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.

Hololabs is Hiring: Unity 3D Developer

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We are currently expanding our team in order to complete two upcoming F2P titles for mobile platforms. Candidates should have an interest in social, casual and mobile games. However, we are a small “indie” studio and ultimately seek passionate and motivated new team members that will grow with the studio and help to create amazing new products in the future. Feel free to come with your own ideas and help steer this studio towards success.

Required skills:

  • Highly organized, self-motivated, with strong problem solving, troubleshooting, and analytical skills;
  • Intimate knowledge of Unity3D;
  • Highly competent in C#: should understand coroutines, events, delegates, singletons, etc.;
  • Experience in game programming concepts: 3D math, colliders, physics, character controllers, GUI, cameras;
  • Experience with some popular Unity3D packages: NGUI, Playmaker, FingerGestures, AStar (path planning), Vectrosity;
  • Can self-manage, work in an agile environment (e.g., SCRUM), and track progress;
  • Familiarity with version control (Git).

Other nice-to-have skills:

  • Design experience (e.g., Photoshop, 3DSMax, Maya, etc.);
  • Experience writing shaders;
  • Animation (Mecanim, animation controllers, rigging and retargeting);
  • Experience developing cloud-based applications, working with web APIs, networking, parsing JSON, data persistence, and database/CMS interaction;
  • Knowledge of web application programming (HTML5, responsive UI, AngularJS, Bootstrap, Javascript, jQuery, etc.);
  • Mobile app development (iOS/Android): XCode, C++, NDK, Obj-C;
  • Bilingual (English/French).

Location:

  • Montreal, Canada
  • Looking for full-time candidates who can work on site
  • Remote working is NOT possible for this position

Compensation:

  • Salary according to experience
  • Revenue sharing and equity compensation also available

Is this you? Get in touch! Send a CV to jobs@hololabs.org .

GDC and PAX East 2014 Wrap Up

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Phew! March and April sure were busy months on the ‘out and about’ front for Hololabs.

In March we went to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and were selected to represent Canada in the Canada @ GDC Canadian Video Game Showcase. It was fantastic, and we very much appreciate all the support we had from Telefilm Canada while we were down at GDC.

As a result of we saw some great press opportunities including write-ups in:

A few weeks later, in April, we had our very own booth at PAX East to show off our first playable version of Papercade. It was incredible seeing so many different people using Papercade and loving it! We had a blast and were even included in Applied Gaming and Gamerwife's PAX East recap posts!

All this has us very excited, and we can’t wait to get our beta version up and running so even more people can try it out. So, on that note, friendly reminder that if you are interested in joining the closed beta test you can sign up on the website any time.

Mike to Speak at Symposium IX in May

Hololabs Co-Founder & CTO Mike Wozniewski will be speaking on a panel at the International Symposium on Immersive Creativity taking place from May 21 to 25, 2014 at the SAT here in Montreal.

Mike will be participating on a panel on the theme of tools and workflow with fellow panelists Greg Hermanovic, Anton Marini, Xavier Buffoni, Quentin Bleton, and Barry Threw. The panel will be moderated by Miller Puckette of the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts.

If you will be in town and want to connect with Mike at the event send over an email or leave us a note on the Hololabs Facebook page.

NFB Presents McLaren Wall-to-Wall Featuring Kid Koala and Hololabs Collaboration

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Photo Credit: National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

In honour of innovative film maker Norman McLaren the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has commissioned seven artists to create projection installations around Montreal.

We are excited to announce that in collaboration with recording artist Kid Koala we have an interactive installation at Place des Arts in downtown Montreal entitled Phonophotopia.

Inspired by Norman McLaren’s film “Dots,” anyone can place ‘dots’ (coloured blocks) on a film strip conveyor belt and watch as they come to life as they are projected onto Théâtre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts.

Phonophotopia runs from April 11 to June 1, 2014 in the evenings.

IGDA Montreal Rountable Wrap Up

On March 22, 2014 Hololabs Community Director Astrid Rosemarin moderated a roundtable on the Canada Media Fund at the IGDA Montreal Roundtable night.

The session, Demystifying the Canada Media Fund, was very well attended. There were participants who had applied successfully to the fund with practical advice for the other participants keen on learning more about the fund in order to one day apply in the future.

