GD37 Pitch and Play

The GD37 class recently presented their final games at their Pitch & Play event. In addition to being the last Pitch & Play event of 2014, these games also represented the first collaboration between students from the Game Design program and students from the recently introduced Programming for Web, Games and Mobile program.

Head of Department Dave Warfield introduced the students and thanked the audience for attending before turning over the event to Dan Sochan, emcee for the evening. After warming up the audience with a few jokes, Dan quickly transitioned to the students’ final projects.


The Brave Tactics team: From left, Kunyeup Lee (Project Manager/Level Designer), Taylor Voth (Systems Programmer), Ben Farrow (Gameplay Designer), Christian Hernandez (Artist), and Ian Jenson (Tech Designer/U.I)

In Brave Tactics, two players face off in a turn-based strategy game. Each player chooses two characters to control during the course of the game. Players can either target their enemy’s pieces or attempt to control special areas on the map to gain points toward victory. To further hamper their opponent, players can alter the vertical height of the tiles on the board.

Brave Tactics began its life as a physical board game and the team chose to keep that style as they transitioned to a digital format. The game echoes the tabletop experience, complete with cans of soda littered around the game board to reinforce the game night feel.

Click here to view the trailer, screenshots, and to download the game!



Certainty Condition, a first-person puzzle game set in the Victorian era, grants players the power to atomize and rearrange objects to help them escape environments. To cement the immersion of a first-person experience, Certainty Condition also features full support for the Oculus Rift.

The team behind Certainty Condition describes their art direction: From left, Patrick Palulis (Designer/Artist), Nicholas Romeo (Designer/Programmer), and Wesley Keeling (Programmer)

The team explained how they refined their puzzle design through their art direction, relying on light, color and shapes to guide players through the puzzles. They avoided using a traditional user interface, ensuring a fully immersive experience for the player.

Click here to view the trailer, screenshots, and to download the game!



The Witching Hour team explains their game’s turret system: From left, Adrien Gilley (Combat Programmer), Nikolas Barto (Project Manager/Audio Designer), Carly Shepherd (Character & 2D Artist), Zachary Mathewstearn (Gameplay & U.I Programmer), Jan Paolo Canita (Environment Artist), Dustin Linnington (A.I. Programmer), and Roy Kaiser (Level and Narrative Director)

At seven people, the team behind The Witching Hour is the largest in VFS history. The Witching Hour is a genre-blending combination of third-person action and tower defense. Armed with spells and defensive turrets, players must repel the waves of skeletal enemies attempting to destroy their home. To survive The Witching Hour, players will need to use all the abilities at their disposal as they teleport across the battlefield.

The team used their level design to encourage players to think strategically and diversify their playstyle.  Every action, from spells to healing, has a corresponding cost, which forces players to truly weigh their options.

Click here to view the trailer, screenshots, and to download the game!



The Stickshift team reacts to the results of an onstage race: From left, Matthew Kirby (3D Modeler/Animator), Cameron White (Track Designer), Nicholas Jennings (Programmer), Dylan Matthews (Environmental Artist), and Erich Kohlweg (PM/U.I. Designer/Audio)

Stickshift takes the arcade racing genre to a futuristic, cylindrical track. Designed for intense, two-player competition, Stickshift uses track obstacles and an arsenal of mines, missiles, and shock attacks to make getting to the finish line anything but easy. The audience got to see a live demo of Stickshift action as the design team went head to head onstage.

The Stickshift team noted that, from the beginning, their design goal had been to increase player interaction as much as possible; when players weren’t seeing one another in early builds, they added a “slipstream” trail behind vehicles so players could always track their competition.

Click here to view the trailer, screenshots, and to download the game!



The Recollection team walks the audience through one of their puzzles: From left, Hugo Moraleida (Gameplay/Tools Programmer), Dani Kogan (Project Manager/Audio Designer), Tyler Thomson (Puzzle/Level Designer), Sandra Gersenowies Jasso (Character Artist), Hugo Lindsay (A.I./Graphics Programmer), and Felipe Caravelli (Environment Artist)

Recollection is a first-person puzzle game in which players guide an elderly man through a surreal afterlife. As the man explores his environment, his path is blocked by puzzles. To solve these puzzles, players gather “shards” in each room. By adding or subtracting these shards from different puzzle elements in their environment, players can manipulate their surroundings to continue moving forward.

The team emphasized their commitment to a compelling atmosphere, going so far as to compose their own music and code unique shaders to ensure they had the right pieces for the story they wanted to tell.

Click here to view the trailer, screenshots, and to download the game!



After the pitches, students headed to the production floor upstairs to mingle with industry professionals and give everyone a hands-on experience with their games. Many of the attendees expressed excitement about the new integration of students from the Programming for Games, Web & Mobile. Others complimented the general polish of all the projects, and the professionalism shown by the students as they pitched their games.

The Stickshift team helps industry professionals set up a race.


A Pitch & Play attendee tries his hand at The Witching Hour.

Be sure to check out all the games by GD37 in the VFS Arcade!

Sara Stern and Kurin Lang are current students of the VFS Game Design program