Visiting Blizzard Entertainment, Treyarch Studio and Disney Imagineering

It was a blast visiting Xin Wang (Cinematic Character & Prop Supervisor) at Blizzard Entertainment, Bernardo Antoniazzi (Technical Art Director) at Treyarch Studio and the department leads at Disney Imagineering during my LA trip this year. There was so much to see but unfortunately no photo allowed for the most part. I was very impressed and inspired by the creativity, passion and seriousness these people demonstrate for their craft on a daily basis. When working for a such large studio it’s all about finding the harmony between individual creativity and team spirit. While the indie game scene rises dramatically in these couple years and has been considered the new trend, I still truly appreciate the work came out from the AAA production studios, as these are a bunch of incredibly talented people who are willing to push pixels (or codes) and drive for that very excellence in their “small part” of a big machine. We all have our differences in taste of what kind of movies or games we like, but judging the level of “artistry” of a game by it’s indie or AAA is completely non-sense. With that said, I do hope those AAA giants will be willing to invest their wealth and resources on more creative and original ideas instead of making one after another FPS sequels. We need all types of different games to serve different kinds of audience. We are fortunate to have this variety at this new golden age of game development which makes this industry so fascinating.


It was great to see many old friends as well as meeting new friends at SIGGRAPH 2013!

Here are some of the projects that I found most interesting this year



AquaTop Display


Project Spark


The Electronic Theater was awesome as always:


This was my favorite piece from the Electronic Theater this year:


And here are some pictures:

E3 2013

E3 2013 was as usual, super exciting with tons of cool stuff to see. This year’s E3 was extra special to me as we were a finalist of the E3 2013 College Game Competition, and the Entertainment Software Association ( gave us a beautiful booth and invited us to demo our project live side by side with all the AAA game studios. I was too engaged in all the activities around me and forgot to take pictures most of the time, but here are what I have on my phone:

We are the winner of E3 2013 College Game Competition

SCAD Interactive Design & Game Development won the 1st place of E3 2013 College Game Competition!

For many years, E3 has been a legendary expo for heavy weight AAA game studios around the world to showcase their best projects. It was an honor to be a winner of its first college game competition in 2013. Our faculty and students really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this fascinating expo and showcased the game our students produced at SCAD. It was truly an exciting experience for us to demo our game side by side with all the top game development studios in the world. The game industry is changing and there is a bigger and bigger market demand for indie games each year. By hosting and incorporating this college game competition with E3 and bringing that indie student spirit to E3, the Entertainment Software Association once again demonstrates their clear understanding about the latest trend of the game industry and SCAD was honor to be a part of it.

Check out the game development blog of our winning project “Lost in Thought”:

Atlanta Global Game Jam 2013


Atlanta Global Game Jam 2013 – with 230 participants this year we are once again the largest jam site in the US.

Congrats on the winning projects:

In the Hands of the Servitor (Best Overall 1st Place)

Cor Ex Machina (Best Overall 2nd Place)

Heartery (Most Polished)

Here are the videos of all 23 games made within 48 hours at the Atlanta GGJ site:

  1. Pulse (contributors: Maddie Beasly, Nathan Barella, Sam Arrants, Taylor Agni, Logan Cooper, Ryan Drescher, Levoski Brown)
  2. Tribulation (Team Glow.  URL of our GGJ page: Team members: Josh Faubel, Kyle Blevens, Jeanie Choi, Feng Bo, Aaron Yip and Berkelee: Ben Krause & Victoria Vitti)
  3. Assassin Beats (Team Name: Autonomous Dog.  Programmers: Luke Tornquist, Andres Castro, Brian Banks.  Art and Graphics: Amanda Smith)
  4. Cold Blooded (Timothy Sassone, Tyler Lumpkin, Joseph Burley, and Sam Rothermel)
  5. Anxiety (Team name: Kind Rats.  Members: Jabari Ogletree, Rhys, Danny Hardawar.  Additional Music: Fabio Marks (Berkley University))
  6. Murmur (Team: Team Brigade.  Members: Josh Sole, Justin Pruitt, Jake Land, Stephen Rouse, Jeremy Ledbetter, Ben Sanders)
  7. Saudade (Team: Space Whales. Members: Kelly Snyder, Aj Kolenc, Kevin Jones, Matthew Guzdial, Yardley Ingram.  Sound effects by Albert Torrence (Berklee) and voice acting by Village Theatre: KidSpace)
  8. Time of Death (Design:  Hank Silman, Kyle Bolton, Chris Lucero.  Programming:  Kyle Bolton, Khoa Nguyen. Art:  Angelica Rodriguez-Vazquez. Audio:  Chris Lucero)
  9. Heartery (Team Name: Cosmic Adventure Squad.  Team Members: Rose Peng, Annick Huber, Vu Ha, Andres Villarreal)
  10. The Hunger (Team BloodBath: Adrian Kappel, Michael Garcia, Peter Neal, Cody Brantley, Ron Williams II)
  11. Between Beats (Team name – Team Too Tired.  Members: Logan Nichols, Zane Gholson, Daniel Kinjerski, Mike Allen, SrBilyon Harris)
  12. Corridor (Team members: Shawn Day,Austin Ford, Sarah Massagee, Nick Lambert, Amy howarth, Will Norsworthy, Mason Tubb, Colten Dale, Joseph Jeanty)
  13. Nearly Human (Team Automaton)
  14. Kickstart My Heart (Joshua Heart)
  15. Bless Your Heart (Game On competitor. Team Wolverines: Kenneth Gagne, Chris Francis, Imhotep Wallace, Matthew Harris, and Mai-ana Burns)
  16. Ith (Team MorDarknessInc.  Members: Ryan Silvera, William Moore, Tyler Aardema, Angelina Park, Brian Seymour)
  17. In the Hands of the Servitor (Team Wierd Tales: Ian Phillpotts, Jessica stevenson, leonard nicolas, matt gold, sisoes molina , britt briscoe, pedro severino, natalia perez, david lin, alex gregorie)
  18. Geometry Saga: War of Heart (Game On competitor.  Team: Products for Robots.  Members: John Posey III – Design, Chris Goodrich – Art, Darius Hill – Art, Sarah Wilson – Programming, Inki Hong – Programming, Shaun Chasin – Music/SFX, Kathryn Cheng – Music/SFX, Meagan Moffat – The Narrator)
  19. Auto Dwarf (Team Members: Rand Williams, Carter V. Maddux, Chris "Red Beard" Iserman, Tom Neidher, Micheal Davis, John Moriarity, Clayton Hall, David Little, Greg Williams, Erich Schuler.  Voice actors: Megan Moffat, Wolfgang Eastman.  Sound Effects: Sam Ewing)
  20. Limerent (Team name is N-Gon Games.  Dawn Bennett: Voice talent.  Members: Tim Frank, Scott Adams, Ben Cochrane, Luciano Comassetto, Luiz Comassetto)
  21. Henry’s had a Bad Day (Team Mystery)
  22. Cor Ex Machina (Team Woo!)
  23. Cold Blooded (Tyler Lumpkin, Sam Rothermel, Timothy Sassone, and Joseph Burley)

Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Workshop


I had the pleasure to give a presentation on game-based learning and innovations in training at the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Workplace Learning Society on Dec 6th 2012. For more info about Technology Association of Georgia (TAG):

AR Mobile Game Dev Workshop at ISMAR 2012


ISMAR 2012, the premier international conference on research into the science, technology, applications and uses of Mixed and Augmented Reality was held November 5-8th 2012 in Atlanta, GA, USA, on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, at Georgia Tech’s Hotel and Conference Center.

I had the pleasure to collaborate with Jeff Chastine, Ph.D. Associate Professor School of Computing and Software Engineering Southern Polytechnic State University and present a 4 hours long project based tutorial to demonstrate how to create an AR mobile game prototype from game design to art, animation and technical production. Tools such as Unity, Maya and Vuforia were used in this tutorial. Standard game development topics which can be applied to all digital game projects such as the game design process, pre-production planning, 3D modeling, rigging and animation techniques, game engine workflow as well as the unique elements of AR mobile game development were covered in this presentation.

Kenneth Rosman’s presentation at SCAD-Atlanta

Kenneth Rosman, the Executive Producer of "Prototype 2" and a game industry veteran (game credits include mega hits "F.E.A.R" and "Neverwinter Nights") gave a talk at SCAD-Atlanta DMC Theater on Thursday Oct 4th 6:15-7:30pm.
Title of the talk: “Game Creation, Keeping It On The Rails” 
The talk was the behind the scenes efforts that ensure the game gets done, focusing specifically on communication and risk management. Also a brief review of how Agile methodologies can additionally help. The talk was wrapped up with a half-hour open mic Q&A.

Drawing Basics and Video Game Art Presentation

I had the pleasure to bring in Chris Solarski, the author of "Drawing Basics and Video Game Art" to give a presentation at SCAD-Atlanta DMC theater on Tuesday Oct 2nd.

I was intrigued by Chris’s analysis and comparison of classical traditional art and modern video game art. Chris’s presentation further strengthened my believe in video game is an unique art form that is comparable with any other classic medium, such as painting, photography or film. Too often when video game is refereed as an art form, people merely are talking about models or textures. By digging under the surface of polygons and textures, there is a much deeper level of esthetics such as compositions and even emotions await the audience to explore.   

I recommend game developers and people who are interested in video games to check out his book, "Drawing Basics and Video Game Art".




SCAD-Atlanta “Generate” a 24hr Art Challenge



10AM Sept 28 – 10AM Sept 29th

This year, Interactive Design & Game Development is teaming up with Animation to offer up an amazing creature design challenge. In this design challenge, contestants will be creating a creature based on an environment of your choice. This is a team challenge (3 members per team) in which each member is responsible for 1 phase of the design process:

1. Full color creature illustration with background.
2. Physical concept sculpture (creature maquette) done with clay or super sculpey.
3. Digital 3D model/sculpture in ZBrush.

Industry Advisors:

We will bring in these industry advisors on site to advise and critique contestants work:

WETA Workshop: Scott Spencer (Designer; renown ZBrush trainer and 3D artist)
Hi-Rez Studios: Ben Knapp (Senior Character artist), Sean McBride (Art Director) 
Xaviant: Wayne Williams (Senior Character Artist)

The 1st place winning team will receive:
1. Three ZBrush 4R4 commercial license ($2,100 value), sponsored by Pixologic (the maker of Zbrush).
2. Three maquette sculpting kit ($560 value), sponsored by Binders Art Supplies Atlanta.
3. Three SIEGE 2012 conference passes* ($150 value).
4. Lunch, studio tour and portfolio advising session with the Art Director and Senior Character Artist at the Hi-Rez Studios or CCP Games.

The 2nd place winning team will receive:
1. Three SIEGE 2012 conference passes* ($150 value).
2. Three copies of Scott Spencer’s latest book on digital sculpting in ZBrush.
3. Lunch, studio tour and portfolio advising session with the Art Director and Senior Character Artist at the Hi-Rez Studios or CCP Games.

The 3rd place winning team will receive:
Three pairs of movie passes to Regal Cinemas.

Click here for the complete details of this challenge.

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