SaskInteractive April 2021 Town Hall – text chat archive

Here is a copy of the text chat from the April 29th 2021 SaskInteractive Town Hall. We have replaced the names in the chat for improve anonymity – Full names were reduced to initials, single first names were kept as is. No changes other than names were made.
The official video recording of the event can be found here:
The official transcript of the event can be found here:
Our response videos to the event can be found here: SaskInteractive April 2021 Town Hall Response Videos

From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 07:12 PM
Hello friends.
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 07:16 PM
If anyone is having issues getting in let me know.
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 07:38 PM
Because no one will fund me
From SDG to Everyone: 08:02 PM
Those were good talks
From Evan to Everyone: 08:03 PM
It’d be cool to see more than just GGJ. Maybe local jams as well (sask themed even)
From SG to Everyone: 08:06 PM
From Tina to Everyone: 08:06 PM
I’m fine with email communication. Plus a few others like WhatsApp, Twitch, Discord…
From SG to Everyone: 08:07 PM
the SK capitalization was unintentional but it’s actually fantastic
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 08:07 PM
Without you pointing it out I wouldn’t have noticed haha.
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:07 PM
Can I speak about the state of Jams?
From SR to Everyone: 08:07 PM
I’m fine with Zoom, but it would be interesting if SaskInteractive had a Discord server for keeping up with the community on a regular basis
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 08:08 PM
Chat to everyone is open, feel free to give any comments or questions.
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:08 PM
In all fairness SI has a website they don’t bother to update more than twice a year, so they aren’t trying to use the current tools, let alone new ones
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 08:08 PM
Discussion here is going well.
From Ryan (SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 08:09 PM
I would like to know what would make industry more actively engage with SaskInteractive? In my experience a very small subset of the industry would reach out to the org.
From DJ to Everyone: 08:09 PM
Discord server makes good sense. Something dynamic and user-driven.
From Evan to Everyone: 08:10 PM
Discord has gotten Kai (SaskGameDev) a lot into the communities
From Tina to Everyone: 08:11 PM
I did miss a couple of those initiatives. Will you share in an email?
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 08:11 PM
@tina We’ll do our best to summarize in a follow up, but this town hall is also being recorded to review later if you need!
From Evan to Everyone: 08:15 PM
How does this study help? That doesn’t sound like it’s helped and it won’t for years
People graduating SSE find it hard to find tech jobs in Regina and in Saskatoon. game jobs aren’t as easy to find
From Tina to Everyone: 08:15 PM
I really would like to see a bunch of collaborative opportunities. With the focus as making each other successful and building the industry from the ground up with the people who work in it – typically on our own.
From SDG to Everyone: 08:16 PM
There have been a few game releases in the last year. As far as I know the media coverage was not large (but existent). How would SaskInteractive be able to help with getting the word out for such things?
From Tina to Everyone: 08:16 PM
Sorry, may not make sense. I am trying to listen and type. haha
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 08:16 PM
I’ll do my best to translate! lol
From Tina to Everyone: 08:17 PM
@Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) thanks!
From Evan to Everyone: 08:18 PM
Website would be fine for me!
From Johannes (SaskInteractive)to Everyone: 08:19 PM
We can take that away and think about what we can do there.
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:19 PM
SaskGameDev has supports for any issue in game development you have, if you need immediate assistance.
From MM to Everyone: 08:20 PM
From Evan to Everyone: 08:21 PM
It’s not just about remote places. For example it’s someone in Regina working for a team across the world
From SR to Everyone: 08:21 PM
Supporting Kai (SaskGameDev) and using that community as a resource is an easy way to help the industry.
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:21 PM
Again, point of privilege as the organizer of GGJ, can I speak to the topic of jams?
From Evan to Everyone: 08:22 PM
There’s more than GGJ, I would love to see multiple jams a year. I assisted putting on a large jam with industry sponsors for a non GGJ
From SG to Everyone: 08:22 PM
@Evan SKyjam
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 08:23 PM
@Kai feel free to bring anything to discussion. Chat is open.
From Johannes (SaskInteractive)to Everyone: 08:23 PM
@Evan I’d love to connect and talk about what else we could do.
From Ryan (SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 08:25 PM
If people have workshops and projects they would like to have they can connect directly to Saskinteractive through the website.
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:25 PM
SaskInteractive has funded GGJ the past three years, but to a limit of $500. Unfortunately as a three day event that is far far below the cost to do it. I’d love to run more jams, but if I’m only going to get $500 to do it, I can’t afford to fund more from my own pockets.
From Evan to Everyone: 08:25 PM
Would love to help with the Unreal engine side
From MM to Everyone: 08:27 PM
Sk Interactive needs to advocate to get our province into a competitive economic position relative to our peers in Manitoba, Alta, BC, Ont. Until we are competitive we will continue to be a very small industry
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:27 PM
I’ve asked for funding from SI and IS multiple times, and IS won’t fund things because they’re game dev, and SI won’t fund more than $500 which isn’t enough to make things happen.
From Evan to Everyone: 08:29 PM
Funding isn’t always just $$ could also help getting additional sponsors, prizes, etc
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 08:29 PM
@Evan for sure!
From AM to Everyone: 08:30 PM
At a glance, the LMEI study seems to be looking at Tech sector in Saskatchewan, and its projections. Does SaskInteractive look at similar organizations in other provinces to see what initiatives THEY have undertaken to successfully promote and grow the game development industry in those provinces?
From Evan to Everyone: 08:30 PM
The jam I helped (co hosted) with at the start of the year had thousands of dollars worth of prizes from the industry 🙂 so that help getting those contacts is really helpful
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:31 PM
Prizes and sponsorship is something event organizers can do, its cash money that’s the choke point. Again I have approached SI multiple times and SI were the ones that put the $500 limit and dusted their hands.
From NA to Everyone: 08:32 PM
How does the level of funding the Saskatchewan industry receives compare to other provinces? In terms of funding for SaskInteractive as well as direct to industry from orgs like CMF. Are we getting our share? If not, is there a plan to change that?
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:32 PM
We’re well below every other province except New brunswick
From Evan to Everyone: 08:33 PM
Discussing with past long term employees of large companies in Alberta during Reboot develop red a lot of them left due to funding being cut and how alberta began handling the game industry. A lot were skeptical by the negative changes in late 2019. Poor funding Can lose good people
From MM to Everyone: 08:34 PM
Nova – we are well, well, well behind other provinces and we get virtually no funds from CMF. Not their fault, we are a long, long way from being competitive
From BT to Everyone: 08:34 PM
How do we go about increasing that funding / bridging the gap between other provinces to become more competitive?
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:34 PM
We can’t compare to other jurisdictions, its a terrible way to build our response and policy, because we’re so far behind. We don’t have the means to take advantage of other programs that work in other jurisdictions.
From DC to Everyone: 08:35 PM
You have spoken to the idea that you need to be more visible in the public and made the comment that you really liked to see that comment. Can you please speak to what your plans are going forward to address that? Will you have more frequent website updates? More frequent updates through social media? How are you planning on reaching out to those connected to the industry?
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 08:35 PM
@Mike @Nova We’ll try to address these concerns with the next question, but it seems like it might take things over time, so we’ll definitely make this part of the communication follow ups
@Brandin too
From MM to Everyone: 08:36 PM
Sorry, we HAVE to compare to other jurisdictions. Its a competitive world for talent, for projects and for audiences.
From NA to Everyone: 08:36 PM
Sask is entitled to a share of federal funding. residents pay into the fund. They have an obligation to work with the industry to make the funding accessible.
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:37 PM
I funded my own grant program for Saskatchewan, because it was the program design appropriate to our situation and no one in govt seems to understand the situation or industry, so hopefully it could act as a model for them to adopt.
Its makes for a damn expensive way to shift govt
The challenge is how little understanding and industry knowledge, combined with local knowledge, there is available, and how little it’s used by govt to shape its policies and programs.
From Brian to Everyone: 08:37 PM
is there anything I can do to help SaskInteractive in their work going forward? Can I help with any of the projects?
From Evan to Everyone: 08:39 PM
I would appreciate the shout outs tbh that can help even if it’s a quick tweet
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 08:40 PM
@Evan we’d love to give you shoutouts!
From Evan to Everyone: 08:40 PM
Discord is huge for community!
