Archive for April, 2010

Game Industry Meetups in Vancouver

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Vancouver 1
Photo by Jake Birkett

Someone just asked me what Game Industry meetups there are in Vancouver and here’s what I could think of, please add to it if you can!

– A recruiter called Jared ( used to hold regular Game industry meetups in Yaletown in 2009, but sadly no longer.

– In January 2010 there was a Vancouver Interactive Night Out in downtown, but I’ve not seen another one since, so not sure if it’s regular.

– There was an EXP Gaming event at VFS a week ago. Although I gather there were lots of gamers there rather than game industry types. Not sure if this is going to be regular or not.

– We held one at our Big Fish Games studio in Yaletown back in 2009, and before that (over a year ago) I held one just for Indies and Casual Game devs.

Shall I Start a New Meetup?

I’d like to start up a Game Industry meetup that is regular and very useful for Game Devs to learn stuff and network at. I’ve attended quite a few VanDev meetups and I like the format:

– 30 minute presentation from an industry expert then Q&A.
– Door prize (like a raffle where attendees can win prizes). This could be optional, but it is fun.
– Introductions (every one has 30 seconds to introduce themselves to the crowd in preparation for network)
– Networking until close.

Sounds formal, but I think it could work really well because it’s both educational and great for networking if you can find a suitable non-noisy venue where people can talk at. Vandev was held in a UBC classroom on Robson Street, and I can enquire as to how I could do the same.

An alternative type of meetup is the “all meet in a pub and informally network”. This is certainly fun but I find that pubs are noisy and so talking about anything meaningful becomes difficult. Although I have certainly enjoyed some good meals with other devs in the past. Perhaps there is room for both types of meetups, formal and informal. Vandev did that as they had a separate social meetup group in a cafe.

Anyone want to help? Any further thoughts or recommendations? Thanks.

How to guarantee a response to an email

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

photo by by MarcinMoga / Lolek

Someone just emailed me and asked me a good question (the answer to which will be in my next post). What was interesting is that they asked me the question in such a way that they were pretty much guaranteed a response. Their email went like this:

– Say nice things about my blog and establish a common ground.
– Ask question.
– Finish up with nice thing.

How could I refuse? This is like the sandwich technique of giving advice during speech evaluations at Toastmasters which goes: praise, criticise constructively, praise. Also it taps into social obligation: the emailer gave me a gift of praise, and now I am obligated to give back by answering their question.

So remember this technique when writing to people to ask them questions. I do it all the time at work:

– You are awesome and so is everything you do.
– Can you help me with this?
– Thanks, you’re awesome.

Then I always follow up with a thanks email when they do it, so they’ll remember I was grateful the next time I ask them for something.

Try it out!