Tag Archives: video game development

Star Pirates Infinity with Mark Shannelly, SHG Studios

Mark Shannelly, Marketing Coordinator and Community Manager at SHG Studios, is joining Every1Games Toronto to share his experience and discuss various aspects of design and production while we play SHG Studios Star Pirates Infinity,  a next-generation Collectible Card Game (CCG).  Mark is a Video Game Designer, Sound Designer, Musician, and Composer.



On Saturday July 8th Mark Shannelly will join Every1Games Toronto to discuss his experience in the video game industry. Every1Games participants will have the opportunity to demo the game and learn about the development process. Participants will also have the opportunity to show off the work they’ve been doing in the summer program and get professional feedback on their work.

SHG Studios is located in Hamilton, Ontario. They are industry allies joining Every1Games to help create low anxiety networking opportunities for autistic and neurodivergent youth supporting neurodiversity and the participants of our awesome programs. To thank them we’d like to promote the game Star Pirates Infinity, a fun, easy, engaging, collectable card game that can be downloaded from the website linked below, playable on PC, Mac, Android or iPhone. Check it out 🙂

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

 

 

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