Blogs

  • 25 Nov 2019 by DigiBC

    Government Relations

    For many in our industry, the fall season signals gearing up for release dates but here at DigiBC it's government relations time. With the BC Budget coming out each February, now is when we work with our government connections to ensure the importance of our sector is recognized. Executive Director, Brenda Bailey is spending a great deal of time in Victoria representing your interests. What are we hoping for in the Budget 2020?
     

    • We need to ensure the BC IDMTC remains in the budget. The recent cancellation of the IDMTC in Alberta points to the immediate cessation of growth that occurs when government no longer prioritizes the creative tech sector. Growth plans are on hold in our neighboring province and we are working hard to make sure our 17.5% remains or increases.
       
    • This year we are encouraging the government to consider expanding the credit to 25% to create a more even playing field with Ontario and Quebec. BC has additional benefits like world class talent, a vibrant ecosystem, and a highly desirable climate. Even so, our growth has been tempered by a moderate tax credit.
       
    • We hope to support studios who are expanding in areas outside of Vancouver and Victoria. Regional diversification is good for industry and good for the province. We are encouraging government to consider a 5% increase to studios who are expanding in these areas.
       
    • Recent research by ESAC indicates that our rate of including women in the video game industry is lagging behind other Canadian hubs. We are asking government to create a 5% diversity incentive bump up to the IDMTC available to studios hiring women and others who have historically experienced barriers.
       
    • Lastly, we are asking government to consider a 5% small/medium studio incentive for studios that have under 100 employees. These studios are particularly feeling the pinch with larger entities like Amazon drawing talent.

     

    If you are a BC Interactive Digital Media studio and are not yet a member, please consider supporting our efforts by becoming a member now.

     Join Now

     


    Representation @ Industry Events


    Girls in Esports Camp [October 26]

    Executive Director, Brenda Bailey participated in the first ever Girls in Games Esports Camp on October 26 that was put on by Adamas Esports and sponsored by Logitech. This was held at the EA Vancouver campus and she presented on the opportunities available in video games, animation and VFX to a room full of 50 keen girls.

     

    Reboot Develop Red 2019 Conference [October 30 to November 1]

    Executive Director, Brenda Bailey attended Reboot Develop Red in Banff, AB. The conference is the first one in North America, moving the high-end boutique brand from one event per year in Dubrovnik to two. Approximately 500 game developers attended, mostly from Canada and California, with some Europeans. Additionally, the conference had an AR/VR track sponsored by Oculus, who also hosted the closing party.

     

    Girls STEAM Institute at NASA [November 8-10]

    Executive Director, Brenda Bailey had the opportunity to present on the creative technology sector at the Girls in STEAM Institute at NASA’s Ames Research Centre (San Jose, CA). The Institute is focused on exposing teen girls to opportunities in STEAM and guest lecturers included Kate Edwards (Executive Director, Global Game Jam), Ray Kurzweil (President/Founder, Kurzweil Enterprises), Dr. Carly Kocurek (Associate Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology), and Megan Gaiser (formerly of Microsoft and Her Interactive).

     

  • 22 Nov 2019 by DigiBC


    The Entertainment Software Association of Canada released its 2019 economic impact study – The Canadian Video Game Industry 2019. The study was carried out by third-party research firm Nordicity, and it explores and highlights industry growth and contributions to Canada’s economy. As the voice of Canada’s video game industry, ESAC serves its membership by engaging with government, public, and policy stakeholders across the country and abroad.

    The Canadian Video Game Industry 2019 looks at our industry through five lenses: economic impact, size and structure, geography, employment impact, and workforce. Canada’s video game industry is well-positioned for continued growth; in the last two years, the number of Canadian video game companies increased by 16%, to 692 active studios. The industry contributed $4.5 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2019; and, supports an estimated 48,000 Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) of employment including 27,700 FTEs directly employed by video game companies.
     

    “While companies are thriving in Canada’s strong video game development sector, our industry continues to sit at the centre of an innovation ecosystem that is driving growth in Canada’s Digital Economy.”, said Jayson Hilchie, President & CEO of ESAC. “With many of the world’s biggest franchises driving strong job growth in this country, our industry will continue to punch above its weight and lead the world in the development of exciting and innovative digital entertainment.”


    Our research is intended to provide insights into industry growth as well as context for policymakers and legislators. In support of this mandate, ESAC has profiled industry professionals to provide an insider’s look at exciting talent opportunities and innovations across the country.

    We are pleased to invite audiences to view video profiles from five studios Other Ocean Interactive, Ubisoft, EIDOS-Montréal, EA-Bioware, and Kabam. These studios are known for creating iconic Triple-A games, and now we want to you to meet the people behind those games and learn about how they are advancing our industry and growing the game.

     

     

     

    For further information, please contact:
    Corinne Crichlow

    Director, Communications & Public Relations
    ccrichlow@theESA.Ca
    (416) 620-7171

     

  • 20 Nov 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiMusic @ BCMEA Conference [October 25/26]

    DigiBC had a booth and participated at this year’s BC Music Educators' Association (BCMEA) Conference in Richmond. The event hosts music educators from around the province and was an ideal place to promote DigiMusic 2020. Zoltan Virag, DigiMusic Advisory Board Lead, presented on how to use the online resources and the great materials that were created for DigiMusic 2019. We also shared highlights from this year's program and collected contact info from attendees who were keen to get on the mailing list for DigiMusic 2020.

