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Montreal
Qc
Canada

Cardboard Utopia was started from the belief that the best, most cherished games are the ones that engage you through gameplay, story, and characters. Games that are not just flashy experiences that leave your thoughts once you put down the controller, but make you think, plan, question and discuss. These are the things that create memories for future years. These are the types of games we make.

Founded in Montreal, Quebec, the game development capital of Canada, we are currently developing a Tactical JRPG that plays off our love of classic games like Shining Force and Final Fantasy Tactics, but with a modern, boardgame twist.

PAX East_showfloor.jpg

Events

Our participations to past events, and where we can find us next!

Upcoming Events

EGX Rezzed

London
March 30th, 31st, and April 1st

Barely back from Boston, we are going to London with our publisher Square Enix Collective for EGX Rezzed!

We can't wait, since it will be our first time showing Children of Zodiarcs in the UK and in Europe altogether, and our first event with the fine folks of Square Enix Collective. We are also looking forward to experience Rezzed and meet many new indie devs and discover amazing projects, among which those of our Collective-published fellows:

  • Black the Fall by Sand Sailor Studio
  • Oh My Godheads by Titutitech
  • Deadbeat Heroes by Upstream Arcade
  • Forgotton Anne by ThroughLine Games
  • Tokyo Dark by Cherrymochi
  • Fear Effect Sedna by Sushee

Past Events

PAX EAST 2017

Boston
March 10th, 11th, and 12th

Our second visit to PAX East was a lot of fun. For a start, we crossed the border like *THAT* (imagine me snapping my fingers). Despite the crippling, icy cold and  the memorable Boston traffic, all the operations went rather smoothly, and the days flew by. We had even more attendance than last year (we had to print more flyers on site!!), and had a blast helping players try out the game and discuss their preferred party management and combat strategies. 

We got to chat with a lot of first- and second-time visiting fans and Kickstarter backers. It was very interesting to chat with visitors who played the game last year and came to see its progress. We were energized by the reactions of backers who told us they enjoyed their experience, and that the game is just as, or even better than what they were hoping for! 

Another 12 hours of Montreal Joue! The gamers of Montreal had a treat on February 25th, when we demo-ed a new map, exclusively for them. 

(Actually, it was the map we wanted to bring to PAX East, but in the meantime, we finished texturing and fell in love with another one. We can't help it, we just want to see everyone play all the maps.)

We met visitors who had played the game the year prior or at other events, and it was great to hear what they had to say about the evolution of the gameplay and art! 

Montreal DemoNight 2017

Montreal
January 31st

And the year comes full circle! Another DemoNight, new games, older ones with more content and polish. We were happy to show the progress we made on Children of Zodiarcs in a year. A year ago, we had one map, 2 characters, no party management yet, and many, many placeholders. Without showing all of it on stage, we played a version that had all its maps designed, all its characters modeled, way more elaborate user interfaces, and of course, party management. 

It was a bit nostalgic, as it is going to be the last time we bring this game on DemoNight's stage. But we are looking forward to have our community being the first again to discover the next one!

MIGS (Montreal International Game Summit) 2016

Montreal
November 13th, 14th and 15th

MIGS is your Northern Eastern GDC! This year, MIGS offered free "pods" to the local indies to demo their games in the main show room of the event. It was a great occasion to meet many industry peers and prospective partners and workers. We really got our businessin' on!  

MIGS was very interesting and formative, and gave us many ideas and realistic perspectives on how we could go about making our projects better and bringing them to wider audiences in the future. 

Jason also participated in the infamous MIGS "brain dump", where he talked about what nobody tells you before you start your own studio!

The MIGF is a young festival that showcases the work of local indies and game development students.

It holds a special place in our heart because not only is it an event organized by some of the best folks there is and fueled by a genuine love of the community, but it is also where we got our two very first awards.

And they are the two we wanted the most: the Public's Facorite Favorite, and the Gameplay Design Award.

These awards really meant a lot to us because on one hand, they validated all the efforts we poured into carefully prototyping and crafting the design of Children of Zodiarcs until we got the fun and engaging balance of mechanics we were striving for, and on the other hand, they showed us that this game has the potential to not only touch the hardcore fans of the genre, but also a more general public, who was sometimes getting introduced to tactictal RPGs with it.

