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IGDA Victoria Message Board › More collaboration?

More collaboration?

Brandon B.
user 13146533
Victoria, BC
Post #: 19
I realize this might not be the purpose of this group, and that the meetup website doesn't do a lot to support or encourage this kind of thing...
but why isn't there more collaboration happening amongst the members?

I recognize that a lot of us have jobs/school/other projects going on, but I would really love to see a game made by "Level Up - Indie Dev Victoria Group" in the near future.
Now I realize that in saying this, that I should make myself available to work on such a project, and that working on large projects with a large group who are all only partially committed to it can be a nightmare... none the less, I would love to see us doing more game jams, and group/team work.

If we can break into small teams and make games in less than 72 hours at a game jam, why can't we do that sort of thing more often, spread out over a longer time period?

Who's with me! (expecting to hear crickets).

Colton P.
user 12690936
Victoria, BC
Post #: 86
The obvious solution is to work towards a Indie Arcade machine for us all to develop for. ;) I still like the sound of OrcaTron.
Martin S. S.
Martin_S_Stoller
Victoria, BC
Post #: 1
Re indie arcade machine: I was actually thinking of getting one of these -> http://openpandora.or...­ -> is around $400 though, much more than a low-end iPod Touch.

Have been following their progress for a couple of years, but still not sure if vapour ware. Great thing is, it is Linux based, so any game dev'd for it, probably works on other distributions with minor tweeks.

Also, the $35 RaspberryPI ( http://www.raspberryp...­ ) is out soon, also Linux. No screen/input included, but just look at is as a very cheap Sega DreamCast, Turbo-GFX16 or other ancient console - with way more power :)

Also, I'm looking at HTML5 now that it is supported in Chrome/Safari - I've seen some impressive things built on that, and the jQuery based libs and plugin-ins are astounding. On my iPod touch this widget ( http://m.spielzeug.de...­ ) actually reacts to the accelerometer/gyro!

As to collab - guess we can discuss that at next Meet&Greet in Feb - sad I'm missing today - got to go back out an shovel white stuff... well, not so white anymore :)


PS: 2 crickets, so far :)
Christer Kaitila (...
McFunkypants
Victoria, BC
Post #: 46
Great ideas Brandon!

My personal feeling on this is that we need more game jams.

Orca Jam was the reason I got a meetup account. For me the creation of games is the true goal and thus my participation is generally limited to Orca Jam each year. Once a year is simply not enough! How about 2x or 4x a year Orca Jams? Think of the other similar groups out there like the Cambridge Indies (Super Friendship Club) who have jams every few months.

Another solution that would need no organizing would be group efforts that coincide with Ludum Dares.

In any case, see you all this weekend at the Global Game Jam!

P.S. On non-jam related topics, I agree, it would be super awesome to make a "LevelUpVictoria" game! Or the fabled ORCATRON I keep talking about year after year. (The reason it does not yet exist is all about the money at the moment - a proper arcade machine is a 2000 dollar / 200 hour investment). Someday I will make it, I promise.

Brandon B.
user 13146533
Victoria, BC
Post #: 20
More Jams and participating in the Jams that are already happening would be great! I would also love to pull in some of the game developers that are here in Victoria to host/participate in these exercises. A Dev team can learn so much from an amnesia fortnight (The last 4 amazing games from developer double fine came about from this very concept), and a Game Jam is a great excuse to take a break from a project and revitalize a teams creativity!

I also think we could learn a lot from both Full Indie (the much larger Vancouver Indie game group) and the Seattle Games Cooperative (http://www.meetup.com...­. and even more so from the Bit Collective (look them up, they are great!)

We already do some of what I am talking about with our "show and tell" meetup once a month. Having that opportunity to share a lesson learned, or milestone reached with a group of your peers is just the thing I am wanting to foster here!

So, is there a way Level Up can better accommodate that? I would love to hear everyones thoughts/ideas :D
A former member
Post #: 43
I've spoken to most of the development studios in town about their participation in... well, anything. The story was the same just about everywhere: the employees spend so much time crunching and working hard, that they simply want to go home and do something different. (Though that might be a polite lie; see final paragraph)

I totally get that; perhaps we can change their mind by hosting more interesting events. :)

Re: More game jams - Organizing the big yearly jam usually costs around $1200 and takes a lot of work in organizing, negotiating, and tracking down sponsors and locations.

