Here’s an archived copy of the newsletter we sent out at the start of the year, before our name change to SaskGameDev. Lots of great news in here, so thought we’d share it in an online archive for posterity.
Well that’s it for one rollercoaster of a year. Here’s looking forward to a brighter 2021. We’re starting off with a bang and have tons of great news, events and achievements!
1. Canadian Game Devs Awards – Sask has a strong representation in this year’s CGD Awards nominees. We have four games nominated for Game Of The Year (GOTY) – Snot Bubble’s Boreal Tenebrae, Bitcutter’s Groove Gunner, Foolish Mortal’s Radio General, and Bitwad’s Xero Hour! We’ve also got three games nominated for Most Anticipated Game – Night Owl’s Isoputt, Foolish Mortal’s Kaiju Wars, and Cheekynaut’s Moonshell Island!
Last year Saskatchewan took both 1st and 2nd place in Most Anticipated Game with Bitcutter’s Groove Gunner and Massive Corporation’s Queen City Chaos. Can we place in the top three again this year? Here’s hoping, if we pull together and make sure we all vote – and spread the word – we’ve got a chance. You can vote here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe-jzU68afbZ8rppjYwqbGGXt-AJPasehDP5HJUWCkddpiAtw/viewform
There’s two tweet strings you can pass around with info about the games here:
Spread the word and let’s own the podium!
2. Intro to Unreal Workshop – On January 16th at 1pm we’ll be holding a virtual workshop on game development with the Unreal Engine led by Evan Geissler, of Virtus Studios and technical lead on Embervein (https://www.embervein.com/). This is aimed at new users to explain how to start with Unreal Engine, just in time for the Global Game Jam, so you can help get up to speed on how to get involved with UE4 based teams. You can register by replying to this email and I’ll send you out an invite closer to the date.
3. Global Game Jam Regina 2021 – For the sixth year running we’ll be running a local chapter of the global event. Join in and make games solo or in a team over the course of 48 hours in three days. We’ll have ideation and team making support via the ReginaGameDev discord or you can come with your own team. Last year we had over 100 participants and had 24 games produced in Regina in 48 hours! To register for the event sign up at: https://globalgamejamregina.ca
-If you have an account from previous years you’ll still need to login and update your registration for the next event.
4. Trending – Xero Hour trended at #2 Adventure game in Canada! – Awesome to see the support – this is what our collective action can do. It’s so simple to back our local games, give them reviews, give them likes, give them retweets, it’s so cheap, but it’s so powerful to build success here. If you want a future of opportunities here the most important thing we need to do is support any and all dev happening here.
5. Press Coverage – Xero Hour also got some international press coverage. Here’s a mention in the metal community from Italy: https://www.metalforce.it/metal-world/third-ion-guitarist-launches-xero-hour-mobile-game-081892
As well here’s Mike Young, bassist for Mother Mother and Third Ion giving a plug for Xero Hour:
The Moshville Times posted an article as well: https://www.moshville.co.uk/news/2020/12/third-ion-guitarist-launches-xero-hour-mobile-game/
6. Finalist – Kaiju Wars from Foolish Mortals was a finalist in the 2nd #Pitchyagame Awards. They’ve switched up the format of Pitchyagame from monthly to three times a year, but Kaiju Wars still climbed to the top.
Here’s the tweet pitch that got them to the finals: https://twitter.com/Foolish_M_Games/status/1331207185834110976
7. New Feature Announced – Night Owl Games just announced a new feature for IsoPutt – a Level Editor. This game is so polished and smooth, it’s Zen-like minimalist calm is pitch-perfect, now its giving players a rock garden experience of creation and flow. What an awesome new feature. I’ve loved the closed testing I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of, but I’m really looking forward to playing with this new tool. Take a look: https://twitter.com/NightOwl_Dev/status/1341952937388515329?s=20
8. RGD Changes – We’ll be launching some new initiatives and trying some new things in the new year. Thanks for the feedback in the State of Gamedev survey this fall, it definitely gave me some great perspective – some reinforcing thoughts, some new takes. So expect a few change ups and some new additions as I incorporate this info into my plans and try make life better for gamedevs in Saskatchewan.
9. 5 Questions – First up, I get that folks aren’t all that keen on giant surveys, it’s hard to pull yourself away from everything else to sink your teeth into those big commitments (they are REALLY useful though). To lighten the load, we’re going to have super quick polls in every newsletter so we can still get some valuable feedback, but it shouldn’t take more than a couple minutes for you to fill in. Our first Five Questions is here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdXFUZWjAwg4UY3wKC7TitgWfGGUUObRZRc9AfkruQww2brNw/viewform?usp=sf_link
10. 1 Action – In addition to our Five Questions, in each newsletter we’re going to give you a suggestion of a single simple thing you can do to help gamedev in Saskatchewan. So to start it off we’re suggesting you VOTE in the Canadian Game Dev’s awards. If we can get a podium finish for any/all games nominated it’s a big feather in the cap of Sask game dev, helping those devs gain a national audience and gain precious media/SEO clout.
GOTY: Boreal Tenebrae, Groove Gunner, Radio General, Xero Hour
Most Anticipated: Isoputt, Kaiju Wars, Moonshell Island
Vote Here and encourage your friends/followers to as well!: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe-jzU68afbZ8rppjYwqbGGXt-AJPasehDP5HJUWCkddpiAtw/viewform
11. Virtual Meet Up – Join us in the Community Meetings channel Monday January 4th at 7pm for another virtual meetup for members from across Saskatchewan! If you haven’t joined the Discord you can join here: [REDACTED – sign up to our newsletter to get an invite!]
12. Coming Soon! – We’ll have our Year in Review newsletter, and we’ll also be doing an extra Hopes for 2021 newsletter as well. This new one will give some thoughts on things that need to happen here in Saskatchewan that we can work on / lobby for, as well as some insights from the State of Gamedev Survey.
So some pretty awesome news to start the year with! Congrats to everyone on not just surviving 2020, but thriving. We’ve seen so much growth and success and we’re just going to keep building on this. Be sure to let us know how things are going with your projects, join in the discussions on discord, send me an email, and jump in on the online meetups! If you ever have questions, concerns or could use some help, you can always reach out, it’s what we’re here for!
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