Category Archives: Programs

Star Pirates Infinity with Mark Shannelly, SHG Studios

Mark Shannelly, Marketing Coordinator and Community Manager at SHG Studios, is joining Every1Games Toronto to share his experience and discuss various aspects of design and production while we play SHG Studios Star Pirates Infinity,  a next-generation Collectible Card Game (CCG).  Mark is a Video Game Designer, Sound Designer, Musician, and Composer.



On Saturday July 8th Mark Shannelly will join Every1Games Toronto to discuss his experience in the video game industry. Every1Games participants will have the opportunity to demo the game and learn about the development process. Participants will also have the opportunity to show off the work they’ve been doing in the summer program and get professional feedback on their work.

SHG Studios is located in Hamilton, Ontario. They are industry allies joining Every1Games to help create low anxiety networking opportunities for autistic and neurodivergent youth supporting neurodiversity and the participants of our awesome programs. To thank them we’d like to promote the game Star Pirates Infinity, a fun, easy, engaging, collectable card game that can be downloaded from the website linked below, playable on PC, Mac, Android or iPhone. Check it out 🙂

March Break Toronto 2017

This March Break we decided that our theme will be LEADERSHIP.  There is a lot to explore within this theme; leadership in the autism community, on a team and in all areas of your life. We will also be exploring basic programming, narrative in games and 3D art / environment design. This is a fun week designed to be an awesome experience for you and your friends. Remember that this is a low anxiety work space, work at your own pace on projects that you want to work on! Our helpful facilitators will be giving lessons and leading discussi-ons. We will play video games, share youtube videos and create, create, create!
Ages 12 – 25
Fees: $550+ HST
Payment arrangements can be made.

What Software Will We Practice?

Imagine Cinema’s at Market Square is an Every1Games March Break tradition. We walk 10 minutes to the cinema and watch a popular film. What makes this different than other autism social groups? We work together to learn more about what we watch as consumers. By discussing the themes and narrative, as well as the industry tools, marketing and production techniques, participants learn to understand the movies beyond what they see on the big screen.

  • Participants are required to pay for their own snacks.
  • Admission to the theatre will be represented on the invoice sent upon registration.

Royal Ontario Museum has invited Every1Games to an exclusive experience. The ROM understands that we aren’t kids anymore and are working with us to arrange a day of learning that will help shape the work we do in the computer labs as we practice game design.

  • There will be an opportunity to purchase lunch but a packed lunch is recommended.
  • Participants are required to pay for their travel.  You can speak with an Every1Games facilitator if you require assistance.

You can read more details in our information package or register by clicking the link below.

Sign Up Now

A custom invoice will be sent to you by email. Nothing is charged during online registration. Payment arrangements can be made. Email sarah@every1games.ca for assistance…sometimes this online registration can be confusing so don’t hesitate to email us for help! We look forward to chatting :).

30K from OCE Kicks Off 2017!

We are proud to announce that Every1Games will be starting the new year with grand plans thanks to a project grant from the Ontario Centres of Excellence and our supportive advisors at The Forge (McMaster University)!

This is great news but also means that we need to make some changes to our program schedule.

We will not be hosting programs this winter (Jan and Feb) but check back for updates and get in touch with us early to participate in the March Break – (March 12-16) – Creative Production Social Program for neurodivergent youth ages 12 – 25.

To participate in the Niagara or Toronto Spring Program please email sarah@every1games.ca to save your spot as we plan this amazing week of video game related awesomeness and learning.

More information coming soon. Thank you for your patience and support. We love you!

Happy New Year!

Created by Every1Games student Matthew Montgomery

Programs Begin October 1st! Register Now to Save Your Spot.

It’s time to register for the next cohort of Every1Games workshops. If you’ve stumbled upon us be sure to check out the about page to learn more about what we do. The best way to learn more is to contact us.  You can also find us on facebook and twitter.

