2016

ON NOVEMBER 12-13, TAG WILL INVITE SELF-IDENTIFIED WOMEN, GENDER NONCONFORMING FOLKS, PEOPLE OF COLOUR, AND ANY OTHERS WHO FEEL THEY HAVEN’T HAD A CHANCE TO MAKE A GAME, TO JOIN GAMERELLA IN A WEEKEND OF FUN GAME-MAKING. REGISTRATION OPENS IN LATE SEPTEMBER.

About GAMERella

Although the number of diverse game developers is growing, there is still a long way to go to achieve equity in the industry. Many people groups still feel intimidated by the gaming scene and find it difficult to participate in events like game jams. In 2013, GAMERella was conceived at the TAG Lab to welcome people who are often marginalized in game-related spaces, and to prove that game jams are the safest, most exciting environments for creating small, innovative games in a short period of time. Everyone, including first-time game makers, is experimenting, learning, and sharing skills with others. We believe that GAMERella is a place to improve a skill, try risky and unconventional game design ideas, meet other developers, and above all, have fun.

Every year, GAMERella creates opportunities to meet all types of people (including those who support minorities in the industry) who are interested in game development. Through GAMERella, TAG aims to encourage underrepresented people and first-time game jammers to join in on the excitement, and to celebrate diversity in the videogame community.

Where game jamming can happen in a fun, collaborative, and healthy, way.

— Gersande La Fèche —

 

GAMERella game jam, so good for you!

— Ida Toft —

 

GAMERella means watching people who come for their first jams, kind of shy and uncertain…and seeing them start to make games…

— Jessica Marcotte —

 

I liked the theme [BOSS UP] a lot!

— Kara Stone —

GAMES MADE AT GAMERELLA

NOVEMBER 2016 WILL MARK OUR 4TH YEAR. THROUGH GAMERELLA, DOZENS OF GAMES HAVE BEEN MADE, MANY DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE, AND INDUSTRY CAREERS HAVE BEEN LAUNCHED.

GAMERELLA MENTORS

KARA STONE

TANYA SHORT

CAROLYN JONG

AMANDA TOM

AURÉLIE LE CHEVALIER

ALLISON COLE

JESSICA MARCOTTE

IDA TOFT

REBECCA COHEN PALACIOS

NICOLAS BARRIÈRE-KUCHARSKI

SOPHIE PAQUETTE

JENNIFER HENRY

BEN SWINDEN

ALICIA FORTIER

FAQ

Do I need to sign up with a team or can I come alone?

You can sign up with a team that has already formed, but you can also come solo and join a team while you’re here. We’ll have a team-building session for anyone who hasn’t yet found a team. We also ask people who have formed their teams beforehand to consider adding a first-time jammer to the mix. If you have a team but are missing someone with a particular skill set, don’t worry, you will meet that person at the jam!

 

How many people per team?

There is no required number, but we suggest you stick to 2 or 4. Anything above 4 or 5 per team is not recommended as it can get a little chaotic. You can also make a game by yourself, if you’re up to the challenge! Join the GAMERella workshops to broaden your skill set.

 

I have a team and a game idea. Can I start now?

The rules for most game jams are as follows: if the theme is not secret (true in this case–the theme is inter/sections), you may begin thinking of how you would like to approach making your game. All assets of your game should be original and preferably made during the jam. If you do not have a sound person on your team, generally it is okay to include pre-existing sounds form the internet which you have the rights to use.

 

Are there any free/easy tools I could use to make a game?

Yes, there are.
We recommend Twine an open source, free tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories online. It is very easy to use and requires no coding knowledge.
Stencyl is another great tool to create games without code.
Just like Stencyl, GameMaker is also mostly drag-and-drop, but includes features allowing for more complex games with some basic programming.
There are also great free apps for making audio (AudacityTux Guitar, Otomata) and art (PyxelEdit) for your game.
Most probably these applications will be taught during our workshops!

