Blogs

  • 19 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    Some of our members have expressed concern that CMF funding appears to be biased toward Ontario and Quebec. DigiBC is going to work on addressing this issue in the coming months. If you would like to join our CMF task force then please communicate this interest to brenda@digibc.org. Thanks!

  • 18 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    In conjunction with the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology (JTT) and Creative BC, DigiBC hosted Mr. Chen Fafen, Senior Advisor, Cultural Industries Bureau, Tencent Holdings in Vancouver on July 6/7. Mr. Chen held one to one meetings with selected video games, animation, and visual effects studios and toured Double Negative, Archiact, and Electronic Arts. DigiBC Chair, Jon Lutz, took Mr. Chen on a tour of EA which included seeing the motion capture studio and meeting the team making FIFA Online Mobile for China. Huge thanks to everyone who participated and helped coordinate his two-day visit. We have since received feedback that Mr. Chen enjoyed his time here and was thoroughly impressed with the information we shared.  Well done all!
     

    Jon Lutz & Mr. Chen Fafen

  • 17 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    Animal Logic is a world-renowned animation and visual effects studio that was founded by Zareh Nalbandian and Chris Godfrey in 1991 in Sydney, Australia. Being that Chris is one of the country's top visual effects supervisors and Zareh is at the forefront of producing award-winning design, animation, and visual effects, it made for a great foundation to get the company off the ground.
     

     

    Since then they have branched out to create a global family with additional locations in Vancouver and Los Angeles. They describe this family as a collaborative, innovative, dedicated passionate, and creative bunch who all share the same philosophy - to make great work with great people. It's a place where the staff love what they do and have fun doing it. The company also ensures that they are always working on high-end, quality projects while still having a focus on staff training and career development. 

     

     

    Over the years, Animal Logic has produced a slew of award-winning films with their most prominent ones being Happy Feet (their very first animated feature film which won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature), The LEGO Movie (where they partnered with Warner Bros., Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Chris McKay, and had a team of over 350 artists, technicians, and support staff working on the film for 2+ years), and Peter Rabbit (the studio developed innovative and groundbreaking technology in order to bring the complex characters to life).

    In 2017, the Animal Logic family grew to over 600 people from more than 30 countries and it is still an independent Australian company! Another exciting fact is that in 2016, the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) partnered with them to create the UTS Animal Logic Academy. The Master of Animation and Visualisation in a postgraduate program now in its second year. Applications are currently open for the class of 2019 and more details can be found here.

     

     

    The two projects they currently have in production are The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and Captain Marvel. A partnership with Imagine Entertainment and Warner Bros. to co-develop, produce and co-finance a slate of animated and hybrid family films was also recently announced. They are always looking for new team members to join their global family and have roles available in animation, visual effects, production, concept art and more! Further details on these openings can be found here.
     

    Notable Awards
    2014 BAFTA Award: Best Animated Film (The LEGO Movie)
    2013 AACTA Award: Outstanding Achievement in Visual Effects (The Great Gatsby)
    2007 BAFTA Award: Best Animated Film (Happy Feet)
    2007 Academy Award: Best Animated Feature (Happy Feet)

     

  • 17 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    Does your company have a social media policy? Many of us are aware of the controversy facing ArenaNet (Guildwars 2) after they fired two employees for allegedly behaving poorly in social media interactions with consumers. Leaving aside the issue of whether or not the two should have been fired, a few obvious questions emerging from this fiasco are... does your company have a social media policy in place? If so, is it sufficient? Does it consider both professional and personal social media accounts? We began preparing recommendations for our members to consider then read the work that Jen MacLean at IGDA produced. Rather than re-creating the wheel, we asked her permission to link to the IDGA suggested guidelines. She agreed. Thanks, Jen!

     

    Game Devs on Social Media: Questions You Should Ask For Your Protection
    Posted By Jen MacLean, Monday, July 9, 2018
    igda.org/blogpost/1016423/305221/Game-Devs-on-Social-Media-Questions-You-Should-Ask-For-Your-Protection

    Two ArenaNet employees were recently fired because of their interactions with community members on social media. This incident makes very clear the perils of social media for game developers, especially when transparent and well-understood guidelines for staff members are not in place. Often, game developers love engaging with their player base and the interactions can be very helpful for both the developers and players. However, without clear information from an employer on social media use, interacting with people as a game developer can jeopardize someone’s job and career, and even their personal safety.

    The IGDA strongly encourages its members, both as individuals and as studios and partners, to clarify the guidelines and expectations around social media use, both in professional and personal accounts.

