Category Archives: Academics

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Creative Production (CREA0416) Registration Closes March 31

Subsidies are available!

Every1Games Spring Creative Production program starts April 2nd at George Brown College School of Design. Become familiar with the fundamental tools and practices to design and develop digital objects in 3D, virtual environments, music and videos (content will vary based on participant interests).

Learn computer software like  Autodesk 3DS Max, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5, tools used by professional designers.

Participants will have the opportunity to explore different types of production tools in a low anxiety environment to develop social, technical and professional skills. This program is great for beginners and for people who want to practice using the software in a low-anxiety learning environment. If you are new to Every1Games its a great place to start becoming familiar with who we are and how we can work together to help you meet your goals. If you are a current student in art or media design give our Spec OPS program a try and join us to strengthen your portfolio and gain experience.

If you have an autism diagnosis and are between the age of 12 and 18, the Potential Programme provides a subsidy to help you pay for this opportunity! Over 18? No worries, thanks to Autism Ontario Toronto Chapter you are also eligible for a subsidy that will be discounted on your invoice. Become a Autism Ontario Toronto Chapter member and be sure to fill out your Every1Games profile so that we can apply discounts and subsidies automatically when you sign up for a program. Please note there is no proof of diagnosis required to participate in Every1Games programs.

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Spec Ops 4 – Post-Mortem

The Spec Ops – Video Game Development program is often considered a capstone program at Every1Games. Spec Ops offers creative neurodivergent students a place where they can come and learn to create one of the leading forms of art and entertainment in contemporary society – video games.

When taken as a whole, video game development may seem daunting. The idea of making a video game conjures up a highly stressful environment where some mythical renaissance character does everything from art to programming to make their game. In reality, whole teams come together to contribute to one major project at a time.

This means that the video game industry is one in which all sorts of talents can be nurtured and developed. There are 3D artists, who can work on modelling (creating 3D representations of objects for games), rigging (giving a skeletal structure to the models), and animating (making those same representations come to life). 2D artists may work in creating user interface, textures, and concept art, all of which contribute to the user’s in-game experience. There are programmers, who communicate directly with computers to turn the video game into… well, a game. Games aren’t fun when the opponent doesn’t play back, after all. Designers work to develop the premise, balance, and feel of a game, and sound engineers enrich the world with audio feedback and cues.

All of these roles, and many more, work together to create a game.

That was what we did in Spec Ops 4.

The End-Game (Goals)

Since our program development is an iterative process, the facilitators of Spec Ops once more made it a goal to learn from the past. We kept the most fun, most engaging, most skill-developing parts of previous Spec Ops sessions. Everything else was re-examined and re-evaluated before either being approached from a different angle or being dropped from the curriculum entirely.

To ensure this instance of the program ran smoothly, we had two facilitators at any given point: one artist and one programmer (me!). We also had a variety of support staff on hand, including organizational leads and audio engineers, to help cultivate an interest in other skills related to video game production.

We spent a good deal of time considering what was important for participants to get out of the program. With the range of video game development experiences our participants would have in mind, we came up with the following goals:

  • Introduce participants to a variety of different roles in the video game industry, including art, programming, audio, and design.
  • Create a low-stress environment that encourages participants to develop higher-level social skills by encouraging self-advocacy and positive interaction.
  • Make a video game with maximal contribution from participants and minimal contribution from staff.

We decided the best way to do this was to start off with a relatively heavy ‘class’ load at the beginning, with a shift to emphasize game development in later days.

The idea behind this was to equip participants with rudimentary skills they’d need to contribute to the game in the manner of their choosing. It would also help them identify their strengths and weaknesses while sampling the many roles the video game industry has to offer. Essentially, this structure let them decide what they liked and enjoyed while eliminating roles that were just not for them. As staff, it allowed us to shift and change the curriculum to suit the interests of our participants.

Pre-Production (Early Game Design)

The first two days of Spec Ops were spent getting to know each other and determining the type of game we wanted to make.

