The Biz Learning Forum registration opens in reception. Free to attend (by invitation only).
9:00 AM – Noon
8th Floor Theatre and Lounge
The Biz Learning Forum
Featuring Tracy Kitts VP/COO, National Business Incubation Association
Noon – 1:00 PM
Digifest Public Registration and exhibit floor open.
1:00 – 1:10 PM
Opening remarks in Atrium: Scott Dyer, Corus Entertainment
1:10 – 1:40 PM
Making Your Reality Interactive
It is now possible to bring our digital life into the physical reality. Layar makes it very easy to place and view digital content on top of real world objects. Claire will show various applications, how you can do this yourself and how it can be relevant in your life.
1:40 – 2:00 PM
2:00 – 2:25 PM
Imagine if you could immerse yourself in a synthetic-created world, attach to it what you wanted and explore a kingdom that’s all yours. That’s what 3D Digital artist Alex McLeod has been able to do with his sophisticated renderings that make fantastical landscapes look real. Through this presentation you will learn how McLeod has been able to transcend the cold and calculated feeling that is often associated with digital creations and bring people to a place where they can feel nostalgic about 20th century master surrealist painters. After he discovered Google’s 3D Warehouse, which allows him to import three-dimensional assets as he liked, his artwork began to take on a different complexity which he couldn’t replicate with paint. He was hooked and retired his paintbrush in favour of computer-generated imagery.
Hossein will speak about how Ryerson approaches Experiential Learning and how the school works with students to commercialize IP and cultivate a higher percentage of graduate that are highly qualified people based on the exposure to commercial projects they gain during their studies. He will present some Cloud-Based and Context-Aware mobile solutions that are adaptive and scalable.
kidsmediacentre: Exploring Kids’ Media Futures
Debbie Gordon, director of the kidsmediacentre, provides an overview of the kidsmediacentre and a review of the importance of early stage, child-centred market research (viewability, playability) in the brand development process.
Open Source Software: Too Legit to Quit
The term, “Free” can carry with it both positive and negative connotations. On one hand, receiving something of value for free can be both exciting and rewarding. You get all of the benefits for none of the cost. On the other hand, there is a notion that you get what you pay for. Little investment equals little value; in development, in quality and in reception. Using the short-films, “Big Buck Bunny”, “Sintel” and “Tears of Steel” as a backdrop (all produced entirely with Open Source software), we will examine how an Open Source software application became a world-wide phenomenon. Blender is a legitimate 3D software contender and is accessible to the world-wide Internet community…for FREE. What was once a clumsy and “buggy” piece of 3D software, has developed into a powerful and elegant solution competing against powerful applications such as Autodesk Maya© and 3ds max©.
James Elder and Guhno Sohn, York University
3DTown: The Automatic Urban Awareness Project
The York Urban Awareness Project is focused on the development of a general system for sensing, distributing, interpreting and visualizing the real-time dynamics of urban life. The key to this technology is the integration of accurate 3D urban models with real-time video data. Our system provides a compelling understanding of the current dynamic life of a city, while protecting the privacy of its inhabitants. Object detection and motion tracking algorithms are used to find and follow people and cars in pan/tilt video camera data. A proprietary online calibration algorithm rectifies these data to a stored model of the 3D urban scene. Each person and car identified in video is then represented as an anonymous sprite in a 3D visualization of the urban scene. Observers can choose how they visualize the scene: in a user-controlled walkthrough or flythrough, or from the point-of-view of one of the actual agents presently in the scene.
Classical Art Techniques for Video Game Design
Chris Solarski’s talk will explore links between classical art and video games; enabling developers to increase their creative scope, and design more expressive and varied emotional experiences in games. Although the talk is primarily aimed at video game developers, it is equally accessible to those interested to learn about gaming’s future, and potential as an artistic medium.
Distinguished video games—including Journey, World of Warcraft, and ICO—are studied alongside artworks by the Old Masters to demonstrate techniques that will enable game designers to develop games that convey meaningful, and more varied emotional experiences.
