Posts Tagged ‘Game Development’

Intel’s Level Up Game Demo Development Competition

Friday, April 23rd, 2010


The competition, going into its fourth year, is an opportunity for developers to create game demos that use Intel’s Visual Adrenaline tools. Entrants start by submitting game demo concepts that explain through words and images what their game will feature.

Concepts that are accepted will move to the next round for judging, which requires a playable demo leveraging a trial edition of Intel’s Visual Adrenaline tools.

Judges in the past have included industry experts and leaders such as Sid Meier, Will Wright, Rick Raymo, and Brad Wardell.

Deadline is June 21st.

For submission information and official rules, click here.

Game Development Program Featured in Biz Journal

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Photo by Vicki Thompson

Photo by Vicki Thompson

Cogswell College proves once again that it is on the cutting edge of educating students for careers in the Game Development field. When the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal needed information about how the video game industry is changing and the adjustments educators should make to prepare students for successful careers, Cogswell faculty, Albert Chen, had the answers.

Social networking, mobile devices and the internet have tremendously expanded the opportunities within the video game market. At Cogswell, students experience project-based classes that operate like an indie game studio in order to prepare them for the work environment they are likely to encounter.

Click here to read the article.

Register NOW for the Global Game Jam at Cogswell!

Monday, January 25th, 2010


There’s still time to register for the Global Game Jam at Cogswell College!  Please go to

Don’t delay!  Spots are filling up QUICK!

Cogswell Faculty Spotlight – Albert Chen, Digital Art & Animation

Friday, December 18th, 2009

albertchenAlbert Chen

Albert Chen is the Assistant Professor of Game Design and Development and joined Cogswell’s full-time faculty in 2007. He heads the Game Art concentration under Digital Arts and Animation (DAA) program and Digital Arts and Engineering (DAE) under the Engineering program. He is also the Associate Director for Cogswell’s Engineering Simulation and Animation Laboratory (ESAL), and the recipient of the Boeing Performance Excellence Award in 2008. His goal is to provide the mentoring and support students need to excel at Cogswell and in the video game and digital media industries. Mr. Chen was a professional game developer for over twelve years with credits in nearly two dozen game titles. His roles included Game Designer at EA, Game Design Director and Senior Level Designer at Factor 5, Level Layout Manager at 3DO, and Mission Designer, 3D Art Technician, International Lead Tester and QA Tester at LucasArts. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of California at Davis.

What classes do you currently teach?

Game 3: Introduction to game development and production, Content and creativity development, Entertainment Design and 3D Modeling portfolio

Do you have a favorite class to teach? If so, why?

Content and creativity development is currently my favorite because it’s purely focused on thinking outside the box and teamwork which results in some very cool student projects.

Have you worked for non-academic companies in the past? Which ones? How did that experience make you a better teacher?

I was a professional game developer for over 12 years prior to joining Cogswell. I have worked at Lucasarts, The 3DO Company, Factor 5 and EA. My past experience in mentoring junior designers has helped me develop my teaching style. I call it “Tough love”.

What made you decide that you wanted to teach?

When I was a game developer, I enjoyed working with and mentoring new designers. At Cogswell, I saw an opportunity to constantly get that kind of interaction with students.

What projects have you worked on in the past? What was your role in the project?

I was 3D Art Technician for Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi and Grim Fandango where I processed raw mo-cap data and fixed technical problems in digital art and animation.

As Level Layout Manager for Sarge’s Heroes 2 PS1, I managed a design team that developed and shipped a game in 7 months.

I was a level designer for Star Wars: Roque Squadron 2 – Rogue Leader (which launched with the Nintendo Gamecube) and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3 – Rebel Strike. My levels were used for the pre-sell disks and shown at trade shows like E3.

As Game Design Director and Designer on Lair, I was responsible for building and managing a design team.

What projects (personal or professional) are you currently working on?

Cogswell Hosting Silicon Valley Global Game Jam

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Brainstorming during Game Jam 2009 at Cogswell

Have you ever wanted to be part of something really big? Now’s your chance! Join other San Francisco/Silicon Valley game enthusiasts for the second annual Global Game Jam weekend.

