Hiiiiiiiiii guys. I’ve missed you.

Currently working on a Deathmatch level map in Level Design 2 class.The first image is of a paper map that we were assigned to make before starting the design in Unreal Development Kit. The maps are to be designed for 6-8 player Deathmatch games, and there should be use of UDK’s Kismet (which I haven’t quite thought about yet, but I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with something), and take us around 25 to 30 hours to complete.

The paper map is missing things like player spawn points, weapon and health pickups, jump pads, gravity volumes, etc. I am not really a Deathmatch type of player, but this is super fun. My level’s name is Jumpomatic. At least for right now. I may have been thinking about Daft Punk while I was designing it. 

Technologic.. Technologic…

Sorry for the lack of blogging, everyone. I’ve got a couple of drafts waiting. I WILL HAVE MORE CONTENT, I PROMISE. DON’T HURT ME. *crying*

As always, if you have questions about the Game Design program at Vancouver Film School, feel free to hit up my Ask box and I’ll try to answer you quickly!

- Jean

Oh boy.

So it has seriously been a while since I wrote an actual post in this here blog. Let that be an indication to you, would-be game design students, that this program is demanding. And to be completely truthful, I haven’t been working on assignments the whole time I’ve been absent. Oh, no, no, no. On the contrary! I’ve been playing video games because I hardly gave myself time for that last term!

I’ve learned that it’s very important to maintain a healthy balance of school work and your life. Last term had too many nights of staying up too late. This term has been lighter on the homework side, but that’s because we’re working on our 2D games right now!

My group is working on a game that we’ve tentatively titled “Thread”. We really like this title, and it may be the one we keep at the very end. We’re a team of four, with myself being the project manager, and then we have our art lead, programming lead, and audio/QA lead. My team has some pretty rad people, and we’re super pumped for our game.

We’re currently trying to shape it so that everyone can share the same vision, which is essentially my responsibility. I’ll be producing a Game Design Document (GDD) that will contain our vision so everyone stays on the same page. It’s all very exciting!

And that’s just a bit of a taste of what we’re going through right now. It’s late, and I’ve been working on an art asset for the game. Until next time. And hopefully it’s sooner rather than later!

- Jean

Pixel Art Tutorial

makegames:


Note:
This tutorial was created in 2007 for my personal website. Some small tweaks have been made since then, but nothing too significant.

In this 10-step tutorial, I’ll teach you how to create a “sprite”, which is a stand-alone two-dimensional character or object. The term comes from video games, of course.

Creating pixel art is a skill I picked up because I needed graphics for my games. After a lot of practice, I became kinda handy with it, and started to see it more as actual art rather than just a tool. These days, pixel art is quite popular in game development and illustration.

This pixel tutorial was created many years ago to teach people the basic concepts behind pixel art, but I’ve streamlined it a lot since its first incarnation. There are other pixel tutorials around, but I find them to be overly-complicated and too wordy. Pixel art is not a science. You should never have to calculate a vector when doing pixel art.

Read More

I figure for anyone looking to create pixel art, this tutorial might be useful!

48 Hour Game Jam. I’m in one this weekend starting tonight. It’s for VFS Game Design and Programming students called “Hat Jam 5”.
Don’t know what a game jam is? It’s an event that’s held were mini development teams are given a 48 hour timeframe to develop a working video game. Sounds intense, right? Yeah. But these happen in centres all over the world! You can check out the website for the Global Game Jam by clicking here!
I signed up, but I don’t really know how I’ll contribute yet. I definitely won’t be programming though. Maybe I’ll be the artist on the team. Or audio? Maybe QA. Or maybe I’ll just be that guy who provide creative input and gets everyone their game making fuel.
WOO HOO!
- Jean

48 Hour Game Jam. I’m in one this weekend starting tonight. It’s for VFS Game Design and Programming students called “Hat Jam 5”.

Don’t know what a game jam is? It’s an event that’s held were mini development teams are given a 48 hour timeframe to develop a working video game. Sounds intense, right? Yeah. But these happen in centres all over the world! You can check out the website for the Global Game Jam by clicking here!

