Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Famed Game Designer, Brenda Romero, Visited Cogswell College

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Yesterday award-winning game designer, artist, writer & creative director, Brenda Romero,  gave her IndieTalk, “Jiro Dreams of Game Design.” The talked was inspired by the movie, “Jiro Dreams of Shushi.”

If you ever wondered what a 3 star Michelin Chef can teach you about game design, well Brenda Romero has an answer. Even if you never wondered – Brenda’s talk was well worth listening to.

Brenda had been making games for Facebook where the mentality was to create minimum viable products. This approach meant that you expected to fix bugs and then add features as you discovered what players really wanted. You did not expect to ship, or strive for, a great game. In the real-world producers don’t say, “let’s make this game great so take all the time you want.” In the real-world the goal is to deliver games on time and on budget.

One of her personal projects was “Trains” – where every single decision mattered as she labored to make a game that was as good as she could make it. She had the luxury of time and never put in something to just to make the game work. She could wait until the right decision appeared.

She wondered what made some things great and others not. Then she came across asparagus – one perfectly prepared, perfectly decorated and perfectly presented plate of asparagus. She realized that a fully designed experience is the foundation of greatness.

Following are some of the things she learned from studying this 3 star group of chefs:

  • Great ideas – you can never rest on your laurels.
  • Great Ingredients – start with the best you can get. You will spend more time managing failures than successes.
  • Think in terms of shipping constantly – great chefs ‘ship’ 10,000 items during their lifetime while a game designer may only ship 100. Polish and perfect every step of the way.
  • Consistency – a chef must deliver every night.

Brenda will be presenting her talk at the upcoming GDC next spring.

Brenda Romero to Speak at Cogswell

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Cogswell College is pleased to welcome award-winning game designer, artist, writer and creative director, Brenda Romero, to campus on Thursday, November 14. During this student only event she will be giving her IndieCade talk entitled:  “Jiro Dreams of Game Design” from 12:30 to 1:30 in the Dragon’s Den.

During her presentation, Brenda will talk about the traits that three-star chefs share and the lessons game designers can learn from them. From early on in the careers, three-star Michelin chefs – a rarified 106 in the world at present – have a nearly tyrannical hold on their kitchens. They insist on perfection in every ingredient, in temperature, in presentation and in accompaniment. From the first to the last impression, every part of a perfect culinary experience is an obsession so many chase and so few achieve. Interestingly enough, it is something they do because they are driven to, not for money or fame, but because of the pursuit of perfection itself. It is a passion many of us share and struggle to achieve in a world where shipping a game often means compromising on our ideal vision.

About Brenda Romero

Brenda entered the video game industry in 1981 at the age of 15. She is the longest continuously serving woman in the video game industry. Brenda worked with a variety of digital game companies as a game designer or creative director, including Atari, Sir-tech Software, Electronic Arts and numerous companies in the social and mobile space. She is presently the Program Director for the UC Santa Cruz Master’s in Games + Playable Media and the Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer of Loot Drop, a social and mobile game company. Brenda serves on the advisory board of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games at the Strong Museum of Play and also works with John Romero and The Romero Archives to record game designers discussing their game design process for historical archiving.

She is the recipient of the 2013 Women in Games Lifetime Achievement Award awarded by Microsoft and previously was a nominee in Microsoft’s 2010 Women in Games game design award. Romero was also named one of Forbes “12 Women in Gaming to Watch” in 2013 and Woman of the Year by Charisma+2 Magazine in 2010, one of the top 20 most influential women in the game industry by Gamasutra.com in 2008 and one of the 100 most influential women in the game industry by Next Generation magazine in 2007. Nerve magazine also called her one of the 50 artists, actors, authors, activists and icons who are making the world a more stimulating place.

Michael Mattesi Offering FORCE Drawing Workshop

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Cogswell College will host artist, author and animation industry resource in one of his FORCE Drawing Workshops. The event is only open to Cogswell students and limited to 50 participants. Sign up in The Pulse now because spaces are filling up fast.

Date:  Saturday, November 9

Time:  2:00 – 6:00PM

Place: Dragon’s Den

The workshop centers on Mattesi’s new approach to drawing based on the FORCES found in the figure and how they coincide with gravity. Any artist could use this concept of drawing but the animation industry has most used the technique due to its many parallel concepts in animating.

Mattesi has contributed his skills as a professional production artist on many award-winning projects. A brief client list includes Pixar, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Walt Disney Consumer Products, Marvel Comics, Hasbro Toys, ABC, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, DreamWorks/PDI, The School of Visual Arts, Peking University, Art Center, Nickelodeon and LeapFrog.

Premier Entrepreneurship Forum on November 2 in Santa Clara

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

The third annual Silicon Valley Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (SVIEF) packs its schedule with speeches, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. This year, the keynote address and leadership dialogue will be given by two uniquely qualified individuals: Al Gore and Steve Wozniak. The former, who served as the 45th Vice President of the United States, helped usher the internet into existence. The latter not only co-founded Apple Computers, but is now the chief scientist of the data company Fusion-io.

This Groupon deal might make this unique experience even more enticing. For $99 you get one general pass to the 2013 SVIEF (up to a $327.97 value) and a multitude of networking opportunities.

Cogswell Hosts SVForum SIG – Sixense Demos MakeVR, 3D Modeling/Printing Solution

Monday, October 21st, 2013

When SVForum 3D Printing SIG – which fosters innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership within the San Francisco/Silicon Valley ecosystem – needed a space to host it’s upcoming October 28 event, Cogswell was a perfect fit. The event features Sixense Entertainment and a demo of the company’s MakeVR solution for 3D modeling and printing. We’re pretty sure that all of our 3D modeling and engineering students will enjoy the presentation so make sure you reserve a space.

