your willow switches and rough burlap sacks full of sinful children at home. Thank you and Happy Holidays! (Sorry, Krampus! Next year, dude!)

Krampus-5-675x400

Dylan's Excellent IGDA E3 Scholarship Adventure

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[Editor: This is a guest post from IGDA Victoria volunteer and UVic student Dylan Gedig who went to E3 in Los Angeles this past June as one of the winners of the IGDA E3 Scholarship. Way to go, Dylan!]

The IGDA E3 Scholarship trip was one of the coolest trips I have ever taken in my life, and certainly the most relevant to my career. I would highly recommend the IGDA Scholarship program to any students that want to get into the game industry. The application process was simple, and it was a great way to get involved with the IGDA on a more global scale.

For me, E3 started on Saturday, when I arrived in LA and got to meet some of the other scholars at the condo we would be sharing for a week. It was great having a group of like-minded people to hang out and travel to and from events with, and made the rest of the week that much better.

The event officially kicked off on Monday, where we had a lunch meeting with the scholars and the IGDA members that organized the event. We took care of official business and got to know everyone we would be spending the week with, all while watching the E3 press releases. That night we had the chance to attend an LA Video Game Supper Club event, which is a quarterly event organized by members of the LA game industry, for industry members to meet up in a casual environment. It was an excellent opportunity to meet everyone who was in LA for E3 and chatting over the course of a dinner was very enjoyable.E3-Titanfall

The next day we had a Q&A period with Justin Berenbaum, who has worked in the publishing side of the industry for many years. He had some great advice for the scholars, particularly about the specific things a publisher looks for when being approached with a game. His main advice for us was to finish several projects while we were in school, as the main thing he looks at as a publisher is previous completed projects. He also recommended to keep track of time and budget commitments for a game, saying that it looks good to have proof that you can stick to a budget, be it money or time. One quote that stuck with me particularly was “The hardest thing to do in this industry is finish a project.”

E3 Sign

After the Q&A, we were free to roam the show floor and check out whatever we wanted. I took this opportunity to meet my mentor, Alex Seropian, for the first time. He introduced me to some of his other team members and industry friends, and offered me advice on various things in the game industry, answering every question I thought to ask. We talked mainly about the differences between working at big companies and small, and what it takes to start your own studio. Alex provided an interesting point of view, saying that to start and run a studio took a wide range of skills and interests. He recommended that if someone just wanted to program then they should go work for a larger company where they would be able to program for 8 hours a day and leave the other responsibilities to other people.

EVOLVE

After parting ways with Alex, there were several booth tours on the show floor that had been set up for us. The first was the Disney tour, where we were taken around and got to play the new games that they were showing off. Afterwards was the Bungie booth tour. This one was especially neat because we were allowed on the show floor after hours, and got to hang around with the Bungie team for quite a while. It was an awesome opportunity to talk about specific aspects of the game and the techniques they used to create them. After that, most of the Scholars decided to attend one of the Pocket Gamer mixers, which was another great chance to chat with people in a casual setting.

Video Game History Museum

We started Wednesday with a series of tours, going from Sony to the Video Game History Museum to Oculus to Ubisoft. We got to see a bunch of cool stuff and had very helpful people showing us around at each booth. My favourite moment from these tours was getting to talk to the lead level designer of Far Cry 4, and discussing how to apply level design practices to an open world environment. He stressed that for Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4 he put a lot of importance on making the side quests and collectibles tie in very closely with the game world and the story. This was to prevent it from being too jarring moving from the main story to side quests and back, and for maintaining a consistent atmosphere.
After the series of tours, we all VGHM-Pacmanheaded to the IGDA mixer, which was great for meeting people from around the world, and it was fun to meet IGDA members beyond our local Victoria chapter.

VGHM-Atari


On Thursday we had a Bethesda booth tour, where we got to play their upcoming new games. The team that was there to run the booth was incredibly friendly and very excited about the scholars program. They were awesome about discussing design decisions with the games and providing gameplay tips while we played. For the rest of the day we had free rein to check out whatever we wanted. I took this time to talk to the Star Citizen team, check out the Civilization: Beyond Earth Demo, and catch a Witcher 3 presentation. Near the show floor close time we were all summoned back to the IGDA booth, where we were to meet with Chris Jurney, who had worked with SuperGiant Games on both Bastion and Transistor. He talked to us candidly about how he got into the industry and about the different AI work and research he had done. One of the interesting parts of our talk was Chris was about how small the industry is, and how you can become one of the leading experts in a field if you dedicate yourself to it for a few years.

