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Published by Laguna College of Art + Design, 2019-01-31 12:52:14

MFA GD - Letter from the Chair 3 - 2019

MFA GD - Letter from the Chair 3 - 2019


As we step into a new year, we often do so while looking meaningful games that are positive adventures in play.
inward to figure out the next step on our journey toward They do so by creating within a community in which
a more enriching life. As a result of this introspection, game development results in personal growth, and in
we often create lists of changes we hope to make. Yet, which game play experiences enrich others’ lives.
despite our goals, strategies, and efforts to obtain them,
sometimes, as the saying goes, “the best laid plans of If your dream job is Game Design, as you take the
mice and men often go awry.” With this in mind, I often next step in your journey, we invite you to look in our
tell my students, “Life comes at you; so, be prepared direction. Our unique online program provides you an
for anything to fall in your lap.” It’s that “anything” part opportunity for growth while allowing you to maintain
that can scare us. So, for those of us thinking that we your current career path. Just as games can positively
want to make positive changes, let’s endeavor to remain impact the way we move, think, interact and learn, at
courageous in the face of the great unknown. LCAD, our mission is to help you harness your potential
not only to lead a more enriching life, but also your
Along those lines, something I recently read by PhD potential to empower others to lead more enriching
candidate, Maarten van Doorn, in Medium magazine lives through games.
stood out to me:

“The goal should not be to not feel afraid in the first
place. The goal should be to feel afraid and then act
anyway. Courage is not about being fearless, but about
doing it despite shitting your pants.”

Often, what frightens us most are the things we most
desire, for the thought of never realizing those dreams
can be horrifying. What do you most fear? What do you
most desire? Do you envision a new reality? Does this
new reality include changing careers? Going back to

What scares you more? The idea of change, or the
thought of never evolving?

If the thought of never evolving frightens you more than LCAD.EDU PRESENTED BY BFA GAME ART AND
change itself, you must use that fear to compel you MFA GAME DESIGN PROGRAMS
toward change.
LCAD is where people come to make positive change; 3:00–6:00pm
to impact not only their own worlds, but also the
worlds of others. Students of Laguna College of Art LAGUNA COLLEGE OF ART + DESIGN
and Design’s MFA program in Game Design make BIG BEND CAMPUS





DyooIuNyrojToubEw?oRrkVwIhEilWe goWingItTo HschLooCl,AanDd ifMsoF, wAhat is
I work full-tiBmRe aAs aNpDroOgraNmmCeLr aUnaFlyFst at Brighton in

City of Industry, CA.

What are your other responsibilities?

I became a husband and a homeowner just before
starting the Game Design program at LCAD.

What are some of the daily challenges with which you
must contend?

My biggest daily challenge is finding balance between
work, home, and school. Maintaining an extremely
detailed calendar is essential to being a full-time

Has anything exciting happened for you since joining
the major?

I won “Best in Category” with my submission of
Deadly Discs to the 2018 IEEE GameSIG “Intellivision
Reboot” competition in September 2018.

On which projects are you currently working?

Most recently, I contributed to Antonio Thomas’ thesis
project, D32: Rubicon, a first-person shooter which
aims to teach students through gameplay. I wanted
to make sure my plate was clear before starting to
work on the design of my thesis; so, the only project
on which I’m working currently, is my thesis project:

Can you tell us more about Fugue?

Fugue is a minimalist, musical, atmospheric, adventure
game where the player travels across a cold and dark
environment, struggling to stay warm through the

winter. The main source of inspiration comes from my I went into the program with an eye on human
experience of being homeless near Philadelphia, PA connection, cooperation, and meaningful play.
during the winter. Initially, I was fearful of sharing such Throughout the semester, I was applying new learning
personal information about myself, but I’m delighted toward these concepts and making surprising
that my game pitch was greeted only with warmth and connections and discoveries.
Why did you choose LCAD for your degree?
How is LCAD preparing you for your work in the future?
I was considering University of Southern California (USC)
I worked my way into becoming a programmer in 2012 and Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) before
with the dream of someday working in games. As I I chose LCAD for my degree. I found that USC’s program
became better at programming, I realized that without had a heavy programming emphasis, SCAD’s program
proper design and management, all of my games would had a heavy game art emphasis, and LCAD had the
fall flat. At LCAD, I am already learning how to think and most well-balanced program. I believe that LCAD’s focus
to analyze like a designer and a leader. The exciting part on the industry and leadership will propel me closer to
is that this is just the beginning of my continued growth the career I actually want.
on a path to excellence in the game industry.
What are your thoughts about getting your degree
In what areas do you want to work after completing online?
your degree?
I am quite comfortable with attending class online.
My dream is to become a game designer or narrative I earned both my AS and BS from Salem University
designer. However, I realize that I will likely need to through their online program, so I was very prepared to
gain entry into the industry before earning either of be self-motivated about my coursework.
those coveted titles. So, my plan is to gain entry to the
industry as either a junior designer, programmer, or What is an inspirational quote you have for others
producer. My hope is that my professional experience, thinking of joining the program?
coursework, and devotion to the craft will allow me to
work my way to the top after entry. Think of the first game that really inspired you. Think
about all of the love and work that went into it. Don’t
In the terms of game development, how are LCAD’s you want to give that to someone else?
teachers giving you guidance?

Each of my instructors from the first semester have been LAGUNA COLLEGE OF ART + DESIGN PRESENTS
amazing in terms of providing feedback and guidance.
All of my professors went above and beyond in order to PANEL DISCUSSION
give me the most helpful advice by offering their unique ON GAME DESIGN
experiences as industry veterans. The individualized
feedback allowed me to learn and to grow at a Monday, February 11, 2019
tremendous rate during my time in each of their classes. 5:00–7:00 p.m.

Any design principles that you have gained from the Join the game designers who helped create the games you know and love
experience in the coursework so far? for a panel discussion at Laguna College of Art + Design. The panel will
begin with a short introduction to each panelist’s roles and will move into a
Absolutely. My perception of design, narrative, and question and answer session.
analysis has grown exponentially since starting the
program. I have already learned so much about BLIZZARD GAME DESIGNERS:
the fundamentals of design, narrative, and project - Andrew Chambers, Senior Game Designer II, Systems
management. I couldn’t be more excited for next - Skye Chandler, Game Designer, Quest
(with former producer experience across several teams)
Any core principles of your own design philosophy that - Tim Fujieda-Feldman, Senior Game Designer
you had to revisit? - Dave Kosak, Lead Designer, Missions
- Zachariah Owens, Senior Game Designer
- Scott Smith, Senior Game Designer, Professions
- Candace Thomas, Senior Game Designer, Encounters

Our special thanks to Blizzard Entertainment for LAGUNA COLLEGE OF ART + DESIGN’S
making this event possible. Big Bend Campus, Studios BB13/BB14
2825 Laguna Canyon Road
Brought to you by Laguna College of Art + Design’s Laguna Beach, CA 92651
MFA program in Game Design and its BFA program
in Game Art. LCAD.EDU

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