VGAD Elections Guidelines

On Wednesday, April 23rd, VGAD will hold its annual election. From the time of this posting until 6:00 pm of that day, nominations will be open for the positions listed below.

Because Blake, Matt and Allie are all graduating (See last week’s meeting), three positions will be vacant, but all four positions will be voted on.

Guidelines

Because we are a Student Union club, 100% of executives must be undergraduates. Anyone who has showed up to at least one meeting in the past year is eligible to vote, including non-students. However, only undergrads are eligible to hold executive positions.

Roles

1 – President

The final say on everything club-related. The President has final veto power on all decisions made by the club. Most important decisions are made democratically, but smaller decisions that don’t warrant a vote can be made by the President. The President is ultimately responsible for delegating tasks that are not already covered by one of the below roles.

2 – Vice President

As above, but defers to the President.

3 – Treasurer

Handles the club’s funds. Will be responsible for filling out grant applications if necessary.

4 – Internal

Internal, or “VP Internal” is mostly responsible for filling out internal documents and communications. The “Communications” portion of Internal was formerly allocated to Social, but Social is being phased out this election.

Send self-nominations for one of these roles to vgad@ualberta.ca

Nominations will be open until the start of the meeting on Wednesday April 23rd. Voting will commence shortly thereafter, and will be carried out by secret ballot among the members who are present.

If you have any questions, send an email to vgad@ualberta.ca.

Ludum Dare, Elections, and Game Day

Hey everyone. Anybody who actually follows this thing might have noticed that we were doing pretty good about posting an update every week and then suddenly just stopped.

There are a couple of reasons for that. First off, the decision over what was getting discussed in the meetings should have been made more democratically, so we started allowing people in our Facebook group to submit their own stories that they want to talk about.

Secondly, there haven’t really been any major earth-shattering VGAD announcements in the intervening weeks. But we’ve got announcements this week. A couple of fairly major ones no less.

Ludum Dare

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Ludum Dare is two events: A 48-hour game design competition where solo developers sit down and make a game; And a 72-hour “game jam” where a team makes a game under more relaxed rules.

The full rules are here and I encourage everyone who is interested to read them, to make sure they know what’s up.

The event is held at the end of April, September, and December, ie. every 4 months. The next event starts on April 25th @ 7:00 pm MST. We’ll probably be opening up the VGAD room to club members who want to participate and have a fun old time.

Elections

Due to both club and Student Group rules, students who are not officially enrolled in a University program may not hold office in a Student Group. Since Matt, Allie and myself are all scheduled to graduate this semester, that means we can’t officially seek office, even if one of us makes it into Grad School. Which means that this year, there will be a major shake-up in club leadership.

Does this mean we can’t still show up to meetings? Hell no! What it does mean, however, is that the torch will be passed down to the next generation of VGAD leadership. Voting will happen on April 23rd. Nominations for positions will be held on April 15th during the usual VGAD meeting time.

It’s exciting and melancholy at the same time. I (Blake) was one of the three original founders of VGAD back in 2010, along with Malcolm Stielow and Derek Dowling, and have seen multiple generations of VGADers come and go. Nevertheless, I’m really interested to see what the new leadership team does with the club in the future, and I look forward to being a part of building the club from the ground-up rather than from the top-down. Also to doing a lot less work! Yeah buddy!

Game Day

As is now tradition, we will be holding our End-of-Semester game day on the Friday of the last week of classes, which coincides with the UACS LAN Party. This will happen on Friday, April 11th starting at an as-of-yet-undetermined time. Basically it will be the earliest point at which someone with a key to the room actually cares to show up. We’ll discuss that at the meeting tonight and post the final time here or on the Facebook event so make sure you’re keeping an eye on either of those things.

The latest we’ll probably start is 5:00 pm, the earliest being probably 12:00 pm. Again this all depends on whether someone with a key can show up that early or not.

Unity Camp Edmonton, Irrational Downsized, and GitHub

Hey everyone. A couple of fairly interesting things happened in the games industry in the two weeks since our last “official” meeting.

But first, here’s an upcoming event you might be interested in.

Unity Camp Edmonton

Unity Camp Edmonton is an event that is being held jointly by Unity and Microsoft. It’s free to participate.

It’s an all-day event happening on March 22nd starting at 8:30 am and ending at 5:00 pm. It seems to be mainly for those who have a Unity project on the go or want to develop for Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8. However, there will be beginner sessions in the morning for both 2D and 3D games by lead Unity personnel.

I’ll go over this more in-depth at the meeting. If you plan to go, you will have to register for the event.

The News

Those are the topics we’ll be covering in our moderated chat.

The VGAD GitHub Organization

GitHub recently gave VGAD a free organization account with 10 free private repositories. We’re going to go over how we expect these to be used, and what the ground rules will be for collaborating and committing. There will be these ground rules:

  • If you are hosting your project on a VGAD repository and are using VGAD resources, you should allow VGAD members to contribute to your project.
  • Contributing is not the same as collaborating. VGAD will operate on the Contributor-Collaborator model. Each project will have one lead, plus collaborators who will have more of a say in design matters.
  • All VGAD members will have read access to all VGAD projects, but only Collaborators will have write access. Contributors will be able to make changes by forking a repository and then making a Pull Request.
  • Collaborators should also be using Pull Requests, but this is up to the discretion of the individual project lead.

I’ll go over this more in-depth and I’ll do a step-by-step walkthrough of getting your game project onto the GitHub and using issues.

Flappy Bird and The State of VGAD in 2014

Flappy Bird

The biggest story of the week thus far is undoubtedly the bizarre saga of the Flappy Bird. This story was like a multilayered jawbreaker, with each successive layer revealing yet another flavour to this already very complex situation.

The short version is, game creator releases game app that takes all of three days to create, app inexplicably becomes the number one game on the iOS and Android app stores for 28 days, earning said developer $50,000 a day in ad revenue. Developer then takes game down, citing too much attention and “overuse” of his game. Snarky reporting from Kotaku fails to help the situation.

This is a dense story, because the circumstances in which this game becomes a worldwide sensation are completely bewildering. We’ll talk more about this at our meeting, as well as…

The State of VGAD, 2014 Edition

So we’re a month into 2014 already, which I guess is as good a time as any to address the way things have been going with VGAD, specifically as pertains to our plans for this summer and what we learned from working on The Deadliest Date last summer.

My goal is to ensure that VGAD is as inclusive as it can be going forward, and that it continues to create opportunities for its members. Last week we got a nice consideration from BioWare, and hopefully that continues into the future.

But more than that, I want to make sure we’re living up to our mission statement of giving people who want to be involved in games the opportunity to do so.

So this week will be your chance to tell me and the rest of the executives how you feel things have been going, what could be done better, and what you’d like to see happen in the future.

With that being said, I’ll see you at the meeting on Wednesday.

Game Jam Post-Mortem, Candy Trademark Saga, and a Canadian Price Hike?

Hello to all my fellow VGADeers. This is what’s going on in our world this week of January 29th, 2014.

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  • The Game Jam is over. We’ll talk about that, as well as what’s coming down the pipe.
  • Can King really get away with trademarking the words Candy and Saga, especially when they’ve been caught cloning other games? Is there actually a story here?
  • Apparently there is a $5 price hike on the horizon for the next generation of games in Canada (And only Canada). Is this a bad move? Are Canadian retailers just driving more consumers to digital downloads?
  • And more. Some ideas, some proposals, and possibly a new way of doing things going forward.