Pitch & Play for the 30th Game Design Class

Every Game Design class has a special day that they look forward to, it’s called Pitch & Play. It’s the night that the whole year builds up to, it is the culmination of 8 weeks of planning and design, and 12 weeks of development.

Pitch & Play is the event where student teams show off their games, first with a formal 5-10 minute presentation, followed by a social mingler where invited industry guests have a chance to sit down and play their games, ask questions, provide feedback and get to know the students better before they graduate.

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GD29 Pitch & Play

Dave Warfield introduces the 29th pitch and play, excited again to see what VFS students can do with 4-5 months of creative control.

VFS recently hosted the Pitch & Play event for GD 29 and we were fortunate enough to be invited in order to write this article. The games that were presented tonight were The Banishing, Draka, Sneakpunk, Infinite Spectrum, and Nuts for Gems. As members of student teams currently in pre-production on our final projects, it was really interesting and inspiring to see the final result of these five months of work.

Sean Smillie acts as master of ceremonies and gives a personal introduction for each team and their game and explains that student teams get an industry mentor.

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Has it been a year already?!

I can’t believe it’s been a year already. It seemed like only yesterday I started out at VFS. I know this is a common statement for all students that go to VFS. The year seems to go by just like that. And now we’re somehow at the end of the year. Pitch and Play is behind us, and all that remains is Grad Night which amazingly is tonight.

It’s been such a long year of writing long documents, coming up with new ideas for game pitches, late nights cursing myself for pressing ctrl+S in UDK and hunting down people that might have stolen my Nutella (it turned up in my backpack, but I still have no idea how it got there, I swear). And now we’re hours away from Grad Night. I’m not getting sappy here (yes, I am) but I’ve loved this year. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times I’ve hated my ideas, doubted my talent and questioned if I even have it in me to be here, but getting to the finish line proves to me that this really is what I want to do.

The Horroring came to a happy end, and Pitch and Play went so well for us and the entire class as a whole. We were all very nervous about the presentations but luckily they all went smoothly – without a hitch even. I’m so incredibly happy and proud; Yeah, who am I kidding I’m totally getting sappy.

I want to thank my entire class for being such an amazing gang of people. We all came together from different backgrounds and cultures and somehow now, it seems like we’ve known each other forever. I know I would not have gotten through the year without the support and help of all of these amazing people. I want to thank them once again for every late night spent at school, every pat on the shoulder before a presentation and all of the amazing moments we shared at the Game Design Campus.

What can I say, this is a special year. For anyone thinking about doing Game Design; it’s the ride of a lifetime and truly an amazing opportunity to learn and fail, and then learn from that again. To all future Game Designers: Work hard, be creative, learn that it’s totally okay to fail and then pick yourself up and try again. It’s an amazing industry and I’m really excited for the future.

This is me signing out. A final thank you to all the instructors and mentors for helping all of us become game designers fit for the industry. None of us could have done it without your amazing guidance. Thank you again.

PEACE AND LOVE,

Kris


Kristina Soltvedt Wiik graduates and joins the VFS Game Design Alumni today, she was our 2012 Women in Games Scholarship winner

Her final project The Horroring, can be played by CLICKING HERE

Pitch & Play: Class 28 from a students perspective

Months of hard work finally came to fruition for the game design program’s 28th graduating class last Thursday night. The class had their Pitch and Play event where they showed off their finished student projects to a sizable crowd. Five teams took to the stage to present the culmination of all their efforts to an eager crowd of industry professionals.

The evening was kicked off with an opening speech from none other than Dave Warfield, head of the VFS game design program. He then passed the mike to one Sean Smillie, VFS instructor and mentor, who served as the charismatic master of ceremonies for the remainder of the presentations.

The first student team took to the stage to present Demonella, a third person shooter starring a deeply disturbed little girl in a horror-themed carnival setting. Their demonstration pitted their character’s abilities of spitting fire and summoning demonic hands against waves of exploding sentient toy bears, along with a few other circus terrors.

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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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6 Essential Ingredients for an Open-World Indie Game

T-minus a week and a half! There’s a ticking clock facing Game Design students as they sprint towards Pitch & Play, their industry showcase night. One of the five games on display this round will be The Last Phoenix, an open-world aerial melee/dogfighting game, and the first open-world game developed by students in the program. To celebrate the impending launch, the Last Phoenix team has assembled their top six tips for creating an open-world game.

Make the Movement Fun

Since the player is both moving through a large world and doesn’t always know the optimal path, we needed to make sure that the actual experience of moving – in our case, flying – was fun and had a layer of depth. After all, players are going to be doing a lot of it. We decided early on we wanted to add dives, rolls, and loops to the Phoenix’s movement. This served to both avoid enemy attacks and allow the player to weave through the many pillars and arches scattered through the game world.
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