Last week, Vancouver Film School visited Austin, Texas to attend South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin’s annual mega-festival, which celebrates film, music and interactive media on both a local and international scale. Consider this a case of testing the waters — since it was VFS’s first visit — but it demonstrates that VFS shows well on any stage, and we really enjoyed meeting, greeting and eating amongst the city’s finest and friendliest.
First of all, full disclosure that I’m an alumnus (yes, I Googled the grammar), and a very recent one at that, of the VFS Game Design program. SXSW was a real thrill for its size and bustle, and it’s officially the first event that I’ve got to visit as a full-blown industry professional. While there, I met developers from Unity, Nintendo, the new Xi3 Piston computer, and of games like Hawken, Tomb Raider (the new one!) and World of Tanks. I even sat in on a discussion featuring one of my favourite designers, Jenova Chen, the creator of Journey, Flower and Flow, and found myself building Lego creations at a random table, sitting beside the legendary Cliff Bleszinski, the creator of Gears of War. I helped him look for fence pieces.
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!
This past weekend, around 15,00 people gathered around the world for the Global Game Jam with one simple purpose: Create a game in less than 48 hours. This kind of rapid development is the essence of the different game jam events around the world, like Ludum Dare, the Nordic Game Jam, the Toronto Game Jam (aka T.O.Jam) and VFS’s very own 2Jam.
What is a Global Game Jam?
You might think, “Ok, got it — a game jam is something like a game making marathon.” And you’d be right to think that, but you’d also be wrong. Sorry. A game jam is not only a game making marathon — it’s also a great chance to network with industry professionals and celebrate a common interest: game design. Read More
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: Read More
Frocket is a an arcade-style game for all ages (named after its star character), where the player controls a dopey swamp creature strapped to a malfunctioning jet-pack. His mission is to find and eat every delicious cupcake he can. It’s now available for iPhone and iPad as a download through iTunes, and there is the possibility of it being released on other platforms at a later date. Frocket is produced by Ganz Studios, which is located in Toronto, and was developed with the help of three VFS Game Design grads: Brad Keys, Dave Crisp and Tyler Hebenton.
We caught up with them to talk about the game, their involvement in it and their time as students in the Game Design program.
What is 2Jam? Well, according to VFS Game Design Instructor Chevy Ray Johnston, “2Jam is a two-day rapid game development session. The goal is for each jammer, with a single partner, to create an entire game from scratch in just one weekend!”