Sound Advice

What gamer can resist the nostalgic sounds of chiptunes or their favourite game themes brought to life in orchestral grandeur? Many games are defined by and remembered for memorable audio, and IGDA Toronto is getting on key for its June meeting. This five-pack of presentations by local audio experts will delve into making games sound as good as they look and play.

Shaun Hatton (They Bleed Pixels), Harry Mack (Braid), Troy Morrissey (Black Church Brigandage), Ryan Henwood (Rock Band), and Matthew Reid (Seraph) will be joining us to share best practices and techniques, how sound enhances gameplay and how you and your game can benefit from working with a professional audio team.

And as an added bonus, join us for our after-party at 9 p.m. at Bar 244, grab a pint and chat with Shaw-Han Liem and Jim Guthrie about working on the music for Sound Shapes.

When: Thursday June 21, 6:30PM
Where: Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Room 308
After Party: 9 p.m. @ Bar 244, 244 Adelaide St. W.

Check out our Facebook invite here! Can’t make it? Follow along with the  Twitter hashtag #IGDATO.

Report: How I met my match or The dos and don’ts of TOJam

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.

When Paul Forest asked me to sign up for TOJam matchmaking so he could “test the registration form” I did my duty of being a good IGDA Toronto steering committee member to help him out.

On matchmaking day, I found my name on one of the “dance cards” that we were handing out to the participants, outlining their evening’s matches.

“Paul!” I cried out. “I only signed up because you asked me to test the form!”

He shrugged and smirked and said, “Well, guess you’re doing it now.”

I immediately felt bad for the people who had been matched with me. My TOJam team was already set and we didn’t need anyone else. Well, we hadn’t completely locked down our artist, but still. I hated the thought that a match with me potentially took someone away from a match-made in game jam heaven.

Little did I know.

Two of my matches were people I already knew and our meetings were mostly just playing catch up. I had one no-show, so I created an impromptu meeting with those sitting around me who were in the same situation. Two were great artists, eager to find a home with a fitting TOJam and one already had his team set.

Then I met Daniel Orellana and Jamie Tucker, my last match of the evening. These two artists were former students of indie dev friend and OCAD instructor, Benjamin Rivers, and as soon as they said they wanted to make a fun, multiplayer co-op game, my ears perked up. That’s exactly what my team wanted to do. And our artist hadn’t been totally confirmed yet… maybe, just maybe…

A follow-up e-mail from Daniel and Jamie arrived in my inbox the next day, expressing a keen interest in working together. It wasn’t long after that my team — consisting of my brother Andrew Afan (programmer), Jon Remedios (programmer) and Matthew Reid (composer) —  soon discovered that our original artist couldn’t participate after all.

And so it came to be that Team There Is No I in Teim and our subsequent TOJam game Piñata Slaughta was born, along with our piñata mascot Jorge.

Not bad for a completely accidental matchmaking.

We had our team and some of them had never participated in a game jam before. What could they expect from something that should to be experienced first-hand to understand what it truly entails? (more…)

Tales from the Script

How does story fold in to overall game design? How does the writer collaborate with team members from other disciplines? And just how do you get the job of writing for games? IGDA Toronto has put together a stellar panel of game writers to answer these questions and more at its May meeting.

Come hear Ubisoft Toronto‘s Navid Khavari and Matt MacLennan, Freebird Games‘ Kan Gao and Capybara Games‘ Dan Vader speak about the importance of their skills and how they contribute to the game’s overall success. The discussion will be moderated by Kimberley Ann Sparks.

Special thanks to Steve Engels at the University of Toronto, Jessica Frey at the Writers Guild of Canada, poster designer Tim Nguyen and Sasha Boersma from!

Location: University of Toronto’s Bahen Centre for Information Technology, 40 St. George St., Room 1190.
Date: Monday May 14, 7 p.m.

After party: O’Gradys on College, 171 College St. 9 p.m. and onward!

Report: GDC, Toronto-style

For those who couldn’t make it to this year’s Game Developers Conference, IGDA Toronto brought a little bit of GDC back to its members at home.

The conference’s 2012 edition saw a large Toronto contingent represented in its speaker lineup and two of them generously remounted their talks at our monthly chapter meeting on March 14. Links to the presenters’ slideshows are posted at the end of this report.


