Posted by : Jameson Durall Wednesday, June 29, 2011
With the release of Red Faction: Armageddon shortly behind us, Full Sail asked me to come back down and bring some of the other Volition Developers with me. Our Producer Jim Boone and Art Director Jasen Whiteside and myself headed down last week to spend a couple of days with the students and talk about the game's development.
We spent the first day touring around campus and meeting with various Game Development students and taking a look at their projects. There was some very impressive stuff, especially considering the extremely short time lines and high pressure. I met a group who had one of their guys devote his last month to creating a fully functional level editor...amazing.
Full Sail has a system on which they rate the students on their professionalism. I think this is a fantastic idea to both give the students a glimpse into its importance as well as give them another tool to show potential employers. One of the rewards the top students in this area received was a special Q&A Round Table with the three of us.
We also had the first Full Sail Game Dev (or #FSGD on twitter) Tweet up! Lots of students came by to get their posters autographed and just hang out to chat for a bit. It was a lot of fun to finally meet some of the students that I've been chatting with regularly on Twitter.
As is a Full Sail tradition, any returning student must have a meal from Tijuana Flats. I know Rusty Sempsrott and Josh Hamrick are salivating right now. Kevin Yanes is the lone sheep that doesn't care for it...and is therefore dead to me.
My favorite Full Sail tradition is the signing of Omar's head. Jasen went above and beyond to draw the Red Faction symbol on the back...which he had the rest of the night including during dinner.
The morning of the second day was when we did our stage presentation to the students at the Full Sail Live venue which is an impressive place. There was a good turnout of around 200+ students and we decided to do a big Q&A session since we figured they would want to get into the gritty details of Red Faction: Armageddon development.
We spent the first part of the talk going over topics like our backgrounds in the industry and even how we came to enter the Gaming Industry to begin with. We then opened the floor for a lot of student questions which really dug into how we focused our energies in creating the game. We spoke for nearly two hours before we got the sign to wrap things up.
That's when things got rather interesting for me...but I'll have another post on that very soon :)