All posts by Krystal Twiss

Holiday Card Creations Workshop – Toronto

Join us on Sunday November 8, 2015  for an afternoon of creating cards for the holidays! Whether you are making a card for yourself, a teacher, parent, sibling or friend, come to the Holiday Card Creation workshop and make something awesome for any occasion.

Cost: 5$
Location:  George Brown College, 341 King St. E

Our main focus is on cut and paste style of cards, as you can see in the pictures below, but there is no limit to your creativity. Create your card using any style you desire! We will supply a silhouette cameo, different kinds of shapes can be cut out for you, or use a variety of different paper cutting tools to make various cards. Questions about this program can be directed to Krystal at engage@every1games.ca
Here are some of the Holiday Card Creations you can make!


Learn more about this program and register here.

Neurodivergent Love, Life and Learning at Autism Friendly

Autism Friendly 2015 LogoI’ve been to a lot of ‘autism’ conferences, but have never seen this many autistic youth engaged in advocating for themselves.

On August 21, 2015 Every1Games hosted the 2nd Annual Autism Friendly Unconference (AFU). AFU aims to bring together autistic and neurodivergent advocates with peers, employers, educators, agencies and government to come to a better understanding of the diversity of the autism spectrum and to inspire innovative services and supports for each other.

  • Identifying meaningful issues
  • Sharing opinions without judgement
  • Listening to the lived experiences of neurodivergent peers
  • Building relationships with other autistic adults

 

Friends!

Read the Every1Games AFU 2015 Summary, a short event report that focuses on the issues raised specifically acting as barriers to entering post secondary school and a professional career.  The summary identifies stigma, funding, parent involvement and access to information as key areas that need to be addressed to improve the quality of  life for autistic youth. Though the theme was life after school, the result was truly understanding neurodivergent love, life and learning.

 

There was a good, frank discussion about romantic relationships and how difficult it is to obtain one.

Heart design by Nicky Sztybel

AFU 2015 resulted in more than talks about jobs and education. Every1Games Administrative Coordinator and Program Developer, Christine Hughes, lead a popular discussion about sex and intimacy. We need to continue to come together to talk openly about experiences with love, sex, romance and companionship in the autism community. We are certainly excited to plan more events with this in mind so if you have any event ideas that you want to share with us, be sure to contact us either on facebook, twitter or our contact page and let us know so that we can make it happen together!

Enjoying our play lounge!

Enjoying our play lounge!

At AFU we also provided spaces where people can relax if feeling overwhelmed. Our multi-sensory lounge and play lounge were well received by participants who spent some time there.  We got some great feedback to have even better options next year (which reminds me, thanks to the folks who responded to the survey!). We also had a separated lunch room with a variety of different foods to accommodate allergies and sensory sensitivities.

 

But it’s not all fun and games. It was agreed that we need to have more engagement from the private sector, government and medical communities.  When these  groups come to a better understanding of neurodiversity it will reduce serious problems raised at the event including police violence against neurodivergent citizens and doctors refusing to believe neurodivergent people’s self-reports of symptoms.

Thank You. This event was hosted by Every1Games made possible by George Brown College, Ryerson University and Autism Ontario Toronto Chapter and the neurodiverse organizing committee made up of staff and students advocating for themselves and their friends.

OSnap Coming to Every1Games Aug 12

Franklin Barrientos and Ryan Luck from  OSnap! Games is going to be visiting our programs August 12, 2015 to have us test out their upcoming game Quasar, which is a top-down 3D shooter.

During playtesting participants will have the opportunity to interact in a professional environment while networking with experienced industry professionals while giving feedback to help improve their game.

About OSnap Games

OSnap! Games was founded in early 2012 by a small group of game developers who were tired of the way modern studios worked.

The shared vision among the founding members was to create a highly competitive video game studio here in Toronto, Ontario that Canada can call its own. We set out to create fun and compelling games in an environment that encourages the creativity and collaboration that a successful video game studio requires. OSnap! Games also recognizes the importance of a strong and loyal fan base and because of that we have a very open line of communication with our community through our forums, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

You may also know the game that OSnap has created Bunnies and Buses

 

 

Spec Ops 3 – Post Mortem

Written by Rocco Briganti

The Spec Ops 3 – Video Game Development program is the capstone program at Every1Games. Creative neurodivergent students from different walks of life finally have a place where they can come and learn about and how to create, one of the leading forms of art and entertainment – video games.

