Indie Games in Canada

edited July 2013 in Story Games
Listening to Mutualism is Dead has me thinking about the benefits of finding/developing a smaller game design support community. Specifically, I'm interested in a Canadian (or even Western Canadian) game design community (I'm in Regina, Saskatchewan).

Are there any other Canadian game designers here? What cons do you attend?
Are there any existing Canadian design communities / forums / blogs you are aware of?


  • In Vancouver there's me, Adam Koebel, Johnstone Metzger, Toren Atkinson (who's done game design as well as being a comic artist and musician), Christoph Sapinsky, Brad Murray & co, and maybe others.

    In Edmonton, there's James Brown and probably others.

    In Montreal (I think?), there's Jason Pitre and probably others.
  • edited July 2013
    Folks to summon to this thread: @Johnstone, @Jason_Pitre, @blankshield
  • There are a number of us Canadian game designers prowling about. I am a designer from Ottawa, while the excellent Joe Mcdaldno is from BC.
    I tend to attend some of my local cons (such as CanGames), or travel down south to other regional cons such as Dreamation, Metatopia.
    In terms of Canadian design communies, I am unaware of any in particular. Sorry!
  • edited July 2013
    I'm in Toronto, along with a good number of other forum members, but none of us are high-profile game designers (that I know of). Most of us do like to discuss designs and have worked on a number of projects, however. I consider myself a bit of a designer, I've just never moved into the publishing field. I play my games locally, not having the energy for publishing and marketing.

    I believe Anna Kreider is somewhere in Southern Ontario, as well.
  • What kind of community did you have in mind?
  • Cool, there's more Canadians on here than I thought! I met Toren way back when I was running my Sweet Dreams game at Vancouver cons. My story gaming playgroup has been really keen to play some Quiet Year and Ribbon Drive, and I didn't even know McDaldno was Canadian.

    I usually run my games (and other indies) at Regina's FRAGCon in May. This year, I'm interested in getting out to some more Canadian cons (hopefully Saskatoon, and at least one in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, or Toronto) to run my Spectrum: Time Travel RPG. It would be really great to get to meet up and play with other designers, or just people interested in indie games and story games.

    Can anyone recommend a con / event / group that is receptive to small indie games, which I should make a point of visiting? Would anyone be interested in some kind of booth-share at a larger con? Anyone thinking of travelling to a Saskatchewan or Winnipeg con?

    I'm also interested in running more Canadian content at my local cons and gaming events (Regina and Saskatoon). I'd love to run your games at Saskatchewan events, or host you if you want to come out to a Regina con. I'd also love to do a playtest swap. Any other ideas of ways Canadian designers could support each other?
  • Not Canadian, but there's always Nerdly North.
  • Not Canadian, but there's always Nerdly North.
    Nerdly North is Canadian.

    ...or did your sentence mean that you're not Canadian? I'm willing to allow that to be true.
  • I would love to do a con game swap if you would like. I would be happy to run Spectrum or another game of your choosing at CanGames and expose the games to some of the local community.
  • Brad Murray's out in Toronto now, but the rest of the VSCA guys (like C.W. Marshall) are still here in Vancouver, I think.
    Folks to summon to this thread: @Johnstone, @Jason_Pitre, @blankshield
    Tags don't work on these forums. Unless there's some secret toggle I don't know about.
  • I live in Toronto, and I describe myself as a game designer, if you're willing to accept mostly amateur efforts. To follow in Mcdaldno's footsteps, I'm going to summon Ryan Staughton.

    Actually Canada is big enough that you'll likely be looking for someone closer to you. I don't know of any Saskatchewan-based game designers.
  • I'm only part Canadian through my fiance.
  • Jason, that's awesome, thanks! I will send you a Spectrum book and a con demo package. It would be great would be if when I do make it out to a con in Toronto or Ottawa, there are some players there who've actually heard of my games, because some other active local designer (like you) has been running them. Way cool. Do you have a game (or games) you'd like me to run at FRAGCon in Regina in May?

    madunkieg, I'm pretty amateur myself, but looking to grow. If you have something ready to beta-test, I'd love to try it on my playgroups here. You're right, Canada is really big, and it's too bad there aren't any other rpg designers in Saskatchewan (that I'm aware of. There are a few board and card game designers, though).

    J_Walton, I'm sure not trying to exclude anyone, just looking to connect with people who I might actually get to meet or play face-to-face with, by visiting Canadian conventions.
  • Allan: No worries. That was just in response to Joe! I'm not Canadian, but Nerdly North definitely is. If it was any more Canadian it would be in Yellowknife.
  • My pleasure; I have no idea one how many people will sign up but I will do my level best to run Sectrum for you. :) No rush on sending that since I will be busy until mid september. I would love to send you a copy of Spark along with my demo kit, so that you could run a session at FRAGCon on my behalf.
  • ...
    Can anyone recommend a con / event / group that is receptive to small indie games, which I should make a point of visiting? Would anyone be interested in some kind of booth-share at a larger con? Anyone thinking of travelling to a Saskatchewan or Winnipeg con?
    Long shot, but do you happen to be heading to Winnipeg's Jimcon this weekend? It's not huge and it's mostly boardgames and the make-em-ups congingent is mostly Pathfinder and then there's a tiny little corner where people huddle around Burning Wheel and AW books.
  • I had intended to get to JimCon this year, but it looks like that won't be happening (it's the last session of my kids' game design class this weekend, and my students will be play-testing their board games). Thanks for the reminder and the description of the con, I will try to make it work for next year.
  • No problem! I've at least had the chance to play some off-the-beaten-path games like Numenera (whose world I find really interesting) and Gamma World, plus Fiasco and a few board game prototypes.
  • It's been a few years now since some kind people on this thread offered to run Spectrum demos at their local conventions. I've been waiting until the Spectrum print-on-demand book from Drive-Thru-RPG was ready, but it still isn't. However, I now have a whole lot of only-slightly-flawed proof copies of the book that I'd much rather were out in the world being demo'd at cons than sitting on my own bookshelf. So I'd like to try this again.

    If anyone is still interested in demoing Spectrum, please let me know (by PM with your mailing address), so I can send you a physical copy of the book and demo kit. Thank you.
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