We had our first meetup last night, and, though there were hiccups, it was a successful event overall. Our panelists and audience members shared insights into their own journeys and into the gaps that still exist within the province. There were many conversations had amongst the developers who attended, and a few welcome guests showed up from other groups and organizations in town to see what was going on.
The word “cluster” came up a lot last night. For our community to have the best chance at growth and success, there will need to be plenty of options – small companies, larger ones, and, hopefully, top-tier developers. Developing a cluster of organizations and opportunities in the game development sector will help everyone. It will provide places to cut your teeth and places to move “up” into, but it will also make the choice to come here easier for veteran game developers, who worry about what to do if their first choice doesn’t work out. And, of course, it will allow the students coming out of MUN’s and CNA’s game development programs to build into long, rewarding career trajectories.
Building a career also emerged as a theme. Battle-tested veteran of the tech sector and newly-fledged art student alike heard professionals speak about the need to have game work to show off. Janice Hertel, our panelist from CNA, was kind enough to bring samples from her students’ design documents, the depth of which definitely dropped a couple of jaws in the room. We all know the industry is demanding, but it never hurts to have solid reminders of the realities involved!
With that in mind, we’re working on holding our very own game jam later this year to help you get there. We’ll be talking more about that in the months ahead.
We’re also in the booking stage for next month’s meetup, with details to come very soon.
I want to give thanks again to all of our speakers – Deirdre Ayre from Other Ocean Interactive, Ed J. Martin from Clockwork Fox, Colin Walsh from Celsius Game Studios, Vincent Sobalski from The Pofeski Factory, and Janice Hertel from CNA’s Video Game Art and Design program. Also a special thank you to Jeff Mercer from the Department of Culture, Tourism, Industry and Innovation for attending and for his continued attention and support as we grow the game development industry in this province.
Finally, a big thank you to our organizing team, who did a great job keeping things moving all night, and our members and friends, who showed up in force and made it a worthwhile evening for all.