Spec Ops Team

Some of the SpecOps Team: Daniel, Devonttaie, John Yau, Crystal Fernandez, Rocco Briganti and Joshua

An Upgraded Direction

Spec Ops 3 took the best of the previous programs and learned from past programs. During this program we continued along the path of keeping the class operating as a team would in a studio. We had a clear idea and focus about how the program would run. The Spec Ops 3 team was better equipped now with four facilitators ranging in talents including, but not limited to: animation, programming, modelling and game design. We also had two goals…

  1. Developing a game and if not, at the very least a portfolio piece for every student.
  2. Expanding and advancing student’s social skills.

We continued along the familiar path of brainstorming a game first with the class and then dividing everyone up into roles that each student wanted to work on. This time we had some new students with fresh talent. Roles ranged from sound engineers to modellers and animators.

Early Game Design

In our first week we brainstormed with the class on what some of their favourite genres were for video games. After a lot of talking and some back and forth debates we ended up with a Steampunk Robot Escape style game. One of our facilitators, Daniel Mozarowski took the class through Game Design principals and theory as we brainstormed how the game would be played. It was wonderful to watch students who normally appeared to be shy, open up in passionate discussion, conversation and the odd friendly debate about mechanics, story and what makes a game fun.

Once we had everything laid out another one of our Facilitators, John Yau, took the stage creating some concept art for our game. This concept art was created by tasking students with finding images and references that they pictured for the game we had brainstormed and its genre. Throughout the course of the 8 weeks the students used the created piece for inspiration and reference when creating content for the game.

Production Phase

At the very beginning of the program, myself and the rest of the facilitators had made a decision that if creating a market ready game was not achievable during the programs length then we would work on helping students achieve a portfolio piece. During our fourth week we had a discussion about this. Myself and the rest of the team decided that given the varying range of talent and experience, it was best to change our focus. From this point on, we continued the course by focusing on helping each student grow both socially and technically.

Spec Ops Support Package

Spec Ops 3 was not only host to a pool of creative and talented neurodiverse individuals but for this first time ever, host to the parents, friends and family who continuously help drive our students forward beyond the classroom. This was our first time having a parent’s open house style gathering where parents, friends and family could come in and see what everyone had been working on. For the facilitators, this provided the perfect opportunity for some one on one time with student’s family members which might have not otherwise happened.

Overall, this was an overwhelming success. Facilitators got to witness our student’s showing off their creativity to their family members and in turn family members saw what their children were capable of producing. Parents were ecstatic to hear the progress their children have made and taken aback by the work that they had created. Some family members were seeing for the first time all the work that gets put into creating even the most basic of games.

Conclusion

This has been our best Spec Ops program yet at Every1Games with the help of George Brown College facilities. We’ve pushed students farther in honing their skills and prepping for the game development world with the latest industry standard software. Students have shown growth in not only technical skills but social skills as well. Our students continue to inspire and teach us as well with every Spec Ops program outdoing the last. With this mind, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Spec Ops in the fall.

 

Registration for the next Spec Ops: Video Game Development program opens soon. Make an account to register!

Rocco Briganti

 

 

Guest Series: Work in 3D with Eddie Faria and Matthew Gibson!

Every day our neurodiverse teams looks for opportunities to have best learning experiences. Jacob Yorke, a new addition to the Every1Games team, is a George Brown student excelling in 3D modelling. He reached out to some folks who inspire him, bringing experienced industry professionals, our guests, to work with the Every1Games participants in the Panoptic and SpecOPS programs in Toronto.


Welcome Matthew Gibson and Eddie Faria to the Every1Games community!

Join our programs to make sure you do not miss out on the opportunity to hear tips, tricks and experiences that can make a difference in your life and work. Learn 3D modelling and other digital skills with Matthew Gibson and Eddie Faria in a low-anxiety networking environment.

Matthew Gibson

Participants registered for Toronto programs July 20 – 24 will learn from Matthew Gibson.

Visiting July 22, 2015

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Matthew is a graduate of the Game Development Program at George Brown College, specializing in modelling and texturing.

He is an experienced freelancer in graphic design, and photography. He also has a diploma in fashion design! Most recently Matthew was a Junior 3D Artist at Blot Interactive. Matthew has found that his previous experiences has given him a large pool of inspiration to pour into his new projects, and he uses the skills he has learned in other fields to add extra dimension to his work.

Click here to see some of Matthew’s work.

