Blogs

  • 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.

  • 19 Jul 2019 by DigiBC

    About BTG Forums

    BridgingTheGap™ Forums are curated events that connect emerging young talent with influential executives and impact investors to build their careers and solve community challenges. They believe in empowering future talent and businesses to thrive in the changing marketplace. BTG works to equip emerging talent for success by forging positive community relationships and opportunities to develop lifelong learning skills. Together, they can harness the creativity of the next generation to make the world a better place.

    On Wednesday, August 21 they will be in Vancouver to host the following two seminars at the Library Square Conference Centre.

     

    Future Ready Executive Forum (3:00PM-5:30PM) - REGISTRATION LINK

    • A B2B audience interested in actionable strategies to recruit and retain Millennials and Generation Z talent
    • Participants will be invited to complete a workplace assessment about their current workplace culture and challenges as part of a national research and development project to create BridgingTheGap’s Future-Ready Employer Index—a tool to analyze workplace gaps and opportunities for Canadian businesses to adapt and thrive in the future of work
    • Aimed at business owners, HR and management professionals, innovation firms and local investors with an interest in digital transformation and becoming future-ready as a business

     

    Youth Innovation Mastermind (6:00PM-9:00PM) - REGISTRATION LINK

    • A mixed audience of executive mentors and emerging young talent aged 18-35 designed as an innovation mastermind to solicit ideas and solutions for the Government of Canada's National Strategy for Sustainable Development
    • Participants will receive access to MyEffect, a mobile app and online platform that unites people with partners—nonprofits, brands, and influencers—to take action for a shared cause and tracks everyone’s impact, skill development and experiences
    • Aimed at young talent interested in building their career and/or young entrepreneurs looking to scale their ventures (a portion of which will be from underserved groups like young women entrepreneurs and other minority groups in innovation)

     

  • 12 Jul 2019 by DigiBC

    A Thinking Ape's co-founders, Wilkins Chung and Kenshi Arasaki, were working as engineers for Amazon before deciding to break out on their own. In 2008, they secured funding through Silicon Valley’s YCombinator for a multi-source chat engine dubbed, Chatterous. Noticing that chat groups were forming in the engine around social web games, they decided to create their first game on top of the platform. This would be a proof-of-concept that they could bring to other mobile gaming companies. Kingdoms at War was never meant to be a success but it was profitable within a few months of launch. The game is still going nine years later, and much of this is due to the communities that have built strong relationships through the chat feature. After this success, former Facebook developer, Eric Diep, came on board and together they started ATA with a focus on mobile game development while retaining the core principle of building communities. ATA has been profitable every year since it started and the founders have huge plans for future growth.

    ATA is one of the top-grossing developers on the Apple and Google App Stores with four live mobile game titles, Kingdoms of Heckfire, Party in My Dorm, Kingdoms at War and Casino X. The communities within these games are a powerful, hilarious and colourful illustration of their mission. The connections made in-game have been the catalyst for marriages, group vacations, and even precious DNA mixtapes (aka babies).

    ATA is working on a fifth title that’s in the early stages of development and scheduled to launch worldwide in early 2020. The team has taken what they learned from the success of Party in My Dorm and Kingdoms of Heckfire to guide the production of this game, and are currently working with the marketing team to validate their creative concepts. Meanwhile, the Party in My Dorm team has recently launched a secret feature that no one knows about yet. Instead of announcing it, they’ve decided to only tell a few players and see how far it spreads through word of mouth alone. They want players to have the fun of blowing each other’s minds when they show their friends.
     

     

    Over the years, ATA has put a lot of focus on cultivating a culture that is supportive of each individual and offers a workplace where everyone can feel free to be their true self. This hard work has recently been recognized as they featured at number five on the 2019 list of Best Workplaces™ in Canada <100 Employees. In 2018, they were awarded a place on the list of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures and Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers. They’ve also been featured as one of Canada’s Best Workplaces™ for Mental Wellness.

    ATA’s core values are: Ownership, Have Wonderful Arguments, Keep Growing and Best Ideas Win. These values help the team create the ideal environment for building ambitious things. It’s a place where brilliant and inspiring people can come together and build games that make millions of players happy. ATA realized that they needed to find incredibly talented people and get out of their way, that’s why they don’t believe in the traditional hierarchy structure. Why would they hire the best people if they’re not going to give them the ownership to make decisions? This is not to say that they don’t have a leadership team, in fact, their leads are integral in creating a supportive work environment where their employees can function at their highest potential. Leads inspire their teams towards new levels of growth and achievement by ensuring the mission and core values inform their leadership style.
     

