Media coverage

SkookumScript creator Conan Reis profiled in four-page Douglas Magazine feature

April 5, 2017

SkookumScript creator Conan Reis (center) poses with the heads of fellow mad scientists (from left) Stephen Johnson, Markus Breyer, Shadi Dadenji and Glen Callender. Space was tight in the SkookumMobile on the way to the shoot, so four of us volunteered to have our heads temporarily detached so everyone could fit.

A Victoria tech firm is setting out to transform the multi-billion-dollar video-game industry with its superpowered programming language, SkookumScript – and it’s catching the attention of some pretty big players.

Douglas Magazine

The Douglas Magazine feature “Playing for Keeps” tells the uplifting story of Conan’s incredible career in the video game industry, from his lowly beginnings as a mere co-op student at Electronic Arts Canada in the early 90s, to his present-day fame as the mad scientist inventor of SkookumScript, one of the next-big-thingiest programming languages in the world today.

Read “Playing for Keeps” here. Also see our blog post.

SkookumScript prominently featured in Gamasutra article

March 10, 2017

A Gamasutra article explains how SkookumScript users don’t have to mangle their logic to fit into the classic Tick() architecture that has vexed game developers for decades, and extols many more of SkookumScript’s virtues:

SkookumScript is an awesome programming language – it’s easy to code in, it’s got concurrency features built in, it’s timesliced not multithreaded so you don’t worry about mutexes and locking, it can call your C++, it can call blueprints, blueprints can call it, it’s fast….

Zach Burke Gamasutra

Read the full article “The Death of Tick: UE4 & The Future of Programming” on Gamasutra.

Zero to coding hero? Putting SkookumScript to the test

February 1, 2017

In a world where video games constitute a nearly $100B annual market and there are 1.8 billion self proclaimed gamers (plus we all know a closet-gamer or two), it’s surprising to learn that there still isn’t a widely used programming language created specifically with video games in mind. The team at Agog Labs want to change that. Over the past 13 years, they have developed SkookumScript, a new programming language and tool suite that they hope will become the new industry standard.

In a Medium article, Ania Wysocka of Haro Ventures sees if SkookumScript is truly as easy to learn as we claim. Suffice to say, SkookumScript passed the test!

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.

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.

Read the full article “Zero to coding hero? Putting SkookumScript to the test” on Medium. Also see our blog post Haro Ventures puts SkookumScript to the test.

Peter Elkins declares SkookumScript a ‘company to watch’ in Douglas Magazine

December 20, 2016

Capital Investment Network Chairman Peter Elkins has declared SkookumScript an “island company to watch in 2017” in Douglas Magazine:

Another Island company to watch in 2017 is SkookumScript, which has developed a programming language to help game developers be more effective in game development.

Peter Elkins Douglas Magazine

Read the full article “2017’s Top Trends for Entrepreneurs” here.

BC Minister of Technology & Innovation tweets in support of SkookumScript

November 29, 2016

Tweets by the Honourable Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services:

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

BCTECH Story: B.C.’s “mad computer scientists” revolutionizing the video gaming industry

November 25, 2016

When Conan Reis, founder of SkookumScript, told colleagues in the video gaming industry that he was writing a new programming language, they told him he was nuts. That’s when his title became “Chief Mad Computer Scientist.”

Now, this mad computer scientist is revolutionizing how video games are written, and is set to take the global video game industry by storm. “The industry has never had an off-the-shelf, video game-specific language, meaning engineers have been forced to develop games using general-purpose coding languages like C++,” said Conan. “This means that gaming scripts are inefficient and error-prone, and are usually scrapped and reinvented for each game at considerable time and expense.”

SkookumScript is a game-specific language that even the most inexperienced coder can use. Where a certain action in a game – such as having three robots race each other – might take 70 pages of C++ code to accomplish, SkookumScript can make the same action in six lines of code. Not only can this save the gaming industry money, it will also make games much faster to produce, with fewer backend issues.

“It’s 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,” Reis added.

A range of services will be available to SkookumScript users, from a free standard suite to paid premium packages. The product also has applications outside of the video gaming sector – any company wanting to design an interactive tool will benefit from this technology. From controlling robots to designing interactive maps, the possibilities are endless.