     

     

    Launch of IndigiGeeks [November 27]

    DigiBC will launch our new program, IndigiGeeks, in Nanaimo on November 27 at the Tsawalk Indigenous High School. Learners will be taken through the creation of a simple video game in Game Maker, and we have three volunteers from 81monkeys who will be introducing basic game design concepts . Tsawalk opened in 2016 as a partnership between Vancouver Island West School District, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, Mid-Island Métis Nation and the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island, to help students who aren’t finding success in traditional high schools to reconnect with education. Learn more about Tsawalk here - https://www.tsawalk.com/

     

  • 19 Nov 2019 by DigiBC

    Atomic Cartoons was founded in 1999 by former Studio B Production colleagues, Trevor Bentley, Olaf Miller and Rob Davies, along with Mauro Casalese. One day, Davies received a call from Sunwoo Entertainment to help produce Milo's Bug Quest. He brought Bentley, Miller, and Casalese into the fray and the four friends soon decided to venture out on their own and create Atomic Cartoons. A lot has changed over the years but three of the four founders are still with the company, and things really ramped up in 2011 when Jennifer Twiner McCarron was brought on as Head of Development. In 2014, Atomic Cartoons was acquired by Thunderbird Entertainment Group and shortly after Jenn was named President and CEO (2016), and then CEO for Thunderbird (2018). There's been a number of new and exciting things happening at the studio since then, so we recently caught up with Atomic's HR Manager, Colin Beadle, to find out the details.

    What projects are you currently working on? 

    We are currently working on additional episodes of our own IP series The Last Kids on Earth for Netflix. We also produced the recently premiered 101 Dalmatian Street and Donald Duck and the Three Caballeros for the new Disney+ streaming platform, as well as Hello Ninja for Netflix which is based on the popular kid’s book by N.D. Wilson.  In addition, our animated film, Curious George: Royal Monkey, recently premiered on NBCUniversal and Hulu. It’s always fun to bring a classic like Curious George back for new generations to enjoy!

    In development, we have Princesses Wear Pants, an animated series based on Savannah Guthrie’s New York Times Bestselling book series of the same name. It is being produced in collaboration with Drew Barrymore’s production company, Flower Films. Centered around the wide-ranging adventures of the courageous and thoughtful Princess Penelope Pineapple and her friends, the series encourages children to be brave, ambitious, and unafraid to make a difference in the world.

    We are also developing an animated series based on the tokidoki’s Mermicornos line.  Based on an original concept by tokidoki’s founder Simone Legno, the comedy-adventure series will follow a team of Mermicornos as they set out to stop an evil force determined to take over their world. Much like tokidoki itself, the animated series will be centered on exploration, discovery and self-belief. It will be up to these fearless Mermicornos to overcome the odds and their differences to bring peace across all of the sea.

     

    How many shows has Atomic produced? Which of these are you most proud of?

    Atomic has produced approximately 50 series and films over the years, and we are proud of every single one. Recent favourites include The Last Kids on Earth and 101 Dalmatian Street. Our series Beat Bugs won two Daytime Emmy Awards, so naturally we are extremely proud of that too.

    Another recent series we are very proud of is Molly of Denali, which has been recognized in the United States as the first nationally distributed kids show to feature an Indigenous lead character. As a company seeking to make a positive difference in the world, we are thrilled with how global audiences are embracing Molly, and how it encourages kids of all ages to recognize just how much we have in common, despite different cultures, religions or places we live.  Between 2004 and 2008, we produced a series called Atomic Betty. Many credit that production as our studio’s fully original creation, and it definitely served as our mascot for a few years. And, of course, we would be remiss to not mention our studio’s very first series Milo’s Bug Quest. The first will always hold a special place in our heart.

     

    How would you describe your company culture and what sets your studio apart from others?

    Atomic’s team is made up of industry veterans and emerging talent at all levels. We take making cartoons very seriously, and we believe it’s important to challenge ourselves and push the boundaries. However, that doesn’t mean we are pushy in the traditional sense. We are an artist-driven company that understands that mistakes can happen despite the best of efforts. By creating a company where our employees do not work under fear of failure, we cultivate a collaborative team where people are able to be their most creative. We also offer ‘Bagel Tuesdays’ and all the gourmet coffee you can drink.

     


    Has Atomic won any awards or received any accolades?

    At the 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards, our series Beat Bugs won for Outstanding Sound Mixing in a Preschool Animated Program. We also won a Daytime Emmy for this series in 2017, alongside an AACTA Award for Best Children’s Television Series.  In 2016, Beat Bugs won an AWGIE Award in animation.


    Are there any other interesting facts about Atomic we may not know about?

    Our company is growing really quickly. We currently employ 600 in Vancouver and we opened a second studio in Ottawa in December 2018. By June 2020, we expect that Atomic will employ more than 750 people between both facilities. It’s exciting to be part of a company that is growing so quickly but always remaining true to its artist-driven culture.

