A Conversation with… Brennan Massicotte

This time A Conversation with… tracked down Brennan Massicotte, from our 7th graduating class, at Blackbird Interactive.

 

  • Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry

I’m working on the art direction and concept art of the Homeworld property in development at Blackbird Interactive. This involves a lot of painting images to inform and inspire the production of game content as well as overall project vision.

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GD Alumni’s latest game… Dexter!

I would like to take a few minutes of your time today to introduce a game project that I worked on and which is currently available in soft launch in Canada.

Dexter: Hidden Darkness (https://www.facebook.com/DexterHiddenDarkness) is a new Hidden Object game based on the universe of the Dexter TV series. It is a great partnership venture between CBS, Showtime, Michael C. Hall and BlooBuzz (https://www.facebook.com/StudiosBlooBuzz).

A team of 40 people worked an entire year on the project. I joined as a Game Designer at the beginning of 2015 and I really enjoyed my experience in the Social/Mobile game industry. After the Canadian soft launch on iOS, we plan to release the game worldwide and then distribute it on Android and Facebook. It is a F2P, so feel free to give it a try!

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Brian Wood Memorial Internship goes to… Cameron White

 

Congratulations to VFS Game Design alumni Cameron White (pictured here with Game Director, Phil Boulle of Relic Entertainment/Sega)! Cameronwas selected for the Brian Wood Memorial Internship with Relic Games!

The Brian Wood Memorial Internship was founded by VFS Game Design and Relic Games in memory of the late Brian Wood, who was Relic’s Company of Heroes Online lead designer. Three Game Design students a year are offered the scholarship for a period of four months. The inaugural internship was awarded in February 2011, to Zach Williams. Other winners have included: Andres MolinaMaxwell Hannaman, Isaac Calon, Alex Mueller, Carolina Mastretta, Andy Fedorchuk, James Dodge,  Guerric Haché, and Dustin Williamson.

Cameron White, our first winner for 2015, graduated from the Game Design program on December 18, 2014. His graduating game project, Stick Shift, which he developed in collaboration with fellow students Erich Kohlweg, Nick Jennings, Dylan Matthews and Matthew Kirby, can be found here on the Arcade Games page.

 

A Conversation with… Kevin Maloney

This time A Conversation with… tracked down Kevin Maloney, from our 12th graduating class, at Harebrained Schemes in Seattle.

  • Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry

These days I am a Game Designer here at Harebrained Schemes in the greater Seattle area and have been on Shadowrun the whole time. I’m kind of an all season radial in our smallish shop. I was brought on as a Level Designer for our first kickstarted project “Shadowrun Returns”. I started with making content but as time went by I found plenty more things to keep me busy. So beyond taking levels from concept to ship, I design features, script AI and along with a few other folks get to pitch in on the narrative side of things as well.
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On the Level with Elliott Walton and Braden Bahen

We have a special holiday edition of On the Level where I had a chance to talk with not one but two former Game Design graduates, Elliott Walton of GD14 and Braden Bahen of GD09. Both of whom recently released Assassin’s Creed: Rogue working as Level Designers at Ubisoft Quebec.

Is it nerve-racking to be working on an existing franchise with such a large established fan base?

Elliott Walton: Absolutely! That being said I don’t personally tend to concentrate too much on those aspects during production and instead just focus on creating interesting gameplay and situations to put the player into. We usually have an overarching storyline to pay attention to that spans multiple titles, but one thing I love about working on the franchise is the excitement of presenting the next location and characters. For me it keeps things fresh and interesting. Of course we will always have to work with constraints but that can really be said about any title whether it is a new IP or a very established franchise such as Assassin’s Creed.  That being said, announcement dates and release dates are always exciting and nerve racking for me.

Braden Bahen: Yes and no. You certainly can feel the pressure online from the fans to provide them with the best Assassin’s Creed game possible. AC fans are an intelligent bunch who want to experience great stories and interesting historic periods inside a rewarding game. They are also vocal about what they love and what they hate in games. The pressure can sometimes get to you and you can get frustrated but its part of the job, frankly.

I frequently check out /r/assassinscreed and read through it to get a sense of what the really passionate fans have to say at the moment. There are often lots of good points I agree with and lots of good points I disagree with but you can’t please everyone.  At the end of the day we all want to make the best game possible and that’s what keeps us pushing on.
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A Conversation with… Nick Yonge

After watching the CVA awards show, A Conversation with… tracked down Nick Yonge of krangGAMES from our 16th graduating class.

  • Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry

Currently I’m self-employed at my own independent games company, krangGAMES. I’m developing downloadable games for home computer and consoles, like my Kickstarter-funded main project, Emerald.
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Hat Jam 7: Meow Tales

Biggest. Jam. Yet.

With 12 teams, Hat Jam 7: Meow Tales, was a boisterous and magical affair. The game jam brought together over 60 students and alumni from the VFS Game Design, Programming and Entertainment Business Management campuses.

(Click here to view the Presentations on YouTube.)
(Click here to view the Awards Ceremony on YouTube.) 

After selecting their fairytale theme from one of our wondrous hats, jammers had 48-hours to create games from start to finish.

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On the Level with Sam Beliveau

In this very first session of On the Level I get the chance to chat up Sam Beliveau, a VFS Game Design graduate of class GD14 who has been keeping busy as a World Designer working on the commercially and critically successful game, Destiny.

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Brian Wood Memorial Internship goes to… Dustin Williamson

 

Congratulations to VFS Game Design alumni Dustin Williamson (pictured here with Game Director, Phil Boulle of Relic Entertainment/Sega)! Dustin was selected for the Brian Wood Memorial Internship with Relic Games!

The Brian Wood Memorial Internship was founded by VFS Game Design and Relic Games in memory of the late Brian Wood, who was Relic’s Company of Heroes Online lead designer. Three Game Design students a year are offered the scholarship for a period of four months. The inaugural internship was awarded in February 2011, to Zach Williams. Other winners have included: Andres MolinaMaxwell Hannaman, Isaac Calon, Alex Mueller, Carolina Mastretta, Andy Fedorchuk, James Dodge, and Guerric Haché.

Dustin Williamson, our third winner for 2014, graduated from the Game Design program on August 21, 2014. His graduating game project, Lucidity, which he developed in collaboration with fellow students Blake Vetter, Cam Hickey, Matt Holland, and Jamie Thompson, can be found here on the Arcade Games page.

 

A Conversation with… Chris Fox

This week A Conversation with… tracked down our 18th graduating class, and found Chris Fox at PopCap Games.

 

  • Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry

I’ve been with PopCap for nearly 3 years now. I’m currently the lead gameplay designer on Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare.

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