Hololabs launches VR/AR meetup group in Victoria

There's no question that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are rapidly growing industries. Given Hololabs' expertise in both and a lack of a formal organizations on Vancouver Island, we have decided to launch and maintain the VVAR Meetup Group for these topics. We plan to host events every month, with technical talks, demos, and social events for people interested in the industry.

Here's a photo from our first meetup (held at SpaceStation on June 21st), where we held introductions and demoed several games on the HTC Vive and Oculus. We had about 25 people in attendance, ranging from developers with games already available on Steam, to investors, audio engineers, and enthusiasts eager to get into the industry.

Floor Kids selected for presentation at GDC

Hololabs was in San Francisco for GDC from March 14-18, showing Floor Kids to a number of publishers and developers. But the highlight of the event was presenting the game at the Experimental Gameplay Workshop among a number of other super innovative projects. The game was selected from almost 200 submissions to present its unique gameplay, and received cheers from the crowd when the touch controls were demonstrated!

A video of the full session can be found in the GDC Vault:
http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1023585/Experimental-Gameplay

Hololabs creates inter-studio partnership: MERJ Media

Hololabs has partnered with three other amazing companies to create a new multi-disciplinary studio called MERJ Media. This initiative brings together experienced players from the fields of music, video games, animation, film, publishing, technology, live performance, management and production. Together, they embark on their first project - a touch-based breakdancing game called Floor Kids.

The team is made of veterans from four different but complementary industries. Ryhna Thompson’s team at Envision Management and Production has been in the business, production and marketing management for almost 15 years. JonJon has been doing art and animation for over a decade, and Kid Koala has been producing innovative music and live shows for almost 20 years. Finally, the development team at Hololabs will be handling programming, implementation, and deployment for the studio.

While the official partnership is new, many members of the team have been working together for years, forming a collaborative and synergetic relationship. Envision has worked alongside Kid Koala since the company was formed almost 15 years ago, directing his career and projects, providing management and production through a range of ventures including the release of recorded music, books, live musical and theatrical tours. Hololabs has collaborated with Kid Koala and Envision on prior projects as well, such as the outdoor installation called Phonophotopia produced by the National Film Board of Canada in 2014. JonJon and Kid Koala originally came up with the concept for Floor Kids back in 2007, when they collaborated on the original short film, and they have been discussing the brand ever since.

Hololabs moves head office to Victoria BC

This summer Hololabs makes the move out west, re-locating its head office to Victoria BC. While projects will continue with Montreal, a new set of initiatives will launch in the Pacific Northwest.

Victoria is a growing scene in the games industry, with an active IGDA chapter and organizations like VIATEC that support and promote technical innovation. We're excited to be closer to other creative tech communities on the west coast, including those in Vancouver, Seattle, and all the way down to California.

We'll be opening a new studio in a coworking space called Spacestation, so if you're interested in visiting or have projects that you'd like to discuss, contact us.

Hololabs wins Best Social Game for Papercade (GameConnection 2015)

Mike shows GameConnection award for Best Social Game
Mike shows GameConnection award for Best Social Game

Papercade won a Development Award for the "Best Social Game" at GameConnection 2015 in San Francisco. Taking place at the same time as GDC, GameConnection is a parallel conference that brings together professionals in the video game industry to develop their businesses and products.

Hololabs was nominated in three categories for their work on Papercade, which also included "Best Mobile/Tablet" and "Most Creative & Original Project". The full list of nominees is here: http://www.game-connection.com/development-awards.

Huge Papercade Update (v 1.8.0): New system to customize game behaviours

Papercade 1.8.0 screenshot Hey there Papercaders!

We just launched a great new update to Papercade, with a whole new way of customizing your game mechanics, creating animations, and adding some special effects. Here is a rundown for you:

Custom Game Mechanics

When creating your games, you now have access to the new property inspector that allows objects to have different rules, animations and effects.

Start by tapping the gear icon that appears above any selected cutout, and choose a property type for the object. It can either be a collectible (meaning, it is added to the score counter), a hazard (the player loses the box if they tap it), or simply destroyable (disappears when tapped).

Deeper in the properties, you can configure when objects appear in the scene. For example, you may choose to reveal an enemy after a delay of 10 seconds, or only once the player has collected something in the scene.

New Win/Lose Conditions

Once you start crafting with this updated version, you'll notice a new score counter and timer up at the top of your screen. These are both ways to set win and lose conditions to your diorama box and can certainly add a degree of challenge to your story.

Tap the time button to open a slider that can be used to set the required time for completing your scene. Move the slider all the way to the left to turn it off, max it out at 60 seconds, or anything in between!

The score box shows how many collectible items there are in the scene. You can use the property inspector mentioned above to set up collectible objects, and each one increases the required score for the scene, allowing for all sorts of skill-based games.

Animations

On the second tab of the new property inspector, you can now add customizable animations for your cutouts. There are currently two versatile options: Patrol lets an object move back and forth along a certain axis; speed and range is customizable. Random moves the object to a new location either after a customizable amount of time, or whenever an object is collected in the scene.

