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  • New York Film Academy Game Design (NYFA) Welcomes Insomniac Games President Ted Price

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    On Thursday, June 20, 2019, New York Film Academy (NYFA) hosted veteran game developer and president of Insomniac games, Ted Price.

    Price came to speak at NYFA as part of the school’s Masters of Game Design series. The Masters of Game Design is a speaker series in which distinguished members of the gaming industry visit for an informal chat with NYFA Game Design instructor Scott Rogers and NYFA students about their career in gaming.

    The event was attended by over 60 students and industry professionals who have been invited by the school. Price and Rogers talked about Price’s 23-year career, including his transition into the gaming industry after college. 

    Also discussed was Insomniac’s vast and successful catalog of games, including the Spyro the Dragon series, the Ratchet and Clank series, the Resistance series and 2018’s PS4 mega-hit Marvel’s Spider-Man. Audience attendees were then invited to ask Price questions.

    The entire event will be available for viewing on NYFA’s Twitch channel.

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    July 11, 2019 • Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 1253

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) BFA Game Design Alum Crafts Breathtaking World of ‘CyberNeon’

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) BFA Game Design alum Junliang Zhang has created CyberNeon, an incredibly impressive and visually striking 3D environment that evokes the classic hallmarks of cyberpunk art.

    Cyberpunk has its roots in the musical subculture of punk rock, early computer hacker culture, 80s Japanese culture, and American crime novels and movies; particularly film noir. In 1984, author William Gibson wrote Neuromancer, a novel about high-tech and low-life. The book took the science fiction community by storm and popularized the genre called cyberpunk.

    The genre’s visual style has greatly influenced movies like 1982’s Blade Runner, 1985’s Brazil, and 1988’s Akira. Video games such as Shadowrun, the Metal Gear series, Deus Ex, and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 are all clearly inspired by cyberpunk’s tropes and visuals.

    With these games and movies serving as inspiration, NYFA BFA Game Design alum Junliang Zhang has perfectly captured the spirit of cyberpunk in CyberNeon, the 3D environment he spent over a year creating. Zhang hails from Shanghai, China, and enrolled in NYFA’s BFA Game Design program in Fall 2014 at our Burbank-based campus.

    Zhang’s Chinese heritage replaces many of the traditional Japanese motifs found in the genre, and giving the world an identity all its own. William Gibson once said that “Japan IS cyberpunk” while Zhang’s work proudly proclaims “China IS cyberpunk.” 

    Junliang Zhang CyberNeon
    Using the Unreal engine, Zhang built a world of perpetual night and neon that could easily be inhabited by cyberpunk notables Rick Deckard or Kanada. Flying cars zoom over through canyons of skyscrapers that are festooned with advertisements for all manner of products. Futuristic displays literally dance, twirl, and flash—making the dark urban landscape come alive with motion and movement. 

    Technology is everywhere; even the darkened alleys have computer screens that flash data faster than the human eye can comprehend. The camera lingers for a few moments on a tricked-out street rod that announces “I See You” on its digital license plate. This “electric city” feels alive and as if it is constantly watching you.

    New York Film Academy congratulates BFA Game Design alum Junliang Zhang on the amazing work he’s done on CyberNeon and looks forward to what the talented game developer has in store next!

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    June 17, 2019 • Game Design, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1383

  • Epic Trailer for Adam Sandler’s ‘Pixels’ Is Out

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    sandler pixels

    Summer blockbusters are known for their photorealistic HD and 3-D special effects, but Adam Sandler’s new film, Pixels, is all about the 8-bit. The supervillains conquering the planet in the latest space invasion epic are animated in the blocky style of early video games—because they are video games.

    Adam Sandler says it himself in the trailer: “Pac-Man is a badguy?” It turns out, according the plot of Pixels, that aliens mistook thirty-year old video signals from Earth of period arcade games as a declaration of war. In response, they invade our world with giant, pixelated monsters based on Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders and others. It’s up to arcade champ Sandler and President of the United States,  Kevin James to stop them, with some help from Josh Gad, Michelle Monaghan, and Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage.

    Pixels is based on the French animated short film of the same name by Patrick Jean. The feature was adapted by Timothy Dowling and SNL vet Tim Herlihy and was directed by Harry Potter and Home Alone director Chris Columbus. The film releases July 12, but you can watch the trailer now!

     

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    March 18, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3611

  • Telltale Is Making an Interactive TV-Video Game Hybrid

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    tell tale got

    Telltale Games, a premier video game studio known for its choose-your-own-adventure titles, announced it will be merging its specialty product with a live-action television show. It’s a potentially big step for both media, though a natural one for the company, which has found huge success adapting popular works like The Walking Dead, Fables and Game of Thrones.

