Full ‘Comics vs Games Talks’ Lineup!

It’s a little over a week till TCAF and all of this year’s Comics vs Games programming!  We can now announce the full line up and schedule for Comics vs Games Talks, this year’s expanded programming bringing together comic and game creators to talk about the two mediums.  It’s all happening at Bento Miso (862 Richmond St W) right above Bit Bazaar, Saturday May 10th.

We are looking for volunteers to attend games, transport panellists and more. Email Alex for details if you’re available on Saturday. 10 hours of volunteer time in 2014 make you eligible for Hand Eye Society membership in 2015.


Comics vs Games Talks Schedule

12pm-1pm: Surprise Guest (TBA) 
A  conversation on comics and interactivity with a surprise guest.  Sorry folks, we’re keeping this one under-wraps till next week!

1pm – 2pm: The Last of Us – Making American Dreams
Faith Erin Hicks
Ignoring the usual cookie cutter approach to licensed videogame comics the The Last of Us’s creative director Neil Druckman tapped comic creator Faith Erin Hicks to co-create their prequel comic “American Dreams”. The characters and locations from the comic have gone on to influenced both the game and its DLC “Left Behind” in ways both subtle and significant. In this talk Faith Erin Hicks discusses this unique collaboration between an AAA game studio and independent comic creator.

2pm – 3pm: Play my Life – Autobiographical Comics and Games
David S Gallant, merritt kopas, Annie Mok, Kelly Phillips with moderator Soha Kareem
While comics have a long history of autobiographical work, this is an area that game creators have only recently started to explore, creating works ranging from the intensely personal to the intentionally banal. In this panel, creators from both mediums discuss the similarities and differences in how they approach real-life personal themes and narratives in their work.

3pm – 4pm: Putting Pixels on Paper – Game Zine Revolution
Elizabeth Simins, Ashley Davis, Mathew Kumar, Matt Hawkins with moderator Adam Hines
At the same time as traditional game magazines are dying off, the last few years have seen a videogame zine renaissance. Featuring critical and personal writing on games, fan comics and illustrations and taking forms ranging from hand bound silk screen art objects to glossy full colour magazines. Our panel of experts discuss their own zine work, the movement in general and why physical zines are important in a time when publishing online has never been easier.

 4pm-  5pm: Furnishing Gone Home – Creating a House That Tells a Story
Kate Craig
Comic creator and game artist Kate Craig talks through the creation of the mansion in the award-winning story exploration game Gone Home, revealing how she helped tell the game’s central story of love and self discovery visually, through individually crafted environments and found objects.

5pm – 6pm: The Yawhg Post Mortem – Crafting A Multiplayer Choose Your Own Adventure.
Damian Sommer and Emily Carroll
Originally created as a jam game for the first year of Comics vs Games, the Yawhg went on to be developed into a full commercial release nominated for multiple Independent Games Festival awards. Game developer Damian Sommer and comic creator Emily Carroll discuss the creation of their darkly humorous multiplayer narrative game.

6pm-7pm: Out of Order – Playing with Sequential Art in Framed
Joshua Boggs
Will Eisner and Scott McCloud define comics as “Sequential Art”, but what happens when you make a game around re-arranging that sequence? Josh discusses the effects of creating a “comic-book-game” that plays with the order of events, from both a game and narrative design standpoint.


Last Year’s Comics vs Games Panel

For those who missed last year’s Comics vs Games Panel here’s the full video with panellists:
Scott Campbell (Doublefine, The Art of Brutal Legend)
Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim)
Benjamin Rivers (Snow, Home)
Jim Zub (Skullkickers, Street Fighter HD Remix)
Moderated by Miguel Sternberg (They Bleed Pixels)

Here’s the full video. If you just want to listen here’s an MP3 of the audio.


In other Comics vs Games news…

Joshua Boggs of Love Shack Entertainment will be at the Comics vs Games Showcase (located on the second floor of TCAF) on Sunday!  He’ll be showing off a new version of Framed, which you may remember as one of the interactive comic/game hybrids we featured last year.  He’s visiting all the way from Australia so this is a rare chance to preview Framed and meet one of its creators!

Also a reminder that Thursday May 8th is the Comics vs Games 3D + VRcade Opening Party at Bento Miso!  Your first chance to see the amazing 3D artwork Attract Mode have curated for this year’s gallery show. Plus games, music food and beer! Advance tickets and more info here:

More Comics vs Games news coming next week.  In the meantime you can get info on all the Comics vs Games events on the TCAF website.

