Vortex Competition Bootcamp

From November 3rd to the 5th Vortex was held where many developers showed off their concepts and prototypes for games. From puzzle games to RPG’s it was 3 days of learning about what it takes to make it in this industry. It was a 1 day of bootcamp where experts went over the ins and outs of becoming successful and 2 days of intense preparation and presentation for the contestants, with keynotes and networking taking place in between.

Day One: Bootcamp

Jason MacIsaac (who you can follow on twitter here) from Electric Playground talked about the state of the industry or what I like to call ranted about it. Although he promised he would no longer argue the point if gaming was art or not because to him and all of us we think that time has come and gone. You need a realistic idea and while the ideal is something to strive for you have to work in reality now.

Next Jason says that PC gaming isn’t dead but it is not first person shooters that is the area of growth but flash games that can be found everyone on the web and can be played by anyone. Who hasn’t played a game of bejewelled or desktop tower defence? I know I have sunk plenty of hours in both of those over the years and I am sure I am not alone in that regard. Gaming today is not only about traditional gaming but the casual audience who continue to grow.

Jason said he was sick of boss fights and that there should be more freedom within them. He said that there should be challenge without progress loss and that choices that you make in a game should be meaningful. There are many areas of gaming to be explored like serious games that teach people useful skills that continue to offer new avenues for developers.

His talk set the stage for the rest of the day’s presentation from finance, to process it was a wealth of information that will help many of the gamers take the first steps of turning a dream of making a game into a business and hopefully a career. So in the coming days I will try to cover the talks I was present for.

Ubisoft’s new studio opening in the coming weeks has multiple projects they will be working on as it gets up and running. While they are getting a lot of the press there are a lot of local firms that show a growing presence in the gaming space for Toronto that bode well for the future of gaming in Toronto’s tech community. Vortex was an amazing experience and one that you can’t help but be excited for.