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E3 2011: Day 3, Best of Show

Another E3 has come to an end. It was a show that delivered the goods on several levels, with great games and groundbreaking new systems. But who really won the three-day battle? Let’s take a look…

In yesterday’s DMAC post, we saluted a few standout games of E3 2011, but just to see if we were on target, we thought we’d peek in to see which games the top gaming sites and game magazines were honoring in their 2011 E3 awards. Of course, we’re eager to know: Did we call the winners or miss the mark? Well, while we didn’t bat 1000%, we still came out winners.


A younger Lara Croft helms the latest “Tomb Raider.”

Video-game megasite, IGN devoted extensive coverage to its own E3 awards, announcing nominations in 23 gaming categories. While we won’t list all of the nominations here, we would like to share IGN’s nominations for “Best Overall Game.” (Yeah, we picked six out the ten they picked, and not surprisingly, no Kinect games made their list either…)

1. “Tomb Raider” (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
2. “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
3. “Batman: Arkham City”
4. “BioShock Infinite” (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
5. “Hitman: Absolution”
6. “Mass Effect 3”
7. “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword”
8. “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception” (PlayStation 3)
9. “Battlefield 3” (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Over at the video-game magazine “GamePro,” a panel of nine critics assembled and were asked to name their “five favorite things from E3″ – a fairly broad category that theoretically could include game systems as well as games and other things from the show.


They all raved about “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.” Unfortunately, didn’t get excited about the D&D wanna-be sword-and-sorcery adventure game.

“Rolling Stone’s” “Gear Up” blog featured the analysis of games-industry veteran Scott Steinberg, who cited five of the “most promising” games of E3 2011:

1) “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
2) “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception” (PlayStation 3)
3) “Battlefield 3” (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
4) “BioShock Infinite” (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
5) “Tomb Raider” (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Finally, one group of critics not yet heard were the actual Game Critics Awards. This group of various game magazines picks the best of E3 each year. Nominations for this year’s “Best of E3″ awards won’t be announced until June 21st, with winners to be announced a week later on June 28th. (IGN will announce its “Best of Show” winners on Friday, June 10th.)


He’s bold, beautiful and blowin’ it up. Drake, in “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception”

With another E3 under our belt, we can now only look forward to next year. And how awesome would it be to see your game being introduced at E3 2012? With the right talent and training, it’s a possible dream. Your path to starting your career in building awesome video games begins this summer at Digital Media Academy. DMA offers summer camps and courses that cover all the bases of video game design and creation – and they’re all tailored to individual skill sets and age levels. DMA’s instructors are industry professional who have already walked the path you want to explore, working for companies like Electronic Arts, Microsoft and Nintendo.


EA’s “Battlefield 3.”

From great introductory courses for kids (like Adventures in 2D & 3D Video Game Creation & Game Modding) to 3D Game Creation in Level Design and Character Design, there’s something for everyone. There are even more advanced programs for teens (like courses that teach you how to develop games for Google Android devices, how to develop games for the Internet and how to develop games for the iPhone). What are you waiting for? Stop playing games and start making them.

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog,Video Game Design and have No Comments

Game Development: Conquering Whole New Worlds

Course: Game Development

DMA Instructor: James Taylor

Education: The Art Institute of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh, PA (Major: Computer Animation)

Professional Profile: James Taylor is a well-established university instructor of 3D art and design, with heavy ties to the video game industry. After short stints working as a cel animator and a web designer, James joined the industry in 2000. During his decade of experience, his career has touched every aspect of the game-development pipeline. James has created art for  “Mortal Kombat,” and break-out franchises such as “Karaoke Revolution,” “Blitz the League,” and “NBA Ballers,” and directed the creation of projects like “Game Party 2” for the Wii. He’s also an in-demand speaker at industry events such as Microsoft’s XNA Conference and Midway Games Art Director’s Summit. James now instructs students in the Chicago area at both DePaul University and Columbia College – where he focuses on building the next generation of game artists.

DMA Campus Location: University of Chicago

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According to James Taylor, video game development has gotten pretty unreal lately, in more ways than one. “This summer I’m excited to teach four classes that revolve around the game development process with Unreal 3,” says the instructor, who’s looking forward to another incredible summer teaching at Digital Media Academy’s Computer & Digital Arts Summer Camp.

So why is James so jazzed about Unreal 3?


Digital Media Academy’s very own James Taylor worked on the blockbuster video game, “Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe.”

“Epic developed the Unreal 3 technology specifically for use on the Xbox 360,” he explains. “It instantly became the standard for ‘next-generation’ consoles such as the 360 and the PS3. The Unreal 3 look was synonymous with next-gen, and the tools were well built and easy to use. It’s no wonder that companies desperately wanted the game engine, and it was widely adopted for development.”

And why does James think it’s so important for young people who want to learn video game development and get into the game industry to be sure they know how to use Unreal 3?

“Originally, Epic’s Unreal engine was just meant for first-person shooters – but now it’s showing up in fighting games, adventure games, wrestling games and even MMOs. Many of the developers in the industry now require a working knowledge of UE3.”

A required knowledge of UE3? Now, that’s a game-changer…especially when some video game summer camps don’t even offer intensive UE3 training, or can only deliver a watered-down course of study. DMA’s game development classes are taught by highly credentialed professionals, so students not only learn the ropes of the latest software, but also receive the benefit of learning from instructors’ vast industry experience.


Incredible image detail goes head to head with enhanced game play, courtesy of the UE3 game engine. DMA’s 3D Game Creation classes put you on a path to creating your own best-selling video games.

“The 3D Game Creation classes will introduce students to the UE3 tools and professional development practices, giving them hands-on experience in game creation,” says James. “And the brand new Advanced 3D classes expand on that knowledge to take the students even further inside the game development process, preparing students to develop their own indie games, or creating a strong foundation for a job in the game industry itself.”

DMA’s courses concentrate on level design, character design and Advanced 3D Game Production. Students are free to design their own characters, backgrounds and sounds, or use pre-built content from top graphics libraries. Additional topics covered include game planning, path-based movement, collision detection, dialogue, inventory and playability.

Different courses concentrate on certain key aspects of game creation, an approach that James likes. “DMA’s focused study really appeals to me,” he says. “Focusing on a single topic, such as environment creation in Unreal 3, allows the students and myself to really dig deeply into the subject matter. And packing all that learning into a single week means that all the information remains fresh and the pace of the class stays dynamic.”

James’ enthusiasm for the subject of game development is contagious – and helps DMA students become even more passionate about video games and working in the game industry. “The Digital Media Academy programs are exactly the sort of classes I would have jumped at as a teenager!” he says. “It’s exciting to be able to share what I know and to work with teens to create this sort of experience for them.”

DMA offers computer and visual arts summer camps and courses in which students build their own cool 3D and 2D games – including side-scrollers, pinball, and racing games. And there’s a great team spirit to the work, with students helping each other play-test the games they create. Learn more or register for a summer camp by visiting Digital Media Academy.

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments