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.