Local News

March Monthly Meeting: Home Alone from GDC

By | General, Local News, Meetings | No Comments

Fun Fact: This game was developed by none other than Bethesda Softworks - the folks who brought us Fallout 3 and the Elder Scrolls games. Everyone's gotta start somewhere!

This is a reminder of the monthly meeting for March taking place on this coming Monday evening. This month’s meeting features all of us unfortunates who aren’t off having a wonderful time at GDC this year. Hopefully we won’t be attacked by burglars as we drown our sorrows. 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 development community.


Monday, March 5th

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

February Monthly Meeting: Highlights from Global Game Jam 2012

By | Chapter News, Events, General, Local News, Meetings, News | No Comments

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)

By | Events, Local News | No Comments

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

By | Events, General, Local News | No Comments

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.

GameHouse Canada Steps Up Its Hiring Game

By | Careers, General, Local News, News | No Comments

Alex Mendelev, general manager of GameHouse Canada, takes a moment to reflect on one of his games. Photograph by: Darren Stone,

You may have already seen the article in the Victoria Time Colonist or read their press release, but in a follow-up to the story I posted earlier in the month, it appears that GameHouse Canada is looking to hire even more people than originally mentioned. Now they’re talking about doubling their workforce by adding at least 20-25 employees. Along with Microsoft Studio Victoria’s goal of bringing on 50-60 people, we’re now looking at potentially over 80 new jobs for game creators in Victoria. Wow. Things are definitely looking up for the local game development community. At this rate, we may have to start holding IGDA Victoria meetings at the Memorial Arena.

Gaslamp Game Makes Top 10 on Gamasutra

By | General, Local News, News | No Comments

The secret of their success? It's all in the eyebrows, kids!

As an early Christmas gift for local indie developer Gaslamp Games, Gamasutra ranked their funny and entertaining dungeon crawler Dungeons of Dredmor #6 in Gamasutra’s Best Of 2011: Top 10 Indie Games. They’re in good company. The list includes many excellent indie games such as Atom Zombie Smasher and Frozen Synapse as well as fellow Canadian developers Capybara Games with their stylish release Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. Congratulations Gaslamp!

If you haven’t already, give Dungeons of Dredmor a try – it’s a blast. And don’t forget their just released expansion: Realm of the Diggle Gods.

GameHouse Canada Looking for a Few Good Geeks

By | Careers, General, Local News | No Comments

And maybe someday you'll rock as much as this guy!

I just got the word that GameHouse Canada is hiring. GameHouse is one of our largest local game companies and a Platinum Sponsor of the Level Up/IGDA Victoria group, so if anyone in Victoria is looking for a good place to move forward with your game career, or if anyone outside of Victoria is looking for a reason to move here, you should definitely check them out. The job postings are located here on their Facebook Page. Myke Allen, who works as a Game Artist at GameHouse and is an all around good guy, was kind enough to pass on this information, so if you decide to apply, please mention his name.

Microsoft Brings the Game to Victoria

By | General, Local News, News | No Comments

The new home of Microsoft Studios Victoria. Nothing important was going on in there anyways.

As you may have already heard from various news sources, Microsoft is planning on opening a new game studio here in Victoria. Microsoft Studios Victoria will be opening in the new year and will be located in offices in the Dogwood building on the downtown waterfront. While some local game companies are wary of the new competition for local talent (Microsoft’s looking to hire 50-60 people), industry observers and post-secondary institutions are cheering the move, saying that it will mark Victoria as a viable location for other game companies to set up shop and lure new employees to the area from around the world. Regardless of which camp you belong, everyone has to agree that the Victoria game development industry is about to get a lot more interesting in the next year.

Game Jam Madness – It's a Global Contagion

By | Events, Local News | No Comments

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?

October Monthly Meeting featuring Sheri Rubin!

By | Chapter News, Local News, Meetings, News | No Comments
Sheri Rubin

Sheri Rubin: Master of Game Fu

It’s all a bit last minute, but Sheri Rubin, as part of her cross continent road trip, is coming to speak at this month’s IGDA Victoria meeting on Monday, October the 3rd! Sheri has been involved in the game industry for over 15 years and helped to create more than 30 games including the Golden Tee series and Sam and Max Season One. This will be Sheri’s first visit to our chapter, and she’ll be giving the talk outlined below, so spread the word and let’s get a good crowd out to give Sheri a warm welcome!


Monday, October 3rd

The Collard Room – Swans Hotel and Brewpub

506 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC

Doors open at 4:30pm


Your Developers Are Your Customers


Too often we focus on the end user, the player, as the basis of our focus on customer needs and wants. What we end up doing is creating an environment that doesn’t promote an experience that is good for all our customers, including the ones that matter most: the developers. This talk will explain the basics of a good customer experience, help managers identify who their “customers” are, and then give them the tools they need to improve their customer experience and bring consistency to their brands. Whether you are a developer, publisher, or service vendor you can quickly and easily take small steps that can impact your bottom line. Even team leads, seniors, and individual developers can implement changes that will over time increase their relationships with others and their ability to succeed.

Areas that this talk will cover include:

  • Post-mortems: Why you’re probably doing them wrong (and you SHOULD be doing them!)
  • Third-party relationships: The two things you MUST do to constantly improve your customer experience
  • Your Staff: Learn why they are the key to making this all happen and what you can do to influence their happiness
  • Branding: Why it’s important for even small developers and vendors (and individuals) to develop a brand and what it can do for you and your customer experience

Your customers are THE most important part of your business – this talk aims to show you how making them a priority can help multiple aspects of your business.