Women in Games Scholarships – Call for Entries

The Women in Games Scholarship is back – this time with two exciting full-tuition scholarship opportunities!

Transforming your passion into the career you’ve always wanted can be a challenge. That’s why VFS has decided to offer two different scholarships this year: a full-tuition scholarship to our Game Design program and a full-tuition scholarship to our new Programming for Games, Web & Mobile program!

This is your chance to kickstart the career you’ve always wanted. Show us how talented and passionate you are – and we’ll help you achieve something incredible!

Women in Games Scholarship – Game Design

Deadline: 5pm PDT on Friday, April 11, 2014
Get Started: Download and save the Women in Games – Game Design Application Kit (PDF) to your computer before filling it out.

This scholarship can be applied to Game Design’s January, May, and August 2015 start dates.

Women in Games Scholarship – Programming for Games, Web & Mobile

Deadline: 5pm PDT on Friday, April 11, 2014
Get Started: Download and save the Women in Games – Programming for Games, Web & Mobile Application Kit (PDF) to your computer before filling it out.

This scholarship can be applied to Programming for Games, Web & Mobile’s June 2014, October 2014, and March 2015 start dates.

A Scholarship to VFS Means:

  • Joining a world-class entertainment arts school
  • Working with other talented students and creating exciting projects
  • Learning from amazing instructors and mentors who have experience in the industry

*Please note that you can apply for both scholarships but can only be awarded one.

Don’t miss this chance! Speak with an advisor and start your application today.

Feminism in the Games Industry

Illustration by: Nicholas Gilbert

Current Game Design student Jaymee Mak recently delved into the topic of Feminism in the Games Industry: The Importance of Asking ‘Why?’ on VFS Arcade, Game Design’s community site.

A 2013 Women in Games Scholarship winner, Jaymee interviewed Brenda Bailey Gerschkovitch (CEO at Silicon Sisters), Kirsten Forbes (COO at Silicon Sisters), and Mathew Kumar (CEO and Creative Director at MK Ultra) to learn more.

“I wanted to explore what feminism meant to three people in different stages of different careers in the games industry, how this showed in their work, and their thoughts on the impact of feminism in the industry,” writes Jaymee. “I had so many questions. Do we need more women in the industry? Why? How could we increase the ratio?”

Read more on the VFS Arcade.


VFS Launches a New, Innovative Program!

Vancouver Film School is finishing 2013 with a bang, by launching a brand-new, world-class program!

Programming for Games, Web & Mobile is all about becoming a better, smarter, more versatile and hireable developer. This one-of-a-kind program teaches individuals how to create and bend programs; to develop software that is impressive, innovative, and entertaining. Students graduate with a high-powered portfolio along with the skills to impress professionals and recruiters from an incredible range of industries.

“Industry leaders have been asking us to teach programming for years, because they need VFS-trained programmers and they need them now,” says Dave Warfield, Head of Programming for Games, Web & Mobile.

The program starts with foundation skills in math, design, production, and programming, before progressing to front-end interface and mobile development for iOS and Android. Students build on this core knowledge with increasingly complex courses on interface development and programming, and finish with advanced classes on shaders, network programming, social integration, and cloud-based applications.

Like all VFS’s other 12 programs, career preparation is an integral part of the coursework, from presentation skills and portfolio development, to studio tours and networking events. It’s every advantage students will need to succeed as they launch their careers.

“Programming unlocks industry doors. Graduates have the skills to work on an unprecedented number of development teams, whether it’s using Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, and C++; or app development for iOS and Android,” comments Peter Walsh, Senior Instructor, on the outcomes of the program.

Programming for Games, Web & Mobile begins March 2014 and has already generated tons of buzz among industry leaders and alumni. We encourage everyone to check out the program page and see what it’s all about. The program is especially relevant for Game Design, Digital Design, and Sound Design for Visual Media students and grads looking to add a competitive edge to their skill sets.

A big congratulations to all the instructors, industry, alumni, and students who contributed to the making of this incredible program, and we can’t wait to see the amazing results! 

Announcing the My Year Video Contest Full-Tuition Scholarship Winners!

A big congratulations to our 10 full-tuition VFS My Year Video Scholarship Contest winners!

These talented folks will be joining us here at VFS in 2014:

Beatriz Brenes, Acting for Film & Television
Elea Clarac, Makeup Design for Film & Television
Juan Ignacio Osorio Santiago, Digital Design
Paul Dombrovskis, Film Production
Priyanshu Mehran, 3D Animation & Visual Effects
Sandra Gersenowies Jasso, Game Design
Shafakat Reshamvala, Digital Design
Silvia Prieto, Classical Animation
Ultan Courtney, 3D Animation & Visual Effects
Zeeshan Parwez, Film Production

Check out their winning entries!

We were blown away by the creativity and talent we saw over the last few months and are so excited to see what else our winners have in store for us over the coming year!

Thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations again to all our scholarship winners!

Get Your Exclusive All Access Pass to the VFS Open House Weekend!

This November, join us for the VFS Open House Weekend and experience what it’s like to be a student at VFS! Go behind the scenes and learn everything you need to know about kick-starting your entertainment career.

For two full days, we’ll be opening up our campuses in Downtown Vancouver and sharing what makes VFS so special and how YOU can be a part of it.

