Hat Jam 9 – Audio Jam

 

 

Hat Jam 9  asked the students from VFS Game Design to make some noise! With the unfortunate reality that sound in games is often left until late in development, we thought ‘Why not start with sound?’

 

So with 16 random sounds to blindly choose from, each team drew paper from a hat with a link to an audio clip they would be using in their 48 hour games!

 

Our sponsors help us with funding the event, so students didn’t have to worry about food and could focus on making their games. Thank you East Side Games, A Thinking Ape, Iugo, EXP and Freshbowl!

 

Also big thanks to the Volunteers and VFS sound design students that stopped by!

A Conversation with… Daniel Bittencourt

This time A Conversation with… tracked down Daniel Bittencourt  at his own company ‘Digi Ten’ in Brazil, Daniel was from our 8th graduating class.

 

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

I currently run a small indie Studio with another VFS grad, and GD08 classmate of mine, Davi Costa. We founded Digi Ten just over 2 years ago when I moved back to Brazil from Vancouver.
As a game developer, I was responsible for all the programming; Davi produced all the final art assets. The rest of the work: concept art and art direction, design and level design, outsourcing and project management was split between Davi and I.
As a business owner, we’ve had to learn and handle just about everything else – dealing with taxes, drafting contracts, outsourcing work, managing cash flow, participating in events, building partnerships, and much more.

Read More

Hat Jam 8

Hat Jam returns!

With the Global Game Jam in January, Hat Jam took a break. But the 48 hour VFS game jam returned March 13-15. Over 50 students and alumni made 11 games!

Hat Jam 8 was all about remixing classic games with some new twist. Two hats were used to draw the themes and twists jammers would be mixing over the weekend

Read More

Student Endeavours: GD23′s The Last Phoenix on Kickstarter!

Back in July of 2012 five students (David Dryden, Ian MacGregor, Rishi Patkar, Marc St-Onge, and Jay Zhou) finished off their final project “The Last Phoenix”: the crown jewel of their year at VFS, but little did they know that this would just be the start of their journey.

“It was a tremendously visually impressive game, with unique mechanics, and a huge expressive world. Also they were the first group to pioneer with advanced shader techniques at VFS”
- Chris Mitchell: Game Design Instructor

Read More

A Conversation with… Nick Yonge

After watching the CVA awards show, A Conversation with… tracked down Nick Yonge of krangGAMES from our 16th graduating class.

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

Currently I’m self-employed at my own independent games company, krangGAMES. I’m developing downloadable games for home computer and consoles, like my Kickstarter-funded main project, Emerald.
Read More

A Conversation with… Ted Carefoot

This week A Conversation with… reaches out to our 11th graduating class, and found Ted Carefoot, CEO of Lemonade Labs.

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

Currently consulting with Producer/PM contracts, also CEO of a small game studio, Lemonade Labs (currently based in Kelowna, BC), which focuses on creating casual mobile and PC games inspired by physical designer boardgame concepts primarily targeting emerging markets.

Read More

Job Hunting 101 with East Side Games

For those who weren’t able to make it out to East Side Games’ talk about Job Hunting 101, here is a quick summary of the talk! I’d also like to extend a humble thank you to Josh, Kay, Jordan, Josh (yes, 2 of them) and Susan for coming out and offering your advice! It was very much appreciated.

Kicking the presentation off with pizza from Uncle Fatih’s graciously provided by East Side Games and the large turnout of students, the 5 speakers introduced themselves and some of their most important pieces of advice when seeking out a job. By far the largest take away from their talk was the importance of NETWORKING!!

One of the best ways to accomplish this is going out to local meet up events and just speaking with the people there! One such example is the Full Indie Summit this Saturday (August 9th) where many game companies in town will be out, as well as after parties, one of such being hosted by East Side Games themselves!

Another important point, is knowing the company, knowing their games, and playing them! It was heavily emphasized that there is more to talk about in the application process if you know the company and games, as well as showing your passion and hustle. In the games industry, being able to work hard is a strong trait that is valued from prospective companies.

It’s also important to ask, “Not what your company can do for you, but what you can do for your company.” This has importance in not only making sure that you are valuable for your company, but you are to make a more lasting impression if you are able to adapt what you do to best suit the company’s needs, sometimes even changing job roles.

Ultimately, it’s also valuable to be professional, but be yourself. Because it’s important that you are able to fit in with the companies culture and get along with everyone there. Which includes 6 valuable words from Josh, “Leave your ego at the door”.

Although this is just a summary, hopefully the wise words of East Side Games is able to help you out when looking for your first or next job!


Westley Bassett is a TA at VFS and an alumni of the Game Design program

INTERVIEW: Eric Ford, Designer & Programmer of ‘Social Justice Warriors’

SocialJusticeWarriors

In Social Justice Warriors (SJW), the player takes on the role of an internet crusader, fighting trolls wielding popular fallacies such as “Argument from Self-Knowledge”, “Ad Hominem Attack” and “Argument from Incredulity”. Taking inspiration from traditional role-playing games, SJW features four player-classes: Paladin, Cleric, Mage and Rogue.

SJW_Screenshot

Each round the player deals one of four attacks to manage their sanity and reputation levels whilst simultaneously destroying those of their opponents. The game ends when the player’s sanity, reputation, or both, are destroyed.

Initially inspired by a picture of “social justice warrior videogame journalists to avoid” that was making the rounds on social media, the game is a satire on human interaction online and the pains of internet debates.

I spoke with Eric Ford (A.K.A. Nondecimal), designer and programmer of SJW, to find out more about the inspiration behind the game, the process of making it, and public reaction since releasing it and putting it on Steam Greenlight.

Read More

What is the Full Indie Summit?

I want to talk about conferences. Game conferences, specifically. There is a group in Vancouver called Full Indie who is organizing the second year of their Full Indie Summit.

I am one of those organizers and want to explain what the Summit is about and also talk about conferences in general, what they are good for and how to get the best out of them.

What is the Summit?

The Full Indie Summit is a conference on game development with a focus on the independent developer. The Summit features presentations and panels on all matters of interest to game developers, with the goal to inform, educate, inspire and motivate.
Read More

Success Principle #2 For Getting Paid To Make Games

We spend so much time mastering our technical skills that sometimes, just sometimes, we forget that a huge aspect of landing a job, or getting investment, or partnering with team members, or getting promoted is whether the person you are talking to… likes you.

There is a real skill to giving off a good vibe. Some people are naturals. Some are not. Even the pros, you know, those popular people that everyone seems to like, really put conscious effort into connecting with their interlocutor and taking an interest in what is important for them.

Read More