    We are currently developing a merchandise line based on our owned-IP for the Last Kids on Earth with Jakks Pacific and Cyber Group Studios, which is scheduled to launch in 2020. The line will include action figures, games, plus toys and much more. We are also working on a Last Kids video game with Outright Games, scheduled for a 2021 release. It’s pretty exciting that we will soon see kids of all ages playing with action figures inspired by our work, not to mention gamers gaming with our characters.  And yes, we will be playing with both at work from time to time!

    On Princesses Wear Pants, we actually landed the deal to collaborate with Savannah Guthrie and Drew Barrymore over DreamWorks, so that’s also pretty cool. While the series is still in development, we are very excited to bring the adventures of Princess Penelope Pineapple to girls and boys around the world.

    We also proudly support students’ interest in animation and encourage all those interested to join the industry. In November, we announced a new $30,000 grant to increase access to the 2D and 3D animation programs at Capilano University in North Vancouver.  Starting this fall, the annual ‘Atomic Cartoons Entrance Scholarship’ will award two incoming high schoolers with $5,000 apiece to help cover costs related to their respective programs at CapU.

     

    Are you currently hiring? If so, what are the open positions?

    We are currently hiring for many positions in both Vancouver and Ottawa. These include multiple roles in animation and design, plus other positions such CG modeling and software development. Our Los Angeles Office is also looking to fill a senior desktop support position. To stay up to date on what roles we are looking to fill, please visit: http://atomiccartoons.com/careers/

     

     


    Colin Beadle, HR Manager, Atomic Cartoons

    Colin Beadle has been with Atomic for the past four years and working in HR for the past two years. In 1999 he started as a CG animator and then moved into television/game production. His love of animation and games has given him the opportunity to work at studios such as Disney Interactive, Titmouse Inc, and Lucasfilm Animation.

     

  • 14 Nov 2019 by DigiBC

    We held our ‘Legal 101 for Video Games’ symposium on November 6 in the Hangar at the Centre for Digital Media. This was an exclusive event we offered to our members and it gave them the opportunity to learn from leading lawyers and advisors practicing in the Vancouver video game industry. The panel featured Karam Bayrakal (Fasken), Ryan Black (McMillan) and a number of their colleagues who presented a half-day interactive session that explored the risks and opportunities created by the rapid legal changes in games. It also covered an assortment of essential topics such as employment and game regulation, immigration, tie ups, cybersecurity, data protection and privacy, investments, and patents. The panel ended with a keynote from Dr Tyler Black MD, who gave an interesting presentation on video game violence, the questionable construct of "addiction", the science of "loot boxes" and "problem gaming", and the impending regulatory effect of WHO gaming addiction classifications. We then capped off the day with an informal ‘beer & bevvies’ reception for the attendees and speakers. Huge thanks to Fasken and McMillan for hosting and sponsoring the event!

     

  • 13 Nov 2019 by DigiBC

    Join a cohort of Indigenous digital creators and attend the Game Developers Conference (GDC) next March.


    The imagineNATIVE GDC Scholarship Program is an opportunity for Indigenous game designers and digital creators from around the world to receive a free Conference + Summits Pass to GDC. Indigenous creators residing in any country are welcome to apply.  Join thousands of industry peers in exchanging ideas and shaping the future of the industry. Held at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, the GDC spans five days of lectures, panels, and roundtable discussions.

     

    Apply for GDC Scholarship

    Applications close November 30th. Successful applicants will be notified by December 11th. Inquiries can be directed to mbyrne@imaginenative.org

     

  • 12 Nov 2019 by DigiBC

    We'll be kicking off 2020 with our next F*ckup Nights event. This will be taking place on January 23 and we are currently looking for speakers to add to the lineup. If you have a failure story that you would like to share then we would love to hear from you! Please email us at team@digibc.org for more info. 

     

  • 04 Nov 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC welcomes Sam Fisher, Tim Teh, Jeanne-Marie Owens, Sarah Nathanson, Sara Maseko, and Nick Facey. Many thanks to outgoing board directors, Eric Jordan, Ryan Peterson, Karen Randhawa and Tim Bennison for their contributions to DigiBC.



    Sarah Nathanson is General Counsel at Thunderbird and Atomic Cartoons where she provides legal and business affairs support to both the production crew and the corporate team. She has more than 12 years of experience in entertainment law, both in private practice and in-house. Sarah was previously Director, Business & Legal Affairs at DHX Media ad has worked on numerous productions from development and production, through to licensing and merchandise opportunities. Sarah currently sits on the BC Branch Council of the Canadian Media Producers Association and is a Vice-Chair of the Animation and Visual Effects Alliance of BC.


     

    Jeanne-Marie Owens is the VP of Operations at Phoenix Labs, the Vancouver-based game development studio behind the hit free-to-play action-RPG, Dauntless. Jeanne was the first non-founder team member at the studio and has led hiring, HR, and operations as it has grown from a small start-up to a 100 person studio across three locations. She cares deeply about ensuring that working in the games industry is a positive and fulfilling experience for her teammates, and has focused on diversity and inclusion improvements and education for the studio. She hopes to help add perspective on that topic to the Vancouver games industry as a whole through her work with DigiBC. Prior to Phoenix Labs, Jeanne-Marie started her career at BioWare in Edmonton and then moved to Vancouver in 2011 to work at EA Canada.  