Comics vs Games 3 is a Toronto Comics Arts Festival event sponsored by Bento Miso and co-organized with The Hand Eye Society and Attract Mode.

May 2014 Game Event Roundup


Don’t forget to check out the Toronto Gaming Calendar, which will be updated as more events become announced throughout the month. (Remember, the calendar can also be added to your googlecal.) Note only the events marked with an asterisk are Hand Eye events — for the rest, we’re just signal boosting for this amazing community.

Toronto Video Game Events

Saturday, May 3: Toronto Global Game Jam 2014 Video Game Expo

Thursday, May 8: Comics vs Games 3D + VRcade Opening Party

Saturday, May 10: Bit Bazaar

*Saturday, May 10-Sunday, May 11: Comics Vs Games 3

Monday, May 12:- Games with Friends #57 

Wednesday, May 21: IGDA: Made in Canada: Video Games as National Art

Wednesday, May 22: Introduction to Game-Making Tools by DMG

Saturday, May 24: DMG May Speaker Social: TOJam Showoff Edition

Monday, May 26: Games with Friends #58

Wednesday, May 28: DMG Open Studio/WIP Night

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Local Game Releases

Actual Sunlight is now on Steam.

Retro Runner: Princess Power is on iOS (pictured above).

Pixelrama was released on iOS.

Circuit Panic is now out for iOS.

Alex Hayter released Leif, a game he made at TOJam.

Also made at TOJam was BioMii, with art by Kim Koronya and Beth Maher, game design by Brittney Oberfield, andprogramming by Benjamin Langerak.

More from TOJam is Popcorn Punch with art by Rachel Kahn and music and programming by Matthew Rapati.

Another TOJam game is Care Control with sound by Ryan Roth and everything else by Arielle Grimes.

Want more TOJam games? Check them out here!

Toronto Folks In The Media

Toronto game Osmos had a cameo on the Simpsons earlier this month!

Metanet’s N++ has been grabbing media gold at Financial Post, PolygonEdge, Digital Spy, and will be playable at Bit Bazaar.

Rocket 5 Studio’s The Phantom PI was named one of the Top 10 Best Mobile Games at PAX East by Evolve Entertainment.

Rocket 5 was also on InnerSpace, along with Golden Gear, Asteroid Base, and Love Conquers All Games.

Shu’s Garden was featured on KillScreen!

Canada.com featured Phantom Compass’s Rollers of the Realm.

An interview with Will O’Neill about Actual Sunlight is up on PixelPacas. Actual Sunlight can also be found on on Die Hard Game Fanat Digital Love Child, and on Errant Signal. Oh, and also on Hooked Gamers.

Gamezebo has a preview of Get Set Games’s next release, Battle Casters!

Retro Runner: Princess Power was reviewed on Paper Droids.  It’s also over on NerdyButFlirty. Not to stop there, though, Retro Runner can also be found on CanadianGamer.net, Indie Game Magazine, and on Weise Gamer.

Lana Polansky covered Soha Kareem’s game reProgram.

Destructoid covered the announcement of Drinkbox Studios’ upcoming game, Severed. It’s also on Joystiq. And they were interviewed at Polygon.

Asteroid Base’s Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime is in Destructoid.

Comics Vs Games 3 was covered on Polygon.


Special Announcements and Calls

Our Torontron indie arcade cabinets have relocated to TAIS, Site 3, and Iceman Games on Queen, but need new hardware since the stress test at the AGO. If you have an old CPU you could donate to help showcase Toronto games to an appreciative public, let us know.

The Hand Eye Society is also looking for a studio space to shoot for a few days. Shoot what, you ask? An exciting unannounced project! Email us if you have a space with character and 2-day availability windows!

Our Artsy Games Incubator partners at the Toronto Animated Image Society are looking for 10 second robot animations!


Gamemaking Help Wanted/Offered

I’m the founder of Singspiel, a small Toronto-startup looking to make apps that teach music lovers how to play instruments through feedback and addictive feedback loops. Think DuoLingo but for music. We are currently building out our design team and I’m looking for an art director\UX designer to make the front-end of our app beatiful, addictive and intuitive. Contact Ivan.


