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

To register, go here: OrcaJam registration

To visit LEVEL UP, go here:

Indie Game: The Movie Screening This Week

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Filmmakers Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky rocking the Atari old-school.

This week, a fascinating new documentary about independent game creators called Indie Game: The Movie comes to the Victoria area as part of the Hot Docs series. Created by two first-time filmmakers from Winnipeg, Indie Game won an award at Sundance and is the talk of game developers across the world. And! There will be a Q&A with the filmmakers afterwards. It is your duty as a gamer/game creator to go and see Indie Game: The Movie on Thursday night!

Movie description from the website:

“With the twenty-first century comes a new breed of struggling independent artist: the indie game designer. Refusing to toil for major developers, these innovators independently conceive, design, and program their distinctly personal games in the hope that they, too, may find success.

After two years of painstaking work, designer Edmund McMillen and programmer Tommy Refenes await the release of their first major game for Xbox, Super Meat Boy—the adventures of a skinless boy in search of his girlfriend, who is made of bandages. At PAX, a major video-game expo, developer Phil Fish unveils his highly anticipated, four-years-in-the-making FEZ. Jonathan Blow considers beginning a new game after creating Braid, one of the highest-rated games of all time.

First-time filmmaking duo Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky capture the emotional journey of these meticulously obsessive artists who devote their lives to their interactive art. Four developers, three games, and one ultimate goal— to express oneself through a video game.

-Sundance Film Festival

Feature Documentary, 96 mins”

Remember: Tickets MUST BE PURCHASED ONLINE before the show, and are limited in quantity!

Purchase tickets here. More details available on the Meet-up event linked below.


Thursday, May 3rd – 6:00 PM


Cineplex Odeon Westshore Cinemas
900 2945 Jacklin Rd
Langford BC, V9B 5E3
(250) 474-1007

Meet-up Event:

Indie Game: The Movie: The Screening

The Medium is the Message

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Or massage. Whatever you like. Although that doesn't look like much of a massage to be honest.

Here at IGDA Victoria headquarters, we do everything we can to help the local game development community grow and flourish. A large part of that is keeping up the lines of communication between the game creators and this organization. We do this primarily through this website/blog, and through various social media including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

One of the new things that we’re starting is a mailing list through Google Groups. The IGDA Victoria Chapter Mailing List is your source for essential news and event announcements. It will consist only of meeting and event notices and other basic chapter related news emailed to you with the goal of not cluttering up your in-box.

One other thing that we’re working on is a member survey. We want to get everyone’s feedback on what they’re interested in seeing happen with the group so that we can try to accommodate people’s interests and goals. Sign up to the mailing list and stay tuned for an announcement about the survey in the near future. Let your voice be heard!

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.


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

All You Ever Wanted To Know About Jam (But Were Afraid To Ask)

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This is what happens to the human body when deprived of Jam. Frightening!

With the Global Game Jam rapidly approaching (this Friday, people!) I thought that I would share a couple things that you might find useful. First up is this slick trailer for the event itself:


Next we have a couple articles with useful tips from independent game studio Convict Interactive all the way from Wollongong, Australia:

Tips for a game jam pt 1 – Before you arrive.

Tips for a game jam pt 2 – The first day

And check out this game for an example of what cool stuff can come out of Game Jams: Justin Smith’s Realistic Summer Sports Simulator. It was initially developed during OrcaJam 2011 right here in Victoria not 4 months ago.

If you haven’t already, you can register at the official Victoria site page of the Global Game Jam website. And sign up on the Global Game Jam 2012 / UVic GameDev presents… Minecraft! Facebook event page for up to the minute news.

See you all there!

This Game Jam Just Got Global

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It's a choose your own adventure where every choice is a winner!

You may recall some recent posts here extolling the virtues of Game Jams. Perhaps you heard about Orca Jam 2011 happening here in Victoria but it was too late – you’d already signed up your cat for Yoga classes and couldn’t make it out. Now here’s your chance to redeem yourself. Sign up for the Global Game Jam and participate in a worldwide jamtastic phenomena from right here in cozy little Victoria!

