GD36 Pitch and Play

Another term at VFS and another graduating class of game designers hit the stage at the GD36 Pitch & Play event. Four teams of aspiring game designers showcased their games in front of VFS Game Design Staff and industry professionals on October 2ndand were later joined on the production floor as folks played their completed games and built new connections in the games industry.

Game Design department head Dave Warfield opened the night by addressing the audience before passing on the torch to emcee Rick Davidson, who used his charm and wit to engage spectators in the studio and those watching the online stream. Without further ado, here are the four amazing projects that were presented by our freshly baked game designers!

Dwarven Petroleum

Big Mech. Big Guns. Big Explosions.

James Preston (Gameplay Scripter), David Milne (Environmental Art & Project Manager), Nick Aspeslet (AI Scripter), Michael Luxton (Character Artist), and Matthew Allden Thomas (Animation & User Interface)

The 36thintake of the Game Design program was given the option to use the relatively new Unreal 4 engine, a decision that came with some perks and a lot of work. With only limited help from instructors and industry mentors due to the newness of this engine, the team of Dwarven Petroleum managed to create a game that was visually stunning and could show off interesting mechanics.

In Dwarven Petroleum, you play as Gregory the inventor, controlling a large wooden mech while protecting oil derricks from wave upon wave of troublesome dwarves seeking to kill the player and steal all your resources. It is a first person experience that seems fluid and slick, with a touch of mischief sure to put a smile on your face. Click HEREto view the trailer, screenshots, and to download the game!


Fight, Race, Deathcelerate!

Jeremy Powell (Project Manager & Level Designer) and James Holloway-Currie (Programmer)

The name of this project is enough to describe what the game is all about; Deathceleration is a fusion between an arena fighter and a racing game! This game features very polished mechanics which range from shooting elemental bullets at your enemies, to the “Deathceleration Mode”, which boosts the speed of your vehicle to make you an even greater threat to your opponents!

Alix Burkhart (Designer & 3D Artist) and Thompson DeLair-Dobrovolny (Environmental Artist)

Not only did this title seem like a lot of fun and a potential hit for party-nights and tournaments, but the team themselves seemed to have quite a blast showing off the fruits of their hard work. They invited audience members to participate in a tournament after the presentation to show off the multiplayer mode of their game which supports up to four players! Kudos to the team! Deathceleration seems like quite the treat! Click HERE to view the trailer, screenshots, and to download the game!


Nature Abhors a Vacuum

Iain Longiaru (Level Designer & Scripter) and Valerio Terreri (Designer & 3D Artist)

One of our instructors at VFS once said, “It is hard to pull off a horror game, because horror is only scary when the lights are out. How are you going to present that at Pitch & Play?” -  The team of ARC definitely had those words in the back of their minds when they turned off the lights during the first few minutes of their gameplay presentation. Like Dwarven Petroleum, ARC was created using the Unreal 4 engine, and the team used it skillfully to weave a spooky and dark atmosphere into their game, which seamlessly transferred over to the audience.

Richard Coburn (Technical Designer) and Dale Schollen (Project Manager & Cinematic Artist)

Great level design, an interesting “Overload Gun” mechanic, and a reptilian monster that chases the player through an empty industrialized swamp environment – those are the ingredients that made for ARC’s success. The cinematic design of this game was especially intriguing, often leaving viewers wondering if they were looking at scripted events or coincidental moments of gameplay. All in all, ARC proved to be a Horror title that always managed to impress, even when the lights were turned back on. Click HERE to view the trailer, screenshots, and to download the game!

Wuxia Warriors

Sacred Sports in the Mountain’s Shadow

Adam Battocchio (Programmer) and Iain Lawson (Artist)

Inspired by the location of the Game Design campus in the middle of Chinatown, this game was a treat for fans of combat brawlers like the Super Smash Brothers series. The winning objective of each gaming session is easy enough to grasp. Similar to basketball, a ball is released at the start of the round, and each player seeks to control it.

Taylor Morris (Programmer & Project Manager)

Introducing melee mechanics, each player must shatter an orb on his opponent’s side of the screen with the ball, while still defending their own orbs while evading the opponents  jabs and kicks. Multiplayer supports up to four players, and features team-battles, which focus heavily on cooperation between both members of a team. Wuxia Warriors looks like a lot of fun, and nailed its theme perfectly. Click HERE to view the trailer, screenshots, and to download the game!

After the Pitch & Play presentations, students, staff, and industry professionals went upstairs to the production floor to engage in conversation and in games! Below are a few photos of folks enjoying the rest of the evening, including a bit of ARC gameplay using the Oculus Rift! Be sure to check out all the games created by graduating class GD36 here in the VFS Arcade.

The opening sequence for Dwarven Petroleum

ARC being played on the Oculus Rift

Folks sharing laughs together playing Wuxia Warriors.

The team of Deathceleration playing their game with one of the attendees.

Jean Escalante and Markus Walter Redl are Game Design students at VFS