We started by naming elements and features that make a game appealing to us. Suggestions ranged from first-person shooters to MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) games, with everything in between considered as well. By the end of this exercise, we had a massive list of potential options. Obviously we couldn’t do everything suggested, so we started paring down the list, finding common elements and eliminating unrealistic goals.

After a few hours of back and forth discussion, voting, and bringing new ideas to the table, we had a loose concept of what we wanted to develop.  We went with an endless, arena-style space shooter with a sort of gritty, hopeless feel. We also ideally wanted to heavily emphasize narrative.

By the end of the second day, we even had a name: The Final Marine.

Main Production (The Classroom Experience)

After we had the game concept settled, we spent the next couple of days doing crash-courses in a number of different tools used by industry game developers to make games. We dabbled in Photoshop, Illustrator, 3dsmax, Maya, HTML/CSS, Unity Engine Editor, TFM Music Maker, C#, and other programs.

This let all participants start learning concepts that were totally new to them without pressuring them to immediately make a game.  As we hoped, participants began to explore the fields and roles they were interested in.

The added benefit for facilitators was being able to cater courses more specifically to participant interest. It wasn’t long before modelling was front and center stage, a crowd favourite among our participants. Around the same time, programming was more or less dropped from the curriculum entirely.

We worked in groups at various points, fostering discussions and developing our game further. While participants were happy to keep working on their pet projects, they also began to get excited about working on The Final Marine. Some of them were improving the design, while others had already started to model assets they thought might be useful in our game.

Alpha Production (From the Classroom to the Studio)

Work on The Final Marine began in earnest late into our second week.

Participants were given a list of assets that the game would need and decided for themselves what to work on. At this point, it already became apparent who favoured which role; we had about three or four modellers (one of whom is a budding rigger/animator, the others who are content to remain modelling specialists), two 2D art specialists, two game designers, and one lonely programmer.

Most participants were also eager to experiment with two or three roles. Our modellers also showed interest in 2D art, for example. Everyone also enjoyed the design aspect of a game and was willing to discuss and compromise in various ways. The Final Marine began to take shape, with some place-holder assets and concepts to flesh out in the future.

Beta Production (Studio Environment)

By the end of the third week, we moved almost exclusively into game development. We spent very little time doing crash-courses, instead opting to help participants work on their assets on a one-to-one level.

If a participant did not need any guidance, they continued to develop their assets at their own pace. They submitted assets for addition into the game when they were satisfied with their work. During this time, we received many polished assets for integration, including a sky box, environment assets, and a number of different particle effects for use in the game.

This marked a very industrious but quiet time for Spec Ops. Lunch was no longer a welcome break and refreshing chance to socialize, but rather an interruption into their technical skill and asset development.

Did I mention that The Final Marine was starting to look really good?

Gold Production/Release (The Grand Finale)

In major studios, a game getting released is cause for much excitement. The Final Marine was finished one early afternoon in our fourth week. All assets were integrated, the level had been designed and implemented, and the game worked.

Participants were given the rest of the day to reflect and socialize with the team, before a grand unveiling demonstration in the final few hours.

I will close this section with the words of one of our participants:

“I almost don’t believe it. We made a game. We actually made one. We’re game developers now.

Conclusion

Spec Ops was a huge success.

The participants were both creative and driven, balancing personal needs and desires with the team’s goals throughout. Students learned that there is room for everybody in game development, regardless of their interests or original skill level.

Skill-wise, they universally improved across the board. Participants went from not necessarily knowing what a model was to modelling full characters, and from knowing a lot about video games to knowing about video game production. They worked with industry standard software to make a game in a small studio environment.

With the help of George Brown College’s facilities and facilitators, who were able to help nurture participant interests, we expect a number of the participants will continue to develop the foundation Spec Ops set out for them. Spec Ops has a proven history of growing with its participants.

It might have been The Final Marine, but it won’t be the final step for the participants. It sure won’t be the final Spec Ops.

Game link: coming soon to a postmortem near you!

