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Meetings

The Main Event – Shaders in Unity

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For the March Main Event Dylan Gedig of Red Nexus Games came to talk to us about shaders. If you look at what wikipedia has to say about them, they sound intimidatingly complicated. But as Dylan showed us, they’re really not that scary. Not only are shaders not just for wizards, you can use them to effectively add more art to your game without an artist having to do more work or making the download size of your game bigger. If you need a grayscale version of, say, a player character that isn’t selected, plus the normal full colour version, plus a flashing red version for when the player gets attacked, you can do all of that with one piece of art and some shaders.

To see how, have a look at Dylan’s slides and his example project.

Thanks again to Dylan for demystifying shaders!

 

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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