(Look at Jason's face. He can't believe it.)

 

Dreamhack Montreal 2016

Montreal
August 12th, 13th, and 14th

Montreal had its very first edition of Dreamhack in 2016. Thanks to the generous participation of Loto-Québec, we had the opportunity to take part in the "indie zone", where we got a free table! This was a fun experiment for the Montreal gaming community, which has a growing interest for esports and already has big LAN event. 

As indies and as maker of a single-player tactics game, we didn't know what to expect considering that we're not exactly, well... esports! But we ended up being pleasantly surprised at the quantity of people who visited the zone between matches or as non-playing visitors, and at the level of enthusiasm they showed for diverse and locally made games. 

The event itself was also great and varied, with not only Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, and League of Legends events (to name a few), but with also a speed run marathon, live podcast events and a cosplay competition.

And we saw the most badass Protoss ever.  

Otakuthon 2016

Montreal
August 5th, 6th, and 7th

Otakuthon is a Montreal-based anime/japanese/geek culture festival. We didn't know of many indies who had demo-ed at this event, but considering that Children of Zodiarcs is heavily influenced by typically japanese genres (SRPG/JRPG), we decided to go see what Montreal's Otakus thought of the game. We had SOOO much fun. First, we realized that Otakuthon was a much bigger and comprehensive festival than we originally thought, filled to the brim with fun creative activities and amazing movie screenings, all of it done and managed entirely by VOLUNTEERS. Yes. That is some incredible dedication. 

We also participated in a charitable auction where we donated an exclusive steam key giving access to the alpha, beta and final versions of the game, and we were pretty proud of the fierce competition we saw between bidders. The key ended up being acquired for 4 times its starting price, all for the benefit of CyberCap, a not-for-profit organization which helps young people stay in school and introduces them to careers in multimedia sectors. 

PAX East 2016

Boston
April 22nd, 23rd, and 24th

Another big step! Our first big commercial show. And the first time we showed Children of Zodiarcs outside of Montreal! We had quite an adventure going to Boston for the first time, we learned A LOT about crossing the border as a company going to do a show...

We missed set-up time after staying stuck at the border for 3 hours, so we had to elbow our way through traffic and the GIGANTIC crowd at the exhibition center on the first morning of the show. And we had released the (pre-)alpha to our Kickstarter backers only one day prior! 

But all in all, karma ended up being on our side. We met a lot of amazing gamers and developers, and a few of our backers! We learned quite a bit about the fundamentals of a big show (never underestimate what you can do for your feet; get that carpet upgrade), and benefited from the best playtest we could have. We can't wait to see the evolution of the gamers' feedback at PAX East 2017!

Nuit Blanche - Montréal en Lumières 2016

Montreal
March 4th

La Nuit Blanche ("All-nighter") is a famous event here in Montreal, where a ton of activities, shows, and venues happen and are opened all night. It's the only day in the year that the "métro" (our subway system) runs all night! (Why does it have to be during the winter thouuuugh!?). This year, the indie studios were invited to showcase their game during the event... in Montreal's town hall!  I must say we couldn't help being a bit impressed, not your usual game show venue! We even got fed fancy little appetizers. But only away from sight. Way too luxurious to have scruffy indie devs eat in the middle of the place. 

Jeux indies de Montréal - Montréal Joue 2016

Montreal
February 21st

Montréal Joue is a local festival dedicated to all games, presented by Montreal's public libraries. The 2016 edition was the festival's fourth, but it was only the 2nd time that it was kicked off by "Jeux indies de Montréal", an event that showcases local indie games. This was the first time we had a hands-on demo of Children of Zodiarcs!  We had a lot of fun, we were excited to see people's live reactions for the very first time.

Montreal DemoNight 2016

Montreal
January 26th

Montreal DemoNight has been a tradition in the Montreal indie community for 10 years. 

The 2016 edition hosted the very first public demonstration of Children of Zodiarcs, only a few days after we kicked off the Kickstarter campaign. We were so proud to introduce our very first game to the world here in Montreal, in front of our very supportive and vibrant community. We were a small team back then, Denis played, Jason gave the 5 minute pitch, a bit nervously. And there you have it. That's how the adventure truly began.