Lots of news from the fringe of Vancouver's game industry this week! As always, if you have any tidbits you should be sharing them here, contact me via my website.
No Robots' Jamble Launch Party
On Tuesday night, Steven Rechtschaffner's new iPhone publishing company, No Robots, held a launch party for their first app: Jamble (by Jamble Entertainment). Both No Robots and Jamble are made up of ex-EAC and ex-Nexon Vancouver employees. Jamble, a music app that allows players to mix loops from well known tracks on the fly to create and share their own mixes, will debut on iTunes once it's okayed by Apple sometime in the next week. I got a chance to play with it at the party and had a lot of fun with it's easy to use approach to creating your own mashed up tunes.
Social Gaming Summit 2009
The second annual Social Gaming Summit took place this past Tuesday in San Francisco. SGS09 was put on by Charles Hudson, the organizer of other great summits such as the Virtual Goods Summit and the iPhone Games Summit. If you're at all interested in being on the cutting edge of game development, I'd suggest attending one or all of these mini-conferences (for a taste, check out the Virtual Goods Summit videos). The access to major players in each of these areas is unparalleled. At the very least, catch up on what happened at SGS09 by scanning the Twitter hashtag #sgs09 or reading Jeremy Liew's writeup or GigaOM's four take-aways.
TED Coming to Vancouver
It appears a local group has been given permission to hold a TED(x) event in Vancouver. The TED conference series is extremely highly regarded, with registration starting at $6,000 and an unmatched level of speakers covering entertainment, technology, design and more. Previous events have featured talks by Bill Gates, Al Gore, JJ Abrams, Tony Robbins, Seth Godin and other luminaries. TEDx appears to be a local TED series, but hopefully the program quality for our event is similar. Up until now, most of us have had to settle for downloading TED talks on iTunes. Looking forward to attempting to wrangle a press pass for TEDx Vancouver...
Local Games on Breakfast Television
Electric Playground's >Reviews on the Run co-hosts, @Victor_Lucas and @harrymontana, appeared on Breakfast Television Wednesday to talk about big summer games. Victor's always been a big booster of the local videogame scene and true to form, all the games featured on the BT spot were local productions: Fight Night Round 4, The Bigs 2, Ghostbusters, Punch-Out and Prototype. Check out the BT spot if you missed it.
Further EA Shuffling
Rumours of further re-alignment within EAC as EA Active becomes its own department within the company, NHL and NBA are grouped together and a new Chief Creative Officer position has allegedly been created.
New Publisher in Town?
I've been hearing some rumblings about a new online games publishing startup by the name of Terminal City. It sounds as though former Relic GM Tarrnie Williams Jr and former EA Producer Ian Verchere have teamed up to bring this startup to life.
Sitemasher Streamlines Staff
Sitemasher, a web services company created in part by former Relic GM Ron Moravek, recently laid off a small portion of their staff. If any local studios need personnel, contact Courtney Inman: courtney.inman (at) gmail (dot) com. I know there's at least one good producer/PM and a software engineer looking for new gigs.
Adrian Crook is a game consultant based in North Vancouver. With over 14 years experience, Adrian designs and produces social, casual and AAA games for a variety of clients. He has spoken on the subject of free-to-play games at GDC and SXSW and writes articles for trade publications.