Eddie Faria

Register for July 27 – 31 Creative Production or SpecOPS to learn from Eddie Faria!

Visiting July 28, 2015

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Since a young age Eddie Faria had a passion for art, drawing fantastic creatures, Dinosaurs, Comic characters and outer worldly environments. Growing up he also developed a love of video games and computers and was inspired by movies such as Lord of the Rings and always dreamed of a career where he could combine his love for computers and art.

Eddie graduated from Humber College’s 3D Animation Program. Upon graduating Eddie was hired by one of the top video game companies in Toronto, Pseudo Interactive where his career in the video game world took off. Although games wasn’t his first choice he was inspired by working with so many talented and creative people and developed a love of video game art. Since then Eddie has worked at major video game studios across Ontario including Ubisoft, Frozen North productions and Blot interactive. Eddie has worked on a variety of games ranging from mobile to Playstation 4 titles. Eddie also got a chance to realize his dream and work at a film studio, working on the Teletoon TV series Mudpit.

After 8 years in the industry Eddie was given the opportunity to give back and teach all the skills he learned in his career to other aspiring young artists at George Brown College where he works to this day! We are excited to have our guests join us this summer!

Click here to see some of Eddie’s work

Register for July 27 – 31 Creative Production or SpecOPS to learn from Eddie Faria!

 

Panoptic: Creative Production

PanopticNew Participants Welcome at any week!
Come and join us one, two or all four weeks of Creative Production
In the Panoptic Creative Production Program we will  explore a variety of different production types, focusing on video production. Develop your skills in Adobe Premier, After Effects, and other cinematic tools as well as some modelling/ art  programs such as Maya, Adobe Photoshop and 3DS Max. We will also be making a weekly trip as well as having professionals from the video game industry visit us. Trips include 3DXL: A Large Scale 3D Printing Exhibit, a Tour of the City TV Building and a trip to the movies.
Facilitators have experience in video production and video game development.
*Recommended for Ages 12 – 25.
Week 1 –  July 20 – July 24
Week 2 –  July 27 – July 31
Week 3 – August 3 – August 7
Week 4 – August 10 – August 14
 Facilitators
Jacob Yorke
Tanmay Datta
Mark Beaudry
Damian Laxton
If you have any questions feel free to email Krystal at engage@every1games.ca

Learn More about this course, or sign up for this course by clicking the link below.

Sign Up Now

10 Tips for Animators at Job Fairs

Top Ten Tips for Animation Job Fairs

Written by Crystal Fernandez, Art and Animation Facilitator at Every1Games.

 

keyframe studios at job fair

I had the pleasure of going to TAAFI’s Animation Job Fair last week to represent George Brown College in partnership with the one and only Sarah Anne Drew from Every1Games who supplied a Printing Station for attendees to edit and re-print resumes on the spot. I’ve never been to a job fair before and I was lucky enough to find the time join the lines of aspiring students and grads for a chance to meet some studios attending the event. Since this was my first job fair and I had no idea what to expect. I felt the lines went fairly quick (I chose smaller lines since I had to get back to my booth) and so did the interviews, which were more like introducing yourself, finding what positions are open and being lead to apply online. I’ve had some people tell me they were disappointed that they had lined up for almost an hour to just be told to “apply online”, then what’s the point of attending the job fair? While I did see some truth to this, I also thought about how over 900 guests attended this amazing event! So it’s obvious you’re probably not going to get a 30 minute interview with someone. It’s like speed dating. You come in talk about yourself and exchange a few pointers about you and them. But you’re going to have to stick out of all the other bachelors and bachelorettes if you want your date to want to talk to you more.

CASO Job Fair

How are you going to get the studios to want to talk to you for longer? How are you going to get them to remember you out of all the candidates attending the job fair? I went ahead to asked some students about their experience and what they would do differently on their next job fair.  To celebrate today’s the Computer Animation Studios of Ontario’s 3rd Annual Digital Marketplace Meetup, a job fair taking place at Corus Entertainment , here are Every1Games’ Top Ten Tips for Animation Job Fairs:

  1. Bring resumes and business cards if you have them.
    • Studios will often write notes about their experience with you directly on the printed resume you’ve handed them. This will help your resume stand out when they are filing them later.