We were also lucky enough to have Stéphane Cosentino from Telefilm Canada in attendance to give us some behind-the-scenes insight to the fund.

Notes from the roundtable can be found on the IGDA Montreal website.

Hololabs will be at GDC 2014 in March

Yes folks, the rumors are true. A couple of us from Hololabs will be heading out west to the Pacific time zone to attend the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

There may or may not be flowers in our hair.

Anyhow, if you will also be going to GDC, and/ or will be in the San Fancisco region at the same time, drop us a line! We’ll be there for the whole week, by the way, and we are very much looking forward to seeing old friends, making new ones, and showing off Papercade.

See you soon!

PS: If email isn’t your thing you can say hi any time over on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.

IGDA Montreal DemoNight Wrap Up

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IGDA Montreal DemoNight was amazing! We sure had a blast. There were something like 600 people in attendance at DemoNight, and 25 games were showcased. IGDA Montreal has put up a photo album [Facebook] and a full video recording of the night (we’re at 1:19:11). Plus, our pals at Flip Side Culture posted their own recap video the other day.

Also: Papercade was featured as a top pick from the night by Montreal culture magazine Cult MTL and by the original self-proclaimed hipster-nerd Mariko on her site Gamerwife. We’re flattered!

Hololabs Recieves Marketing Funding for Papercade

Hololabs is excited to announce that Papercade has recieved marketing funding from the Canada Media Fund Experimental Stream. This is the third round of funding Hololabs has recieved for Papercade following sucessful proposals for development and production.

For more on the latest funding round you can check out the CMF’s press release on their website.

Hololabs Will Present Papercade at IGDA Montreal DemoNight

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Later this month, January 28 to be precise, we will be showing off the latest version of Papercade to the Montreal games community at the IGDA Montreal DemoNight.

We’ll be floating around taking signups for our beta test, so be sure to say ‘hi’ to any one of us from Hololabs and get your name one the list. You can also show your interest by signing up on the Papercade website.

It’s exciting to see such a diverse lineup - from teams to content to platforms - and it will be great to see what our fellow game developers have been up to lately.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Team Hololabs

We're Hiring! Game Developer (Unity 3D) Edition.

We are expanding our development team in order to complete two upcoming F2P titles for mobile platforms. Candidates should have an interest in social, casual and mobile games.

Required skills:

  • Highly organized, self-motivated, with strong problem solving, troubleshooting, and analytical skills;
  • Intimate knowledge of Unity3D;
  • Highly competent in C#: should understand coroutines, events, delegates, singletons, etc.;
  • Experience in game programming concepts: 3D math, colliders, physics, character controllers, GUI, cameras;
  • Experience with some popular Unity3D packages: NGUI, Playmaker, FingerGestures, AStar (path planning), Vectrosity;
  • Can self-manage, work in an agile environment (e.g., SCRUM), and track progress;
  • Familiarity with version control (Git).

Other relevant skills (not required, but nice to have):

  • Design experience (e.g., Photoshop, 3DSMax, Maya, etc.);
  • Experience writing shaders;
  • Animation (Mecanim, animation controllers, rigging and retargeting);
  • Experience developing cloud-hosted applications, working with web APIs, networking, parsing JSON, data persistence, and database/CMS interaction;
  • Knowledge of web application programming (HTML5, responsive UI, RESTful APIs, JSON, AngularJS, Bootstrap, Javascript, jQuery, etc.);
  • Mobile app development (iOS/Android): XCode, C++, NDK, Obj-C;
  • Bilingual (English/French).

Is this you? Get in touch! Send over an email with your CV to info@hololabs.org.

Hello from the New Team Members at Hololabs

Papercade Team
From L to R: Catherine Warren, Eduardo Noya Schreus, Mike Wozniewski, Stephane Paul, Tanya Short, Geoffrey Cooper, Paul Warne, Lacy Barry, Graeme Lennon, Astrid Rosemarin 

Hi there everyone, My name is Astrid Rosemarin (front, right hand side) and I recently joined the Hololabs team as the Community Director. I’m introducing myself because we want you to know that I’ll be here and all over the social networks to chat at any time. That means whether you’re big into Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or even Google+ I’ll be there as Hololabs and Papercade sharing and interacting with y’all.