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:40 PM
If anyone has questions about industry or policy, I can give detailed, nuanced, industry veteran informed information to help you. That’s what Kai (SaskGameDev) is all about. Anyone needs help, we’re here for you.
From SR to Everyone: 08:42 PM
I think it’s worth recognizing Kai for being so generous with his time and money to support the community in the ways we need. He is a valuable resource who is more in touch with our needs than anyone I know. Would SaskInteractive be willing to follow Kai’s example and advice? It’s one very easy way to stay in touch with the needs of the people you serve.
From NA to Everyone: 08:42 PM
Sorry Darcy!
From Evan to Everyone: 08:42 PM
Agreed sam!
From SG to Everyone: 08:43 PM
Also agreed, Sam!
From Kent W. to Everyone: 08:43 PM
@Sam totally agree
From SG to Everyone: 08:43 PM
Agreeing with Sam party
From BT to Everyone: 08:43 PM
Also agree.
From Evan to Everyone: 08:43 PM
Can’t be funded much by industry if there’s not much of an industry
From SG to Everyone: 08:44 PM
which is the bolstering Kai party. Layers. Like an onion.
From AM to Everyone: 08:44 PM
I agree with the agreeing about Sam’s comment
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:45 PM
I’d have been happy to give detailed, industry-informed answers to any of the questions tonight.
From Evan to Everyone: 08:45 PM
Reiterating my point about alberta (late 2019) the funding hurt a lot of jobs there when the funding got hit. We will want to avoid those issues
From NA to Everyone: 08:46 PM
I meant is industry accessing their percentage of funding for creation.
When they announce funding winners, look to see if Sask in the list. If federal orgs aren’t serving sask, they aren’t meeting their mandate. You should pursue that. They will change their programs to be more accessible to Saskatchewan’s creators through consultation.
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:47 PM
The problem is we’re in such a different position it’s nearly impossible to run a program that scopes across Canada reasonably.
From DJ to Everyone: 08:47 PM
Manitoba’s IGDA branch is very active and consistently provides the community with new opportunities. Composed of active, working industry leaders. Would look to them for inspiration.
From AM to Everyone: 08:47 PM
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:47 PM
That’s why we need local programs
From MM to Everyone: 08:48 PM
@nova – I am not aware of ANY Sask company that has been funded for interactive from CMF. Its actually a concern for them as it does make them look bad. I would suggest they would get virtually 0 applications.
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:48 PM
I believe they got 2 applications last year from SK
Massive Sacks of Cash got over 30.
From MM to Everyone: 08:49 PM
That’s excellent!! Good for them!!
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:49 PM
If we can share voices, I’d love to be able to actually speak rather than just type in chat to some points
From SG to Everyone: 08:49 PM
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:50 PM
Changing CS funding to the MSOC model would make a huge difference getting people into a position where they could get to the point where they could apply to CMF
From SR to Everyone: 08:50 PM
Please follow the MSOC model, it’s what we need!
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:51 PM
I’d love to read that OpEd, where was it?
From SDG to Everyone: 08:51 PM
On that note, #UnmuteKai
From Evan to Everyone: 08:51 PM
Agreed, it’s hard to take a chance starting a game company or working for a startup when cash flow doesn’t come in until late in development or release. Current models assume you’re making money
From AM to Everyone: 08:52 PM
What is the MSOC model?
From SG to Everyone: 08:52 PM
Massive Sacks of Cash
From AM to Everyone: 08:52 PM
Ah, got it
From SG to Everyone: 08:52 PM
I was just informed of it myself @Adam
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:52 PM
From MM to Everyone: 08:53 PM
To confirm – MSOC awards $500/month for a year? Total of $6k? Am I reading that right?
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:53 PM
Yes, to help folks at the bottom. To help them grow to a prototype stage where they could apply to CMF, publishers or other funders
From Tina to Everyone: 08:54 PM
@Kai thanks for the link. I personally would not have trusted that company. haha Who applies for money from “Massive Sacks of Cash” without learning if they are legit?
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:54 PM
Folks can talk to me
Always happy to answer questions about my legitimacy, if I’m allowed to
From Evan to Everyone: 08:56 PM
@Tina that’s fair, maybe something on the non government end to check out going forward 🙂
From Ryan (SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 08:56 PM
I think MSOC was just for one person. CMF and CS offer to multiple applicants and have larger pots of money
From BJ to Everyone: 08:56 PM
Has anybody looked into Canadian Export Grants to fund their projects?
