The week before coming to Montreal for this semester was like freshman year all over again. I am from New Jersey so going to Vermont for school seemed like a whole new world. There was all the same excitement and fear before coming to Montreal that I had leading up to my first semester at Champlain College. While packing for Montreal my head was all over the place trying to make lists of everything I needed and how much space I had in actuality to pack. I was also just so excited to be in a new place and be able to explore. In this excitement, my sense of organization seemed to go out the window and stay that way for the first couple of weeks while here.
I don’t pride myself on my navigation skills. In fact, I have the worst sense of direction of anyone I’ve ever met. Just this past summer, I was headed for Rockefeller Center in New York City. I live an hour away from NYC, so I’ve been visiting the city for years. I figured that, by this point, I could navigate it pretty easily. I looked at Google Maps, nodded to myself, and walked in the exact opposite direction of the center for about half an hour before I realized that I may have taken a wrong turn somewhere.
I was thus a bit worried when I realized I would have to navigate around Montreal—a city I had no prior experience with—for four months. Would I end up walking off of the island when I only meant to go to class? Would I walk to the top of Mount Royal before I realized something was wrong? The possibilities were endless!
By Rian Atherton (California Lutheran University ’18)
In order to talk about Chinatown, you have to first delve into the History and the customs of the people living there. Now you don’t have to be an expert on Chinatown but you should at least familiarize yourself with some of these basics. One of the most important things you need to realize if you are visiting Chinatown is that everything here is a bit different. Like all immigrant areas, the people here have brought some of their customs and traditions from overseas. First and foremost of these is that the elderly take priority sometimes you may be in a shop and you may be first and an old Chinese man or woman will walk in and a slew of rapid-fire Cantonese will fire out faster than a bullet train. Don’t be offended but you are no longer the priority, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the fact that they probably have known each other for decades and the Chinese have a deference for the elderly that western countries lack. That being said, it is worth the wait because the food in Chinatown is absolutely divine.
I worked at Tuque Games, a small game development studio situated in Montreal. Tuque is just coming off the heels of releasing their first original game, Livelock back in 2016. With the success of Livelock, the team has decided to amp up production and dive into a much more ambitious and exciting new unannounced project.
During my time with Tuque I worked under the Lead Designer Kevin Neibert and the rest of the design team on their latest unannounced project. The majority of the work I did for the team dealt primarily with player experience. In the early days of my internship I was mostly on bug testing duty while I familiarized myself with the game and its mechanics. Over time my role shifted away from specifically bug testing and more toward player experience design (though with a bit of bug testing). Continue reading →
During the Spring semester of my junior year in Montreal, I was afforded the opportunity to serve as a Production Intern at a game studio called LuckyHammers. LuckyHammers was originally founded in 2004 as a company called “Fidel,” but eventually rebranded to the current name after being acquired by the Stolo holding company. Throughout its existence, LuckyHammers has worked with many different relevant brands and properties, but has more recently focused on VR projects, and digital versions of tabletop games for PC and mobile. Continue reading →
I spent two semesters in Montreal, and staying here was was a great choice. I got to go on more company visits, get taught by a Ubisoft employee, and more relevantly, I got to take another internship. This semester I got to work at a company called Pixelz, on a game titled Cefore, a demolition puzzle game (that’s also available now on Steam Early Access). My main function for most of the internship was creating a system that records GIFs of gameplay and gives the user the ability to upload them to Imgur and share them on Reddit and Twitter. Continue reading →
Summer Program Participants (l-r) Kenya Cummins & Julia Lenoard in Old Montreal
I had always wanted to study abroad, so when I got the opportunity to attend Champlain College’s Montreal Summer Culture Program I immediately took the chance. I had traveled many times to cities both in and outside the United States before; I had even traveled to Montreal in the past for weekend trips. I always thought that Montreal was similar to other major North American cities. But after living in the city for over a month, my opinion of the city has changed; Montreal does not fall into the typical mold of the US or Canadian city. Its bilingualism and mix of cultures offers residents and visitors a one-of-a-kind living situation. Anyone who tells you that Montreal is more similar to the United States than different is wrong, but you can only learn that from spending a good amount of time here. Montreal is a valid and excellent study abroad option; you get to experience a different language being spoken around you while being in a truly foreign place. The culture of Montreal, and Canada in general, is also unique because there is not an emphasis on assimilation of “different” groups; each ethnicity found here is fully represented, whether that be through food or art. Continue reading →
I worked at Edoki Academy, a well-oiled machine which churns out multiple games a year while maintaining their main product: Montessori Preschool. Montessori Preschool is a subscription-based service which provides over 10,000 users with a plethora of mini-games designed to teach children in ways they’ll find fun and interesting. With this, users can learn the basics of math, English/French, Mandarin, and practical applications such as taking care of a pet. Along with this, anyone who subscribes to the service is also given access to all of the company’s other games. These other games range from beginner programming skills in Code Karts to gardening in Montessori Nature. Edoki has a catalog of over twenty-five games each of which has their own teaching point and helps teach children basic problem-solving. While interning there I filled many roles for the company, the primary one being a translator for the company’s emails. Creating English versions of their PDFs for their subscribers who do not speak French. This is what I did for the majority of my time at the company, but it was by far the most lenient duty I had. By which I mean that unlike many of the other jobs I had done this one had no real constrictions, and thus I was able to express my creativity in the formatting. Continue reading →
Over the course of my time studying at the Champlain Montreal Campus I held an internship at Rank Media Agency as their graphic design intern. Rank first opened their doors in 2009 and has grown to an international scale. As a design agency they work with their clients helping them to grow their businesses, through creative design and custom marketing strategies based on their goals. Rank works with their clients to build upon their brand through an integrated approach where creativity meets technology. The staff is welcoming, helpful, and in constant communication.
At Rank I was able to build upon the knowledge I had learned from my prior studies. I was assigned daily tasks that were later critiqued by my supervisor, Ryan. He would then review my designs with me and go through any revisions he recommended and why. Through the company chat channel, Slack, we would often send links to resources, files, and even color swatches when working on projects. Any clarifying questions could be easily answered through this chat system. This portal was used throughout the office to keep the interns in the loop of any office plans and activities. The design team has their own closed group as a way to communicate interesting websites to draw inspiration from as well as to arrange creative meetings. Continue reading →
By Rian Atherton (California Lutheran University ’18)
In order to talk about Chinatown you have to first delve into the History and the customs of the people living there. Now you don’t have to be an expert on Chinatown but you should at least familiarize yourself with some of these basics. One of the most important things you need to realize if you are visiting Chinatown is that everything here is a bit different. Like all immigrant areas the people here have brought some of their customs and traditions from overseas. First and foremost of these is that the elderly take priority sometimes you may be in a shop and you may be first and an old Chinese man or woman will walk in and a slew of rapid fire Cantonese will fire out faster than a bullet train. Don’t be offended but you are no longer the priority, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the fact that they probably have known each other for decades and the Chinese have a deference for the elderly that western countries lack. That being said, it is worth the wait because the food in Chinatown is absolutely divine.