E3-Hallway

Friday brought studio tour day, starting with a trip to EALA. There we met devs from several different fields, who had prepared talks and took numerous questions. They demonstrated some of the tech they were working on, which was awesome seeing things both in and out of my field. After they gave us free rein in the EA store, we were on our way to Insomniac. While there, we had a round table discussion with several members of the Insomniac team. We had conversations about portfolios, engine architecture, project management, narrative design, and more.

Then it was time to return the van and say goodbye to the Scholars. By the end of the week, I had asked every question I could possibly think of. I had so many thoughtful conversations with so many people, that I was ready to just digest and think about everything. Some of the main topics that came up again and again were the fact that the industry is very small, and that working on and finishing side projects is incredibly important, especially for students.The event gave me a clear path forward and helped me get into the game development community at large. It was definitely life-changing, and I’m so glad I was given this opportunity.

I want to end this post with a thank you to all of the IGDA members who made this incredible experience possible, especially Luke Dicken and Molly Proffitt. It was an amazing week and I appreciate all the time and effort that went into making it everything it turned out to be.

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’!

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 2013 Recap

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orcajam-gameheads-finalHow do you create 21 games in a single weekend?

You get a whole room full of programmers, designers, artists, and sound engineers together, add wi-fi, give them a theme, and watch them go! In just 48 caffeine-fueled hours, a group of game developers all got together and made games. iPad games, PC games, top-down RTS, fighting, adventure, and all in just a weekend.

This year OrcaJam was part of Thinklandia, a companion festival to Rifflandia, but for ideas instead of music. It took place at ViaTec’s offices with help from their staff, who were fantastic. They made sure we had all the equipment we needed (you wouldn’t believe how many power bars it takes to run a game jam) and were generally a huge help.

First we met at the Moon Under Water for the usual drinks and appies mixer (if you weren’t there you missed a good party!), then we were off to the jam itself, which started with a quick opening address from The Honourable Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services. We’re all legitimate and stuff now (and a little worried how we’ll top that next year)!

This year’s theme was “Island”, which people ran with as you’ll see when you take a look at the games. It’s always fun to see what people do with a theme. Some developers take it very literally, but others… you’ll just have to play the games and see for yourself.

Aside from the awesome new venue, a few other things were different this year too. We had talks, a set of generously donated prizes, and a panel of judges from local game studios. Judges and prizes are new to OrcaJam, but we were happy to see that they didn’t change the collaborative spirit of the jam. Some really fun games came out of the jam and it was great to see them get some recognition.

We had two talks this year. The first was “From Tourists to Tetris – Redefining Victoria as a Game  Development Destination”, about how Victoria isn’t just a tourist destination anymore, it’s also becoming a game development destination.

Chris Tihor moderated and the panellists were Eric Jordan (DJ Arts), Edoardo De Martin (Microsoft Studios Victoria), Paul Hill (KIXEYE), Alex Mendelev (TinyMob Games), and Tim Teh (KANO/APPS).

One of the most interesting points the panellists made is that Victoria has an especially collaborative game development community. People from other studios will treat you like a colleague, not an enemy. We’re told that even Vancouver isn’t quite as friendly, so we can give Victoria credit for that instead of just chalking it up to good old Canadian niceness.

The second talk was “Bring Me The Brain! On the Mad Science of Game Design”, about the practices and pitfalls of game design. Just about every game developer out there struggles with this sooner or later.

The panelists for this talk were Ashley Blacquiere (KANO/APPS Game Designer), Andy Moore (Radial Games Founder), Chris Hoefgen (TinyMob Games CTO), and Ben Hesketh (Microsoft SDE). They had some great tips about how you know when you have a good idea for a game, finding the balance between not giving up too easily and clinging to an idea that just isn’t working, and how to balance working on games all day at your job with working on your own projects in your off hours.

Another highlight of the jam was the 5 minute game challenge. This challenge was inspired by a presentation where a group of indies “made” a game in about 5 minutes. That presentation was just a sped up video of the game being coded, but it made people wonder how fast could you really make a game. One of those people was Colin Northway, and at the first OrcaJam he dared Andy Moore to make a game in just 5 minutes. Andy didn’t quite make it, but he did prove that you can prototype a game mechanic in well under 10 minutes and that programming can be a spectator sport. This year we even had a five-minute song!