Three points of interest from the official site:

  • The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the world’s largest game jam event, so if you were waiting for the biggest wait no longer.
  • GGJ brings together thousands of game enthusiasts participating through many local jams around the world which makes for excellent networking opportunities.
  • GGJ is an official project of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) which means that I am contractually obligated to be enthusiastic about it.

Now that you’re stoked to participate, you should head over to the local jam site page (this year it’s being held at UVic) and register. More information will be released as the time gets closer, so keep an eye out here for updates. And remember, if you don’t want to participate in the GGJ, you can always show up for the Minecraft LAN Party instead. Or you could remain home, eat corn chips, and dream of what might have been.

Mid-Month Non-Denominational Holiday Brewpub Social!

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It might be easier to play that game without gloves on, Santa. Just sayin...

I thought a reminder might be in order for the IGDA Victoria Mid-Month Brewpub Social coming this Saturday. This month it transforms into the Mid-Month Non-Denominational Holiday Brewpub Social (or MMNDHBPS for short). Come on out and share some holiday cheer with the rest of the Victoria Game development community and dream about all the new games you might be getting. Hope to see you there, if not have a happy holiday of whatever variety you subscribe to!


Saturday, December 17, 2011, 2:30 PM


350-B Bay Street

Victoria, BC

Phone: 250 380 0706



Level Up meetup event

Virtual Expo, Real Job

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I'm hoping the other interviews go better than this one did.

If you’re based in Victoria and you’re looking for work in the Game industry, or if you’re based in Victoria and looking to hire for your Game company, or really, if you’re based anywhere that has internet access and looking to work/hire, than you could do worse than check out the new Virtual Career Expo. Hosted by Game Recruiter and partnered with the IGDA, ESA, Casual Connect, and a bunch of other organizations, the Virtual Career Expo is a job fair that you can attend from the comfort of your own home. As a job-seeker, this is an excellent opportunity to attend an interview in your pyjamas. As an employer, you can set up your own virtual booth, meet job candidates, and interview them all while wearing your pyjamas. It’s really a big games industry pyjama party that may get you the work you’re looking for without the hassle of a lot of travelling costs. It’s worth a look if only to avoid potentially troublesome pillow fights.

Oh yeah, check out the Facebook page for a contest you can enter to win a personal resume review with GameRecruiter CEO and Co-Founder Marc Mencher. I’ve seen a few talks featuring Marc and that guy knows his stuff.

Also, I’d like to remind everyone about the upcoming November Mid-Month Pub Social happening at the Moon Under Water pub this Saturday. It’s a chance to kick back and relax with your fellow game developers and enjoy some tasty beverages and good conversation. See you there!

Event Details:

Saturday, November 19, 2011, 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
The Moon Under Water Brewpub
350-B Bay Street, Victoria, BC

Meetup event

Game Jam Madness – It's a Global Contagion

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It's even harder if all you have is an Atari 2600.

As anyone who has participated in a 48hr Game Jam can attest, you have to be a little crazy to try to make a game in a very limited period of time. That, or the process may drive you crazy. So, if you have been in a game jam before (perhaps even our own local OrcaJam) this Ars Technica article “I think they’re mad”: Inside a 48 hour battle to build the best video game should be only too familiar.

Does it make you want to jump into the next OrcaJam? Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until next year. Of course, there is the Global Game Jam coming up in January. Who wants to participate? Do you think we should try to host an IGDA Victoria GGJ Jam Site?

ICIDS 2011: For those who love telling tales

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Some days you gotta kiss a lot of frogs…

There’s an event coming up in Vancouver soon and, if you’re like me and love storytelling and narrative design in video games, you won’t want to miss it. It’s the fourth annual International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling and it’s being held for the first time in North America this year running from November 28th until December 1st.

I’ll be attending this year and, if you’ll excuse the plug, I’ll be running a workshop on the 28th entitled “Rummaging in the Geek Culture Toolbox”. You can imagine that I’m pretty excited about it and I wanted to share my excitement by inviting all of you to attend. Invited speakers this year include Chris Crawford of Storytron, Mary DeMarle of Eidos Montreal, and Keith Oatley of University of Toronto. Further details on the conference can be found here: and details about my workshop are here: Note that there is a discount for IGDA Members.

I hope to see you there!