SaskGameDev Newsletter – March 2021

Howdy Gamedevs,

Lots of big news this month. As you’ve probably noticed from the subject line, we’ve leveled up! ReginaGameDev is now SaskGameDev. We’ve been meaning to make the change for a while, since we’ve long since expanded past the city limits of Regina. We’ve got members from Swift Current to Yorkton, Prince Albert to Moose Jaw, and we’re always looking for more. So congratulations and thanks for helping build Saskatchewan’s biggest tech community!

1. Media Opportunities – We’re working hard to get everyone more coverage and PR. This only works with your help. Tell us what you’re doing, keep us in the loop. Just a quick email or message on Discord or Twitter helps me know what you’re up to and how I can help. I’m happy to help spread the word about things whether online or with the media. I can’t tell them about your achievements and opportunities if you don’t tell me. Honestly, write. We need all the publicity we can get if we’re going to succeed! It also really helps if I can know ahead about things, don’t worry I can keep a secret.

2. Game Dev Jobs – We’ve got three game dev jobs currently in the province. A Unity at Luxsonic, an Unreal dev at U of R and a Graphic Designer at Melcher. Check them out:

Luxsonic Technologies Inc.:

U of R:

3. Global Game Jam – We had another successful Global Game Jam this year. Obviously we had to go virtual, but that meant the event could cover the whole province. The theme was Lost & Found. We had 16 game submitted over ther 48 hour jam. You can check them out here:

4. U of S CSSS Game Jam – Running from Friday Feb 19th to 21st the University of Saskatchewan’s Computer Science Students Society held their own 48 hour game jam. I was happy to help judge. We had 11 entries. The theme was Time Manipulation. Thanks to everybody that participated. Sadly the games aren’t hosted on a website yet, but hopefully they will be in the future.

5. Media Coverage – Xero Hour by Bitwad Entertainment got some media coverage, just seconds after I sent the last newsletter, so here’s an article that ran in the Moose Jaw Today paper celebrating the local dev Justin Bender’s launch:

6. Media Coverage – The Ender Gallery artist-in-residence program at the Mackenzie Art Gallery led by Cat Bluemke and Jon Carroll got a nice write up in the Leader Post. Great seeing even more support for the medium and helping promote, encourage and develop local talent. The MAG has been such a great partner for game development in Saskatchewan under Cat & Jon’s stewardship of its Digital Operations. Check it our here:

7. Media Coverage – The Canadian Game Dev’s podcast highlighted Foolish Mortals’ newest project: Kaiju Wars. A retro wargame focused on fighting giant city destroying monsters (Kaiju). It was featured in the Wishlist This! segment that highlights great upcoming Canadian indie games. Listen to the episode here:

8. Media Coverage – The very next week the Canadian Game Dev’s podcast highlighted Massive Corporation’s latest announced project: Cheese Runner in the Wishlist This! segment. It’s a super retro ASCII art trade game about smuggling cheese in a cyberpunk dystopia. Check out the episode here:

9. Reviews/Promotion – Studio Nevermore’s Oh Jeez Oh No My Rabbits Are Missing (OJONMRAG) got a great lets play/review by Pursuing Pixels. Check it out on YouTube here:

10: FUNDING Opportunity – The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has launched a diverse developers initiative to fund marginalized developers. They are taking applications now for their Prototype fund (up to $25K) and education fund. If you’re a marginalized developer, you should definitely check these out:

11: Hire & Acquire – Winterpixel, the new studio from Noodlecake founders Jordan Schidlowsky and Ty Haugen has acquired former Noodlecaker Jason Knight’s Night Owl Games. This unites three of the core team members that built Noodlecake to become the success it did. Winterpixel has taken on IsoPutt, Night Owl Games’ slick minimalist golf game, as one of their projects. We’re really excited to see what the team comes up with and know they’ll be a powerful force in growing the gamedev industry in Saskatchewan! Check out their website here:

12: Hiring – B.E.Zee Productions a Saskatchewan film production company is looking for experienced 3D animators. No official job posting, but if that’s in your skillset, let them know! You can check out their website including their contact info here:

13. Interview/Info – I did a few interviews lately that I recorded and posted to youtube. The first with a pair of Grade 6 students in Saskatoon, who asked some great questions about the gamedev industry in general. Then later a business student at NAIT contacted me looking for an industry inside interview on contract work in the game industry. I thought these would both be great to share with folks to give some better understanding of some aspects of the industry (although I did gloss over some stuff for the sake of brevity). You can check them out here:
IG Interview Part 1:
IG Interview Part 2:
NAIT Interview Part 1/5:

14. Playtesting – Sleepy Dragon Games is looking for testers for their newest build of River Runner. You can check it out in the #qa-testing channel in the discord.

15. Industry Survey – The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is doing its annual industry survey again. They are looking for anyone, studio heads, professionals, part-timers, or just hobbyist in gamedev to add in their perspective:

16. Industry Mapping – If you’re an XR (VR/AR) developer in Sask, you can register your company in a new joint Canada-France venture to list and map XR developers to help connect people for projects. Sign your company up here:

17: 5 Questions – A quick five question survey to keep ReginaGameDev in the loop about what’s going on in our community. Every month there’s new questions. It only takes a minute or two, but your input helps inform what and how we can help you:

18: 1 Thing – Check out the new website! If you have any ideas for new content, or have a game project or studio to list – let me know! This will be a great place to showcase the activity and achievements of our growing industry and a great way to connect with people inside or beyond our province.

19: Virtual Meetup – Join us for another pan provincial meetup for members on the Discord. Monday March 1st at 7pm in the #Community_Meetings channel! [If your in Sask, sign up for our newsletter to get the link to the Discord!]

20. Gov’t Feedback – If you or someone you know is a disabled person, the government of Saskatchewan is looking to update accessibility planning and legislation and are looking for feedback. You can access tools for feedback and dialogue here:

So a lot more news than I was expecting! There’s still some great stuff in the works. 2021 is going to be a banner year for gamedev in the province. So please, keep me in the loop with what’s going on, let’s get things promoted with the media and the new website, and we’ll keep growing this industry and its opportunities!

Kai Hutchence

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