Autism, spectrum, autistic, Aspergers, learning disabilities. Just making sure that we have these words in the post because our programs are specialized to help neurodivergent youth develop the skills required to succeed in life after high school. No diagnosis is required to participate. Our programs are a low-anxiety space where we encourage you to be comfortable being you so that you can learn at your best.  Many of our staff members are also on the spectrum or identify with a disability. Here you will have access to mentors for more than creative production, but life as an adult facing the challenges that come with growing up.

In Toronto we are offering two 8 week programs Creative Production and SpecOPS. If you are new to Every1Games or more interested in video, Creative Production is for you. If you have some experience and are interested in going to college (or currently attending college for media) then join the SpecOps program and work with us to develop your skills and portfolio.  In St.Catharines  you can join us for one 8 week program focusing on the fundamentals of game design.

All of our programs offer a low-anxiety environment. If you are not sure if our programs are for you email engage@every1games.ca.

Program descriptions are below.

When: 8 Saturdays (10am to 4pm) starting October 1st.

Where: Programs are available in Toronto (George Brown College School of Design, 341 King St. E), and St.Catharines (Brock University Centre for Digital Humanities).

How Much: Program fees vary, regular fees are between $720 to $900 before discounts and subsidies. If you’d like to split payments or inquire about subsidies we can accommodate you. Let us know what works for you.  Please register to save your spot in the meantime.

 

Register online to save your spot in the program. An invoice will be created based on the information you provide in the profile. We will contact you to confirm participation. 

To Register: Create an account and fill out a profile. Be sure to fill out the profile using the information of the person who is attending the program. The invoice will be sent to the email address entered in the profile. Remember to include your birthday so that we can apply subsidies that you might qualify for. Then login to browse programs and choose the course you’d like to join. Click Read More to see the schedule, then click Next to enter discount codes. Autism Ontario members use autismont for $100.00 off! Then click Register. 🙂 We will contact you with an invoice when we confirm your participation where you will have the option to pay online or by cheque. No payment is required to save your spot in the program.

Creative Production – Toronto

Our fall Creative Production program (Coded as CREA T1016) will teach participants a variety of digital and traditional arts, and video production. No experience necessary. Discover your skills and interests working with like minded people.

SpecOps – Toronto

Our Fall SpecOps program (Coded as SPEC T1016) will teach participants how to use Unreal 4, a game design software tool used by popular studios like Ubisoft and Activision. Participants will work independently and in groups to design a game using 2D/3D art tools, programming and sound engineering software depending on the groups interests. Lead by autistic youth mentors, this 8 week program is for people interested in attending post-secondary game design programs and is open to current college students interested in improving their game design skills.

Creative Production – Niagara (St.Catharines)

Our fall Creative Production program in Niagara (Coded as GAME N1016) will teach participants the fundamentals of game design.  Participants will explore Game Maker Studio to create a playable level. No experience necessary. Our staff will challenge participants with new activities that help each student meet their goals or prepare to apply for Niagara College and Brock University game related programs.

Luigi's Restaurante created by Devonttaie Summer 2015

Save Your Spot in Toronto Summer Programs

Subsidies are available!

We are offering up to 4 weeks of creative skills development programs for autistic and neurodivergent youth in Toronto and Niagara. For information about programs based in Niagara contact us.

Don’t spend summer days alone playing games. Come to Every1Games and add to your skills set instead! Our programs are ideal for students with disabilities interested in practicing digital media design or computer science. Get serious about a future in games or join us just for fun in the low-anxiety, judgement free, neurodiverse community.

Participants will have the opportunity to explore different types of production tools in a low anxiety environment to develop social, technical and professional skills. These programs are great for beginners and for people who want to practice using the software without the pressure of grades.

Join us at George Brown College School of Design to become familiar with the fundamental tools and practices to design and develop digital media, gaming environments, music and videos. (Content will vary based on participant interests). Work with autistic advocates, mentors, and experienced digital media artists and game designers.

If you are new to Every1Games our summer programs are a great place to start becoming familiar with who we are and how we can work together to help you meet your goals. If you are a current student in art or media design, join us to strengthen your portfolio and gain experience.