SkookumScript launched its public beta version in January 2016, and by March 2016 they had users in 46 countries. The SkookumScript Unreal Engine 4 Plugin launched in April 2016, giving them access to a market of three million Unreal developers, and as of Fall 2016, SkookumScript has been used in 91 countries by developers from hundreds of studios. But, they are just getting started. With a modest office of five employees, they are hoping to grow to 40 by next year.

SkookumScript is one of the many companies that have benefited from the programs of the BC Innovation Council (BCIC), a Crown agency of the B.C. government. “Innovation Island and BCIC have provided amazing connections, mentorship and opportunities through the Venture Acceleration Program,” reflects Reis. “Coming from a technical background, the crash courses they provide in entrepreneurship and business have been particularly valuable.”

Read this story on the BC Tech website.

CHEK TV News interviews SkookumScript creator Conan Reis at Experience Tectoria

September 15, 2016

Experience Tectoria is on, and the mad computer scientists of Agog Labs spent the day spreading the good word about SkookumScript!

Resplendent in his iconic lab coat, SkookumScript creator Conan Reis demoed, and pitched, and blew the crowd away—and he had barely left the stage when the crew from CHEK News nabbed him for an on-camera interview. And now, without further ado, CHEK’s piece about Experience Tectoria, featuring everybody’s favorite mad computer scientist!

SkookumScript leads B.C. government Game Developers Conference release

March 14, 2016

We are the B.C. government’s official poster mad scientists for B.C. video game companies at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week!

This photo of the SkookumScript team at last year’s Game Developers Conference leads today’s B.C. government release about this year’s event.

As a rising B.C. tech start-up developing cutting-edge tools for the global video game production industry, having an expo booth at the Game Developers Conference is essential for finding new clients and partners. We are grateful to the BCIC Venture Acceleration Program for their valuable connections and mentorship. Our programming language, SkookumScript, is now being used in 44 countries, and after GDC, we’re confident that number will grow.

Conan Reis CEO and Chief Mad Computer Scientist at Agog Labs

Read the full release “B.C.’s got game at 30th annual Game Developers Conference” here.

Google Developers interviews SkookumScript creator Conan Reis at Founder World in San Francisco

November 20, 2015

Behold Conan’s October 28 interview with Dan Feld of Google Developers at Founder World in San Francisco:

We’re in the business of doing the things where they say, ‘You can’t do that!’ and we say, ‘Yes we can!’ It’s a very ‘mad scientist’ ethos, so we call ourselves mad computer scientists.

Conan Reis CEO and Chief Mad Computer Scientist at Agog Labs

Also check out Conan’s climactic cameo (at 1:26) in this Founder World highlight reel:

Epic Games awards SkookumScript US$15,000 Unreal Development Grant

November 18, 2015

Today the mad computer scientists at Agog Labs are giggling with substantially more glee than usual, for Epic Games has just announced that it has awarded us a $15,000 Unreal Development Grant to support the SkookumScript Unreal Engine 4 Plugin:

SkookumScript is a text-based programming language for creating performance-critical gameplay. It’s been used in AAA games such as Sleeping Dogs, and it is now available as a free plugin for UE4. The mad scientists at Agog Labs receive $15,000 for their dedication.

Dana Crowley Senior Marketing Manager at Epic Games

Read the full Epic Games announcement here.

BC Innovation Council Success Story: Agog Labs and SkookumScript

December 6, 2013

The BC Innovation Council is featuring Agog Labs and SkookumScript as one of their “Success Stories”:

SkookumScript is the world’s first programming language specifically dedicated to the creation of gameplay in video games. This unique scripting language enables video game studios to quickly and easily convert ideas into awe-inspiring interactivity, level design and AI.

Read the full article “Success Stories: Agog Labs offers an optimized scripting language for game developers” here.

BC Business Magazine: Gaming industry emerges on north Vancouver Island

October 1, 2013

In Port Alberni, Agog Labs has licensed its dedicated game development script, SkookumScript, to Vancouver games-maker United Front Games. Both Agog founder Conan Reis, and Hinterland creative director Raphael Van Lierop, spent years building blockbuster games for mainstream studios.

Read the full BC Business Magazine article “Gaming Industry Emerges On North Vancouver Island” here.