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ABOUT UAT
University of Advancing Technology is an elite, private college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a recognized leader in technology education.

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    The Life of a Game Producer Featuring Alumni Erin Ali

    The Life of a Game Producer Featuring Alumni Erin Ali

    (Jan 11, 2018)

    Blog post written by: UAT Computer Science Professor Jill Coddington We started with Virtual Reality (VR), primarily for games but we have come so far since then. There are very...

    Alumni Erin Ali graduated from UAT in 2007 with a Multimedia Degree. Today she has a career as an Online/Social Producer at Monolith Productions working on “Middle-earth: Shadow of War,” the sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

    Her job duties include running schedule and production for the Online and Business Development Team.

    At a high-level her job encompasses all server-driven features, working with the game publisher and multiple external teams for platform and BI support and building/driving the post-ship live plan with Marketing and Community.

    Because Erin studied Multimedia classes at UAT, she got exposure to roles/disciplines in industry that were helpful as her current role as a Producer.

    Erin Ali

    The GAM101 course provided a view into the industry and being a student at a University that highly mirrored the male:female ratio in the industry, she had an idea of what her career could largely look like.

    The AAA Game Industry

    Did I mention that Erin began her career with Blizzard?

    Let’s touch on that!

    Erin worked at Blizzard Entertainment for 7 years. How cool?!

    “Blizzard was a great experience. I learned a ton there and it greatly shaped what kind of Producer I am and the background I have in platform development.”

    Erin’s Advice About Blizzard Careers:

    • Get used to interviewing early on in your career.
    • Ask for feedback and take constructive criticism from peers and authorities.
    • Let your quality show in your work and personality.
    • Get used to conversations being a two-way street.
    • Feedback does not go away once you’re hired, you can always learn new ways to improve.

    Erin’s Top Tips for Breaking into Industry
    1. Networking
    2. Solid Resume
    3. Professional Portfolio
    4. Interviewing Skills

    Remember: Developers are people, too and want to help if they can.

    How to Network at Blizzard

    • Don’t treat it coldly.
    • Don’t approach every developer with the idea of ‘get a job, get a job, get a job.’
    • Approach them genuinely with an eagerness to learn.
    • The person who gave Erin’s resume to a hiring manager at Blizzard was a guest lecturer she met at Tech Forum.
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    What is Game Art & Animation?

    What is Game Art & Animation?

    (Dec 20, 2017)

    Join UAT Foundation and Warriors Heart in acknowledging Veterans Appreciation Day! We know that active military, veterans, and first responders have a thirst to learn about technology. This year, UAT...

    Co-written by Game Art and Animation Jorge Portillo.

    Game Art and Animation (GAA) is a creative field in video game development. Without character art, would you feel as connected to a character? Without a realistic game world, what would pull a player into a game for hours and hours?

    Game art maps out a vision of how games will look, move and feel. Game artists make everything you see in a game world.

    At UAT, students with a passion for game art learn to create and animate environments, characters, textures, props and collision objects utilizing 2D and 3D platforms by industry-experienced faculty.

    Below you’ll find a glossary of terms used in Game Art and Animation classes at UAT and a list of programs students learn and use proficiently. Thanks to Game Art and Animation Professor Jorge Portillo for his expertise compiling this content.

    Game Art & Animation – Glossary of Terms

    Environment Artist (3D) – The role of an environment artist is to create the overall beauty of game worlds. These worlds can be supported within several art styles (Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Realistic) and can employ both interior and exterior environments.

    UAT Alumni Blake Bjerke works as an Environmental Artist at Cyan Games.

    UAT Alumni Blake Bjerke works as an Environmental Artist at Cyan Games on games like Obduction

    It’s important to note that environment artist create a plethora of content that range from organic assets, props, ruins, walls, architecture, etc. One of the many challenges they face is transforming the conceptual design of the environment to a full-blown world that’s interactive.

    Seeing that environments take a copious amount of time to develop, 3D artists are trained to create assets that can strategically be reused. This is called “modular construction” so you commonly see walls, ruins, trees and architecture reused in game worlds. All these assets are strategically assembled in engine and aid in creating the challenges and adventures for players such as mazes (puzzle solving) and jumping on platforms (platforming).

