May 14th is Provincial Election day in British Columbia, and one of the hot topics of this election is the government support of the entertainment Industry.
About a month ago I reached out to the political parties of B.C. to see if any of them could provide a solution to the recent trend of major game studios in BC moving to provinces providing better funding or closing up shop. Only one party responded. I won’t say which one, because promoting a party isn’t what this article is about. Shortly after this brief twitter/email encounter, I learned about the game industry VoteMob, which took place at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown.
The VoteMob was an awesome opportunity to take part in an act of solidarity with the other entertainment industries in the technology sector, Film, TV, Games and so on. It also provided a networking opportunity for eager students like myself. The opportunity also encouraged young people to get out and vote. Individuals who may have sooner stayed away from the poles took the opportunity to network, enjoy the sun and get out of the office early on the Friday.
Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Patrick Plourde, Creative Director at Ubisoft, about his work on Far Cry 3, which is an amazingly fun game. The fun of the game was the muse of my inquiring mind when talking with Patrick. Being that I am an aspiring designer myself, I wanted to know what the Ubisoft/Patrick Plourde secret recipe for fun is. In other words, what’s “under the hood” of Far Cry 3?
This was the first year VFS sponsored a jam site for the event. Given that it is a globally recognized game creating event, it makes sense that VFS got involved. The game site was open to current VFS students, and VFS Art Instructor and Mentor Roger Mitchell was also on hand to help out. We didn’t have to pay a registration fee and we were able to use the school’s resources for free. Out of our group of Jammers, most of us were students enrolled in the Game Design program, but there was one exception — a student named Sara Franco from the VFS Animation program. It was great to work with someone who was a VFS student but in a different program than myself, and having an animator really pushed the art in our game further.
On Friday, January 18, to kick off the 2013 Game Design Expo I went to a presentation by Armando Troisi at the VFS Game Design campus. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the VFS game design alumnus. I quickly learned that Armando Troisi is a “somebody” in the video game industry — he’s Narrative Director at 343 Industries, who developed Halo 4.
After he spoke about who he is and where he is in the world of video game production, he opened up the floor for questions. I have recently started learning Interactive Narrative Design in the Game Design program, so a lot of what he had to say was central to my current projects. The information he shared was so relevant and informative that I was compelled to speak to him afterwards, if only just to shake his hand and say “Thanks”. As his allotted time came to a close, I looked over my notes to recap. That’s when I noticed that I had missed something.