     

    Hyper Hippo is an entertainment company connecting people around the world through fun!  Sam Fisher has overseen the growth of Hyper Hippo to include teams in Kelowna, Vancouver, and Seattle.  Hyper Hippo created the AdVenture brand, including the hit mobile games AdVenture Capitalist and AdVenture Communist. Sam lives in Kelowna, where he enjoys sports, music, and time with his family.

     

     

    Sara Maseko is a CPA currently working as the Controller for SkyBox Labs. She’s spent 14 years continuously developing skills and expertise in accounting and finance, previously working freelance as well as in public practice. As a Vancouver native, Sara loves to be involved in her community and is excited in her board appointment to be able to participate in DigiBC’s continued growth.  

     

     
     

    Tim Teh is the Founder and CEO of Kano, a Victoria, BC-based indie game developer. Building meaningful connections through social games, Kano has reached over 30 million players worldwide. Teh attributes Kano’s success to its hyper-focus on the customer and on building a values-driven organization around amazing talent.

     

     

    Nick Facey is currently the Senior Director of Innovation at Finger Food Advanced Technology Group and prior to that was Chief of Staff for the Minister of Innovation, Technology & Citizens' Services and the Ministry of Education.

     

     

     

  • 30 Oct 2019 by DigiBC

    We had such a blast at the Rock*Paper*Scissors comedy tournament + networking mixer last Tuesday. Mr Scotty Patey sure knows how to host a show and keep the crowd engaged from start to finish. The combination of his background in improv, acting, and stand-up makes for a night of non-stop laughs! Once again, we’d like to give a huge thanks to our wonderful sponsors, AMPD Technologies, Relic Entertainment & Fasken, for making this event possible. We’d also like to thank eStruxture Data Centers, the Anza Club, East Side Games & PayDay Productions for the generous prize donations. The tournament had quite a number of entertaining throw downs but in the end it was Kenny A who took top honours and was crowned the winner.

    No need to fret if you missed out on this as we’re already looking to plan more events for next year. We'd love to host this one every few months and will be looking for sponsors. Sponsorship is a great way to connect with industry professionals and promote your brand to decision makers in the creative tech sector. Please contact us (team@digibc.org) if you are interested and we can provide you with further details. In the meantime, be sure to join our mailing list so you can stay up-to-date on the creative tech sector in BC.
     

    Newsletter Signup

     

     

  • 26 Sep 2019 by DigiBC

    Experimental AI Storyteller: Not the Only One
    Presented by Stephanie Dinkins

    Tuesday, October 8 @ 7:00PM

    RSVP Link

    Tickets are free, but limited

     

    Stephanie Dinkins is a transmedia artist who creates platforms for dialogue about artificial intelligence (AI) as it intersects race, gender, aging, and our future histories. She is particularly driven to work with communities of color to co-create more inclusive, fair and ethical artificial intelligent ecosystems.

    VIFF is thrilled to have Ms. Dinkins participate in a Creator Talk and present Not The Only One (N’TOO), a multigenerational memoir of one black American family told from the "mind" of an artificial intelligence with evolving intellect. It is a voice-interactive AI designed, trained, and aligned with the needs and ideals of black and brown people who are drastically underrepresented in the tech sector. The AI storyteller is trained on data supplied by three generations of women from one family, but the story is told from the first person perspective of the AI.

    N’TOO’s narrative comes from the experiences and demographic information culled from three generations of a close-knit family. The principal character narrates in the form of voice-driven AI that uses machine learning to expand and extend its story. The eldest contributor to the foundation of the storyline was born in the American south in 1932. As a teenager, she moved north with her family for better education and opportunity. She worked forty years in the same factory, breaking ground and advancing from line worker to respected supervisor in the company. The middle contributor to the project was born in 1964. She went to the same suburban high school as her mother. Part of one of few black families in a small suburban town, she had racial challenges, but she also had opportunities her mother could never have dreamt of. Contributor three was born in 1997. She is the biracial daughter of the family who grew up with the privileges of whiteness, yet identifies as black and is currently trying to understand what it means to be black and white in ‘Black Lives Matter’ America. The stories of all three will be gathered from extensive interviews. The data will be used to seed a deep-learning, emotionally intelligent AI.

     

  • 25 Sep 2019 by DigiBC

    Piranha Games was founded by Russ Bullock and Bryan Ekman in early 2000 and is one of the oldest independent game developers in Vancouver. From the humble beginnings of their first title, Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza, Piranha has focused on working with beloved brands in the action gaming genre. Best known for the Free-to-Play game MechWarrior Online, PGI is committed as ever to creating world-class games that engage players and deliver unforgettable experiences.
     


    What projects are you currently working on? 

    The launch of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries (PC) is slated for December 10, 2019 on the Epic Games Store. This title has been in production since January 2016 and it's developed and self-published.


    What sets your studio apart from others?

    We have a tenured and happy staff with a 97% retention rate.
    At PGI, there is a genuine sense of collaboration, respect and a strong commitment to our projects and to each other. We strive to foster a positive and inclusive environment where everyone feels supported, comfortable, and part of the team.
    Being that the studio is boutique sized, it allows for close-knit staff and well-developed relationships. You are not just an individual — you are part of the family. Our camaraderie extends beyond work projects into company outings, daily game hour, charitable endeavors and of course, Beer Fridays!
     