MakeVR uses Sixense’s STEM System™ for motion tracking and control to give consumers a natural, intuitive, and fun way to model and print in 3D. The STEM System provides precision tracking of a user’s every move. Coupled with the easy-to-use yet powerful MakeVR application, users can have fun creating and printing 3D models quickly and easily.

DATE: October 28, 2013

TIME: 6:30 to 9:00PM

PLACE: Cogswell College, 1175 Bordeaux Dr, Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Refreshments served

Radically fun, easy-to-use, and powerful, the MakeVR solution from Sixense is an entirely new take on modeling objects for 3D print and other uses. MakeVR’s two-handed interface paradigm is specifically designed for Sixense’s one-to-one motion tracking and control technology as embodied in the company’s STEM System™ wireless motion control platform, for which there was a massively successful Kickstarter campaign (almost $605K!). The solution allows people to create simple to very complex objects with natural hand motions.

To attend, register here and use coupon code ‘3DPrinting100’ for free admittance.

Check out the great 3-minute MakeVR overview video

“MakeVR marries the familiarity of joystick control with a pro-caliber CAD engine. The upshot is that regular-old, non-designer civilians can create relatively complex models.”TechHive.com

Double Fine Productions Hosting Fan Day

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Double Fine Productions has announced that it is hosting a special “Day of the Devs” event on November 2. The event is open to the public and in addition to meeting the great Double Fine crew – which includes several Cogswell graduates – guests will mingle with other indie developers and have the chance to test the company’s new Kickstarter-funded game, “Broken Age.”

Learn more about the event at GamePolitics.com or RSVP at the Day of the Devs website.

Day of the Devs will take place at Public Works at 161 Erie St. in San Francisco from 4-8 p.m. on November 2. The event is free to attend, though no one under 21 will be allowed in, likely due to alcohol being on-site.

Animation Show of Shows Comes to Cogswell

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Cogswell College will have the distinct privilege of hosting “The Animation Show of Shows” right here on campus on September 24, 2013. This exclusive evening of short animated films brings together a collection of the best the film festival world has to offer. Many of these films have only been available on a limited basis – making this rare opportunity even more special.

DATE:  Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TIME:  7:00 to 9:00PM

PLACE:  Dragon’s Den

SEATING IS LIMITED

RSVP:  Sign up in the Pulse Office and pick up your ticket

Since 1998, The Animation Show of Shows has selected the best in animated short films from the world’s most renowned animation festivals and presented them at the major animation studios to inspire their animators and directors. The screenings at major studios such as DreamWorks, Pixar, Disney and many others throughout North America have served to inspire and enrich the many professionals who have been lucky enough to see them.

The techniques range from hand-drawn, paint on glass and stop-motion, to the latest computer-generated imagery, with its ability to conjure entire worlds with astonishing verisimilitude. Together these films capture, in the words of Andrew Stanton, director of Finding Nemo, “all the wit, cleverness, integrity, warmth and humor that humanity is capable of,” and have a universal appeal that makes them ideal for sharing with family and friends.

Join us in the Dragon’s Den on Tuesday, September 24, to enjoy the art, talent and creativity of some of the best animators in the world.

Images from Summerfest 2013

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

If you missed this event – we’re sorry. Here’s a recap of the day:

Water Slides, Slip n’ Slide, Boffer Sword Battle, Inflatable Boxing, Pie Eating Contest – oh, my! But that’s not all – Baton Jousting, Lemon Jousting, Water Pong, Video Games, Live Bands and did we mention – FREE FOOD!

Looks like fun but you just couldn’t make it last Saturday?  Well, there’s always next year!

Women in Animation Presentation at Pixar

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Cogswell College students at the Women in Animation San Francisco Pixar Studio event.

On July 16 more than 20 female students attended the Women in Animation San Francisco screening of Monsters University at Pixar Studio. After the movie, everyone at the event had the chance to listen to a panel of talented women who worked in Technical, Artistic and Production roles on the film followed by an audience Q&A session.

Rosalie Wynne, one of the students who attended was impressed by the size of Pixar and the amenities they provide their employees like the dining areas all over the building. “I also enjoyed touring the second floor where they kept their art gallery and had some concept art on display,” she said.

Students Rosalie Wynne and Cara Ricci at Pixar

Rosalie noticed that the panelist had mostly arrived at Pixar in the mid-1990s to early-2000s and were able to work their way up the ranks. She doesn’t think that approach will work now. “Our generation has to have all this schooling and amazing portfolios and reels to be considered for jobs now. I think the days are mostly past when  you can start at the bottom and work your way up into an artist’s position,” she added.

One of the main things the panelists stressed was the importance of being collaborative and to learn to communicate effectively. They said overall, working at Pixar is about being a team player plus learning when to fight for your ideas and when to let them go.

At Cogswell College – in addition to an amazing faculty and curriculum – we provide multiple learning experiences both through on-campus and off-campus events.

Students Amanda Martinez, Ashley Evans, Jennifer Hicks and friends at Pixar.

I Am A Gamer Event This Weekend

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Calling all gaming enthusiasts to join Cogswell alumnus, Tobiah Marks and Kenny Spade of Microsoft for a 48 hour “I Am A Gamer” Game Jam at the Microsoft BizSpark Lab.

I Am A Gamer is working to change the image of female protagonists in video games. Too often women characters in games are portrayed as weak and helpless or as the object of desire for the male characters.

The theme of this Game Jam is to, “make a game featuring awesome female protagonists.”

Since space is limited to 50 people, Game Jammers need to register through Eventbrite for the event that runs from 5:30PM on Friday, July 12 and ends at 9:00PM on Sunday July 14.

For more information about the event and some video suggestions to watch that help explain the issue, visit Facebook.