April 14th, 2015
CNE Visits Cool Aid Support Housing 
Posted in Codename News.

We visited the Victoria Cool Aid Society's Olympic Vista apartments on Friday April 10th 2015 for a tour. The Olympic Vista building is a support center providing a home for seniors (55+) that have been, or are at risk of becoming homeless. Like all of Cool Aid’s Supportive Housing buildings, Olympic Vista has the security features and 24-hour staffing that ensure its residents have a safe, welcoming home with access to the help they need. It is so named because it has a view of the Olympic Mountains and a design that incorporates VANOC’s 2010 Olympic Village modules.

We started the tour in the lobby and got a rundown about the reasons behind the building, mainly to give seniors that have been homeless a safe place to relax and call home with a guaranteed meal a day. The building has a welcoming lobby with cushy chairs for residents to use the phone or chat with each other. There's a computer nook where they can access the internet and potentially reach out to family they haven't talked to in years. Residents also have access to a laundry room where Cool Aid provides the soap so everyone can have clean clothes. The dining room was next, with a TV that's always on and a piano tucked in the corner where residents can eat their guaranteed meal, socialize or just relax in the sun with a view of the garden.

Speaking of the garden, we headed outside next. There were six substantial raised beds for the residents to grow things in. The staff are also encouraged to participate with their own bed, but everything that grows is shared amongst each other. A gazebo and grassy areas rounded out the garden that was pretty even with the grey weather we had that day.

Heading back inside, we passed the Quote of the Day board and activity posters on our way to the elevator. We headed to the basement to check out something that we wouldn't have thought about, but can be necessary: a "sauna." This room is where they can take residents' belongings to heat up and kill bedbugs and their eggs. The process only takes a few hours and is less invasive than spraying down a resident's room and then having to repeat the process in a few weeks to kill any babies from eggs that hatched.

The tour concluded with a group photo and more thanks from Cool Aid for our support. It was definitely eye-opening and informative and we were grateful the folks from Cool Aid could take the time to show us around the building.

Entering Olympic Vista.

Quote of the Day and activities notice board.

The dining room.

James Splat giving us the information about the garden plots and gazebo.

A recent addition to the garden: a gazebo.

The community garden plots. Everyone shares and the staff are welcome to garden too.

Codename group photo, from left to right: Mark, Jacob, Nick, Cory, Alexis, Eric, Peter, Erika, Justin and David

April 14th, 2015
CNE at Epic Escape Victoria 
Posted in Codename News.

We at Codename Entertainment decided to take a relaxing little break from work...so we headed to Epic Escape Victoria.

We divided the office into teams of 5 in an interesting way. We split up the two co-founders, so Justin was captain of Team Event and David was captain of Team Odd. Then Eric rolled a D20 to choose between the rest of us: the other devs Peter and Mark, the two artists in office that day, Cory and Alexis (poor Adam getting sick and missing out), and Eric and Erika. Even numbers ended up with Justin and odd rolls went to Dave. So Team Event ended up with Peter, Alexis and Erika while Team Odd got Mark, Cory and Eric. Then co-op Jacob rolled and ended up on Team Event too. Luckily our friend and part-time employee Nick had some spare time and could join Team Odd to round out the numbers.

Getting the instructions before heading into the rooms.

Getting to the venue was fun, but we managed. The elevator was a bit ominous though. After everyone was there, we got the briefing on the rules and set to it. Team Event systematically searched the room for all the clues and goodies. Team Odd apparently went wild and tried to pull furniture from the walls. Team Event was doing quite well until they hit a snag and had to ask for a clue...an oversight in communication on Erika's part, but they managed to set the current record even with fumbling with the stubborn safe to get the room key! Team Odd finished with 2 minutes to spare on their 60 minute countdown, so the whole office were winners in the end because we beat the game!

Then it was time to pose for a victory shot, a runner-up photo and a group capture before we thanked the team at Epic Escape for the awesome challenge and started our weekends off with smiles on our faces.

The epic winners! Team Event/Justin! With a time of 43:26 out of 60 minutes!

Not so bad! Team Odd/Dave escaped! With a time of 58 out of 60 minutes!

Go Codename team!

April 8th, 2015
Student Day at GottaCon 
Posted in Codename News.

From the desk of the CEO:

One of the things that I enjoy the most about my job is chatting with people who are passionate about video games. As a father of three, I particularly enjoy chatting with students.

This year at GottaCon (a local gaming convention in Victoria), I had the chance to participate in a panel discussion on working in the video game industry. This is the second year that we have organized this panel and both times it has been a fabulous experience. We work with local schools and their career coordinators to identify and bus in about 400 students. Last year the room was packed and this year we had over 150 students on the waiting list.

The moderator had some pre-made questions to ask the panelists, in case the students proved to be shy. However, this couldn't have been further from the truth. The students were brimming with questions:
  • "What is our favorite video game?"
  • "How do you get into the video game industry?"
  • "I have a great idea for a video game. What should I do?"
  • "What should I study in university to help me work in the industry?"
  • "Do I need to go to university?"
  • "What post-secondary schools would we suggest?"

For an hour, the students peppered us with questions. Afterwards, the students had a chance to visit the booths of the various video game companies and learn more abut what we do.

It was a great experience and I look forward to participating again next year.

Thanks to GottaCon for the use of their pictures for this blog! :)