By Dani Feraday
It started off as a conversation between friends in a bar. Randy Orienstien, Michael Todd and Fernando Restituto had a conversation about how there should be a place for people in the game design field to come together and help each other out, skill wise.
In an industry where you need to continuously be learning and picking up new ideas and skills to even compete for jobs, the Toronto skill swap was an idea waiting to happen and became a reality in May 2011.
Toronto Skill Swap is growing bigger each day; right now their Facebook page has 430 likes and is growing.
George Brown College offered labs in the St. James campus to house these weekly events. It has grown to hold a blend of industry professionals, students, a good chunk who are from George Brown, and indie developers.
Though the size of the audience varies depending on the speakers and subject, promotion also determines what the turnout will be.
The Skill Swap on Friday Oct. 26 was about “Introduction to Low Poly Modeling, Optimization and Edgeloops”. It had about six people in the audience and was quite short notice being announced only a half a week before the date.
Another more publicized skill swap happened Friday, Oct. 12. Tim Miller; design director at Rocket 5 Studios was running a swap about making a 2-D sprite-based game with unity and had about 50 people – some people were even sitting on the floor – who came out for this three-hour lecture.
According to Randy Orienstien this was their biggest turn out yet. Unfortunately they were only able to get through half of the project before time ran out.
If you want to know more about this system you can read about it at www.rocket5studios.com under the section Skillswap: Making a 2 player 2D game with unity.
Orienstien says this is an extra opportunity to learn. If you stop becoming involved in this industry your career will die before it even begun.