Calgary, Alberta Canada. Estimated population: 1,230,248.
Number of game development companies: 2-3 (depending upon how you define “game”).
With a world renowned computer science department at the UofC as well as the Alberta College of Art and Design, how is this possible? It’s a question I struggle with every single day of my life. With a myriad of companies in Vancouver and Montreal, Bioware up in Edmonton and a spattering of devs across Ontario and even a few notable companies in the Maritimes, how is it possible that one of Canada’s larges cities is almost completely void of game developers?
There have been a few over the years that I’m aware of. I was even an employee at one of them. The problem is they always bite off more than they can chew, and when the going gets tough, good people move on. Some of us however don’t want to move on. Some of us have decided to root ourselves and our families here in Calgary and we’re not going anywhere.
After a couple years at Orbital Media followed by close to five years at GamesCafe, I now find myself at BigStack Studios. We’re making iPhone / iPod Touch games. The internal development side of BigStack is currently very, very small and is made up completely of people who are rooted in Calgary.
I feel an incredible amount of pressure to make BigStack a place that is associated with Calgary. I also feel like it’s certainly in part up to me to make BigStack a fantastic place at which talented people want to work at.
Are there any other people out there living and working in Little Big Cities? I’d love to hear from you.
Are there any other rooted Calgarians out there that want to or are struggling to make games? I’d love to hear from you as well.
Daniel Kratt, Senior Designer