    Environment artists also have the ability to play with automated tools that are built inside the game engine. Some of these tools can create endless landscapes and be supported through an almost breathable ecosystem.

    What is Game Art and Animation?

    UAT Game Art Alumni Blake Bjerke – Environment Art

    Environment Artist – Pipeline and Roles:
    • Environment Concept Artist – Creates digital illustrations of landscapes and interiors (the idea person)
    • Environment Artist – Takes the pre-production materials (concept art) and begins to model and assemble the world. Depending on the studio, some environmental artists are instructed to model environment assets, unwrap, texture and integrate in engine.

    Environment Artist – Software Proficiency:
    • Photoshop – Concept Art and Texturing
    • Substance Painter – Texturing
    • 3Ds Max – Modeling/Unwrap
    • Mays – Modeling/Unwrap
    • Zbrush – High Poly Modeling/Sculpting
    • SpeedTree

    Environment Artist – Engine Knowledge:
    • Unreal 4
    • Unity
    • Proprietary (AAA)

    Character Artist (3D) – The role of a character artist is to create believable and enjoyable characters that players can use or interact with inside the game worlds. Character artists have a plethora of knowledge in anatomy and muscle flow. This comes in handy during the 3D modeling process. They start to create subdivisions and edge loops to flow with the anatomy of the character.

    Character artist - what is game art and animation?

    3D Character Developments created by student Matthew DuBois, created for UAT Game studios game “World of Martz”

    Edge Loops are a continuous ring of polygons that follow a specific path around a model. (In this case muscle/anatomy) It usually tends to emulate realistic anatomy proportions. Subdivision modeling is used to create scalable detail and help with the rendering quality of the model. Character Artists are also tasked to understand High Poly Sculpting software (zBrush or Mudbox). This is where the artist can manually sculpt extreme detail on the model such as muscle, veins, scars, etc. Once the artist has finished their high poly sculpt, they will take it into a texturing process called “baking” where the detail is essentially baked into a 2D texture then later mapped onto the 3D model. This process helps display extreme detail without effecting the model’s poly count.

    Character art - what is game art and animation?

    Character Artist – Pipeline and Roles:
    • Character Concept Artist – Creates digital illustrations of character. Must develop full turnaround poses of character (front, side, back, top and 3/4). Also creates facial expressions and dynamic poses.
    • Character Artist – Takes concepts (turnaround poses) and begins to model applying both techniques (subdivision and edge looping). Once base mesh has been developed, they will move into high poly sculpting, create detail, bake out the model and apply back to original mesh.

    Character Artist – Software Proficiency:
    • Photoshop – Concept Art and Texturing
    • Substance Painter – Texturing
    • 3Ds Max – Modeling/Unwrap
    • Mays – Modeling/Unwrap
    • Zbrush – High Poly Modeling/Sculpting

    Prop Artist (3D) – The role of a prop artist is to create the supporting content that goes into an environment and/or game world. Most common props will be crates, barrels, and gates.

    A more advanced prop artist will develop weapons and artillery. Prop artists work closely with concept artists to get an idea of how props/weapons function. Most props display some level of functionality, so a artist must model out each component separately to deliver effective movement and functionality.

    Substance painter contest entry by student Jake Turocy

    Substance Painter Contest entry by student Jake Turocy

    Prop Artist – Pipeline and Roles:
    • Prop Concept Artist – Creates digital illustrations of props/weapons. Develops full turnaround illustrations and supports it with blueprints/schematics. This allows for the breakdown and assembly of the prop/weapon.
    • Prop Artist – Will utilize the conceptual designs and schematics to model out the props. Once model is completed they will unwrap the models and texture them. (depending on the studio)

    Prop Artist – Software Proficiency:
    • Photoshop – Concept Art and Texturing
    • Substance Painter – Texturing
    • 3Ds Max – Modeling/Unwrap
    • Mays – Modeling/Unwrap
    • Zbrush – High Poly Modeling/Sculpting

    Rigging (3D) – The role of 3D rigger is to develop a custom skeleton system that helps animate characters, complex props and vehicles. This skill is commonly known as a “technical art.” A 3D character rigger will create an entire skeletal system that is tailored around the anatomy of the character. Once the skeleton is complete, they will assign animation controllers and constraints to help the character move. Next they will bind the bones to the mesh and paint its skin weights for more accuracy in mesh movement.

