Ludum Dare 26 Results In Some Great Games By Faculty and Alumni

Ludum Dare 26 - screenshot from Nick Yonge's Time-Lapse

Last week, Game Design instructor Chevy Ray Johnston wrote a post for Arcade telling us about Ludum Dare 26, the 48hr rapid game development competition, which took place over the weekend of April 26-29, 2013. The judging is still going on at the time of this post, but it will be completed around the end of May. In fact, you can be part of the judging by going to the Ludum Dare Compo site, playing the games and rating them. Of course, if you don’t want to play judge, you can just play the games, or even just view them.

Chevy Ray said, “This was the largest Ludum Dare yet, by quite a large margin, so it will be interesting to see the results.”

In fact, there were so many games created this time around, that it’s become impossible for the oganizers to play all the games themselves. As a result, they’ve decided to try and create a 10-second clip of every game produced and put them into a compilation video. That should be interesting.
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Fragment Gets the Attention of Online Magazines

A scientist's body is ripped apart as he is assimilated.

Over the last week, three significant online game magazines (IndiegamesPCGamer & Rock Paper Shotgun) picked up on the final project of VFS Game Design students from the 27th graduating class: Nick LuitenLawrence MathesJordan Lang and Garrett Metcalf (with collaborators, Saul Solis and Beso Ben Kacharava). The game is called Fragment and we agree, it is definitely worthy of the attention.

To find out what the excitement is all about check out Fragment’s Games Page, where you can download it and play it yourself.

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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Robots Robots Robots Robots! : New Robot Games on Arcade

Cover of Isaac Asimov's I, Robot

What is it with robots? Why are so many people fascinated by them?

Isaac Asimov first introduced the beginnings of a comprehensively detailed world of robots, along with his idea about the Three Laws of Robotics in his 1942 short story Runaround, and with the series of short stories and novels he wrote over the next few decades, he forged a world and cultural sensibility that have influenced stories about Robots in films, comics, novels, TV shows and games right up to the present.

These days, there’s lots of effort to make robots a reality, and there’s a lot of different ideas about what they should look like, what they should be tasked to do and when, and whether they deserve rights — but that’s robots in the real world, and what we’re interested in here is robots in the game world, where robots are definitely cool, don’t necessarily obey Asimov’s Three Laws, but are definitely fun!

Just check out these four great examples of robot based games developed by Game Design students from the 14th, 23rd and 25th graduating classes.

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Great Videos of Game Design Expo Presentations

Game Design Expo Website Banner

If you missed the Game Design Expo this past January, there’s no need to fret. The Game Design Expo site is now featuring videos of key presentations.

Highlights include panel discussions with members of the creative team behind Halo 4, as well as a a team of representatives of the gaming industry and media discussing how indie game productions can get their product out there.

There are some great presentations by the likes of Chris Haluke (343 Industries), Patrick Plourde (Ubisoft), Alexandre Mandryka (Game Whispering), Richard Rouse III (Microsoft Game Studios) and Tuomas Pirinen (Slant Six Games).

Zombies, Halo 4, how to improve your business, and strategies to meet the evolving games industry, and more …Check it out at the Game Design Expo site video page !

Advice for the Next Generation of Game Designers

Video Gaming Industry

On the day of graduation for Game Design’s 26th class, some consideration of how to present themselves as the next generation of game designers to the game industry might be in order. It just so happens that Gamasutra, the website that focuses on all aspects of video game development, published last Tuesday (February 19, 2013) some good advice by game designer Elliot Pinkus on how to shape your resumé to communicate the important things about your skills and capabilities, using his recent running of the interview process at Uken Games as his basis.

Here’s a quick list of his 6 main steps (for more details, have a look at the original post):

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IGF Student Showcase Winners include Game Design Final Project ‘Pulse’

Independent Games Festival Banner 2013

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.

Winner of IGF Student Showcase award Pulse

Pulse also won Best Student Project at the recent Unity awards. Congratulations to the Pulse team for all their success!

Titan Racing

The 2013 Game Design Expo : Industry Speaker Day

Game Design HOD Dave Warfield opens up the Game Design Expo

The seventh VFS Game Design Expo took place over the weekend of January 19-20 2013, and was a sold out success. Industry Speaker Day offered a wide range of speakers and gave the audience a chance to participate in two Panel discussions.

After an introduction by Game Design’s Head of Department Dave Warfield, the day of presentations kicked off with 343 Industries‘s Lead Designer Chris Haluke on The Making of Halo 4’s Episodic Co-op Adventure: Spartan Ops, a great talk that also provided a sneak peak at the latest episode, which launched on Monday January 21.
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Best Final Project : Major Hertz

One of the ultimate outcomes of the VFS Game Design program is the final project, where “guided by mentors carefully selected from local development studios, student teams conceive, plan, and execute game design projects.” The results are presented at the industry night Pitch N’ Play. Students strive to be original and entertaining, and in the case of Major Hertz, they certainly hit the mark. The game was developed by students James Daniell, Alex Schmidt, Josh Reader, Michael Shannon and Ed Hicks (with collaborative help by Moritz Grabosch, Alastair Leong, Bobby Sangha, Alan Riva Palacio, Kevin Locsin, Daniel Martin and Cody Howes).

Major Hertz won the prize for Best Final Project for their graduating class and was recently one of the featured games at the 2013 Game Design Expo. I spoke recently with the graduates about the game and their experience creating it.
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