andrew-lee

Andrew Lee

Graduated 2010 with a degree in Game Art and Animation, currently employed as a Level Designer/Artist at Big Huge Games/38 Studios

What do you do in your current job?

I started out in World Art, but changed roles when they needed help in Level Design. In either case, I create the scenery and environments that players traverse through. I have meetings with the narrative designers to make sure everything is where they need to be, and then I embellish the area with detail. As a Level Designer, my role is to take early stages of dungeons and polish/refine them to its final, ready-to-ship state.

How did Champlain prepare you for your current job?

Understanding of the production process is the best preparation I received, and I learned that through group projects. This is so important because you’ll know exactly what to expect, and you’ll be able to jump right into the process at any company. I learned about scope and making good estimates, after having worked with so many people. Also group projects will show how you work with others, which is another key skill to build.

What advice would you give an incoming freshman about how to be successful during their four years at Champlain?

If I could give advice that would have helped me, it would be to keep on creating and not to dwell on past projects. Especially when you’re still developing your early skills, you may get stuck on a certain areas because you’ve never come across something like this before. I believe by creating different projects for yourself, you’ll discover new techniques and abilities on your own, that would otherwise be difficult to learn through a video or book. I started this method a bit late, but afterwards I felt really comfortable within the program and I knew my limits.

auston-montville

Auston Montville

Graduated 2010 with a degree in Electronic Game and Interactive Design — Game Design, currently employed as a Junior Game Designer at Tagged

What do you do in your current job?

  • Brainstorm and pitch concepts from simple mechanics to entire games.
  • Document ideas and discussions into comprehensible designs for any team member. These documents include everything from basic outlines to determine viability to detailed documentation to be handed off to engineers for implementation.
  • Research and compile analytics from player actions to provide evidence for decisions on supporting or enhancing our games.
  • Playtest and bugtest our games to compile feedback for all of our games.
  • Try to beat my boss in Super Smash Brothers Brawl.

How did Champlain prepare you for your current job?

Requiring me to prove my ideas and projects was key to my current capabilities. I loved Champlain for all the opportunities that were provided to me (study abroad, managing teams, picking our tools and software). But, I truly learned the most when I laid out my own plans for our production classes. The staff at Champlain wouldn’t prohibit us from using our own tools and creating games that were beyond the expected curriculum, but they would make us prove that it would not only benefit our education, but that we would properly scope our projects. Requiring this deep level of thought, as opposed to allowing us to try and fail, has helped me immensely. Now, when I pitch a concept, mechanic, or plan, I know exactly how to prove a concept’s viability, and whether or not the product will or will not be successful. When you’re out of college and dealing with decisions that cost large amounts of a company’s investment in time and money, being able to sell and understand your plan is essential.

What advice would you give an incoming freshman about how to be successful during their four years at Champlain?

Always push the boundaries. Simply doing the work assigned at Champlain will provide you with the skills necessary to be successful. But often times, especially in creative fields, being capable isn’t enough. Everyone has ideas and passion. But it is the person who has used their classes to gain the skills necessary to put their ideas and passion to the test that stands out. What you do beyond the class curriculum is what will set you apart not only in the school, but in the larger space of whatever industry you are aiming to be a part of (or change). By pushing yourself you’ll inspire those around you, impress those above you, and have something that your proud of to look back on after your time at Champlain.

chris-rolfs

Chris Rolfs

Graduated 2009 with a degree in Electronic Game and Interactive Design — Game Design, currently employed as a Senior Developer at Tag New Media

What do you do in your current job?

I am responsible for development work on several different projects, working closely with designers and other developers to produce quality content for the web.

How did Champlain prepare you for your current job?

Champlain gave me the opportunity to work in many groups on different projects, which is a key ability to have in this sort of field. Projects can sometimes overlap and responsibilities can shift and I feel very comfortable moving around in this small company setting. From a technical standpoint, I learned a lot about art, design, and programming while studying game development. Each of these skills has proved invaluable in understanding and accomplishing tasks in both the web and gaming industries.

What advice would you give an incoming freshman about how to be successful during their four years at Champlain?

I would advise all incoming freshmen to make the most of the numerous opportunities they will have at Champlain. Work hard and experience as much as possible. Champlain has the people and the resources to make sure you succeed at anything you put your mind to, so choose your path, build a foundation for your career, and start succeeding!