2:30 – 2:55 PM
Brainwave Enabled Technology: Engaging Machines With Your Mind
Connecting to computers with our minds is no longer science fiction, come try it for yourself.
Brainwave enabled technologies have exploded onto the market and are moving into the mainstream, and the sci fi future of controlling your mouse with your mind or having complex relationships with technology is now an accessible, affordable reality. Come see how the our affect is going to effect our devices and interactions now and in the future.
Panel Presentations (continued)
Do Androids Dream of Branded Games?
An exploration of how DHX is applying experimental concepts, emerging technologies and a fervent passion for game design to develop our IPs without compromising on great gameplay. DHX Media has been actively investing in the future of its interactive division as it looks to explore new opportunities with trans-media content, streaming content delivery services, and emerging smart-phone markets. With the acquisition of Cookie Jar Entertainment and the launch of the new W!ldbrain property UMIGO the sky is the limit to explore new ways of interactive engagement. This presentation will take you on a tour of some of the ways DHX are using their brands to push the envelope and try out riskier concepts.
3:00 – 3:25 PM
Revolutionize the Future of Digital Publishing
How TRVL became the highest rated magazine and how they plan to revolutionize the future of digital publishing.
How to Build an App: Development & Customer Engagement
The journey to create an app can be quite the ride. From ideation, to design, coding to app store submission, Xtreme Labs employs a unique processes for creating world-class mobile experiences. Farhan Thawar, VP of Engineering at Xtreme Labs will give an in-depth look into what creating an app looks like in the Labs.
Taking Ontario Mobile Project
Kathleen Webb, Director of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC), located on OCAD University’s (OCAD U) campus, will lead this interactive session together with Lindsay Jibb RN at The Hospital for Sick Children, and Mike Orr, Practice Lead of Digital & Software Strategy at Cundari.
OCAD U will soon be launching the Taking Ontario Mobile (TOM) report along with MEIC’s own Mobile Innovation: Ontario’s Growing Mobile Content, Services, and Applications Industry 2012 report. This session will focus on a particular finding shared by both reports: the need for cross-industry partnerships, and, more specifically, the need for industry collaboration with health sector subject matter experts to create standards, services, and applications.
During this session, participants will learn about the process that The Hospital for Sick Children went through in identifying a mobile app opportunity, securing a business relationship with Cundari, and then the collaborative process that followed on their path to creating an award-winning app for helping children with cancer report their pain.
In keeping with the “play” theme, the presentation will be followed by a brainstorming challenge. Participants will be given health scenarios, and with support from mentors, will dream up mobile app-based solutions that could impact the healthcare sector and its clients in a connective and positive way for dealing with health issues.
3:30 – 3:55 PM
A Matter of Feel
Softening the edges of digital technology to help convey a human feeling to animation and visual storytelling
The birth of animation took place in the analogue world. Animators would grapple with clay models and hand sketch their creations and then record them frame-by-frame on celluloid film stock. The process was long and arduous but in the end there was a certain type of feeling and rawness communicated to the viewer that was particular to this process. When computers were first used in animation they were billed as a saving grace and a means to greater efficiency and control and considered graphically superior to hand made creations. For traditional animators it was apocryphal! There was a knee-jerk, negative reaction to it at first. Over time, however, producers and creators have been forced to adapt to this technology for practical and production reasons. But how do we incorporate this technology to tell evocative stories that will capture the viewer’s imagination?
How to Get Rich With Digital
Key strategies to earning revenue on the web no matter who you are or what you do
The web has been delivered in its pure form in the sense that you can publish anything, anytime, anywhere. However, mostly until now, making money from the web has been in the domain of the big companies. But now, anyone can monetize on the web using new platforms that have emerged in the past 5 years. If you are clever about using these platforms and use some old school “hacker” thinking, you can make a living off the web by combining good content and engaging an audience with monetization tools that is pretty common to everyone.
In this talk, we will demonstrate through our own experience (case studies) how these strategies work. Examples including www.tomorrowsgaspricetoday.com, www.totallyadd.com and www.technologytips.com.
