The Story of The Baker

A story we often tell when we get asked what Project House is all about, is one about a Baker who loves to bake pies.  We’ll call him The Baker.  The Baker made pies all of the time.  His pies were well-loved by his family, who demanded pies for every conceivable occasion.  His pies were delicious and better than anything available in a shop.  Over time,  The Baker started making pies for his kids’ fundraising events, for his friends and their friends, and before he knew it, his pies were in such high demand that he had a business on his hands and he needed to hire some helpers and find a community kitchen space several days a week just to keep up with the orders.

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In celebration of Video Game Day…

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To celebrate Video Game Day, we would like to give a shout out to some of our clients who work hard to give us the chance to kill zombies, crush cities, and gather armies.  Video Game development isn’t just fun; it’s a business that requires creativity, commitment, technical wizardry, and the ability to pull together high-performing teams who can solve challenges with speed.  Working in the gaming industry will test your mettle by pitting you against tough deadlines, tougher critics, ever-changing technology, challenging production and marketing cycles, nervous investors, intense hiring competition, and a fickle market.  It will also reward you with a chance to work alongside some of the best and brightest creative minds in a variety of disciplines and crafts, and to be a part of an industry that is serious about business and innovation.

 

Local studios rise and fall, and employees often move from one to the other, then back again.  Hiring fairs and events that pop up whenever a studio suffers a layoff or closure aren’t just opportunistic; everyone gains by keeping video game professionals living and working in Vancouver, as there is always a need for experienced hands as well as a fresh perspective.  For the most part, the local gaming industry has proven to be fiercely protective of its members and also focuses a significant portion of its energy on sharing ideas and rallying around community needs.

 

Tech in BC continues to grow in a significant way:  as of 2014, it was recorded that 75,000 tech professionals work across Vancouver, and the industry generates more than $23 billion dollars in revenue, meaning the tech sector in BC (which includes video game publishers as well as software publishers, motion picture and video production, pharmaceutical and medicine, computer, and navigational instruments) is a bigger employer than mining, oil, gas and forestry combined.

 

One area we’d love to see grow faster is the number of women who work in gaming development.  According to a report in 2015 by Nordicity, “the representation of women in the industry workforce has not changed over the last two years. Women still represent only 16% of the overall video game workforce. (They) are generally more highly represented in jobs in the marketing and communications and operations and administration job categories… however, these categories only account for about 21% of the industry’s total workforce. Women are the least represented in technical job categories, where they account for only 6% of the workforce.”  There are a number of meetups, networking groups, and social organizations whose goal is to support and encourage female gamers and developers, including Girls Learning Code and Ladies Learning Code.  According to the Ladies Learning Code Vancouver site, “Our adult programming offers women (and men) hands-on, project-based learning experiences that are designed to give beginners the skills and confidence they need to become digital creators.”

 

Video Games are mainstream and have long gone well beyond pure entertainment.  They are on your phone, in your living room, and out on the street, and they are a driving force behind many technical applications, such as education and training in medicine and defense strategy, in schools and in the workplace.  As the press around Video Game Day states, “Gaming is a pervasive part of our culture, coloring everything from our choices in clothing to our taste in cuisine, there are even themed restaurants that are entirely dedicated to gamers and the games they love. Video Games Day is dedicated to recalling this defining part of our culture and sharing it with our fellow gamers, new and old alike. Get your game on!”

Project Spotlight: Rogers Group Financial

One of the really fun and creative projects that we are working on with a few of our clients is a custom client appreciation program. Some companies show appreciation sporadically with the odd gift or card for an important client, or a small token over the holidays, however more and more companies are starting to incorporate elaborate and thoughtfully planned ways of showing their clients appreciation. We love helping our clients create a custom program depending on their needs and budget. From carefully sourcing the gift itself, all the way to finalizing the packaging and wrapping, we can help drive this from start to finish.

The concept and rationale behind client appreciation is simple: in this day and age when consumers are bombarded by a multitude of service providers, what will make you stand out from your competitors? Showing that you appreciate your clients, and that you see them as special and unique, takes time and effort but if it is genuine and done well, it is worthwhile. This doesn’t need to break the bank either; it might be a thoughtful gift, a well-timed phone call, or simply striving for meaningful connections with your clients at the right times. The idea is not simply to send cards or gifts, but instead to pay attention to the likes and dislikes and events within your clients’ lives, and then pay tribute to those events through meaningful and well thought-out gestures.

This month we are showcasing elements from the client appreciation program that we have designed for one of our clients, Mark Neufeld of Rogers Group Financial.

We have been working with Mark and his team over the course of several months to create a beautiful array of gift selections for every occasion, including customized cards, custom designed calendars, and more. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Mark and his team to create something truly special. We hope you enjoy what you see!

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We commissioned twelve watercolour paintings of Canadian cities and laid them out in a simple and elegant calendar that was presented to Mark’s clients at the beginning of 2015.

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Using the same watercolour paintings from the calendar, we created a set of thank you cards for a variety of uses.

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Here is a sample of a “Get Well” gift box.  It includes a selection of tea, a lovely hand painted mug, a diffuser and lovely vanilla infused honey.  We packaged this in a beautiful box with bright green tissue paper, all tied together with a bright green satin ribbon.