Contact us! 
Subsidies, discounts and payment plans are also available for participants.  For more information please contact Program Manager Cameron Cubitt at (289) 990-9057 or at cameron@every1games.ca.

Week 1: Intro to Digital Media (GAME TS0116)
July 18, 2016 – July 22, 2016 (Monday to Friday)
Cost $450 (before discounts and subsidies)
Participants will learn about different programs that will allow them to design their own gaming art. Some of the programs will include Adobe Suite, 3DS Max and Animation.

Week 2: Panorama and Portfolio (GAME TS0216)
July 25, 2016 – July 29, 2016 (Monday to Friday)
Cost $450 (before discounts and subsidies)
Participants will be learning how to convert their gaming ideas into a portfolio or game demo over the course of the week. This program is intended to inform participants about what is needed when applying for a job with a gaming studio.

Week 3: Industry and Streaming in Digital Media (GAME TS0316)
August 2 – August 5, 2016 (Tuesday to Friday)
Cost $400 (before discounts and subsidies)
Participants will learn the tools and business of recording and streaming of video game media and will have the opportunity to interact with local game studios.

Week 4: Studio Environment (GAME TS0416)
August 8, 2016 – August 12, 2016 (Monday to Friday)
Cost $450 (before discounts and subsidies)
Participants will design a game as a group using Unity while learning about project management, compromising and planning and meeting the required deadlines for
the project. Groups that started their project in Week 3 will continue their from where they left off.

Classrooms will be supported with a 1:3 staff to student ratio. Programs will start at 10AM and conclude at 4PM. All four weeks will take place at the George Brown College St. James Campus which is located at 341 King Street East in Toronto, Ontario.

Registered participants will receive further details about the classroom closer to the start of all four programs.

Discounts and Subsidies

Autism Ontario Members receive $100 discount!

If you have an autism diagnosis and are between the age of 12 and 18, the Potential Programme provides a subsidy to help you pay for this opportunity! Over 18? No worries, thanks to Autism Ontario Toronto Chapter you may also be eligible for a subsidy that will be discounted on your invoice.

Create your Every1Games profile and contact us. We are here to help. Please note there is no proof of diagnosis required to participate in Every1Games programs.

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Every1Games New Logo Blue Header PSINC


Potential Programme Logo


Toronto

 

Creative Production (CREA0416) Registration Closes March 31

Subsidies are available!

Every1Games Spring Creative Production program starts April 2nd at George Brown College School of Design. Become familiar with the fundamental tools and practices to design and develop digital objects in 3D, virtual environments, music and videos (content will vary based on participant interests).

Learn computer software like  Autodesk 3DS Max, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5, tools used by professional designers.

Participants will have the opportunity to explore different types of production tools in a low anxiety environment to develop social, technical and professional skills. This program is great for beginners and for people who want to practice using the software in a low-anxiety learning environment. If you are new to Every1Games its a great place to start becoming familiar with who we are and how we can work together to help you meet your goals. If you are a current student in art or media design give our Spec OPS program a try and join us to strengthen your portfolio and gain experience.

If you have an autism diagnosis and are between the age of 12 and 18, the Potential Programme provides a subsidy to help you pay for this opportunity! Over 18? No worries, thanks to Autism Ontario Toronto Chapter you are also eligible for a subsidy that will be discounted on your invoice. Become a Autism Ontario Toronto Chapter member and be sure to fill out your Every1Games profile so that we can apply discounts and subsidies automatically when you sign up for a program. Please note there is no proof of diagnosis required to participate in Every1Games programs.

