scott rogers
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  • A Conversation With NYFA Alum Jeffrey Lay on What It’s Like to Create a Video Game Funded by a Kickstarter Campaign And The Exciting World of ‘TitanReach’

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    I had the pleasure of teaching Jeffrey Lay (BFA in Game Design) in several Game Design classes at the New York Film Academy here in Los Angeles. When he graduated, I had heard he got a job as a level designer at Square Root Studios. I recently found out that Square Root Studios had a new game on Kickstarter, so I contacted Jeffrey to find out more about it.

    Scott Rogers (SR): Hey Jeffrey! Congratulations on launching TitanReach on Kickstarter! How did you join Square Root Studios?

    Jeffrey Lay (JL): Hi Scott! Thank you very much. Funny story, I was in the middle of working on my own project, which was also heavily inspired by RuneScape, however it formed into a more idle-passive (mobile) version due to my limited coding experience. After a few weeks working on it, I saw a Discord post about the game and joined these two guys from Australia, both experienced programmers, and thought the idea was perfect. Now we’re now at about five to six developers. 

    SR: What can you tell me about TitanReach?

    JL: TitanReach is an old school type MMORPG (an online role-playing video game) that focuses on skilling systems and action combat in a massive fantasy open-world with unique quests and a warm social experience! The game is heavily inspired by RuneScape, which had a very warm and calm feeling for it’s skilling system, along with great music, and was a “happy place” you could go to; which we’re combining with the nice warm environment. 

    SR: I think we all could use a “happy place” these days! What makes TitanReach different from all of those other MMORPGs that have come out in the past?

    JL: The biggest adjustment for us is that we’re using action combat, which will be the contrast to it’s skilling system.  

    SR: What are your job responsibilities at Square Root Studios?

    JL: While I’ve been part of TitanReach, I’ve focused on:

    • Level Design: Concepting out areas including the level design of Glimmermoore, the tutorial village, which is seen in the Demo.
    • Game Design: Coming up with the game world & environmental design, content design such as the Slayer Skill with all its details, skilling bosses, mini-games, along with combat design, economy and other various content coming down the line. 
    • Project Management: Throughout the earlier months, this included checking developers are doing their tasks and prioritizing what needs to be done. This also includes finding other issues that need to be addressed although we have someone else who has since filled this position, though I still do some of it.
    • Marketing: I worked a lot on creating the Kickstarter campaign, including the written part of the Kickstarter. I’m also in charge of reaching out to various blogs, websites and content creators to gain exposure.     

    SR: It sounds like they keep you pretty busy! Why should someone back the TitanReach Kickstarter?

    JL: We are being as open to the community as we can be in terms of our development. 

    We’ve released a free demo for anyone to play to see the exact stage we are in, which comes with its bugs and issues (ignore the quest). That demo is continually being patched each week for the community to see how fast we can turn around bugs and add some rough content in a week’s time for people to play around with. 

    With more time, these things can then be cleaned and polished. By backing us it will guarantee the cost of us continuing working on the project in order for us to deliver a polished, nice game. Having gotten this far with a penny, we’ll be able to focus full-time on the project. 

    The biggest benefit for backing us right now is that our Alpha/Beta is unlike most other companies (being 3-10 days) will be throughout the months of the game’s development stage (meaning months of playtime throughout those stages), although a player’s progress will be wiped at game launch, as we don’t want any unbalanced values (economic-abuse) to be transferred over to the official launch like what has happened with the dual universe beta to launch.

    SR: That sounds like a good idea. Too many games have had issues with that in the past. What are some of the issues you find in games nowadays? 

    JL: An issue we see in games nowadays is that they are overwhelmed with Microtransactions (MTX) that bring an unfair advantage to many other users, although it’s understandable why they do it. We want to remain free from MTX, which gives a player any unfair advantage such as gold/xp rates or other unfair benefits. We try to level out the field and give everyone the same chance!   

    SR: That sounds really fair! I think your players will really appreciate that. So, where can we find out more about TitanReach online?