    Game developers are also frequently targeted for harassment, particularly if they are members of under-represented communities. Companies must plan for how they will support their staff members in the event of online harassment, and should clearly communicate the resources they will make available to their team to have safe, productive, and positive interactions online, especially if they are expected to do so in their roles. With generous assistance from IGDA community members, we’veassembled an initial list of questions every game developer should ask, and every company should address, before interacting with players on social media.

    What are the rules for staff about engaging in company-controlled online spaces?

    • Is direct engagement with consumers a job requirement for non-community/customer support employees? If so, what training is provided to employees to help facilitate these interactions?
    • If non-CS staff is engaging directly in company spaces, are they allowed to disagree with consumers? If so, how much disagreement is acceptable? What sort of language (with examples) is acceptable and what isn't?

    • If a consumer is behaving toward non-CS staff in a way that the staff member feels is inappropriate/condescending/exhausting, is the staff member allowed to disengage? More importantly, is the staff member allowed to TELL them they're disengaging? Are they allowed to say WHY they're disengaging? Is there an escalation process the staff member should follow internally?

    What are the rules for employees’ personal social media accounts?

    • Are staff allowed to have personal social media accounts on which they identify themselves as an employee of the company, or on which they share their role at the company?  Is LinkedIn included in this?

      • If so, are staff allowed to have personal social media accounts that aren't locked to the public? Are they allowed to have personal social media accounts that ARE locked to the public?

      • Is it expected that staff include any disclaimers that they do not represent the company, or that their opinions are their own? Where should that disclaimer be included?

    • Are staff allowed to discuss non-confidential aspects of their jobs on their personal social media accounts?

      • If so, what sort of aspects of their jobs are they allowed to discuss? What feelings are they allowed to express? What sort of language (with examples) are they or aren't they allowed to use? Are they allowed to disagree with consumers?

    • Are staff expected or required to engage with consumers on their personal social media accounts? If so, how often, during what periods of the day, and to what degree?

    • Are staff allowed to tell consumers approaching them via their personal social media accounts that they won't engage? If the consumer won't leave them alone, what sort of language are they allowed to use/actions are they allowed to take to be left alone?  Is there an escalation process the staff member should follow internally? 

    What will the company do to protect its talent from internet harassment mobs?

    • What steps will the company take to deal with customer hostility toward non-CS staff in company spaces such as the message boards or company-controlled Reddit AMAs?

    • If a targeted harassment campaign is directed at a staff member or members, what steps will the company take to protect them?

    • What resources will the company devote to detecting and preventing the organization of targeted harassment campaigns directed at staff members?

    • What training will the company provide to staff so that the staff understands the expectations for engagement and what to do if they are targeted?

    • What is the “911” process for an employee who is being brigaded/harassed/threatened? What happens when it’s outside of company hours?

    • Who can employees contact to vet their social media posts, both those made in company-controlled spaces and those made from their personal accounts?

    What are the calibration/discipline/monitoring procedures?

    • Who monitors employees’ personal social media, and how much monitoring is to be expected?
    • Are managers responsible for monitoring their direct reports’ personal/private social media?
    • What is the review process if someone has concerns about an employee’s post, and who is involved?
    • What is the disciplinary process, if necessary, and who is involved?
       

    Are employees allowed to play the game (if the game is multiplayer)?

    •  Are they allowed to have non-company-tagged personal accounts?

    • What feelings are employees allowed to express while playing on company accounts? What sort of language are and aren’t they allowed to use?

    • What feelings are they allowed to express while playing on personal accounts? What sort of language are and aren’t they allowed to use?

  • 16 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    SIGGRAPH 2018 is taking place next month and there's still time to get your hands on a pass. We have been provided with a sign-up code that will get you a free Exhibit-Only pass, or it can be used to save $50 if you upgrade to any other level. To register and review all of the categories you can click here: https://s2018.siggraph.org/attend/register/
     

    Once you have decided which category to register under, click on Register Now, start the registration process and choose registration type (member, non-member, student, etc).  On the contact information page, you will be prompted at the bottom to enter a discount code. If you are a current DigiBC member and would like to take advantage of this offer, then please contact us to get your sign-up code.

     

  • 13 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduces new data protection obligations for businesses while providing increased data protection rights for data subjects. The GDPR also significantly increases fines for non-compliance. Are you impacted by GDPR? DigiBC members were invited to a call with a legal expert on this very topic last month (huge thanks to EA Vancouver for making this available). For those of you who were unable to attend, here is an excellent resource list that was provided in the meeting.


