A Conversation with… Jordan Tame

This time A Conversation with… bumped into Jordan Tame at Bestie’s, so we asked him a few questions, Jordan is from our 29th graduating class.


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

I am a Game Design generalist at East Side Games Studio, a Vancouver based independent studio. My focus is on mobile, “free to play” game design for a few different projects. this includes writing up and owning communication for features.

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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

Meet Women in Games Scholarship Winners Anna Prein & Janel Jolly

Women in Games Scholarship Winners Anna Prein and Janel Jolly

It’s Week 5 of Term 1, and we thought it was about time for us to sit down and have a chat – “we” being Janel Jolly and Anna Prein, from VFS Game Design‘s Class 33. Being both recipients of the Women in Games Scholarship, we wanted to learn more about each other, and what we thought of the program. So, let’s start!

Janel Jolly : Hey Anna! I’ll go ahead and start with the first question. What attracted you to the Game Design program at the Vancouver Film School?

Anna Prein : I’ve been living in Vancouver for about 5 years now, and a former roommate actually applied for the same Women in Games Scholarship a few years back. Once I had finished having my existential crisis about doing an unrelated undergraduate degree and then committed to pursuing game design, VFS was the first school I thought of.

In the past year, I started actively going to events in the community here, like Full Indie, and I kept meeting VFS Game Design graduates who were all intensely positive about their experience and who urged me to apply. I think that was definitely the biggest push! What about you?

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VoteMob : The Game Industry Shows Their Numbers

VoteMob Roundhouse May 10 2013 — Photo by Cindy Chow

May 14th is Provincial Election day in British Columbia, and one of the hot topics of this election is the government support of the entertainment Industry.

About a month ago I reached out to the political parties of B.C. to see if any of them could provide a solution to the recent trend of major game studios in BC moving to provinces providing better funding or closing up shop. Only one party responded. I won’t say which one, because promoting a party isn’t what this article is about. Shortly after this brief twitter/email encounter, I learned about the game industry VoteMob, which took place at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown.

The VoteMob was an awesome opportunity to take part in an act of solidarity with the other entertainment industries in the technology sector, Film, TV, Games and so on. It also provided a networking opportunity for eager students like myself. The opportunity also encouraged young people to get out and vote. Individuals who may have sooner stayed away from the poles took the opportunity to network, enjoy the sun and get out of the office early on the Friday.

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A Chat With Game Design Grad Kay Chan

Kay Chan from East Side Games

When asked about her experience as a student of VFS, Kay Chan describes it as, “Intensely fun!” Kay Chan was part of the 22nd graduating class of VFS Game Design and is currently working as an Associate Producer at East Side Games, Vancouver, Canada.

Originating from Sydney, Australia, Kay was working in marketing and web development when she realised, “Hey! Someone has to make games.” She decided the switch to video games and looked at game design schools all over the world. She felt that VFS had a pretty good resume and portfolio of student games. “In a way, it was a really quick program: a 1-year intensive, as opposed to a 2-year master’s program,” she said. Talking to other students helped her make her decision to join VFS Game Design.
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Game Changing : Thriving During Game Industry Seismic Shift

Games are changing.

The landscape once dominated by behemoth AAA titles is almost gone.

Gamers have more choices. Social games and free-to-play models have transformed the game industry you thought you knew. And ballooning budgets for high-profile titles mean you need a blockbuster of Modern Warfare proportions to turn a profit.

As The Verge wrote in their July 22nd article: “Developing an AAA game is rapidly becoming one of the most expensive enterprises humans can undertake, outside of building battleships, launching space vehicles, or making movies.”

But here’s the thing. For the emerging game designer — or animator or sound editor, for that matter — none of this a bad thing. It actually means opportunity.
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2012 Women in Games Scholarship Winner : Kristina Soltvedt Wiik

2012 marks the fourth year Vancouver Film School has offered the Women in Games Scholarship, opening up more opportunities for women in Game Design, and in those four years we’ve seen an impressive roster of diverse winners. Shannon Lee, the inaugural winner, hails from Vancouver, although the prize found her in Japan; she is now at BigPark innovating with Kinect. Second-year winner Annie Dickerson is a native of Washington State, and a former elementary school teacher, and currently works for East Side Games. Larissa Baptista from Brazil was the third recipient, and was recently featured with her final project team on CBC television.

Kristin Soltvedt Wiik, winner of Women in Games Scholarship

This year’s winner, Kristina Soltvedt Wiik, hails from Norway, and arrives at VFS having worked for three years as a journalist for Gamereactor Magazine. Kristina is especially interested in the narrative possibilities of games, and has already worked as a Narrative Designer on a PC game developed in Vancouver.

Kristina says, “It is a tremendous privilege to be awarded such a coveted scholarship, and I can’t help but be excited at the possibility of realizing my dreams. I’m really looking forward to the year ahead of me, and the ensuing opportunities my year at VFS will surely offer.”

Congratulations, Kristina!