F84 Hosts University Game Design Course

5.10.2017

Passing it on…

F84 Games has always been proud to host promising future programmers, artists and game developers of all kinds through our various semester internship programs. This year however, our technical designer Matt Vroman went one step further by hosting a special semester-long university game design course right here at the studio!

About the Professor

Though this is Vroman’s first time teaching a college course, you could say that the profession is in his blood. At his alma mater, Bradley University, where his father works as the music department chair. Vroman was also the first student from BU to participate in the F84 Games internship program, through which he earned his position of Technical Designer in 2012.

“The professors I had at Bradley are what helped to motivate and inspire me to go above and beyond. It’s exciting to now act as a mentor to current students and hopefully pass along the same level of inspiration.” (Vroman)

Technical designer teaching game design

Vroman and class in the F84 Games conference room

F84 Games and Bradley University

Since Matt joined the team, F84 has been happy to host many BU interns including 2 this semester. Hannah Gaska received a 2D animation internship and has assisted on animating classic 2D characters. Josh dove in headfirst with his game design internship, where he was instrumental in the design of dozens of challenging levels for the studio title Tootsie POP.

“As an Animation major I never really understood how differently my skills would need to translate in the world of game development. My internship at F84 and my game design class really opened my eyes to new ideas in art and animation. Thanks to these new found skills I am able to take them with me through the rest of my years at Bradley and into my future jobs.”  (Gaska)

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A Look Inside the Classroom

The objective of the course is for the students involved to work together as a team to create a fully fleshed-out game from concept to launch. First each student came up with a game idea. Then, everyone presented their ideas and the students voted. Once they had selected their idea, the students began development with the intention of launching a finished product on itch.io by the end of the semester.

In addition to their project based learning, the game design course is also supplemented with small informative lectures and visits from guest speakers within the entertainment industry. A few of these include former F84 employees Oscar Ponce (Collision Artist, Sony Santa Monica) and Garret Lewis (Cycle Animator, Dreamworks).

“It isn’t your typical classroom. There is a little bit of lecturing and some guest speakers, but overall the course is really a chance for these students to be their own tiny indie development team for a semester.” (Vroman)

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The Finished Product

In the end the result of these students’ efforts is a 3D third person action game called ‘Skyne’ centered around female protagonist, Amelia. In the game Amelia traverses the world, solves puzzles, and defeats various enemies – all leading up to her final battle against an evil boss.

“Thanks to Matt’s job in the industry, this class was an excellent opportunity to create a game in a professional environment. We got a closer look at the process of making games, and as a result, we were able to develop Skyne.” (Estill)

Game design class

Group photo of the class and Professor Vroman

F84 is happy to pass their knowledge to future generations and hopes to see more young minds in the studio in the years to come. Click HERE to download and play the final product of the students’ work.


 

 

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