Game Design student Yuri Mainka – “All I had to do was press start”

We got a chance to speak with Game Design student Yuri Mainka about his time at VFS so far, and what drove him to pursue his passion on becoming a game designer. Here’s what Yuri had to say.

Games have always been a big part of my life. Whether it was providing me with fun moments, helping me learn English or allowing me to have experiences that I couldn’t have anywhere else, they have always been a passion of mine. And a big part of the reason is because when games decide to tell a story, they do so in a very unique and engaging way.

As the years passed I played many games and, in turn, experienced many stories. I felt that I could always take something away from each one of these unique worlds and its inhabitants. Something that helped me become a better person and shape my values. Those were the games that struck me the most. So, it was a no-brainer for me to dedicate my life to work with games, so I could one day create experiences such as the ones that so heavily influenced me.

Before coming to VFS, I worked 3 years as an indie developer back in Brazil. First as a Game Designer in my own group called Crimson Studios and later as a Level Designer/Programmer in a small studio called Give Me Five Entertainment. During that time, I learned a lot and as a result of that, shipped three small mobile games. However, it got to a point in my life where I didn’t feel that Brazil’s games industry could give me the opportunities that I strived for. So, I started looking abroad for a place that could help me achieve my dreams of working in big game studios. That’s when I found out that a representative of Vancouver Film School was touring in my city advertising the Game Design Course.

VFS is absolutely everything I was hoping for and more. Even though it pained me to leave my family and friends back home, I never regretted my choice for a second, thanks to the incredible opportunities that I could see taking shape in front of me here. During my time in the Game Design Program, I was able to meet the most amazing people. Among those were extremely prepared instructors and a new family in the form of my classmates.

If I had to pick one single thing that stood out as the most important thing I’m taking away from my time at VFS, it would certainly be the networking opportunities. Sure, we have fantastic classes, such as Interactive Narrative and Level Design, but we also have instructors that are active industry members or have close ties with the industry and for me, the experience they can share with us is invaluable.

I’m still 2 months away of graduating, but I look to my future in the industry with confidence. Specially when I look back to what I accomplished in the crazy year that passed.

VFS helped me grow in two very important ways: As a person and as a game designer. The former, by allowing me to work with many different people and learning to respect each of them to work well as a team, and also because this if my first time living by myself (and what an experience this has been!). And the latter, by showing me what I really love about game design and where I want to focus my efforts on: Level Design and Narrative Design. I’m just in love with these two disciplines and how they, in many ways, correlate to provide the player with the most amazing experience. To be able to tell stories and guide the player through their personal journey in each game. That can’t be anything but special!

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For me, all I had to do was press Start.

 

Yuri Mainka

 

 

Hat Jam 9 – Audio Jam

 

 

Hat Jam 9  asked the students from VFS Game Design to make some noise! With the unfortunate reality that sound in games is often left until late in development, we thought ‘Why not start with sound?’

 

So with 16 random sounds to blindly choose from, each team drew paper from a hat with a link to an audio clip they would be using in their 48 hour games!

 

Our sponsors help us with funding the event, so students didn’t have to worry about food and could focus on making their games. Thank you East Side Games, A Thinking Ape, Iugo, EXP and Freshbowl!

 

Also big thanks to the Volunteers and VFS sound design students that stopped by!

Pocket Gamer Connects Vancouver Victoria Day deal!

Pocket Gamer Connects, the leading mobile games show in the western world is bringing its unique combination of inspirational speakers, grade A networking, and a vibrant expo to the gorgeous city of Vancouver this summer and we’d love you to join us!

Queen Victoria didn’t do things by halves. And neither do we. So in honour of Victoria Day this coming Monday we’re reducing all of our core tickets to PG Connects Vancouver conference on June 28-29.

Just don’t hang about, because this unique offer is both a time- and allocation-limited affair (come May 29th – or sooner if we run out – and it’s all over).

As with every PG Connects show, Vancouver will unite a cross-section of the entire mobile games ecosystem – from independent developers through media, tool makers, and monetisation experts up to the triple-A publishers and investors. We’ll look to span the globe too, with delegates from Asia, North America, Europe and the hottest emerging markets, as well as from across Canada.

There’ll be seven conference tracks to explore, covering everything from global publishing trends and how indies can survive and thrive to fund raising, monetisation and acquisition techniques, practical development workshops, and future-gazing. We’ll also cover VR extensively and be adding a dedicated ‘Made in Vancouver’ track to celebrate the creativity and talent in the BC area.