That’s all for now! If there’s any June events or Toronto video games news, releases, and rad media coverage you want shared, don’t hesitate to pass it along to Kaitlin via email or on Twitter.

IGDA Toronto Presents a Grab-Bag of Developer Chats

IGDA Toronto Presents: Grab-Bag of Developer Chats

Missed any big game conferences lately? This month we’re bringing the conference experience to you, with three different talks by local game developers!

  • Rogue Legacy Design Post Mortem: Budget Development – Teddy Lee, Cellar Door Games
  • What Modern Interior Design Teaches Us About Environment Art – Dan Cox, Ubisoft
  • Super Spy Crash Course: Teaching Players in Splinter Cell Blacklist – Laurent Malville, Ubisoft

We’ll have a social to follow, which may be your last and best shot at getting together with your jam team before we Party Like It’s 19TOJam9!

When: Tuesday April 22nd 7pm
Where: Metro Hall 55 John Street Toronto Room 308

Join the event on Facebook and follow @IGDAToronto on Twitter. All are welcome – an IGDA membership is not required to attend.

Comics vs Games 3!


The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is fast approaching and with it another Comics vs Games! This year’s looks to be the biggest and best celebration of the two media yet!

Bento Miso are sponsoring this year’s events again and bringing back Bit Bazaar, their videogame arts and crafts show. Attract Mode return with a new twist on the gallery show with the Comics vs Games 3D Gallery featuring fully 3D artwork and three virtual reality collaborations between comic and game makers commissioned by Bento Miso playable on Oculus Rifts.

The Hand Eye Society and TCAF will be expanding last year’s single panel to a full day of programming: Comics vs Games Talks, featuring comic and game creators discussing their work and the intersection of the two art forms. It’s a stellar, diverse line up ranging from Faith Erin Hicks talking about creating The Last of Us: American Dreams to a panel discussion on autobiographical comics and games. We’ll be posting a full schedule soon!

All of the above is happening at the Bento Miso space. But we haven’t forgotten the TCAF main location either!

TCAF and Hand Eye will be bringing videogames back to the reference library with the Comics vs Games 3 Showcase featuring highlights from our original Comics vs Games project with TIFF Nexus, which you may remember paired game makers with comic creators to craft original games. In addition we’ll also have a selection of games from ARTXGAME courtesy of Attract Mode!  The first ARTXGAME show was the inspiration for Comics vs Games, and it featured game developers and illustrators creating games together. We’re very happy to be debuting many of these games in Canada for the first time.

More info to come but you can read about the current event line up in more detail on the Comics vs Games page.

Confused about what’s happening where and when? Here’s the breakdown!

At Bento Miso 
#300 – 862 Richmond Street West
Sat, May 10th  - 11:00 am – 8:00 pm

  • Bit Bazaar: Spring Fair 2014 – Presented by Bento Miso
  • The Comics vs Games 3D Gallery – Presented by Attract Mode and Bento Miso
  • Comics vs Games Talks – Presented by The Hand Eye Society and TCAF

Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street.
Sat May 10th – 9am-5pm
Sun May 11th – 11am-5pm

  • The Comics vs Games 3 Showcase – Presented by The Hand Eye Society and TCAF

All these events are free to the public!

Comics vs Games 3 is a Toronto Comics Arts Festival event sponsored by Bento Miso and co-organized with The Hand Eye Society and Attract Mode.

April 2014 Game Event Roundup


April’s here, and with it comes a lot of exciting video game related news and events. Don’t forget to check out the Toronto Gaming Calendar, which will be updated as more events become announced throughout the month. (Remember, the calendar can also be added to your googlecal.) Note only the events marked with an asterisk are Hand Eye events — for the rest, we’re just signal boosting for this amazing community.


Toronto Video Game Events

* Thursday, April 3 – Thursday, May 8: Artsy Games Incubator: Animation Edition

Friday, April 4: 4th Annual Level Up Student Games Showcase

Saturday, April 12: Retro Runner Launch Party

Saturday, April 12: Social Justice Design Jam #1: Co-Creating Images for the World(s) We Want To Build

Wednesday, April 16: E-Poetry, Performance, Play with a Twine workshop led by DMG Members Kaitlin Tremblay and Kara Stone

Wednesday, April 16: DMG’s Introduction to Game-Making Tools

Wednesday, April 23: DMG April Social

Wednesday, April 30: Torontaru

Wednesday, April 30: Bad Dogs Epic Wednesdays: The Video Game Show

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Local Game Releases

JamminGames released Spirographics on Google Play!