    Rigging – Software Proficiency:
    • 3Ds Max – Rigging, Skinning, Weight Painting
    • Maya- Rigging, Skinning, Weight Painting

    3D Modeling – Developing a representation of an object in three dimensions (3D)

    Hard Surface Modeling – As described in more detail above, hard surface modeling speaks to props and environment models. One of the major areas to understand in modeling for game environments is “modular construction.” This is when a 3D environment artist creates several pieces (walls, floors, celling, ruins, platforms) and reuses them in a creative/strategic way to create worlds. (See image below)

    Hard surface modeling

    Hard surface modeling

    Texturing – Defining high detail on a 3D model using textures that you can create from images or from painting

    Organic Modeling – Mentioned above, organic modeling speaks to plants, creatures and characters. Anything that has a curved surface is considered an organic model. The goal to effective organic modeling is understanding proper “edge looping”. This is where a continuous ring of polygons follows a specific path around a model. It usually tends to emulate realistic anatomy proportions. (See image below)

    Organic modeling

    Organic modeling

    Motion Capture (mocap) – helps artists understand how items and people actually move, helping them animate easier and more accurately. MoCap is widely used in game development. It creates realistic and controllable movements for characters. It lives mostly in sport simulations and heavy combat gaming.

    See the video below that allowed UAT Game Art students to transform ballerinas into students’ game characters in celebration of the Ballet Arizona Scholarship.

    Programs used in UAT’s Game Art degree:

    • 3Ds Max – Modeling, Rigging, Animation
    • Maya – Modeling, Rigging, Animation
    • zBrush – High Poly Modeling/Sculpting
    • Photoshop – Texturing
    • Substance Painter – Texturing
    • Unreal
    • Unity

    The work of a game artist means the overall beauty of the game, the look and feel, according to GAA Professor Jorge Portillo.

    Famous game artists that students are inspired by:
    Feng Zhu – Concept Artist
    Frank Tzeng – Character Artist (Naughty Dog)
    Chris Robinson – Art Director (Blizzard)

    “Game art has helped me unleash a new sense of creativity that I did not know I possessed. It allows me to let my ideas and dreams come to life in a way that I never knew I could do,” – Shelby Epley, Game Art student. “Many of us look up to our professors such at Matt Marquit, Jorge Portillo, and Lynn Understiller.”

    “In Game Art, I’ve learned that dedication and attention to detail are huge keys to success.” – said Game Art and Animation student Justin Cooper.

    “A painter allows you to view realistic and imaginative words, a game artist allows you to explore those worlds by putting you in them. They create high levels of engagement through challenges, adventures and endless exploration,” said Professor Jorge Portillo.

    Some amazing UAT Game Artist alumni:
    Dima Goryainov – Concept Artist at Bungie
    Dennis Porter – Texture Artist at Certain Affinity Game Studio
    Blake Bjerke – Environmental Artist at Cyan Games

    UAT Digital Media Alumni Dima Goryainov creates assets for Destiny 2 at Bungie.

    UAT Digital Media Alumni Dima Goryainov creates game assets for Destiny 2 at Bungie

    Find out how to land a job in AAA games. UAT Alumni Blake Bjerke, Environmental Artist at Cyan Games, offers valuable advice on breaking into the industry.

    Because Game Art is a competitive industry, alumni Dennis Porter describes working his dream job as AAA Texture Artist at Certain Affinity and how he mastered his skill sets working at indie studios.

    To learn more about pursuing an education in Game Art and Animation, please visit the UAT website.

     

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    UAT Game Students Playtest Game for Local Developer E-Line Media

    UAT Game Students Playtest Game for Local Developer E-Line Media

    (Dec 04, 2017)

    UAT has led the way in cyber security since the late 90s, writing the rule books for cyber security education in Arizona. Marking over 20 successful years since the inception...

