Rare Sponsor: Orange Slip Studios

Rare Sponsor: Orange Slip Studios

The folks at Orange Slip Studios have kindly offered to sponsor the food for our May 16th meetup, so thanks, folks, for that. We can’t wait to see what you have in the pipe!

Reminder – May 16th Meetup: Game Storytelling

Just a reminder, as we head into the weekend, that our May meetup is less than two weeks away, and it promises to be a good time. We’ll be down at Common Ground, 30 Harvey Road on Tuesday May 16th from 7:30PM onwards. Come join us!

Deadline: Summer Student Employment Programs

The deadline for applying for the Summer Student Employment Program for Post-Secondary students is May 7th. If you’re an employer looking to hire a post secondary student this summer, better get those applications filed soon! This wage-subsidy program provides $5/hr to a private sector employer towards the employment of a student entering or enrolled  in a post-secondary program within the next year.

As a reminder, there are students in CNA’s Video Game Art and Design program and MUN’s Computer Science program (starting their computer vision and gaming specialization this fall) who will no doubt be very interested in finding work this summer.

Good luck with your applications!

Call for Talks!

Here’s our monthly call for presenters and presentations. Topics of special interest at present are listed below, but talks can be on any game-development-related subject, whether technical-, creative-, or business-focused. If you are interested in presenting to the Gamedev NL audience, please email us!

Topics of Special Interest

  1. Funding – Grant writing, digital media tax credits, innovation funds, angel/venture capital, traditional financing, and any other subject related to getting the money to build games
  2. Art & Animation – whether it’s concept art or production assets, we want to hear from artists who are making things to put into games!
  3. Sound – are you a producer? A sound engineer? A musician? An interactive sound specialist? We’d love to hear your perspective on writing music and SFX for interactive media!
  4. Voices – are you a voice actor? Have you worked with voice actors on a published game? We would like to hear more about how that works, and what game developers should consider when they’re considering whether and how to put voices into their games
  5. Engine Programming – Written a navmesh system from scratch? Built your own voxel engine? Constructed a network compression scheme lately? We’d love to hear all about it!

 

Friend Blogs: Giant Cop’s Narrative VR Character

We heard from Ryan Hale at Other Ocean recently, and he was kind enough to pass on a link to their dev blog about designing the player’s avatar for Giant Cop. It’s worth a read. Inhabiting a character in VR definitely poses a new kind of challenge for designers, and there’s a lot here to chew on.

It will be interesting to see how the industry tackles these ideas, and how players respond. It seems likely that some of the joy of VR is going to come from being able to inhabit someone different than yourself, but at this stage in the technology’s life, making sure that people are able to just be themselves within the game world is the first order of business.

Go have a read!

Giant Cop Dev Blog #2: The Zeroth Person Perspective

 

 

May Meetup Date Change

The date for the May meetup of Gamedev NL is being moved to the 16th, on account of I (Mike) didn’t think through the original date completely. I hope everyone can still make it, as it promises to be a very interesting and enlightening first talk!

May Meetup: Game Storytelling

UPDATE: We have changed the date of this meetup to May 16th, 2017

I received a lovely surprise on Wednesday in the form of a talk proposal from Gregory Wells from CNA. I’ll let Greg explain who he is and what he’s going to talk about.

Our Speaker: Gregory Wells

Gregory Wells is an innovative creative designer with a primary focus on game design, sound design, and storytelling. An independent game developer and instructor of Video Game Art & Design at the College of the North Atlantic, Greg’s involvement in games led him to pursue his Bachelors of Creative Writing and English for deeper understanding.

The Talk: Game Storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful tool, and one that has accompanied our existence from the early years of humankind. Like movies and books, games support much of the common literary and cinematic forms of narrative. However, games provide the opportunity to take these storytelling tools deeper through interactivity and involving the player as an active member of the storytelling experience.

This talk will deal with storytelling in games. Storytelling doesn’t just exist within a game’s dialogue or text; it is embedded into gameplay experiences, the art, the sound, and the atmosphere of the games we play. All of these elements create the themes in which games are conveyed to us, invoking our ability to visualize, imagine, and interact with the story. Storytelling reveals itself as the goals of the game, the journey, characters, challenges, rewards, and the consequences of the experience. Even a game without a formal story can cause us to create our own stories. This talk will look at the theory of interactive storytelling from its foundations in English literature to the immersive and engaging narrative of modern gaming experiences.

Location and Time

The meetup will take place at 7:30PM on May  16th at Common Ground, 30 Harvey Road.

First Meetup Success!

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.

Rare Sponsor: Coves’n’Tickles

Our newest sponsor is local business Coves’n’Tickles, who are contributing grub money for our first meetup tonight. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Last Minute Surprise: 6th State of the Industry Panelist!

I received a nice surprise today in the form of an email from Colin Walsh, the founder and workhorse of Celsius Game Studios. He said he’ll be coming to tomorrow’s meetup, and that he’d be happy to sit on the panel. I’m really excited to add Colin to our already excellent group of panelists. He’s been at this a while now, and will certainly bring a unique perspective.