The Hon Michael Coteau, MPP visits SHG Studios!

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On May 27th 2016, SHG Studios was honoured to welcome the Hon. Michael Coteau, MPP! The Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sport for Ontario toured the studio, learned about our development process, and even pressed the “launch” button on our latest game!
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Minister Coteau also spoke about OMDC, the IMDF and OIDMTC, all of which have been big factors in SHG’s success.
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It was SHG’s distinct honour for the Minister to officially submit our newest title, Wasteland Heroes – Boss Wars to Google Play and launch the game live.


You can download it here.

 

The Hon Michael Coteau, MPP visit SHG Studios!

Thank you to Minister Coteau for visiting our studio, and we hope he will visit us again soon!

 

SHG Studios Awarded 2016 IDMF from the OMDC!

SHG Studios is pleased to announce a $250,000 grant from the Interactive Digital Media Fund (IDMF) (OMDC’s IDMF) for Star Pirates: Infinity.

 

Star Pirates: Infinity is an under development  next generation Collectible Card Game (CCG) for mobile. In this game, players buy and assemble card decks to compete against opposing players, both human and Artificial Intelligence. Players gain rewards, unlock missions and collect a range of units in the form of collectible cards. The game has the combined benefits of digital and paper-based CCGs. SPI development is well under way;  the grant will enable better card graphics amongst other upgrades.

 

IDMF is a program of Ontario Media Development Fund (OMDC), a strong supporter of SHG Studios. This gracious grant will supplement $494,000 Experimental Stream Support (blog link) previously received from the Canadian Media Fund (CMF) Experimental Stream for SPI.

 

About SHG Studios

 

SHG Studios, the 2015 Hamilton small business of the year, is an independent casual game developer. We create casual games focused on social interaction for a global audience. Players come for the games, stay for the community. Our focus since day one has been on engaging social and community and mechanics with our games. Players who joined us over 7 years ago, and still play, will attest to this. Our community development dynamics allows us to punch beyond our size and battle it out with the big players in the casual gaming world. We are very cognizant this is why players choose us over our competitors, and we build our games and communities accordingly.

 

About the IDMF & OMDC

 

The Ontario Media Development Fund (OMDC), supports the 17,000 jobs in Ontario’s Interactive Digital Media Industry through the OIDMTC, Export Fund, and IDMF. The Interactive Digital Media Fund was launched in 2005, and since then has supported 248 projects with total funding of over $25 million. The Interactive Digital Media Fund helps companies develop innovative projects like video games, mobile apps and online magazines.

 

IDMF  has recently announced its 2016 Funding Cycle.

 

SHG Studios is thrilled with this announcement, and are excited to bring you the project it will produce.

HIRED: Office Manager – Job Posting @ SHG Studios in Hamilton – Feb 19, 2016

NOTE: THE ROLE HAS SINCE BEEN FILLED. STAFFER HAS BEEN HIRED WITH AN INTRO POST COMING.

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SHG Studios continues to grow!

The 2015 Hamilton Small Business of the Year is looking for an Office Manager ( Office Manager – SHG – Download PDF ).

We need someone to take on the running of the physical studio, as well as some bookkeeping and other tasks. Read the job description if you’re interested.
We’re located at 12 Ferguson North in Hamilton, easy walking distance from public transport, and just a few feet from King Street.

 

Office Manager Job Description

Title: Office Manager.
Reports to: Company Management.
Location: 12 Ferguson Ave. N., Hamilton, Ontario.

Job Type: Full-time Salaried Employee.
Hours: Minimum 37.5 hours per week, plus lunch. Core office hours with flex-time.
Education: Business Administration, Accounting, Bookkeeping, Grant Writing, or Production.
Experience: A year of professional experience in bookkeeping, business administration, or accounting; ideally at least 2 years of experience in an Ontario film or video game studio.