    On Friday, Game Professors Hue Henry and Jorge Portillo took 10 UAT students to E-Line Media to playtest one of their up-and-coming titles. E-Line Media is a local game developer that creates “Games for Change.”

    They are best known for their titles “Never Alone,” “Gamestar Mechanic” and “MINECRAFTEDU.”

    Students were able to experience the game testing world by interacting with multiple phases of the game, applying feedback verbally and through surveys.

    “It was great to see UAT build a relationship with such and impactful developer that is making games for the greater good of the community,” Professor Portillo said.

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    EcoDefense, An Art & Animation Student’s Game Concept to Inspire Greener Living

    EcoDefense, An Art & Animation Student’s Game Concept to Inspire Greener Living

    (Nov 28, 2017)

    Calling all programmers! The fall semester has begun and it’s time to get busy innovating with a fun Programming Jam! UAT is holding a Programming Jam under the guidance of...

    By: Brenda Najera, UAT Game Art & Animation Student

    My goal here at UAT is to create a game that will branch out past gamers and reach a broader audience and show everyone how meaningful a game can be while also giving them a thought provoking message that would then hopefully inspire something great in them.

    I hope to achieve this goal with the project I am currently working on now. The game project called EcoDefense. The game puts you in the perspective of the main character, a small Martian girl that lives on a planet much like ours.

    One significant difference however, is that this home planet of hers is encrusted with garbage. It becomes the duty of the player as the main character to begin a journey of which no others have attempted. The journey to heal the planet to its former state and make it habitable again.

    A takeaway from my blog post and the game: I want everyone to learn the importance of caring for our planet and become inspired to make a change towards greener living.

    Check out our DevBlog here!

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    Indie Alumni Game Studio Live in the Game Releases New Game “Lunarsea”

    Indie Alumni Game Studio Live in the Game Releases New Game “Lunarsea”

    (Nov 21, 2017)

    We spoke with game creator Khirey Sumerall about current UAT Game Studios team World of Martz. World of Martz is a multiplayer game that combines different genres to create intense...

    Live in the Game, an alumni indie game studio, is especially excited about the recent release of their first published title “Lunarsea©,” which began development at the Global Game Jam in January 2017.

    Lunarsea© is a mobile/PC game aiding Cthulhu on his quest to steal the moon; Wry Reveries™, a point-and-click adventure game following the famous Edgar Allan Poe in a fictional series; and Model Weapons Expert™, where you follow a PTSD ex-soldier in a PC and VR world that is coming later in development.

    See a highlight here from RealOtakuGamer.com.

    Cthulhu is on the run after stealing the moon! Use the moon to influence the waves to avoid missiles and jagged rocks down below and other obstacles to your survival.

    Lunarsea by Live in the Game Studios, UAT Game Design alumni

    Lunarsea by Live in the Game Studios, UAT Game Design alumni

    Enjoy two different gameplay modes as you make your way through the increasingly challenging levels that test your abilities.

    The main campaign will follow the adventure of Cthulhu who stole the moon due to his need for the power to control waves on his own planet in his own galaxy and finds himself on Earth while he attempts to escape from NASA and other enemies in his path.

    The endless runner mode will allow players to control Cthulhu as they challenge personal records for distance for themselves and others playing the game and this also facilitates harvesting coins for upgrades for use in the game.

    Live in the Game, LLC™ indie game studio was founded in 2015 at UAT by alumnus Benjamin Pope, who Majored in Game Design and also studied in Game Art and Programming areas. Most members of the studio are UAT alumni who have worked on the majority of our games. Please see the team portion of this blog for a list of members.

    Our team is spread across the country consisting of a small core team supported by contractors and/or interns. Live in the Game™ Studio is also connected to game devs at Denver University due to the owner relocating to his hometown.

    Over two years after its founding, Live in the Game™ has made milestones. They have become publishers on Google, Apple and Steam with a couple studio copyrights. Lunarsea received accolades from DreamHack Denver 2017 for Best Casual Game in the Indie Playground.

