CAUTION: Ghoulish Games Ahead

You only need to visit Comic-Con to find that costumes and gamers go hand-in-hand. Cosplay is the natural product of game designers marrying unique worlds with engaging characters. It’s no surprise then that Halloween is a popular holiday here on campus.

 The dark, spooky and ghoulish themes that come with the holiday are often echoed in our student games. Below we have selected 8 frightening games to get you in the Halloween spirit!

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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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Pitch and Play : Game Design Class 28

Pitch N Play 28

It’s time for another Pitch and Play!  Tonight (Thursday, May 30, 2013), in the Main Studio at the Game Design campus, the 28th class of VFS Game Design students will present to the Game Industry the final games they’ve spent the last 4 months designing and developing. The students are excited to share their hard work and are looking 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 June 20th.

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Unity Visits VFS Game Design

Unity Presentation

Last week (Tuesday, May 21, 2013) the students of VFS Game Design got an unexpected treat when a few folks from Unity Technologies dropped by for a visit.

Carl Callewaert (Unity Evangelist), Randy Spong (Field Engineer), and Kevin Robertson (Business Development) toured the VFS Game Design campus, and had a good look at all the final project games underway by Game Design classes 28 and 29.  It was a good time for Unity to visit, because at the moment, every student final game project is being created using Unity!

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Hasty update : The Horroring

Women In Games Scholarship winner Kristina Wiik

Updates are in order. Trust me, I have not been lazy in updating my blog; I have just been extremely busy. That sounds like an excuse, but at VFS it’s actually true. Ask anyone. I’m not being funny. I am a shell of my former self.

Anywhooooo, crippling exhaustion aside, the game is coming along beautifully. I’m absolutely thrilled with our progress. Being a team of four, we’ve all had to take time out of our day to learn new tools, methods and plugins to get this game to the level we wanted it to be at — And I couldn’t be happier with where we’re at right now. Yeah, we’ve got minor issues, but they are all fixable within the time we have left.

Without getting too sappy I just want to thank my team for their amazing efforts. I’ve loved being a part of this project and this team. Team Horroring go! Here’s a picture of us (from left to right: Me, Olivia Veras, Pavel Tomasik and Alejandro Borjas) looking awkward and stiff.

Team Horroring: Me, Olivia, Pavel and Alejandro

So, what’s happened on the project since my last blog? Everything, really. The village looks like a village now. I’ve been set dressing and playing with new ground textures to give the areas some flavour. I’ve also been working a lot in uScript to set up all the tutorials and the hints for the player, as well as cut cameras. In addition, I’ve been working with the strumpy shader editor. Finally managed to create a shader with a working alpha channel so the ghost looks pretty damn good right now.

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The Oarering

Pfffff. KC Irvine of Big Jet has put on his maximum trollololol face and made us the gorgeous poster you see below. The Oarering… Really?

The Oarering

Well, joke’s on him. The Horroring is not gonna take this lying down. I’m already planning a meeting where we’re gonna go over how to get him back. Stay tuned!

In other news I’ve been struggling with Unity lighting. Unfortunately, I was not in the art stream and missed out on the amazing lighting class, apart from a few sessions I sat in on. Therefore, I am trying to learn as I go. I have a relative amount of experience creating decent lighting in UDK but Unity is very different, so it’s a bit of an adjustment.

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Haunted Workstations

Women in Games Scholarship winner 2012 Kristina Soltvedt

Day 3.

Our group is falling into some sort of madness. Everything becomes a ghost pun. Maybe the team next to us is rubbing off. Halbjorn’s Wrath has an arsenal of bear puns, so I’m thinking they might be to blame. Not sure yet though. Will get back to you on that.

Our art is coming together soooo amazingly. Below is a little preview of a kid that’ll be in the game. Alejandro Borjas is hard at work with the models, as you can see. I’m amazed at the speed of his modeling; it’s really mind boggling. Four models done in a couple of days and looking awesome. Our PM Olivia Veras has already imported one of them into Unity and it looks ADORABLE. So psyched!

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Spoooooky production

Women in Games Scholarship Winner Kristina Soltvedt

Helloooo!
Long time no see and super busy. Extra points for half rhyme, I think.

Sooo much has happened in the last couple of months. Our class has moved down to the second floor and we are now in the Prrrrroduction phase of the year. This essentially means that we are making a game in a couple of months to be shown to the industry at the program’s Pitch and Play event.
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