    What games has the studio released?

     

     

     

    How would you describe Piranha's company culture?
    Passion, Creativity, Humility. As an accomplished studio, our team members are avid gamers, skilled in their individual fields and immensely creative hard workers. We strive to foster a positive and inclusive environment, where everyone feels supported, comfortable, and completely part of the team.

     

    Are you currently hiring? If so, what are the open positions?
    We are currently hiring and all open positions can be found on our website - https://piranhagames.com/careers

     

  • 25 Sep 2019 by DigiBC

    Our first Fuckup Night © is a wrap!

    Entrepreneurs and indie devs can become isolated and feel like they are on their own especially when encountering failure. But the truth is, failure can be quite common and a part of each person’s road to success. We want to take some of the pressure to succeed down a notch or two, share learning from failure, and provide encouragement and support to dust yourself off and try again. We’re only human and at the end of the day… we have all f*cked up at one point or another!

    Fuckup Nights is a global movement and event series that shares stories of failure. Three to four people get up in front of a room full of strangers to present their own professional fuck up. Each speaker has seven minutes and 10 slides to present their story… it’s like a dev post-mortem meets Pecha Kucha with a dash of humour. 

     

    DigiBC has formed a partnership with the Reveal Events Group to collaborate on the Fuckup Nights Vancouver series. We had a great time at our first event on September 24 at Kafka’s Coffee Shop. Huge thanks to our wonderful speakers, Anthony Brown (CEO, AMPD Technologies), Joe Bonar (Studio Head, Truly Social Games) and Galan Akin (Co-founder & CCO, East Side Games) who each shared a personal story of failure. It was an engaging night with a supportive crowd that got to hear about the challenges our FuckUppers faced and how they dealt with adversity. The goal was to learn from each other's mistakes while supporting entrepreneurial growth, and it seems that people walked away with having experienced just that.


    We are planning to run these events once every quarter and are always looking for new speakers. If you’re interested in sharing a failure story then we’d love to hear from you! Please contact team@digibc.org for further details.

     

    photos by: Melissa Dex Guzman

     

     

  • 25 Sep 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC strives to ensure that youth in all regions of our province recognize the opportunities available for building their careers in video games, animation, VFX, AR/MR/VR or whatever the next technologies and platforms we see our entertainment content come out on. It’s not only about working to ensure we have a domestic pipeline of talent, but also it's a passion of DigiBC’s Executive Director, Brenda Bailey. “Growing up in Nanaimo, I didn’t have access to learning what careers were out there aside from the traditional stereotypical ones I was surrounded by. I lived at the arcade but it took more than 25 years to find my way into games. I want to help kids know that if they are story tellers, artists, technologists, gamers, geeks, space nuts, comic book fans, explorers, science kids, audiophiles, sci-fi lovers or class leaders, there are careers in the creative technology world for them.”
     


    Digi on the Road takes industry professionals out into rural and remote BC classrooms to introduce kids directly to the work we do, as well as share our stories and passion for our industries. We use this as a gateway to introduce schools to Play to Learn, an EA created technology literacy program we provide (with a free license from EA, thank you!) to classrooms in BC in conjunction with the BC Ministry of Education and our delivery partner, Everfi.

     


    Digi on the Road
    2019 took place from September 15-20th and we travelled to Prince Rupert, Sicamous (North Okanagan) and Campbell River. From the border with Alaska to the border with Alberta, DigiBC worked with middle school youth to explore how creative technology is created. Teachers in Campbell River sent in student comments following the workshop that was delivered to their classes from Stephane Cotichini (CEO, 81monkeys) and Brenda Bailey (Executive Director, DigiBC and former CEO, Silicon Sisters & COO, Deep Fried Entertainment).

     

    "I enjoyed how they incorporated the viewers into their presentation; they got us invested. I liked how they made sure to explain how anyone can be successful in the field."


    "What I enjoyed about the presentation were the stories they had to tell and their journey to where they are now, as well as learning about just how many well-known games and movies are made in BC."

     

    "The presentation was really cool yesterday! It was awesome to see that there is a chance for a career in this field. It gave me hope that I could possibly do this for a job."

     

    "I loved hearing the story of his (Stephane Cotichini) third child creating the game for secret Santa, but I also loved talking with my group about the revamp of Pac-Man and making it a dungeon runner."

     

    "I liked the story about the guy who went from a surfer to a Microsoft coder."

     

    "I enjoyed learning about local game companies and I enjoyed the Pac-Man project that we did at the end. I found it interesting that many groups, if not all, wanted to change the whole structure on Pac-Man and not just improve it as is."

     

    “I enjoyed the brainstorming part of the presentation the most along with the fact that I can possibly make it in the games industry."

     

    “The DigiBC presentation yesterday told me a lot about what is made in BC. I didn't know that there were that many well-known games made here. I liked how everybody had their own Pac-Man game they had to make. I am starting to wonder how easy it will become to make games that look almost life like in the future."