    You can help support these UAT alumni on their campaigns here:

    Kickstarter – coming soon
    Patreon

    You can also support them by joining Live in the Game™ and following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr and connecting with our team to give us your input and share our projects with others:

    Lunarsea© team:
    Creative Director
    Benjamin Pope

    Programmers:
    Brock Soicher (Project Lead)
    Derek Strobel
    David Donnely
    Joe “iOS Savior” Yates (Producer)

    Music/Sound:
    Dylan Wray
    Lucas Ciarlante

    Game Designers:
    Jeremy Salo
    Xaiver Kircher

    Artists:
    Kasey Harris (Lead)
    Lars Brady
    Benjamin Pope
    Jordan Ipson

    Marketing:
    Lydia Roa-Netherton
    David R. Brown Jr.

    QA Tester:
    Bryan Jackson
    David R. Brown Jr.

    Producers:
    Ben Pope
    Zac Cooke

    Current Studio-Related members:

    UAT Alumni Studio Members:

    Benjamin Pope – CEO/Founder/Creative Director
    Dave Brown – Vice – President
    Lydia Roa-Netherton – Marketing Director
    James Simpson – Director of Technology (PC Division)
    Alex Thompson – Director of Operations
    Karl Rocco – Director of Operations
    Joe Yates – Director of Technology (PC Division/Mobile)
    Kasey Harris – Art Director
    Brandi Setinc – Lead Artist
    Lucas Ciarlante – Studio Lead Audio Engineer

    Non-UAT Alumni Studio Members/Affiliates:

    Down-Right Fierce Gaming – Advertiser
    Real Otaku Gamer/Andre Tipton – Online Game Reviewer
    Bryan Jackson – Game Testing Intern
    Demi Du – Texture and 3D Artist Contractor
    Greg Arnold – Voice Actor Contractor
    Ismael Gil Morillo – 2D Environment Artist Contractor
    Jameson Smith – Web Designer Contractor
    Juan Vilella – General Artist Contractor
    Nick Galbraith – 3D Artist Contractor
    Xaiver Kircher – Lead Designer
    Robert Sebik – Lead Character Artist and Animator

    Some of Live in the Game™’s other projects include:
    Mirrored: The Reflective Resolution© – mirroredgame.com
    Mirrored Pop-Up Play™ – www.mirrored-pup.com
    Puppet Master: Demon Reclamation™ – www.puppetmaster-dr.com
    Map of Games©
    Wry Reveries™ – www.wryreveries.com
    Model Weapons Expert™ – www.modelweaponsexpert.com

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    UAT Students Form Teams for Extra Life Game Day Fundraiser

    UAT Students Form Teams for Extra Life Game Day Fundraiser

    (Oct 03, 2017)

    In the Spring of 2015, UAT filmmakers Jordan Wippell and Brandon Scott lead a team of their fellow students to make “Up Route” for the Inter-College 48 Hour Film Challenge....

    In November, UAT students, alumni and the UAT eSports Club are on board to participate in the charity event Extra Life Game Day, a 24-hour fundraising and game streaming marathon. Their goal is to raise money for the San Jorge Children’s Foundation located in Puerto Rico, and to provide at least $1,000 in hurricane relief aid from the recent catastrophe by Hurricane Maria, all by doing something they love – gaming! The Extra Life Game Day Tournament will coincide with the UAT Experience, a prospective student visit and will draw a huge crowd of game enthusiasts to campus.

    Students from all different majors including Digital Video, Game Programming and Game Design are busy creating teams to compete in this “gaming for good” event. It must be known that UAT is participating in this event largely due to the planning by alumni Alex Dinh and his desire to include the eSports Club, just an example of the UAT family working together to support a good cause.

    UAT has five teams competing in a variety of games ranging from League of Legends, Dungeons & Dragons, Overwatch and more. UAT students hope to raise at total of $1,000 to donate to hurricane relief after the detriment left behind in Puerto Rico.

    Each team has set their goal and have begun fundraising. UAT Experience attendees and parents can also donate at the following links. Choose a team to support below. All the proceeds will go to the charity.

