Aka-con relived on The Mike Toole Show

Mike Toole over at the Anime News Network has written a blog post full of Anime convention war stories. You know the kind, long line-ups, sparse guest lists, and barely there budgets? He brings up one convention in particular that keeps coming up in these war stories. Vancouver’s first attempt at an anime convention: Aka-con.

The thing was, Aka-Kon had a rough time taking care of their guests; they had a decent list of visitors, but not a whole lot of cash, so some of the arriving voice actors and artists found themselves on the hook for shuttle fares, meals, and appallingly, even hotel rooms. One pal in particular told me of a Friday night guest dinner where the poor guest relations chief was only given $50 from the con’s war chest to entertain the guests, who had to foot their own bills.

You’d think after all the drama of Anime Evolution that Vancouver would be able to live that debacle down, but I you just can’t beat embezzlement, drug scandals, and a crazy scheme to fund a convention through the sales of an original anime porno. Oh well.


Source:Anime News Network.

The Steambox is a lie….

Valve has now officially quashed rumours that it will be making its own set-top box to compete with the likes of Playstation and Xbox. Valve Marketing Director Doug Lombardi has said that while they are working on an interface update to Steam, the notion of it getting its own console would not be happening any time soon. Speculation about the console started swelling after there was talk of biometric interfaces and a prototype box built by Valve’s Greg Coomer. Lombardi had this to say about the issue

“Greg’s one of the guys leading the effort of the Big Picture mode,” Lombardi said. “The idea is that you can take Steam to any display. What we’re trying to do is say, ‘here’s a box that we’re going to use for testing that’s common for Big Picture mode and get performance at a base level.’… We’re always putting boxes together. Going all the way back to the Half-Life 1 days, we built special boxes to test our software render… it’s just part of development.”

So there you have it. The rumours were kind of sketchy to begin with. You can’t release a console system these days without amassing huge amounts of resources. The main three competitors in the console game are losing money on every unit just so they can secure a proper set of exclusive games. If anyone is going to release a console in this climate, it definitely will not be through the traditional channels of suppliers and retailers. Perhaps we might still see a PC build with a Steam “Seal of Approval”.



Coding and Cupakes at the White Day Hackathon #hackwhiteday

Vancouver iOS developer startup A Thinking Ape wanted to host a Hackathon, but they weren’t too enthused with traditional Alpha Nerds smelling up the joint. This led to the creation the White Day Hackathon. It was named after the Japanese tradition of boys giving back white-themed gifts to girls who had given them chocolate on Valentine’s Day. The goal was to get more female developers out, and it worked! Over half of the 60 attendees were female.

18 teams of one to three developers sought to win prizes such as “Most Nauseatingly Cute” and “Best Date Bailout”.

I entered this mashup of a Dating Sim and Customer Database. It got nominated for “Most Nauseatingly Cute”.

And Cupcakes! Let’s not forget cupcakes!The Winning entries included Datebomb (Get out of your date with 20 texts from your “Crazy Friend), Food Fight (Vote on where to go to Lunch), Korde (build chord progressions for songs) and Cupcake Delight in SPAAAACE (Give cupcakes to hungry planets).

The Dolls given out for "Most Nauseatingly Cute" App were built by A Thinking Ape's Illustrator Chenoa Goa (@0nedove)

The programming was really strenuous, but it was a lot of fun! Devs need these kind of gatherings to build up their networks and perhaps build more startups. Let’s hope there’s another one next year!