     

     

  • 25 Sep 2019 by DigiBC

    IDMTC Recommendations (BC Budget 2020)

    DigiBC advocates for improved business environments where our studios can continue to succeed. Our BC Budget 2020 ask aligns with government priorities on regional diversification, diversity and inclusion in the workforce, and the importance of small businesses. Specifically, this year we are recommending that the Ministry of Finance increase the BC IDMTC from 17.5% to 25% to create a more level playing field with our neighbouring province, Alberta. In addition, we ask the Ministry of Finance to add three 'bump up' amounts and these are as follows:

    • +5% for regions outside Metro Vancouver & Metro Victoria
    • +5% for diversity & inclusion
    • +5% for small business boost

     

    Events Supporting Members & Community

    Have you ever felt isolated as an entrepreneur or indie? Did you know that Silicon Valley rates of depression are about 47%, as compared to 13% generally in the USA? There is an ethos around being a tech entrepreneur that is not serving us well. DigiBC has partnered with local company, Reveal Events Group, to hold ongoing Fuckup Nights. A huge success in Victoria, we hope this event will build steam and help transform how we think about being an entrepreneur or indie creator.

    Fuckup Nights is a global movement and event series that shares stories of failure. Three to four people get up in front of a room full of strangers to share their own professional fuckup. The story of the business that crashed and burned, the partnership deal that went sour, the product that had to be recalled... we tell them all! 90% of start-ups fail so let’s learn from and support one another as we dust ourselves off and take another swing.

     

     

  • 23 Sep 2019 by DigiBC

    This first annual event for high school girls in Vancouver will cover several significant aspects of the eSports ecosystem including professional and collegiate competition, game design, content creation, marketing and player development. Registration is open but spots are limited.

     

    October 26 & 27, 2019
    EA Sports Campus + Fortius Sport & Health
    2006-3713 Kensington Ave, Burnaby, BC

     

    Register here

    *Note: Registration will be done by Sports Camps Canada
    *Parents are welcome but we ask that only 1 parent per child attend as space is limited


     

    Highlights Include:

    • Overview of the eSports industry
    • Full tour of the Electronic Arts Campus + EA hosted presentations
    • Meet & greet plus Q&A with professional eSports players and Canadian Olympians
    • In-depth advice and guidelines on preparing to play collegiate eSports with Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia eSports teams
    • Lectures + discussion on building healthy gaming habits, time management, physical training, communication, teamwork and leadership development

    Tentative Schedule:

    SATURDAY, OCT 26

    9am: Welcome from Adamas Training & Performance

    9:30-10am: Warm-up, Introductions, Ice Breakers

    10:00-10:45am: Industry & Gaming Presentation Presentation #1

    11:00-12pm: Stations: Gaming + Adamas Physical Activities & Awarenes

    12:00-1pm: Lunch

    1:15-2pm: Industry & Gaming Presentation #2

    2:00-2:45pm: Meet n Greet with professional gamer/team

    3:00-4pm: Station: Gaming + Physical & Psychological Training discussion with Taylor Johnson

     

    SUNDAY, OCT 27

    9:00-9:30am: Attendee headshots

    9:30:10:30am: FIFA: Building eSports around gaming

    10:45-12pm: Campus Tour + FIFA Pitch, Sports Psychology

    12-1pm: Lunch

    1-1:30pm: EA Game Design: The game creation process

    1:30-2pm: Wrap-up & Dismiss

     

  • 20 Sep 2019 by DigiBC

     

    Reboot Develop Red 2019 will be taking place from October 30 to November 1, 2019 in Alberta at the Fairmont Banff Springs Resort. This is one of the most unique and luxurious venues that Canada has to offer. In its first year, the conference is expecting to attract 1,500 international attendees and feature more than 100 sessions, talks, and panels covering all the trending topics the games industry is facing. It will also host a B2B Expo and a large Indie Expo where studios can showcase new game projects and prototypes for exposure to international investors, publishers, media, and other attendees.


    Are you planning to attend?

    If so, then make sure to take advantage of the 15% discount we've arranged on tickets. Use the code DIGIBCRED2019 when you signup online.
     

    Click here to register!

    *this code is applicable to tickets, not packages (indie and/or VIP)*

     

    Reboot Develop is known worldwide for its one-of-a-kind, boutique games industry conference, Reboot Develop Blue. This has taken place in Dubrovnik, Croatia for the last seven years and is famous for its striking and unique speaker lineups. Canada will now have a sister event of its own!

     

     

  • 03 Sep 2019 by DigiBC

    (Vancouver, BC) – The Vancouver UX Society is accepting entries for the 6th annual Vancouver User Experience Awards (Van UX Awards). With eight award categories, this event celebrates the incredible user experience products being developed here in Vancouver. Free to enter, all can submit online at https://vancouveruxawards.com/submissions until Monday, September 30. Award finalists will be announced on Thursday, October 31 with a “Demo Day” event on Thursday, November 7, where attendees will have the opportunity to view submissions, connect and hear from leaders in the Vancouver UX community, and place their vote for the People’s Choice Award. Winners are announced at the annual gala event on Wednesday, November 27 at a new and larger venue, The Vancouver Playhouse.

    “Through the Van UX Awards, we provide an opportunity for the UX community in B.C. to come together, learn about the incredible work that’s happened, and celebrate,” says Sarah Butterworth, Board Member, The Vancouver UX Awards Society. “And with last year’s gala growing to almost 400 people, we had to move to a bigger venue and increase our award categories to serve our growing audience.”
     

