Posts Tagged ‘Cogswell Alumni’

Are you going to the Entrepreneur’s Workshop?

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

It’s only two more days until the Entrepreneur’s Workshop.  Are you going?  If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, it’s not too late to RSVP.  Just fill out the form on the Entrepreneur’s Workshop page.  At the workshop, you’ll learn by doing. There are simulations lined up to give students experiences in marketing and exercises in product design.  Following the interactive activities is a panel with Cogswell Alum Ash Monif, COO and Executive Producer of Subatomic Studies, and serial entrepreneur Dan Marques, who has seen much success with his involvment in online marketing for Gemvara. The panelists are there to answer any questions you might have regarding your own ventures, so come out to the Entrepreneur’s Workshop and learn how to make your goals reality!  The event is free, and is also open to current Cogswell students, so this may be prime time for prospective students to ask questions of current students as well.

In other news, today is the Thanksgiving potluck!  This has been a highly anticipated event for everyone on campus.  What’s the excitement about food, you may ask?  Everyone from student, staff, and faculty can show off their culinary prowess.  Where else can you get a taste of the best macaroni and cheese in the world made by the Assistant Admissions Director?  Or the most phenomenal green bean casserole from your Professor?  It’s fascinating to see who is equally talented in the kitchen as they are in sculpture, programming, or music composition.

Cogswell College Alumni Resources!

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Hey Alumni!

gradsDid you know that we have two special web pages just for you?  Check out our alumni page on our Cogswell site: And see more by clicking on “Alumni and Partners” link in the navigation bar near the top of the page!

We also have an entire site dedicated to alumni!  Check us out at

Want to get connected with Cogswell again?  Sign up for our newsletter and let us know what you’ve been up to.

Alumni’s Company Publishes His Global Game Jam Game

Friday, March 19th, 2010

sumo_title_clickDuring the Global Game Jam here at Cogswell, one team decided to create their game for the iPhone.  After 2 intense days of creating the game, the team published the game Sumo Stealth through team member and alumni Tobiah Mark’s company Yobonja.  We caught up with Tobiah to ask him about his experience both with the design and the publishing.

Your name, your position on the team and other members of the team?

Tobiah Marks – Design/Voice of Skunky

Other team members:

George Lam – Programming

Seth Robles -  Art

Madison Parker – Art

To read the team’s blog during the Global Game Jam, click here.

What is the name of the game and what is the game play like?

The name of the game is Sumo Stealth (available for free on the Apple App Store: The game only has a simple one button control scheme, tap the screen to change disguise. The story is that a sumo wrestler is trapped in a shopping mall full of roaming gangs of Punks and Monks, and he must sneak past them by disguising himself as one or the other. The game speeds up and gets harder over time, and goes on until you’re caught in the wrong disguise. Your score is the number of seconds you lasted before being caught.

What was your inspiration for the game?

SumosarusGoing in we all wanted to make a simple game, focusing in on one or two gameplay elements and just trying to make that fun. The idea we came up with was a player trying to sneak past groups of Monks and Punks. We boiled the whole idea down to its simplest form where all you do is change your character’s disguise. After we told the idea to the rest of the Game Jam groups, somebody mentioned the Gamma4 competition going on at the same time looking for one-button game submissions. This had been going on for a while, but the deadline happened to be that same Sunday night Game Jam was done. So we ran with the idea and made it a one-button game so we could also submit to it.

In case you’re wondering “Why Punks and Monks? Why do they hate each other?” Well, at the Global Game Jam 2010 at Cogswell College, one of the requirements for the game is that the game must contain a Monk, a Punk, or a Skunk. So we decided to go with Monks vs. Punks. Why make it a sumo wrestler? Because it’s funny. We named him Skunky though, just so we can say we hit all three.

At what point did you decide to make an iPhone game?  When did you decide to submit it to the App store?

Within the first 15 minutes of starting work on the game, we decided to make it for the iPhone.  One of the first things we thought after setting up was “This game would make a cool iPhone app”. Well, George had a copy of Unity iPhone, and Yobonja (my company) has a developer account, so everything just worked out too nicely not to do it.

What was the most rewarding part of making the game?