GBC-LOGO


Every1Games New Logo Blue Header PSINC


Potential Programme Logo


Toronto


George Brown College Logo and Pic of 341 King St E

March Break 2016 Toronto – Registration Closes March 7

Every1Games’ March Break  2016 Toronto is a fun and interesting mix of learning about digital media from different perspectives. From movies and TV to interactive games, from consumer to producer, this March Break we invite autistic youth to join us on various trips  to explore interactive digital media (ages 12 – 25).
All days and start and end at George Brown College School of Design, 341 King St. E, Toronto (10am – 4pm).


rainbowcinema

Trips include Collaborative Workspaces in Toronto, the Rainbow Cinemas and more!
Contact Every1Games
Sign Up Now
Learn more about the March Break 2016 Niagara Program

Every1Games Niagara Facilitator leading a tutorial on classroom computer

March Break 2016 Niagara – Registration Closes March 7th

Join Every1Games for our March Break 2016 Game Design program in Niagara from March 14 to March 18 2016 to learn how to design your own video game using Game Maker 8
software available to download at home at yoyogames.


YoYo Games Logo

Participants will practice how to brainstorm ideas for game making, create their own Game Design Document and learn about formatting and design while making friends with other neurodivergent creators (ages 12 – 25).
This program will be at the DSBN Academy, home of the Every1Games Encore after school program!
Contact Every1Games
Sign Up Now
Learn more about the March Break 2016 Niagara Program

Spec Ops 4 – Post-Mortem

The Spec Ops – Video Game Development program is often considered a capstone program at Every1Games. Spec Ops offers creative neurodivergent students a place where they can come and learn to create one of the leading forms of art and entertainment in contemporary society – video games.

When taken as a whole, video game development may seem daunting. The idea of making a video game conjures up a highly stressful environment where some mythical renaissance character does everything from art to programming to make their game. In reality, whole teams come together to contribute to one major project at a time.

This means that the video game industry is one in which all sorts of talents can be nurtured and developed. There are 3D artists, who can work on modelling (creating 3D representations of objects for games), rigging (giving a skeletal structure to the models), and animating (making those same representations come to life). 2D artists may work in creating user interface, textures, and concept art, all of which contribute to the user’s in-game experience. There are programmers, who communicate directly with computers to turn the video game into… well, a game. Games aren’t fun when the opponent doesn’t play back, after all. Designers work to develop the premise, balance, and feel of a game, and sound engineers enrich the world with audio feedback and cues.

All of these roles, and many more, work together to create a game.

That was what we did in Spec Ops 4.

The End-Game (Goals)

Since our program development is an iterative process, the facilitators of Spec Ops once more made it a goal to learn from the past. We kept the most fun, most engaging, most skill-developing parts of previous Spec Ops sessions. Everything else was re-examined and re-evaluated before either being approached from a different angle or being dropped from the curriculum entirely.

To ensure this instance of the program ran smoothly, we had two facilitators at any given point: one artist and one programmer (me!). We also had a variety of support staff on hand, including organizational leads and audio engineers, to help cultivate an interest in other skills related to video game production.

We spent a good deal of time considering what was important for participants to get out of the program. With the range of video game development experiences our participants would have in mind, we came up with the following goals:

  • Introduce participants to a variety of different roles in the video game industry, including art, programming, audio, and design.
  • Create a low-stress environment that encourages participants to develop higher-level social skills by encouraging self-advocacy and positive interaction.
  • Make a video game with maximal contribution from participants and minimal contribution from staff.

We decided the best way to do this was to start off with a relatively heavy ‘class’ load at the beginning, with a shift to emphasize game development in later days.

The idea behind this was to equip participants with rudimentary skills they’d need to contribute to the game in the manner of their choosing. It would also help them identify their strengths and weaknesses while sampling the many roles the video game industry has to offer. Essentially, this structure let them decide what they liked and enjoyed while eliminating roles that were just not for them. As staff, it allowed us to shift and change the curriculum to suit the interests of our participants.

Pre-Production (Early Game Design)

The first two days of Spec Ops were spent getting to know each other and determining the type of game we wanted to make.

We started by naming elements and features that make a game appealing to us. Suggestions ranged from first-person shooters to MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) games, with everything in between considered as well. By the end of this exercise, we had a massive list of potential options. Obviously we couldn’t do everything suggested, so we started paring down the list, finding common elements and eliminating unrealistic goals.