    The 2019 Van UX Awards have some changes with two brand new categories of UX for Business and UX for E-Commerce. The Students category has split into two separate submissions for Individuals and Teams. All Award submissions are judged by a panel of six, representing different sectors of the UX industry, they are evaluated and scored on how they satisfy five criteria: elegance, clarity, innovation, impact, and emotion in the UX experiences created for end-users.

     

     

    2019 Vancouver UX Award Categories


    UX for Emerging Experiences:The future is no longer at a distance—wearables, voice experiences, internet of things, bots, virtual, augmented, and mixed reality are already here. These devices and experiences are creating a new opportunity for user experience. This award category allows us to surface the emerging interactions and immersive experiences that the community is creating.


    UX for Business: Technology experiences make our work lives more connected, productive, and efficient. From intranets to internal applications, B2B platforms to productivity apps, custom developed to white-labeled standards, this category is for all products that focus on a B2B audience.


    UX for Products:Digital products play an essential role in our everyday lives. We monitor our health, finances, or happiness, use digital apps and services to make our lives easier, connect with others, and to make intentional decisions about our behaviour. This award honours the incredible BC-based products whose digital experiences enrich and engage across a broad spectrum of domains.
     

    UX for E-Commerce: E-Commerce sales growth in North America has seen double-digit growth over the past decade. Now a crucial part of most retail operations’ business models. This category requires that submissions are or were live during the past year (October 2018 to 2019) and include metrics that matter and can demonstrate their impact. No concepts will be accepted.
     

    UX for Marketing: Websites, contests, and marketing-driven campaigns are successful when they create authentic and impactful user experiences for their audiences. This category requires that submissions are or were live during the past year (October 2018 to 2019) and include metrics that matter and can demonstrate their impact.
     

    UX for Good: Great user experiences are essential to improving the way non-profits work with their partners, communities, and stakeholders. This award recognizes charities and foundations, social campaigns, professional associations, and public sector enterprises. Entrants should demonstrate how they’ve created a user experience that helps a non-profit organization achieve its goals and/or serve its members.
     

    UX by Students – Team: Talented new practitioners are encouraged to submit any non-commercial projects done in courses, extra-curricular or portfolio projects. Students must be registered at a B.C. post-secondary institution during the 2018-2019 academic year. Student projects created by a team of two or more people.

     

    UX by Students – Individual: Student projects, as described above, created by a single person.

     

    The 2019 Vancouver UX Awards are supported by a growing sponsor family including local organizations such as Finger Food Advanced Technology Group, Microsoft, Red Academy, Steamclock Software, Clio, Brainstation, and MetaLab.



    About The Vancouver UX Awards Society:

    The Vancouver User Experience Awards are presented by the local non-profit organization The Vancouver UX Awards Society and in partnership with the VanUE community. The Van UX Awards debuted in 2014, and has grown to be the premier event for celebrating the growth and excellence of user experience design in B.C. The Vancouver UX Awards Society was created in 2019 to continue this tradition of celebrating innovation and excellence in design, to build community and to connect UX practitioners, students, faculty and organizations who are stewarding the future of user experience design and research. The Society is currently managed by Vancouver UX Awards organizers Antenna Consulting, Apply Digital and Domain7.
     

    For more information on how to participate, from award submissions, gala attendance or event sponsorship, please visit the Van UX Awards website at www.vancouveruxawards.com. Follow the awards on Twitter and Instagram @VanUXAwards.

     

  • 26 Aug 2019 by DigiBC

    We had a quite a blast at our annual summer BBQ mixer event on August 14. It was a fun and engaging night where members from across the creative tech sector came together to socialize and network with their peers. Dipping into various interesting conversations and witnessing many new connections being made showed just how valuable these events can be. Attendees were treated to a delicious spread of food and libations in the lively and stylish atmosphere of Tavern @ The New Oxford.

    DigiBC's Executive Director, Brenda Bailey, spoke briefly and highlighted our mission to promote, support, and accelerate the growth of BC's interactive and digital media (IDM) industry through government relations work, education initiatives, networking, and community-building events. With the need to grow our home-grown talent through education at all levels, membership in our trade association has perhaps never been more important than it is now. The future of our sector depends on our ability to hire talent, and DigiBC is leading the way with education initiatives geared to invite BC youth into our sector.


    This event would not have been possible without the generous support of our wonderful sponsors. Huge thanks to EA Vancouver (beverage sponsor), Fasken (gold), AMPD Technologies (slider sponsor), Hyper Hippo & Segev LLP (silver). We can't thank them enough! Also, shout out to the Donnelly Group for donating a $100 gift card for the door prize and congrats to Bert Van Brandt for being the lucky winner. Melissa Dex Guzman managed to snap some great photos and those can be viewed here. Thanks, Melissa!

     

    DigiBC supports the video games, VR/AR, animation & VFX communities and we like to make sure our work meets the needs of these sectors while delivering quality content for our members. Not a member yet? Click here to sign up! We are a member-funded organization and these fees are our bread and butter. If you haven't already, make sure to join our mailing list and stay up-to-date on all of our future events. You can also follow us on social media: DigiBC Facebook, DigiBC Twitter, DigiBC LinkedIn

     

  • 08 Aug 2019 by DigiBC

    The Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) in Japan is offering a week-long roadshow for selected Canadian digital media companies from September 3 to 6, 2019. If you are involved in the video game industry, offer solutions in augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) or volumetric/video capturing and are interested in exploring the Japanese market, the TCS will introduce you to leading gaming companies in the Japanese market.

