A new video game, which originated as a student project at Niagara College, is now available on Steam – one of the biggest video game platforms on the planet.
It’s a new fantasy melee combat game called The Fallen where players become knights who must reclaim their honour by defeating the Guardians standing before their vindication.
For a group of Game Development students who embarked on creating the game for their third-year capstone project in September 2018 – most have since graduated from the College – it’s a dream come true.
“When we first started the program, this was an achievement none of us could have imagined,” said Andrés Coimbra Castedo, one of the game’s artist/developers who graduated from the program in 2019.
Linda Roote, associate dean of NC’s School of Media Studies, applauded the team’s accomplishments.
“There’s no greater testament to the success of our Game Development program than the achievements of our graduates and students,” said Roote. “The Fallen is an example to all students that when they apply the skills and knowledge they gain through their studies, along with their own ingenuity and hard work, they can achieve their dreams.”
The quest was challenging for the group, now known as Six Pillars Studios – comprised of eight 2019 graduates of the program and one current student. Coimbra noted that it required a great deal of time and effort, even after the majority of the group had graduated, into the summer of 2019 and beyond.
“Thankfully, the College supported us, and granted us the use of their labs throughout the summer to further develop our game,” said Coimbra. “Additionally, we were able to expand our team, allowing us more flexibility when solving problems, and greatly improved our coordination, communication and discipline.”
Emma Perretta, a current student who is also one of artist/developers behind The Fallen, looked back on creating the game and recognized the value of working with a team, navigating different ideas and bringing them into fruition.
“I now have the experience in utilizing multiple software to better support my art, therefore, giving me confidence and insight on developing my skills,” said Perretta. “Niagara College gave me an unparalleled experience to complete a professional video game, which is now released. I wish to continue learning and adapting new techniques in the field of game development.”
Because putting the final touches on a game can be daunting, the fact that the students took their project all the way to distribution and a launch on Steam is an amazing accomplishment, noted NC Game professor Conor MacNeill. He pointed out that Steam has been a marketplace for independent developers to push new ideas, and it has been a catalyst for the birth of many new styles, games and genres.
“In the gaming world, all it takes is for one influential streamer to play the game and you could see a massive spike in interest from their followers,” said MacNeill. “By putting themselves out there on Steam, our students have given streamers around the world the opportunity to play their game.”
The College’s School of Media Studies got a sneak peek at The Fallen in late October when the group presented their video game trailer at the official opening of NC’s Marilyn I. Walker Centre of Excellence in Visual Arts & Technology. While an official game launch for The Fallen was scheduled to take place at the same location in late March, the event was cancelled due to the campus closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Their plight is currently shared by many in the gaming industry, as the cancellation of major conferences is affecting thousands of studios who have tied the release dates of their games around industry events.
“Dealing with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak will require innovation and adaptation, which are at the core of the gaming industry itself,” said MacNeill.
The development team behind Six Pillars Studios includes programmers Andrew Chiarelli (Dunnville), Philip Ellis (Niagara Falls), and Duncan Brudlo (Oakville); as well as artists Kristopher McArthur (St Catharines), Andrés Coimbra Castedo (Bolivia/St Catharines), Emma Perretta (Niagara-on-the-Lake), Doug McKay (Dunnville), Cole Robertson (Greenbank, ON/ Claremont, ON), and Mathieu A. Chartrand (Lafontaine, ON /Gatineau, QC).
For more information about The Fallen or Six Pillars Studios, visit thefallengame.com.
The Fallen is available for free download on Steam. To download, visit store.steampowered.com/app/1251060/The_Fallen/
NC’s three-year intensive Game Development diploma program prepares students for careers in the digital game and interactive media industry. Students learn industry skills such as game programming and scripting, digital art production techniques, game design principles and game production practices.
NC also offers two dual-credential game programs with Brock University. A Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Game Design grants a four-year Bachelor of Arts-Game Design degree from Brock University and a three-year Advanced Diploma in Game Development from NC (completed in four years); a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Game Programming grants a four-year degree from Brock and a three-year Advanced Diploma in Game Development from NC (completed in four years).
Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.
The Fallen trailer: