Archive for the ‘Speakers’ Category

Anthony Daniels Visits

Friday, April 8th, 2016 posted by carl

Anthony et al 2k
Our good friend and Visiting Scholar, Anthony Daniels, spent a few days with us this week. He spoke to all the students in an informal Q&A session and then spent over an hour with each team learning about their projects, play testing, and giving valuable feedback.

Visit from Anthony Daniels

Friday, October 2nd, 2015 posted by carl

Our good friend Anthony Daniels spent the day with us. After our Monday morning all-hands meeting, Anthony shared a bit about Episode VII (sorry – no secrets or spoilers were revealed) and opened the floor for a discussion about acting, teaching, and saying yes to every opportunity. After lunch he visited each team, playing their early prototypes and providing ideas and input to make them better.

Rez Graham

Thursday, 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.

Lyndsay Pearson Talk

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 posted by keyinw


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!

Skype Meeting with Blue Sky Studios

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 posted by momojiao


Blue Sky Studios is an American computer animation film studio based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Founded in 1987 by the visual effects team behind Tron, it has been owned by 20th Century Fox since 1997. Using its in-house rendering software, the studio had worked on visual effects for commercials and films, before releasing in 2002 its first animated film, Ice Age, and completely dedicated to producing animated films. The studio has produced nine animated films, with Ice Ageand Rio being its most successful franchises.

We had a chance to have a skype  meeting with Blue Sky folks which is really great. There were three people who attended the meeting with us.They are Deb Stone,Michael Reed and Adam Burr.

Deb Stone,worked  in feature animation as a senior recruiter for Blue Sky Studios.Michael Reed is a Senior Research Associate at Blue Sky Animation Studios, where he works on geometric issues in modeling and rendering.Adam Burr is also a Senior Research Associate at Blue Sky Animation Studios, he he works in production as an effects and rigging artist.

We were really excited to get a chance to talk with them and ask questions. Producers,technical artist,modeler,animator,programmer and concept artist in ETC all attended this meeting.We asked a lot of questions about different roles in animation studios. They were really kind and willing to answer any questions we asked, all the students got the useful and inspiring answers from them. This meeting really helped a lot for us to know more about feature animation studios and their requirements.