Right now the biggest hurdle is finding a location and necessary equipment (routers/wifi/cables/power bars/etc) for the expected crowd. "UVIC!" seems to be the best answer right now, and they don't even have internet access to non-students and can only be organized/sponsored by a student (plus the locale limits the desirability for attendance to anyone but students). When I talked to them in December they still pushed for IP ownership and security guard rentals. I'm starting to really hate them. :)

Re: Jams and all other potential events: If anyone wants to setup or organize any events, there's a little "propose meetup" button here on meetup.com. Just fill in the details and I'll approve it for primary posting!

Re: Collaborations between members - I know of many collaborations (some I am personally involved in!) spawned from the group! Almost all of these have spawned from OrcaJam or the Show 'n' Tell meetups, and just occur by mingling and talking about what you're doing/interested in. Maybe for extra exposure, people could post to the meetup group forum?

==

More broadly speaking, and this may touch on the source of some of the issues brought up here:

In comparison to Seattle, Vancouver, and other hotbeds of game development - yes, Victoria's Level Up is somewhat weak. Instead of having >100 members PER MEETUP, we have - on average - 15. When approaching potential sponsors, or talking to studio folk that once-showed-up-and-do-so-no-longer, we seem to have a particular flaw in our membership: most of us have never shipped a game. More than half of us have never even finished a game.

We've got to work on hard on fixing that. :)
Brandon B.
user 13146533
Victoria, BC
Post #: 21
Hey Andy,
Thanks for chiming in on this... I am glad to hear your thoughts and about efforts on the issue.
You're absolutely right. People who make games for a living are far less likely to be interested in making games as their hobby, and join a group like ours in its current state, what do we have to offer, we aren't successful game developers ourselves (at least as a whole we're not). And so you're right again that the lack of shipped games is likely our largest issue... and that even if we had more shipped games, we would need a good number of successes out of that before we could really be a larger influence in Victoria and in the Indie Dev Scene.

But that's actually exactly why I was suggesting more collaboration, or/and for better exposure of said collaborations. It's also why I pointed to the OrcaJam as a way we are successful as a group, useing it as an example of our groups ability to actually complete games.
GameJams are also where we occasionally find indie dev success stories come and join in and be a part of the community we (feel free to read that we as you if you'd like Andy) try to build. This GGJ has that potential as well, with someone from Kano/Apps likely to be there (they are sponsoring it, and I was told that someone would be there) and even someone from Gaslamp Games - the makers of dungeons of dredmor - is said to show up (at least that's what they said on twitter).

I just feel that if we can make a game in 48/72 hours when we come together for a Jam, we are far more likely to increase our total shipped/finished games count if we collaborate.

And not to kiss ass (because a. I am married, and b. your ass isn't that inviting), but I do love what you have started here Andy, and I just want to see it grow and mature and become something greater.

Cheers,
Rob F.
user 28972402
Nanoose Bay, BC
Post #: 2
Perhaps gamification + self organising team might help?

E.g. multiple participants playing a game with rules, points and a Prize! i.e. a competition - multiple knockouts or annual league.

Ruleset designed to resolve the barriers mentioned on this thread - e.g. points awarded or subtracted based on final delivery factors ("the game"), facilities used, team size & experience, location, time crunch, luck dice, energy drinks consumed, expletives exclaimed, number of security guards employed, ..., etc?

Perhaps such rules in themselves might be useful towards sharing the commercial gamesdev tradeoffs for those who haven't yet released.

The LevelUp game-dev-game?
Brandon B.
user 13146533
Victoria, BC
Post #: 22
Perhaps gamification + self organising team might help?

E.g. multiple participants playing a game with rules, points and a Prize! i.e. a competition - multiple knockouts or annual league.

Ruleset designed to resolve the barriers mentioned on this thread - e.g. points awarded or subtracted based on final delivery factors ("the game"), facilities used, team size & experience, location, time crunch, luck dice, energy drinks consumed, expletives exclaimed, number of security guards employed, ..., etc?

Perhaps such rules in themselves might be useful towards sharing the commercial gamesdev tradeoffs for those who haven't yet released.

The LevelUp game-dev-game?

That is really quite brilliant...
Fieran
user 12563726
Victoria, BC
Post #: 45
On the UVic front things are improving substantially. We have faculty bye in for the global game jam this weekend in the form of chaperoning .... we need someone who's job and professional career are on the line to watch over us to make sure things fly. Also the acting chair is also a part of the outreach team and so has a vested interest in promiting our events. That's not to say the chair hasnt' been great as well, she has, but of course must answer for anything that might go down, thus validating her caution while we attempted to organize previous events. I think going forward with the help of Heather Croft, Bruce Gooch, Yvonne Cody and others we will likely fair well at UVic.
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