2014 VFS Holiday-Retrospectacular and Game-Update Bonanza

Hey all, with the end of 2014 fast approaching and a new year around the corner we here at VFS thought it would be nice to look back at the year and highlight everyone’s hard work as well as look forward to 2015! (and put the spotlight on all the new games that have been updated in this websites library!)

When I consider 2014 it’s hard to believe all that has changed since I was in my second term at this time last year. Students have graduated, Staff has come and gone, Alumni have gotten exciting jobs in Vancouver and around the world, a new program that VFS is offering here at the Game Design campus has started: “Programming for Games, Web, & Mobile”, and perhaps most importantly we have made a lot of really cool and exciting games. Five Game Design classes have graduated with one more class, the GD37′s (who are notable for being the first GD class to collaborate with the new Programming program) graduating in the coming weeks.

To celebrate the conclusion of another year of the VFS Game Design program I’d like to highlight each of the classes that graduated this year and show off their hard work; so let’s start with the GD32′s who graduated all the way back in February. This class of eleven turned out three great projects with: The pulse pounding rail platformer Rails of Fury (Click to play!), The gloomy and competitive multiplayer online battle arena Tempt, and the rail shooting solo project HighLights. Also of note is that graduating student Sebastian Pachmayr has joined the VFS staff as a Teachers Assistant for Art.

Next up graduating in April we had the GD33′s which were a group of twelve that made four games that were great fun: The team based beat ‘em up Jukebox Paradise, The cooperative forest crawler Camp Roanoke, The high octane 2-D run-and-gunner Hero of Space, and the 2-D puzzle platformer Minerva

The summer began in June as the GD34′s finished off their time at VFS; this class of twenty five produced seven games and one artistic portfolio. The games this group turned out were: The epic interplanetary multiplayer online battle arena Nebular Online, The downhill kite racing mobile game PaperWings, The medieval endless runner Atrophy, The first-person and literal puzzle game The Puzzle Guardian, The anime/manga inspired endless runner for mobile IInside, The action/(not)-rhythm game Misorderly, and finally the UDK action/exploration solo project Ghost Light. Joining the VFS staff from this class is the new Teachers Assistant for Unity, Spencer Goring.

Without any trace of bias the greatest class in VFS Game Design history graduated in August; the GD35′s. This class of twenty six produced six excellent games running the gamut from 2-D mobile horror platformers like The Exhibit, to the inter-stellar dreadnought combat of Eclipse, to the neon covered action-adventure game (that I happened to work on!) Kinetic, to paradox inducing first person action like Forgotten, to the psychedelic parkour of Lucidity, and the cybernetic tactical combat of Carrion. If you need further proof of GD35′s greatness it should be known that VFS hired three of the graduates within two months of their graduation; Dustin Williamson who has now moved on to Relic, Jamie Thompson the new Program Assistant, and myself Thomas Pierce the Technical Teaching Assistant.

With my class out of the way, next up was the GD36′s, this ambitious class of eighteen chose to experiment with things such as multiplayer or the new Unreal Engine 4 software for the development of their four final projects. The experimentation with Unreal Engine 4 paid off very well with the two teams being able to create the chilling action thriller Arc, and the medieval mech combat of Dwarven Petroleum. Meanwhile the other two teams experimentation in multi-player made industry night a chaotic affair with the free-for-all motor combat of Deathceleration and the team based kung-fu chaos of Wuxia Warriors

Last but certainly not least we have the upcoming graduates the GD37′s; This class of twenty one created five great games with a new twist! four of the five teams brought on a Programming Collaborator (one group brought on two) from the first class of VFS’ new Programming for Games, Web & Mobile (PG01) to contribute to their projects. These final projects demonstrated a wide variety of genre’s, like the mind-bending first person puzzles of Recollection, or the tower defence infused action combat of The Witching Hour, to a strategy board game translated into a video gameĀ Brave Tactics, or the head to head tubular racing of Stick Shift, and even the Oculus Rift enabled exploratory puzzler Certainty Condition.

So that was 2014 in a nutshell! a year where a hundred-and-thirteen students from around the world graduated after creating twenty-nine great games that I highly encourage you to play by clicking the links peppering this article. These games had groups ranging in size from solo projects to a group of seven. Their genres ran the gamut from racing, to platforming, shooting, to puzzling, and beyond. They varied in perspective from 2-D as well as 3-D and a couple groups even experimented with Oculus Rift. These games could accommodate single player sessions, or multi-player, or even online! and finally these games were made in varying engines from Unity, to UDK and UE4, and even a Construct game. With all this variety, hard-work, and talent on display we should have a game here to suit almost any taste so give them a try; after all the price is right with them being free and all!

So here’s to the amazing year that was. From all of us here at VFS I’d like to wish everybody a happy holiday season and a fantastic new year. I know I’m not the only one looking forward to 2015 so we can see what classes like the 38′s or 39′s will turn out in addition to the exciting work that the Programming for Games, Web, and Mobile Students are toiling away on!

And if you are really into games, check out the past 9 years of games from VFS Game Design under the “Desktop Games” and “Browser Games” links at the top of the Arcade website.

Happy Holidays!