     

    The team at ATA is fascinated by human behaviour and creates games where powerful social communities can grow and thrive. They believe great communities only become stronger when they are set in compelling universes that they’ve created... in other words, original intellectual property or IP. Their strategy to only build games using original IP, gives them full control over how they grow their communities and allows them to reinvest their profits in new product development and cultivating their team as they continue to scale.

     

    Fun Fact: Every team at ATA is named after a sea creature, real or mythical. This began with Project Squid, as the founders began exploring different areas of growth for the company (just like a squid’s tentacles reaching out in different directions on the ocean floor). Currently, the five teams are Leviathan, Kraken, Narwhal, Dolphin and Otter.

     

    ATA is growing and currently looking to fill the following roles: 3D Marketing Generalist, 2D Game Artist, Senior 2D Game Artist and Software Engineering Lead. They would love to chat with people who share their values, believe in building communities, and can add to their awesome culture. Check out their Careers page for further info and to apply.

     

  • 21 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    We had such a blast at the RockPaperScissors tournament + networking mixer this past Wednesday. 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 and fun! Huge thanks again to our wonderful sponsors, A Thinking Ape & eStruxture Data Centers, for helping make this event possible. We’d also like to thank the AnzaClub Vancouver, East Side Games, PayDay Productions and A Thinking Ape for donating some amazing prizes, and shout out to Juliana L for winning the door raffle grand prize which was an Oculus Go (courtesy of eStruxture Data Centers). Unfortunately, Ryan D was unable to defend his title this time around. However, we ended up with an all-female showdown in the final where Colleen A was able to edge past Andrada T and be crowned the winner.

     


    No need to fret if you missed out on this as we’re already looking to plan more events for later on in the year. This one, in particular, is quite popular so we’d love to host it every couple of 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 in sponsoring the next one 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.

     

     

     

  • 18 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    Are you a B.C. video game studio with products or services targeting China's video game market and are you planning to attend ChinaJoy 2019? If so, you may want to connect with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service as they will be organizing a series of business activities to support participating Canadian companies. This will be taking place from July 31-August 3 in Beijing and Shanghai. The proposed program is as follows:
     

    The Canadian Gaming Seminar (Beijing) July 31:

    This is a unique opportunity to extend the reach of participating Canadian companies at ChinaJoy and connect with local companies from Beijing’s gaming cluster.

    • Morning: all Canadian companies participating in ChinaJoy featured to local Chinese companies. Chinese participants would be invited through the organization, Beijing Animation & Game Industry Alliance, a body with 100+ gaming industrial members. The venue is the China World Hotel Beijing.
    • Afternoon: site visits to two or three large Chinese gaming companies/distributors in Beijing
    • Evening: potential networking business reception/dinner

     

    ChinaJoy 2019 (Shanghai) August 1-3:

    • August 1: site visit in Shanghai to a major premium game publisher and distributor in China
    • August 2 & 3: the Consulate will host a Canadian Meeting Room at the Kerry Hotel (venue for ChinaJoy conferences)*

    *bookings (30-minute intervals) are available on a first-come-first-serve basis
     

    Participating Canadian companies can use the Canadian Meeting Room for pre-arranged B2B meetings, which could be set up either by companies themselves or by the Trade Commissioners upon request. Trade Commissioner will be onsite at the Kerry Hotel to facilitate meetings and provide support.

     

    Cost & Registration:

    Interested clients are invited to participate in the ChinaJoy and/or Beijing program. Please complete and send the >>> program registration form <<< no later than June 28, 2019 to Ms. Sandra Jiang, Trade Commissioner [sandra.jiang@international.gc.ca]


    There is no charge to participate in the program but all participating companies are responsible for their own travel and related expenses. Companies are also responsible for their own passes to enter ChinaJoy*. There are no fees to be paid directly to the TCS.

    *ChinaJoy Pass is not required to access the Canadian Meeting Room, which is located at the Business Center of the Kerry Hotel
     

    For a ChinaJoy Pass purchase, please visit the official website: http://en2019.chinajoy.net/ and access the purchase app by scanning the QR code. Passes can also be purchased onsite at the entrance.

     
     

    Questions?

    Beijing:

    Bella Qiao
    Embassy of Canada (Beijing)
    bellaxiaotong.qiao@international.gc.ca

     

    Shanghai:

    Sandra Jiang
    Consulate General of Canada (Shanghai)

    sandra.jiang@international.gc.ca


     

  • 18 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiMusic 2019 was a music competition for high school students in BC. It ran from April 2 to May 14 and gave students a small taste of what it’s like to combine creativity and technology. The challenge was to compose music for one or more short clips of video games and animated movies that have been created right here in BC. Entries were then judged by a panel comprised of digital media and music industry experts, and the goal of the competition was to help parents, teachers, and students see that there are viable careers to be had in the creative technology sector.