Following last year’s hugely successful inaugural event, organizers are expecting Game Jam 2010 to be even more spectacular. So far more than 100 locations in 31 different countries will host events – and the numbers are growing every day.

Cogswell Polytechnical College is pleased to host this exciting event in the Bay Area. The Global Game Jam begins at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 29 and ends at 3:00p.m. on Sunday, January 31.

Game Jams foster innovation and experimentation – it’s all about making games and in the GGJ you’re part of a global experiment in creativity. A game jam is not for the faint of heart though. Expect two days of hard work, experimentation, little sleep, new friends, great ideas, laughs, technical issues and the time of your life.

What could be better than the chance to challenge your creativity and technical expertise in a collaborative marathon? Not much if you love to make games!

Learn more about the event and reserve your space now.

Space limitation: 50 participants, so make sure to register early.

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement


A group in the Game Jam 2009 works on their game.

What is Video Game Level Design?

Monday, October 26th, 2009




We asked Assistant Professor Albert Chen to explain level design

If Game Development covers how games are made and Game Design determines what the game is and how it is played, Level Design is about defining the moment to moment experience for the player. It includes planning and creating the actual spaces that the player travels through and orchestrating heart-pounding encounters and events that happen along the way.

Can students learn level design at Cogswell?

This past summer term, we offered a six-week Special Topic – Intro to Level Design Workshop. This intensive course introduced students to the fundamentals of 3D level design for 1st person shooters. By using Unreal Tournament 3′s level editor to build playable multiplayer levels, students were able to experience the level design process first-hand. They also learned the theories behind competitive multiplayer map creation to control play balance, intensity and flow.

In Spring, we will offer an Advanced Level Design course. Check the Spring schedule when it is released in early October.

Want to learn more about our Game Art, Game Development, or our Digital Art and Animation programs?

Visit the Cogswell College website or better yet, arrange a tour of our campus and see where you can begin your career in video games.

-Michael Martin, Dean of the College

Cogswell Game Development Club Hosts Another Successful Game Night

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009


On a warm July evening, the Cogswell Game Development Club held another of their famous Game Nights – a late night of console gaming. Current students, incoming fall freshmen and Spanish students all took part in games such as F-Zero (projected onto the front 15’ wall), Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution, Halo 3 and Gears of War.

There was also a designated table for students to set up their laptops to work on homework or personal art projects and still enjoy the camaraderie. Student Andrew Severns barbecued up delicious burgers and hot dogs and later in the evening DJ’ed. About 40 people attended and a good time was had by all.

Game Development Club President Brody Brooks said about the evening: “Homework can get pretty stressful sometimes, so it’s always great to kick back with friends and relieve some of it. Game Night was, as always, a great release.”

~ Rachael Reisdorf, Design Coordinator

Soccer Mom is Featured Student Game

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

soccor_mom_160x120Soccer Mom is the featured student video game on Game Career Guide this week.  After a year and a half, it is still the second most downloaded student game on the site. The students may have graduated, but their good work is still as popular as ever.

Cogswell Alum Sean Velasco Interviewed in IGN

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009


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

-Jennifer Daily, Admissions Counselor

Alum Tobiah Marks Recalls His Time at Summer Camp

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Tobiah Marks just completed a dual degree in Digital Arts Engineering and Software Engineering.  As Tobiah recalls his involvement at Cogswell College, he remembers the start of it all: Being in high-school and attending Cogswell summer camps.  Here is his story:


How many summers did you participate in camp?

Three I believe . . .


What courses did you take at Cogswell’s summer camp?

Digipen Game Design (made a game in a week) and Maya 3D Modeling.


What was it like to be part of the summer camp experience?

Great. It was a lot of fun.


What did you learn?

Basic game programming and a lot about 3D Modeling which I hadn’t done before.


Did the camp have any influence on your major in college?

Not so much influenced but it encouraged what I was already thinking I wanted to do with my life.


Did the camp influence your decision to apply to Cogswell and enroll as a student?

VERY much so. Getting to know the staff and the students of Cogswell really helped me pick this school vs. others. The people here liked what I liked and were doing what I wanted to do.


What are the advantages of going to summer camp at Cogswell?

I was able to get to know the college. Plus, I was able to do the things I thought I wanted to do and see if I really liked it – and it’s just plain fun.