The team. We had a great team, and we all had similar visions of what we wanted out of the game. It was great to just have everything click and fall into place without any last-minute drama or design arguments or struggle to complete the game on time.

What was the most challenging?

I’m not sure. I’m still impressed that Madison made a whole 3D mall full of assets in 2 days, or that George had the whole game working in prototype form late Friday night, etc. But I’d say probably turning Seth’s awesome drawings into a animated character, and trying to set to look correct in Unity since none of us were animators.

Tell us a little bit about your newest game, Snack Time for Caterpillar?

My company, Yobonja, just released Snack Time for Caterpillar. It’s an iPhone game where you move around a cute little caterpillar on a leaf trying to eat as much food as possible while trying to avoid dragonflies that come to bother you. You control the caterpillar by tilting your iPhone/iPod touch/iPad then once you’ve built up enough energy by eating you can engage monster mode and turn into a dragonfly eating machine!  The game has social features like global highscores, awards, and facebook/twitter integration powered by AGON Online.  It is available now for free on the iTunes app store.


Alumni iPhone Game Fieldrunners Featured in Game Developer Magazine

Friday, February 12th, 2010


Subatomic Studios Co-Founder, Sergei Gourski (2003) and fellow Cogswell Alumnus, Ash Monif (2002) have a lot to be excited about. Not only has their iPhone game Fieldrunners been nominated as one of the finalists in the Indie Game Challenge Gamer’s Choice Award, but it has also been featured in the latest (January 2010) issue of Game Developer Magazine. In an article entitled, Rethinking User Interface by Brian Robbins, Fieldrunners is praised for its ability to let players make their moves with great accuracy. It does this “through a combination of advanced touch detection logic and allowing users to zoom far into the gameboard as well.”

Congratulations to Subatomic Studios for the recent recognition Fieldrunners has received!

Profile of Executive VP Job at Global VR

Friday, January 29th, 2010

limaGreg Lima (class of 1999)
BA – Computer and Video Imaging

I am Executive Vice President of Gaming at Global VR’s east coast division where I invent and execute the creation of games of various casino game manufacturers. Not long ago, I patented a video poker game that was purchased by a major player in the casino industry.

One of the more rewarding parts of my job is the chance to be creative within such an exciting and fast-paced environment. I think the best lesson Cogswell taught me was to complete tasks with a production schedule in mind. It does not help in a commercial art setting to create innovative and imaginative pieces if they cannot be delivered. It is not profitable to create work without considering the time the project will take before you begin.

The interaction with faculty members at Cogswell was an important part of my experience. Thanks to the small class sizes, you get to know them pretty well. Some of them I still consider friends today.

I knew I wanted to be part of the video game industry since the time I received an Amiga computer in 1988. It was this computer that was responsible for a lot of the breakthrough CGI at the time. When I learned all that it could do, I was hooked on the Caligari-Ray and watching television commercials that used CGI.

Anyone entering this field needs to understand that formalized training is only 25 to 50% of the total package. One needs to be prepared to take what they learn day-to-day and apply the new skills every chance they get. This field demands total commitment.

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement

Alumni Memories of Pearl Harbor Battle

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009


Since the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor was recently commemorated, we thought you might be interested in hearing about the experiences of a few of the Cogswellites who were present during the battle.

Reprinted from the January 16, 1942 “Cogswell Spirit Builder”

News from Pearl Harbor

The following letter, dated December 25, 1941, from Bill Kendall (class of 1941), came to the office recently. Because of its great interest, we are quoting almost all of it.