Weirdwood Manor: The Intersection of Book, Animation and Gaming
A behind the scenes look at the making of Weirdwood Manor – part book, part animation, part game = all awesome.
Paul will be walking through the ideas and process that spawned their upcoming iPad app entitled Weirdwood Manor. Weirdwood Manor is an interactive iPad storybook about three children who learn that by tapping into their imagination, they can harness extraordinary abilities. The app takes a different approach to how interactive stories are told.
3:55 – 4:30 PM
4:30 – 6:00 PM
Special Presentation: DISNEY EPIC MICKEY 2
To celebrate the launch of Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, industry luminary Warren Spector of Disney Interactive’s Junction Point and award-winning comic book writer Marv Wolfman will be hosting a special discussion on video game design and development. Due to limited seating, pre-registration for this free presentation is required. Digifest ticket holders will be able to sign up on-site. Non-Digifest ticket holders, please register at email@example.com
6:00 – 7:30 PM
You Are Here
The proliferation and increased mastery of interactive, immersive and networked media is, as McLuhan professed, dressing us in technology. Dressed and immersed we are, socially engaged in a « reality jam » with the physical, the augmented, and the virtual. In the process, we have turned from spectators to users, visitors and now inhabitants of our own arts. Courchesne will present his recent works, and an overview of the research at Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) on immersive scenography, intelligent interaction and network experience.
The Biz Learning Forum registration opens in reception. Free to attend (by invitation only).
9:00 AM – Noon
8th Floor Theatre and Lounge
The Biz Learning Forum
Featuring Brandon Corman, Business Development Manager, NAO-Ontario; Andrew Wilkes, Director, Network of Angel Organizations; and Damien Steel, CA, CFA, OMERS Ventures
Noon – 1:00 PM
Digifest public registration and exhibit floor open.
1:10 – 1:40 PM
Feeling the Message
Creative Technologies for Advertising
In this session, the new Creative Lab, PARTY, looks at how new technologies relate to new ways of storytelling, and how it can nurture new markets and create new business eco-systems. It explains its creative process and team structure with rich case studies, to show how PARTY brings this new storytelling to life.
1:45 – 2:15 PM
Hacking the Experience
Keynote Speaker: Lotte Meijer, Founder, Lotte Meijer Studios (Netherlands)
Dead Ends & Happy Accidents
Lotte Meijer will talk about the problems and decisions she ran into on two projects, showing the strategy behind interactives, as well as the usefullness of testing, and telling how she actually ended up doing them. Starting from some of the project she create, Lotte will talk about the differences between web and offline interactives as well, and what influence the environment has on an interactive.
2:15 – 2:35 PM
2:40 – 3:05 PM
AMENTIA: A Moment of Insanity
Sharing/Leaving Traces of Your Experience as Visual Data
AMENTIA is a new-media installation inspired by the exploration of the limits of madness. The audience is invited to interact with a man who suffers from multiple mental disorders, experiencing this relationship in a constrained environment where the choice of movement and sound will create a multiplicity of reactions from our patient. The audience will explore the fine line that separates our perception of sanity and the throes of madness.
Radio in 2012; Brought to you by the letter “E”
Remember when radio was only an audio experience? No pictures, no video, no text…just a “DJ” talking between songs and you listened on something that looked like a toaster in your kitchen. Well, times have changed! Your computer is now a radio, your smartphone is a radio and now it’s about talk, music, video, blogs, FB posts, tweets, Foursquare and Pintrest, online contests, YouTube, listener clubs, etc. These days, the consumer is VERY demanding and the best radio stations are equipped to meet the demand.
Smart TV: Not so Smart Yet
Discussing the constantly changing evolution of direct to consumer models enabled through connected devices and how the future of gaming will change in the living room due to Smart TV.
3:10 – 3:35 PM
Telling Visual Stories With Data
Data is everywhere, from web analytics to open data published by government, but this data is often complex to comprehend and communicate. Increasingly, major media such as the NY Times, The Guardian and The Globe & Mail are using a new language to mold this data into accessible and simple to understand visualizations.
In this discussion, you’ll learn what to do with a new dataset, how to get insights into the data and how to create visualizations that tell a compelling story.
