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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

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’!

August Monthly Meeting Featuring Joel Green… at Swans!

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Hey, this place looks familiar! Although slightly fancier than I remember...

Hey, this place looks familiar! Although slightly fancier than I remember…

This is a reminder of our monthly meeting for August taking place next Monday, August 5th. As you may have noticed, this meeting is going to be held at our old haunt: Swans Brewpub. Unfortunately, holding our meetings at Christie’s didn’t really work out. I won’t go into it here, but the upshot of it is that we’ve arranged to have our monthly Main Event held at Swans in the good ol’ Collard Room again. One of the good things about this is that we can once again have underage members attending our meetings here, so we are discontinuing the After School (Work) Special meetups effective immediately.

To kick off our first meeting back at Swans, we’re having a presentation by Joel Green. Joel is a free-lance, free-range game developer and audio designer, currently living in the wild woods of Vancouver Island where he is experimenting with merging a technology career with a rural lifestyle.  Past credits include audio and systems design for Mass Effect 2 and 3, Dragon Age 2 and 3, and Need For Speed: Undercover.

Joel will be giving his talk “Game’n’Farmer” which he recently gave at the excellent Full Indie Summit in Vancouver. The talk is described thusly:

Why do I have to live in a city to make games?
Thanks to small teams, remote collaboration, and widespread internet access, Indie developers have a unique opportunity to live and work wherever they want.  This short talk relays the benefits and challenges of making games outside of cities, approaching the work/life balance issue from a unique perspective. 

Please come out and welcome Joel to our new/old meeting space!

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.

The meetup will kick off with presentations and then transition into free-form networking.

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, August 5th

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

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.

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)

OrcaJam III Early Bird Tickets Gone After August 1st!

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I like to think Diane Arbus would be photographing Game Jams if she were still alive…

OrcaJam III (or eye eye eye as I like to call it) is coming up fast. Even faster is the due date for the early bird tickets. Organizer Andy Moore recently sent out this message:

“We need to settle on TShirts and get them printed – and we need to order the catering – by August 1st. That means any signups AFTER August 1st become a pain in the butt. So:

If you purchase after August 1st, the ticket price will be higher and there will not be a TShirt for you at the event.

Please spread the word to anyone you know that was *considering* going. Tweet it, post to facebook, anything you can 🙂 I want to make sure nobody comes out disappointed!”

So sign up for OrcaJam before Thursday to get the lower rate *and* a nifty T-shirt! That’s a heckava deal. Share the good word with your friends! OrcaJam is always a good time, so everyone wins!

For more info on OrcaJam, check out the homepage at www.orcajam.com

To register, go here: OrcaJam registration

To visit LEVEL UP, go here: http://www.meetup.com/levelup/

Of Game Awards and Elected Boards

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And the award for the most subtle and least exploding awards show logo goes to...

The Canadian Videogame Awards Finalists have been announced. Along with the usual studio nominees like Ubisoft and EA, there are a number of indie developers who made the finals including:

Not only that, but an indie game is a finalist for the most awards: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP by Capybara is a finalist in nine categories. The awards take place during Fan Expo Vancouver on Saturday, April 21st, 2012.

In other news, the results are back from the 2012 IGDA Board Election. The two vacancies on the IGDA Board of Directors will now be filled by Sheri Rubin and Ed Fries. You may remember Sheri from an Awesome Talk that she gave to our group back in October of last year. Congratulations to both Sheri and Ed!

February Monthly Meeting: Highlights from Global Game Jam 2012

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Colton's smiling. This can't be good.

This is a reminder of the monthly meeting for February taking place on this coming Monday evening. This month’s meeting features jam organizer Colton Phillips reporting on highlights from the recent Global Game Jam as experienced last weekend at our own local GGJ site at the University of Victoria. It was a fantastic time for all and some great projects came out of it. Hopefully, some of the participants will bring along their projects to Monday’s meeting to show off. As always, everyone is welcome to bring any projects along that they’ve been working on to share with the rest of the group, and there will be lots of discussion about local goings on in the Victoria game dev community.

More game jam photos below.

Details:

Monday, February 6th

The Collard Room – Swans Hotel and Brewpub

506 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC

Doors open at 4:30pm

RSVP via the Meetup event: Show & Tell @ Swans

Are Video Games Art? The Smithsonian Thinks So.

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Sure video games are pretty, but they aren't no "Dude, Where's My Car?"

There was a bit of a kerfuffle a short while ago when Roger Ebert, film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times declared that video games can never be art. Now, Roger Ebert makes an intelligent and well-thought out argument to support his views, but ultimately arguing whether or not something is art is a futile endeavour. The art world gave up on the idea ages ago. In light of the works of Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol and their kin, everyone has pretty much agreed that if an artist declares their work to be art, then so be it. A urinal installed in a gallery? Sure. A stack of Brillo boxes? Okay. Video games? Why not?

With this premise in mind,  a cool new exhibition opens this Spring at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. Running from March 16th – September 30, The Art of Video Games examines video games as an artistic medium through it’s forty year history. 80 games spanning the entire history of video games will be featured and were chosen with the help of the public from a list of hundreds. The exhibition includes all sorts of fun events including talks with industry legends Ken Levine and Nolan Bushnell, and performances by ComputeHer, 8 Bit Weapon, Triforce Quartet, and University of Maryland’s Gamer Symphony Orchestra. And the best thing? It’s travelling to the EMP Museum in Seattle next spring, so we’ll be able to check it out here from the comfort of the West-coast.