  2. Carry a print portfolio or have a tablet ready to show your work (Modelers: make sure to include wireframe renders)
  • Some companies find it unprofessional to present your portfolio or demo reel on your phone. If possible use a tablet or laptop
  • Have renders in Maya (if you’re applying for TV/Film). If you don’t know what this means, you are not ready for the job fair anyways.
  1. Prepare a summary of yourself for introduction
  • You are selling yourself, be prepared to tell companies the skills you have and what you want so that they can better imagine where you fit on their team.
  1. Dress appropriately
  • Dress like you would in an interview. You want to make a good impression and look presentable. No need for a suit and tie, but make sure you don’t have any ripped or wrinkled clothing. If you can, reflect the culture of the studio.
  • Depending on how long the event is you might want to make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
  1. Research companies ahead of time
  • What should you know about a company ahead time? Current Projects? People on the team? What positions they are hiring for?
  • Why is this important saves you time at the event so you don’t wait in line for companies? Shows the company you are prepared and interested in them.
  • With that said, choose the companies you are most interested in and line up for them first.
  1. Ask questions! (What positions are open, what are your core hours?)

  2. Come early
  • Lines are long, arrive early and take breaks so that you are at your best when you meet the company.
  1. Have specific reels instead of a general one
  • If there is a certain position or department you are interested in, make sure to only show work that is relevant. Ie. If you want to be a rigger, show off your rigs and some animation to demonstrate how it works. But you don’t need an acting piece.
  • Remember to show only your best work! Don’t show works in progress. A company will instantly recognize the missing pieces of your work and will fail in comparison to the great finished work others are presenting.
  1. Don’t only have an online portfolio.
  • In case wi-fi is not reliable, either bring a printed portfolio or make sure to have your work on your tablet downloaded on your laptop or tablet.
  1. Don’t be afraid!
    • Meeting with potential employers can bring anxiety, but don’t be afraid of not getting the job because no matter what happens your experience at the job fair will help you learn what to do better next time.

Cosplay Update: Erin Emms Visited Program

ErinWe would like to thank our extra awesome guest speaker for visiting our Cosplay*Craft*Convention Program this past  Saturday April 25. Every1Games welcomed Internationally ranked cosplayer, and the Anime North Skit Director Erin Emms and her master cosplayer friend Chloe Perelgut!

“Cosplay is for everyone”

This month Every1Games is piloting the Cosplay, Craft, Convention (3C) program, a social skills program for neurodivergent youth to make costumes, meet like minded peers, and head to Anime North together! As we spread the word about this program, Erin stumbled upon us, reached out and was excited to offer us the opportunity to show off our costumes at Anime North’s Skit Competition on Friday May 22 because “cosplay is for everyone”.

This means a lot to us because participating in large events can be overwhelming and Erin not only offered to help us show off our costumes, but offered a low-anxiety alternative featuring a smaller stage space and crowd. It was awesome to see Anime North’s Skit Director reach out to us and really proved that this community is #autismfriendly and understands what a lot of event organizers don’t, the importance of engaging autistic youth and working together to bring opportunities to the neurodivergent community.

More Cool Things to Know About Erin Emms AKA Chibi Lenne!

Cosplay Alias: Chibi Lenne
A long time ago in a fandom far far away, Erin began cosplaying… or rather that is how a truly epic bio would begin, she is fairly normal.  Erin, also known as “Chibi Lenne”, is an Internationally ranked Master Cosplayer who began cosplaying 15+ years ago and instantly fell in love with the community feel that cosplaying and conventions provided. Additionally she is a strong advocate for anti-bullying and CON-sent; after all  Cosplay is for ALL, not for some.
Currently, she runs the Friday Night Skit Contest and Cosplay Chess Games at Anime North, a Cosplay ‘recovery room’ at ConBravo, and is enthusiastically preparing to help run Costume Con 35 (2017), a convention solely dedicated to costuming, cosplay, and community.
Hard at work on our costumes!!
If you are new to cosplay, or if you are a parent unfamiliar with cosplay and are wondering what your kids are getting up to, ask us! We are here to help. Use the comment section below or contact engage@every1games.ca.

Cosplay*Craft*Convention Register Now!

cosplay4_720smapng

Register Now

Come and join us on Saturdays, April 18 to May 23 where we will learn about the details that go into creating a costume. We will be covering things such as planning, budgeting, make up, special effects and props. You will use your imagination to create the costume that you have always wanted along with people who have similar interests as you.

Cosplay, short for costume-play, is a form of self-expression, the art of dressing-up to show love for a particular video game, anime, comic and more, it is becoming a big hobby among fans.