Visual Effects

Cutouts can now also be assigned a visual effect to add flare to your storygame. Add anything from an explosion to a tornado - let your imagination run wild!

New Kits

As a result of all these new features, we have replaced the existing creation kits with all new versions that show many variations and combinations of these new game behaviours. Click the create tab in the main menu and try them out!

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We can’t wait to see what you create with these new features! Remember to tweet us a screen capture, or share a video replay with us on Facebook, and let us know what you think.

Happy scrapgaming, Team Hololabs

Happy Holidays from Hololabs

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2014 has been an incredible year for us here at Hololabs, and we have you - our friends, family, and supporters - to thank for it!

Lots happened this year, including some good funding news from the CMF, the launch of Phonophotopia, and of course, the worldwide launch of Papercade.

There’s lots more in the hopper, and we can’t wait to share 2015 with you.

Happy holidays, folks.
- Team Hololabs

Hololabs will be in New York City for MontrealX Developer Showcase

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On December 4th, 2014 Hololabs will be joining nine other Montreal-based indie developers to showcase our games in the Quebec Government’s Rockefeller Center office.

We will be there with Papercade, and Astrid will be moderating a panel discussion on the games industry in Montreal.

This event is organized by Rogue Counsel, with support from Alliance Numerique and the Quebec Government Office in New York.

For more information about who else is participating see the full event details over on Rogue Counsel’s site.

Visit the Papercade Demo Pod at MIGS 2014 in November

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It’s that time of the year again!

MIGS 2014 is just around the corner, and Hololabs will be there in full force. We will be showcasing the latest version of Papercade in the new Demo Zone, and Astrid will be speaking about the Canada Media Fund.

If you’re coming to town and are interested in meeting please do send us an email, or get in touch on LinkedIn.

Looking forward to seeing you there!
- Team Hololabs

Papercade Update: Record and Share Videos

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Hello Papercaders!

A new update to Papercade is now live on the App Store: recording and sharing videos directly from the game. Videos, like this one, or this one, can be made while playing any of the mini-games in the Play tab or even while crafting your own. There are two types of videos that you can record, which are outlined below.

Basic Video Recording
At the end of any Papercade you will see a new button (under replay and like) that says Share Replay Video. Tap that button and you will instantly be able to share your gameplay with friends on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or by email.

Recording Live Commentary
Before beginning any Papercade - where you see the game information if you’re playing, or the kit information before crafting - you will notice a new set of buttons at the bottom of the card (under the play / start craftingbutton). These are to enable audio recording or even a picture-in-picture video recording to accompany the gameplay.

Advanced Features
In the share window there are a couple other options available to make your Papercade video more personal. One is to add your own message and hashtags to encourage friends to watch your masterpiece. The other is to preview and edit the video by tapping the video thumbnail.

That’s it! Remember to share your videos with us and the Papercade community on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy scrapgaming!

Papercade at the October MRGS Craft Meetup

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The evening of October 16, 2014 we will be presenting Papercade at the October edition of the MRGS Craft Meetup. Held monthly, these meetups focus on the craft and experience of designing games.

Throughout Papercade’s development we have often sought feedback from local game developers and enthusiasts. Our presentation on Thursday will be a discussion on the evolution of Papercade as a result of this feedback and - now that Papercade is live on the App Store - what type of improvements can be made to create a better in-game experience for our budding creative community.

We hope to see you there!

Papercade: Game-Making App Taps the Crafter & Storyteller in Us All

Mobile app lets players transform photos into games
and broadcast interactive, 3D stories to the world

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MONTREAL – October 9, 2014 – Independent game developer Hololabs today announced the launch of its mini-game maker, the mobile app Papercade.

Papercade debuts in the spotlight, headlining as an Official Digital Selection at this year’s international game festival IndieCade, October 9-12 in LA.

Designed for all ages, free and easy to use, Papercade delivers a new experience to the growing worldwide audience making and sharing games today. Players can create “storygames” from funny to fantastical, from personal to political—and everything in between.

“We were inspired by the miniature worlds and dioramas that we built inside shoe boxes when we were kids,” said Hololabs Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Paul Warne. “Papercade brings back this simple joy of crafting and sharing stories from things we make ourselves.”

Charming sets and a vintage feel form the backdrop for Papercade, where players can place their own heroes, villains and props into the mix. Papercade provides a range of tools and actions to make original storygames and share them with friends. Players can easily customize characters from images of family, friends and pets, placing these cutouts into 3D scrapbook environments.

“In designing Papercade, we challenged ourselves to develop a mobile game that brings together the hands-on and nostalgic elements of today’s maker movements with the world’s insatiable appetite for taking and sharing photos,” said Hololabs Co-founder and CTO, Mike Wozniewski.

Papercade is available now on the App Store for iPad. Click HERE to download.

Watch the Papercade trailer HERE.

About Hololabs Studio Inc.

Hololabs is an award-winning production studio founded by industry veterans Paul Warne and Mike Wozniewski with the aim of developing new technologies to better serve creativity and play. The studio’s latest title Papercade, a mobile app for creating and sharing storygames, was financed in part through the generous support of the Canada Media Fund.