Previous shows have featured the biggest names from the leading publishers, including Supercell, King, Disney, Rovio, DeNA, Kabam, Glu, Seriously, Gree, and Square through to indie legends like Mike Bithell, Vlambeer, Fireproof, Ustwo, Etermax and countless others.

Ultimately, of course, the most value is in getting business done and we have multiple ways to facilitate networking including a free meeting tool for planning in advance, three dedicated pitch sessions (20/20 SpeedMatch for developers looking for publishers, Big Indie Pitch for upcoming devs to meet media, plus a dedicated investor event), a lively expo area, plus after-hours networking events including the legendary PG party.

Benefits for students

  • Learn about the business realities of mobile development and how the industry works
  • Pick up practical techniques and strategies for developing mobile games
  • Chance to get close to industry professionals and meet people who could potentially offer jobs/future partnership opportunities
  • Insight into how the industry works through talks and the report that is published with each ticket
  • Meet the media (lots of journalists in attendance + video interviews on site)
  • Opportunity to potential pitch (Very Big Indie Pitch)
  • Entrance to a high-level event with one very low-priced ticket

Those seven tracks in full

  • Indie Futures – A dedicated track for indie developers and how they can survive and thrive in the modern mobile ecosystem.
  • East Meets West: Global Mobile Gaming – Exploring the hottest regions, biggest trends, and best opportunities for mobile game publishers today including a focus on eSports and the latest from Asia.
  • Future Visions: VR & Beyond – A dedicated track looking at VR (not exclusively mobile) and emerging technologies that will affect the industry.
  • Monetise, Retain, Acquire – The latest tips, trends, and techniques in UA and monetisation.
  • Mobile Games University – A dedicated track full of practical tips and workshops on everything from creating great ideas to running liveops.
  • Show Me the Money – Exploring the different sources and approaches of raising funds, from angels and publisher partnerships to government funding and VCs.
  • Made in Vancouver – A dedicated track celebrating the best of Vancouver and British Columbia.

Networking & other key features

  • Pitch & Match – Free business matching meeting system for all attendees.
  • PGC App – Free app to get updates and connect with other delegates on the fly.
  • Big Indie Pitch – Indie developers pitch media and selected experts for prizes and feedback on their upcoming games.
  • 20/20 SpeedMatch – 20 publishers, 20 developers, 2 hours, 1 room. 20 Guaranteed meetings for all selected participants.
  • Expo Area – Discover games, technologies, services and more.
  • I Love Indie Showcase – Up-and-coming indies show off their games in the dedicated expo area.
  • PG Party – Let your hair down, get your dancing shoes on, and your business cards out in our relaxed, always-popular after-hours event.

Initial Speakers include:

  • Ville Heijari – CMO Rovio
  • Phil Hickey – Seriously
  • Chris Akhavan – Glu
  • Peter Qumsieh – Bandai Namco Studios
  • Kent Wakeford – Kabam
  • David Phan – Relic Entertainment / Sega
  • Nicholas Pezarro – Pocket Gems
  • Jikhan Jung – Colopl
  • Chris Petrovic – Kabam
  • Stuart Duncan – IceJam
  • Shum Singh – Agnitio Capital
  • Devin Radford – Fox
  • Macy Mills – CAA / Hitcents

Plus representatives from EA, Hothead Games, Unity, GameSparks, Roadhouse, Magmix, Eastside Games, Iugo and many more!

GD44 Welcome Party

It was that time in the term again, where the students gathered together around a TV to play some games, fill their bellies with pizza and welcome the new term to the school. I am talking of course of the VFS Game Design Welcome Party.

This time around the school welcomed the GD 44s to a new and exciting year as they played video games with the other classes and introduced themselves on the stage so everyone could know who they are.

There was a Smash Bros. Wii U doubles tournament and a Mortal Kombat X singles tournament, where the winners won, in addition to the bragging rights that come with victory, a 20$ Starbucks gift card and a small golden trophy. PG05 Robert and Manuel won their second consecutive smash tournament and GD42 Spencer won his third Mortal Kombat tournament (no one seems to be able to stop this man)!

For the students who didn’t feel like competing, or those that wanted a more relaxed and social gaming experience, there was also The Resistance, Munchkins, FIFA, Halo, Smash Bros. Melee.

Finally we can’t forget the food, which included cookies, vegetables, chips, drinks and Dominos pizzas, a VFS first. That is some great fuel for gaming!

All that is left to say is thanks to all the students who came and enjoyed a great night of gaming and fun with us, and most importantly, welcome to the GD44; we all expect great things from you

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