A Conversation With… Diego Pons

This time A Conversation with… tracked down Diego Pons with Next Level Games, from our 4th graduating class.

 

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

Working at Next Level Games as a game designer, currently doing Core Design.

Initially I was hired as a Presentation Designer, but I’ve had the opportunity to do UI Design, Level Design, Project Pitching, Story, Preproduction and even a bit of Environmental Art.

 

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A Conversation with…

As part of our new series, we reach out to our alumni to check in. First up is Matt McTavish, a graduate of our 2nd class of Game Design.


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

I’m working at Next Level Games in Vancouver as a game designer. Our latest release was Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS, which has been our most successful game yet. Developing Luigi’s Mansion was pretty rad because we got to collaborate closely with Shigeru Miyamoto-san and a small group of talented developers at Nintendo. We were one of the first studios to develop for the 3DS, so creating a game for stereoscopic 3D was new for everyone. It was awesome, we learned a lot!

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Luigi’s Mansion 2 : Interview with VFS Alumni on the Development Team

Box Art for Luigi's Mansion 2 : Dark Moon

Luigi’s Mansion 2 : Dark Moon was released March 24, 2013 and right away it took off like a rocket. It was the top selling game in Japan for three weeks in a row. We (myself, Senior Instructor Andrew Laing and Head Of Department Dave Warfield) conducted an interview with VFS Game Design graduates who helped in the creation of this very successful game.

Thanks very much to Diego Pons, Matt McTavish, Cavin Yen, and Jeffrie Wu for their time and for producing such a fun game. And thanks to Doug Tronsgard and Rob Davidson from Next Level Games (NLG) for helping to make this interview happen.

Cavin Yen, Diego Pons, Matt McTavish (behind Diego) & Jeffrie Wu
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January 2013 Pitch And Play Review

Sean Smillie introduces the evening

On Thursday, January 31, 2013, VFS Game Design hosted it’s industry night event Pitch and Play, giving their 26th graduating class the chance to show off months of hard work, and industry professionals the opportunity to check out some great talent. The event saw another terrific turnout, with representatives from studios such as Next Level Games, United Front Games, and Jet Pack Interactive making an appearance.

The presentation also provided the backdrop for the official announcement of Game Design’s community blog and games site Arcade, with Dave Warfield calling for contributors to help make the site a showcase hub for student achievements.

Dave Warfield introduces Arcade to the Pitch and Play crowd

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UFG’s Sleeping Dogs : The VFS Connection

Cover for Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs is an open world action-adventure video game developed by United Front Games (UFG) and published by Square Enix for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Since it’s release on August 14, it’s been flying off the shelves, and it’s had some great reviews — with GameRankings and Metacritic, giving it an aggregate score of 85 and 82 percent, respectively. This is also some source of pride for VFS, given that a range of some 30 people (students and faculty), including Game Design Instructor Victor Kam, who was Senior World Artist at UFG, Game Design Industry Mentor Dan Sochan, who has also been a Producer at UFG since 2007, and alumnus Jeffrie Wu, who was Technical Designer at UFG, and is currently Technical Level Designer at Next Level Games.

We spoke recently with Jeffrie Wu about his experience working on the game (starting back in 2009) and present our inteview with him here:

Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
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