Graduation & Awards for the FIRST Class of Programming for Games, Web, & Mobile

Spring has sprung at VFS! and what better way to recognize Spring than by celebrating the graduation of the first batch of students from VFS’ NEW Program. The FIRST class of Programming for Games, Web, & Mobile graduated on February 26th.

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Too young for VFS?

So many times we have parents asking us about how their teenage kids can develop their skills before they are ready for a program like VFS Game Design or VFS Programming for Games, Web & Mobile. It was always a tough question to answer, as very few communities offered this type of training.

Now there is, one of our instructors, Ivo van der Marel, is also the CTO for Under the GUI. Under the GUI is a computer programming school dedicated to teaching children from 8-16 how to create video games and more. They teach in the evenings and weekends, outside of regular school hours. Their teachers encourage students to expand their limitless creativity through the creation of video games, apps, and traditional software using the same tools used by professionals in the field.

This could be the perfect stepping stone to prepare for a VFS program, giving them a running start on the career of their dreams.

For more information on Under the GUI click here!

Graduation and Awards show for the 37th class of Game Design

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.

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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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Grad Night for the 35th class of Game Design

Summer is finally here, 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 August 21st 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 Jamie Thompson took us through an emotion filled story of the past year in Game Design, and finally student selected Instructor speaker Paul Jensen closed the speeches with his insights into the members of this graduating 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 Marlon, Dustin, Mark and Dylan, all who graduated with honours.

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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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GD34 Graduation & Awards Show

Summer is finally here, 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 June 27th 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 Daniel Garma took us back through a timeline of  this past year in Game Design, and finally student selected Instructor speaker Calder Archinuk closed the speeches with an overview of the 34 iterations of his grad speech.

 

 

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 Guerric, Nicha, Jeremy, Rafe, Jakobsen, Spencer, and Jaymee, all who graduated with honours.

 
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Into the Armoury: Antiquity

Long swords, falchions, zweihanders, scimitars, maces, flails… If you have interacted with any medieval and/or fantasy inspired media, be it books, games, movies (and honestly, who hasn’t nowadays? Thank you Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones!) there is a very large chance you have heard these terms thrown around, among hundreds of others. The development of weapons has accompanied humans since the Stone Age, and as a consequence, weapons are often crucial points to our stories, both historical and fiction, and by extension games. Where would King Arthur be without Excalibur? How much fun would Dark Souls be if all you could do is punch enemies? This series will dive into the amazingly diverse world of weapons, spanning cultures all across the globe over thousands of years of history. Each article will focus on a unique culture or time period, exploring the looks, features, uses and cultural significance of their armaments, hopefully providing useful information, reference, and inspiration to all you designers and artists out there. If all goes well, by the end of the series you will not only know the difference between an arming sword, a great sword and a long sword, but also be fluent in exotic terms such as “Maquahuitl”, “Falcata”, and “Scramaseax”, among many others.

The first section will examine the world of Antiquity and be split into two articles, taking a look at the military technologies of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, as well as the so called “Barbarians” of the era.

 

We begin our journey roughly 4000 years ago, in the lands around the Nile River. Over the course of its long history, the ancient Egyptian military was primarily composed of archers and infantry, generally unarmoured other than a light shield due to the baking desert heat. The most common armaments for these units were bows and spears, both of which were devastating against equally unarmored foes.

 

Even though not as widely used as the previous weapons, a new weapon emerged during the New Kingdom period (1550-1077 BCE), which would go on to become one of the most iconic weapons of the Egyptian time.

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Creative Coding

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People often put creativity and logic at odds. This seems rather silly to me, an unnecessary and limiting binary. You have to be very creative to solve problems with logic, and creative efforts often demand a applied and determined logic. Creating a plot that keeps your reader engaged requires creating an internally consistent set of rules for your setting and applying them. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that they found it odd that I loved both creative writing and mathematics, but honestly I love systems. When I started coding I found a wonderful blend of the creative creation of systems, and the analytic study of those systems. Plus, it makes me feel like a sorcerer.

I think that when you empower the player to experience and enjoy those systems and if you make powerful code you give designers the feeling of directly making the action. But there will always be a gap between design and code implementations. I cannot give a designer a tool that codes for them, and even the most detailed instructions are ultimately interpreted or else your map is as big as your world. And that is why as a new game designer I felt it was imperative to learn to code and to dive as deeply into that part of our field as I could. It’s wonderful to get to input values into a publicly available variable and change how high a character can jump, but I wanted to create how the character jumped. Does it use physics, or translate its motion across spaces? Is it pulled by an invisible game object, or are the motions one to one with animation? As a writer, I wanted to create stories to put in my games, but I wanted even more to lay the narrative in the foundations of the actions and logic that created meaning for the player moment to moment. I want to give the player the best tools to make their most meaningful stories within the worlds where they play.

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