    Their games, like the television shows some of them are based on, are structured and released episodically, each costing a small fee and consisting of a few hours of the overall story. Telltale’s The Walking Dead has so far released two seasons of five episodes each, which can also be purchased in bulk with season passes. Their games consist of top-end graphics and numerous cut scenes,–in effect, a TV show you watch but also control, making conversation and action choices for a playable protagonist. Telltale is known for making some of these choices strong moral dilemmas, sucking the player/viewer into a storyline against their will. Likewise these choices typically carry from episode to episode, season to season.

    Telltale’s new project will be both a video game and a live-action television series, with the same characters and storylines. Both will be released an episode at a time and depending on the choices made in the game, the television show may lead down a different path for the viewer. Conversely, watching the show first will affect the storyline of the game.

    Combining two separate media into a single interactive experience could be a groundbreaking event for visual storytelling, and only time will tell how successful it is executed and received. Plot details are unknown, but with Lionsgate producing the project, there’s a good chance it will see the light of day sooner than later. With mainstream Virtual Reality just around the corner, it might not be too long before people are living out entire fictional storylines from the comfort of their couch.

    Now is the time to get into game design. Check out our game design school programs here.

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    February 25, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4064

  • New York Film Academy Instructor Writes DiRT 3 Video Game for Xbox and Playstation

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    NYFA Instructor Adam Moore

    NYFA Instructor Adam Moore 

    New York Film Academy instructor Adam Moore recently wrote video game DiRT 3, an auto racing game released last month for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The game has been receiving great reviews for gameplay and presentation, including a 9.2 from GameTrailers and an Editor’s Choice award from IGN. Adam comments, “If you’re into off-road, this game will really blow your hair back.” Adam was responsible for creating the NPC’s (non-player characters), which help the story arc and create a narrative for the game. Adam discusses the transition from writing screenplays to video games and how a future gamer can get started in New York Film Academy’s programs in Game Design and Screenwriting:

    Dirt 3

    Adam, how did you first get involved in production of a video game?

    The developer of the game is a London-based company called Codemasters.  For the third installment of their hit off-road racing franchise (DiRT), they wanted to bring an authentic American voice to the game.  They called my game writing agent and asked for a writing sample.  I think my writing partner (Kevin Abrams) and I were the ones selected because we had previously developed an off-road racing reality series, and so we knew the lingo and the world really well.  As for my role in the game’s creation, it was up to me to create the NPCs (non-player characters), define their voices and their relationship with the player character.

    How did your background in screenwriting translate to writing a video game?

    I’ve actually answered this question for my students many times.  ”Writing is writing.”  The craft you learn in your screenwriting workshops translates to any medium you want to work in — movies, tv, comics, video games, you name it.

    What is the biggest challenge in writing for video games?

    The biggest challenge in writing for video games is the fact that you are usually the only writer in company full of gamers and programmers.  Oftentimes, the higher-ups are very good at giving notes on code, but not so much at giving notes on story.  Buggy code has a finite solution.  What the higher-ups at a game developer don’t always understand is that storytelling issues don’t always have such finite, simple solutions.

    dirt3

    When writing oDiRT 3, the challenge given to me was to create three life-like Non-Player Characters, who had emotional depth and were compelling, but would only be heard and never seen.  How do you solve this problem?  Well, I’ll go back to the idea that “writing is writing.”  I fell back on my craft to find the solution and it ended up being extremely simple.  DiRT 3 covers four seasons in the career of a rookie driver.  The NPCs are the rookie’s business manager, chief mechanic, and fan consultant.  The arc we selected was four strangers who come together to do something great.  So, in the beginning of the game, the dialogue is a little more formal.  By the time you get to the end of the game, you’ve been through four seasons of racing with these people, and therefore the dialogue is much more casual — you’ve become best friends.  It was a fun challenge.

    How could a gamer get their start at New York Film Academy?

    What’s great about our screenwriting department is that the entire faculty is working writers.  Very good screenwriters trained me, but some of them hadn’t been actively working in the industry for years.  In our program, the students are learning from screenwriters who are in the business.  For example, in my class, Business of Screenwriting, one of the most important things I teach is how to pitch.  Would you rather learn that skill from someone who hasn’t pitched in a decade or someone who was at a studio or a TV network that morning pitching an idea?  As for our game design program, our mantra is “every student is a storyteller.”  Video games are the mass entertainment medium of the 21st century.  They will surpass movies and television, and maybe already have.  Whereas other programs focus on the nuts and bolts of game design, our focus is creating great, narrative driven games.  We believe that the best games are made when design and story are working hand in hand, rather than a handful of cinematics thrown in every now and then.  Like our web site says, “Anyone can teach you how to make a game.  We’ll teach you how to make a great game!”

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    June 27, 2011 • Acting • Views: 3445