Posts Tagged ‘Alumni’

Senior Producer at Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games Speaks at Cogswell

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

kevin richardson

Cogswell graduate, Kevin Richardson, will share his wealth of knowledge and experience in the casual game industry during a presentation on campus. His topic will be, “Creativity and Unlocking Your Own Unique Talents.”

Date: November 3, 2009
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Dragon’s Den at Cogswell
1175 Bordeaux Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
MAP
Pizza will be served
RSVP

Kevin graduated in 2003 with Bachelor of Arts in Computer and Video Imaging – the precursor to Cogswell’s Digital Art and Animation program. He currently works for Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games group in San Francisco as their Senior Producer of games. Kevin also just launched his own casual independent game series for download under the Gamespin banner, Ghost Town Mysteries. He has produced over 30 “E” rated games, including the Family Feud and Risk games and several Hasbro titles including Boggle and Trivial Pursuit while at iWin.com. Prior to iWin.com, he worked at The Learning Company/Mattel Interactive where he was Executive Producer on numerous Reader Rabbit and ClueFinders adventures and at EA/Pogo where he worked on Tumblebees ToGo. He began his career as an animator and special effects artist working for ILM and Hanna Barbera-Wang Films.

Learn more about what it’s like to be a Senior Producer at Nickelodeon.

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement

College Connections That Last a Lifetime

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

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College can provide much more than the skills and experience to begin a career. Just ask Stephanie Zhu (DAA class of 2005) and Bryce Gunkel (DAA class of 2004). They met while studying Digital Art and Animation at Cogswell, and decided to make their relationship official this September. They join more than a few couples who started their relationships as well as their careers at Cogswell. Congratulations Stephanie and Bryce

-Michael Martin, Dean of the College

Raymond Crook On What It’s Like to be an Animator

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

RaymondCrook

I am working as an animator and character modeler/rigger at Double Fine Productions in San Francisco. I started working here shortly before graduation from Cogswell College in 2001. All of the animators in our department are required to know how to model characters as well as rig them. We all wear several hats. We released Psychonauts in 2005 – and our game Brutal Legend that just premiered at the E3 Expo was nominated to receive the Game Critics Award for Best in Show.

The thing I like most about my career is that it gives me a creative outlet. I’m doing something that I love to do and making a living at it. I am happy to say that I truly enjoy my job but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It can be very stressful at times and the hours can also be long but the satisfaction of seeing your work inside the game is very rewarding.

If not for Cogswell, and particularly some key faculty members and alumni, I would not have this job or this career. The courses at Cogswell College gave me the foundation in fine arts and digital media to be able to step into my position here at Double Fine and immediately begin working. This is what the company needed at the time. Of course I have learned a lot and made a lot of mistakes since then, but I had enough practical skills and know-how to hit the ground running.

When it was time for me to find a job, it was a faculty member and one of our alumni who helped me get my first interview and get my demo reel to the right people. I will always be grateful for that. The classes were small enough that I was able to get to know some of my instructors on a personal level and have remained good friends with them. I attended a much larger university before transferring to Cogswell, and because of sheer size of the classes and the inapproachability of the professors, I was not able to create the kind of relationship with them that I did with the Cogswell faculty.

I think a key distinguishing factor that sets Cogswell apart from other colleges is the leadership and vision that focuses resources as needed, pays special attention to the experience of the students and builds relationships with alumni and the community/industry.

If you are planning on being an animator, know that this field is very competitive but also very gratifying. I would suggest to anyone seeking a career in animation that they develop strong, traditional, fine arts skills – then move into the digital realm. The computer is only a tool that you will use to apply the traditional skills of drawing, sculpting and painting at your job. It is important to have some talent for the arts before going into this field. Remember, the job is not glamorous, don’t do it for the bragging rights. Do it because you love to be creative. And certainly don’t do it for the money. Like most art-based careers, you can make a living but don’t plan on it making you wealthy. However, I have found when you do what you love and what you are good at, the rest works itself out.