TOJam Pre-mortem and Matchmaking Event

April 19, 2012 TOJam Premortem and Matchmaking Event

April 19, 2012 TOJam Premortem and Matchmaking Event

Have you ever participated in a game jam? Have you ever wanted to but you don’t know where to start? You’re in luck! Our April meeting will be part presentation, and part matchmaking event to help prep you for your next game project or game jam.

Presentation: learn best practices of making games at jams from veterans Paul Forest, Alex Bethke, Troy Morrissey and Andrew Traviss.

Matchmaking: receive a personalized list of developers and find your perfect partners for your next game project. You must fill our our online survey in order to participate in personalized matchmaking:

After-Party: Betty’s (240 King Street East…pssst…don’t worry, we’ve sorted out the reservation debacle since February so we should have plenty of space for us this time!)

Hope you will join us!

Date: Thursday, April 19, 2012 from 19:00 to 21:00

After Party: Betty's, 240 King Street East from 21:00


Didn’t make it to San Francisco this year? Never fear, IGDA Toronto has you covered!

ENCORE! will give you a little taste of the conference from the comfort of your own city. Two local developers will be redelivering their presentations for this event so their fellow Torontonians can hear their talks firsthand.

Matt Rix of Magicule will kick off the evening with a level design case study of his game Trainyard. Mare Sheppard of Metanet Software will follow with a presentation on the importance and lack of team diversity in the game industry. So please come and join us on Wednesday March 1 at St. Lawrence Hall for some post-conference action!

Location: St. Lawrence Hall, 157 King St. E.
Date: Thursday, March 14, 2012 from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Can’t make it? Join us at the after party at C’est What (67 Front St. W.) for drinks and mingling! See the Facebook invite for more details.

See you there!


Report: We’re jammin’

It was standing room only in a packed room full of eager attendees as Troy Morrissey of DARC Productions premiered the teaser trailer for Game Jam: The Documentary, kicking off a series of presentations for IGDA Toronto’s first gathering of 2012.

Morrissey and his partner Ryan Cox are well into production on a documentary that explores the experience and pressures of game jams. The pair also announced the launch of an Indiegogo campaign ( to help fund the project.


Global Game Jam Play Party!

What better way to ring in our first social of 2012 than to celebrate the hard work of our local talent?

Sixteen teams and 23 solo developers in Toronto will be dedicating this coming weekend to the Global Game Jam, the world’s largest game jam and a project of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA).

When all is said and done, the IGDA Toronto chapter is inviting you to come out and play the finished games at the Toronto Global Game Jam Play Party on February 16 from 7 – 9 p.m. We’ll also have a selection of games from other GGJ cities making it a truly global party. (Check out our Facebook invite.)

You’ll also be helping to pick Toronto’s favourite GGJ game, so don’t miss the opportunity to have your say — and potential bragging rights!

Afterwards, we’ll have our social across the street at Betty’s. We hope to see you there!


Date: Thursday, February 16, 2012 from 19:00 to 21:00

After Party: Betty's 240 King Street East from 19:00

IGDA Toronto December Social

How can you tell that the year is coming to an end? Non-stop game community events!

IGDA Toronto is hosting the final social of the year on Thursday Dec 1st to complement HES and Gamercamp and roll us into the holiday season. Come join us and chill with your fellow game devs over a beer or three. Entry is free and we hope to see you there!

Date: Thursday, December 1, 2011 from 19:00 to 23:30

IGDA Toronto And Sony Computer Entertainment America Presents: PlayStation® Perspectives – Key Initiatives & Developer Experiences

IGDA Toronto and Sony Computer Entertainment America have joined forces for an exciting event to end the 2011 chapter season. Join us on Friday, November 4th at Ubisoft Toronto as we welcome speakers from SCEA to hear insights on funding and platform development. The session will also feature local Toronto developers, including Shawn McGrath of ][ hard at work on Dyad, and Jon Mak of Queasy Games to demo his latest project Sound Shapes for PlayStation® Vita. Following the presentation, please join us for food and drink, and a chance to meet some of the SCEA Developer Support and Developer Relations team.

Please note that this event is RSVP only and you must be of legal drinking age.

This event is made possible with the support of SCEA, the OMDC, and Ubisoft Toronto.
UPDATE: Tickets were sold out in 45 minutes, but the waitlist is open. Good luck!

Date: Friday, November 4, 2011 from 19:00 to 23:00