    Regulators’ Resources to Enforce - https://www.ft.com/content/aa156862-5f4f-11e8-9334-2218e7146b04

    “A survey conducted by Reuters finds the majority of European regulators will not be ready for the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Of the 24 regulators polled, 17 said they either do not have the necessary funding or the proper powers in place to enforce the GDPR. “We’ve realized that our resources were insufficient to cope with the new missions given by the GDPR,” CNIL President Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin said. Regulators do not have the enforcement abilities needed for the new rules as their countries have not updated their laws to include the GDPR. The majority of respondents said they will react and investigate complaints based on merit, while a few said they would take a proactive approach.” https://iapp.org/news/a/eu-regulators-say-they-are-not-ready-for-gdpr/


    Top 10 Operational Impacts of GDPR and Self-assessment Tools

    https://iapp.org/resources/article/top-10-operational-impacts-of-the-gdpr/

    https://assessment.microsoft.com/gdpr-compliance

    https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/resources-and-support/data-protection-self-assessment/


    DPO Responsibilities & Liabilities

    https://edps.europa.eu/data-protection/data-protection/reference-library/data-protection-officer-dpo_en

    https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/accountability-and-governance/data-protection-officers/

     

    Concise & Clear GDPR Guidelines

    https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/

    https://privacylawblog.fieldfisher.com/

    https://www.twobirds.com/en/hot-topics/general-data-protection-regulation

     

     

  • 12 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    BCIT and Microsoft Vancouver have partnered up to develop a first-of-its-kind VR/AR/MR curriculum. The program was created to set students up to enter the job market with the desirable skills that businesses are demanding in the growing tech industry. If you're looking to augment your software development skills then this program could be the right fit for you. For more information, you can check the BCIT website here.
     

     1. When was the program launched? Who created it and who are the instructors?

    BCIT launched the program in the fall of 2017. Two existing courses, COMP 1011 - UX/UI and COMP 1910 - Intro 3D Simulations and VR/AR were adapted to function as the prerequisites for two higher level xR courses. This statement of completion was developed by Kevin Cudihee (Program Head for BCIT Computing Part-time Studies), in conjunction with subject matter experts from the School of Computing and Academic Studies ( SoCAS ) Arron Ferguson and Maria Khan, Richard Morency, Bill Zhao (Centre for Digital Media), and Chris Welman (Microsoft Canada).

     

    2. How long is it? How much does it cost?

    The series of four hands-on courses are:

    • COMP 1011 - UX/UI Fundamentals
    • COMP 1910 - Introduction to 3D Simulations and VR/AR
    • COMP 2012 - Applied UX/UI for VR/AR
    • COMP 3919 - Applied VR/AR Project

    These courses are designed to be delivered part-time, at night, and on weekends. Each course has prerequisites for the follow-on courses. It will take a minimum of three terms or one year to complete all four courses if the student starts with completing COMP 1011 and COMP 1910 concurrently. COMP 2012 and COMP 3919 are not offered every term and must be completed sequentially. Each course costs around $599 CAD each. In total, the statement of completion will cost about $2,500 CAD (including books).

     

     3. Who would benefit the most from taking this program? Are there any prerequisites? Do students need to have any previous training or work experience in a certain field before signing up for this program?

    VR/AR courses are aimed at mature students with other post-secondary education and work experience. These courses will be of interest to established programmers who are already working as software and mobile app developers. Participants in these courses must be able to form and work in self-directed teams.

     

    4. Can this program be taken online? Or is it only on-campus?

    These four COMP courses are not available online. They are highly applied and delivered face to face with specialized hardware. Delivery is currently at the Burnaby and Downtown BCIT campus locations and they are looking into offering at least one of these courses at The Cube. There is a very strong interpersonal communication component using Agile development and small close functional teams of students collaborating together in person.

     

    5. What are some of the possible jobs someone could do after graduating?

    This statement of completion was designed to provide an introduction to these technologies. The goal was to show students' best practices, industry-standard methods and current tools used in this environment. These four courses alone are the first step in exploring this field. Ideally, those taking these courses would be already working in the field as software developers. "The aim is to provide working individuals with opportunities to advance into new and developing markets," says Bethany Edmunds, Associate Dean of Computing at BCIT.

     

     

  • 09 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    The First Nations Technology Council (FNTC) is looking for passionate instructors and technologists to teach in their Foundations in Innovation and Technology (FiiT) program which is launching in the fall. This is a new initiative that guides students on a path from entry level-certification through to advanced training and work experience opportunities. FiiT is creating a network of Indigenous innovators that are equipped with the skills and certifications required for the digital economy. Through FiiT, thousands of Indigenous students throughout the province will have access to industry-relevant training and creating pathways to having greater participation in the technology and innovation sectors.