    DigiMusic gave students the ability to showcase their exceptional musical talents in a creative and dynamic way. Our judges were thoroughly impressed by the depth of sophistication and skill they heard in the compositions and the overall quality was simply outstanding. We have no doubt that many of these students will go on to have successful careers in the creative digital sector should they pursue it.

     


    Participants came together for the finale event on June 3, which was hosted at EA Vancouver, to celebrate the nominees and view all of the submissions. It was an exciting day where the winners were presented with professional sound mixers, provided by Roland Canada, for their school's music room and the event capped off with an exclusive tour of the Electronic Arts campus.

     

    Huge thanks to the following organizations and individuals for making this project possible:

    EA Vancouver, Creative BC, BC Government (Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture), Phoenix Labs, Blackbird Interactive, Yeti Farm Animations, BCMEA, Roland Canada, James Hursthouse,  Zoltan Virga, Brad Justason, Colin Madill, John Morgan, Adrian Talens, Shannon Mason, Caitlin Yu, and Jesse Houston
     

    See here for more info >> https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019TAC0069-001143

     

     

  • 07 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    The BC Trade and Investment office in Los Angeles recently connected with a few investors in California who are interested in making investments in different sectors in BC. If you would like to connect with any of the investors for further discussion, please contact Alana Wagner, Director of the Trade and Investment Office (Los Angeles) as per the following:


    Alana Wagner
    Director, Pacific Southwest
    Trade & Invest British Columbia
    10250 Constellation Blvd, Suite 100c
    Los Angeles, CA 90067
    E: awagner@britishcolumbia.ca

     

    1. Investment/Doing Business in US – Expert Dojo is an accelerator in Santa Monica, California. They have just launched their second fund of US$2M. It is an international only fund and they are looking to invest US$100,000 in companies for their Fall cohort (September 1). The cohort will be 3 months in Santa Monica with sessions on doing business in the US as well as connections to VCs in Southern California. They are hoping for companies who are generating revenue. They are industry agnostic on the type of companies who apply. https://expertdojo.com/international/

    2. Investment/Strategic Partnership –Touchdown Ventures manages professional corporate venture capital programs for some of the largest companies in the world. With a team of approximately 20 investment professionals and offices in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, Touchdown partners with corporations to enable them to invest directly in consumer, enterprise, and healthcare businesses across all stages of venture capital. They work with about a dozen corporations and currently seek opportunities in the sectors.
       
    3. Investment/Strategic Partnership – Venture Fuel works with global brands to identify early-stage companies who may be a fit for their needs. Each quarter they send out updates for new technologies that they are looking to connect to global brands. See this link for the current ask. https://www.venturefuel.net/opportunities

     

  • 01 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC Member Companies

    81monkeys
    A Thinking Ape
    AMPD Technologies
    BCIT
    BC Technology for Learning Society
    Biba Ventures
    Blackbird Interactive
    Codename Entertainment
    Demonware
    EA Vancouver
    eStruxture Data Centers
    Explore West Interactive
    Fasken
    Finger Food Studios
    FlowMotion Entertainment
    Go2 Productions
    HTFG @ CBRE
    Hyper Hippo
    Kabam Vancouver
    KPMG
    Next Level Games
    Offworld Industries
    Phoenix Labs
    Pirahna Games
    Red Hook Studios
    Relic
    SkyBox Labs
    The Coalition (Microsoft)
    Time Factory Studio
    Truly Social Games

     

    Animation & VFX Alliance of BC Member Companies
    Animal Logic
    Atomic Cartoons
    Bardel Entertainment
    Cinesite Studios
    CoSA VFX
    DHX Media
    DNEG
    ILM Vancouver
    Image Engine
    Kickstart Productions
    LUX Visual Effects
    Method Studios
    MPC Vancouver
    Mr Wolf
    Rainmaker Studios
    Scanline VFX
    Sony Pictures Imageworks
    Stellar – Creative Lab
    Titmouse
    Waterproof Studios
    Zoic Studios

  • 22 May 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC has applied for funding to benchmark the make-up of the creative technology sector in BC. Without good measurements, we are unable to support evidence-based decision making at the provincial and federal levels. Announcement coming soon!

     

    Defining the Future – Leadership Roundtable Dinner for Video Game Studio Heads

    Are you the CEO / GM / EVP / Leader of a video game studio? Join us on June 18 for our inaugural “Video Game Leadership Dinner - a roundtable on defining the future”.

