OrcaJam was a great success, check out the games!

OrcaJam had 21 awesome games made in total. Check out the ones that are posted:

OrcaJam Games

So what is it?!

OrcaJam is a local Victoria Game-Jam event along the lines of the Global Game Jam or TIGJams.

It's an event where a bunch of like-minded people get together and work on what they love - making games - for 48 hours. What's more fun than getting together and doing what you love, with people that love you?

Programmers! Artists! Audio Engineers! Board game designers! Anyone interested in game development at all should come; team up with your newfound friends and make something amazing!

OrcaJam 2013 is part of Thinklandia!
This year's OrcaJam is part of the Thinklandia festival of imagination! What does that mean exactly? The Thinklandia festival aims to celebrate the arts, creativity, discovery, innovation and/or imagination with great events throughout Victoria. And what's more creative than making games? Thinklandia starts with OrcaJam on September 6th and lasting for more than a week culminating with the massive Riflandia music festival on September 12-15th. This means there will be more exciting mini-events happening throughout OrcaJam this year - more on this below!

I'm new at this, how does it work?

Game designers of all sorts will be coming out to make games based on a theme that will be announced at the start of the event. There will be programmers, artists, audio engineers, narrative designers and all sorts of skills represented, but specific game experience is not necessary. If you're interested and willing to learn come on out!

Many from the local crowd are experienced developers and will be working on their own projects or within their own teams for this event. But not everyone! You can team up with others, maybe learn a new skill and jump on board with anyone that'll have you.

Be sure to show up at 6pm on Friday to meet others, brainstorm ideas and team up with people that can show you the ropes! Everyone is welcome so if you are at all interested in game development and want to participate come out and join us!

When is it?

ORCAJAM 2013 Sept. 6th-8th

OrcaJam is being held from Friday, September 6th (6pm) for 48 straight hours, until Sunday September 8th (6pm). The event lasts the entire 48 hours with a game showcase and judging panel and prizes at the end!

After the game development ends on Sunday at 6pm, we'll be opening the floor for everyone to showcase their creations for a chance to win prizes! A panel of industry veterans will be picking winners based on a variety of pre-set criteria (more details coming soon)!

Where is it at?

Held in Victoria, BC, on the West Coast of Canada; Victoria is the Capital of British Columbia, and is a beautiful, sunny, garden town with a growing technology and gaming industry.

OrcaJam will be hosted at the wonderful office of Viatec at 2659 Douglas St. Victoria BC. Thanks to Viatec for their great support!

There's lots of stuff to do in Victoria - tons of brewpubs, clubs, whale Orca watching tours, garden tours, historical districts, and events! And with Thinklandia happening all week there will be plenty of technology related events to check out! There's something for everyone! The city is pretty small though; it's similar to Vancouver or Seattle but about 10% of the size. For more info, there's always Wikipedia's entry on our fair city. NOTE: We are on an island. Indie Island.

How much?

Tickets will be a mere $20 which includes:

  • Food and beverages on-site (details soon)
  • A Commemorative TShirt (if you buy your ticket before Aug. 6th)
  • Access to panel talks, soapbox presentations and industry expert talks during the game jam!
  • A shot at winning some great prizes from our sponsors!
  • Full 48-hour access to the venue
  • And most importantly, the fun of creating a game surrounded by like-minded people! :)

What's the food situation?

Food will be provided at the game jam, but details are still TBA.

How does equipment shake out?

We will be providing tables and seating of course, but you'll need to bring your own computer equipment.

We encourage you to bring your own laptops because desktops are big and bulky and makes the tables crowded. But if you must bring a desktop, you must.

We'll be bringing some extension cords and power bars, but if you can bring your own down it'll help us out. We don't have an infinite supply :3

At the end of the event, we will be setting up a projector and letting anyone show off their projects to the sleep deprived crowd! (Bring your own VGA cable if you don't have DVI)

Canada? Isn't there snow there?

Historically for these dates, Victoria has temperatures ranging from 10°C (50°F) at night to 22°C (71°F) during the day. It's downright pleasant. Rain isn't expected but is always a possibility. There will definitely not be snow, and us Canadians will be wearing shorts and t-shirts regardless.

I want a roof over my head!

Victoria is a big tourism town with a few hostels and dozens of other hotels nearby.

Remember: it's uncomfortable for the people around you if you sleep at the venue. Please, get a room or head back home once it's time to rest your head!

How can I get there?

From abroad

Victoria has an International Airport [CYYJ]. It's a bit far away from the event space (25 minute drive or so, depending on traffic), and taxis will cost you approximately $55.

There is a shuttle bus operated by Akal that charges around $19 per person (less for groups) that will take you right to OrcaJam.

There is city bus service to the airport at a rate of only $2.50, but you will have to transfer once to make it to OrcaJam.

From Vancouver

BC Ferries runs several trips per day, every day, from Vancouver to Victoria. Cost is around $14 per person, and $50 per vehicle. The trip takes about 1.5 hours.

If you don't have a vehicle, you can buy an inter-city bus ticket from Pacific Coach Lines. They have a terminal downtown Vancouver (near Science World), and the ticket price will include the ferry and take you right past the venue in Victoria for $42. Easy!

If you can make your own way to the ferry, there is a city bus that can pick you up on the Victoria side and will take you downtown, for $2.50. A taxi from the same location would likely cost more than $70.

If you are Mister Fancypants and want to fly in, Helijet offers downtown-to-downtown service for $199. It's a pretty sweet ride, I'd recommend it if you have the cash to burn! There's also floatplanes that go downtown-to-downtown for $145.

From Washington State

The Victoria Clipper is a passenger-only ferry that can take you direct from downtown Seattle to downtown Victoria for just $100 (round-trip). It's fast (around 3 hours). From the Victoria side, it's only a 20 minute walk to the event location. Reservations are recommended, as it's cheaper that way.

From western Washington, the Coho Ferry leaves Port Angeles and will also take you to downtown Victoria. It carries vehicle and foot traffic (~$50/car, $12/person).

North of Seattle, there is a ferry leaving Anacortes for $16 (plus $55 for vehicles). This one arrives north of Victoria, near the airport and BC Ferries terminals.

American fancypantses can take a floatplane from Seattle to downtown Victoria for about $150 (round trip).

Who's organizing this thing?

OrcaJam is organized by the LEVEL UP! organization, a collection of local game developers that are looking to promote the Victoria game development scene. The organization was created by Andy Moore, and is currently run by Chris Tihor, Mel Reams and Graham Davis.

This year OrcaJam is receiving tremendous support and sponsorship from local organizations:

Any questions should be directed to the event organizer, Graham Davis, via email.

Sign up now!

OrcaJam 4 was a great success! Check back next year for OrcaJam 5.

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