Weekly Vancouver Game Industry News, August 7

A slow news week coupled with a busier than normal consulting week mean that this Friday’s update is a relatively small one. If you’d like to see this situation remedied, please help feed me scintilating news and rumours by contacting me via my website.

And now, in no particular order, here’s what’s new in Vancouver’s game industry this week:


BFG Hiring YVR Art Dir
Via Twitter comes news that Noelle Hunt, Big Fish Games‘s Seattle-based recruiting manager for artists, is currently in town interviewing candidates for Art Director at BFG’s Vancouver studio. The successful candidate for the Art Director position will mentor the studio’s artists on fine art fundamentals and art production best practices as well as oversee the studio’s game development from an art perspective. BFG’s Yaletown studio has been open for almost a year, and according to a Georgia Straight article at the time, intends to grow to as many as 45 people.


Pug Pharm Lands Funding
On Wednesday, Pug Pharm Productions, announced they had received the federal government’s IRAP funding. Steve Bocska, formerly of EA Black Box, Hothead and other local studios, is the CEO of the social gaming startup. The company is housed in the Centre for Digital Media in the Great Northern Way Campus, the same building occupied by New Media BC and the Masters of Digital Media Program.


Startup Alert: DES Games
DownTownEastside Games – a name not high on positive association, but made even worse by the studio’s “addicitive gaming” slogan and somewhat tastleless syringe favicon – is a new Vancouver-based casual and social gaming company. The company’s first two Facebook apps, I Like Stuff and I Like Slots will apparently get new versions next week. Josh Nilson, former Relic AP and Sitemasher, was recently hired as DES’s Project Manager and has been playing a lot of Dope Wars on Facebook since, so one can only assume DES Games plans a similar offering.


Adrian Crook is a game consultant based in North Vancouver. With over 14 years experience, Adrian designs and produces social, casual and AAA games for a variety of clients. He has spoken on the subject of free-to-play games at GDC and SXSW and writes articles for trade publications.