January 24, 2012 – Vancouver, BC, Canada – More than 400 game professionals and aspiring game designers turned out for the sixth annual Game Design Expo and Open House. The sold-out Industry Speaker Day, hosted by the acclaimed Game Design program at Vancouver Film School (VFS), was held at the Vancity Theatre, while the Open House was the first at VFS Game Design’s 88 East Pender Street campus. A roster of gaming’s leading minds from across North America took part in the weekend’s activities.
Bethesda’s Director of Design Bruce Nesmith delivered Saturday’s keynote presentation, launching a day of thought-provoking talks at Industry Speaker Day. Nesmith spoke about Radiant Story, the system used to dynamically create quests, making Skyrim the runaway choice as 2011’s Game of the Year.
“What an amazing weekend. The collection of speakers we had were both inspirational and informative,” says Dave Warfield, Head of Game Design at Vancouver Film School. “Getting a behind-the-scenes look at some of the biggest and best titles of the past year was something that very few have an opportunity to do. The response from the attendees of both our Industry Speaker Day and Open House was overwhelmingly positive, and I hope everyone took away as much as I did from the experience.”
Joining Nesmith was Emmanuel Lusinchi, Associate Lead Designer of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and other designers, including VFS grad Bruce Kelly from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The presentations closed with a raucous panel discussion of local indie developers, moderated by Victor Lucas of Electric Playground, which covered the benefits and challenges of being independent. The atmosphere was dynamic as students, aspiring designers, and even industry veterans interacted directly with the speakers throughout the day. Game Design Expo became the top trending topic on Twitter in Vancouver, and that energy continued into the nighttime networking reception.
At Sunday’s Game Design Open House, over 300 game enthusiasts had the opportunity to hear from successful alumni and a faculty of industry professionals in standing-room-only sample classes. Visitors test-drove student- and alumni-created games, and were the first to learn the details about the fourth annual Women in Games scholarship. Additionally, $15,000 worth of sponsored scholarships from G4, Radical, Slant Six Games, Annex Pro, and Microsoft/BigPark are also available.
For more scholarship details, visit gamedesignexpo.com.
VFS is proud to partner with the following event sponsors to realize Game Design Expo 2012: G4techTV, Annex Pro, Radical Entertainment, The Georgia Straight, HP, Microsoft/BigPark, and Slant Six Games.
About Game Design Expo
Game Design Expo is an annual event for game industry professionals and enthusiasts hosted by Vancouver Film School’s Game Design program. Since the inaugural event in 2007 and continuing through the sold-out 2011 weekend, Game Design Expo has played host to such industry luminaries as Jaako Iisalo, Lead Designer of Angry Birds, Ron Gilbert, Clint Hocking, Don Daglow, Ellen Beeman, and Eric Zimmerman, and creative leaders from companies like Microsoft, Bungie, Activision, Blizzard, BioWare, Epic, and Ubisoft.
About Game Design at Vancouver Film School
Founded in 1987, Vancouver Film School is Canada's premier post-secondary entertainment arts institution and one of the most distinguished in the world. With 13 production-oriented programs and a world-leading one-year education model, VFS prepares students to join the creative economy. In the Game Design program, students learn all aspects of designing games, from visual storytelling to level design principles to the production process, ultimately creating playable games themselves. Upon graduating, they are ready to be a part of any video game development team. Game Design grads have worked on such titles as Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Dead Rising 2, Prototype 2, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. To find out more, visit vfs.com.