GameDevDrinks on August 19th


Editor’s note: These events have been excellent and I highly recommend them.


When: Wednesday August 19th from 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Where: The Pheasant Plucker @ 20 Augusta Street

Organizer: Bret Measor



Join us at the Pheasant Plucker to listen to Augusts’ keynote speaker Tabby and Jeff Rose from Axon Interactive Inc. (based out of Toronto) one half of the team behind Quench. Afterwards enjoy some drinks, chat with Tabby and Jeff, then get a hands on experience with Quench only at GameDevDrinks.




Quench is a story-driven puzzle game set in a lo-fi, geometric landscape. You play as Shepherd, an avatar of nature, and you have the power to control the weather to guide herds of animals on a perilous journey. You must provide for your flock, open blocked paths, thwart enemies, and otherwise tend the land to make it lush and green again. Quench is inspired by uplifting and joyful classics such as The Lion King and Avatar: The Last Airbender and games like Journey and Okami. You will experience unique and wonderful environments, memorable characters, be awed by your own power, and be presented with a lesson: in order to make a better world, we must all do our part.




SQL for Zombies released



Alex Pineda (@alexrpineda) has released an eBook called SQL for Zombies. Check out the details below and follow the link to buy a copy.


The world is full boring, dry, programming books. SQL For Zombies turns this idea on its head, with an entertaining story and take on learning SQL.

Structured Query Learning (or SQL) is a programming language used to communicate with databases. Who uses SQL? Google, Facebook, WordPress, and almost any Content Management System (the power behind every blog!) The applications of SQL are endless.

But this book is not suitable for humans.

Together with the Zombie Instructor you will hack hospital databases in search of brains. You’ll use it as a super power search language to dig into mountains of data. You’ll also learn how to update data in case of emergencies.

Learn by executing actual SQL in your own test database. This step-by-step tutorial isn’t just an interactive adventure – lives are at stake!

From the Author:

This beginners book was a lot of fun to write and my hope is that there is a lot of fun and learning in reading it. If you’d like to reach out to me about any questions please feel free to eat my brain at:

SQL Topics Covered:

SELECT queries

Sports analytics centre a possibility for Hamilton



During the Pan Am Games CHCH covered a story on the possibility of a sports analytics centre opening up in Hamilton, check it out below:

Brazilian businessman Richaro Sodre has announced that he is moving his business from Waterloo to Hamilton. Sodre is creating technology that examines and analyzes how athletes move. The plan is to create a sports analytics centre of excellence, which could generate billions annually in economic activity. Local entrepreneurs like Ron Foxcroft are on board to create the centre and make it a leader of sports technology around the world. Investment consultant Harjeet Bajaj says, “Similar to Quantum Valley which is in Waterloo, or life sciences clusters in Toronto or digital media zones in places like Vancouver I think the sports analytics industry deserves a home as well.”



Hamilton Heat Alert app released

Jeremy Casey has created a Hamilton Heat Alert app, available now on the Google Play Store:

Details taken from Google Play Store

Check and receive heat warning alerts if you’re living in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

This application reads from this feed:

Note: Make sure you run the application at least once to receive automatic heat notifications.






HitchBOT destroyed while attempting USA journey



HitchBOT has been destroyed. The robot created by David Harris Smith of McMaster University and Frauke Zeller of Ryerson University won hearts around the world for conducting a hitchhiking journey across Canada last summer.

While attempting a similar hitchhiking journey in the USA, two weeks into that journey, yesterday HitchBOT was destroyed by a vandal. Though it is not safe for work, or for hearts, the grizzly scene was captured on Twitter: photo/status.

The following notice was posted on


Oh dear, my body was damaged, but I live on back home and with all my friends. I guess sometimes bad things happen to good robots! My trip must come to an end for now, but my love for humans will never fade. Thank you to all my friends.

A message from the family:

hitchBOT’s trip came to an end last night in Philadelphia after having spent a little over two weeks hitchhiking and visiting sites in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City. Unfortunately, hitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia; sometimes bad things happen to good robots. We know that many of hitchBOT’s fans will be disappointed, but we want them to be assured that this great experiment is not over. For now we will focus on the question “what can be learned from this?” and explore future adventures for robots and humans.

