Before I came to VFS I was working as an architect. I have always loved creating and design and I see programming as another form of making, and like architecture it shapes our world in meaningful ways.
Therefore, for me, the progression to programming has been a very logical one. There are the same management issues, maintainability issues, good practice, incorporating new technologies and human factors. What is different and I find incredibly fulfilling is that I no longer have to rely on a 3rd party construction team to realize the design, I can now built it myself.
Spring has sprung at VFS! and what better way to recognize Spring than by celebrating the graduation of the first batch of students from VFS’ NEW Program. The FIRST class of Programming for Games, Web, & Mobile graduated on February 26th.
From the beginning of January (Term 2), I have been taking part in the Role Playing Lab at VFS. The RolePlaying Lab consists of weekly sessions in which we meet to play table-top RPGs.
In the case of my group, we are playing a Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 campaign.
Although I have heard a lot about them, I had never got the chance to play a table RPG before. In some way I am glad because now I learned how to do it with an amazing Dungeon Master! Funny enough, our Dungeon Master is a VFS Graduate himself. Diego R. Pons graduated way back in 2006, in the 4th Game Design Class ( we are in the 40th class), and currently works at Next Level Games. Our DM plays all characters incredibly well, and is able to provide us with a deeply immersive experience both with his performance and the soundtrack and images he prepares.
On the 19th of February Vancouver Film School hosted their first “VFS.HelloWorld” Event, its name is inspired on the very first application that every programmer has written since 1978, when they have started learning how to code. This event marks the end of the first year of the newly launched course: Programming for Games, Web & Mobile.
The program was designed one year ago in response to incredible industrial demand for multi-skilled graduates with experience across a range of technologies. Now one year on, the first class (PG01) graduates with an unmatched range of skills in Game, Web and Mobile Development and take the stage to showcase the wide variety of projects they have produced over the year.
The night started with a speech by Peter Walsh, followed by the host of the night Scott Henshaw. Both have taught PG01 throughout the entire year.
“It is the only program in the world which in one year allows graduates to hit the ground running into any career – from interactive game development to mobile apps to web services.” – Peter Walsh (Senior Instructor)
I’m Meabh (Mave), I’m from Ireland and having been seduced by the magic of code I moved to Vancouver to study at VFS. I’m currently 12 weeks in to the still new Programming for Games Web and Mobile and have just reached the midpoint of term two. I’m tired, my brain doesn’t want to focus tonight and writing this much avoided blog post has a new appeal.
The course has at times been tough but that’s balanced by the pure joy experienced when things work. Last week when I finally got a full circuit of the server I am writing working I spontaneously whooped, more than once, over an hour period. This has never happen before as a result of schoolwork. PURE UNABASHED JOY. For me that is the nature of programming, when I’m making a large knowledge leap until I understand it and can make it work it feels like magic, evil, unforgiving magic. Then either by one or several small ‘ahhh moments’ it works and I suddenly feel like Hermione Granger, invincible. Until the next assignment comes along.
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
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.
I don’t really understand how I survived my first term in VFS, but I did it, and I’m alive – YAY!
…Well, I suppose I should introduce myself first.
My name is Andreia, 22 and I came from Portugal aaaaall the way to this side of Canada to study Programming for Games Web and Mobile at Vancouver Film School. While finishing my bachelor’s in Graphic Design I got really frustrated by not being able to actually make stuff happen and thus decided to learn Sorcery (aka Coding).
It has been a great adventure up until now, super far away from home, but it’s been worth it.
I’ve been around since October but haven’t really got the time to write something. So here it goes my review of the first term.
When I look back at the last 2 months this is how I would describe it:
(Programming students – and everyone around hearing them crying and eat ice cream – will get this)
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.
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.
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.
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.