From SR to Everyone: 08:57 PM
MSOC could have been for multiple people if SaskInteractive was advocating for it.
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:57 PM
I’d love to have a larger pot of money. My point was its a viable model for the folks with people with larger pots of money
From Tina to Everyone: 08:57 PM
@Evan yes!
From MM to Everyone: 08:58 PM
Hey @BJ – Export Dev canada will guarantee payments for any foreign sales.
From AM to Everyone: 08:58 PM
Well, if the statement about “liking to hear critical feedback” is true, may I offer some?
I feel as though all I have really heard tonight is fluffy politicalspeak and platitudes. What REAL actions is SaskInteractive taking to help game developers in Saskatchewan? Are random educational events the most you are able to do?
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:58 PM
Ditch the alcohol association, it’s a bad precedent, and sets a bad culture for our sector, that’s known to be predatory.
From Evan to Everyone: 08:59 PM
From SG to Everyone: 08:59 PM
yeah we should have some industry meeting outside of bars
From DC to Everyone: 08:59 PM
Do you have any plans to support students coming out of HS or PS who are looking to enter the industry?
From Evan to Everyone: 08:59 PM
I never liked going to many engineering events because I don’t drink much
From SG to Everyone: 08:59 PM
Peers and Pizza?
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 08:59 PM
From Evan to Everyone: 09:00 PM
Plus it blocks off younger parts
People* like 18 year olds
18 year olds shouldn’t be blocked out of those pints and peers discussions
Those people can be in uni or as you said sissy
From SG to Everyone: 09:00 PM
oof, autocorrect made you sound pretty mean there
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 09:00 PM
@Evan that’s good feedback we’ll discuss that for sure
From Tina to Everyone: 09:01 PM
haha sissy
From SG to Everyone: 09:01 PM
Dude imagine if we could have had game industry events at wonderland
From Tina to Everyone: 09:01 PM
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 09:03 PM
@steven with places like that and The Matrix gone we don’t have a lot of options. Maybe online really kind of the best catch all.
We’d like to have events that engage people and get them to come out, so we’re open to suggestions.
From SG to Everyone: 09:04 PM
hopefully in the post covid era, we could have something like wonderland or matrix again
(that actually might be a worthwhile initiative for SI.. some sort of gaming based event/party space)
(that kind of community engagement brings a lot)
From Evan to Everyone: 09:05 PM
There are some professors at the UofR in SSE making pushes to better programs for many different tech areas. It’s a lot of work, but it’s getting stronger!
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 09:06 PM
@Steven what do you feel about online game meet ups?
How do you?*
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 09:07 PM
RAIS game development course is borderline predatory.
From DC to Everyone: 09:07 PM
Skills Canada Sask has HS and PS 3D game Art competitions that we struggle to find competitors for, not to mention find members to run those
From SG to Everyone: 09:07 PM
Depends on the style.
YOu run into a barrier where people either don’t have the software or any desire to play the game being organized around, and I think there’s a lot of room for distraction that wouldn’t otherwise happen. But there’s definitely room for using them as supplemental spaces
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 09:08 PM
Good to know. I know Big Brother does a lot of online games as meetups in this time, anything to get people chatting with eachother even in a casual sense.
Sprouts for greater conversations!
From NA to Everyone: 09:09 PM
Thank-you for hosting, good job Darcy and Shaye!
From MM to Everyone: 09:10 PM
thanks all!!
From Derek Leverington to Everyone: 09:10 PM
Thanks Darcy!
From AM to Everyone: 09:10 PM
Thanks for hosting the town hall and reading my questions, even if I was being critical! 🙂
From Ryan (SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 09:11 PM
Thank you all!
From Shaye (moderator – SaskInteractive) to Everyone: 09:11 PM
From Kai (SaskGameDev) to Everyone: 09:11 PM
Looking forward to a lot more transparency and communication from the organization
From Darcy McLane to Everyone: 09:13 PM
From Kent W. to Everyone: 09:13 PM
Thanks for putting on this event and letting people voice their concerns, questions, and feedback.