c:\indie games\ // Oddities // Twitter
My name is Dominique Ferland, and I’m a 29 years old game designer - I make games and art under the pseudonym Dom2D. At the age of 6, I was drawing dozens of Mario Bros. levels on loose sheets of paper. Through high school, I came up with card games and forced my friends to test them out. In college, I moved into advertising and graphic design but kept playing video games and board games.
Weird thing is, it never occured to me that I could make games for a living - not until I got a random contract job to do the mock-up screen of a Price is Right game for local start-up company called Ludia, here in Montreal. I started as a 2D and UI artist in the industry, but quickly realized game design was my calling.
I’m Jeremy Penner, a 30-year-old programmer from rural Manitoba, currently living in Ottawa, ON in Canada. I’ve been making videogames more or less since I learned how to read. I founded Glorious Trainwrecks in 2007, started an online monthly 2-hour game jam called the Klik of the Month Klub, and organized the first Pirate Karts, where people are encouraged to make as many games as possible in a single weekend.
I play the guitar badly, the accordion atrociously, the piano fairly well, and I’m currently employed making audio tour apps for museums.
When I was six, we got our first computer at home. It was one of those giant IBM 386’s with MS-DOS on a floppy drive. It had no such thing as a hard drive, so it had to load the operating system into RAM before it would boot, but after it had booted, you could switch the floppy for another one. I always switched it for a floppy that said ‘GORILLAS’ – a small file full of code that ran a game with gorillas throwing explosive bananas at each other.
Being curious but not understanding a word of English, I started changing things in the code, which led to things in the game changing too. I was fascinated by how changing simple characters led to the game changing in some way. That fascination never let go. Thus, I started programming. My fascination with systems and optimal solutions evolved through many, many things – I did some space art for a while, teaching myself Photoshop (and a general abuse of filters), I did some web design at some point, I did interface design and for a while, I did marketing and business for a commercial studio on the side.
At some point in your life, you have to decide what it is you really want to do. I had been working on failed projects continuously for a decade by the time high school wrapped up, but I’d been involved in a few successful ones too. I decided to enroll into a game design university. I’d love to say it was a mistake, because schools are generally terrible at teaching you anything related to creativity, but school did introduce me to a lot of people - amongst them Jan Willem Nijman, with whom I dropped out of university to start Vlambeer almost 2.5 years ago.
Vlambeer opened my eyes to a side of game development I had not encountered before: the indie game community. More than just inspired, I was amazed by how accepting, diverse and co-operative this scene was – and through it, slowly but surely I fell for the less obvious charms of our medium. My fascination shifted from just how I can optimize the logical system behind games to how we can use, explore and apply those systems to games.
In the past two years, I learned so much about who I am, what I do and what I can do – by making games, by discussing with people far smarter than I am. Last year, I spoke at events around the globe about game development, business and marketing. Between those talks, I spent a lot of my year traveling around the world to meet with such people, to talk with them and learn from them. I learned that I have a knack for marketing and tried to figure out how I could give that back to the indie scene, which cumulated in me developing presskit(), a free framework that helps indies market their games. In Austin, I met Mexico-based developer Fernando Ramallo, with whom I conceived Fuck This Jam.
In the meanwhile, Jan Willem and I released 16 games as Vlambeer. We are involved in organizing local indie meetups, events, game jams, workshops & seminars to students that aspire to become game developers.
My name is Renaud Bédard. I’m a 27 years old tall, skinny guy from Montréal, Québec, now living in Toronto. I’m mainly a C# programmer but will use other languages if forced to do so. I’ve been working with XNA a lot in the past few years, but FEZ, the project I’m known for, was my first project using XNA. Before that I was using an engine called TrueVision3D, and now I’m into Unity when doing game jams and personal projects.
I’m currently employed as a programmer at Capy Games in Toronto with plenty of awesome dudes.
Otherwise I enjoy petting my chinchilla and listening to new music all the time.