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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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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Gamers can read! This week: Traitor’s Blade

Are you salivating while you wait for season 4 of Game of Thrones? Well I have just the thing to tide you over until that GoT itch can be scratched. It’s called a book! You remember those! And interestingly enough, I just learned that Game of Thrones is actually based on a series of them. The tome I am reviewing today is called Traitor’s Blade.

Traitor’s Blade is high fantasy that follows the exploits of swordsman Falcio val Mond. The setting is a medieval world named Tristia which is divided into several duchies. Tristia is a very well thought out land and contains many factions and history of its own. And if you enjoy a lot of action, witty writing and great storytelling you are sure to enjoy Traitor’s Blade.

The opening sequence makes it very clear that this story is not for children but rather adult fans of fantasy. And no quarter is afforded to the reader when it comes to the depictions of violence contained within. The combat sequences are very well detailed and part of that description is going to include the unpleasant end result for one duelist every time.

Busy author Sebastien de Castell was kind enough to answer a few questions in between his book signings and other interviews.

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Graduation & Awards show for the 32nd class of Game Design

The Olympics are over, 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 February 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 speech from myself, then the student-elected class speaker Rony Miller spoke from the hip about his classmates past year in Game Design, and finally student selected Instructor speaker Jonathan Falkowski closed the speeches with some heart-warming words and stories about this crazy batch of students.

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 Miles, Melissa, Sebastian, Gui, and Karthik, all who graduated with honours.
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The Graduation Ceremony of Class GD31

Class GD31 saw the end of 2013 with a bang by celebrating their Graduation from the Game Design program.  The night was a mixture of looking back at an amazing year of work accomplished, friendships forged and exciting opportunities to look forward to.

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Games, Stories, and Game Stories

This post is an excerpt from the Foreword to “Side Stories: Short Fiction by Game Developers”.

 

What’s the story of Tetris?

Success disappears, and failure piles up.

 

Game developers are unique creatures, just as games are a unique art form.

And games definitely are an art form.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

Game developers tend to be voracious consumers of media, especially entertainment media.  Most game developers I know are also rabid readers, cinephiles, comic book nuts, music lovers, and news junkies.  They are cultural sponges, soaking up everything that modern media has to offer, and letting it all simmer in a dynamic mix of references, influences, information, trivia, memes, styles, and themes.

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Hat Jam 3 – The Temptation of Antonio the Vampire [Post-Mortem]

Hat Jam is a game jam that runs at VFS (Vancouver Film School) once a term and is organized by fellow students Anna Prein and Michelangelo Pereira Huezo.

Teams of 3 had less than 48 hours to design and make a game from scratch, based on a painting that was randomly given to them.

You can read Anna’s write up of the jam on the VFS arcade and play games made by other teams HERE.

I entered with two of my classmates, Danilo Reyes and Guerric Haché, winning best story.

Picture taken from here: Danilo, myself and Guerric, with a screenshot of our game.

This post is about the process behind the game we made, ‘The Temptation of Antonio the Vampire’, which can be played by clicking HERE.

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SUPER-Mythology 101: Part 2 DC Comics

SUPER-Mythology 101 Part 2: DC Comics

In my last article I discussed the mythological structure of the Marvel Universe via the origins of The Human Torch, Iron Fist, Ben Reilly, and Kaine. This time I would like to look at the flip side of that coin and post about three heroes from DC Comics because this notion is equally as prevalent in the DC Universe as it is in the Marvel Universe, if not more so.  Also in part one, I chose three somewhat obscure entries, this was a side-effect of my more in depth experience with Marvel Comics, in this entry I am selecting three of the heavier hitters from the DC Comics catalog.

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