Kayla Wright

Note: That last line was fairly melodramatic, but it wasn’t dishonest. It won’t be the final Spec Ops. The next installment of Spec Ops has tentative start dates in late September/early October. Mosey on over to the Programs page for more information! specOpsIcon-3-300x270

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Spec Ops 3 – Post Mortem

Written by Rocco Briganti

The Spec Ops 3 – Video Game Development program is the capstone program at Every1Games. Creative neurodivergent students from different walks of life finally have a place where they can come and learn about and how to create, one of the leading forms of art and entertainment – video games.

Spec Ops Team

Some of the SpecOps Team: Daniel, Devonttaie, John Yau, Crystal Fernandez, Rocco Briganti and Joshua

An Upgraded Direction

Spec Ops 3 took the best of the previous programs and learned from past programs. During this program we continued along the path of keeping the class operating as a team would in a studio. We had a clear idea and focus about how the program would run. The Spec Ops 3 team was better equipped now with four facilitators ranging in talents including, but not limited to: animation, programming, modelling and game design. We also had two goals…

  1. Developing a game and if not, at the very least a portfolio piece for every student.
  2. Expanding and advancing student’s social skills.

We continued along the familiar path of brainstorming a game first with the class and then dividing everyone up into roles that each student wanted to work on. This time we had some new students with fresh talent. Roles ranged from sound engineers to modellers and animators.

Early Game Design

In our first week we brainstormed with the class on what some of their favourite genres were for video games. After a lot of talking and some back and forth debates we ended up with a Steampunk Robot Escape style game. One of our facilitators, Daniel Mozarowski took the class through Game Design principals and theory as we brainstormed how the game would be played. It was wonderful to watch students who normally appeared to be shy, open up in passionate discussion, conversation and the odd friendly debate about mechanics, story and what makes a game fun.

Once we had everything laid out another one of our Facilitators, John Yau, took the stage creating some concept art for our game. This concept art was created by tasking students with finding images and references that they pictured for the game we had brainstormed and its genre. Throughout the course of the 8 weeks the students used the created piece for inspiration and reference when creating content for the game.

Production Phase

At the very beginning of the program, myself and the rest of the facilitators had made a decision that if creating a market ready game was not achievable during the programs length then we would work on helping students achieve a portfolio piece. During our fourth week we had a discussion about this. Myself and the rest of the team decided that given the varying range of talent and experience, it was best to change our focus. From this point on, we continued the course by focusing on helping each student grow both socially and technically.

Spec Ops Support Package

Spec Ops 3 was not only host to a pool of creative and talented neurodiverse individuals but for this first time ever, host to the parents, friends and family who continuously help drive our students forward beyond the classroom. This was our first time having a parent’s open house style gathering where parents, friends and family could come in and see what everyone had been working on. For the facilitators, this provided the perfect opportunity for some one on one time with student’s family members which might have not otherwise happened.

Overall, this was an overwhelming success. Facilitators got to witness our student’s showing off their creativity to their family members and in turn family members saw what their children were capable of producing. Parents were ecstatic to hear the progress their children have made and taken aback by the work that they had created. Some family members were seeing for the first time all the work that gets put into creating even the most basic of games.

Conclusion

This has been our best Spec Ops program yet at Every1Games with the help of George Brown College facilities. We’ve pushed students farther in honing their skills and prepping for the game development world with the latest industry standard software. Students have shown growth in not only technical skills but social skills as well. Our students continue to inspire and teach us as well with every Spec Ops program outdoing the last. With this mind, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Spec Ops in the fall.

 

Registration for the next Spec Ops: Video Game Development program opens soon. Make an account to register!

Rocco Briganti

 

 

Created by Every1Games student Matthew Montgomery

Guest Series: Work in 3D with Eddie Faria and Matthew Gibson!

Every day our neurodiverse teams looks for opportunities to have best learning experiences. Jacob Yorke, a new addition to the Every1Games team, is a George Brown student excelling in 3D modelling. He reached out to some folks who inspire him, bringing experienced industry professionals, our guests, to work with the Every1Games participants in the Panoptic and SpecOPS programs in Toronto.


Welcome Matthew Gibson and Eddie Faria to the Every1Games community!

Join our programs to make sure you do not miss out on the opportunity to hear tips, tricks and experiences that can make a difference in your life and work. Learn 3D modelling and other digital skills with Matthew Gibson and Eddie Faria in a low-anxiety networking environment.

Matthew Gibson

Participants registered for Toronto programs July 20 – 24 will learn from Matthew Gibson.

Visiting July 22, 2015

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Matthew is a graduate of the Game Development Program at George Brown College, specializing in modelling and texturing.

He is an experienced freelancer in graphic design, and photography. He also has a diploma in fashion design! Most recently Matthew was a Junior 3D Artist at Blot Interactive. Matthew has found that his previous experiences has given him a large pool of inspiration to pour into his new projects, and he uses the skills he has learned in other fields to add extra dimension to his work.

Click here to see some of Matthew’s work.

Eddie Faria

Register for July 27 – 31 Creative Production or SpecOPS to learn from Eddie Faria!

Visiting July 28, 2015

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Since a young age Eddie Faria had a passion for art, drawing fantastic creatures, Dinosaurs, Comic characters and outer worldly environments. Growing up he also developed a love of video games and computers and was inspired by movies such as Lord of the Rings and always dreamed of a career where he could combine his love for computers and art.

Eddie graduated from Humber College’s 3D Animation Program. Upon graduating Eddie was hired by one of the top video game companies in Toronto, Pseudo Interactive where his career in the video game world took off. Although games wasn’t his first choice he was inspired by working with so many talented and creative people and developed a love of video game art. Since then Eddie has worked at major video game studios across Ontario including Ubisoft, Frozen North productions and Blot interactive. Eddie has worked on a variety of games ranging from mobile to Playstation 4 titles. Eddie also got a chance to realize his dream and work at a film studio, working on the Teletoon TV series Mudpit.

After 8 years in the industry Eddie was given the opportunity to give back and teach all the skills he learned in his career to other aspiring young artists at George Brown College where he works to this day! We are excited to have our guests join us this summer!

Click here to see some of Eddie’s work

Register for July 27 – 31 Creative Production or SpecOPS to learn from Eddie Faria!

 

SpecOps

NEW COURSE: Spec Ops: Video Game Development Program

In this 8 Week video game development program you will learn to use Unity Game Engine, one of the most popular professional game design and development tools.
*Recommended for neurodivergent youth ages 17 – 30. This program is for people interested in attending post-secondary school.  Open to current college students interested in improving skills.
  • Autism Ontario Members use Discount Code autismont for $100.00 discount before subsidy!
  • Additional subsidies with Autism Ontario Toronto Chapter can help you save up to $400.00 to participate.
 
Facilitators;

Rocco Brignanti (Winner of George Brown Best Programmer and Deans Excellence Award)
John Yao (Award Winning Concept Artist)
Crystal Fernandez (Winner of George Brown Best Animator and Deans Excellence Award)
Daniel Mozarowski (Game Designer at Neon Mountain Games and Winner of and Deans Excellence Award)


Luigi's Restaurante

Luigi’s Restaurante – Devantaiie McCarthy SpecOps 2014

Learn More about this course, or sign up for this course by clicking the link below

Sign Up Now

Can you Spot Luigi?

Spec Ops 2 – Post Mortem

Spec Ops 2 Video Game Development Program was launched after the success of the first Spec Ops where creative neurodivergent students who are interested in a career ing games, developed a Breakout clone game where each person incorporated a unique level design (will be available here soon!). But Spec Ops 2 took a new approach to the program, switching from a  directed classroom environment to a studio environment where every student had a specific role working together on the project.

In our first week of class we all brainstormed a bunch of game ideas, story tropes and characters until finally agreeing on one thing that we all wanted to do.

As a class we chose to create a shooter in a modern day post-war setting.