HitchBOT’s family will be available for interviews starting Sunday, August 2nd, further details will be available by August 5th.

For interview requests, please contact:
Johanna VanderMaas
Public Affairs
Communications, Government and Community Engagement | Ryerson University
416.979.5000 x 4630


On the one hand, yes, it’s just a robot and the researchers can try to learn from this experience. On the other hand, it’s really lame, and maybe the only thing that can be learned is that some people can act like total jerks. I hope the person who did this recognizes the community outpouring, and uses it as motivation it to turn around what I can only surmise is a sad life.


Social Bicycles route data



Local software developer Ryan McGreal (@RyanMcGreal) of fame has built a Python module to download your Social Bicycle data. Check it out:

Details taken from the github page…



Download your Social Bicycles (SoBi) route data and save it locally in various formats.


The sobidata module allows you to download your Social Bicycles (SoBi) route data via the applications web API and save it locally in a variety of file formats.

The module uses the requests library to download collections of routes from the SoBi HTTP REST API using HTTP Basic Authentication, as outlined in the SoBi API documentation.

The route data is paginated, and the method that downloads the data calls itself recursively, incrementing the page with each request until there is no more data.

For each route, the module makes a follow-up request to the API to look up the bike name, origin hub address and destination hub address. However, it also stores the results of those requests locally so that a subsequent search for the same bike name or hub address retrieves the result from the local cache rather than making a duplicate API request.

As a result, the data includes three datasets: a list of routes, a list of hubs and a list of bikes. The module also makes a list of totals, calculating the total distance in miles, total distance in km, total duration in seconds, total duration in minutes, total duration in hours, total number of distinct bikes, and total number of distinct hubs.

Once the data is downloaded, you can save it locally in a variety of formats: JSON, XML, Excel 2007 or CSV format. Note that the JSON, XML and Excel 2007 formats save all four datasets, but the CSV format only saves the routes dataset.

Customer Acquisition Strategy for Mobile Apps with Jesse Rodgers

jesserodgersWhen: Thursday July 30th 2015 from 11:00am to 1:00pm

Where: McMaster Innovation Park @ 175 Longwood Rd. South


Organizer: Innovation Factory


You have built that mobile app and had it approved for the app store. Now everyone is going to find it, give it 5 star ratings, and you will get millions of users! Right? Not exactly. The distribution channels for discovering new applications are clogged with the latest unhappy birds and photo sharing app. How can you find the people that will get value out of your application and keep using it?

Join iF on Thursday, July 30 for a workshop on bulding a customer acquisition strategy for your application. In this workshop we will go through a number of strategies you can try that will help people find your product.
Lunch will be provided for this event.


GameDevDrinks this Wednesday

When: Wednesday July 29th 2015 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Where: The Pheasant Plucker @ 20 Augusta Street Hamilton, Ontario

Organizer: Bret Measor



Join us at the Phesant Plucker to listen to Julys’ keynote speaker Alex Jansen from Pop Sandbox (based out of Toronto) the team behind LOUD on Planet X. Afterwards enjoy some drinks, chat with Alex, then get a hands on experience with LOUD on Planet X only at GameDevDrinks.




LOUD on Planet X is an arcade-style indie music game featuring Tegan and Sara, METZ, Metric, Lights, July Talk, F*cked Up, Cadence Weapon, Austra and more. Choose from a cross-section of top current indie music artists, then defend your stage from hordes of quirky aliens by tapping to the music and using a fun assortment of makeshift weapons like speakers, strobe lights, fog machines, amplifiers, bouncers and custom special attacks! LOUD on Planet X is an exciting indie alternative to Rock Band or Guitar Hero with a splash of Plants vs Zombies – a new hybrid of rhythm game and classic shooter with tower defence elements.




Intro to Meteor JS



When: Wednesday July 29th 2015 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Where: McMaster Innovation Park 175 Longwood Rd. South


Organizer: Troy Martin / Innovation Factory


MeteorJS is a powerful, full stack, JavaScript framework. Attend our “Intro to Meteor” workshop which will cover the basics and inner workings of the framework. You will be familiarized with how to start developing reactive applications right out of the gate, and learn about how meteor can speed up development, and improve developer happiness by utilizing a single language for the client and server.


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