I signed up, but I don’t really know how I’ll contribute yet. I definitely won’t be programming though. Maybe I’ll be the artist on the team. Or audio? Maybe QA. Or maybe I’ll just be that guy who provide creative input and gets everyone their game making fuel.

WOO HOO!

- Jean

Game designers.

Out with my classmates right now after our Team Management class, but this sentence here (in the image above) is really resonating with me. Our instructor advised us to stop talking about ourselves as “aspiring” game designers. We ARE game designers. 

We have been in the program for two months now, and we need to start selling ourselves as people working in the industry. Every day is an interview, and every human interaction we have is leaving new impressions for the people who have the ability to connect us with professionals looking to hire budding artists, programmers, level designers, etc.

Day one of term two is over. We opened with Critical Analysis, giving us the tools to do some in depth thinking about what we like and dislike about the games we love, hate, and have yet to play. 

Canada Day tomorrow. Hoping to get some work done. Pretty big wake up call listening to our Team Management instructor. We need to bring Day One Value to the development studios we’ll be looking to have hire us, and I know I have some skills, but I need to step up my game to make myself desired.

Night, all.

- Jean

Game designers.

Out with my classmates right now after our Team Management class, but this sentence here (in the image above) is really resonating with me. Our instructor advised us to stop talking about ourselves as “aspiring” game designers. We ARE game designers.

We have been in the program for two months now, and we need to start selling ourselves as people working in the industry. Every day is an interview, and every human interaction we have is leaving new impressions for the people who have the ability to connect us with professionals looking to hire budding artists, programmers, level designers, etc.

Day one of term two is over. We opened with Critical Analysis, giving us the tools to do some in depth thinking about what we like and dislike about the games we love, hate, and have yet to play.

Canada Day tomorrow. Hoping to get some work done. Pretty big wake up call listening to our Team Management instructor. We need to bring Day One Value to the development studios we’ll be looking to have hire us, and I know I have some skills, but I need to step up my game to make myself desired.

Night, all.

- Jean

This is the look of someone who is so glad that classes for term one have finally come to a close. Granted, we still have an assignment due tomorrow, but considering we’ll have a full day to complete our objectives, it is completely manageable. This would have meant that it was a four day weekend for us, but shame on me for leaving it until the last day anyway!
I handed in my third assignment for Game Art 1 about an hour ago; it is the one where I attempted to recreate Ness’ living room from EarthBound for the SNES. I plan to share as many of my assignments with you readers as I can, but I’m considering touching some of them up to do a mini "then and now" kind of thing. Would be interesting to see where I was hoping to take the assignment had we been given more time or extra knowledge which couldn’t fit within the confines of seven three-hour classes.
Suffice it to say that term one has been extremely enjoyable, and I am loving what I am doing. You’ve seen the challenges that I have had, and hopefully where my strengths are showing. As much as Maya is a frustrating tool to learn, I am definitely loving the idea that I may become a 3D modeller. I might even just become that guy that textures, as that’s something that totally interests me. But I definitely want to be able to add programming to my toolkit for after graduation, so I’m going to work extra hard to learn what I can and what are the walls that are keeping me from progressing in that field.
It’s been so wonderful to work with the amazing educators this term. They each offer so much to the table in such different and unique ways, that I’m looking forward to the continuation of those fostering relationships. There is so much to learn here!
Thanks for the great first term, Vancouver Film School. You’ve reignited my passion to learn and to achieve. Great things will come out of GD38, I’m sure. We’ve only seen a glimpse of what we can each bring to the table in the game industry.
Time for some shut eye, though. Especially if I want a fresh brain to get that last assignment finished. Good night! And thank you to my 41 followers for being a part of the first chapter of this amazing new life ahead of me!
- Jean

This is the look of someone who is so glad that classes for term one have finally come to a close. Granted, we still have an assignment due tomorrow, but considering we’ll have a full day to complete our objectives, it is completely manageable. This would have meant that it was a four day weekend for us, but shame on me for leaving it until the last day anyway!

I handed in my third assignment for Game Art 1 about an hour ago; it is the one where I attempted to recreate Ness’ living room from EarthBound for the SNES. I plan to share as many of my assignments with you readers as I can, but I’m considering touching some of them up to do a mini "then and now" kind of thing. Would be interesting to see where I was hoping to take the assignment had we been given more time or extra knowledge which couldn’t fit within the confines of seven three-hour classes.