    JL: Our Kickstarter has a lot more information along with our other social media! Feel free to join our Discord of over 12,500 Members and check out our website here!

    SR: Thanks Jeffrey and good luck with the game!

    JL: Thank you!

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate NYFA Game Design alum Jeffrey Lay on his new game TitanReach and wishes the Jeffrey all the best on the kickstarter campaign.

    For more information on NYFA’s Game Design programs, click here. For more information about about TitanReach, you can reach out to: press@titanreach.com or support@titanreach.com; or check out their social media pages below:

    Facebook |Reddit |YouTube
    Twitch |Twitter |Instagram

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    October 5, 2020 • Game Design, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1265

  • Masters of Game Design: David Jaffe interviewed by NYFA Games

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    On June 18, 2020, Video Game Designer David Jaffe talked with NYFA’s Scott Rogers as part of the Masters of Game Design speaker series.

    Game designer David Jaffe

    Jaffe discussed how he entered the games industry, ending up at Sony Santa Monica. Jaffe chronicled his experiences working on games such as Mickey Mania before leading a team to create the car combat game Twisted Metal.

    Original cover art for ‘Mickey Mania’ video game

    Jaffe touched on the subsequent games of the classic game franchise and the origins of the acclaimed action game God of War. Jaffe also discussed starting his own companies – Eat Sleep Play and the Bartlett Jones Supernatural Detective Agency – and the games those teams created: Calling all Cars and Drawn to Death. Jaffe also took questions from the Zoom audience.

    A recording of this talk will be available at a future date. To learn more about upcoming Masters of Game Design speakers, please join the NYFA Game Mentor Network at Meetup.com. For more on NYFA’s School of Game Design, click here

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    June 23, 2020 • Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 1324

  • Masters of Game Design Series: Bill Roper Talks Games With NYFA

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    On April 8, 2020,  video game industry legend Bill Roper talked with NYFA’s Scott Rogers as part of the Masters of Game Design speaker series.

    Roper discussed his career at Blizzard Entertainment, starting with him creating music and performing as a voice-over actor for the hit game Warcraft.

    Video game designer Bill Roper

    Roper chronicled his rise to creative director, leading the teams for Diablo and Starcraft. He discussed starting his own company, Flagship Entertainment, and creating Hellgate: London. Roper also talked about his time as Vice-President at Disney Interactive, guiding the teams for Disney Infinity and Fantasia: Music Evolved. He talked about his recent transition to Chief Creative Officer at AuthorDigital/Adept Games. Roper also took questions from the Zoom audience.

    ‘Hellgate: London’

    A recording of this talk will be available at a future date. To learn more about upcoming Masters of Game Design speakers, please join the NYFA Game Mentor Network at Meetup.com. For more on NYFA’s School of Game Design, click here

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    April 13, 2020 • Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 769

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Game Design Presents ‘Death Stranding’ Game Deconstruction Dinner

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    On February 19, over 40 students and game industry professionals gathered at New York Film Academy’s Burbank-based campus for an analysis of the hit video game Death Stranding as part of a series of Game Deconstruction Dinners. The Game Deconstruction Dinner is an ongoing educational, inspirational, and networking event sponsored by the NYFA Game Design department.

    Scott Rogers, a NYFA Game Design instructor and industry veteran whose credits include God of War, Pac-Man World, and Darksiders, conducted the deconstruction using the Playcentric System.

    The Playcentric System, which originated in the book Game Design Workshop by Tracy Fullerton and Chris Swain, analyzes the dramatic, formal and dynamic systems of a video game.

     Death Stranding is the newest PS4 video game from famed game director Hideo Kojima. The player inhabits the character of a deliveryman who attempts to connect America’s survivors after a supernatural catastrophe.

    Rogers illustrated the Playcentric System using examples collected from over 50 hours of video gameplay. Overall, Rogers’ opinion of the game was positive and many of the guests left the event excited to try Death Stranding for themselves.

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    February 27, 2020 • Faculty Highlights, Game Design • Views: 1534