One of the biggest challenges of being an educator is to continually evolve your curriculum to stay one step ahead of the curve. We caught wind of HTML5 a while back and have been keeping a close eye on its evolution. It has not taken off as fast as we expected, however, there are a lot of great features that show promise. For example, the ability to be supported on many platforms including mobile, recognition that it is the new online standard, and faster performance than previous versions of HTML.
VFS Game Design‘s Head of Department, Dave Warfield, was interviewed recently by the online version of Edge Magazine about the Game Design program, designing games, Women in Games, and achieving success in the Game Industry. Edge Magazine is a multi-format video game magazine published by Future PLC in the UK. The online component was originally known as Next-Gen; the two properties were merged by Future PLC during a rebrand a few years ago. Edge is a leading magazine for the games industry.
The Edge contacted Dave for an interview via Skype from the UK after the success of some of the program’s students came to their attention. It’s a great piece, which also includes a shout out to Team Pixel Pi’s Pulse, which recently managed a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Here are a few highlights of the interview:
On the subject of Game Designers :
“They are the people with the creative vision who work with a team to work out what that vision is. Ultimately they are cat herders who have story skills, artistic skills and technical skills.”
On the subject of Game Design’s Community Site, Arcade:
“The Arcade is an important component of our student experience, it allows us to celebrate the work that our students have done. It allows people to look back at the types of things that have been achieved by our past students, and it allows us to bring together the game design community with interesting stories, games and information.”
On making a success in Games:
“Nowadays it’s a lot less about ‘give the guy a chance and see if he sinks or swims’. People don’t just get pulled out of QA and given a shot. It’s about making sure the next generation are prepared and have skills to shape the industry. I’d like to think I’m helping the next generation and I’m a part of that.”
You can read the full article online here.
But before I begin, here’s a photograph I’d like to dedicate to Bren Lynne, our programming instructor!
John Romero! …And some other guy!
#5 Meeting Industry Heavies
You never know who you will bump into at GDC. I found myself riding the escalator next to John Romero, the designer of the original Doom. Doom was a very influential game for me personally, as well as a landmark in the history of games. It’s nice to meet someone you admire, and GDC has an atmosphere that makes it easy to approach anyone and start up a conversation.
Last week, Vancouver Film School visited Austin, Texas to attend South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin’s annual mega-festival, which celebrates film, music and interactive media on both a local and international scale. Consider this a case of testing the waters — since it was VFS’s first visit — but it demonstrates that VFS shows well on any stage, and we really enjoyed meeting, greeting and eating amongst the city’s finest and friendliest.
First of all, full disclosure that I’m an alumnus (yes, I Googled the grammar), and a very recent one at that, of the VFS Game Design program. SXSW was a real thrill for its size and bustle, and it’s officially the first event that I’ve got to visit as a full-blown industry professional. While there, I met developers from Unity, Nintendo, the new Xi3 Piston computer, and of games like Hawken, Tomb Raider (the new one!) and World of Tanks. I even sat in on a discussion featuring one of my favourite designers, Jenova Chen, the creator of Journey, Flower and Flow, and found myself building Lego creations at a random table, sitting beside the legendary Cliff Bleszinski, the creator of Gears of War. I helped him look for fence pieces.
In case you missed it, this year’s Independent Game Festival recently announced the eight Student Showcase winners for the fifteenth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, “celebrating the brightest and most innovative creations to come out of universities and games programs from around the world in the past year.” As it happens, one of those “brightest and most innovative creations” was Pulse, the final project game of VFS Game Design‘s 22nd graduating class students, Larissa Fuchs, Leanne Roed, Maxwell Hannaman, Michael Cooper and Richard Harrison.
Pulse also won Best Student Project at the recent Unity awards. Congratulations to the Pulse team for all their success!
Wednesday night, the Vancouver Unity Games Meetup Group convened at VFS Café for a recap of related events and developments, including some highlights of the recent Unity Awards Show and a special announcement concerning their new relationship with Nintendo. Unity Community Evangelist, Joe Robins, presented on behalf of Unity Technologies, and VFS Game Design grads, Richard Harrison and Maxwell Hannaman, presented the game Pulse (winner of the Unity Award for Best Student Project) on behalf of their team. Larissa (Lala) Fuchs, Leanne Roed, and Michael Cooper were also present in the audience and made themselves available to people interest in trying or talking about the game.
If you’ve been reading our blog lately, then you are probably familiar with Pulse, a game created by five Game Design students, during their time at VFS. They have been featured on CBC, in the Globe and Mail, and they recently won Best Student Project at the 2012 Unity Awards.
We caught up with the recent grads, Larissa (Lala) Fuchs (Project Manager & Artist —and also Women in Games scholarship winner), Leanne Roed (Level Scripter & Effects Artist), Maxwell Hannaman (Programmer), Michael Cooper (Environmental Design), and Richard Harrison (Level Design), to learn more about their win in Amsterdam and what they are up to now. Team members Maxwell Hannaman and Richard Harrison took the trip to Amsterdam to bring home the trophy.
The good news keeps coming for the recent graduates behind the student game Pulse, which they created during their year in the VFS Game Design program. The team has just won Best Student Project at the 2012 Unity Awards ceremony in Amsterdam! Pulse was up against very stiff competition, so we couldn’t be prouder of the team for getting the win. Congratulations!
Here’s the press release announcing the winners.
Want to know what all the hubbub is about? You can play Pulse yourself right now! Just head over to the team’s site to check it out.
Two VFS Game Design student teams are finalists for 2012 Unity Awards under the category “Best Student Project” — and their games are getting a fair amount of buzz too, with articles written in both Eurogamer and VG247 about the nominations! The games nominated are Pulse and The Mask of Qi.