    Quiet Ambassadors – donate here

    Team Immunity – donate here

    UAT eSports Club – donate here

    Table Top Gamers – donate here

    The eSports Club is creating an app that will allow drop-in players to join their team throughout the day.

    Stop by UAT’s campus on Nov. 4, for the Extra Life Game Day Tournament to support the hurricane relief effort in Puerto Rico.

    Extra Life unites thousands of gamers around the world to play games in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for sick and injured kids.

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    Professor Hue Henry Guest Lecturing on Game Programming at West-MEC

    Professor Hue Henry Guest Lecturing on Game Programming at West-MEC

    (Sep 28, 2017)

    Once the Black Hat Briefings come to an end, some UAT student volunteers will report as workers at DEF CON! Because both security conferences fall on the same week, in...

    On October 10, Professor Hue Henry will be speaking to students at Western Maricopa Education Center (West- MEC) about game programming and getting them excited about possible careers as game programmers. Some of the topics Professor Henry will discuss include how the tools and techniques used in a traditional, web-programming environment are also useful for those interested in pursuing a career in Video Games.

    Professor Henry said, “It is always exciting to get the chance to speak with the next generation of developers and innovators and help them to understand the unique opportunities that game programming can provide.”

    West-MEC is a JTED, Joint Technical Education District that services 13 West Valley school districts, 46 high schools. It is CTE, Career Technical Education. This is their third year after having initiated a Coding Program.

    The program is 2 years, four semesters, with 250 clock hours per semester. It is very immersive, and is focused on Web.

    Professor Hue Henry Guest Lecturing on Game Programming at West-MEC

    Professor Hue Henry Guest Lecturing on Game Programming at West-MEC

    Last year West-MEC placed 20% of their graduates immediately in Web programming, the rest went on to college. Many have expressed an interest in going on to Computer Science, wanting to specialize in Web or otherwise. Very much including the possibility of Game Programming App Programming, and Enterprise Programming.

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    Founder’s Game Jam

    Founder’s Game Jam

    (Sep 25, 2017)

    A recreation of the title sequence to the UK TV series The Inbetweeners, created by student Emma Welch-Murphy for DVA254 Motion Graphics class using Adobe After Effects. Related PostsGame Design...

    The 2017 Founder’s Game Jam took place at UAT the weekend of Sept. 22- 24 spreading a spark of game development inspiration around campus.

    This year’s theme was plants. Students had 48-hours, beginning on Friday afternoon, and ending on Sunday evening, to break into teams, come up with an idea, assign jobs and get to work. Because the fall semester had just began, it was exciting to see many new faces creating games together in the commons over the weekend.

    “I was pleasantly surprised by the large number of first time game jammers and first semester students that decided to give their first game jam a shot. Many of the veteran game jammers partnered with the newer students and mentored them,” said Adam Moore, UAT Game Design alumni and IGDA Phoenix advocate for UAT.

    There were 9 games created including Duke of Daisy, Up Rooted, Heart of Shambala, Farn, Bovine Savior, Vegano vs. Nature, Plot Twist and Boogie Beetle and the Bionic Tree. You can view the current submissions here.

    Duke of Daisy - Game Jam winner at UAT

    Duke of Daisy – Game Jam winner at UAT

    Here are the game jam winners:

    · Duke of Daisy – won best game overall.
    · Up Rooted – won best use of theme
    · Heart of Shambala – won best art
    · Farn – won the café prize

    Congratulations to all the winners and good work to all game jam participants!

     

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    Summer Internship at iD Tech Camps

    Summer Internship at iD Tech Camps

    (Sep 19, 2017)

    Who likes traveling? No airfare is necessary when you travel UAT’s Happy Skies! Immersion is a great way to learn about other cultures and Happy Skies is a cool kids...

    During the summer semester, Game Design and Game Programming student Tyler “Ozzy” Osborne worked as a paid intern for iD Tech Camps held at Rancho Solano Prep School in Scottsdale, from June – Aug. 2017.