    Developed with support from industry partners and community leaders, the FiiT program closely aligns labour market demand with areas of study, reflecting both current and projected in-demand careers within the technology and innovation sectors. Extended-length course delivery allows for meaningful learning to take place, while a range of support services (including financial aid, mentorship and academic advising for status and non-status Indigenous peoples) ensure that students have the tools they need for success. 

    NVIT and the Technology Council give high priority to Indigenous candidates. All applicants should be experienced in working with Indigenous people and be willing to travel.

    Employment is contract based on a 12-week cycle. Compensation is $ 6,316.35 per course (2- week section). If you have an interest in Indigenous education, economic reconciliation and the increased participation of Indigenous peoples in the digital economy, they would love to receive your application.

    For more information, you can go to their website - http://www.technologycouncil.ca/about-us/join-our-team/instructor

     

     

  • 09 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    The Entertainment Software Association of Canada’s (ESAC) fourth annual Student Video Game Competition drew in a record number of submissions for 2018. Competing against over 20 schools from across Canada, this year’s title was awarded to students from the University of Quebec Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) Centre in Montreal for their game, Minors, a cooperative game touching upon the reality of child labour in the mining industry. Minors was originally designed for Ubisoft Montreal’s 2018 Game Lab Competition, whose theme for 2018 was “Change the World”. The game was also the recipient of “Best Prototype” and “Best User Experience” at the Montreal competition.

     

    The ESAC Student Video Game Competition is a national contest and is designed to encourage game development skills that are crucial to the future of the domestic video game industry. Each year the winner travels to Los Angeles and showcases their game to industry and fans at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). A group of expert judges from Xbox Canada, Relic Entertainment, Other Ocean Interactive and Solutions2Go Inc. scored each participant based on originality, artistic expression, and technical proficiency.  

     

    The winning team consisted of nine students, including William Homs, Delyan Farashev, Eva-Léa Longue Ngambi, Felix Liberali, Lydiane Beaulne-Bélisle, Nicolas Crevier, Alex Battista, Sijia Mao and Léandre Monette. The UQAT students brought young Canadian talent to the forefront at E3 2018 by sharing their game on the showcase floor and notably surpassing 14K viewers on the live video streaming app Periscope. During the three day event, the students were able to benefit from valuable networking opportunities with their peers and with some of the largest video game companies in the world.
     

    Former winners of the competition include Vancouver Film School (2015), Sheridan College (2016), and Polytechnique Montréal/Centre NAD (2017). For information about the ESAC Student Video Game Competition, please visit: http://theesa.ca/resources/student-video-game-competition/

    For more information about ESAC, contact Jayson Hilchie at jhilchie@theesa.ca

     

     

  • 05 Jul 2018 by DigiBC

    Save the date!  G-STAR is the largest digital gaming show in Korea and is quickly becoming one of the largest in Asia. The conference will take place in Busan from November 15-17, 2018 and will feature an exclusive B2B hall. Last year, more than 2000 buyers attended the B2B portion of the show. All of the big Korean publishers (Nexon, NCSoft, Kakao, Smilegate, Netmarble, Samsung, etc), along with a number of smaller ones and tech companies will be in attendance. If you're looking to do business in Korea (and Asia) then G-STAR is the place to go and make contacts.

    The Embassy is planning to feature a Canada Pavilion again this year that will highlight all the great things the industry is doing. The Trade Commissioner Service will make introductions and help you to organize meetings with local contacts and potential partners so that you can make the most of your trip. The Canada Pavilion will have meeting rooms and there will be a couple of demo stations with a revolving list so that you can demo your games as well as participate in meetings. If you are interested in attending or would like more information on the show, contact us directly and we can put you in touch with the Trade Commissioner office. There is also a webinar scheduled for July 24 where a rep from the TC office will be talking more about plans for the Canada Pavilion. Please send us an email if you would like details on this.

     

     

    CanExport Funding Program

    The CanExport program can provide financial support and assist with your travel costs to help get you to G-STAR. The program provides direct assistance to SMEs registered in Canada who are seeking to develop new export opportunities and markets, especially in high-growth emerging markets (read: Korea). Some of the expenses eligible to be covered (at 50%) are travel costs for up to two employees or owners working directly for the Canadian SME applying for the CanExport contribution. Please check the website for complete details.