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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2013 Global Game Jam Vancouver

Global Game Jam Banner

This past weekend, around 15,00 people gathered around the world for the Global Game Jam with one simple purpose: Create a game in less than 48 hours. This kind of rapid development is the essence of the different game jam events around the world, like Ludum Dare,  the Nordic Game Jam, the Toronto Game Jam (aka T.O.Jam) and VFS’s very own 2Jam.

What is a Global Game Jam?

You might think, “Ok, got it — a game jam is something like a game making marathon.” And you’d be right to think that, but you’d also be wrong. Sorry. A game jam is not only a game making marathon — it’s also a great chance to network with industry professionals and celebrate a common interest: game design.
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A very Precious presentation with Patrick Plourde

2013 Game Design Expo with Patrick Plourde Header

On January 19th, 2013 I was given the opportunity to volunteer at this year’s Game Design Expo, which presented some fantastic guest speakers from all around the games industry, giving their take on some fascinating topics. When I wasn’t chatting up other attendees, setting up presentation booths, passing around microphones like an Olympic torch bearer, or snagging a few chocolate croissants (I’m addicted, now), I had a chance to attend some of the presentations held by the speakers throughout the day.

It’s been a week since the Game Design Expo, and I’ve had a lot of time to soak in what Industry Speaker Day day contained, and to allow the mass amount of information to stew around in my brain like a game design tea-bag. But I find myself resonating with one particular talk given by a very off-the-wall, yet incredibly personable individual. The man I speak of is Patrick Plourde, the Creative Director at Ubisoft, whose latest project, Far Cry 3, has earned much attention and acclaim these past few months.
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Game Design’s Industry Night Event : Pitch And Play

Announcing Game Design Industry Night Pitch N' Play

Tonight - January 31, 2013 - the 26th class of VFS Game Design students will be presenting the final games that they have spent the last 4 months designing and developing at our Industry event night Pitch And Play.

The students are excited to share their hard work and look forward to having experienced game industry people review, play, and provide feedback on what they have created. This feedback is invaluable to help them prepare their portfolios, for their graduation on February 21st.

This group of students will be presenting three games; one using the UDK engine, and two created using the Unity Game Engine. They are:
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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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Armando Troisi and The Fourth Element

Armano Troisi Talks to VFS Game Design Students

On Friday, January 18, to kick off the 2013 Game Design Expo I went to a presentation by Armando Troisi at the VFS Game Design campus. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the VFS game design alumnus. I quickly learned that Armando Troisi is a “somebody” in the video game industry — he’s Narrative Director at 343 Industries, who developed Halo 4.

After he spoke about who he is and where he is in the world of video game production, he opened up the floor for questions. I have recently started learning Interactive Narrative Design in the Game Design program, so a lot of what he had to say was central to my current projects. The information he shared was so relevant and informative that I was compelled to speak to him afterwards, if only just to shake his hand and say “Thanks”. As his allotted time came to a close, I looked over my notes to recap. That’s when I noticed that I had missed something.
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Reviewing the Game Design Expo

This week we take a look back at the Game Design Expo 2013, which happened the weekend before the launch of our new Community Website Arcade! We’re going to do this from a couple of different perspectives, including from students enrolled in the Game Design program, and with a comprehensive review of Saturday’s presentations and of Sunday’s Open House. But first, have a look at this brief overview of highlights from the weekend. (And be sure to not miss out on the great scholarships that are available!)

Hundreds Get a Glimpse Into the Future at Game Design Expo 2013

Game Design Expo 2013, the seventh annual gathering of professionals and gamers hosted by the VFS GameDesign program, has come and gone – and what a memorable weekend it was! Hundreds of people came together for an entire weekend of learning, playing, and networking.

Read the full post on the VFS Blog site.

Halo 4 Lead Designer to Headline Game Design Expo 2013

We’re thrilled to announce our first speakers for Industry Speaker Day at Game Design Expo 2013, hosted by the one-year VFS Game Design program!

Lead Designer Chris Haluke of 343 Industries, developers of Halo 4, will be on hand to discuss his team’s innovative approach to the game’s episodic co-op campaign, Spartan Ops. For a taste, here’s Chris talking Spartan Ops and more with our friend Scott Jones of Electric Playground.

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Inside the Game: Skyrim’s Bruce Nesmith

Skyrim poster

Early this year, Game Design Expo - an industry event and open house hosted by the one-year VFS Game Design program – assembled a lineup of game industry luminaries.

That roster included Bruce Nesmith, Director of Design at Bethesda, who,to a full house, shed light on dynamic content in the juggernaut RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Today, we’re pleased to share video of Nesmith’s Skyrim presentation in its entirety, for free. Watch it now!

And what timing, with news of Skyrim‘s next DLC doing the rounds and another Game Design Expo on the horizon (January 19 and 20, 2013)! We’ll have more video from this year’s event very soon, and some exciting announcements of a new speaker schedule. Stay tuned!