Becoming your own publisher has never been easier. Panelists discuss tools and lessons they’ve learned.
Disruptive technology is helping knock down the barriers for publishing and distributing your own work. But it’s not just upstarts playing in that space. Traditional players are using this technology to redefine their brand in the digital space.
Local Indie Game Showcase
Toronto’s video game scene is a bustling hub of creativity, community and collaboration. Come and experience some of the coolest recently released and upcoming games to come out of the indie scene in 2012/2013. Games include:
Sound Shapes by Queasy Games, featuring songs by Deadmau5 and Beck
Sound Shapes is a musical platformer that blurs the line between gameand musical instrument. Every creature you encounter and every coin you collect contributes to the soundtrack of the game. The game features music by deadmau5, Jim Guthrie, and Beck with graphics by Capy, Pyramid Attack, Pixeljam, and Superbrothers.
Super Time Force by Capy
Capy (short for Capybara Games) is an independent game developer from Toronto. Responsible for titles such as Critter Crunch, Might & Magic Clash of Heroes and most recently collaborators on Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Capy is now working on
Super TIME Force for Xbox LIVE Arcade.Super TIME Force is a rip-roarin’, run ‘n gun action game with a time-traveling twist that creates opportunities for both strategy and mayhem, or, “strayhem”. With an ingenious “time-rewinding” mechanic, STF takes the action to intense new peaks by allowing players to team up with their own past replays of a level in an utterly unique single-player co-op experience that sees all of your past-lives fighting together at once. It’s fun to play with yourself! You command the elite, time-travelling soldiers of the STF in their mission to make the world a more awesome place by jumping through time and messing with the history books. At every event the STF endeavours to undo, the evil Blounbots appear and attack, seemingly trying to undo their undoing. Still with us? Good! Who commands these filthy space robots? What is their agenda? And why do they hate freedom so much? Tune in, er… Play the game to find out!
Guacamelee by Drinkbox Studios
DrinkBox Studios is an independent video game developer based in Toronto, Canada. The company was founded in April of 2008 by a group of game industry veterans. DrinkBox released their first puzzle platformer “Tales from Space: About a Blob” on PS3 in February 2011, and their follow up title “Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack” on the PS Vita in February 2012.
Guacamelee! is a Metroid-vania style action-platformer set in a magical Mexican-inspired world. The game draws its inspiration from traditional Mexican culture and folklore, and features many interesting and unique characters. Guacamelee builds upon the classic open-world Metroid-vania style of games, by adding a strong melee combat component, a new dimension switching mechanic, and co-operative same-screen multiplayer for the entire story. The game also blurs the boundaries between combat and platforming by making many of the moves useful and necessary for both of these.
The game is being developed for the PlayStation3 and the PlayStation Vita
DYAD by Shawn McGrath
Dyad is a “tunnel racing puzzle shooting” PSN game that uses a number of new concepts to build upon a classic genre. The basic premise of the game revolves around momentum, by using the action button you are able to pull yourself from one enemy to the next as they file down the screen. This concept grows in complexity throughout its 26 levels from using combos to fill up a special meter, to being forced to rely on sound to differentiate icons on the screen.
3:40 – 4:05 PM
An introduction to the digital fabrications of Williamson Chong Architects
The work of Williamson Chong Architects incorporates digital fabrication as a critical engagement of traditional modes of construction and tectonic expression. Surface, which is often associated with the superficial, ornamental, and cosmetic, provides the primary critical territory for these investigations.
Hackcess Collective 0.1
With the inclusion of people with disabilities as an alibi, and a history of failed attempts as the main narrative, Jorge will introduce the latest iteration of a plausible user-driven model for hacking segregation out of mainstream design.
Virtual Production and Convergence
Sheridan College’s SIRT Centre at Pinewood Toronto Studios focuses on virtual production technologies within the film, television and gaming sectors. It works with industry partners, as well as faculty and student researchers to both develop solutions and promote their application among current professionals and the next generation of digital storytellers. In this talk, John Helliker, Director of the SIRT Centre, will outline the approach to this evolving area of production being taken at SIRT.
