Global Game Jam (GGJ) is huge and can be pretty daunting. Last year alone there were 5438 games created in 48 hours. 28,000 participants, worked either in teams or went at it solo, they had to come up with a game idea based around the global theme given to everyone. Then with 48 hours, develop it and with seconds to spare, submit it.
VFS Game Design‘s Head of Department, Dave Warfield, was interviewed recently by the online version of Edge Magazine about the Game Design program, designing games, Women in Games, and achieving success in the Game Industry. Edge Magazine is a multi-format video game magazine published by Future PLC in the UK. The online component was originally known as Next-Gen; the two properties were merged by Future PLC during a rebrand a few years ago. Edge is a leading magazine for the games industry.
The Edge contacted Dave for an interview via Skype from the UK after the success of some of the program’s students came to their attention. It’s a great piece, which also includes a shout out to Team Pixel Pi’s Pulse, which recently managed a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Here are a few highlights of the interview:
On the subject of Game Designers :
“They are the people with the creative vision who work with a team to work out what that vision is. Ultimately they are cat herders who have story skills, artistic skills and technical skills.”
On the subject of Game Design’s Community Site, Arcade:
“The Arcade is an important component of our student experience, it allows us to celebrate the work that our students have done. It allows people to look back at the types of things that have been achieved by our past students, and it allows us to bring together the game design community with interesting stories, games and information.”
On making a success in Games:
“Nowadays it’s a lot less about ‘give the guy a chance and see if he sinks or swims’. People don’t just get pulled out of QA and given a shot. It’s about making sure the next generation are prepared and have skills to shape the industry. I’d like to think I’m helping the next generation and I’m a part of that.”
You can read the full article online here.
It’s time for another Pitch and Play! Tonight (Thursday, May 30, 2013), in the Main Studio at the Game Design campus, the 28th class of VFS Game Design students will present to the Game Industry the final games they’ve spent the last 4 months designing and developing. The students are excited to share their hard work and are looking forward to having experienced game industry people review, play, and provide feedback on what they have created. This feedback is invaluable to help them prepare their portfolios for their graduation on June 20th.
VFS Game Design Teaching Assistant Isaac Calon came up with this great idea for the Students Only segment called “A Conversation With…” It kicks off with Brock Robin (veteran Relic Entertainment game designer and Game Design alumnus), who will be in the TV Studio to answer students’ questions. Students should come prepared! He’ll stick around until 7:00PM or until the questions stop.
Afterwards, the studio will be kept open to play board games, Magic, and Super Street Fighter 4 AE. We plan to start kicking people out at 9:00PM.
The plan is to bring in a new industry veteran once a month for another Double-Feature Friday. Andrés Molina, Programmer and Designer on the Company of Heroes 2 team at Relic is on deck for June.
On Thursday, April 4, 2013 at our industry night event Pitch N Play, the 27th class of VFS Game Design students will present the final games that they have spent the last 4 months designing and developing. The students are excited to share their hard work and look forward to having experienced game industry people review, play, and provide feedback on what they have created. This feedback is invaluable to help them prepare their portfolios, for their graduation on April 18th.
Congratulations to recent VFS Game Design grad Alex Mueller (pictured here between, on the left, Greg Wilson, Development Director of Company of Heroes 2 and, on the right, Kelly Gies, Senior Recruiter at Relic Entertainment)! Alex was selected for the Brian Wood Memorial Internship with Relic Games!
The Brian Wood Memorial Internship was founded by VFS Game Design and Relic Games in memory of the late Brian Wood, who was Relic’s Company of Heroes Online lead designer. Three Game Design students a year are offered the scholarship for a period of four months. The inaugural internship was awarded in February 2011, to Zach Williams. Other recent winners have included: Maxwell Hannaman and Isaac Calon.
Alex Mueller, the first winner for 2013, was also a recipient of a 2012 Game Design Expo Scholarship and graduated with honours from the Game Design program in January 2013. His graduating game project, Chefasaurus, which he developed in collaboration with fellow students Shane O’Connor, Andre Gross, Loi Vu and Mario Gonzalez Ordiano, can be found here on the Arcade Desktop Games page.
Each year VFS awards an outstanding candidate the Women in Game Scholarship to the Game Design program, which sets them on the way to being next generation game designers. But this year, for the 5th Annual edition, there is a bit of a surprise — the candidates were so impressive that we awarded it to four of them!
Two winners will be arriving in April, and the other two will be arriving in June. All of the winners of the scholarship will be sharing their experience with everybody by way of blog posts to Arcade. You can read the posts of the current Women in Games Scholarship winner Kristina Soltvedt from Norway (who will graduate from VFS this June) here. Previous winners Shannon Lee of Canada, (now at BigPark Games), Annie Dickerson from USA, (currently at Grantoo), and Larissa Baptista from Brazil, (who won a Unity Award for best Student game and is currently with DeNa Studios) have graduated and are now making their mark in the games industry.
The Chinese New Year (Year of the Snake) is currently being celebrated with various festivities happening around Vancouver, so we thought we’d join the party with an offering of one of our great games, produced by Game Design students (Pedro Manuel Fraiao de Cardial, Swapan Shah & Luciana Yumi Abe) from the 29th class. It’s a Flash game you can play right in your browser, called Year of the Dragon — click here to check it out! It’s beautifully designed and great fun to play!
This week we take a look back at the Game Design Expo 2013, which happened the weekend before the launch of our new Community Website Arcade! We’re going to do this from a couple of different perspectives, including from students enrolled in the Game Design program, and with a comprehensive review of Saturday’s presentations and of Sunday’s Open House. But first, have a look at this brief overview of highlights from the weekend. (And be sure to not miss out on the great scholarships that are available!)
Hundreds Get a Glimpse Into the Future at Game Design Expo 2013
Game Design Expo 2013, the seventh annual gathering of professionals and gamers hosted by the VFS GameDesign program, has come and gone – and what a memorable weekend it was! Hundreds of people came together for an entire weekend of learning, playing, and networking.
“Plagued by tragedy, young Allie must uncover the truth to protect those she loves in this grand story of mystery, romance, and survival. Become part of the action and help Allie find clues, solve puzzles, and get the answers she needs.”
Allie Hamilton is an interactive movie game for iOS created by Vincent Chi, a 3D Animation & Visual Effects grad and current Game Design Lighting instructor. The app includes over half an hour of animated video, 36 mini-games and puzzles, and 14 original music tracks.