Happy Canada Day!
The last six months have been busy, but fun. It’s the first time I took a major role in co-organizing a local game jam, aiming to bring the country together in celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday. It finished on July 1, and while I’m proud of it, it’s also clear that some major things went wrong, and lessons were learned.
It’s 2017. This is Canada’s 150th anniversary.
A few months ago, I tried to gather interest in a collaborative project to make a game to celebrate this occasion. Now, we’re moving forward: a game jam spanning the 150 days leading up to Canada Day on July 1, and it starts in the rectum of Canada.
Windsor, Ontario is known for a few things. Mostly car manufacturing and gambling at our hotspot city casino. If you live in Windsor, you probably work in one of these sectors. Windsor also has a vibrant comic book community that I hope continues to further define the city. Chances are these things define you if you live in the area for long.
Windsor also has a growing technology sector (well, the entire world does). Game developers still gravitate around Vancouver, Montreal or Vancouver to work in Canada, and living in Windsor I only knew of a couple other like-minded creatives in the area. Thankfully, directory website WEIG (Windsor-Essex Indie Games) and its related weekly meetup at Hackforge is helping bring this secluded community together. I’ll be giving a talk this month in May as its featured developer, the second of many more speakers to come.
I went to too many events last year. And I’ll probably do so this year too.
To start, I’ll be at the Comic Book Syndicon on February 14, 2016! Come see us in the St. Clair Centre for the Arts in the heart of downtown Windsor from 11am to 5pm. Tickets are only $5! Organized by our local comic expert group Comic Book Syndicate, not only will you see local comic artists, merchants, crafts-people and cosplay, you’ll see tables for things not advertised on the site, like a game developer or two (me!), Windsor’s own Hackforge technology group, and St. Clair’s animation club!
Only a few minutes away from where I live, I couldn’t pass this up. I only have my two released games to show, but I’ll be working live on my computer on the animation for a new game to come, letting visitors see how the process happens! For more information, visit their official page: http://comicbooksyndicon.com/
I take pride in being from the Windsor, Ontario. That being said, I also know it’s very easy to make fun of. It’s one of the most southern parts of Canada, at the very bottom tip of Ontario. It happens to be a major border crossing with the United States, being across from Detroit, Michigan, which has its own infamous reputation. We used to be a city with a big part in the automobile industry, until it crashed in the late 2000’s and we were left without any real identity. You could write a joke book of “dissing” Windsor based on this information alone.
However, I’ve spent the last couple of years living near enough to the downtown area to start to notice public events that make our city what it is. One of our biggest identities right now is comic books: we love them, and 2015 has been a big year of showing it, with multiple comic conventions and even an art gallery exhibit.
“Comic Book Syndicon,” one of several Windsor Comic-Cons in 2015