Competitive Gaming: A Twist

 

VFS Level Design Instructor Lanh Doan received bad news last year, due to health reasons he was going to have to take a break from teaching. Lanh was going to be spending a lot of time recovering and getting himself healthy again, and this meant a lot of quality time watching TV and Movies… more importantly it meant  he would be spending a lot of time on his computer. A lot of people (like me) would spend most of that time just playing games and connecting with friends, but Lanh wanted to continue to develop his skills, and there was no better way than competitive gaming.

This was not what most people would expect from competitive gaming, as  a Level Design expert Lanh had a different idea, enter competitions in Level Design. The Gnomon Workshop, an online training site for Artists, was running a monthly contest with a different theme, and awarding prizes to the best entries.

“I came across it when I was researching, development tools for UDK and noticed a familiar name in the industry, Alex Alvarez, an amazing 3D artist that I’d been following for a while.  He is now the founder of the site which is very popular and produces the best educational Dvd sets out there.”


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Con-GRAD-ulations to the 27th Game Design Graduating Class

VFS Game Design Graduation and Awards Show Class 27

At the end of every year in the Game Design program there is a chance to celebrate. The students work so hard throughout the year, and accomplish so much, we need to take some time and celebrate what they have accomplished. It’s not just about the Diploma, it’s also about the amazing things they have done throughout their entire year.

The Graduation and Awards show on April 18th had 2 parts: one part formal, and one part fun. The formal part of the evening began with speeches from myself, from the student-elected class speaker Brant Stutheit, and the student selected Instructor speaker Brenda Gershkovitch. There was laughter, there were tears, but mostly there were great reflections on the friendships that have formed, the experiences that the class have all been through together, and some useful advice for being successful, as they move onto the next phase of their lives. The formalities were wrapped up with the handing out of diplomas and handshakes that make up that portion of the evening.

Next, during a short break, parents, friends and family members were invited up to the 2nd floor production space, where they could see the area that the students’ final projects were created, play the games they made and have some snacks and refreshments.

After the break, the Awards show began… Read More

My Top Ten List For GDC 2013 — Part 2

Games Development Conference 2013

Welcome to Part 2 of my GDC Top 10, featuring moments from the great, but exhausting, 2013 Game Developers Conference.  You can read Part 1 here.

But before I begin, here’s a photograph I’d like to dedicate to Bren Lynne, our programming instructor!

John Romero! …And some other guy!
John Romero! …And some other guy!

#5 Meeting Industry Heavies

You never know who you will bump into at GDC. I found myself riding the escalator next to John Romero, the designer of the original Doom. Doom was a very influential game for me personally, as well as a landmark in the history of games. It’s nice to meet someone you admire, and GDC has an atmosphere that makes it easy to approach anyone and start up a conversation.
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IGF Student Showcase Winners include Game Design Final Project ‘Pulse’

Independent Games Festival Banner 2013

In case you missed it, this year’s Independent Game Festival recently announced the eight Student Showcase winners for the fifteenth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, “celebrating the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year.” As it happens, one of those “brightest and most innovative creations” was Pulse, the final project game of VFS Game Design‘s 22nd graduating class students, Larissa Fuchs, Leanne Roed, Maxwell Hannaman, Michael Cooper and Richard Harrison.

Winner of IGF Student Showcase award Pulse

Pulse also won Best Student Project at the recent Unity awards. Congratulations to the Pulse team for all their success!