Suffice it to say that term one has been extremely enjoyable, and I am loving what I am doing. You’ve seen the challenges that I have had, and hopefully where my strengths are showing. As much as Maya is a frustrating tool to learn, I am definitely loving the idea that I may become a 3D modeller. I might even just become that guy that textures, as that’s something that totally interests me. But I definitely want to be able to add programming to my toolkit for after graduation, so I’m going to work extra hard to learn what I can and what are the walls that are keeping me from progressing in that field.

It’s been so wonderful to work with the amazing educators this term. They each offer so much to the table in such different and unique ways, that I’m looking forward to the continuation of those fostering relationships. There is so much to learn here!

Thanks for the great first term, Vancouver Film School. You’ve reignited my passion to learn and to achieve. Great things will come out of GD38, I’m sure. We’ve only seen a glimpse of what we can each bring to the table in the game industry.

Time for some shut eye, though. Especially if I want a fresh brain to get that last assignment finished. Good night! And thank you to my 41 followers for being a part of the first chapter of this amazing new life ahead of me!

- Jean

I hate programming.
Staying late on a Monday on campus to work with my team on our final programming assignment for the term. The only problem is I still don’t have a great grasp on what it is we’ve learned so far so I’m hardly able to contribute because I just don’t get it.
All these classes and loops and constructors and whateverthehells are making me so incredibly frustrated, I want to flip some tables, scream, and cry. I so badly want to understand what the hell it is I’m doing, but maybe I’m not cut out for something so technical.
I can’t wait for the term to be over, or at the very least to get all my assignments completed. I’m going to need multiple beers. And sleep. And probably some Mario Kart 8.
I am also going to try to get a better handle on C# programming during the time off. Ideally I would take this time to just take a huge break for four days, but I think anything that will help me be a better contender for a job right out of school is worth giving up some free time. I don’t want to give up.
I just better not burn out.

I hate programming.

Staying late on a Monday on campus to work with my team on our final programming assignment for the term. The only problem is I still don’t have a great grasp on what it is we’ve learned so far so I’m hardly able to contribute because I just don’t get it.

All these classes and loops and constructors and whateverthehells are making me so incredibly frustrated, I want to flip some tables, scream, and cry. I so badly want to understand what the hell it is I’m doing, but maybe I’m not cut out for something so technical.

I can’t wait for the term to be over, or at the very least to get all my assignments completed. I’m going to need multiple beers. And sleep. And probably some Mario Kart 8.

I am also going to try to get a better handle on C# programming during the time off. Ideally I would take this time to just take a huge break for four days, but I think anything that will help me be a better contender for a job right out of school is worth giving up some free time. I don’t want to give up.

I just better not burn out.

This is just one of the remaining final assignments left over in Term 1. As you may have read in my post from last night, I am exhausted. So many late nights, and so little time to get everything finished. But I’m chugging along the best that I can.

In this assignment for Game Art 1, we have to recreate a room. Technically, I shouldn’t be building a room based off video game art (especially from the 16bit era) but I was given the green light as long as I could find reference images online that I could use as a basis for the items that I’m modelling. Some stuff is easier to find than others, but I am pretty happy with the amount of details I’ve been putting in this so far.

As you can (hopefully) see in the above images, I am trying to recreate Ness’ living room from EarthBound. The furniture isn’t looking quite the same as in the game, but I’m still learning how to use Maya, and I figured it wasn’t worth the amount of stress I would put on myself when there are other assignments to finish as well. Besides, I like my pod dining room chairs.

Still need to add the windows, door, and stairs, as well as “clutter” to place around the room. Things I hope to include in the model are:

  • Tablecloth
  • Dishes
  • Rotary phone
  • Baseball bat
  • Yo-yo
  • Photo frame

Not really sure what else I could add from the world of Earthbound that would make sense to have in the living/dining room area… 

Sleep time. I really need it.

- Jean

It’s been a while. And I am so tired right now.

As I type this, my phone says it is 2:02AM on Sunday, June 22. I’ve spent more than eleven hours at school “today” and am finally going to sleep.