Click here to learn more about Cogswell’s animation degree program.

- Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement

2009 Grad, Michael McConnell, Uses His Skills to Reach Billions

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

McConnell

Michael McConnell graduated from Cogswell Polytechnical College on May 9, 2009 with an inter-disciplinary degree in Multimedia Engineering and Design. He received a Bachelor of Science and was one of the valedictorians at Commencement. He currently is doing an Internship at Tertia, a San Francisco based company that uses unique technology, in partnership with the US publishing industry, to deploy enhanced English media to the 2 Billion second-language speakers of English worldwide. (more…)

Steve Swink Authors Book on Game Feel

Monday, July 13th, 2009

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“Picture yourself playing Super Mario Brothers. Imagine the sensation of moving Mario around the level, the feel of jumping over pipes and platforms,” said Steve Swink, author. “In digital game design, ‘feel’ is the most overlooked facet of game design. It’s a powerful, gripping, tactile sensation that exists somewhere in the space between player and game.”

Cogswell Alumnus, Steve Swink (Class of 2005), authored the book Game Feel: A Game Designer’s Guide to Virtual Sensation. The publication was released in paperback in October 2008 by Focal Press/Morgan Kaufmann.

Steve Swink graduated from Cogswell in 2005 with a Bachelor degree in Computer and Video Imaging. He is a game designer and managing partner at Flashbang Studios, a creator of independent games in Tempe, Arizona.

Click here to read more about the book . . .

Click here to learn more about Cogswell’s Game Development degree program.

- Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement

Audio Alumus Speaks about Audio Program

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Evan Peebles, Technical Support Specialist and 2007 Cogswell College graduate answered some questions regarding his experiences and reasons for entering the Audio Program at Cogswell College.  Here is what he had to say:

Why did you come to Cogswell?

As people look for colleges, there is often a list made somewhere in their mind of what they want.  When I was looking for a college to attend,  I was looking for several specific things.  First, I wanted to get a degree in audio science. While there are many schools that offer programs in this field, very few are WASC accredited bachelor degree programs.  In the audio field, few careers require bachelor’s degrees. Historically many of the careers in this field were entered through reputation, apprenticeships and connections.  But the audio field is currently in a bit of turmoil and is changing fast.  I love learning and wanted to reinforce my own experience, but it was also important to me to have a safety net.  A WASC accredited bachelor’s degree assures that I could proceed with further education such as a Masters or Ph.D., as well as opens up a wider variety of career paths in case the audio industry’s upheaval gets dramatically worse or I change my mind in the future.  In Cogswell, I found a college that offered the exact degree I was looking for.  Once I had heard of Cogswell, I only ever heard from people about how great it was!  The location was great, no need to move to LA, Florida, or New York.  The tuition was really affordable for a private college.  It has an incredible student-to-professor ratio.  As the college has great industry ties, many industry professionals working as professors, and a flexible program, I would have plenty of great opportunities for internships to further develop my skills, resume and connections.  And the people at Cogswell really cared. (more…)

Cogswell Alum Sean Velasco Interviewed in IGN

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

SeanV

Cogswell College alumus, Sean Velasco stopped by the IGN studio for an interview prior to the E3Expo. Sean currently works for WayForward Technologies in Los Angeles along with fellow alumni Steven Foote and Austin Ivansmith.

In the interview Sean says, “I was playing A Boy and His Blob one day and thought, man, this is such a great premise and we could execute so excellently on it with all of WayForward’s proprietary animation, with all of our awesome 2D platformer experience.”   

Since the company already had a good relationship with Majesco who owned the rights to the game, the team threw together a pitch about their concept for A Boy and His Blob. Sean also discussed the game design decisions, including the use of 2D rather than 3D art.

Check out the full interview at www.ign.com.

-Jennifer Daily, Admissions Counselor