Alumni Projects: U55 – End of the Line

Leaving VFS is hard. I dare say just about every alumnus or alumna can sing a song about the emptiness you start to feel once you relinquish your key card…
So what do we do to fill this hole? We move on to other amazing and exciting projects!!

In my case this was U55 – END OF THE LINE, a project that my friend Malte M. Boettcher had started back in Germany.
Unified by a strong vision, he assembled a team of about 20 people, all of whom were eager to get on board the project and contribute to the planning and development of U55.

U55 – END OF THE LINE is a survival horror action adventure set in the subway system underneath Berlin that leads players through a subterranean maze infested with unimaginable horrors.

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The Banishing

Ode to Photoshop

As students we rely on many programs that are supposed to help us conquer our everyday challenges as students, yet often times learning and mastering them is a challenge in itself. Yet with every failed attempt we learn, hopefully to create more and more interesting assets, artworks, designs. No other software taught me more about design, about creating and about learning itself than Adobe’s Photoshop.

Ode to Photoshop

Dear Photoshop,

It’s been ten years now since we ventured out on our journey together. Can you believe it? Ten years and none the wiser one might think, but you have taught me so, so, so many things. About design, about drawing, photography and life.

A decade. In game development years that is almost a lifetime (remember how game dev years are dog years?). The first version of you I encountered was 7.0 and looking back… I knew nothing. And even now I barely feel like I scratched the surface of the marvels you had to offer me. 

But what have you done?

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Job Hunting 101 With East Side Games

Josh Nison from East Side Games

When a mysterious item called Job Hunting 101 with Eastside games appeared on our schedules, most of us students did not really know what to expect or what to make of this invitation. Yet the Design Theater was packed to the brim on Friday, May 3rd for this event, which was the first in a series and featured Josh Nilson of Eastside Games, as well as two VFS Game Design alumni currently working there, who talked about the hiring process and the development landscape here in Vancouver.

The talk was moderated by Josh Nilson, founder of Eastside Games, who brought to the table a lot of experience and talked himself into different jobs and made a few mistakes that caused a lot of amusement amongst the audience.

With him were Game Design alumni, Kay Chan and Josh Wood, who are now both valuable members of the Eastside Games team.

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Industry Night Pitch N Play : Two Students’ Perspective

Banner for GD27 Pitch N Play

A night full of creativity and dedication – that was the impression we got from the Industry Night Pitch N Play on April 4, 2013, as the 27th graduating class of the VFS Game Design program showed off their final projects to an audience of industry professionals.

For the students, this was the high point of their year as they presented the result of four months of hard work. For the visiting industry professionals, it was the chance to get a glimpse at the new talent and their fresh and creative ideas. Even by VFS standards, the turnout was quite extraordinary. Relic Entertainment, Capcom and Fathom Interactive were only a few of the local companies present at this event.

Game Design Senior Instructor Andrew Laing

Senior Instructor Andrew Laing set the tone for the evening when he opened by referring to the recent controversy about Richard Garriott, who, in an interview with Gamasutra, claimed that all the game designers he worked with “just really sucked.” But instead of letting this spoil the evening, Andrew concluded: “Well, he must have never met any of our game design students!”

And indeed, the five shown projects were quite impressive.  Since the 27th graduating class was relatively small, one of the teams from the 28th Class, term five, was given the opportunity to present an early version of their project as a preview of their own industry night Pitch N Play coming up in June.


Chromeras is an online multiplayer game for the PC, and it provided a brilliant demonstration of what can be accomplished after little more than a month of development. The team had set up a match with their classmates on the production floor in order to demonstrate the multiplayer capabilities of their game.

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