    Japan is the second largest video game market and continuously offers opportunities for Canadian companies to be part of the Japanese companies' value chain. TCS will organize a value-added business program for Canadian video game SMEs on the margins of the Computer Entertainment Developers Conference (CEDEC) 2019. CEDEC is a conference promoting the improvement of technological strength and exchanges of knowledge and information for people connected to computer entertainment (mainly games) development, business, and research and development of related technologies and hardware, etc, and is considered the Japanese equivalent of Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

    In addition, the TCS team in Japan will organize pitch sessions for participating Canadian companies with potential Japanese partners in Tokyo, Fukuoka and Sapporo. Through these targeted company meetings, the TCS team in Japan aims to provide Canadian delegates with a unique opportunity to discover new business trends emerging in the Japanese digital media market.

    Potential Program

    • Minimum 4 company visits to leading game companies in the Tokyo area.
    • Workshops with university students and game developers and 1-2 company visits in Sapporo and Fukuoka (optional).
    • Walk-around the CEDEC for ad-hoc meetings on site.


    Who should attend? 
    Canadian SMEs in the digital media industry that are developing products, technologies, or solutions using innovative technologies such as augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) and volumetric/video capturing.

    Contact
    If you are considering participating in Canada Game Roadshow in Japan in conjunction with CEDEC 2019, please contact Kimihiro.Iwao@international.gc.ca by August 9, 2019. Due to the nature of multiple visit programs and logistics considerations, participants will be limited to a maximum of 6 and chosen on a first come first served basis. Funding support may be available.

     

  • 24 Jul 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC hosted a video game leadership dinner on June 18th at Blue Water Café. Sponsored by PWC, the event was an opportunity to have some direct conversation about the state of the industry and what we, as the most significant stakeholders, can do to improve our business environments. In attendance were more than 20 studios, employing 5,000+ employees. In order to set the tone for the discussion and ensure our time together was well utilized, DigiBC sent out a pre-dinner survey to industry CEOs. The results were quite consistent and showed that while the industry has some serious concerns, overall, we remain somewhat optimistic as to the future of video game creation in British Columbia.

     

     

    Studio heads were also asked to rank the challenges they are facing in the industry in B.C. Not surprisingly, low tax incentives relative to other Canadian jurisdictions was the primary challenge, followed by access to talent and rising business and infra-structure costs in B.C. Regional development, retaining IP in B.C., and bridge financing were also of concern.

     

     

    Lastly, studio heads were asked to share what gave B.C. a competitive advantage, if we do in fact have a competitive advantage.

    • A long-established gaming industry
    • Where we live is where people vacation, people want to move here.
    • There is some legacy/critical mass here for games in particular, but we have squandered that a bit. With the cost of living and relatively low wages, it is now difficult to say that there is a competitive advantage for BC.
    • It is a wonderful place to live, (both Canada and the West Coast).
    • Weak currency. Strong talent pool.
    • Regional appeal and talent pool.
    • The existing talent pool
    • Attractive to international candidates - livable city, health care, etc. Reputation for having best in class existing talent and a good deal of choice of studios/Corp cultures for incoming talent.
    • Having a video game 'micro-climate' with a track record of success and a 'big gorilla' in Electronic Arts, which brings talent into the Province.
    • Canada has a great brand around the world for fairness and creativity. This is a great place to do business, and BC is the best place for basing international partnerships. I'm not sure we hold competitive advantages like we once did, our presence in the games industry is slipping. If we formed a strong "entertainment" industry focus that integrated games, animation, VFX... then we would have a unique position of talent, training, and creativity. We sell ourselves as a "creative" shop... this has been our competitive advantage.
    • Attractive place to live, beautiful & safe reputation, access to western seaboard & Asian gateway.
    • We have a strong talent pool from decades of video game success.
    • Canada and calm climate

     

    Additionally, we asked what competitive advantage we would like to have in B.C.

    • Incentive to grow being priority 1.
    • Better cost of living ratio for staff. Our people are paid well nationally, but housing and childcare create large economic burdens.
    • Cost of living and tax advantages

     

    The final question asked if there was anything studios wanted to share that was not yet asked. Two strong answers from this question that got discussed further in the dialogue were:

    “Any inbound investment to Canada would, on purely economic reasons NOT invest in B.C. This is crazy and ought to be remedied to make us the playing field level. Also, access to capital for game companies is a real issue. There are not many providers in the market who play in this space.”

    “We have an amazing opportunity in a growing international industry... yet on our current trend we will see fewer people working in our industry in BC in 2020 than in 2019. We do not have an internationally competitive agenda... as a local industry we are not growing fast enough, others are taking our place. Not one international industry event here for gaming, non-competitive incentive infrastructure for business, lack of marketing talent, limited capital sources. As players in this industry, we need to benchmark ourselves against the best in the world, and this is what I don't see prevalent in our BC industry right now.”

     

    All in all, a great evening (thank you PWC and Ian Heine), and DigiBC now has its work cut out! The information shared at this event will help guide our government relations work going forward to the next B.C. budget.

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