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 Jensen, began 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.
Next, during a short break, parents, friends and family members were invited up to the 2nd floor production space, where they could see the area that the students’ final projects were created, play the games they made and have some snacks and refreshments.
After the break, the Awards show began…
Project Design Instructor Chris Mitchell and Senior Project Management Instructor Olivia Bogacki presented the first award for Best Game Concept Award; an award that looks at the original and unique game ideas that students create in their first couple of terms. The winner was Daniel Garma with his game concept @L!VE.
During term one, the students create a board game. Game Theory Practical instructor Jay Cormier and TA Wes Bassett presented the award for Best Board Game won by Tim Gautron and Kat Hairfield for Providence.
Next up is everyone’s favourite assignment — the biblical in size, Detailed Design Document. Game Design TA’s Shad Miller and Wes Bassett gave the award to Jakobsen Beck for his game, Dungeon Burlesque.
The awards were then given for the Excellence Awards, which are based on outstanding work done during the year in one of 4 specialties: Level Design, Story, Coding and Art. The winners were: Spencer Goring (Level Design), Jaymee Mak & Danilo Reyes (Story), Willy Campos (Coding), and Adir Fakiro (Art).
The students were asked to select an “Unsung Hero” — someone who goes out of their way to assist, guide, or educate, separately from any type of instructor responsibilities. Graduating students Chema Leon and Spencer Goring presented the award to Brant Stutheit, an alumni and former TA.
Also selected by students are two awards that focus on the classroom: the Best Instructor and Best Course Awards.
First up, graduating students Andrew Cheney and Jakobsen Beck presented the Best Instructor Award to Chris Mitchell, then graduating students Jaymee Mak and Guerric Haché presented the Best Course Award to Dave Warfield and Olivia Bogacki for the Game Production course.
Then it was the 2 awards everyone is waiting for, the 2 group projects: the Best Flash Game is the first team-based game project that students create in term 2. Game Audio Instructor Steve Royea and Flash Instructor Jacob Tran presented the award to Stack’n Smores by Chema Leon, Nicha Jaijadesuk, Katherine Hairfield, and Kdu Novaes . (click HERE to check it out)
The final award of the evening is also the biggest assignment of the year — the culmination of an entire year’s worth of training put into practice… the 8 week Pre-Production, 12 week Development, team-based Final Projects… Senior Instructor Andrew Laing, and Head of Game Design Dave Warfield announced “And the Winner is… Nebular Online” by Chema Leon, Willy Campos, Kdu Novaes, and Adir Fakiro. (click HERE to check it out)
(For a complete list of past Game Design Awards Winners click here)
Following the Awards show, a post-graduation celebration was held at EXP Restaurant & Bar. As best we could tell, a good time was had by all.
The Nominees and winners should all be very proud of their work, but this was just a small sample of the incredible work that all of these students did over the course of the year. So, to the entire 34th class of Game Design, I say, Con-GRAD-ulations! I look forward to seeing amazing things from all of you in the future!