The 28th Graduation of Game Design

It’s June already, and once again the Game Design program has a reason to celebrate. Another group of amazing students has battled through the year, and has truly earned a reason to be proud. It wasn’t truly over when they finished their final projects, it’s tonight, the night they get their diplomas and learn who has won the end of year awards.

The Graduation and Awards show on June 20th has a mix of parts: one part formal, and one part fun. The formal part of the evening began with a speech from myself, then the student-elected class speaker Ornella Carolina Mastretta had a few words, and finally student selected Instructor speaker Chris Mitchell closed the speeches with some heart-warming words.

There was laughter, there were tears, but mostly there were great reflections on the friendships that have formed, the experiences that the class have all been through together, and some useful advice for being successful, as they move onto the next phase of their lives. The formalities were wrapped up with the handing out of diplomas and the embarrassingly long handshakes that make up that portion of the evening. Congratulations to Lorena, Jethro, Francisco and Harry who all graduated with honours.

Next, during a short break, parents, friends and family members were invited up to the 2nd floor production space, where they could see the area that the students’ final projects were created, play the games they made and have some snacks and refreshments.

After the break, the Awards show began… Read More

Level Up: Showcasing your UDK maps

Well it’s that time of the year, you’re done presenting on industry night and finished classes.  What a perfect time to dust off the ol’ UDK maps and start screen grabbing those hard worked on levels for your portfolio!

When it comes to in game shots, presentation and quality matters.  Surely we can go into fullscreen mode, hit PrintScreen and paste directly into Photoshop.  But let’s make the most of our game engine and get a beauty shot that captures your hard work without the loss of detail.

Here’s how we do it in UDK:

Step 1: Get into the level

Jump into your level like you normally would through the editor.

Step 2: Bring up the console

Bring up the console (press Tab).

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Meet Women in Games Scholarship Winners Anna Prein & Janel Jolly

Women in Games Scholarship Winners Anna Prein and Janel Jolly

It’s Week 5 of Term 1, and we thought it was about time for us to sit down and have a chat – “we” being Janel Jolly and Anna Prein, from VFS Game Design‘s Class 33. Being both recipients of the Women in Games Scholarship, we wanted to learn more about each other, and what we thought of the program. So, let’s start!

Janel Jolly : Hey Anna! I’ll go ahead and start with the first question. What attracted you to the Game Design program at the Vancouver Film School?

Anna Prein : I’ve been living in Vancouver for about 5 years now, and a former roommate actually applied for the same Women in Games Scholarship a few years back. Once I had finished having my existential crisis about doing an unrelated undergraduate degree and then committed to pursuing game design, VFS was the first school I thought of.

In the past year, I started actively going to events in the community here, like Full Indie, and I kept meeting VFS Game Design graduates who were all intensely positive about their experience and who urged me to apply. I think that was definitely the biggest push! What about you?

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UFG’s Sleeping Dogs : The VFS Connection

Cover for Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs is an open world action-adventure video game developed by United Front Games (UFG) and published by Square Enix for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Since it’s release on August 14, it’s been flying off the shelves, and it’s had some great reviews — with GameRankings and Metacritic, giving it an aggregate score of 85 and 82 percent, respectively. This is also some source of pride for VFS, given that a range of some 30 people (students and faculty), including Game Design Instructor Victor Kam, who was Senior World Artist at UFG, Game Design Industry Mentor Dan Sochan, who has also been a Producer at UFG since 2007, and alumnus Jeffrie Wu, who was Technical Designer at UFG, and is currently Technical Level Designer at Next Level Games.

We spoke recently with Jeffrie Wu about his experience working on the game (starting back in 2009) and present our inteview with him here:

Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
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VFS Game Design Summer Intensive : Level, Story, Art

UDK First-Person Shooter

The VFS Game Design Summer Intensive covered a lot of ground over days two and three, delving into Level DesignStorytelling/Interactive Narrative and Game Art.

Day 2 introduced the students to the core of game design: constructing the environment and scripting the events of the play. Game Design Instructor and 3D Environment Artist, Victor Kam, introduced students to the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), which uses the Unreal Engine (a game engine developed by Epic Games, first used in the 1998 first-person shooter game Unreal). UDK is a free download available to the general public (for non-commercial games, although, games built using the free kit can be sold according to certain relatively minor stipulations outlined in Unreal Technology’s Licensing Terms).


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