SHG Studios (www.shgstudios.com) is the current Small Business of the Year in Hamilton, Ontario, winner of many other awards, and creator/manager of multiple million-dollar browser games. We’re looking to do the same in mobile, and have some well-funded and awesome projects in the pipeline. We are looking for someone to help with day-to-day management of the office.

 

Job Summary

The Office Manager is responsible for keeping the office and business functioning efficiently so the company can produce great games. Reporting to the Directors, the Office Manager has the following roles:

Bookkeeping (25%): Fully manage all aspects of bookkeeping for the company. This includes entry of all expenses into QuickBooks, generation of reports, and some budgets.
Government (25%): Support Directors in creating new grant applications, and perform administrative duties for existing programs; ensure studio is in compliance with governmental and other requirements.
Office (10%): Liaise with landlord regarding maintenance, manage studio furnishings & consumables, manage alarms, recycling etc.
Document System Management (10%): Organize, and manage our cloud based document systems (Google Drive, iDrive, etc.)
HR Admin (10%): Create and manage the HR resume portfolio and contractor pool, shortlist candidates,and prepare paperwork.
Other Projects (20%): This depends on the skills you bring (see Beneficial Knowledge Below), the needs at the time, and what you enjoy doing.

Requirements

Mainly we ask for good humans who can do the job well, in that order.

• Trust; we need to believe you will do the job, and do it well.
• Good team player: we expect you to fit into our productive, fun, safe workspace.
• Demonstrated knowledge of QuickBooks (or similar), plus Excel for reports & budgets.
• Knowledge or Capacity to learn: JIRA, Flapps plus other timesheet / PM tools.
• Bookkeeping, accounting or other relevant designation (Industry Experience would be considered for the right candidate).
• Create good working relationships with everyone involved.
• Be able to manage people, time and resources.
• Be an effective communicator verbally, and with financial reports. Strong report writing.

Beneficial Knowledge

Not required, but helpful if you have one or more of these attributes

• Game or Film Industry Tax Credits: Leverage more government supports.
• Grant Writing: Support team writing government grants.
• Project Production Management: Help organize production.
• Fluent in additional languages: Help localize a game for us.
• Event Management: Organize the parties.
• In-depth knowledge of one of our player segments: Target the games better.
• Some other skill you feel can add value to the firm.

Benefits to You

Last, but certainly not least!

• Salary: Salary commiserate with the value you bring to SHG.
• Flexibility: There is an option for core hours with 9:30 am start or 2:30pm departure.
• Fun: We have a legitimately cool team who actually enjoys each others’ company.
• Creativity: This is not a normal job; you will help create cool things!
• Lack of Crazy Overtime: We aim not to have “crunch time”. 9 to 5 suits us fine.

SHG Studios will review all resumes submitted to info@shgstudios.com, but will only reply to those selected for an interview.

Thank you!

A Wild 2D Artist has Appeared!

My name is Richelle Rueda. I am the most recent addition to the team here. While I am new to the studio, I have spent a number of years as a freelance 2D artist and illustrator under the pen name FireCatRich. I have a background in fine art but my love of video games has drawn me to studio life. A serendipitous meeting led me to SHG Studios and landed me in the growing browser game team.

 

While the core gameplay for Spy Battle has not been altered there have been some radical visual changes to bring it more in line with the visual goals set by SHG’s other browser game, Star Pirates. The first major question that arose focused on a primary workflow of the game. 2D or not 2D? While the game is entirely 2D, the majority if not all of the images were produced using 3D models. While the models have served well in the past, Spy Battle’s new look was aiming higher.

 

My on boarding was a combination of familiarizing myself with the current state of the browser games, finding the of goals for these projects, and getting  down to business making an ever growing stack of icons, UI elements, backgrounds, and characters illustrations. This process started in earnest in early December and is currently ongoing.

