Haro Ventures puts SkookumScript to the test

SkookumScript has had so much buzz lately, our neighbours are starting to wonder if we are actually a front for an illicit beekeeping ring. And that buzz has now put us on the radar of Haro Ventures, a Victoria B.C.-based investment fund that supports the growth of high-potential software companies.

 
Haro has taken particular interest in SkookumScript’s growing reputation for being much easier to learn than other programming languages, something even the B.C. Minister of Technology and Innovation has tweeted about:


Haro decided to put this claim to the test, and sent over a young associate with essentially no programming experience to see if SkookumScript is truly as easy to learn as we claim. And lo, it didn’t take long for our mad computer scientists to teach her how to make our demo robots do some of the things that video game robots typically do, such as run around, chase people, and explode.

Haro Ventures Associate Ania Wysocka learns how to use SkookumScript.

Suffice to say, SkookumScript passed the ease-of-learning test! Here are some of her conclusions:

While SkookumScript likely isn’t for complete newbies to IDEs and 3D world editors, one is able to pick up the general principles with relative ease. This makes me suspect that those working in a video game studio could totally own the experience, no matter what their role happens to be. Using a language that all team members can follow means each member doesn’t have to wait for the engineers to assist them in making small changes. This can result in enormous time and cost reductions.

Ania Wysocka Associate at Haro Ventures

She was also impressed by SkookumScript’s potential as a teaching language:

I can’t help but think of another unique aspect of SkookumScript beyond the realm of video games: its potential for academic use. Though I was only able to spend two hours in the SkookumIDE, it’s easy to imagine what a room full of enthused kids could do given free reign. Over the past few years coding literacy has become a priority in schools around the world. A language like SkookumScript… could prove an awesome and engaging learning tool.

Ania Wysocka Associate at Haro Ventures

Thanks for dropping by! For the full story of Ania’s visit to our mad computer science lab, see “Zero to coding hero? Putting SkookumScript to the test” on Medium. And if you’d like to take our demo robots for a spin yourself, download our SkookumDemo. Have fun!

Check out SkookumScript’s previous coverage here.

Minister of Technology & Innovation shows SkookumScript some Twitter love

Our new BCTECH story “B.C.’s ‘mad computer scientists’ revolutionizing the video gaming industry” is burning up the Interwebs, and we got a big boost today from none other than the Honourable Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services!

This is not the first time we have pleasantly crossed paths with Minister Virk. SkookumScript creator Conan Reis pitched SkookumScript to an audience including Virk at an Innovation Island Technology Association Venture Acceleration Program event in March 2015, and met with him at Innovation Island in July 2016.

The mad scientists of SkookumScript thank Minister Virk for his support! Nothing makes our day quite like pro-SkookumScript tweets from cabinet ministers.

Read the BCTECH story here.

Read our blog post about the BCTECH story here.

Check out SkookumScript’s previous coverage here.

Mad scientists of SkookumScript featured in BCTECH Story

Behold the mad scientists of SkookumScript in the new BCTECH Story.

The mad scientists of SkookumScript are in the limelight again, thanks to the new BCTECH story “B.C.’s ‘mad computer scientists’ revolutionizing the video gaming industry”. Read it here!

The industry has never had an off-the-shelf, video game-specific language… [SkookumScript] is also great news for independent gamers – a growing niche in the market – who don’t always have the expertise, time and resources to compete with the big gaming companies.

Conan Reis CEO and Chief Mad Computer Scientist at Agog Labs

Check out SkookumScript’s previous coverage here.

Conan Reis promos SkookumScript, talks tech at State of the Island Economic Summit

Utilizing SkookumScript’s prototype anthroduplicator, Conan Reis watches himself pitch SkookumScript at the 10th Annual State of the Island Economic Summit.

The 10th Annual State of the Island Economic Summit is over, and SkookumScript creator and Agog Labs CEO Conan Reis was there to tell Vancouver Island’s movers and shakers about the wonders of SkookumScript.

Conan participated in two official Summit events. First, he presented on SkookumScript and took audience questions as part of the Tech Showcase, where Vancouver Island’s rising tech innovators pitched their wares to an appreciative audience of venture capitalists, business leaders and politicians. Then he joined three other local tech entrepreneurs on the Faces of Tech panel, where he discussed our experiences as a startup in Vancouver Island’s rapidly growing tech sector.

Faces of Tech panelist Conan Reis makes a very interesting point.

Both presentations were very well-received, and resulted in top-notch, hors d’oeuvre-fuelled entrepreneurial schmoozing that Conan won’t soon forget.

Other highlights of the Summit included a keynote speech from B.C. Premier Christy Clark and the official release of the first-ever State of the Island Economic Report—but although both of these were splendid and very worthwhile, neither were quite as skookum as SkookumScript. At this point, we think it’s fair to say that we have skookumness pretty much locked up.