    By invite only, please send an expression of interest to brenda@digibc.org

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Education Update

    DigiBC continues to be very active on the education front and all of our programming supports the objectives we are focused on. These include:

    • Ensure BC students and adult learners know that building an interesting and successful career in the creative tech sector is a viable option in BC.

    Increase the domestic talent pool to continue the success of the sector in our province.

    Support inclusion and diversity of talent who were previously underrepresented, such as women and indigenous people. We also recognize that diversity includes regional diversity and are reaching out to learners in all regions of the province.

     

    Play to Learn
    The rollout into 11 new school districts is in full swing. We are now in the following schools, with an additional 10 schools committed but not yet activated.
     

    Hazelton Secondary School

    COAST MOUNTAINS SCHOOL DISTRICT 82

    Cowichan Secondary School

    COWICHAN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT 79

    Lake Cowichan School

    COWICHAN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT 79

    Arbutus Middle School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Central Middle School - Secondary School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Colquitz Middle School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Gordon Head Middle School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Oaklands Elementary School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Willows Elementary School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    St. Andrew's Regional High School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Chase Secondary School

    KAMLOOPS THOMPSON SCHOOL DISTRICT 73

    Uplands Elementary School

    OKANAGAN SKAHA SCHOOL DISTRICT 67

    Eagle View Elementary School

    VANCOUVER ISLAND NORTH SCHOOL DISTRICT 85

    Island ConnectEd

    NANAIMO LADYSMITH PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT 68

    Mount Boucherie Secondary School

    CENTRAL OKANAGAN SCHOOL DISTRICT 23

     

    Additional 10 registered/committed in: 

    Coast Mountain - 1 school

    Kamloops Thompson - 4 schools

    Kootenay Lake - 2 schools

    Greater Victoria - 3 schools

     

    DigiMusic 2019 Competition

    Submissions are now officially closed. Winners will be announced on May 24th and things will wrap with an official finale event to be held at EA Vancouver on Monday, June 3rd.

     

  • 22 May 2019 by DigiBC

    Have you heard of Code Coven? It’s the first video game industry-focused bootcamp for women offering development in technical skills, professional skills, and portfolio. Remote and flexible, women will be able to work with other women at a time that suits their schedule. Founded in 2018 by CEO, Tara Mustapha, it was created in response to the shortage of female developers in the video game world. Code Coven seeks to provide women with the skills and confidence needed to thrive in the games industry. Curious to know more? We had a quick Q&A with Tara to get further info on what Code Coven is all about.


    How many types of courses does Code Coven offer? Are they full-time or part-time?
    We are launching with two pilot courses centered on development with Unity, an introductory class for those with no prior experience and an advanced class. All courses are part-time, designed to accommodate those who have full-time jobs, caregivers and more the opportunity to invest in their growth while taking care of their responsibilities.

    Are the courses done online or in person?
    All courses are online, and we use a core hour system which creates a sense of camaraderie and connection within the class.

    How much does it cost?
    Our pilot classes are priced at $549 USD and can be paid in full or installments.

    How are your courses different from the ones offered at other training schools?
    With four principals at its heart (innovation, guidance, empowerment, and experience), Code Coven plans to go beyond being just an online coding bootcamp – the aim is to nurture new and existing talent, create networking opportunities, help participants find employment and most importantly, work towards redressing the gender imbalance in the gaming world. Our courses are holistic, addressing not only the acquisition of technical skill but also the comfort and confidence needed to apply that knowledge. Our programs incorporate on-the-job training, giving the participants' portfolio pieces and game credits for their work with our partner studios. Our goal is to empower woman to achieve their ambitions and drive change in their environments.

    Who would benefit most from taking one of your courses?
    Our beginner classes empower students in gaining a technical foundation to improve communication and efficiency within teams, from producers, artists, designers, and QA. Our advanced courses allow students to apply their knowledge to other projects, giving them the training and confidence to be able to take these skills back to their studios effectively.

    Do students need to have any previous training or work experience is a certain field before signing up?

    Our beginner classes do not have a technical requisite, our advanced classes require either work experience or the completion of a small programming project defined by us.

    Who are the instructors? How do you pick them?

    Our Unity instructor, Francesca Carletto-Leon, has been working in games and technology in a variety of roles including community management and production. Her development work is highly multidisciplinary and includes digital, tabletop, and alternative controller projects. In 2016 She co-founded an independent game studio called Contigo Games. She holds a BS in Interactive Media & Game Development from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MFA in Game Design from New York University. We will be announcing more of our instructors in the next few weeks, all of them impressive and experienced women from games and technology.

    What are some of the possible jobs/career path options someone would have after completing a course?

    This all depends on the student's prior experience, our motivation is that they are able to enter or continue in the career in the games industry and that they see greater success in their career management.

     

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