Full Stack Web Developer

My First Gamer Camp

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.

Gamer Camp Toronto logo

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”
Twitter: @rocket2guns

Robert Segal, co-creator Mega Run and Mega Jump
“From 0 to 40 Million Downloads”
Twitter: @robertfsegal
Website: Get Set

“Emerging Artists Showcase”
Kyle Halladay
Francesco Ciarlandini

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
Twitter: @soundshapes
Website: Queasy

Leonard Paul, composer for Retro City Rampage
Twitter: @Videogameaudio
Website: Video Game Audio

Ken Yeung, co-creator for Super TIME Force
Twitter: @capy_ken
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
Twitter: @DyadGame
Website: Dyad

Chris Harvey, co-creator of Mutant Blobs Attack and Guacamelee
“Productive Creativity at DrinkBox”
Twitter: @DrinkBoxStudios
Website: DrinkBox

Patrick Reddin, director for Splinter Cell Blacklist
Twitter: @Holesinteeth
Website: Ubisoft Toronto

Charles Pratt, NYU Game Centre curator for No Quarter
Twitter: @charlesjpratt

Zach Gage, interactive artist for SpellTower and Guts of Glory
Twitter: @helvetica (yes, really)
Website: http://stfj.net/

Ramiro Corbetta, creator of Hokra
Twitter: @RamiroCorbetta
Website: http://www.ramirocorbetta.com/

Noah Sasso, co-creator BariBaraBall
Twitter: @getdizzzy
Website: http://strangeflavor.net/

Matt Parker, creator of Recurse
Twitter: @madparker
Website: http://madparker.com/

Robin Arnott, co-creator of Deep Sea
Twitter: @RAgamesound
Website: http://www.wraughk.com/

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:

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.