So, ‘why now?’ you ask.

Well cool story. Currently here at Hololabs we are working on building an exciting new gaming experience for mobile called Papercade, and we want you to be involved! You can already check out our teaser video over on the Papercade website, and even sign up to be notified when the beta version is launched. We want you to experience the making of Papercade with us, so over the next little while I will be sharing some behind-the-scenes, ins and outs, and other fun goodness. Plus, as we mentioned in our CMF annoucement post, we want to hear what you think about Papercade and any feedback you might have.

On a related note, I’m not the only new person around here. A couple other neat people have joined the team here at Hololabs, too: Geoff Cooper and Stephane Paul. You can find out more about them over on the Hololabs website along with co-founders Mike Wozniewski and Paul Warne. Also related, all of the fantastic people who have so far contributed to Papercade’s development are with us in the photo above. We wanted a fun and thematic way (with snazzy outfits!) to acknowledge Catherine Warren, Eduardo Noya Schreus, Tanya Short, Lacy Barry, and Graeme Lennon for their greatly appreciated work on Papercade. Thanks!

That’s about it for now.

Looking forward to chatting with you,
Astrid, your Hololabs Community Director

Hololabs shows off Papercade at many events, including Casual Connect, Startup Festival, and MRGS

Ha Ha! Business!

This summer has been great on the conference front. We have been all over the continent showing off our Papercade demo and talking to people about signing up for our soon-to-be-launched closed beta test. Not to boast or anything, but there are quite a few people signed up for beta test information already. It’s exciting.

About a month ago we showed off Papercade at the Mount Royal Game Society monthly meetup and it went well. Some of us from Hololabs are always at the MRGS meetups each month and it’s fun to get feedback from people in real life, as well as see what other games people are up to around town.

Aside from the MRGS each month, the Hololabs team has been lucky enough to make it to a couple other big-name events throughout the summer. Early in July we swung by the International Startup Festival and hung out with over 1,400 movers and shakers in the global startup community. After that, at the end of July, we won a spot in the Indie Prize Showcase at Casual Connect USA and got to show off Papercade to our American amigos.

Next up in the public appearances department for the Hololabs team is MIGS coming up in November. We are looking forward to it, and would love to hear from you if you’re planning on going as well. In the meantime, why not join us on the social networks? We’re all over Facebook, Google+, and Twitter these days.

See you there!
The Hololabs Team  

Hololabs Receives CMF Experimental Stream Production Funding for Papercade

Paperade Arcade Unit Image

Good news everybody!

Hololabs is excited to announce that Papercade has been approved for production funding from the Canada Media Fund Experimental Stream. This is the next big step in the tale of Papercade, and will be used to build on the success of the original demo. To help us build out Papercade we have taken on some new team members and moved into a new office space featuring a spiffy new espresso machine. It’s bona fide! We’ve got more about the team in this other post, by the way.

Anyhow, Papercade. Papercade is a social sandbox game where you, the player, can create and share your own interactive stories using cardboard dioramas right from your smartphone or tablet. Picture this: cardboard dioramas like you used to make back in the old days (but now on your mobile device) + characters and objects from your own photo galleries + your own original story/ game = Papercade. Part of the game also includes the ability to recraft your friends’ games and develop a storyline together. Cool huh? We think so.

Because Papercade is all about you, and creating your own games, we want to hear from you! We are building Papercade with the aim of being both easy and fun to use, so any feedback is definitely appreciated (we like fan mail too though). So, join us on the social media networks and stay in the loop for when we launch into beta testing. In the meantime, share your favourite crafting projects with us on Pinterest, or say hello over on Facebook/ Google+/ Twitter. We’re here to chat!

Until next time,
Everyone here at Hololabs

PS: For a picture of the new espresso machine check out our Facebook page.  

Diyorama gets new name: "Papercade"

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Time for a Diyorama update! We’re renaming it to Papercade.

We believe that to make the best creative social game we can Papercade will likely go through many evolutionary stages.

We want a game where players of all skill and experience levels can express themselves and create their own original mini-games. Papercade reflects that by harkening back to the simplicity and accessible nature of grade school diorama boxes and paper collages.

So, say ‘hello’ to scrap-gaming and join us over on www.papercade.com.