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.
After the embarrassingly long hand-shakes and diploma ceremony, the students took their friends and family upstairs to show off the projects they created this past year, and then came back downstairs for the Awards show portion of the evening. Congratulations to Nicholas Jennings, Erich Kohlweg, Sandra Gersenowies, Hugo Lindsay, J.P. Canita, Matthew Kirby, Cameron White, and Dani Kogan, all who graduated with Honours!
At the end of the year, we look back on the amazing amount of work the students and staff have done, and select 5 nominees in each category.
And the winners are…
BEST GAME CONCEPT
Nicholas Romeo- “WordSpill”
BEST BOARD GAME
Cameron White - “Stranded”
BEST GAME DESIGN DOCUMENT
Nick Jennings – “Ruthless Business”
EXCELLENCE IN LEVEL DESIGN
Erich Kohlweg – Single Player – Underground Base
EXCELLENCE IN STORY
Nick Barto & Sandra Gersenowies – The Garden
EXCELLENCE IN CODING
EXCELLENCE IN ART
Jarrett Metcalfe (Mentor)
Game Theory Analog (Board Games) – Jay Cormier
BEST 2D PROJECT GAME
“Dead in the Water” – Nicholas Romeo, Erich Kohlweg, Matthew Kirby
BEST FINAL PROJECT
“Recollection” – Dani Kogan, Hugo Lindsay, Felipe Caravelli, Tyler Thomson, Sandra Gersenowies (Hugo Moraleida from Programming for Games, Web & Mobile)
Congratulations to all of our grads, the nominees and the award winners!
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE GRADUATION
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the school,
Not a creature was stirring, this is Tanya’s holiday Rule.
The schedules were hung by the kitchen with care,
In hopes that GD40 soon would be there.
GD37’s were nestled all snug in their beds,
For the first time in a year they got to rest their heads.
And Sandra in her ‘kerchief, and Cristian in his cap,
Had just settled their brains for a long winter’s nap.
When from the production floor there arose such a clatter,
Security and Dee were called to see what was the matter.
Was someone still here working on a game made in Flash?,
Or did JP and Patrick come back to make a new game for cash.
The fluorescent lights reflected off the new-fallen snow
And the locals were collecting Lee and Dani’s cigarette butts below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a development team, with eight tiny gameers.
With a duo of drivers, in a flurry of clicks,
I knew in a moment it must be the 2 Nick’s.
More rapid than eagles their designers they came,
And they whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Cameron! now Carly! now Erich and Taylor!
On, Dylan! On, Matthew! on Hugo and Tyler!
We’re finally done, To the elevator! to the hall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
Laughing like kids with a sparkly new toy,
They gathered their stuff, and then gathered Roy.
So down from the 3rd floor the designers they flew,
With a backpack of controllers, and Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the lobby
What sounded like crying, or was it a sobby.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the hallway Felipe came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Games he had flung on his back,
Resumes in his hand, and business cards in a pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
right below a fake mustache, A grin on his face,
he exclaimed rather loudly “I’m done with this place”.
Zachary was giggling like a jolly little elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
Ben packed up his laptop with a twist of his head,
And I knew at that time they had nothing to dread.
GD37 showed up last year and went straight to their work,
They created their games, and didn’t act like a jerk.
They studied they learned, they created cool things,
And today on grad day they get to spread their wings!
I couldn’t be prouder, to watch them all grow
Game designers of tomorrow are sitting in that and that row.
So tonight I say “congrats and well done, your future is bright”
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”