Links:

Download Papercade
Papercade Website and Trailer
Media Kit
Facebook
Twitter
Hololabs Corporate Website

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For more information, please contact:
Astrid Rosemarin
Hololabs
+1 514 448 1211
astrid@hololabs.org

Papercade Launches in Canada, UK, and US

We are delighted to announce that Papercade is now available for iPad in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. So hit that download button and join in on the scrapgaming fun!

Need a refresher? Papercade is an iPad game for playing, crafting, and sharing mini-game dioramas.

You can use Papercade to:

  • Play storygames made by fellow community members from around the world
  • Create custom characters by importing your own photographs into your dioramas
  • Personalize each mini-game with backdrops, music, paper cutouts, speech bubbles, and more
  • Share your creations with friends and the community

It’s been a long time coming for us to get Papercade up into the App Store, and we are really looking forward to seeing what you make!

Of course, this is just the beginning, and we will be working on adding lots more features to the game as the community grows. You can help shape the creative community - and the game itself - by letting us know on Facebook and Twitter what you would like to see, or like to see changed, in Papercade.

Happy crafting!

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Papercade Launches in Australia and New Zealand

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Hey there everyone,

Get ready to say hello to scrapgaming! All of us here at Hololabs are excited to announce that we have officially launched our first public version of Papercade- and it’s free right now in the Australian and New Zealand App Stores.

Need a refresher? Papercade is a free game for iPad where you assemble playable dioramas from paper cutouts. You can customize the characters by using your own photographs, and make original cutouts with colourful digital paper. You can also personalize your dioramas with backdrops, music, and themed cutouts that come with the game.

Papercade is a free-to-play game where you can:

  • Craft paper cutouts using your own photos or digital paper
  • Use themed cutouts, backdrops, and music already in the game
  • Assemble stories using playable kits
  • Link kits together using Multibox Mode
  • Publish your stories for others to play
  • Play Papercades from around the world

Fun stuff.

So get crafting! Be the first person in the world to make an interactive rugby diorama or play mini-games made by your friends.

Remember to share your screenshots with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Stay crafty,
Team Papercade

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Papercade is an Official Selection at IndieCade 2014

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We are excited to announce that Papercade is an Official Selection at IndieCade, the International Festival of Independent Games.

IndieCade’s mission is to support and promote independent game development around the world, and we are honoured to be included in this year’s impressive lineup.

If you will also be attending IndieCade, taking place October 9-12 in Culver City, CA, please come by and scrapgame with us! We would love to meet you.

For more updates about Papercade you can sign up for email updates on the website, or get social with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Hololabs will be at Unite 2014

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Going to Unite 2014? Us too! Let’s meet up.

As you may know, we have been developing a number of projects using Unity 3D, including our interactive music making homage to Norman McLaren, Phonophotopia, and our soon-to-be-released diorama creation game Papercade.

Because we are on a never ending quest to keep learning here at Hololabs, Co-Founder and CTO Mike Wozniewski will be at Unite this year. If you will also be in Seattle we would love to hear from you.

You can email us any time or drop us a line over on LinkedIn.

See you soon!
Team Hololabs

Papercade at Critical Hit 2014

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Coming up this Monday (July 14) Mike will be at Critical Hit to chat about all things Papercade. He will also bring along a few iPads with the playable alpha for participants to try out!

For those of you wondering what on Earth we’re talking about, Critical Hit is a fantastic program here in Montreal that is dedicated to ‘catalyse the development of experimental games.’ Each year they focus on a different type of game design, with this year’s theme being ‘game jams.’

At Critical Hit 2014, participants game jam in one week intervals, pick their favourites, and then continue developing those selected into polished experimental games.

As we work on getting Papercade ready to launch we have also been inspired by game jams. The amazing creativity and expression that come as a result of the structure and atmosphere of game jams are what inspired us to create the PaperJAM Challenges currently featured in Papercade.

All in all we are really looking forward to sharing stories, tips, and contributing to the Critical Hit community.

Papercade Moves into Closed Alpha Testing

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We are excited to announce that we are pulling back the Papercade curtain, so to speak, for a handful of people. These lucky few get to test out the game and give us feedback about what they like / dislike / would like to see in the future.

This is a very important stage for Papercade as we work towards making the best game we can.

If you need a refresher: Papercade is a social storytelling and game creation app where players are invited to create and share story games in virtual diorama boxes using photographs and paper cutouts.

A newer feature we are working on are PaperJAMS. These are weekly creative challenges that give community members specific tasks to create a story game following a common theme.

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We have been working on Papercade for quite some time now (we’re coming up on a year of development later this summer!) and it is a thrill for us to finally share the game with enthusiastic new players.

If you are interested in joining this great community of testers send over an email. You can also sign up for updates on the website, like the game on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter and Pinterest.

Oh and by the way, if you’re in the Montreal area and interested in working on Papercade (along with our other projects) remember to check out our latest job post.