“Christmas and New Year’s greetings from the Cogswell Alumnae in Hawaii – Bill Bjorman (1941), Sam Bucchieri (1939), Hubert Cazin (left in 1939), Bill Kendall (1941), and Ed Sorensen (1940). We hope that we find you as well as we are in the holiday season and eagerly await the time we can offer our greetings in person. Wartime Hawaii finds us serving both the armed and civilian forces of our country. Bjorman, Cazin and I (Kendall), are bolstering Uncle Sam’s naval detachments as Radiomen Third Class – a petty officer rating, while Bucchieri and Sorensen carry on as draftsmen for the Army Engineers in Honolulu. Ed Sorensen is the lone Aloha Land Cogswellite to gain membership in the ranks of the married, although Sam Bucchieri had a close escape before he left the mainland. Speaking of escapes, few will rival the scrape with the grim reaper that Bill Bjorman had at Pearl Harbor on that horrible Sunday morning of December 7, 1941. Aboard a strange ship sinking with torpedo hits fore and aft, and through a hail of machine gun fire he, with many members of the ship’s company made their way to safety ashore only to have to battle fires for 30 hours without a let-up.
I have not seen Cazin, who was aboard a seagoing tug, but Bjorman tells me that he is safe. Hubert recently returned from Midway Island where he was engaged in secret radio work. Bjorman and I were scheduled to accompany him on that trip, but were transferred from that duty on the eve of the departure of the ship. Standing a watch on one of the Navy Circuits where the holocaust at Pearl Harbor was going on, I saw little of the fierce action of the Navy Yard since my duty was at the Naval Radio Station a few miles from the Harbor. I had a good idea of what was going on, however; for we handled the communications end of the battle and those messages were hot. I cannot say much of the attack for obvious reasons, but Bjorman’s story was more vivid than any I have seen in the newspapers. We lost many fine shipmates that never can be replaced – I would rather not dwell any longer on that subject.
Bjorman, Cazin and I went to Radio School when we arrived from the States, and completed the four months’ course in two months. Bill and Hubert were transferred to the 14th Naval District Communications Office upon graduation, and I was retained at the school to work in the capacity of assistant instructor. Our Cogswell training put us well ahead of the other students at the school, and when the four-months’ term ended at the Radio School, Cazin was sent to Midway – Bjorman and I missing that duty for which we were slated by last minute transfers to duty in the 14th Naval District Communications activities. I was sent to the Naval Radio Station at Wailupe, on the Island of Oahu, and Bill was held at the 14th Naval District Communications Office. Returning from Midway, Cazin was greeted with a further transfer to duty aboard a seagoing tug – his present duty. The radio station at Wailupe was been moved to new quarters a few miles more from Pearl Harbor than Wailupe.
We seldom see Sam or Ed since our liberties are so uncertain, although Bill and I did spend a weekend at Sam’s apartment on a rare two-day liberty. They are working on engineering drafting for army ordnance, and claim that Cogswell training makes their work easy and therefore pleasant. Our increased wartime duties make it almost impossible to see these fellows, but if we get a break we may get in touch with them again somehow.
My wish is that this letter finds the entire Cogswell faculty in fine spirits and good health.

Aloha Nui Oe,”
(Signed) Bill Kendall
Reprinted from the June 15, 1942 “Cogswell Spirit Builder”

Visitors to Campus

“John Danaher (class of 1940), a 1st Class Yeoman, has been on leave the last two weeks and found time to visit Cogswell. He has been in the Navy two and a half years, most of the time being stationed at Pearl Harbor.
At the time of the Japanese attack, his ship was in the harbor alongside the Arizona, which was sunk when a bomb burst in the ammunition room after falling down the smoke stack. John’s ship was the only one which managed to get out of the harbor during the attack. It was forced to beach on the point at the mouth of the harbor. This spot has been named after the ship because of the event.
John reported that even though the attack was a great surprise the men were calm and none went to pieces under the sudden nervous strain. However, they all hope they will never see such action again. The lights on the Pacific coast, fresh bread and vegetables, milk, and other foods we take for granted seemed very good to him.”

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement

Alumni Spotlight – Greg Reisdorf, Designer at Visceral Games, EA

Monday, November 30th, 2009


Company name, your job title, a brief description of your job responsibilities and how long you have worked there.

Hi I’m Greg Reisdorf. I’ve worked at EA for 4 and a half years and I design levels at Visceral Games. Currently I’m working on Dante’s Inferno.

Can you give an example of what you might do on a ‘typical’ day?

On a typical day I usually go through a process of coming up with an idea for an area in a level, implementing the idea, testing it to see if I like it and then making changes accordingly. Once I like the area I show it to my lead.

Can you give an example of something that surprised you about your job when you first started?

When I first started, I was surprised that there is no concrete way for making a game. The industry is still new, so the process for making each game is always different. There’s a lot of creative problem solving both on the design side and also how the design comes to fruition.

Describe your piece of the production cycle. How does what you do move the project forward?