Don’t miss this opportunity to:

  • Meet alumni, current students, faculty, and staff
  • View student work
  • Watch live demonstrations
  • Explore our campuses
  • Learn how you can get the career you’ve always wanted

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Makeup Design for Film & Television
Foundation Visual Art & Design
Film Production
Animation & Visual Effects

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Writing for Film & Television
Digital Design
Sound Design for Visual Media
Acting for Film & Television
Game Design

For more information on the VFS Open House Weekend and to register, visit us online or call 1.800.661.4101.

FIFA 14 Hits Shelves Today

FIFA 14, the latest edition in the soccer video game series from EA, is being released in North America today. A group of VFS grads from Game Design, Foundation Visual Art & Design, 3D Animation & Visual EffectsSound Design for Visual Media, and Entertainment Business Management worked on the game, including:

Brad Dyck, Embedded Audio Quality Assurance Tester
Eloy Hernandez, Quality Assurance Tester
Fonda Louie, Associate Animator
Garrett Metcalf, Senior Quality Assurance Tester
Ignacio Vallejo, Quality Assurance Tester
Kramer Solinsky, Quality Assurance Tester
Luc Labelle, Lead Quality Assurance Analyst
Mattheus Pitillo, Quality Assurance Tester
Melissa Stacey, Quality Assurance Team Lead
Noushin Bardi, Assistant Test Coordinator
Rob Starr, Lighting & Environmental Artist
Trevor Da Silva, Development Support
Warren Zahari, Assistant Modeler

Take a look at the trailer:

Great work, everyone!

Game Design Grad Talks Early Inspiration and Shipping His First Title

Game Design grad Damien Le Lievre worked on the recently released game Tesseric, which is available now for free on iOS and Android. The game has been getting some buzz on mobile gaming websites, including Android Shock and Super Game Droid. We spoke with Damien about his early passion for video games, his time at VFS, and working in the gaming industry.

What were you doing before you came to VFS?

Damien: Before coming to VFS, I was running my own photography company in Ottawa, Ontario and attending the Ottawa School of Art, pursuing my interests as an artist. Video games were a huge part of my life and I would spend much of my time playing them, watching them, reading about them, and coming up with my own ideas for games. I owe my entire career to Super Mario World and Legend of Zelda - when I first played them they had such a huge impact on me, which would stay with me for the rest of my life and continue to inspire me.

Have you always known you wanted to be a game designer?

Damien: I think since the first time I picked up and played my first video game, I was so enthralled and absorbed by them that I knew my future had to involve them. When I was much younger, I would come up with games I wanted to play and worked on the skills that I needed to make them a reality. Even when I was running my business as a photographer, I knew deep down that I still wanted to pursue game design as it was my true passion. I think the reason I enjoy game design so much is because I get to be as multifaceted as I want to be. Being a game designer allows me to be both artistic and technical and wear a lot of different hats.

What was your experience like in the VFS Game Design program?

Damien: My time in the game design program was a blast. I knew very well going into it that it was definitely not going to be an easy task, but being something I was very passionate about, I was not going to let that stop me. During the program I made a lot of friends, and learned more in the span of a year than I ever have my entire life. It was amazing to be surrounded by, work with, and be taught by people just as passionate about games as I am. It was also fascinating to get so much exposure to different people’s ideas and approaches to video games.

You recently shipped your first title – tell us about the game and your experience on the project.

Damien: From my first meeting with the Director of Tesseric, Evgueni Naverniouk of Lexan Software Inc., I knew that it was a project that I wanted to be a part of. Tesseric is a four-dimensional puzzle game built for Android and iOS devices. The goal of the game is to navigate your cube (aka a Tesseract) around a 4x4x4 world, matching up the next move’s colour with coloured orbs floating in the world.

The game rewards players that plan their strategies many moves in advance and those who take daring risks. Brave players can let these orbs sit for a while and turn to stone that impede their movement; then consuming a newly spawned orb near a stone allows the player to chain combos and score much higher. As the player levels up, the time they have to eat these floating orbs before they turn to stone lessens and the players ability to think multiple moves ahead is tested and strained harder, with the payoff being a much larger score at the end. We also introduced a competitive mode where players can wager a score they think they can achieve and must exceed it in order to stake a claim on the global high score table.

Working on Tesseric taught me a lot about game design, programming, and the Unity engine. Working with Evgueni and Alex Naverniouk, CEO of Lexan Software Inc., was a fantastic experience and helped me push myself way further than I could imagine. I worked on Tesseric while I was also a Unity Programming TA at VFS and I felt that doing both the project and working at VFS would help me push my skillset further. I was putting in at least 60 hours a week for a number of months and there were many times that the task ahead felt daunting, but my drive to succeed kept me going. I definitely did not want to let anyone down.

Check out the trailer below:

What are you working on next?

Damien: Currently, I am working as a programmer at Fathom Interactive in Vancouver. Alongside that, I have been working on a multiplayer dungeon crawler with some VFS co-workers. I also have a few projects of my own I have started up. One of my recent projects includes programming in assembly for the Super Nintendo. The SNES was the first console I ever played and I want to pay homage to the games that inspired me when I was younger. I also have another competitive multiplayer game in the works for the future which I’ll soon be talking about on my blog and website.

Thanks for speaking with us, Damien! Good luck!