We’ve just completed a banner year here at ZenFri, not only did we launch our first game Clandestine: Anomaly after more than 4 years of hard work, but we were fortunate enough to be honoured with a few award nominations for innovation, spoke at a few conferences and even began moving our next gaming project forward with a successful run on Steam Greenlight for our PC-first title, The Last Taxi.

With such an amazing year now behind us, we are moving into 2016 emboldened by our successes, and wiser from the tough lessons we learned to get our game to market.

Of course, before we get ahead of ourselves by revealing a lot of the great news already coming out of 2016, we need to close off some of the news and updates that we didn’t have a chance to let you know about in what was a very hectic December.

We’ll start with what was the biggest news of the month, our trip to the The Canadian Video Game Awards.

ZenFri at the Canada Videogame Awards

As we mentioned in our last post, ZenFri was honoured to be nominated at the Canadian Video Game Awards in two categories, Best Technology and Best Innovation. While we knew going in these awards would be long shots, we were so pumped we decided to travel to Toronto to bask in the bright lights and excitement of the CVAs.

Here are some pictures from the event:

Danielle and Corey at the VIP Event

Danielle and Corey before the CVAs

The Audience

The hosts of Reveiws on  the Run!

Not expecting an award has got to be the most fun way to enjoy one of these shows as it allowed us to just take it and enjoy  being part of such an epic show. It was quite something to see footage from the game appear on the giant stage screens, no matter how fleeting.

The award for Best Technology went to Square Enix Montreal for Hitman Sniper, while the Innovation award went to Pixel Pi Games for Pulse. Congrats to the Winners!

Creation Lab at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights

In the days leading up to the CVA’s Corey put his interactive storytelling chops to the test as part of Manitoba’s first Creation Lab.

Held at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, groups of artists, engineers and creatives had three days to prototype AR, VR, sensor and beacon based-exhibits in the context of  telling stories about disabilities, freedom of speech, freedom of expression and women’s rights, under the guidance of National Film Board of Canada Producers.

CMHR the first day of Creation Lab

The initiative was the first of its kind in Manitoba bringing together many of the region’s key cultural organizations including Onscreen Manitoba, New Media Manitoba, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the National Film Board in support of creative collaboration and education across local industry talent.

Day 1 Creative Exercises

Final Prototype Walkthrough

Presentation Reveal

Some of the city’s best minds in the interactive space participated, and Corey was proud (and exhausted) to be part of it. Below is a picture of many of the talents that put their best efforts forward during the three day lab. You may notice Corey is missing. This is because he had to leave early to catch a flight to the CVAs, which were hosted that night!

Creation Lab Creators

Futurpreneur Spotlight

While we’ve had plenty of coverage and recognition for Clandestine: Anomaly, sometimes it’s nice to be recognized not just for a specific project, but as a company. As an early holiday gift we were featured on the national Futurpreneur Canada blog.

Futurpreneur

The article delves into some of our business and development philosophies, and explores what drives us to do what we do. It’s never easy to balance creative passion with business, but we try our best to find a balance that works for us.

Click here to read the full article.

Getting Your Game Out There IGDA Panel

While this technically occurred in the last days of November, a round-up of ZenFri end-of-year events wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Corey’s participation on the “Getting Your Game Out There” panel, IGDA Winnipeg’s last event of 2015.

IGDA Getting Your Game Out There

What made this panel unique was that it treated the entire community equally allowing discussion points from a large panel featuring people with varying ranges of launch and platform experience. From Steam to iPhone and even console, the Winnipeg community has had a presence on almost every modern platform imaginable, and many of those experiences were shared at this event.

What’s Next! 

As you can see, this update is getting a little long, so were going to leave it stuck  in 2015, and start dolling out news from 2016 at some other time.

Only four days into the year and its already clear that January will be filled with conference appearances, more award nominations, updates about Last Taxi and we’ll even start revealing more about our biggest ever Clandestine: Anomaly update.

The road to the future will be paved in 2016! We look forward to sharing it with you.