Montreal International Game Summit (MIGS) - The Pre-Show

J'ai arrivé early and alone. Have time to reflect on the next 2 days of intense presentations... and my awesome hotel room! It's HUGE! For an extra 10 dollars a day we're living like kings. 2 bathrooms, 2 TVs, a kitchenette and place to entertain. WOW!
MIGS took place Nov. 16 - 17, 2009.
Jim McGinley attended to lurn stuff.

First Day, 7:40am

Where's Gamma?

Washed Activia apple blackberry yogourt down with a croissant.
Showed cab driver google map complete with highlighted path
from my hotel to the downtown Hilton Bonaventure (where MIGS is held).
"The DOWNTOWN Hilton Bonaventure? There's two. The other one is not downtown."
   "Which one does the google map show?"
"The downtown Hilton Bonaventure."
   "um... I'll take that one."

First page of MIGS Programme
"Montreal: Fifth Worldwide Hub for Videogame Development"
Hopefully that's the English translation talking.
Nope. Hard to get behind fifth.

Arrive at 7:50am. Seated by 7:55am. Registration easy - too easy.
Although a nice young man, after confirming Jim is James, did take my driver's license hostage.
Keynote not until 8:30am. Anxious audience placated by various slides. Slide:
"Why choose Quebec? Percentage of people fluent in 3 languages?
  18.4% Quebec vs. 10.5% Toronto."
3 languages?! Sold.

Telefilm Canada listed as MIGS collaborator.
They trump gold sponsor Eidos Montreal.
Damn those guys are good.
Need to contact them about TOJam collaboration.
By "collaboration" I mean give us lots of money.

Snippets from carefree teen volunteers beside me:
  • "when I'm done my shift... don't worry... i'll steal everything."
    "steal me a game designer"
  • "games for change... oh god... africa stuff."
  • (regarding headphones) "what kind of speakers are these?"
  • "invest in montreal?"
    "i wouldn't do it"
Later on they began playing rock paper scissors.

Third Page of MIGS Programme
Picture of MIGS team - 90% female... possibly mocking attendees.

Thirteenth Page of MIGS Programme
Job placement ad shows ants working inside a hill and ants walking on top of it.
Unsure which ant I want to be.

Morning techno music getting intense.
Expecting Yoichi to dance in.

There's no Gamma?
Hah Hah! Good one! You almost had me.

Twenty Second Page of MIGS Programme
Investissement Québec shows a picture of a giant disgusting monster.
Gaping holes in the overstretched skin reveal a sinewy mass of muscle underneath.
His oversized hands and feet are matched by his small Thanos style skull.
It's great to see society's impression of a game developer has evolved.

Someone steps up to microphone.
Great haircut, wave of blonde hair.
Teen volunteer: "this guy has no credibility already."

First Speech
"1,500 of you attending MIGS!"
(someone begins one handed clap - quickly stops)
"we have panache" "a boutique conference"
"this conference will blow your mind."
"can't thank (didn't hear name), not at this time, not in this place..."
someone was naughty... wish i got that name

There's no Gamma party tonight or tomorrow?
That joke isn't funny anymore.

Visit Wendigo Studios,
because that's what the back of the shirt in front of me says.
I'm hoping they make Wendigos.

Second Speech
"Welcome outside of quebec!"
The rest of the speech was in french.
Allow me to translate:
   "competent development in interactive"
   "this morning" "par excellence"
In a blast of desperate inspiration,
I don my earphones meant for Yaochi's eventual japanese.
Earphones receiving the french speech... in french.
My driver's license brave sacrifice may be in vain.

Speech continues... no-one is laughing or reacting.
We're all anglophones or... he's boring.
   "technology" "international"
I can hear his tongue.
Worse... he's not using slides.
Screens show the silhouette of a moose laughing at my white english ass.

Living in Ontario, I was taught french twice a week for 10 years.
Not enough time to learn french, but enough to remember I live in Canada.
It was a triumph when I stopped confusing hair and hat.

Speech ends with "bon journey"
That means good journey.

Gamma is at GDC this year? WTF?!

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