On the 19th of February Vancouver Film School hosted their first “VFS.HelloWorld” Event, its name is inspired on the very first application that every programmer has written since 1978, when they have started learning how to code. This event marks the end of the first year of the newly launched course: Programming for Games, Web & Mobile.
The program was designed one year ago in response to incredible industrial demand for multi-skilled graduates with experience across a range of technologies. Now one year on, the first class (PG01) graduates with an unmatched range of skills in Game, Web and Mobile Development and take the stage to showcase the wide variety of projects they have produced over the year.
The night started with a speech by Peter Walsh, followed by the host of the night Scott Henshaw. Both have taught PG01 throughout the entire year.
“It is the only program in the world which in one year allows graduates to hit the ground running into any career – from interactive game development to mobile apps to web services.” – Peter Walsh (Senior Instructor)
TRIVIA is an iOS App developed Yi Bin (Lewis), Mitchell Ganton, Pedro Landaverde, and Harmanjot Singh. A small side project done within a month, TRIVIA makes use of the currently underutilized Peer-To-Peer and Second Screen technology. TRIVIA supports up to 8 players and gathers its questions from an online server.
It was first showcased at one of the Vancouver iDevelopers Meetup where it generated considerable excitement. The presentation concluded with a live demonstration of TRIVIA with seven members of the audience taking part.
PARK-It is an iOS App created by Harmanjot Singh and Yi Bin (Lewis), which ventures into the untapped market of Vancouver City’s parking meters. Using their own database and the Google Maps framework, PARK-It allows users to see all available and used parking meters in Vancouver City. Users can get information such as cost and time at that specific spot, place a reminder on a specific meter or get directions to it.
It’s hoped that PARK-It will be connected with Vancouver City, which will allow for the gathering of live data and the introduction of a payment option within the App.
Lewis concluded the presentation with something completely different. A demonstration of Battleships. All students who come into the program are tasked to design the game of Battleships in their first term. Lewis went back and redesigned his project allowing multiple players and AI to play against one another using Peer-To-Peer networking.
About half way through the year students begin working on their main project. They can work on games, web and mobile. Five of PG01 chose to work on games as their final project, collaborating with GD37.
Ian Jensen, already a graduate of the Game Design Program, now takes the role of programmer and UI designer in the turn base strategy board-game Brave Tactics. Invoking a tabletop feel, Brave Tactics has two players chose a deadly duo from a team of four unique character classes to square off on a hexagonal gridded battlefield.
Ian wrapped up his presentation showcasing his most recent work from several UI jams spread across several genres. This was demonstrated in his first person virtual showroom.
The next student presenting was Hugo Moraleida, a Gameplay & Tools programmer showcasing his work on the GD37 game Recollection. Before mentioning his work in this game, Hugo showed us a Dialogue Node Editor that he has produced in 15-20 man hours using Unity. The tool is designed to provide writers and designers an alternative to create content. It allows users to visualize dialogues, branching and converging choices, allowing for easy editing of the narrative.
After presenting a video about Recollection, Hugo showed his work done in Data Tracking & Visualization, where he designed a toolset that recorded Recollection playthroughs and visualizing player pathing in the edit mode.
Wesley Sarafin-Keeling has been keeping busy with several projects. During “VFS.HelloWorld” he showcased his work on Certainty Condition, a puzzle game for Oculus Rift. As the lead programmer Wes created a tool that allowed other game designers on the team to create puzzles for the player to interact with in the game world. He presented his passion project Genetica, which features a custom DX11 tessellation shader in Unity being applied to perlin noise generation. Genetica is intended to be about procedurally generated cells designed around a player’s decided path.
Wes is currently a client programmer for Hubris, an online MMO and the environmental programmer for Legacy.
The Witching Hour
Adrien Gilly and Dustin Linngton showcased the final game presentation of the evening. First up was their final project The Witching Hour, a 3D action/tower-defense game made by the largest GD team in the program’s history. Players take the role of Maeve the Witch, a warden of the Tree of Light that she must protect at all cost against waves of the undead. The game blends strategy and combat into a cohesive and unique experience. For The Witching Hour, Adrien was responsible for the game mechanics and Dustin was responsible for the AI.
The final two games they presented, Crystal Wars and This is MY Dungeon! have a multiplayer slant. Crystal Wars is a 2-4 player networked RTS where players attempt to gain control of a crystalline planet and This is MY Dungeon! is a fast paced 4 player arena-based fighting game.
The final event of the evening was brought by Pedro Landaverde and Mitchell Ganton showcasing Connect: a completely responsive website that connects users to places and events around them as well as each other. Connect was built to help better acquaint newcomers to Vancouver by familiarising them to the city and unite Vancouver Film School Students. Connect makes use of WordPress, Foundation and several different frameworks including Google Maps. All this allows Connect users to have a highly customizable experience.
They presented a video explaining the functionality and concerns for making this website. While it originally targeted VFS students, the versatility offered by the customizable UI allows Connect to be used by any company to unite their personal.
“I’m Connected, are you? ” – Scott Henshaw (Senior Instructor)
After the presentation PG01 guests and lectures congregated on the production floor for a hands on experience of the work that’s been displayed.
“It was a lot of work but I’m really proud of what we achieved, it’s great to see everything payoff.” – Hugo Moraleida (PG01)
“Amazing, better than expected!” – Pedro Landaverde (PG01)
“Unprepared for the evening, well prepared for life! ” – Dustin Linngton (PG01)
“You guys kicked ass, you really surprise a ton of people, kudos to you for all the amazing stuff! You guys should all be very proud of yourselves! ” – Dave Warfield (HOD)