VFS SUMMER INTENSIVE – THE GAME DESIGN EXPERIENCE

Whether soaking in some rays on the beach or hiking up mountain trails, summertime in Vancouver allows people to enjoy all the natural beauty the city has to offer.  Summertime in Vancouver also marks the time for Vancouver Film School to host its Summer Intensives – and we did just that.

From July 21 to 25, 2014, the Game Design program opened its doors to 16 fresh faced and enthusiastic individuals wanting a small taste of what it would be like to enroll in the program.  Located in Vancouver’s Chinatown district the school is a hub of game design activity, bringing together people from various backgrounds and experiences to join in their common passion of video games.

 

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The Graduation Ceremony of Class GD31

Class GD31 saw the end of 2013 with a bang by celebrating their Graduation from the Game Design program.  The night was a mixture of looking back at an amazing year of work accomplished, friendships forged and exciting opportunities to look forward to.

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Diving into Game Design @ VFS

Every year, VFS opens its doors to over one thousand excited and sharp-minded students ready to pursue their passions.  Instead of delving in a traditional 2 to 4 year program, these students have chosen to dive deep into a one-year intensive learning experience here at VFS.  For the Game Design program, this means one year of absorbing as much as they can by immersing themselves into all things game design.

This can be hard enough for local students, but if you are an international student, there can be added challenges.  For example:

  • English may be a second language
  • you have left your home, friends and family to relocate to a new country where you don’t now anyone
  • this is the first time you will be living away from home

The point is, no matter if you are a young adult or mature student, this year can be an overwhelming and we at VFS understand that.

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The Game Design Summer Intensive Experience 2013

During the week of July 8 to 12, 2013, the Game Design program at Vancouver Film School, located in Vancouver’s Chinatown district, welcomed 15 brave explorers to its Game Design Summer Intensive experience. These explorers may have come from different lands and backgrounds, but they had one thing in common – a passion for creating video games. It is thanks to this passion that they found themselves enrolled in a week-long intensive experience of All Things Video Game Design.

DAY I

The students’ initiation began with a welcome from the Head of the Game Design program Dave Warfield, after which they were off to their first class of Game Theory taught by Instructor Chris Mitchell and Senior Instructor Andrew Laing. During the course of the day students became immersed in the roles of the game designer and analyzed the basic rules and mechanics of gaming.

One of the hardest things to do is to come up with an idea… and by idea, I mean a ‘good’ idea.  There is a fine art to making a game challenging yet entertaining – the motto: if a segment of the game or level is not fun to play, then it needs to be cut, no matter how much you love it. Chris and Andrew shared useful advice, suggestions, techniques and approaches on how to keep the creative process fresh and flourishing, as well where to find inspiration.

Right off the bat, students were divided into teams and asked to brainstorm unique game ideas, keeping in mind 5 essential questions:
1. What is the game?
2. What is the core mechanic?
3. What is the core challenge?
4. Why make the game?
5. Why would you enjoy making the game?

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