    Ozzy was responsible for teaching students, who ranged in age from 13-17 years-old, Autodesk Maya, Unreal Engine 4, C# scripting with Unity Engine, and level design in a mod pack for Torchlight II.

    The camp accepts students as young as 6-years-old up to 17-years-old.

    Much of the job entailed trouble shooting, resolving issues that the students encountered, supervision of the group, encouraging students to follow instructions, and interaction and mentoring skills.

    Ozzy was responsible for a maximum of eight kids. In managing a small group, he easily could teach them concepts as a group and then answer individual questions one-on-one.

    One student really stood out because he took the project a little further than most. This student created a city builder game in Unity, when the task was to only replicate the classic Frogger game from the 80s.

    iD Tech Camps Internship teaching programming

    Teaching programming at iD Tech Camps 

    Now that Ozzy’s summer internship is completed he admits he learned a lot from this experience. Ozzy now understands how tough it is to be a teacher and how much time it takes to prepare lessons, but the feeling is quite rewarding to see students exceed your expectations.

    Ozzy attended iD Tech Camps when he was 13 and that’s how he became interested in becoming a game designer, and eventually found his place at UAT!

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    Alumni Evan Tappero Lands Job with Crowdstar

    Alumni Evan Tappero Lands Job with Crowdstar

    (Aug 24, 2017)

    The UAT SIP Fair for student innovation is continuing to advance. This semester, we take a full turn toward the future by enhancing the program to provide a unique experience...

    It’s wonderful when alumni return to UAT with good news! Evan Tappero who graduated last year with a degree in Game Design, gave us the scoop on the cool new place that he’s working!

    See our Q & A with Evan below:

    Q: What is your current position and at which company?
    A: My current position is assistant content manager at Crowdstar, which was recently acquired by Glu Mobile.

    UAT Game Design Alumni Evan Tappero

    UAT Game Design Alumni Evan Tappero

    Q: What does an assistant content manager actually do?
    A: The position is on Crowdstar’s Design Home team, so I deal with the curation of game content for the mobile game “Design Home”. I am responsible for the categorization of incoming game content, as well as updated existing content, documenting new products that can be implemented into the game, as well as sending/tracking batches of new content to our art vendors to be made into 3d models.

    Q: Is your career in the industry from the major?
    A: My major was Game Design. This is the first position I have held that applies directly to my degree. Majoring in Game Design was a huge bonus that prepared me for the game industry. I was accustomed to working on teams at UAT and with those skills I was able to speak on a variety of different key points in game development and impress potential employers. Due to my background and degree, Crowdstar offered me a better position than I had originally applied for, allowing me to bypass their temp to hire and move directly into a full time staff member.

    Q: How did your major prepare you for an industry career? How did you get the job?
    A: Although I know multiple different people within my area (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) that work in the gaming industry, I was not able to successfully acquire a job through connections with them. My application to Crowdstar was a shot in the dark, I didn’t know anyone or have any connections there, so I was very surprised when I was contacting by their recruiter and started the interview process. I received positive feedback from my phone interview and my in-person interview, so much so that Crowdstar offered me a position the following day after the face-to-face meeting. Overall it was a quick process, I meshed well with each interviewer, and I am very happy to be a part of the Design Home team with Crowdstar.

    Q: What are your tips for students who want to break into the industry?
    A: For students looking to make their start in the industry, I would say to never give up. Finding work can take time, some of you may find jobs immediately while for others it may take years. Apply to anything and everything that you may be even remotely qualify for, even if it isn’t exactly your dream job. Employer’s in today’s market are looking for work experience and landing that first job in your field will be a huge step in the right direction.

    Q: What do you miss about UAT?
    A: My time at UAT was enjoyable, however, I never cared for the traditional classroom environments, but the structure of UAT’s online program allowed me to flourish. I do miss some of the more involved classes where I was able to do creative level design in Unity or coming up with design concepts in a creative writing class.

    To see more about the company Evan works for, visit Crowdstar’s website. Check out their two current games: Covet Fashion and Design Home.

    Crowdstar's Covet Fashion and Design Home

    Crowdstar’s Covet Fashion and Design Home

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