Student Endeavours: GD23′s The Last Phoenix on Kickstarter!

Back in July of 2012 five students (David Dryden, Ian MacGregor, Rishi Patkar, Marc St-Onge, and Jay Zhou) finished off their final project “The Last Phoenix”: the crown jewel of their year at VFS, but little did they know that this would just be the start of their journey.

“It was a tremendously visually impressive game, with unique mechanics, and a huge expressive world. Also they were the first group to pioneer with advanced shader techniques at VFS”
- Chris Mitchell: Game Design Instructor

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THE GAME WE MADE FOR LUDUM DARE 31

There’s no better way to finish the year than with a game jam, more specifically, the Ludum Dare Game Jam. As recent graduates of the Game Design program at VFS, Patrick Palulis and myself, Erich Kohlweg, along with current Programming student, Hugo Moraleida did just that. We created Baulders, a 3D top down local multiplayer pinball game for the 72 hour jam.

For those who are unfamiliar with Ludum Dare, it is an online community best know for “Ludum Dare”, the Accelerated Game Development Event of the same name (also called a “Game Jam”). During a Ludum Dare, developers from around the world spend a weekend creating games based on a theme suggested by the community. Ludum Dare events take place every April, August, and December.

Starting with the theme, “Entire Game on One Screen”, we three students created the concept during a quick brainstorming session. This allowed us to get right into making the game. Hugo took on the role of programming, Patrick did the audio, UI, and particles while I worked on environment art.

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Graduation and Awards show for the 37th class of Game Design

It’s Christmastime at VFS, and what better reason to celebrate than Graduation. Our 37th class of Game Design graduated on December 18th.

It all begins with speeches from the Head of the Department, Dave Warfield, the class selected student speaker, Nicholas Romeo, and wrapped up with the student selected Instructor, Andrew Laing. Each of them looked back on the last year, and also looked ahead at the great future these alumni have in the Games Industry. Dave’s Christmas poem is included at the end of this article.

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This Was Our Year: Two Scholarship Winners at Game Design

In August 2013, Vancouver Film School opened an international contest for full and partial scholarships. We both participated and won full tuition for the Game Design program. You can check out the videos here: Sandra’s and Dani’s. Since then we’ve been through a long road, and we’d like to share our story with you.

Dani
Hi, My name is Dani Kogan, I would like to introduce to you Sandra Gersenowies. Sandra is an amazing character artist from Mexico and a passionate game developer, she is highly driven and will not rest till she is the best at what she does. When I met Sandra, my first impression was that she seemed very angry, but I soon learned that it was just her default expression. Once you manage to get past her defenses she is an awesome person to talk to and a good friend.

Sandra
I will not lie, at first Dani Kogan seemed like a very shady character. Maybe it was the messy long hair or the weird Russian accent (although he is from Israel), but soon enough I realized that he was extremely knowledgeable about audio, with a great work ethic, and an almost enviable passion for videogames. Given our personalities it seemed almost impossible that we would be able to cross more than a few words without killing each other, but we ended up having a good friendship which led to us working together in a great final project, but we’ll get to that later.

This is My Year Scholarship

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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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2014 VFS Holiday-Retrospectacular and Game-Update Bonanza

Hey all, with the end of 2014 fast approaching and a new year around the corner we here at VFS thought it would be nice to look back at the year and highlight everyone’s hard work as well as look forward to 2015! (and put the spotlight on all the new games that have been updated in this websites library!)

When I consider 2014 it’s hard to believe all that has changed since I was in my second term at this time last year. Students have graduated, Staff has come and gone, Alumni have gotten exciting jobs in Vancouver and around the world, a new program that VFS is offering here at the Game Design campus has started: “Programming for Games, Web, & Mobile”, and perhaps most importantly we have made a lot of really cool and exciting games. Five Game Design classes have graduated with one more class, the GD37′s (who are notable for being the first GD class to collaborate with the new Programming program) graduating in the coming weeks.

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GD37 Pitch and Play

The GD37 class recently presented their final games at their Pitch & Play event. In addition to being the last Pitch & Play event of 2014, these games also represented the first collaboration between students from the Game Design program and students from the recently introduced Programming for Web, Games and Mobile program.

Head of Department Dave Warfield introduced the students and thanked the audience for attending before turning over the event to Dan Sochan, emcee for the evening. After warming up the audience with a few jokes, Dan quickly transitioned to the students’ final projects.

BRAVE TACTICS

The Brave Tactics team: From left, Kunyeup Lee (Project Manager/Level Designer), Taylor Voth (Systems Programmer), Ben Farrow (Gameplay Designer), Christian Hernandez (Artist), and Ian Jenson (Tech Designer/U.I)

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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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Grad Night for the 36th class of Game Design

It’s Fall in Vancouver, and once again the Game Design program has a reason to celebrate. It’s graduation night, a night to celebrate, to look back on the year, and recognize the amazing things they have done.

The Graduation and Awards show on October 23rd has a mix of parts: one part formal, and one part fun. The formal part of the evening hosted by Tanya Jensenbegan with a congratulatory speech from the Head of Game Design Dave Warfield, then the student-elected class speaker David Milne took us through stories of the past year in Game Design, and finally student selected Instructor speaker Rick Davidson closed the speeches with his advice for the class.

Each of the speakers had some deep insight into what they had just been through, and how to prepare for the coming months, but mostly it was a chance to look back on the year, and look ahead to the bright future this class has. The formalities continued with the handing out of diplomas and the embarrassingly long handshakes that make up that portion of the evening. Congratulations to James, Ian, David, James, and Matthew, all who graduated with honours.

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Postmortem: Shadow Of The Sun

Postmortem: Shadow of the Sun

Shadow of the Sun is a 2D action platformer Team Swordicorn (Melvin Kwan, Charles Park, Nick Marce, and Markus W. Redl) produced from July to October of 2014 as a student project in Vancouver Film School’s Game Design program. We were influenced by games like Mega Man X and wanted to produce something that had a similar feel, while making it our own.

Our core pillar for Shadow of the Sun was fast-paced action platforming. We facilitated this with tight gameplay mechanics. Although initially we also wanted to include stronger narrative elements in Shadow of the Sun, for various reasons, they were cut from the game.

This postmortem is of only my perspective on the project and may conflict with other members’ perspectives. I will not name any person in particular in the postmortem. Please keep in mind that this is only my perspective as one fourth of Team Swordicorn.

Note: This postmortem is not technical. It is about the human dynamics as I experienced them.

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