From the beginning of January (Term 2), I have been taking part in the Role Playing Lab at VFS. The RolePlaying Lab consists of weekly sessions in which we meet to play table-top RPGs.
In the case of my group, we are playing a Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 campaign.
Although I have heard a lot about them, I had never got the chance to play a table RPG before. In some way I am glad because now I learned how to do it with an amazing Dungeon Master! Funny enough, our Dungeon Master is a VFS Graduate himself. Diego R. Pons graduated way back in 2006, in the 4th Game Design Class ( we are in the 40th class), and currently works at Next Level Games. Our DM plays all characters incredibly well, and is able to provide us with a deeply immersive experience both with his performance and the soundtrack and images he prepares.
It’s Christmastime at VFS, and what better reason to celebrate than Graduation. Our 37th class of Game Design graduated on December 18th.
It all begins with speeches from the Head of the Department, Dave Warfield, the class selected student speaker, Nicholas Romeo, and wrapped up with the student selected Instructor, Andrew Laing. Each of them looked back on the last year, and also looked ahead at the great future these alumni have in the Games Industry. Dave’s Christmas poem is included at the end of this article.
It’s Fall in Vancouver, and once again the Game Designprogram has a reason to celebrate. It’s graduation night, a night to celebrate, to look back on the year, and recognize the amazing things they have done.
The Graduation and Awards show on October 23rd has a mix of parts: one part formal, and one part fun. The formal part of the evening hosted by Tanya Jensen, began with a congratulatory speech from the Head of Game Design Dave Warfield, then the student-elected class speaker David Milne took us through stories of the past year in Game Design, and finally student selected Instructor speaker Rick Davidson closed the speeches with his advice for the class.
Each of the speakers had some deep insight into what they had just been through, and how to prepare for the coming months, but mostly it was a chance to look back on the year, and look ahead to the bright future this class has. The formalities continued with the handing out of diplomas and the embarrassingly long handshakes that make up that portion of the evening. Congratulations to James, Ian, David, James, and Matthew, all who graduated with honours.
Another hat jam. Another amazing weekend filled with creative minds, prototyped innovation and much caffeine. All in the name of making a game from start to finish in 48-hours. This time around, we were lucky to have the support of East Side Games, IUGO mobile entertainment, Hothead Games and Fresh Bowl.
For those unfamiliar with Hat Jam, our game jam is named as such because jammers draw themes out of a hat. They’re then tasked with creating games based on these themes, with this month’s apt category being “Zentember” – pseudo zen koans.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for board game fanatics here at the game design campus. Thanks to a hook-up from GD11 alumni Ted Carefoot of Lemonade Labs we have acquired a HUGE assortment of new board games to play and analyze! Whether you’re looking to play something American, Euro-style, family, or even children’s games we’ve got a plethora of interesting new titles for our students to check out.
Smash Up ready to go
The “shufflebuilding” game Smash Up starts with a simple premise: Take the twenty-card decks of two factions, shuffle them into a forty-card deck, then compete to smash more Bases than your opponents! Each faction brings a different game mechanism into play – pirates move cards, zombies bring cards back from the discard pile, dinosaurs have huge power – and every combination of factions brings a different play experience.
After work one evening, fellow TA Shad invited me out to a dinner with a focused discussion on board games. Slightly interested, I decided to tag along. Although I wasn’t expecting to see Instructors Jay and Graeme, it wasn’t a surprise since they are definitely huge board game enthusiasts! After everyone went around the tables introducing themselves and food was ordered, the special guest introduced himself as Tom Felber. Although I did not know him before or the Spiel des Jahres beforehand, I most certainly will remember it now!