By Kyle Mays (Multimedia – California Lutheran ’18)
Like the DemoNight I attended last week, this was event where my expectations had to be put in check in a great way, but for entirely different reasons. I hadn’t expected the alumni pizza night to be anything more than hanging out with past students while also getting free pizza. What I had not taken into account was the number of alumni that would show up, that they were nearly all full time developers at professional Montreal game studios such as Ubisoft and Rogue Factor, and that they were mainly there to talk to us!
The Q&A they hosted was full of solid and insightful advice on how to start looking for jobs upon graduating, their workplace environments, and necessary communication skills. Some of the best tips I heard included the importance of being able to read conversations you are having with recruiters at social events, and how important it is to try and be likable and relate to their interests rather than your own personal interest in getting a job from them. They stressed the importance of being able to put yourself out there and practice conversational skills as much as you can, and if you can’t do it on your own, go with a friend who might help keep the conversation flowing and accentuate the qualities you have that you might not even recognize. None of the advice felt like it was condescending or a show they put on for us: it felt really genuine and practical and I really appreciated it.
By Kyle Mays (Multimedia – California Lutheran ’18)
Attending the DemoNight was a fascinating experience, mainly because I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve never attended any sort of developer event like this before, and upon entering the show-floor I was hit with a wave of familiarity from convention parties I had attended in the past back home in California. I wasn’t expecting a stuffy, no-nonsense environment for a night of game demo presentations, but I guess I was not expecting it to be as casual and energetic so it was one of a number of pleasant surprises had that night!
Having not a whole lot of hard-asset skills and very little experience in the field of game-making I found it hard to squeeze into conversations myself, but it was refreshing to see how social the community truly is. Being able to grab a drink from the bar and just talk about aspects of the industry and personal projects with the level of enthusiasm and joy I saw in myriad developers dispersed all throughout the giant room was really invigorating. It felt thrilling just to be there!
Alex Dalton (Game Producer ’19) had the opportunity to attend MEGA as part of his internship. Alex tells us all about the event.
When you first look at Montreal, you would probably see the vibrant history of the city. If you look carefully you would be able to see the thriving technology scene. From Place des Arts to Centre Phi, tech is everywhere. The game industry is thriving in Montreal. A number of students, myself included, have managed to land internships within the game industry. When I was seventeen, I wanted to be where I am right now. I work as a production intern for an indie studio in Montreal. The internship has been great and towards the end of the internship, I was given the opportunity to go to MEGA. MEGA or Montreal Electronic Game Arcade was an event similar to the concept of Penny Arcade Expo. MEGA was meant for developers to show off their projects and receive feedback. I had a good time.Continue reading →
Nick Magnus (Game Design ’19) tells us about his experience interning at Edoki Academy during his semester in Montreal.
Over the course of this Fall semester, I interned as a Game Designer at a small company called Edoki Academy. Founded in 2010, Edoki Academy specializes in Educational Apps for children. The company has been releasing apps for the iPad since its release and has been supporting many of them with new updates periodically. There are less than 15 employees, so It is very easy to know everyone.
The company is housed in an office structure 10 minutes from the Mont-Royal station, which offers a variety of choices for morning coffee. The office space, which has just recently moved, consists of a single open space with 10 computers, with offices for the directors. My mentor, Léa Tabary, delegated most of my tasks to me as well as provided feedback on my work. Continue reading →
At some point during my sophomore year I decided to go and study abroad. I had always wanted to go and visit another place, and doing it for school is the perfect excuse to go. At some point while I was reading over documents about the process of going abroad I decided to take an internship. The process of organizing this proved to be slightly easy while at the same time tedious. It required filling out extra forms, talking with the career services at the school multiple times, creating a passable resume, having a correspondence with the Canadian Government that involved sending them my passport information four separate times, and adding a thin layer of stress to everything I was doing. Now, skip forward about five months and here I am in Montreal in a internship with a small gaming company. Continue reading →
Alex Dalton (Game Production ’19) tells us about his internship at indie studio, Back to the Game, during his semester abroad in Montreal. Alex also had the opportunity to table the game he was working on at MEGA and MIGS.
When a student comes to Champlain College, what do you think they came here for? For many, it was the opportunity for a higher education. For me, it was all about the internship opportunity. Champlain College offered a number of connections that I could use to break into the highly competitive game industry. Upon arriving in Montreal I was thrilled to be starting my internship. Unfortunately for me, I did not find one for a few weeks but when I did, I hit the jackpot. I landed an internship at Back to the Game. Back to the Game or B2TG was founded by my boss Richard Rispoli, three months before I came around. The team was small, consisting of industry veterans. Richard worked in the game industry for fifteen years prior working on platforms ranging from PC to the Nintendo DS. Our lead programmer Ivan has been working with Richard for quite some time and I have become quite in awe of his programming skills. Back to the Game’s lead artist Michael is a quite and talented soul. Michael has worked on some great projects like Disney’s Zootopia and I have been honored to work with him. The same goes for everyone at Back to the Game. I could not be the producer I am today without the continued guidance of Richard. Continue reading →
Matt Rhine (GDES ’18) plays his game, Avian Arena, with one of the industry guests from Ubisoft at the end of semester demo event.
By Matthew Rhine (GDES ’18)
Each and every year there is one class that gets every game development student riled up. Production is our chance to simulate the video game industry in the classroom. So you can imagine my excitement, to find out that I could take Production II while abroad in Montreal. Montreal is a hub for the gaming community and industry, so my Production II professor, Aurelie Le Chevalier (https://www.linkedin.com/in/aurelielechevalier/), would come straight from her day job at Ubisoft (*internal screams of joy*) to mentor us as we worked in teams on our student games. Continue reading →
Ironbelly studios is a games company that offers services from 3d art, to level design, to programming as well as producing their own games. They have an office in Montreal where some of the members work, with the rest working remotely from all over the world. I’ve been interning there this semester, and it’s been an absolute blast. Continue reading →
Our amazing student volunteers, who made everything possible! (Hannah Cartmel)
In 2007, Champlain College realized a long-held dream to open a study abroad campus outside the United States. Montreal, Quebec, Canada was chosen not only because of its eclectic mix of languages and cultures, but also due to the city’s exciting learning and professional opportunities in Emerging Media. Since then, Champlain Abroad Montreal has seen more than 600 students pass through its doors, placed 131 interns at companies like Ubisoft and Behavior, and now has over 20 alumni working and living in the city. With all of these achievements and more, it was time to celebrate!