After your costume is complete, as a group we will attend Anime North which is a large convention for those who are interested in anime, comics and video games.

Schedule

On May 2nd we will be taking a trip to a thrift store. More details about this field trip will be provided.

We have lots of great activities planned for each morning and the afternoons are dedicated to physically work on the creation of your costume.

More details will be emailed upon registration to the program.

*All Every1Games integrate social learning and low-anxiety environment.

For more information Click Here

Click here to Register Now

*All Every1Games integrate social learning and low-anxiety environment.

Location: 341 King St E, Toronto, Ontario

Max # of Participants: 20 participants ages 12- 25.

*Note: Anime North is a convention which will be crowded and noisy. We will be covering strategies for appropriate breaks and self regulation.

Program Length: 6 Weeks, Saturdays, 10am – 4pm

  • April 18th
  • April 25th
  • May 2nd
  • May 9th
  • May 16th – Victoria weekend! We will still be having program. :)
  • May 23rd – Anime North (Ticket Included in Price)

Additional Information: This program is best suited for independent neurodiverse youth ages 12 – 25.

We understand not everyone is interested in cosplay but still may want to come to the convention. 

6 Week Cosplay Program + Saturday Anime North Ticket 

ONLY $200.00 for 6 Weeks includes ticket to Anime North! Thanks to Autism Ontario Toronto Chapter and the Potential Programme!

  • Standard Fee: $500.00
  • Autism Ontario Membership Fee: $400.00
  • Autism Ontario Toronto Chapter Subsidy / Potential Programme = $200.00

1 Week Cosplay Program + Anime North Ticket

  • Standard Fee: $100.00 (Subsidy will only be applied to the full program).

If you are registering to attend Anime North but are not going to be participating in the costume creation aspect of the program you will still be required to come to program prior to the final Saturday (May 16) to prepare for the convention trip.

Facilitator: Veronica Brzoska

Co-Facilitator: Krystal Twiss

Additional support will be available in the classroom.

Spec Ops 2 – Post Mortem

Spec Ops 2 Video Game Development Program was launched after the success of the first Spec Ops where creative neurodivergent students who are interested in a career ing games, developed a Breakout clone game where each person incorporated a unique level design (will be available here soon!). But Spec Ops 2 took a new approach to the program, switching from a  directed classroom environment to a studio environment where every student had a specific role working together on the project.

In our first week of class we all brainstormed a bunch of game ideas, story tropes and characters until finally agreeing on one thing that we all wanted to do.

As a class we chose to create a shooter in a modern day post-war setting.

Work was divided into modeling, level design and texturing. Given the core interests of the students, we decided to leave out programming and focus on those skills.

Level Design

Devonttaie was our main level designer using a mix of free Unity store assets as well as student created content in 3DS Max. Using Unity, Devonttaie created three amazing level designs, two of them following the theme of post-war with a small quirky twist! You can tell he’s a fan of Luigi. Can you spot him?

Modeling and Texturing

Matthew and Stephen were our dedicated modellers for the project. With their input and ideas we decided to create a few assets for the level that Devonttaie could use. Stephen created several weapons in 3DS Max including a Bolter, M16 and a sword with a pretty sweet hand guard. Matthew created a tank, a fighter jet, a mini-gun and a billboard for the level.

Additional Work

By Week 6 of the program, some students want to try their hand on other designs while Devonttaie was putting the assets they created into the level he designed. He also created several videos which we hope to share on our YouTube channel (coming soon).

The students decided to take on some extra work trying to use their experience and skills to create new things.

Joshua finished off an amazing Illustrator tracing of his favourite Pokemon Lucario. Matthew decided to tackle modelling his first humanoid character and created an awesome looking robot!

Conclusion

The overall experience was amazing for the students to be able to experience parts of what it’s like to work on a team with other people while creating a game. Students depended on one another to finish their tasks so that the project could always progress forward.

Additionally it was amazing to watch all the students step out of their comfort zones and adapt to all the unique challenges they faced. As our classes progressed the students gained more and more confidence with their tasks created bigger and better things and even creating additional content beyond the scope of the project!

Spec Ops 2 was a huge success and a huge thank you to all the students and their hard work! A studio environment is going to continue to help structure future Spec Ops programs.

Registration for Spec Ops 3 will be opening end of April and starts May 30th so check back to register and be a part of the team.

Written by Rocco Briganti