History of Gaming
Within a relatively small window of opportunity, disruptive innovation can create massive, unexpected change in the way we use technology. The games industry is driven by this effect, more than any other entertainment sector. When harnessed, it fuels the development process, allowing us to create fresh, inspirational new games. This talk will look at key innovations that forever changed the way we play games, how it affects the games industry, and how it changes the way we interact not only with technology, but with each other.
Stereoscopic 3D and Interactive Immersion
Stereoscopic 3D has tremendous potential to enhance worlds and stories. With thoughtful design and iteration, 3D can quite literally add a level of depth and immersion unfamiliar to most players and audiences. Designing 3D for “open-world” games is especially challenging because players are allowed to look and go anywhere.
4:10 – 4:30 PM
Bear 71 Interactive Online Documentary
More information to come.
Creativity and Literacy on the Web
The web’s has become not just a way to connect but also a fuel for human creativity. Mark Surman talks about how to bake this creativity into the web and into society for the long haul.
Panel Presentations (continued)
4:30 – 5:00 PM
5:00 – 6:30 PM
Digital Interactive Dance
The moving body in responsive environments
Claudio Prati (video maker) and Ariella vidach (choreographer) co-founders and artistic directors of the cultural association and dance company AiEP, illustrate, with (short demonstrations and) the help of video projections, the stages and the most significant technologies of the trial that for years has distinguished their work: the use and the development of interactive tools applied to the choreography. The Conference is presenting the “state of the art”, in the development of interactive technology applied to dance and the performing arts.
10:00 – 10:10 AM
Opening Remarks (Digifest ticket holders only)
10:15 – 11:45 AM
Keynote Panel Discussion
Playing For Keeps: Diversity In Video Games
Presented by OCAD University
Featuring: Anna Anthropy, Emma Westecott, OCAD University; Jaime Woo, Gamercamp; Alex Leitch, Site 3 & Cecily Carver, Dames Making Games
Digital gaming is now mainstream, a central part of modern life, yet it remains a challenge to find visible traces of widespread participation by women, or indeed any other traditionally-excluded group, in the creation of technology. It is our contention that this lack of participation impoverishes the potential for games and that the more that different types of people engage in game making as an expressive medium the more that diversity in games will emerge.
Toronto is a vibrant hub for independent game development and there are a number of local initiatives that look at addressing the lack of diversity on display in the game development community. This panel features a mix of researchers, indie game makers and activists working in this area and will discuss the challenges and opportunities offered by a more inclusive game development community.
*Digifest events from noon – 5:00 pm on Saturday, October 20 are Free for the general public to attend.
Noon – 5:00 PM
Interactive Showcases: Let’s Try (Free)
- Wearable Technology with Eric Boyd
- Motion Capture
- Thought Controlled Art
- AiEP Interactive Dance
Interactive Demos & Exhibits
Featuring The ROM: Ultimate Dinosaurs; Giants from Gondwana
12:30 – 4:00 PM
Hive Pop-Up: Tech workshops for Kids, Aged 8 – 14
Have a kid? Bring them to the Hive Pop-Up at Digifest! On October 20th, a bunch of youth-serving organizations will be hosting a semi-unstructured, collaborative, creativity-inspiring experience for youth. We’ll be setting up a variety of stations where kids can design apps, build games, create websites, edit video, and more. Pre-registration is required by visiting hivepopupdigifest.eventbrite.com
2:00 – 4:00 PM
It’s a Start: Digital Entrepreneur Competition
8th Floor Theatre
Finalists will have five minutes on stage to show off their digital projects to a panel of judges made up of investors, sponsors & executives.
5:00 – 6:30 PM
The Senseable City
The real-time city is now real! The increasing deployment of sensors and hand-held electronics in recent years is allowing a new approach to the study of the built environment. The way we describe and understand cities is being radically transformed – alongside the tools we use to design them and impact on their physical structure. The presentation will discuss these changes through the work of the SENSEable City Laboratory, a research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Digifest ticket holders only