Coco & Co constructive communication & collaboration

The Team

The team is comprised of six graduate students at CMU's Entertainment Technology Center.

Chris Cynthia Hugo Katherine Walt Paulwei
Chris Bell

In a design think-tank at the University of Florida's Graphic Design studio, Chris discovered an intense passion for collaborative ideation. There, he worked with 16 other designers on a multitude of independent and client-based projects, such as developing his own board game, branding the national food distributor Blue Gill foods, and traveling to Tokyo, Japan to showcase his work in the fashionable Harajuku district. In his spare time, Chris has designed props, animation sequences, and promotional materials for multiple short films at the FSU Film School, and has taught college designers the principles of design — leading a group of more than forty designers to tour world-class studios in Miami, FL (including advertising juggernaut Crispin Porter + Bogusky).

Transitioning from graphic design to interactive media, Chris appreciates elegant communication, tangible content, and the understanding of target demographics. Chris hopes to direct blockbuster gaming experiences that do not overextend themselves, but rather fit into the lifestyle of the present and future gamer, delivering blockbuster interactive adventures in a matter of hours.

If you happen to visit the ETC, or one of the local IGDA meetings, you will hear Chris describing what he dubs "intersections of experience": when multiple individuals come together to produce magic. Chris comes to the ETC in constant pursuit of such moments, and to one day make a game with the emotional capacity to bring players to tears.


Cynthia Jiang

Cynthia(Zhixin) Jiang was born and raised in China and achieved her degree in Computer Science at Shanghai Jiaotong University, one of the most prestigious computer science departments in the country. After her graduation she worked as a game software engineer for SEGA for one and a half years, contributing to the 3D action game title Altered Beast, and then for EA for 3 years, developing several casual online games for

Cynthia loves video games and is an avid novel reader as well, with a preference for science fiction and fantasy stories. This contributes to her love of Role Playing Games and other games with rich backgrounds and attractive stories. She dreams of designing and developing her own game, one that would bring people not only enjoyment, but also trigger some insightful thinking. This dream makes her want to expand her role in game development beyond programming, and is a main reason for joining the ETC. She enjoys her courses and is especially interested in learning how to analyze experiences and storytelling.

Cynthia believes in never giving up, and will work hard in the game industry with the goal of one day creating her own titles.


Hugo Shih

In fact, I never thught that I can be in ETC, because my academic background is not related to game industries, except 3D modeling. However, I’m very interested in game programming, visual effects and interaction design. My major in undergraduate is architecture, and I turn it into interaction design when I entered my first graduate school. After serving the Army, I worked as an interaction designer for museum exhibitions. I think those experience would help me in ETC. I love video games since I was about 6 years old. I almost had every home video console for every generation till now. I always want to involve in game industries. Now I have this chance in ETC, and I’m pretty sure that I can make this dream come true.


Katherine Rubenstein

Katherine has always loved drawing ever since she was a child. She would often draw whatever she saw and developed a keen eye for observation. During middle school she stumbled across concept art for games and movies. Ever since she has been inspired to start drawing more conceptual illustration centered around characters and creatures.

She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. During her time there, she explored many different media, subjects, and techniques. She broadened her skills experimenting with traditional media and 3D animation & robotics. She often takes inspiration from pop culture. Using her observations, she abstracts and reconstructs her characters' natural forms to create images that depict strange but familiar scenes. She focuses on the natural forms of the human figure, mutating them to create familiar but alien creatures.

Katherine entered the ETC with the hopes of expanding her art skills by working on projects that reach a wider audience.


Walt Destler

When studying as an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, Walt was crazy enough to accomplish a double-degree in two very disparate fields: Computer Science and Theater. Now at the Entertainment Technology Center, Walt is excited to be combining his programming skills with his creative juices in order to create wondrous interactive entertainment experiences.

Walt's accomplishments at the ETC include two BVW worlds that were selected for the end-of-semester BVW Show as well as The Iminintech Project, which was a 2-story walkthrough, storytelling, interactive installation.

Though he loves film, Walt’s greatest passion is creating games, be them video games, board games, sports games, or any other medium. In his spare time while at Maryland he designed, produced, and programmed a networked-multiplayer action game called Tanky-Tank. Many of his games, including Tanky-Tank, may be downloaded from his website.

In terms of the hard skills Walt brings to the table, he is fluent in a number of programming languages including C/C++, Java, C#, and Python. He also has significant experience with many technologies including DirectX, OpenGL, OpenAL, Microsoft .Net, iPhone, and Panda3D.


Paulwei Wang

Born in Taiwan, Paulwei moved to the United States when he was two years old. He was raised bilingual and as such is fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese. Having an interest in languages, He ended up learning six: English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, French and German.

Along with his interest in languages comes an innate interest in different cultures. He is a third culture kid and has moved to several different countries in different parts of his life.

Before coming to the ETC, Paulwei has worked in a university research laboratory, the world's largest blinds manufacturing company, a large video game publisher, a cell phone game developer, advertising in video games, and fitness equipment manufacturing. Each one of these positions has helped mold Paulwei into a competent programmer and leader.

Paulwei came to the ETC specifically because throughout his whole life there have been very few constants. One of them has been a desire to create awesome games and after just a few weeks here at the ETC, he is confident that he will be able to fulfill that desire.

During his second semester, Paulwei worked with the Free Library of Philadelphia to create an interactive attraction on the Microsoft Surface Table. On this project, he was lead programmer.

In the summer of 2010, Paulwei teamed up with a small group of ETC students to form Fathombrook LLC. Fathombrook LLC released its first game, Evacuation, in September 2010 on Xbox Live Indie Games. On the project, Paulwei was the producer, sound designer, and programming consultant.