Hat Jam 3 – The Temptation of Antonio the Vampire [Post-Mortem]

Hat Jam is a game jam that runs at VFS (Vancouver Film School) once a term and is organized by fellow students Anna Prein and Michelangelo Pereira Huezo.

Teams of 3 had less than 48 hours to design and make a game from scratch, based on a painting that was randomly given to them.

You can read Anna’s write up of the jam on the VFS arcade and play games made by other teams HERE.

I entered with two of my classmates, Danilo Reyes and Guerric Haché, winning best story.

Picture taken from here: Danilo, myself and Guerric, with a screenshot of our game.

This post is about the process behind the game we made, ‘The Temptation of Antonio the Vampire’, which can be played by clicking HERE.

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Interview with Jay Cormier, Co-Creator of Belfort and Train of Thought

Meet Jay Cormier. Together with Sen-Foong Lim, he has published board game titles such as Belfort (2011) and Train of Thought (2011) under the duo’s moniker, the Bamboozle Brothers. But that’s not all! As of June 2013, Jay also teaches the Game Theory Analog class at VFS, passing on his years of board game design experience. But wait – there’s more! Jay is also a tech blogger and a children’s entertainer, clowning around Canada with his jungle-explorer persona Bertolt. I chatted with Jay about how he got into game design, coming up with Belfort and it’s upcoming expansion, as well as advice for fellow game designers who are looking to get published.

Growing up with a family that played lots of board games together, Jay became interested in designing games at an early age, eventually taking on his first dungeon master role for the fantasy tabletop game ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ in seventh grade.

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L.A. Noire: Game Analysis and Suggested Improvements

Introduction to L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire (2011) was developed over a period of seven years by the now defunct Team Bondi in conjunction with Rockstar Games. It is predominantly an action-adventure game with third-person shooter and open-world sandbox driving elements. Thematically, it draws heavily upon the neo-noir detective thriller genre.  However L.A. Noire’s emphasis on story, light gameplay and mix of various game genres is the source of its polarized reviews. The game appears to cater to the needs of traditional adventure game fans, which leaves players expecting more hardcore action-based gameplay disappointed. This analysis will observe how the strengths and weaknesses of L.A. Noire’s design hinges on whether the player belongs to either faction – as well as the aspects that shine or fail regardless of player preference.

Having shipped almost 5 million copies, L.A. Noire qualifies as a commercial success[1]. The game has also done well critically, however the difference between critic and user aggregated scores on Metacritic are of note. The 6% different between the PC and console versions can be attributed to the collapse of Team Bondi prior to the PC release, resulting in Rockstar Leeds taking over production.

  Xbox 360[2] Playstation 3[3] PC[4]
Critic 89% 89% 83%
User 77% 74% 77%

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GD34 Board Game Presentations

For those of you who read my previous blog post, you may have been wondering why we devoted 3 hours each week to playing board games in class.

For these babies:

They might not look like much in their boxes, but they are the result of hours of work by individuals and partners, slaving over rule sets and playtesting sessions to create kick ass board games for our Game Theory Analog class.

The requirements were simple (not really):

  1. Interesting or unique concept.
  2. Core mechanics that match the theme.
  3. Game mechanics that lead to fun and interesting decisions for the target audience.
  4. Play-test documentation
  5. Clear, easy to understand and logical rules – with game play examples and images.
  6. Boxed game with neatly stored components and functional artwork.
  7. In-Class Presentation of the goal and core mechanisms of the game, as well as the evolution of the game from conception through to final prototype.
  8. BONUS POINTS for anything that exceeded expectations.

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VFS life: Game Theory Practical (A.K.A. play-board-games-class)

Warning: this blog post contains very little educational content.

A little introduction: I am an Australian-Malaysian-Macanese singing-acting-dancing-book-loving-raging-feminist who is a moody optimist. I like cats. Cool. Done. Let’s move on. SCHOOL.

Here’s my summary of student life thus far:

  • Average of 6 hours of class a day, with a minimum of 3 and maximum of 9
  • We get around 2-5 assignments per week
  • Everybody in my class is a crazy kid with a huge variety of game ideas
  • You put in a butt-load of work, you get out a butt-load of work to fuel your launch into the industry

In this post, I’m going to chronicle one of my favourite classes thus far: Game Theory Practical. Schmancy name for ‘Play board games for 3 hours and discuss what you liked and didn’t like about them’.

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Meet Women in Games Scholarship winners Jaymee Mak and Nicha Jaijadesuk

A couple of weeks ago, our latest winners of the Women in Games Scholarship winners started the Game Design program at VFS.  We asked Jaymee Mak and Nicha Jaijadesuk to sit down with each other and introduce themselves to our GD community, here’s the result…

Jaymee: Hello, Nicha.

Nicha: Hi, Jaymee! How are you?

J: Goooood.

N: Is this the first time you have studied overseas?

J: Yeah, but when I was in Australia I traveled interstate for university.

N: Oh That’s great, for me this is the first time. I have never been in an international environment like this before.

J: So, haven’t you travel oversea before?

N: Nope, I used to travel overseas but it’s just for travel.

J: So, what do you think about it?

N: It is very exciting. There are new environments, new friends, new culture, new food. I love it! Just some problem for a non-native English speaker like me, the first week of studies was a tough time for me, I think my English still needs to be improved. Sometimes I cannot catch my friends’ words, and I have to ask them to repeat it again.
(Sorry guys.) Anyway, this week, I feel I am getting better and better now!

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