The last few weeks have been crazy busy, and it’s soon to slow down. I don’t even know how much sleep I’m going to get this week, but right now, I’m laying down on a bean bag in the Retro Arcade. I hope to get a few hours of sleep at least.

This is my life now. I have fully surrendered. My first night sleeping on campus. And I am sure there will be many more to come.

When you read this, it will have been at least 9AM PST.

It’s been a while. And I am so tired right now.

As I type this, my phone says it is 2:02AM on Sunday, June 22. I’ve spent more than eleven hours at school “today” and am finally going to sleep.

The last few weeks have been crazy busy, and it’s soon to slow down. I don’t even know how much sleep I’m going to get this week, but right now, I’m laying down on a bean bag in the Retro Arcade. I hope to get a few hours of sleep at least.

This is my life now. I have fully surrendered. My first night sleeping on campus. And I am sure there will be many more to come.

When you read this, it will have been at least 9AM PST.

Feeling extremely unmotivated.
It’s been a while since I last made a post on this blog. But it’s been a busy time amidst assignments, catching up on sleep, and Mario Kart 8. Let’s throw in some E3 in the mix as well, as last week was a great peek into what gaming will be bringing later this year and the next!
Presently, I’m at school trying to find the will to work on our current Programming 1 assignment, a pet simulator. You remember those silly Tamagotchi things, don’t you? That’s what we’re up to right now, except without the graphic interface. Everything is being sent as text to the console… If you know what that means. The black box with (generally) white font that displays weird computer information when you run things like ipconfig and ohgodwhatdoesthisevenmean.
I should have started this assignment a week ago. It’s not overly challenging, but my brain is just feeling super weird right now that it’s becoming increasingly hard to focus on anything. It’s like the sensation before absolute frustration when you start sweating and removing all your layers for something as simple as threading string through the eye of a needle. It’s not even hard, like I said. I’m just not in the proper mindspace.
I wonder if this is my body telling me to take a nap/break, get some food, or some other form of unnecessary procrastination. I was just playing Mario Kart 8 while eating chips, ya stupid brain! How much more time do you want me to waste?! Just another week and a half of classes and then we get a five-day break before being launched into term two. THINK OF ALL THE SLEEPS!!!
Anyway, set aside my serious lack of motivation right now, we’ve been working on some fun stuff like our very own board/card games, further development of our level design pitches, and 3D modelling in Autodesk Maya. Tuesday, we present in groups a pitch for an original game and work on a group programming project which has us making a mini text-based game. Neat stuff!
All right. Time to get back to it. Here we go!

Feeling extremely unmotivated.

It’s been a while since I last made a post on this blog. But it’s been a busy time amidst assignments, catching up on sleep, and Mario Kart 8. Let’s throw in some E3 in the mix as well, as last week was a great peek into what gaming will be bringing later this year and the next!

Presently, I’m at school trying to find the will to work on our current Programming 1 assignment, a pet simulator. You remember those silly Tamagotchi things, don’t you? That’s what we’re up to right now, except without the graphic interface. Everything is being sent as text to the console… If you know what that means. The black box with (generally) white font that displays weird computer information when you run things like ipconfig and ohgodwhatdoesthisevenmean.

I should have started this assignment a week ago. It’s not overly challenging, but my brain is just feeling super weird right now that it’s becoming increasingly hard to focus on anything. It’s like the sensation before absolute frustration when you start sweating and removing all your layers for something as simple as threading string through the eye of a needle. It’s not even hard, like I said. I’m just not in the proper mindspace.

I wonder if this is my body telling me to take a nap/break, get some food, or some other form of unnecessary procrastination. I was just playing Mario Kart 8 while eating chips, ya stupid brain! How much more time do you want me to waste?! Just another week and a half of classes and then we get a five-day break before being launched into term two. THINK OF ALL THE SLEEPS!!!

Anyway, set aside my serious lack of motivation right now, we’ve been working on some fun stuff like our very own board/card games, further development of our level design pitches, and 3D modelling in Autodesk Maya. Tuesday, we present in groups a pitch for an original game and work on a group programming project which has us making a mini text-based game. Neat stuff!

All right. Time to get back to it. Here we go!