Unity Coming to Sony Consoles in 2013

Unity Technologies has recently announced that they’ve entered into a “strategic partnership” with Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), and that their free game development tool will be able to publish to Sony consoles before 2014.

This is big news for indie, hobbyist, and professional game developers alike! Game developers using Unity will soon be able to create games for the Playstation 4 and PS Vita consoles, further expanding the wide array of targets Unity can already publish to.

What is Unity?

For those unaware, Unity is a cross-platform game engine for developing 3D games. It comes with built-in scripting, scene editor, shader support, physics simulation, and all the tools one needs to create games that look and play great. Not only is the basic version free to download, at any time you can upgrade it to add support for more platforms (iOS, Android, Flash) and more special features (lighting, animation, pathfinding).
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Game Design Readings : The Art of Game Design

I’m a great believer that a certain amount of wandering obsession is a valuable as a game designer. Many of the designers I know and admire have a remarkable capacity to be astounded and delighted by discovery, and are uncaring what that discovery might be. Game design detractors like to call us masters of none, but I much prefer the idea of being a student of everything. The world is large but my head is small, and I like it that way very much.

However, oddly enough, I’ve always been unsatisfied by the readings available on game design. Too often it feels like we’re playing at academics when our chosen profession is closer to a craft, uncovering through experimentation and experience. Plotted down in a textbook, game design feels too algorithmic; creating a fallacy that plugging in variables gives you enjoyable games emerging out the other end.
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New Arcade Feature Bar With A Focus On Game Design Alumni

One of the goals we had when we created the Arcade website was to not only feature the amazing games and stories from the Game Design Campus, but also to feature the success stories of our alumni. Today we have added a new feature to Arcade that does just that… The Feature Bar.

If you look to the top of the page, right there below our highlighted games, you will notice this new addition. Here is where we will highlight some key stories and news items we publish, as well as links to three pages featuring accomplishments by our Alumni, which we will continue to update. These pages are:

Alumni on the Job — An up-to-date list of the jobs our graduates have been hired to do since they’ve graduated.

Alumni Published Games — A chronological listing of the published games our graduates have had a hand in creating.

Alumni Indie Studios — A listing of the Indie Game Studios created by our graduates.

There’s nothing that makes me more proud than when I look back and see the successes of our alumni. I think you’ll be amazed to discover the impact they have had in the gaming world.

As always, if you have any changes or additions to make to these alumni pages, just drop me a line.


Dave Warfield is Head of Department for Game Design

Sony’s PS4 Announcement

PS4 Announcement

After watching a huge two-hour press conference from New York with a group of students and instructors, where Sony announced the PS4 for release this Holiday season, I decided to share a few of my thoughts on the new console (but remember, nobody has actually played it or seen the actual unit yet).

The production value behind this event was very high, even being described by some as extravagant. The call went out to a lot of well-known industry personalities, who were there to help support the cause. Sony clearly wanted to show that they had addressed development issues and that world class developers were on board with the product. We all like the idea of consoles still being relevant. It already feels a bit nostalgic, though.

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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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Zoe Curnoe on Women in Games

Zoe Curnoe and Giraffe by Rory McGuire

VFS Game Design Instructor Zoe Curnoe loves games, which is a good thing, since she’s also Development Director 2 at Electronic Arts, one of the biggest game companies in the world. And that love of games extends to making them better, and to making the industry better too — particularly when it comes to encouraging women to participate as creators, producers and players. To this end, she is also co-chair of Women in Games Vancouver, an organization committed to “Champion professional development, career growth opportunities, networking, mentoring and education opportunities within the games community in Canada.” We recently spoke with Zoe about her passion for games, her ideas about getting more girls and women interested in both playing them and working in the game industry, and her opinion about a few recent controversies.

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UFG’s Sleeping Dogs : The VFS Connection

Cover for Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs is an open world action-adventure video game developed by United Front Games (UFG) and published by Square Enix for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Since it’s release on August 14, it’s been flying off the shelves, and it’s had some great reviews — with GameRankings and Metacritic, giving it an aggregate score of 85 and 82 percent, respectively. This is also some source of pride for VFS, given that a range of some 30 people (students and faculty), including Game Design Instructor Victor Kam, who was Senior World Artist at UFG, Game Design Industry Mentor Dan Sochan, who has also been a Producer at UFG since 2007, and alumnus Jeffrie Wu, who was Technical Designer at UFG, and is currently Technical Level Designer at Next Level Games.

We spoke recently with Jeffrie Wu about his experience working on the game (starting back in 2009) and present our inteview with him here:

Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
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Game Changing : Thriving During Game Industry Seismic Shift

Games are changing.

The landscape once dominated by behemoth AAA titles is almost gone.

Gamers have more choices. Social games and free-to-play models have transformed the game industry you thought you knew. And ballooning budgets for high-profile titles mean you need a blockbuster of Modern Warfare proportions to turn a profit.

As The Verge wrote in their July 22nd article: “Developing an AAA game is rapidly becoming one of the most expensive enterprises humans can undertake, outside of building battleships, launching space vehicles, or making movies.”

But here’s the thing. For the emerging game designer — or animator or sound editor, for that matter — none of this a bad thing. It actually means opportunity.
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