Category: Inspiration

Gamercamp Starts This Friday!

Jaime Woo from Gamercamp writes:
Gamercamp is celebrating its fifth year (!!!) and it’s going all out!

First, there are three awesome visiting guest speakers coming in from Vancouver, Quebec City, and even from down under in Melbourne. Catch Nels Anderson (Mark Of The Ninja), Jill Murray (Assassin’s Creed: Liberation and Black Flag), and Alexander Bruce (Antichamber) in our evening Salon Series. Happening nightly at 7:00 pm, the Salon Series are a smaller, more intimate set of talks in order to better connect with the speakers.

Friday: Nels Anderson, lead designer of Mark Of The Ninja. “The Importance Of Systems In Game Design For Both Creating Personal Experiences And Addressing The Problem Of Learned Helplessness.”

Saturday: Jill Murray, narrative design director Ubisoft Quebec. “YOU Work In GAMES? How The Gaming Industry Saved One Book Nerd’s Life, And What Diversity Really Means Within The Industry.”

Sunday: Alexander Bruce, creator Antichamber. “An Idea, A Laptop, And A Question: The Long And Messy Road Toward Antichamber’s Success.”

Nels, Jill, and Alexander are highly respected in the industry, and while you normally need to travel to MIGS or GDC and spend hundreds of dollars to see them, there are a few passes remaining for the Salon Series, which starts at under $17.

Next, Gamercamp is taking over Hotel Ocho to create a giant pop-up arcade! (We just released our trailer in case you missed it!

The Gamercamp Arcade will put over 30 videogames and 25 board games into the four floors of the hotel, filling everywhere except the washrooms! (Hmm…) There’s something for everyone from titles for the new PlayStation 4, to games created inside the Royal Ontario Museum, to the brilliant games in our Official Selections, to the Board Game Cafe!

Passes are $15 and on sale online and at the door. The Arcade happens November 2 and 3 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Because Hand Eye has always been a huge supporter of Gamercamp and we feel warm and fuzzy right back, we’re offering the code HANDEYE5 to get $5 off your adult pass when you buy at!

Awesome speakers, exciting games: what more could you ask for? Pick up your Gamercamp passes today and see you next week!

 See you guys there!

Kings Quest the Band / Indigenous Game Commission

Man, people never dance at Toronto shows.

Our pals at Dirty Rectangles, Ottawa’s game collective, are on the road touring with their indie rock band Kings Quest. They’re in Toronto a week tonight (Thurs. July 18) at Rancho Relaxo. More deets on Facebook. Listen to their sweet tunes here.

Also, Ben Donoghue writes:

The Indigenous Routes Collective is currently looking for two Ontario-based indigenous artists for a commission to produce new web or mobile-based applications, games, and/or sites reflecting native culture. This project is open to all indigenous artists resident in Ontario, with priority given to individuals outside major urban centres… The possibilities extend from local works exploring geolocation to video games exploring native realities…

Training will be provided on programming for web, game and mobile development in Toronto. Attendance at this training site (September 2013) is mandatory. All travel, accommodation and per diems will be paid. There will be an additional artist fee of $2,000 for the completion of the project and public release. All projects will be copyright of the artist within a contract with Indigenous Routes.

Deadline is August 3, 2013. More information on the Indigenous Routes website.

Make a Game at the Museum

Don't get jam on the dino bones!

Jaime from Gamercamp writes with this unique game jam opportunity at the Royal Ontario Museum:

Bring History to Life at The First ROM Game Jam!
Gamercamp, University of Toronto, and the ROM have teamed up for a one-of-a-kind experience

In an exciting pilot project, the ROM is opening its doors to game developers for a three-day game jam August 9-11, 2013 to create digital games to animate the exhibits in the museum.

For three days, participants will get special access to the museum to create a game based on its contents. Now, even for veteran game jam participants, there will be a few fresh surprises to the ROM Game Jam experience. Imagine yourself digging up ancient artifacts for inspiration, or immersing yourself in the rich history of the museum with ROM experts in archaeology, ancient cultures, and more.

The experience continues after the actual game jam! Completed games will get play-tested at the ROM in mid-October PLUS officially premiere at Gamercamp in November. Not to get all fine-print on you, but best of all you keep the IP to your work, including the right to distribute and sell the game!

For this beta, the space will be very limited. Participants must apply as a team ranging in size from one to four persons. Whether you’re on the fence or ready to go, there will be a recommended info session at the ROM on July 12 at 6 pm!

Click for more information and to register your interest.

Got questions? Check out the FAQ section.

How should public arts funding be extended to game making?

A checkbox of our own!
Last Thursday the Hand Eye Society was invited into the Ontario Arts Council along with members of Dames Making Games and Bento Miso to speak about the needs of artists in the games community. Mark Haslam, the grant officer for the media arts section, had met with game artists earlier in June at Bento and wanted more of the staff at the OAC to hear about the ways that games are being used as creative expression in Toronto and beyond.

Mark has been actively encouraging game makers to consider applying for the media arts grant — the deadline is November 1st and awards up to $10,000. Notably, he mentioned at the meeting that the 2013 emerging artist media arts application would have a category checkbox for “games”.

The other thing he encourages game makers to do is fill out this survey before this Sunday at midnight — it’s being used to inform the OAC’s strategic plan for the next five years. The more people from the games community give their input the more informed their policy can be. It takes about 20 minutes to do, and as Mark says “The survey is quite targeted, but there are a few open ended questions that people should use to introduce new ideas.” The OAC has a stellar record of supporting artists for 50 awesome years, so let’s give them some data to work with!

Update: The application and guidelines for the November 1 deadline is here.

Team Vector + videofag : Queer Arcade Call for Submissions


Two more weeks to submit to Queer Arcade!

Until June 1st, 2013, videofag and TeamVector invite you to submit work that relates to the theme “Queer Arcade.” The exhibition will be a pop-up arcade taking place at videofag in Toronto, Ontario July 27-28, with a reception on the evening of the 27th.

We are open to works that address the theme “Queer Arcade” in unexpected ways. Feel free to submit video games made for any platform, experimental GAYmes, Queering of traditional games, ROM hacks, machinima, board games, RPGs, card games, arcade ephemera, and works in any other medium that address the the theme of Queerness in video games.

Click here for submission guidelines.

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