Welcome, Fall 2014 Students

August 26th, 2014 posted by carl

Fall 2014 Students
We have seventeen students joining us this semester on the EA campus. They will be working on three projects – one with the Office of the Chief Creative Officer (OCCO) at EA, one with 3D scanners, and one using the Epson Moverio AR glasses.

Spring 2014 Final Presentations

May 8th, 2014 posted by carl

It’s a wrap! Final Presentations were on Wednesday, May 7th. We had over 30 guests attending the talks with live demos afterwards.

Click Through for Videos

Rez Graham

May 8th, 2014 posted by Heather

Rez Graham

On Thursday March 6th we had a special guest speaker from the Sims 4 team come visit us – senior AI programmer, Rez Graham. The talk was an open Q&A session that turned into a discussion about tackling the technical interview. Since he has experience being on both ends of the interview table, he was able to give advice through many humorous yet informative anecdotes. Some tidbits include:

  • If you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s not the end of the world. The interviewer is also looking for how you respond to stress and will sometimes ask questions until you don’t know the answer to see how you’ll handle it. If you get into this situation, a good strategy is to give as much information that you do know about the problem – even if you don’t know the exact solution they’re looking for.
  • The interviewer wants to hire you. They’re as excited about the interview process as you are. They just want to find someone to fill the role they need as quickly as possible so they can finish their project.
  • The interviewer really only wants to know three things about you: are you smart (can you do the job they’re asking you to do), are you passionate (when it get’s to crunch time will you be there making the product the best that it can be), and can they work with you (will having to work with you negatively impact their own work)? The interview usually revolves around determining these three things.

Rez GrahamAfter the Q&A session, Rez stuck around and reviewed everyone’s resume individually. He not only gave constructive feedback on how to improve each resume, but he made a point to find something about their resume that they did well. He also stayed later than intended in order to give everyone’s resume a thorough review. Thanks Rez!

 

TL;DR: Rez is a senior AI programmer on the Sims 4 team, is creative when it comes to his hair color, and is an all around great human being.

Greg Dismond Talk

May 7th, 2014 posted by avenugop

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On February 20th 2014 we had Greg Dismond, the Technical Director on the Maxis team at Electronic Arts, give us a talk. Greg has been in the industry for over 20 years and he talked to us about interactions.

Greg started the talk by asking us to write down two of our favourite interactions and two of our least favourite interactions. He then gave a talk about interactions in general and how they can be divided into different levels of decision making. He explained how every time a person performs an interaction they are also assessing how easy or difficult it was to do which in return determines the possibility of them performing the same interaction again.

He used Google as an example of an interaction which most of us perform on a daily basis and explained how we choose to do it because the motive of the interaction and the tool used to perform it are clearly defined. In this particular case the motive is because I need an answer to a question and the tool is Google itself as it searches for answers and organizes them in a convenient way for us to access.

We then went around the class and discussed what each person had written in the beginning for their two least favourite or favourite interactions. This led to some interesting observations as a group as most of the people in the class had listed calling a call center/helpline as their least favourite interaction and the process is tedious and nobody likes to be kept on hold for a long time. This talk was really useful as it was really insightful in terms of the interactions we perform on a daily basis and also as students of game design to analyze our games in a better manner.

 

Lyndsay Pearson Talk

May 6th, 2014 posted by keyinw

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On Thursday, March 20th, 2014, Lynsay Pearson, who is the lead producer at EA, visited ETC SV campus and gave us a talk about her working experience.

 

She started as a QA for Sims then joined the production team and worked on Sims 2 and expansions, My Sims and The Sims 3. Now she is at Sims 3 team. She is a very nice and passionate person and she introduced how to be a good producer who is supportive to the team and make teammate work efficiently and effectively. She used to be an artist which help her to understand the development process well and she is very helpful for all the teammates.
In the talk, she introduced what do producers usually do. She also talked about the production team and how the pipeline works plus all the forms of communication between producers, programmers, producers and designers etc. Although Lyndsay didn’t  know much about technical part, she said she learned how to communicate with programmers by asking them politely to explain technical questions in a way that she can easily understand.
Moreover, she talked about how to deal with the conflicts between developers and designers. She said when conflicts appear , for example, when designers design something that is hard to realized for developers or developers don’t implement the game as game designers design, she will work between them and try to make these two roles understand each other and figure out a way to solve problems but ensure the game quality.
The talk was very successful and helpful. Lyndsay was full of energy while speaking and shared us lots of valuable experiences and interesting stories in her work. We harvested a lot and appreciated her very much!