It should come as no surprise that Boise isn’t a hotbed for animators or video game designers/developers. Anyone around here will tell you how hard it is to either A) find talent or B) find a job. We’ve talked and blogged about this in the past, but last year we decided to stop talking and do something about it.
In 2011 we started an organization called Interactive Artists & Animators Group of Idaho (IAAGI) in the hopes of finding new talent, giving people a place to share ideas, network and teach. We’ve been surprised by the number of developers and artists that have been hidden away and share the same passion and desire to see the industry take off here. But that’s not to say there isn’t plenty of room for improvement.
We’re quietly talking with people about ways to get kids excited about programming, game design and animation. It’s a slow process, but we’ll post updates as they come available. In the meantime, if IAAGI is something you’re interested in or you know somebody who is, point them our way. We’re always looking to meet new people.
Horses, Chupacabras and QVC don’t often get mentioned in the same breath, but together they’ve been keeping us pretty busy. This week we launched three great projects – Sun River Equine Ranch, Goats R Delicious and a QVC commercial.
Sun River is a Treasure Valley non-profit that uses horses as therapy tools for kids. We spent many hours with the Sun River staff getting to know them, their needs and understanding the life-changing events that can take place at the ranch.
Goats R Delicious has been in multiple stages of design and development for the better part of 15 months. The project includes four 3D animated shorts, three websites, multiple viral videos and a Unity-powered video game for the iPhone and iPad.
The QVC project included 3D animation and special FX for a hair treatment product.
Not much of surprise, Idaho isn’t a hot spot for game design and animation. What we have found though is that there are pockets, small groups, and individuals that have been working alone with no idea that there are others just like them. People building games, animating characters and illustrating cartoons. IAAGI was formed to help bring these like-minded individuals together to network, share ideas and collaborate on projects.
If you’d like to be involved, head over to IAAGI’s website and RSVP for the first meeting.
On Wednesday we had the pleasure of hosting some kids for a job shadowing event organized through DisAbility Rights Idaho. During their time here the kids played and tested some of our games and gave us some incredible (really incredible) feedback on how to improve them.
The highlight though was when we brought out the motion capture suit and showed them how their physical movements are translated to a 3D character. We think it’s pretty cool too.
Thanks again to DisAbility Rights Idaho for approaching us about this opportunity.
Pixel Fish Studios was excited to learn that we are among the recipients of the New Filmmaker Grant Program created by the Idaho Film Office. Our portion of the grant will be used to develop our upcoming video game Swarm – Backyard Buzz.
We’d like to thank the Idaho Film Office for their support and shared vision of creating new jobs and opportunities for our state. Pixel Fish Studios is committed to fostering the video game and 3D/CGI industry in Idaho and creating new employment opportunities. We feel that Swarm is a key step in reaching this goal.
About the game: Swarm – Backyard Buzz will be a third-person multiplayer web-based game centered around some of the characteristics and the community of bees. Development and design is expected to take approximately one year.
Unity recently released version 3 of their game engine with a host of new features and nice-to-haves including export to XBOX 360 and PS3, Beast Lightmapping, source-level debugging and new lens effects.
This was completed for the Bureau of Reclamation Northwest Regional Office located in Boise, ID. The previsual flyover depicts the Nighthorse Dam project currently in construction outside of Durango, Colorado. Through the use of CAD files and GIS data, we were able to provide accurate terrain and equipment visualization before most of the construction had even begun.
We’re excited to announce the development of two new games: Dozer Dash and Swarm – Backyard Buzz.
Dozer Dash will be a single player game located in a construction environment. The idea will be to move debris and other elements into a designated containment area. The following is an early look at just a couple game items.
Swarm – Backyard Buzz will be a multiplayer game centering around some of the characteristics and community feel of bees and their lives with some capture the flag elements thrown in. The first level will take place in a backyard setting as can be seen in the following image.
We expect Dozer Dash to be be done in late 2010, while Swarm won’t be completed until 2011.
The culture of 3D animators and game developers in Boise, Idaho is taking leaps forward. For years these technical and creative types have been scattered throughout garages and bedrooms all around the Treasure Valley. With virtually no industry to speak of in this area, the inter-connectivity of this culture has never had a chance to grab hold. Pixel Fish Studios is glad to say that those days are coming to an end.
The industry will emerge in Boise and jobs will come with that. However, before the animation and gaming industries will turn their focus to Idaho over India, Canada or California, a seed must be planted and a culture must be grown. That’s the idea behind the Pipeline Development Project. It’s an opportunity for you (interested in 3D production animation and/or video game development) to emerge from the woodwork and join like-minded people in a pursuit of building these industries. Pixel Fish Studios is providing a beacon to unite this disjointed talent pool with a purpose.
The Pipeline Development Project is currently working on two projects focusing on the major pipelines presented by 3D: production and gaming. There are currently over a dozen animators and developers here in Boise, meeting and working on both a 3D animated short film called “Lief’s Journey” and a web-based video game called Swarm: Backyard Buzz.
For any questions on the Pipeline Development Project including how to get involved, contact email@example.com