After a few hours of back and forth discussion, voting, and bringing new ideas to the table, we had a loose concept of what we wanted to develop.  We went with an endless, arena-style space shooter with a sort of gritty, hopeless feel. We also ideally wanted to heavily emphasize narrative.

By the end of the second day, we even had a name: The Final Marine.

Main Production (The Classroom Experience)

After we had the game concept settled, we spent the next couple of days doing crash-courses in a number of different tools used by industry game developers to make games. We dabbled in Photoshop, Illustrator, 3dsmax, Maya, HTML/CSS, Unity Engine Editor, TFM Music Maker, C#, and other programs.

This let all participants start learning concepts that were totally new to them without pressuring them to immediately make a game.  As we hoped, participants began to explore the fields and roles they were interested in.

The added benefit for facilitators was being able to cater courses more specifically to participant interest. It wasn’t long before modelling was front and center stage, a crowd favourite among our participants. Around the same time, programming was more or less dropped from the curriculum entirely.

We worked in groups at various points, fostering discussions and developing our game further. While participants were happy to keep working on their pet projects, they also began to get excited about working on The Final Marine. Some of them were improving the design, while others had already started to model assets they thought might be useful in our game.

Alpha Production (From the Classroom to the Studio)

Work on The Final Marine began in earnest late into our second week.

Participants were given a list of assets that the game would need and decided for themselves what to work on. At this point, it already became apparent who favoured which role; we had about three or four modellers (one of whom is a budding rigger/animator, the others who are content to remain modelling specialists), two 2D art specialists, two game designers, and one lonely programmer.

Most participants were also eager to experiment with two or three roles. Our modellers also showed interest in 2D art, for example. Everyone also enjoyed the design aspect of a game and was willing to discuss and compromise in various ways. The Final Marine began to take shape, with some place-holder assets and concepts to flesh out in the future.

Beta Production (Studio Environment)

By the end of the third week, we moved almost exclusively into game development. We spent very little time doing crash-courses, instead opting to help participants work on their assets on a one-to-one level.

If a participant did not need any guidance, they continued to develop their assets at their own pace. They submitted assets for addition into the game when they were satisfied with their work. During this time, we received many polished assets for integration, including a sky box, environment assets, and a number of different particle effects for use in the game.

This marked a very industrious but quiet time for Spec Ops. Lunch was no longer a welcome break and refreshing chance to socialize, but rather an interruption into their technical skill and asset development.

Did I mention that The Final Marine was starting to look really good?

Gold Production/Release (The Grand Finale)

In major studios, a game getting released is cause for much excitement. The Final Marine was finished one early afternoon in our fourth week. All assets were integrated, the level had been designed and implemented, and the game worked.

Participants were given the rest of the day to reflect and socialize with the team, before a grand unveiling demonstration in the final few hours.

I will close this section with the words of one of our participants:

“I almost don’t believe it. We made a game. We actually made one. We’re game developers now.

Conclusion

Spec Ops was a huge success.

The participants were both creative and driven, balancing personal needs and desires with the team’s goals throughout. Students learned that there is room for everybody in game development, regardless of their interests or original skill level.

Skill-wise, they universally improved across the board. Participants went from not necessarily knowing what a model was to modelling full characters, and from knowing a lot about video games to knowing about video game production. They worked with industry standard software to make a game in a small studio environment.

With the help of George Brown College’s facilities and facilitators, who were able to help nurture participant interests, we expect a number of the participants will continue to develop the foundation Spec Ops set out for them. Spec Ops has a proven history of growing with its participants.

It might have been The Final Marine, but it won’t be the final step for the participants. It sure won’t be the final Spec Ops.

Game link: coming soon to a postmortem near you!

Kayla Wright

Note: That last line was fairly melodramatic, but it wasn’t dishonest. It won’t be the final Spec Ops. The next installment of Spec Ops has tentative start dates in late September/early October. Mosey on over to the Programs page for more information! specOpsIcon-3-300x270

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