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Presentations

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

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

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

November Monthly Meeting Featuring Brian MacKay From Race Rocks 3D

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Brian is a long time... wait, was that a stick cracking? He may not be alone in these woods!

Brian is a long time… wait, was that a stick cracking? He may not be alone in these woods!

This is a reminder of our monthly meeting for November taking place on Monday, November 4th. This month’s feature presenter is Brian MacKay from Race Rocks 3D! Brian will be talking about “An Agile Approach to Life”

“If you’ve worked in software or game development you’re probably familiar with the concept of “Agile Scrum” project management, however what you might not realize is that many of those principles can be applied to other major (or minor!) goals in your life.  The focus of this presentation is around looking at ways you can move your projects, goals and ultimately your life forward by embracing change and keeping things simple.”

More details about Brian:

“Brian first started making games at the age of 6 using HyperCard on the Mac Plus, and since then his passion for interactive storytelling has led him through a variety of mediums. With over 10 years experience working as an entrepreneur, brand strategist, game designer, and creative director, Brian specializes in applying his broad spectrum of finely honed skills to a variety of creative projects.  He is currently working as Lead Designer at RaceRocks 3D and has an independent mobile game set for release in 2014.”

Come join us for Brian’s presentation and hang around afterwards to socialize or check out new projects from your peers. 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, November 4th

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

When not being attacked by blobs, Brent is often attacked by cats.

When not being attacked by blobs, Brent is often attacked by cats.

This is a reminder of our monthly meeting for October taking place on Monday, October 7th. This month’s feature presenter is Brent Owens from Paper Machete games! Paper Machete is an indie game studio based out of Campbell River (and previously Fort St. John) and is currently developing Attack of the Gelatinous Blob for PC, MacOS, and Linux. Brent will be talking about the evolution of his game, the trials of being an indie developer, and in particular about his experiences with Kickstarter and his campaign to fund the game’s completion. Come on out and welcome Brent to 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.

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, October 7th

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

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July Monthly Meeting feat. Richard Vahrman – "Beyond the Invisible"

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Richard is a game designer who is outstanding in his field.

Richard is a game designer who is outstanding in his field.

This is a reminder of the monthly meeting for July taking place Monday, July 8th. This month, we have the distinct honour of welcoming Richard Vahrman to our meeting. Richard is a game designer visiting from Brighton, UK, who was kind enough to offer to give a presentation to our chapter. Here’s a description of the talk from Richard:

“The title of my talk will be ‘Beyond the Invisible’ and will give an introduction to location-based gaming, plastic waste pipes and how to dig up a field by jumping up and down. Beyond the Invisible refers to the work we are currently doing in updating a game I created called Invisible Buildings (virtual archaeology for school children).”

Richard also describes his background and how he eventually made his way into game design:

“After getting a degree in Biology, I became a musician and truck driver before working for 12 years with Prof. Heinz Wolff for the Medical Research Council, Brunel University and European Space Agency. We made equipment for the elderly and handicapped, and plant-cultivating robots for use in micro-gravity. I then started my own company specialising in RFID and container tracking systems. On my move to Brighton, I founded Brighton Web building and hosting content management systems. 7 years ago. I became interested in location based games and formed LocoMatrix. After a number of false starts, we now actually make a game that people do play!”

You won’t want to miss Richard’s fascinating presentation. Be sure to RSVP as space is limited and we’re expecting a good turn out.

We have the pub patio area reserved (which is covered and heated) and a ton of space. There are 3 TVs that we can hookup to and display slides or show off your current projects.  Come relax, talk shop 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:

  • 5:00pm: Doors open
  • 5:30pm: Opening announcements by group organizers
  • 5:45pm: Featured presentation
  • 6:15pm: Open stage for show-and-tell, networking and socializing
  • 11:00pm: Venue closes

See you there!

Details:

Monday, July 8th

Christie’s Carriage House Pub

1739 Fort Street, Victoria, BC

We’ll be in the patio area. Straight through the front doors, hang a right behind the host station and go through the patio doors.

Please RSVP via the Meetup event: The Main Event. We need to let Christie’s Pub know how many people to expect. Thanks!

May Monthly Meeting featuring Jacob Schwartz

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So Indie

Local indie game creator and concrete wall enthusiast Jacob Schwartz.

This is a reminder of the monthly meeting for May taking place Monday, May 6th. This month, we will be featuring a presentation by Jacob Schwartz, creator of iso and other fine games. Jacob will be presenting a post-mortem on his latest game: Ragdoll Boxing: Match of the Century. Anyone interested in releasing a game independently and/or through the Apple app store will definitely want to come out for this.

Also! We will be featuring a Super Secret Surprise Guest. Who could it be? I’m not telling. You’ll have to come out and find out yourself.

We have the pub patio area reserved (which is covered and heated) and a ton of space. There are 3 TVs that we can hookup to and display slides or show off your current projects.  Come relax, talk shop 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:

  • 5:00pm: Doors open
  • 5:30pm: Opening announcements by group organizers
  • 5:35pm: Featured presentation
  • 6:30pm: Open stage for show-and-tell, networking and socializing
  • 11:00pm: Venue closes

See you there!

Details:

Monday, May 6th

Christie’s Carriage House Pub

1739 Fort Street, Victoria, BC

We’ll be in the patio area. Straight through the front doors, hang a right behind the host station and go through the patio doors.

Please RSVP via the Meetup event: The Main Event. We need to let Christies Pub know how many people to expect. Thanks!