At the end of the jam, everyone presented their games to our panel of celebrity judges. Andy Moore (Radial Games), Ira Willey (AddictingGames.com), Eric Jordan (DJ Arts) and David Sandor (Inlight Entertainment) were kind enough to donate their time to OrcaJam instead of going outside and enjoying the sunshine.

First place went to Jacob Schwartz and Steve Carpenter for their game Cyclobster Island. In this game, you’re an archer defending yourself from a terrifying Cyclops/lobster monster, as well as menacing pterodactyls. Why pterodactyls? Why not? This team kept the scope and concept manageable so they could focus on gameplay, which earned them first prize.

Second place went to Hook Up! By Anglerfish Matchmakers Curtis Smith, Sarah Roland, and Kirsten Grove-White. Hook Up! is the anglerfish dating sim mentioned earlier. It’s charmingly odd and full of fish puns. If you’ve never played a game that mentions the poet Sharkespeare, you need to check this one out.

Third place went to Mario Benedict and team’s ipad game Flux. Another simple game that focused on game play, this one was especially well polished. It’s a two player, one iPad game where you each tap your ships in the right sequence to send a pulse to the other player’s ship and destroy it.

Fourth place went to Boar Island, a fun little game about running around on an island trying to get to the boat before the wild boars get you. But watch out, the boars can swim!

The coolest part of a game jam is seeing what everyone created. You can see the games that people posted on the OrcaJam site here: http://jam.orcajam.com/submissions.

Some really cool games came out of OrcaJam this year. I’m already looking forward to seeing what everyone makes next year. Maybe I’ll even see you there next time!

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.

The Digital Future Comes to the Island

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Downtown Qualicum Beach in a couple years time.

Downtown Qualicum Beach in a couple years time.

I’ve just been told of a very exciting event happening on the island at the end of the month. On April 28th, Qualicum Beach will be hosting the North Island Digital Media Symposium which will feature many talented folks from TV/Film, Video Games, Animation, Digital Comics and more. Even better, most, if not all of the speakers live and work right here on Vancouver Island. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the symposium for me as a big fan of science fiction movies (and Blade Runner in particular) is the keynote speaker: legendary designer Syd Mead.

If you’re interested in going, check out the official website for more details. Tickets are $25 each ($15 for students) and the event goes all day from 11am to 5pm. Just the sort of thing to add some excitement to a lazy Sunday.

Website and Ticket Sales: http://islanddigitalmedia.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VancouverIslandDigitalMediaSymposium/

Twitter: @vidsqualicum

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.

Games without Frontiers Conference – Call for Participation

By | Events, General, Local News | No Comments
Looks like someone was sitting a little too close to the television during the Super Mario marathon.

Looks like someone was sitting a little too close to the television during the Super Mario marathon.

I was recently contacted by David Leach, Associate Professor with the University of Victoria Department of Writing and organizer of Games without Frontiers: a conference being held on March 9th at UVic, around the theme of the social power of video games. According to the conference website, Games without Frontiers will feature:

“demonstrations of new social games by students and local designers; a ‘journalism game jam’ to apply game tools to improve public-service reporting; various competitions; screenings of documentaries and game-inspired films; and a panel of local experts to debate the power, the pitfalls and the future of game design.”

To that end, David has told me that he wants to get as many local and/or indie game companies involved as possible. He has outlined the opportunities to participate as follows:

Demo your stuff

Book a free table in one of the demo rooms and show off your game or game-related project. If it has a social gaming focus, all the better. Be prepared to discuss your project, the creative process, and the industry in general with conference attendees.

Speak on a panel

If you’ve got something to say on the use of games for research or the future of game development, you might want to put your name in to take part in one of the conference guest panels.

Get Jamming

Sign up to participate in the day-long Journalism Game Jam and explore how video-gaming can improve journalism or, if you have a discerning eye, apply to judge the results of the jam.

Be a Sponsor

Corporate or local game companies may wish to help out (and get their name out there) by donating incentives, prizes and food for the students participating in the Game Jam or for the conference in general.

However you decide participate, you can get in touch with David Leach via dleach(at)uvic(dot)ca to sign up or get more details. And even if you decide not to do any of the above, you should come out to UVic on March 9th and check out the conference anyway. Feedback on the scheduled events has been very positive so far, so it should prove to be an entertaining and informative occasion for all.

Edit: Here’s a document David sent me with more details: Games without Frontiers IdeaFest Event