Presented by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA), the State of the Island Economic Summit is an annual gathering of business, community and government leaders. The mad scientists of Agog Labs thank VIEA and Innovation Island for inviting Conan to participate in this goodly event! The good word about SkookumScript continues to spread….

Conan Reis to pitch and panel at State of the Island Economic Summit

Just when you thought October 2016 couldn’t get any more skookum, SkookumScript creator and Agog Labs CEO Conan Reis will pitch SkookumScript and participate in a panel at the 10th Annual State of the Island Economic Summit in Nanaimo on October 26.

Presented by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, the State of the Island Economic Summit is an annual gathering of business, community and government leaders. As part of their mandate to foster Vancouver Island’s economic growth and diversification, the Island’s rising tech innovators are showcased—which is where Agog Labs comes in.

Conan will pitch SkookumScript and answer questions at the Tech Showcase on the morning of Wednesday October 26, and then join the Faces of Tech panel later that afternoon. Yes, he will wear his iconic SkookumScript lab coat, so he won’t just be intellectually fascinating—he’ll be a visual feast. Don’t miss it!

October 26 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo B.C. The Tech Showcase is 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. The Faces of Tech panel is 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Full conference details here.

Language guru Wouter van Oortmerssen joins Agog Labs Advisory Board

It is with borderline-dangerous levels of enthusiasm that we announce the addition of Google engineer and computer language guru Wouter van Oortmerssen to the Agog Labs Advisory Board!

Wouter (pronounced “vowter”) has worked on games such as Far Cry, Borderlands 2 and SimCity. But he is best known for the dozens of programming languages he has created since the early 1990s (interview here). He created Amiga E, one of the most popular languages for the platform. He received a PhD in Programming Language Design and Implementation for his distributed visual language Aardappel. He fathered a wave of esoteric languages with FALSE, and more recently created the game programming language Lobster.

He is also an accomplished knitter.

This is Wouter’s LinkedIn photo. Knitting pride!

We look forward to Wouter making a valuable contribution to our raging debate over the value and implications of closure tail arguments and their reduction of invocation brackets, as well as resolving the contentious question of whether to use eyelet-and-lace or cable-and-twist stitching for the fringe of the killer robot cosy we’re working on.

For more on Wouter’s illustrious career, check out his bio on our Team page.

Wouter joins game industry visionary Chris Taylor on the Agog Labs Advisory board. We look forward to adding more brilliant-yet-eccentric brains to our collection.

Upcoming SkookumIDE will compile waaaaay faster

The mad computer scientists of SkookumScript are feverishly at work on the next version of the SkookumIDE (Integrated Development Environment)—and we are unabashedly giddy to reveal that we have just reconfigured the compilation process to make SkookumScript compile 10-25 times faster!

We mad-scientifically verified this result by going back to the code for Sleeping Dogs—a massive open-world game with 8000 complex SkookumScript commands—and found that its compile time has leaped from an already awe-inspiring 3 seconds on the current SkookumIDE to an amazing 0.3 seconds on the upcoming SkookumIDE. That’s 10 times faster, folks. And on our SkookumDemo project, which contains 5000 Unreal Engine 4 calls, compile speed jumped from 3 seconds to a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 0.12 seconds. That’s 25 times faster—fast enough to be accurately described as “insanely fast”. Muahahaha!

What sorcery is this?! We accomplished this phenomenal feat by moving all SkookumScript files into memory, making it unnecessary for the IDE to access the hard drive during the compiling process. Oh yeah. We went there. And we did that.

Stay tuned for the new-and-improved SkookumIDE, coming later this fall from Agog Labs!

It’s great that this demo now compiles 25 times faster, but what I really want is for this robot to stop crashing into me and exploding.

SkookumScript brings the skookum to Experience Tectoria

Experience Tectoria 2016 has come to an end!

It was a memorable three days of events, as SkookumScript creator-cum-Agog Labs CEO Conan Reis joined Agog Labs CTO Markus Breyer and Mad Computer Scientist Shadi Dadenji to deliver the most memorable SkookumScript demos to be seen on Earth since the Game Developers Conference in March.

The mad computer scientists of SkookumScript scientifically schmoozing at the SkookumScript Demo Camp booth.

Conan was a featured presenter at Launch & Learn, pitching SkookumScript to an appreciative audience of hotshot venture capitalists and angel investors, video game industry luminaries such as Xbox co-creator Jon Kimmich, tech-curious members of the public, and a couple of incognito extraterrestrials (who only reveal their true nature to the maddest of mad scientists). And he was so compelling onstage, he was later featured in a CHEK TV News piece.

SkookumScript creator Conan Reis onstage at Launch & Learn.

All in all, it was an exhausting but immensely rewarding Tectoria experience, and we look forward to doing it all again in the not-too-distant future. Many thanks to the good people at VIATEC for inviting us to bring the skookumtastic skookumness that is SkookumScript to Experience Tectoria!