Grad Night for the 36th class of Game Design

It’s Fall in Vancouver, and once again the Game Design program 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 Jensenbegan 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.

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On the Level with Sam Beliveau

In this very first session of On the Level I get the chance to chat up Sam Beliveau, a VFS Game Design graduate of class GD14 who has been keeping busy as a World Designer working on the commercially and critically successful game, Destiny.

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GD38 2D Projects

GD38 2D Projects

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014 VFS held it’s 2D Projects course presentations, which consisted of 7 great 2D games from the GD38 class. All the games, along with their descriptions and a link to play them are listed below.

 

FALLEN HERO is a 2.5D side-scrolling dark fantasy exploration game where the player goes through a medieval castle collecting clues and solving puzzles to discover the origins of the curse of the main protagonist, the fallen hero. The game mixes a blend of 2D size scrolling exploration with first person interactive sequences for puzzle solving and item pickups.

Developed by Daniel Alcivia Smith, Vitor Castanheira, Alain Marchino, and Jean-Paul Peschard.

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GD36 Pitch and Play

Another term at VFS and another graduating class of game designers hit the stage at the GD36 Pitch & Play event. Four teams of aspiring game designers showcased their games in front of VFS Game Design Staff and industry professionals on October 2ndand were later joined on the production floor as folks played their completed games and built new connections in the games industry.

Game Design department head Dave Warfield opened the night by addressing the audience before passing on the torch to emcee Rick Davidson, who used his charm and wit to engage spectators in the studio and those watching the online stream. Without further ado, here are the four amazing projects that were presented by our freshly baked game designers!

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A Conversation with… Chris Fox

This week A Conversation with… tracked down our 18th graduating class, and found Chris Fox at PopCap Games.

 

  • Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry

I’ve been with PopCap for nearly 3 years now. I’m currently the lead gameplay designer on Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare.

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GD35 Pitch and Play

This August saw the departure of another excellent batch of design students in the form of GD35. The variety and polish of their final projects was truly astounding, and they got a chance to show off all their great work at another Vancouver Film School Pitch and Play. VFS alumni and industry professionals packed into the TV Studio at the Game Design campus one warm evening to see what these students had put together, and the students did not disappoint. Here’s a quick glimpse into the awesome games that were demonstrated for us on stage:

THE EXHIBIT

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Hat Jam 6: Zentember

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 GamesIUGO mobile entertainmentHothead 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.

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A Conversation with… Chris Lee

This week A Conversation with… went way back to our 3rd graduating class, and found Chris Lee from Ubisoft Montreal.

  • Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry

I’m currently working as a Game Designer on recently announced Rainbow Six Siege at Ubisoft Montreal.

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New board game arrivals

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

SmashUp

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.

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Boardgame Award Spiel des Jahres

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!

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