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Media Arts - Game Design

Andrea Jacobson is part of the team at Rocketon
Rocketon, a small start-up company in South San Francisco, is known for hiring fresh talent in the game industry. This made Andrea Jacobson, a Media Arts & Animation graduate from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, a perfect match for the company.

Andrea’s Career Services Advisor arranged an interview with Rocketon. Initially, Andrea thought the job she was interviewing for was not exactly what she had in mind, but quickly realized it was a great opportunity.

Andrea is now working as a Flash Art Designer at Rocketon. Each day, Andrea takes generic design templates and uses her creative vision to complete the design from its template form.

Andrea attributes her success at her new job to her Art Institute production classes and classes that utilized team projects. “They taught me so much about team work and that has translated directly onto the job,” Andrea said. “I understand the dynamics of working with other people and it has helped me immensely.”

Angela Prendergast on Breaking in to the Gaming Industry
Angela Prendergast graduated with one thing on her mind: breaking into the gaming industry. She knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but she needed to start somewhere.

Immediately after graduation, Angela began to search for an open door. After several visits to the Career Services department at The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, Angela found an opportunity with Namco Networks, a Japanese video game company located in Santa Clara, California. Without hesitation, Angela embarked on her new career.

Working as a Quality Assurance and Game Tester is a fantastic opportunity for Angela. Along with the theoretical knowledge that she learned in school, this position has given Angela the ability to gain practical experience in the industry and develop her industry network.

Her advice to everyone is, “Not to dismiss your general education. Everything helps. Step by step, you’ll reach your goal.” Way to go, Angela!

Cheyenne Kelsey , 3-D Artist at Electronic Arts Inc.
Cheyenne Kelsey came to The Art Institute of California—San Francisco to pursue her dream of working in the electronics industry.

She graduated in 2006, landing a job as a 3-D Artist for Electronic Arts Inc., a large game developer in the Bay Area. As a 3-D Artist, Cheyenne’s main responsibilities include object modeling and texturing. Her favorite part of her job is the complexity of the work she does. She takes great pride in being able to multitask and handle projects in a fast-paced gaming environment.

Cheyenne hopes to become a Producer and Art Director. She believes the diversity of her education led her to where she is today. Her artistic sense and willingness to try anything has paved the way for her future in the professional art world.

Full Time at UbiSoft, Duylinh Nguyen Works as a Marketing Artist
When Duylinh Nguyen first started with his current employer, UbiSoft, he was only believed to be working a short contract. Nguyen was studying in the Game Art & Design program at The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, when one of his instructors was asked by a UbiSoft representative to send the most talented students to their attention. Nguyen was one of the candidates that was sent to the employer and quickly began contracting with the company. At present, nearly 12 months later, Nguyen is an employee of UbiSoft.

When we asked Nguyen how he turned his contract into a full-time job, he says, “I made sure to report to my superiors all the time, worked hard and made sure to show leadership qualities. Whenever my bosses would tell me to do something, I would first listen to what they recommended me to do. If I felt that there was a better way to perform that task I would tell them the idea and explain why this approach is better for them.”

Nguyen is a Marketing Artist for the San Francisco division of UbiSoft. He is responsible for all models and assets that are utilized in marketing UbiSoft products. In addition to his core job details, he also is involved in UbiSoft’s cinematics and takes the lead for their departmental projects

Nguyen is looking forward to taking the next step in his career. He has recently accepted a position as an artist for Gearbox Software in Dallas, Texas. This opportunity came as a result of networking through his current position. He is very excited about relocating and using the knowledge he obtained while studying at The Art Institute of California—San Francisco and through his experience working at UbiSoft.

Internship turns Full Time for Chris Emond
Chris Emond knows the value of a great internship. A Game Art & Design graduate from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, Chris is a perfect example of an internship position turning into a full time job.

While interning at Massive Black, an art outsourcing company that houses projects for film and game industries, his supervisor noticed something special in him. When he graduated, not only did Chris receive the award for Best Portfolio at the Fall 2006 Portfolio Show, he also received a job offer from Massive Black.

Chris now works full time for Massive Black as a Senior 3-D Artist. He describes the environment as “friendly and a fun team.” His roles at the company include modeling and working on internal IP development. Additionally, his ability to manage quality control helped land him a role in managing Massive Black’s China team.

Chris’s advice to upcoming graduates is, “Find something you like doing and take it farther than you have in the past.”

Matthew Perrett, Game Art & Design Graduate, Puts Skills to Work at Lucas Arts
Since the late 1970’s, every set of eyes throughout the world – young and old – has peered into a monitor, movie screen, or some sort of merchandise with George Lucas’ footprint. Imagine working in the place where this is all created…

This is the unique opportunity that our alumnus, Matt Perrett, has everyday.

Perrett has the important task of doing a final check on LucasArts products before they are released, in the Quality Assurance department. He reviews their games; finding issues and problems with game implementation. Perrett says that it is very rewarding to find problematic issues, because they may ultimately reflect negatively on the company and, “hurt the game’s reception and fun.” In addition, he appreciates being able to assist the development team by giving them valuable feedback that will make the entire company more successful.

Matt feels that the Game Art & Design program at The Art Institute of California—San Francisco was very helpful to him in his current position because he feels it helped to foster an “..understanding of all levels of game creation, which helps me appreciate the amount of work that goes into every part of the games.” His advice for students is that, “…sometimes what looks like a very small opportunity can end up being greater than it initially appears. Finding a way into any industry can be very challenging, so don’t discount the small chances too quickly.”

Randy Lamore, Programmer at Shaba Games
Randy Lamore is living his dream.

He has worked on movies such as Tony Hawk and the Shreks, and spends his day creating video games like Gun, Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Wakeboarding. Randy graduated from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco with a degree in Visual & Game Programming, and is currently a Programmer at Shaba Games.

At Shaba, Randy influences and molds the games he works with. He multitasks with each project, tending to the needs of the scripters, designers and artists. “It’s my job to make their job possible,” he says.

Randy attributes his success to the degree he obtained from The Art Institute. “The most helpful classes,” he says, “were the ones that focused on code and project organization, such as Data Structures.” He also says that gaining a familiarity with 3-D Max and Maya was very beneficial.

Randy is extremely proud of his work and enjoys working on projects that have a large impact on the overall goal. He has worked hard to get where he is and understands the importance of focus and dedication to the task at hand.

The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, a campus of Argosy University

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