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Spy Battle has a rich lore and a long player history but the game up to this point has left much of its world in words. There was opportunity abound for robots, cyborgs, humans, monsters, and everything in between. One of the first on the list of required characters was a new look for an AI robot. Ideally it was something that an individual could have and a spy would often want something that was rather innocuous, at least in appearance. Out of a dozen or so sketches rose the soda-can robot. Long stork-like legs and a little can body would be the new greeter for players. Much like Spy Battle the game, the little can looks to have history with his little dents and rusted patches but there is a shiny glow within.

A Fresh Coat Of Paint by Mark The Intern

I walked into SHG Studios for the first time on October 13th. The studio sits at the summit of a non-descript building in downtown Hamilton. As I travelled down the hallway and into the foyer, I noted the standard video game studio fare – microwave popcorn, mini fridge, and several board games in pleasantly organized piles. The staff of designers, artists and programmers all welcomed me and my uneasiness faded quickly into familiarity – these are my people.

 

My internship commenced with uplift projects for SHG’s three browser based games – Gates of Camelot, Star Pirates, and Spy Battle: 2165. The core gameplay remains as it was, in-depth and immersive. The games are just in need of a coat of paint, and I am holding the brush.

 

Digging into somebody else’s code is kind of similar to flipping through War and Peace for the first time. At first glance, my inner voice is screaming ‘oh no, I don’t understand a single part of this…all that schooling was for naught, run while you still can!’ That faded rather quickly as the masterfully written code started to make sense. Coding languages are like spoken language, an accent does not turn English into Spanish or Italian. An accent is simply a different way of communicating

 

When renovating in your house, adding new rooms must be done without unsettling the foundation. I entered this project with a similar mentality.

 

I learned through several projects that implementing 3rd-party APIs can be the stuff of nightmares. Telling four different external forces to work together…no problem. Problems.

After several days of hair loss and coffee consumption, players will now be able to use their social media accounts as their login for Gates of Camelot. Existing users can, of course, still use their existing logins.

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Ooooo….fancy!

 

 

 

A graphics uplift has taken place thanks to the artist here at SHG.

His concept is the basis for the new layout, and will be the basis for the other two browser games to follow.

 
On second thought, there seem to be quite a few hands on this paint brush.

 

We’ll talk again soon.

A New Member Joins SHG Studios…

Hello, SHG Community.

My name is Bret Measor. This is the first of many dev blogs by me, and I want to start off my first entry by introducing myself and my video game industry history to the SHG Studio community.

My work in the video game industry started shortly after completing a 2 year video game & design course at the International Academy of Design located in Toronto, Ontario. I had a very hard time getting any work as a student fresh out of school; I was too “green” for any local studio to take me on. I decided to make my own experience and started my own company called Hard-Circle, Inc. and we focused primarily on free to play browser based games made with Adobe Flash and 2D pixel art. I ran that studio for 5 years and we created around 30+ games for some of the biggest clients in the free to play space.  I wore many hats ranging from CEO, designer, producer, and artist.

After my run with Hard-Circle, Inc. I decided it was time to pack my things up (I was worn out), and head out to Ottawa to work for an educational video game studio called VINCI Education. I spent a year and a half there honing my skills in game design, production, and team management. Together with my small dedicated team we created 6 fun educational games, and 1 educational MMO (still in development). It was a great experience for me, the change of scenery, and working with really talented people helped hone my skills.

During my time in Ottawa, SHG Studios was undergoing a transformation and looking to expand their already talented roster with dedicated leadership. I returned to Hamilton and was brought on board in May as the Product Manager/Game Designer responsible for their newest mobile IP called World War Mobile (title pending) due for release on Android devices in the fall/winter of 2015.

I hope you enjoyed my first dev blog post about myself. The next dev blog I write will be more focused on the new IP World War Mobile (title pending). Check back regularly to the SHG Studio blog to see more dev blogs by myself and the rest of the team at SHG. If you wish to follow me on my adventures you can @BretMeasor on twitter.