 

I’m not available the whole weekend–can I just come by and check it out?

Yes! Come on by and see what people are up to! But try not to disturb their workflow…

 

What happens with the games?

All GAMERella participants who make a video game will be asked to upload their game to our itch.io jam siteIt is free to register and easy to upload your game. Once uploaded, people can play your game anywhere in the world for free. If your game is a physical game and cannot be described by zeros and ones, our on-site photographer will help you create good-looking documentation and post that on the GAMERella / TAG sites. You can download it from those sites and use it for your game’s glory.

 

I’m not in Montreal, can I still participate?

Yes! You are welcome to upload your game to the GAMERella itch.io jam siteIn order to feel that you are really jamming with us, you can follow our Twitch stream, and if you have a stream of your own, we would be happy to create a video wormhole to connect your space and ours! We also have satellite locations. See details above. If there is one near you, you are encouraged to contact and join them.

 

Is the space accessible by wheelchair?

Yes, the jam is on the 11th floor of the EV building at Concordia University. The building is wheelchair accessible via all of its entrances and the 11th floor is reachable by elevators located near the building entrances. In proximity to the space, there are washrooms which include wheelchair accessible stalls.

Contact us

tag.coordinator@concordia.ca
Concordia University
1515 Ste. Catherine West, EV 11.725

Safer Space Policy

TAG is dedicated to fostering a safer space at GAMERella and at all of our events: this means creating an environment where people who are typically excluded from or marginalized in game-related or academic spaces feel welcome and respected. The goal of safer spaces is to encourage all participants to work together to prevent or reduce harm, particularly for those who are often the targets of violence and harassment, and ensure that marginalized individuals are not being pushed out of the space.

If you feel that someone is making the space unsafe for you, if you notice that someone else is being made to feel unsafe, or if you have any other concerns, please contact an organizer. Organizers and volunteers will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise help you to feel safe for the duration of the events. We value your attendance.

Participants whose behaviour is making others around them feel unsafe will be asked to cease the offending behaviour and will be expected to comply or leave the space immediately.

Useful contacts

Centre for Gender Advocacy – Gabrielle Bouchard, psa@genderadvocacy.org
GAMERella Organizers – Gina Haraszti, tag.coordinator@concordia.ca
TAG Director – Lynn Hughes, Lynn.Hughes@concordia.ca

Campus Security – 514-848-3717 (Dial 1 for urgent situations, dial 2 for non-urgent situations)
Local sexual assault hot line – 514 398-8500 (sacomss.org)
Local emergency and non-emergency medical – 911
Local taxi company – Diamond, 514 273-6331

Principles For Dealing With Safer Space Complaints

Someone has come to you with a complaint about your own behaviour
☻Stop that behaviour.
☻Listen carefully and respectfully and don’t interrupt or try to defend yourself.
☻Don’t dismiss or minimize their concerns.
☻Apologize sincerely and ask if they have any suggestions for how you can improve your behaviour if the suggestion hasn’t already been made.
☻Don’t act surprised if they don’t have a suggestion ready to hand. Just because they aren’t able to express an alternative in that moment, does not mean their complaint is invalid.
☻Make sincere efforts to change your behaviour, which may include educating yourself on issues affecting marginalized groups.

Someone has come to you with a complaint about someone in the space

☻Your first responsibility is to the person who has come to you. Do not take any action without consulting them and without their full consent.
☻Maintain confidentiality. Do not speak about the incident, even in the abstract, to anyone without the consent of the person who has spoken to you.
☻Don’t dismiss or minimize their concerns, and don’t chastise them for not coming to speak to you earlier. Speaking up in these situations can be very difficult, and this will only make it harder.
☻Be prepared to intervene on their behalf. If it’s an issue that you think can be dealt with by speaking directly to the people involved, offer to do so on their behalf. You can also offer to accompany them into a space if they do not feel safe. Again, do not act without their consent.

The text for this policy is adapted from http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment

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