Monday, December 18, 2017

MIGS 17 Highlights & Discoveries

VIP Opening party at the Montreal Casino Photos © Lena Ghio, 2017 
FRANÇAIS fonction traduction colonne à gauche

• DAY 1

This day was put aside for the extraordinary lineup of Master Classes that were offered for this year's MIGS. I recorded an interview with the founder of Arkane Studios, Raphaël Colantonio who created some powerful games: Dishonored, Prey, and his first game Arx Fatalis. I will print this interview in the coming weeks. Then there was the fabulous VIP Opening Party at the Montreal Casino where we were treated to exquisite food and cocktails while being surrounded by games and music! We were off to a great start!

• DAY 2
OPENING KEYNOTE Fireside Chat: StudioMDHR and the Cuphead Craze by Chad Moldenhauer, Jared Moldenhauer and Maja Moldenhauer - StudioMDHR, Moderated by Jason Della Rocca
 Photos © Lena Ghio, 2017 
It was the day of our first major snow storm so I beat the morning traffic to attend the Opening Keynote that I find exciting and inspiring. Jason Della Rocca moderated an inspiring conversation with Chad MoldenhauerJared Moldenhauer and Maja Moldenhauer three Toronto siblings who have worked for years on developing a game, Cuphead. The game that took them years to create took off and they have now sold a million plus copies of it! They were all smiles but they recounted the hard work and the lucky breaks that made their vision a reality. The game looks innocent enough with the design inspired by Disney animated features of the 30s but it is fierce and difficult to play.

I then recorded my second interview that will also be published here soon. I met Julien Charlebois from FRAMESTORE who spoke of his journey into the world of virtual reality and the exciting projects he has recently worked on. I visited the kiosks that are innovative and fun where all manners of experts, services and products are available.

Cool Kiosks! Photos © Lena Ghio, 2017 
I then investigated the many kiosks to see what they had to offer. Here are my discoveries:

The country of Chile had a large kiosk where they showcased their many services including digital IT services. They offer a large spectrum of services at competitive rates. Amazon was also on site to assist the development of games in Lumberyard, a free site where you can build both a game and a fan base. I spoke with Dean Thériault from COGECO PEER 1. This company offers multilevel services including internet security, web hosting, connectivity and more. offers high performance hosting solutions for gamers. In the same vein but with an accent on building up communities, VANILLA helps you "Buff your player engagement strategy." VICON was present to introduce their improved Motion Capture technology. Simply mind boggling!

Many companies are on site to recruit people from many discipline be it artistic or technological. BEENOX is such a company that will accommodate people in the beginning of their professional career or for an internship. This kiosk was the most charming to me. They offered us giant cookies and were just a delightful team! Planète EMPLOIS is a site where jobs in the gaming and or special effects industries are posted regularly. An enterprise that is very useful for any community: INSERTECH. Here you can find an affordable recycled computer or take a course in how to use technology better. The service is multigenerational offering service for youth who need work or for elders who need to adapt to new technology.

My favorite product discovery was the EMPEROR workstation (below). For gamers this is a dream come true. Everything you need to create a game or play it is included in this space saving device that you can customize for your personal needs! FABULOUS! As for my favorite discovery art web site, ARTSTATION blew me away! You MUST visit this site for the majestic talents hosted there. Plus if you are an artist this could be a place for you to evolve, find work and create community.
The EMPEROR workstation / view 1510 model / Photos © Lena Ghio, 2017 
• DAY 3 

I recorded 2 new interviews that will be published soon on this blog. One with Academy Award winner Johannes Saam of FRAMESTORE and indy game producer Frédéric Bohm of Triple Scale Games. Between my interviews, I attended 3 conferences: The future of AI speech with Rene Hidalgo of Ubisoft Entertainment: I've got to see a man about a unicorn: the myth of open world narrative with Jesse Scobie and Russell Lees of Ubisoft: Unlocking storytelling potential through nuanced design with Gabriela Aveiro-Ojeda, and independent game creator.

What a great time we had at the Palais des Congrès! But that was not all! There was the cherry on the sunday with a fun party: « GamePlay Space was proud to present 'The Officially Unofficial Afterparty' »

Stay tuned for the publication of interviews with Raphaël ColantonioJulien Charlebois Johannes Saam and Frédéric Bohm.


'The Officially Unofficial Afterparty'  @ GamePlay Space

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