For those of you just tuning in, this is the second part of our spectacular series of daily blog posts; the first part (part 0) is here.
Yes, daily updates.. it’s exciting!
Today’s post was really meant to precede the events on which it is based, however we unfortunately weren’t able to find time while everything was going down. Those of you with a gift for detecting hyperlinks may have already discovered the topic of today’s post cleverly hidden in post 0; kudos to you! The rest of you will want to pay special attention to words in this and other posts which appear ever-so-slightly darker than the rest of the text: Surprise! Those are links. And there are a lot of them in this post, so please be ever-vigilant — in fact the very first sentence of this very post contains one! In-post minigames: that’s our gift to you.
Let’s start with some history: a while ago, a friend of ours, Jim Munroe, decided he didn’t already have enough to do; apparently book authoring, graphic novel writing, artsy games incubating, movie producing, and baby making (this last feat strangely absent from his “What I’ve Made” page) weren’t enough for him 🙂 He also wanted to inspire all the local game-developy people into joining some sort of alliance. A code-alition, if you will.
(Fun fact: any random selection of 5 people in and around the Greater Toronto Area will contain no fewer than 3 people who know Jim Munroe, each through a completely different channel than the others. This is the origin of the popular party game “2 Degrees of Jim Munroe”)
So, Jim rounded us developy-types up and started The Hand-Eye Society, convincing us of its merits using beer and superior logic.
(Aside: Raigan debated the chosen name, proffering (and preferring) alternative titles for the organization such as “TOTOromi” and “Toronto Indie Games Source”; in doing so he only narrowly avoided being the first member subject to mass shunning.)
(Another aside: Now might be a good time to introduce another in-post minigame: see if you can guess which statements are real and which are confabulations!)
So: having established the existence of the Hand Eye Society, we can now explain that there is a bi-monthly event referred to as The Hand Eye Society Social (Raigan’s suggested nom-de-event was “Gameboree”), located at a well-hidden local bar in which Socialites (that’s what we call each other) present in-development games and other items of interest to appease a usually jeering, unruly crowd.
Each Social is hosted by a different Socialite; those whose offerings are accepted are hoisted aloft and feted until the wee hours; those whose presentations are deemed unworthy are, or course, shunned.
We gave a quick summary of a project we’re currently working on, and flew in our friend Alex Austin — whose games you’re probably aware of — as the evening’s main event. In fairness this clever strategy was not of our own devising, we merely adopted the practice from the original Social host (Jim Munroe, again.. that guy is everywhere!) of inviting a foreigner to face the crowd.
And so it was that Alex found himself not in his native California, but on strange, unfamiliar soil, in an alien climate so frigid that he was forced to bundle up in a jacket and tuque (apparently called “beanies” in the US), despite it being the middle of summer. Seriously, it’s not usually cold like that in the summer up here, that was really unexpected!
Here we can see Alex proceeding through Canadian customs. (the Sentinel II air-blasting system is at this point only ceremonial.)
Here’s Alex as an anonymous informant providing testimony from a mysterious lair in the sky. We dragged Alex to various parties and get-togethers around the city. Here he is crushing one of our many buildings, perhaps in response.
Amongst the countless atrocities he was forced to endure during his stay, surely none was more abhorrent to such a freedom-loving soul than our terrifying socialist system of alcohol purveyance. Here he is, looking suitably stricken.
When the magical night of the Social finally arrived, Alex gave the assembled Toronto Game Friends a behind-the-scenes look at the multitude of incredible games he’s working on right now, leaving everyone impressed and motivated. He’s making roughly a dozen different games at the same time! It’s somewhat daunting; we can only assume it’s the fresh California air which allows such prodigious feats.
And so, Alex’s presentation won over the audience, and he enjoyed the rest of a successful, though frigid, weekend in Toronto before returning to the balmy state he calls home. Thanks again, Alex, it was so awesome to have you in town!
This Social was an historic moment for many reasons. For instance, it was the very first Social attended by the infamous Mathew Kumar, an investigative games journalist embedded here in Toronto. It was also the very first fourth Social, a feat which will probably never be duplicated.
And now, we’ve brought you up to speed on the Hand Eye Society, which concludes the second, and still quite over-long (we’re working on it!), daily blogathon post.
Next time: what of Metanet’s presentation at the Social?
Which game did we present? (infuriatingly vague hint: it was not Robotology!)