WordPatch was released on the App store.

I Love Donna, a game made from the DMG Game Jam Feb Fatale 2, featuring work from Beth Maher, Kim Koronya, Brittney Oberfield, and Izzie Colpitts-Campbell, was also released.

Bloom Digital Media’s Long Story was released on the iTunes/Andriod app store! (pictured above)

Shu’s Garden was also released on iOS and Andriod!

Cyborg-goddess, a game by Kara Stone and Kayte McKnight, is now available to play.

Alicia Contestabile released the first part of her Twine, Borderlines.


Toronto Folks in the Media

We did a roundup of Toronto representation at March’s Game Developers Conference.

10 Years Ago in the Media: Metanet Software were interviewed for the first time about N, their brand new freeware indie game, for Eye Weekly’s videogame column.

The Yawhg is on Rock Paper Shotgun and on Dorkshelf.

Check out Elizabeth Simins’ comic Bad At Games, featuring Jazzpunk!

David S. Gallant was interviewed on the Financial Post.

Soha Kareem was interviewed in the Financial Post about her Twine, reProgram. reProgram also was given the Objective Game Review treatment. Oh, and on First Person Scholar, she was interviewed about her first Twine Penalties. Did I also mention she’s profiled on Tech Girls?

Benjamin Rivers’ Alone With You GDC presentation got some good coverage over at Polygon. And it’s also over on the Financial Post.  Listen to Rivers’ GDC talk over at Giant Bomb.

Get Set Game’s Battle Casters was up on the Touch Arcade.

Bento Miso, Rocket 5 Studios, and Asteroid Base were on Inner Space.

Nathan from Capy Games was interviewed on Destructoid about Super Time Force. Super Time Force was also featured over at Dorkshelf!

Sony released the full list of their upcoming 2014 PS4 titles, which includes Drinkbox Studio’s Guacamelee!, Ben Rivers’ Home, and Cellar Door Games’s Rogue Legacy.

Retro Runner: Princess Power, which releases in April, has already started receiving great press, with coverage on the Toronto Indie Hub and Pear Caster.

Rogue Legacy also appeared on Polygon.


Special Announcements and Calls

The Hand Eye Society is hiring a graphic designer for web and print work. Email us with portfolio links.

Ben Rivers released the trailer for his upcoming game, Alone With You.

Will O’Neill’s Actual Sunlight was Greenlit.

Toronto Twiners, want your game covered? Soha Kareem will be doing a monthly Twine feature at Haywire Magazine, so send your Twines to her!

E-Poetry, Performance, Play is looking for digital poetry for their exhibit celebrating National Poetry Month. If you have a game you think uses digital poetics, contact Lai-Tze Fan. Please submit a brief (no more than 250 words) description of the work(s) and its/their connection to e-poetry. Websites or images describing the work are helpful.

A UWO Professor has been working on an international Developer Satisfaction Survey with the IGDA. If you’re interested, you can fill out the survey here.


Game-making Help Offered/Wanted

Stratum Games is working on Retro Runner: Princess Power right now. RR is an irreverent side-scroller that celebrates the best games of the last 30 years through art, music, and hidden references. We need help to get the game done, though: 1) We need an awesome 2D artist to create some transition slides for our game’s storyline. Please email us at contact@stratumgames.com if you are awesome.
2) We will be including hundreds of video game trivia questions as a sort of “mini game” within our game. We’d like our players to write some of these! Please contribute your questions about your favourite game of yesteryear by emailing us. Check out the site for gameplay footage and info about the project.

I am a creative writer and lawyer looking for an opportunity to tell a story through gameplay. I have numerous short stories as samples of my creative writing style. My experience as a litigation lawyer serves to infuse my story arcs and dialogues with a sense of plausibility and realism. I also have an undergraduate degree in Music Composition and am able to compose music for interactive media. Samples of my composition style are also available on request. I would be pleased to hear from anyone looking to form a partnership to create an adventure-style game with a focus on characters and storytelling. If interested, please contact me.

That’s all for now! If there’s any May events or Toronto video games news, releases, and rad media coverage you want shared, don’t hesitate to pass it along to Kaitlin via email or on Twitter.

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