Work was divided into modeling, level design and texturing. Given the core interests of the students, we decided to leave out programming and focus on those skills.

Level Design

Devonttaie was our main level designer using a mix of free Unity store assets as well as student created content in 3DS Max. Using Unity, Devonttaie created three amazing level designs, two of them following the theme of post-war with a small quirky twist! You can tell he’s a fan of Luigi. Can you spot him?

Modeling and Texturing

Matthew and Stephen were our dedicated modellers for the project. With their input and ideas we decided to create a few assets for the level that Devonttaie could use. Stephen created several weapons in 3DS Max including a Bolter, M16 and a sword with a pretty sweet hand guard. Matthew created a tank, a fighter jet, a mini-gun and a billboard for the level.

Additional Work

By Week 6 of the program, some students want to try their hand on other designs while Devonttaie was putting the assets they created into the level he designed. He also created several videos which we hope to share on our YouTube channel (coming soon).

The students decided to take on some extra work trying to use their experience and skills to create new things.

Joshua finished off an amazing Illustrator tracing of his favourite Pokemon Lucario. Matthew decided to tackle modelling his first humanoid character and created an awesome looking robot!

Conclusion

The overall experience was amazing for the students to be able to experience parts of what it’s like to work on a team with other people while creating a game. Students depended on one another to finish their tasks so that the project could always progress forward.

Additionally it was amazing to watch all the students step out of their comfort zones and adapt to all the unique challenges they faced. As our classes progressed the students gained more and more confidence with their tasks created bigger and better things and even creating additional content beyond the scope of the project!

Spec Ops 2 was a huge success and a huge thank you to all the students and their hard work! A studio environment is going to continue to help structure future Spec Ops programs.

Registration for Spec Ops 3 will be opening end of April and starts May 30th so check back to register and be a part of the team.

Written by Rocco Briganti

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#EatPlayMingle Respawn

 

EAT PLAY MINGLE : RESPAWNEPM2

Come Join us on Friday, March 27, 2015 @ 6:00 – 9:00 PM

St. James Campus Kings Lounge – 200 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A 3W8

Who is our special guest?
Drekken Pownz is one of Toronto’s leading enthusiasts and driving force behind building Toronto’s E-Sports Community. He will be joining us at EPM for a Q&A session on how E-Sports is/can/will/might chance how we create games now and in the future.

We are also providing
• FREE Food and beverages
• FREE Entry
• Automatic entry into a raffle (prizes still pending). Last year we had 3 50$ EB Games gift cards.
• The perfect FREE excuse to meet some of your fellow GBC developers
If you are interested please RSVP at the EventBrite 

You will be automatically entered into the raffle draw at the end of the event by doing so.

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New in Niagara: Comic Book Design Program – Begins Feb 7th!

Comics have been a great tool to deliver powerful messages and give a voice to someone who otherwise might not be heard.  Every1games is offering a 5 week introductory workshop on comic book and graphic novel design, enhancing skill in art and storytelling. We will be taking a closer look at how comics are designed and what makes each one unique.  We will also have the opportunity to take a look at how digital arts technology has influenced the comic book industry.

READ MORE OR REGISTER

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SpecOps Video Game Development Program – Begins Feb 7th!

Now 8 days! We listened to your feedback and have extended the Unity program to a full 8 days so that you can accomplish more. 

Join the Every1Games team at George Brown College’s School of Design for an 8 day program to become familiar with Unity, the most popular professional game development tool used in the best post-secondary game development programs and studios.

READ MORE OR REGISTER

 

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New Program: Introduction to Portolios Begins Feb 4th!

Do you want to explore a professional career in the arts? Be prepared and discover how a Portfolio can help you communicate your talent. The Every1Games Prep.Succeed: Introduction to Portfolios program will provide examples of different portfolio types with a focus on self-branding. By the end of the program you will have your own website to showcase your best work no matter what your style! Work with our facilitators to learn more about how to reach your educational goals and prepare to succeed in life after high school.  Read More and Register Now!