I’m a gamer. Have been since I was 8 or 9 years old when my Mom bought me my first gaming console: the Atari 2600.
I think indie video games can easily be argued as ‘startups’ and the people who start a team (like Ken Yeung) or do it on their own (like Jon Mak) have the same spirit of entrepreneurship that any owner of a startup in the Valley has. So when Donna (my fiancé) told me about Gamer Camp Toronto, I immediately purchased a ticket for $40.
The short: Gamer Camp is an annual conference held in Toronto (2012 was it’s fourth) that showcases local game developers and hosts talks from experienced individuals from the industry (like Patrick Redding from Ubisoft and Mary DeMarle from Eidos). This year, it was held over two days: Saturday November 3 and Sunday November 4, at the beautiful Isabel Bader Theatre. It’s awesome.
I was primarily interested in the talks, but there were also workshops, vendors, a game room put on by Snakes & Lattes, a big party, and a ton of games to test out. I didn’t get to see all the speakers – I missed several, because I ended up meeting some great people and playing Magic: The Gathering at the Snakes & Lattes game room. Thanks for the games David S Gallant and Randy Orenstein! Thanks Snakes & Lattes for letting us use a table!
Saturday Theatre Talks
Dean Hall, DayZ creator
“Origins of DayZ”
Robert Segal, co-creator Mega Run and Mega Jump
“From 0 to 40 Million Downloads”
Website: Get Set
“Emerging Artists Showcase”
Vander Caballero, creative director Papo & Yo
“Creating Emotional Journeys”
Website: We Are Minority
JP Dyson, director for International Centre for the History of Electronic Games
Jon Mak, creator of Everyday Shooter and co-creator of Sound Shapes
Leonard Paul, composer for Retro City Rampage
Website: Video Game Audio
Ken Yeung, co-creator for Super TIME Force
Website: Capy Games
Sunday Theatre Talks
Mary DeMarle, lead writer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution
“Reinventing the Narrative Paradigm (Why I’m So Excited about Story in Games)”
Website: Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Shawn McGrath, co-creator of Dyad
Chris Harvey, co-creator of Mutant Blobs Attack and Guacamelee
“Productive Creativity at DrinkBox”
Patrick Reddin, director for Splinter Cell Blacklist
Website: Ubisoft Toronto
Charles Pratt, NYU Game Centre curator for No Quarter
Zach Gage, interactive artist for SpellTower and Guts of Glory
Twitter: @helvetica (yes, really)
Ramiro Corbetta, creator of Hokra
Noah Sasso, co-creator BariBaraBall
Matt Parker, creator of Recurse
Robin Arnott, co-creator of Deep Sea
Videos of all of the talks have been promised in early 2013. I will post them up as soon as I can. For now, here are some photos:
1) Gamer Camp Toronto 2012 – Nov 3 2012
Free booklet outlining the weekend long events.
2) Gamer Camp Toronto 2012 – Nov 3 2012
Inside Isabel bader theatre. Saturday morning. Seats are starting to fill.
3) Gamer Camp Toronto 2012 – Nov 3 2012
Dean hall up on stage! Hhhhnnnnn… talks….
4) Gamer Camp Toronto 2012 – Nov 3 2012
Robert Segal from Get Set lifts the curtain on selling an app on iTunes from 0 to 40 million downloads.
5) Gamer Camp Toronto 2012 – Nov 3 2012
Leonard Paul shows us how he creates chiptunes.
6) Gamer Camp 2012 – Shawn McGrath on stage
Shawn McGrath’s Dyad tech talk was fantastic. He was up there showing us how he made Dyad while also incredibly sick.
7) Gamer Camp Toronto 2012 – Nov 4 2012
Some gents playing Papo & Yo.
8) Gamer Camp Toronto 2012 – Nov 4 2012
The art direction in the directions to the games were .. well .. you can be your own judge.
If you live in or near Toronto and enjoy playing or making games, I’d suggest Liking the Gamer Camp Toronto Facebook page to get updates (they also post news about the local game scene).
I’m looking forward to next year’s Gamer Camp. How about you? Did you go? What was your reason for going? As always, I love comments.